No detail shall go unnoticed, and Red is wearing a ring on several of the concept art photos which I want to make out of metal! For your information, I tried a lot of different techniques for this ring and they are all described in this tutorial. So it will not be a straight forward tutorial, more a showcase of my trial and errors.
Artwork from SupergiantGames
The first action was to get the correct scale of the design. In InDesign I scaled a photo of Reds hand and scales so her ring finger were the same length as mine.
I have never worked with forging or metal casting before so I contacted a silver smith (that hangs out at Bitraf, my workshop) and asked him to teach me how to forge silver. Because it sounds so much cooler to say it was forges in silver than cast in resin.
This ended up in me trying out several methods
- I will describe how I made a plain ring out of silver
- How I tried to cast the emblem using a plaster mold
- How I made the emblem using sand casting.
The base ring in silver
First I needed to know the circumference of my finger. We used a test ring and mesdured the diameter and applied simple geometrics to it ;)
Then we drew up the measurement on a plate of silver
Here we can see Heresetai sawing out her strip
This will be a ring!
Heat it up (remember to brush on anti corrosive matter)
Chill in a solution of salt and citric acid.
With pliers I bent it so the ends met
More heat as I solder the ends together with silver. (consentration face!)
My edge is now soldered
Ready to make it circular. I don't remember the name of the tool use to evenly widen the ring.
My starting point
Yeay, it is round
And here's another photo of Heresetai hammering her ring.
Then it is time for sanding, first making the edges even with grit paper.
Then curving the edges with a file and a sanding sponge.
I like the shape
Clean it. This looks very fancy, but it is just alcohol in a jar. The ring is in a tea infuser, stir it around and take it out. Then you set it on fire to remove the alcohol.
My ring is clean and it is time for polishing. The outside was polished using wax a the tourney in the workshop. The inside was polished using a dremel.
Gosh so shiny
I love it so far, just think this used to be flat!
I tried two ways to do this, one test that didn't work so well , but the other gave a great result. I will describe both methods.
First the failed test, casting using plaster (only cast in aluminum).
I made a clay shape of the ornament
The clay was covered in plaster. It is very important that your plaster dries completely before pouring 8-900 degree Celsius liquid metal into it. Water and heat expands and will make the mold explode.
My plaster mold cleaned out and ready for a test cast using aluminium.
Warning sign so others in the workshop know there's some serious heat going on.
The crucible steadily heating up and melding out aluminum
I got a little help pouring
First test, a little overflow ;)
This could work, but would I need to construct the plaster mold a little different, I did not get enough pressure to get all my tiny details. So either a two part mold or using sand casting.
The second try - sand casting
I made a shape in clay again
Cast it in silicon this time (so I could make very fast tests later)
Then I cast my emblem in resin
Now I have a nice mold that can take a beating
How to sand cast
I basically learned what needed to be done from this video and then Torbjørn (the silver smith) guided me through the actual process. I made the cast one part though, much simpler.
The emblem was pressed into the sand.
This is obviously not the emblem, but an earlier test with the ring. As I filmed the actual test, I did not take any photos. Dig out the pouring funnel and air vent.
And melted silver was poured in.
Emblem out. Here you can see all the silver from the funnel that presses the silver into the entire mold. This is what failed with the aluminum test I wrote about a little higher up.
After I sawed out my piece the sanding starts. When the worst is sanded off I used a mill and carved a flat spot on the ring, so it would have a better attachment surface for the soldering.
Using the helping arms of a soldering tool I held the two parts together as I soldered them together.
During the heating of the soldering process the ring changes color and gets specks of green, blue, pink and orange :D
With my trusted dremel I polished the facets of the ring to a shine.
The ring also has a small red stone. This I cast in resin. I took a LED and cast it in silicon.
My tiny silicon mold.
One test gem. I had a little too much red dye in this batch.
Epoxy glued the final gem on.
The ring has a yellow surface around the gem. This might not be the preferred method for durability, but I used nail polish therefor being sure the tone of yellow matches my nails.
I might go over it with the dremel to polish it a little bit more before the competition.
Photo: Artflower Fotografie