Firefly Serenity

Here it is! The much awaited post about my needle felting Serenity project! Actually you probably had no idea about it but I’ve been eager to write the post. I am a big fan of the TV series Firefly and the resulting move based on it called Serenity. The show is basically a space western that tells the story of the crew of the ship Serenity and their adventures. The movie is all one big adventure that sort of wraps stuff up after the premature (and I think stupid!) cancellation of the series after just one season.

Politics of the show aside, I love it and decided to make a needle felted model of the ship Serenity. I’ve been working on it on and off for a while cause I just haven’t been satisfied with the overall shape. The pictures will help explain.

At this angle, I like the shape, it looks right. The back part looks kinda strange but the shape is right and I think it will look fine once I get the texturing and such on there.

The side view is where the shape bothers me. Mostly it’s the sort of head bit that doesn’t seem right to me. I think the angles of the neck and head connections are wrong but I keep poking at them and can’t seem to do anything about it. I’m afraid they can’t be fixed without completely removing and reattaching the parts which at this point means totally re-doing the entire thing. So I’m gonna leave it and see if shading helps.


It looks good from this angle too. Took a bot of work to get the wings to look the same but they’re satisfactorily similar. Also to get them to be rigid and hold themselves up there are 4 or 5 toothpicks in each wing. I think I may make another version of the ship once this one is done and then I want to make the engines on the ends of the wings able to actually rotate like they do in the show.

I’ve been this far on the project for a week or so now but I’ve been really nervous about starting the shading because I’m having trouble finding just the right gray for the base color. I was mentioning this to my mom (she features in most of my artistic endeavors at some point, cause she’s awesome like that) and she suggested this fabric spray paint that she had been playing with. She showed me a piece she did with the black spray paint and how it really turned out more gray and suggested I do that for the base, better than starting out with white. So I gave it a try and it turned out well. I think I got a bit over-enthusiastic with the spray paint and it came out a bit darker gray than I wanted but that’s okay. See the paint is made for fabric and the big different between the fabric and a felted piece is that there isn’t a smooth top surface to a felted piece, at least not at this point, so it ends up sort of mottled looking from the paint. I’m hoping this will actually work better with the later shading by blending and giving a more even color rather than having a black surface and any of the fiber underneath that gets pulled out while felting would be very white. Now, pictures!

This is a bit of roving that I tested the paint on first. It gives you a very good idea of the fact that the paint is only on the surface because those white stripes through it are actually where the surface of the roving has pulled apart and it’s plain white underneath.

This is the ship once I spray-painted it. You can tell it’s been painted a bit darker but still has that effect of a top black layer and an underneath white layer. This is as far as I’ve gone so far cause I want to be sure to give it ample time to dry so we’ll have to see how the paint does with needle felting on top of it.

The paint was a little messy to use when I was trying to paint all sides of a 3-D object, so my hand got rather paint-y. The paint doesn’t really seem to adhere at all to the fiber before it dries, it basically rubbed right off when I picked it up. Luckily the paint washes off hands quite easily. Except under fingernails, that is.


Now I have to decide how I’m going to do the details. There are some panels on the ship in the movie that are thin and set out from the ship which, while very cool, would be really difficult to do well with needle felting. So I could just basically “paint” the panels onto the ship flat, but that just isn’t real enough for me. This one is gonna take some creative thinking and probably many separate attempts.





One response to this post.

  1. […] while ago I posted here about making a model of the ship Serenity from the TV show Firefly (also from the movie Serenity, […]


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