(shot before the final clear matte coat.)
I totally got this idea from Brian Thompson over at his Smuggler's Room YouTube channel, where, earlier this year, he repainted an LED lantern (which already had a very Star Wars-style design) to make it look even more like it belonged in that galaxy far, far away. When I came across an almost identical lantern in a local hardware store, I knew I'd be giving it a similar makeover.
Fresh outta the package.
Because they only cost about $9 and, repainted or not, they'd come in handy, I got two of them and gave them a similar paint job. You just pull the top part up and the LEDs light up automatically (they require 3 AA batteries each –not included). The original colour is a nice dark metallic so I used this as my "reveal" colour when I got around to chipping my added colours. I sprayed this layer with hairspray and then airbrushed a dull brown over top. After I chipped that to reveal the original metallic colour I sealed that with a good coat of Rustoleum matte spray from a rattle can.
Masked like crazy.
I wanted to have orange stripes of the thin raised details around the lanterns, so I masked those off. I sprayed the unmasked areas with hairspray. The dark shapes you see in the above image were sprayed light grey through my airbrush –I even tried to recreate the Star Wars font for numbers (2 and 4) on top of each lantern– then all the new colours were chipped.
Painted and chipped.
Once the paint was dry I sealed both lanterns with a clear gloss coat for the next stage: adding a few decals...PLUS adding some extra weathering in the form of streaks, stains, and splatter (then I sealed everything again with a clear matte coat).