Ark of the Covenant Project

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
No, it's not dead, but I did have to set it aside quite awhile.

I have an update coming pretty quickly as I'm wrapping up the last difficult bit of the build process now.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
No, it's not dead, but I did have to set it aside quite awhile.

I have an update coming pretty quickly as I'm wrapping up the last difficult bit of the build process now.
Can't wait. After all the ups and downs I am still hanging in there and hoping to salvage what little is left of my collection. I am also talking to Sskunky about a set of Cherubs to go on top of this bad boy.

Thanks again Philip.

Tom
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Have been steady working on the ark lately. Actually getting to the point of attaching legs was more difficult than I imagined but I'm happy with the steps and result.

Bruce is working to prep the lid for primer. Filling and sanding, and lots of it on all the pieces.

 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
OMG that looks amazing. You guys have done an incredible job. It's finally going to be reality.

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Does not seem to cover it.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
Have been steady working on the ark lately. Actually getting to the point of attaching legs was more difficult than I imagined but I'm happy with the steps and result.

Bruce is working to prep the lid for primer. Filling and sanding, and lots of it on all the pieces.

That looks fantastic Phillip! Can't wait to see the ladies on the top.

Cheers,

mark.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
I updated the new "progress thread" on RPF to let everyone there know as well with a link to page 13.

This is Epic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Congratulations on following this through. It is a large and difficult replica and you are doing it the correct way. I see the little collars for the pole ring supports were primed, but on the original, they appeared to be the same material as the pole rings, solid bronze or brass, not vacuum metallized. I assume you will be finishing the aluminum rings to looks like bronze/brass, but will you also treat the collars the same way?
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Congratulations on following this through. It is a large and difficult replica and you are doing it the correct way. I see the little collars for the pole ring supports were primed, but on the original, they appeared to be the same material as the pole rings, solid bronze or brass, not vacuum metallized. I assume you will be finishing the aluminum rings to looks like bronze/brass, but will you also treat the collars the same way?
It's a good question. I had noticed they were not the same shiny gold as the box itself, but they are still gold colored. The conclusion I took from studying it pretty hard was they were painted with gold paint. It's not anything like a brass or bronze finish. It even looks like extruded plastic pipe was used for the ring, based on the longitudinal lines on the inside. But that's just a guess. In the picture linked below, you can see the collar looks like the gold was brushed on, but not all the way to the ring. Personally, I'll not be replicating that kind of specific detail.




There are a number of photos of the rings in the photo gallery I made for reference: Rebelscum Star Wars Photo Archive

On this ark, I'm planning to rattle can spray it since I think most who build one will use that process since alternatives are so expensive and I want to see how it ends up. I'm not exactly settled on the rings yet. At the moment I'm thinking of putting a flat clear over the rings, but will be testing first.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
My eyes see the collars and the rings as metal. In all my reference photos throughout its history, I have never seen any chips on paint or any surface finish issues on those parts and in person, it appears metal. They were probably made easily by Norank at Elstree. But I understand your preference. Regarding the finish, I do hope you reconsider spray paint. After all this work, the ark needs a proper accurate mirror gold finish. Not many vacuum metallizing chambers can accommodate a item this size, but the Gold Touch Cosmichrome spray metal plating process appears to be an excellent and perhaps more durable option. Though I don't know about its cost. http://www.goldtouchinc.com/cosmichrome/gallery/slideshow35.html#0
 
Last edited:

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
The rattle can finish on this one is just because it's a prototype, and because I believe most building them from the kits will not be willing to spend the money for either vac-metalizing or a Cosmichrome process. Earlier in the thread I had some discussion on these alternatives, including Cosmichrome.

I have a Cosmichrome system here that I expected to use on the arks, but in testing with another Cosmichrome system (a smaller one initially), we were never able to get results I was happy with. It's not the system, but rather the difficulty of getting close to perfection with it. I believe in the process, but everything has to be absolutely perfect, including your luck, or there will be imperfections in the finish.

I spent quite a bit of time discussing the ark with Don Pirre of Gold Touch Inc, who you linked. We sent him a 3po head to test and it came back initially with some issues so he redid it and it was very very close to perfection. Nobody would complain about it. Another competitor on the west coast was sent a set of Cylon armor and it came out unacceptable. After all my discussions with Don, I think he's the only place I'd ever trust for Cosmichrome. He will be doing the one I build for myself, but the cost is huge at an estimated $4,000.

One thing he recommended is to send the ark in as many separate pieces as possible. The size and intricacies makes it extremely difficult to use the process on. There's nothing you can do on the lid, but the case assembly could go together with the legs being attached separately at the end if one were careful and was willing to not have the leg to box seam be seamless. I think I'm happy with that compromise, and it's the way I'm doing the prototype (not filling that seam), so I can see if I'm ok with it.

On the collars and rings... Just looking at a painted part, there's no way to determine the underlying material. I also would think the rings are metal. I just mention the extrusion lines are unusual for metal.

My eyes see the collars and the rings as metal. In all my reference photos throughout its history, I have never seen any chips on paint or any surface finish issues on those parts and in person, it appears metal. They were probably made easily by Norank at Elstree. But I understand your preference. Regarding the finish, I do hope you reconsider spray paint. After all this work, the ark needs a proper accurate mirror gold finish. Not many vacuum metallizing chambers can accommodate a item this size, but the Gold Touch Cosmichrome spray metal plating process appears to be an excellent and perhaps more durable option. Though I don't know about its cost. Movie and TV Props
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
This might be an option.

It's what I started the thread at RPF with. In addition to the Ark itself getting it plated was always going to be a nightmare cost wise. I got a small sample from him and it looked great. His price was only an estimate and was 4 years ago but may be worth looking into. I can't find the sample but it was as nice.

Creations n' Chrome .... Experience The Possibilities!

My original thread at rpf with estimates in the first post. He thought he could do it for $1,000 to 1,500 maybe. The Ark being as smooth as can be was key.

the RPF
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
$4000 is considerable, but is absolutely necessary for the ark. One should not attempt a kit like this without including an accurate finish in the budget.
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Lots of prep work on the top detailing. I'm hoping this is the final coat of primer on the lid bottom leaves before I flip it over to work on the top side.

 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
Wow just does not cover it.

Holy $#!+ that is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!o-o:eek::p:grin:B)
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
3,320
Reaction score
0
Agreed, $4k is a LOT... but it's the only real way to go. I'll be finishing mine that way.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle
Philip, what are your latest thoughts on offering arks for sale? You custom cut a bunch of molding. How many arks would that make? Are you thinking kits or completed props?

It's super exciting to see someone make such a high quality ark. I've only waited my whole adult life to see someone bring this together, which is no different than everybody following the thread though. Still, it's awesome.
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Philip, what are your latest thoughts on offering arks for sale? You custom cut a bunch of molding. How many arks would that make? Are you thinking kits or completed props?

It's super exciting to see someone make such a high quality ark. I've only waited my whole adult life to see someone bring this together, which is no different than everybody following the thread though. Still, it's awesome.
Selling kits of the parts we've made is still the plan. My rough estimate is that there is enough of the huge lid molding run to do 30 of them, though that's not a hard and firm number. And having said that, I'm going to have to hire somebody to run the lid parts as it's a lot of work to run enough for just one lid.

At least at this point I think I have all the ability to add up the cost to get to this point and try to get to a price for the kits. But at the moment I'm just working on getting this one finished.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
If I have to sell a Kidney I will make it happen.

BTW does anyone need a Kidney. Not a dinker and I quite smoking 7 years ago. Should be in good shape. :)
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle
Having a spare kidney laying around couldn't hurt. Hopefully I could store it in my refrigerated ark. Hmm...
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2014
Messages
1,633
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashville, TN
I would like my gallbladder back. Anybody got a decent one to spare? This is the important bit: must not contain stones. Stone-free. Then it can stay with me. Forever and ever and ever.
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Wow that's pretty, I'm dying to see the top of the lid. :)

Dave
Working on it, but now waiting on it to get a bit less wet and cold for primer. My new best friend is a new (to me) 3m Ultra Flexible Sandpaper. Found it at Home Depot. It has a super strong, stretchy, flexible backing that lets you grab a strip of it and sand complex shapes better and more efficiently than any other method I've used. It's fantastic for doing the rail around the top of the lid.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
ARIZONA, USA
Looking better and better!

Your recent progress is amazing and like so many others, I eagerly anticipate the day your kit become available.

With Cosmichrome constituting the premium screen accurate finish and rattle-can a more economical alternative, there is in fact a reasonably priced middle option. Imitation Gold Leaf Sheets typically sell in a variety of shades for about a $1/sf. A few years back my wife experimented with this material on a craft project and created a reasonably realistic metallic gold finish. Color-wise, the 'bright gold' leafing looks marginally better than what most people are likely to achieve using rattle-can, however, some of the 'antique gold' finishes looked quite nice when buffed to almost a shinny luster. Given that the Ark probably wasn't been kept under environmentally controlled conditions during the past two millennia, I think the somewhat darker patina visually ages the piece rather nicely, especially if one doesn't wish to invest the $ to replicate ILM's shiny new finish.

Can't wait to see your next progress pictures!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle
How are the gold leaf sheets applied? Glue? Any ideas on how the gold leaf holds up over time? Does it flake?
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
ARIZONA, USA
Adhesives & Durablity

How are the gold leaf sheets applied? Glue? Any ideas on how the gold leaf holds up over time? Does it flake?
In medieval times they used animal hide glues (which are still available) but today most people use either oil based, water based, gelatin glues and a wide variety of spray or fast setting craft products. My wife used Slow-Set by Dux Paints with great success. The primary criteria for her selection was preventing the adhesive from setting too fast due to our locale's high temperatures and low humidity.

Regarding durability, I have several wood picture frames covered with bright metallic faux gold leafing that look as good today as they did 25 years ago. Many older gilding projects with the antique/aged metallic gold finishes retain their original luster with no visible signs of deterioration. I have also seen some faux metallic materials that developed what could best be described as a somewhat flat/faded yellow appearance after 5 or 6 years. The best recommendations I can offer are to use the thinnest guilding material possible and to research several different adhesives before making a final selection.

Ultimately, the real challenge is having the patience to apply one 5"x5" square at a time rather than trying to rush the process.
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
The lid is finished in primer now. It was a substantial workout getting it done, and I'd do it differently next time, which I'll explain later.

I have decided to have it done in Cosmichrome, so the entire thing goes off Monday in a custom shipping crate.

 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
There really are no words.

Accept I knew this could be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone said this project could never be done but I knew it could be.

Granted I had no idea one awesome, incredible person, was gonna have to do it himself, but I knew somehow it could be done.

Holy, good, goodness that is a thing of beauty.

Just wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Thanks, but let's not forget I had lots of help. Vaderdentist sculpted those side panels, Bruce Lee did the 3d work, prepared the top prints, made the top part molds and cast the parts, and sskunky did the Cherubs.

And with any luck, we'll have lifting poles from another party by the time it's revealed in gold.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
Thanks, but let's not forget I had lots of help. Vaderdentist sculpted those side panels, Bruce Lee did the 3d work, prepared the top prints, made the top part molds and cast the parts, and sskunky did the Cherubs.

And with any luck, we'll have lifting poles from another party by the time it's revealed in gold.
Yep, I was thinking about that after I posted.

I originally hoped this would be a large group project so no one person or small group was overly burdened.

You guys rock!!!!!

The Ark guys

The Ark club

The Ark masters

Section Ark

Masters of the Ark

Yep, I think that last one should be your guys' name.

Thanks so much for making it happen.

Tom
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
Great work Phillip! Lovely to see the cherubs where they rightly belong.....

Have you had any test pieces done on the cosmichroming? I only ask because the RO water needs to be absolutely pure when applying it or the surface will get marks.... Just make sure the spray area that it is being done is totally dust free and the RO water tests absolutely pure...... I have seen disasters because of dust and contaminated water......

Good luck!

Mark.
 

Philip_Wise

Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 21, 2001
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
1
Great work Phillip! Lovely to see the cherubs where they rightly belong.....

Have you had any test pieces done on the cosmichroming? I only ask because the RO water needs to be absolutely pure when applying it or the surface will get marks.... Just make sure the spray area that it is being done is totally dust free and the RO water tests absolutely pure...... I have seen disasters because of dust and contaminated water......

Good luck!

Mark.
Yes, we had a 3po head done and it's perfect. For me, this guy is the only place I'd send parts to for Cosmichrome.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
569
Reaction score
0
Yes, we had a 3po head done and it's perfect. For me, this guy is the only place I'd send parts to for Cosmichrome.
Are you doing both the box, cherubs, and lid at the same time??

Also can you give us an idea of price??
 
Top