After the scales come out of the oven and cool down, they go to the painting table (which is also my molding table, sewing table, gluing table, and photoshooting table).
By the photos of Thorin that we gathered online, the scales are stressed metallic silver in color. While I created the scales using silver polymer clay, I would still need to paint over the clay to give it the stressed look. I made sure that the raw clay scales are light silver so that when I paint over them, the light silver will reappear after the "stressing" step.
I used water-based acrylic paint: metallic silver mixed with a little black. It's an easy two-step process:
1. Paint the entire scale (front and sides).
2. Slide the painted surface against a rag to wipe off the paint from the protruding portions of the scale, resulting in a "stressed" look.
The scale will then have an uneven coloring -- dark in the crevices, light in the protruding areas.
Because the scales are small, they are best painted by holding them with bare hands. I tried using gloves but they get in the way. Besides, the acrylic paint that builds up on the fingers are easily washed off with soap and water. You'll just have to enjoy having zombie fingers for a little bit.
The next tutorial will be about attaching the scales and sewing the armor shirt.