Building a Better Bug Costume, Part 4: Paint!


After much cutting and shaping, I have a big ol' pile of bug-like, alien armor pieces, enough to cover several actors, regardless of size. Now the fun part -- painting them.


The Right Paint for the Job

Spray paint is easy to obtain and easy to apply. The most important thing to consider when shopping for paint, besides what color you want, is what material you are applying it to. Choose a paint that is appropriately formulated, for example, you can buy paint that is made to go on metal, or plastic. You can also buy paint that can simulate the look of another material, or produce cool effects like a texture, or crackling. If you can afford it, it's worth experimenting with different kinds until you find the look you want.

I decided on getting several different shades of spray paint to do the job, rather than just using one color. You can create interesting effects by combining and layering colors. I'm going for an organic, alien look and feel. 

Before painting


Base coat

I used the Krylon Fusion for plastic, in a metallic (almost sparkly) black, for the base. 

In the bright sunlight it does look like metal, and if that's all I was going for, I would stop right there.


Coat #2 - Color

I used a dark green to tone down the metallic look, but still letting a bit of it seep through.


Coat #3 - Highlights

I lightly sprayed a bright fluorescent green on top just to highlight the details. Keep in mind, when using fluorescent paint that if there are any black lights around, in a dark room, it will stand out very loudly.


The three layers, combined, look almost iridescent. 

And that concludes the series. The completed costumes will be revealed at  Origins Game Fair  in Columbus, OH, May 31 - June 3. Check out  Interplanetary: the Sands of Mars  for more details. 


Other articles in these series:

Building a Better "Bug" Costume, Part 1: Inspiration

Building a Better Bug Costume, Part 2: Materials and Method

Building a Better Bug Costume, Part 3: Tools and Technique

Building a Better Bug Costume, Part 4: Paint!