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Indiana Jones Props Post Processing

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

I wanted to give these Indiana Jones props more realistic, so I am working on filling the gaps, sanding, and priming.

I'm learning that this takes time and patience. It's also messy, so working in a workshop, outside, or easily cleanable area is advised.


The first thing I did was remove any support structures and sand the prints with 320 grit sandpaper. I am using sandpaper that can be used wet or dry, as wet sanding is recommended later on.


After sanding, I used plastic wood as a filler. This filler was used anywhere I needed to fill gaps in the layers or smooth out the object. The Grail, for example, was covered entirely in plastic wood and sanded several times. I initially tried to use sculpting tools but found my fingers worked best in the larger areas. Wearing gloves, I would use the tool to get some plastic wood onto the print in the general area I wanted and then just used my fingers to press into the object and move it around. The tools came in handy for the smaller spaces, and for helping to remove the globs I left.

Here are the prints after the first round of filler and sanding

I'm not entirely sure that using this on the Cross will do any good since I plan to use blue enamel paint on it and a mother of pearl veneer. I'll have to see how well the enamel paint works on the surface.

For the Holy Grail, I initially used the filler and sanded them down separately. After the first round of filler and sanding, I glued the two parts together using E6000

You may need to repeat this process until you are satisfied with the results. Note that it does take a few minutes for the plastic wood to set enough to sand it without taking it all off. Wearing a respirator or doing this outside or in a well-ventilated area is advised. This was messy!

To ensure the prints were really clean before the filler/primer, I used canned air to make sure all the dust was off. You can also wipe down the object with rubbing alcohol and use a tack cloth. The print should be as clean as possible before using the filler/primer.

Filler Primer

The next step was using a spray-on filler/primer. My painting station is an easy setup. I use a broken-down box on top of my garbage cans in my garage. Two separate boxes are used on top of that to sit the objects in (or hang them via a wire hanger) to spray them. For this step, I use a respirator even though I have good ventilation in my garage.

My go-to for filler/primer is Dupli-Color Automotive. It sprays on nicely and provides an excellent base for any top coat.

Make sure to shake well, and spray a small amount off to the side before spraying onto the object. Sweep back and forth and in bursts as you spray to avoid over-spraying, resulting in drips that have to be sanded out later.

I do multiple light coats about 5 minutes apart for each object until satisfied with the results.

You would need to let it dry for at least 5 hours before applying any more plastic wood or sanding.

Here are the prints in the process of having the filler/primer applied:

As you can see, I'm still learning!

The props are complete! You can click here to see the completed objects and how I finished them.

Check back for updates! Happy printing.


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