As I mentioned in my previous post, I would be having a quick tutorial of how to do quick and easy flocking on a beret.
I started out with making a USAF Security Forces Airman about two years ago now (time flies). I based the figure on the Airmen I had seen at McGuire AFB in New Jersey during the air show in 2008. So I've had this figure around for a while and had kept wavering on what type of cover to give him. I had a Patrol Cap that went with his ABUs, but it just didn't fit or look right on the head I was using. USAF Security Forces wear dark blue berets, however there aren't any pre made Security Forces berets out there. So as I said, this guy just stayed cover less for the time being... until the day before yesterday.
Whilst cleaning stuff up and sorting my collection in readiness for the show this coming weekend, I came across the Hasbro Classic Collection molded beret. These berets had nice sculpting but were often a tad large on Hasbro heads... something that was not an issue with the slightly larger noggins of an Hot Toys head. So after setting it on the head, I decided that this was going to be just what he needed.
So I grabbed some blue paint and painted the beret up. Something was still off. All the high end gear that the figure had, the beret just didn't stand out being simply painted plastic... So I thought about flocking.
So I took a run down to Michael's Crafts and picked up some supplies, drove back home, and then turned a lackluster piece into something to really set the figure off and complete him.
So we start with the beret on a spare head on the left and an original beret on the right. I used a spare HT head during this process, as for any type of headgear painting, it just helps to have a "sacrificial" head to aid in holding the item for painting.
Starting from the beginning, as this is supposed to be a tutorial, we'll start with the painting. I started by using Games Workshop Citadel Color Midnight Blue and I added some Americana All Purpose Sealer / Adhesion Promoter to it to ensure a good bond to the plastic.
Just grab a brush, doesn't have to be super fancy, but it does need to be able to apply both the paint and later the glue, and be able to keep the glue off the leather band at the bottom of the beret.
Once you have the beret painted with the Midnight Navy (or whatever color your beret will be) let it dry thoroughly.
Next up is the glue, I prefer to use Elmer's Washable Clear School Glue. It has a great, smooth, not to thick not to thin consistency that makes it perfect for brushing on. Plus it has a good working time for pieces like this. So once your beret has dried for a good half hour or so, get your brush and paint the beret with a coat of glue. The coating should be decent, but don't over do it. Remember do not get glue on the leather band at the bottom of the beret. Wash your brush out good once you are done with the glue as well, this is one of the reasons I choose the washable glue, it rinses nicely out of the brush and doesn't harm it.
Now for the magic... Martha Stewart Crafts Flocking. I purchased "Wild Blueberry" as that was perfect for what I was working on, though they have a ton of fantastic colors in these wonderful shaker bottles for about 3 bucks a piece. The bottle has both a duster filter and an pouring one.
So quickly after you have put your glue on, drop your brush in your water cup (it will be fine for a minute) grab your flocking bottle and open the top to the "pouring" mouth. You'll be coating your beret liberally... it will seem like you are wasting a lot, but you really aren't (I've done two berets like this and have used less than 1/8th the bottle) you just have to get a good coating. So dust the beret with the flocking and as you go tap and blow on the beret to remove the excess. Do this a couple times going all over the beret and making sure you have a good coating over the whole thing. Once you are satisfied with your coating, finish blowing and tapping the excess off and then leave the beret to dry.
Once the beret has dried, I usually give the glue at least an hour, give it one more blow off, then go back with a fine brush and using black, touch up the leather band.
Lastly, to finish the beret off, it needed a flash. USAF Security Forces wear the "Defensor Fortis" flash:
So using some Inkjet Printer Sticker Paper I scaled down the flash image and printed it out for completing the beret.
So there we have it, finally, after two years I have completed my USAF Security Forces Airman.
I hope this tutorial can help some people out and of course if anyone has any questions feel free to ask. I will probably be doing a few more of the berets in the future so I'll be showcasing them here as well.
Thanks for checking it out.