Achieving a mirror-like finish on Worbla – Video

Getting the very smoothest finish on your Worbla to achieve the best possible metallic paint effect is a multi-step process. The wonderful Anathiell broke down how she achieved her fantastic gold accessories for her Vincent Valentine costume in this video below. Photo above by Jola.

Airbrush and Drybrush Painting Technique

AllieCat Art and Cosplay shared this great tutorial on how to achieve the look of her painted armor for her Lieutenant Allison Jakes from Privateer Press: Warmachine which you can see the build gallery of here.

What I used:

Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet air compressor
Iwata Eclipse Gun
Hot knife
Rust-Oleum Black Primer Spray Paint
Createx Airbrush Paints
P3 Paints
FolkArt Acrylic Paints
LePage Wood glue
scotch tape

*I mixed the Createx and P3 together for the perfect shades of Cygnar Blue/Yellows

1. Before painting your armor piece be sure to clean the surface of any remaining residues. For the damage/scratches use a hot knife to cut into the worbla at random and be careful not to cut too deep. PSA: If you’re not sure if it’s on *DO NOT TOUCH IT* A good way to test is flicking a bit of water on it to see if it sizzles =]

2. To begin priming your piece smooth I used 4 layers of woodglue. *The advantages to wood gluing is that the drying time is much faster but you can’t sand it while Gesso takes longer to dry and requires more coats but can be sanded. It can also be used in combination but whatever your preference is will work fine!

3. After the wood glue has dried smooth out any lumpy surfaces by wetting your fingers and buffing it out or sanded smooth if you used Gesso.

4. First prime the whole piece black with the Rust-Oleum spray paint as a basecoat.

5. Then switch to the airbrush to create the darker blue base coat and careful to not go too far to the edges to create the black-blue gradient.

6. After thats done airbrush on a lighter shade of blue as the middle highlight.

7. And then airbrush the white highlights.

8. After the blue is done mask off the inner areas that you want to keep blue with the scotch tape and paper then airbrush the inside edges white.

9. Airbrush black in the corners and create a white-black gradient on both edges.

10. Remove the tape and make sure everything looks nice, don’t worry too much if some paint seeped through cause you can just take care of it in the dry brushing stages. =]

11. At this point all the airbrushing is complete and you can switch over to your Acrylic paints and dry brushes.You can now paint all the detailing bolts and trim silver.

12. Using black drybrush along all the edges and creat a drop shadow around each bolt/all the trim, cleaning up any white around the edges.

13. I then painted the Cygnar crest black and added all the drop shadows around it then painted in the damage/scartches with more black and subtle while/light blue highlights along the edges of the scratches to help make them pop.

14. I carefully painted the crest in with yellow and it took 8 coats to make it really pop.

15. After the crest was done I outlined it again with black to make the edges super crisp and dry brushed in some brown for low lights.

16. To finish it off I dry brushed on a few white highlights to the crest and voila! Painting complete heart emoticon

Now the only thing you have to consider is if you want a gloss, semi-gloss or matte finish to your armor. I personally use Semi-Gloss but it also depends on what kind of armor/prop you’re painting. ^^

**One thing I would advise though is to paint all your armor first to make sure it’s all matching before putting on the final finishes**

This was my first time using this painting method and as well my first painting tutorial so I hope you enjoyed it!! Big thank you to Vancouver Cosplay for all the awesome progress pics and to NefeniCosplay for giving me ideas of how I wanted to paint my armor


Using TranspArt as a Protective Topcoat

I wanted to see how well Worbla’s TranspArt would work as a clear layer that would add shine and protect my paintjob, as well as allowing me to use cutout stencil shapes instead of having to paint geometric designs on props. I chose to make a small Captain America shield as a test.

First, I made the base out of some scraps of Wonderflex, pressed into am old lampshade. The finished product was pretty bumpy, so I coated it in woodglue before painting it. Then I added a silver ring made of plastic vinyl, and the star was cut from white wrapping paper.

Edges folded around the back
Edges folded around the back

Once the paint and glue were dry, I cut a piece of Worbla’s TranspArt larger than my shield, heated it, and carefully stretched it overtop, folding the edges over.


The final product is a super shiny shield that’s indestructable – I can throw it into walls and down stairs and it doesn’t take a scratch, so I don’t have to worry about scratching or chipping my paint, and as a bonus it was much faster to cut out the silver ring and star than masking and painting them both by hand.

Creating a Smooth, Shiny Finish with Transpart and Worbla’s Finest Art

Worbla’s Transpart makes an excellent top layer to create a perfectly smooth and highly glossy finish for your armor and props.

Aurora Hail Frost Cosplay did this great breakdown of using worbla with foam and spraypaint for different finishes.

Untitled-1 Untitled-2 Untitled-3

First technique: I painted on top of the foam using 3 types of different colors and then used the TranspArt as a clear coat over foam.
What I did – I painted the foam with spray paint only. Then sandwiched the foam between the Worbla’s Finest Art and the TranspArt together heated it up with a heat gun.
Pros- The technique gave me exactly what I wanted a clear coat over my paint, the heat gun did not burn the paint that was on the foam. Was able to form the worbla without any defects.
Cons- have not seen anything that would cause a negative effect.

Second Technique: Designs and Chrome paint on Worbla’s TranspArt.
What I did- Painted the TranspArt to have a chrome mirror affect, then cut out designs in the foam . I sandwiched the foam between the TranspArt chrome sheet and Worbla’s Finest Art.
Pros – once I heated the foam and the worbla sheets together, it stayed its mirror like affect. Perfect for a knight in shining armor look. Worked well with the designs. Was able to form without any defects.
Picture #1 above before being heated and formed

Cons – However I wanted to try to stretch one of the corners of the piece to see how it would react. When I stretched one of the corners the paint particles started separating out making it more see through again (Seen in picture Number 2 above) this affect caused it to have a less mirror affect and more see through, I guess it all depends on what kind of effect you want would make it work out.

However besides the top right corner having a defect. The rest of the area kept its mirror affect even after being formed. Seen in Picture #3 above.

Elemental also used TranspArt for a protective coat over a mini Captain America Shield.
Elemental-8842 Elemental-8730 Elemental-8732 Elemental-8733

I created this shield by using Wonderflex, heated and pressed into a curved lampshade. I coated it with woodglue to help smooth the top out, painted it, then created the silver ring out of thin silver vinyl and the star is a paper cutout. The TranspArt was heated and stretched carefully over everything once it was dry, and it makes a great, perfectly smooth glossy finish that means my paint can’t be chipped no matter how many times I throw this ‘frisbee’.

If you’re looking to make perfectly smooth armor and want a way to keep your paint from chipping, seriously consider TranspArt layered with Worbla’s Finest art as an option!