Finished some purity seals today. I think I really accomplished my goals this time which makes sense as it generally takes three times for the normal mind. First here is the general look I am shooting for:

The general structure is a wax seal at the top with some symbol of the Imperium (Aquila, skull, equipment, etc) and about a two inch wide cloth scroll about 10 inches long featuring a prayer of some sort. It is a sign that the wearer is of pure faith (untainted by chaos) and is fully devoted to the Emperor and by extension the Imperium. I like to make them as they are good gifts for people who recognize my cosplay. However, if I am giving out a lot of these seals I need a good mass production solution. It is no good to me to make just one or two really nice seals. I need to make a lot. My first two revisions predate the blog's creation so this post, while motivated by finishing a third revision, will be talking about all the versions I have made.

Lets look at how all three versions line up:

Version one on the left, two in the middle, three on the right.

Revision One

The first seal was made with apple scented wax. It is a pleasant scent and very vibrant. I made it by drilling out about a 2.5 inch diameter circle in a board of wood and filling the inside of the circle with tinfoil. Then I would pour the wax in. The wax itself I melted and mixed with hot glue. The idea being the wax and glue would cool together and strengthen the resulting disk. The actual paper is just lightly colored construction paper I printed some prayers on. The prayers I used have been attached at the bottom of this post. I hot glued the paper and a fastener to the back. On the front I used a wood burner to melt out the Cadian gate symbol and then I painted in the indentation with black paint.

This was a pretty decent first attempt. I achieved the general shape and look, but it has the feel of a cheap knockoff. Regardless it was easy to make. The glue on the back failed on a few of them, but for the most part it seems to hold things together well enough. The tinfoil mold method works, but the resulting seal is bumpy and not uniform enough. I made about 30 of these.

Revision Two

Three main changes in this revision. One, I used printable cloth this time for the scroll part. The scroll is cloth like in-universe so the purity seals are now more closer to reality. Two, the cloth started out white, but I stained it with some black tea to give it a more weathered look. I then burnt the edges using the stove to further this look. Three, I used slightly darker wax which I still mixed with hot glue. This color is less vibrant, but more in line with the actual purity seal look. Also of note, this version shows my first attempt to use a tuna fish can as a wax mold. Aside from it being incredibly difficult to remove the wax, the seal looks just a bit too big. I only made a few of this size, the rest I used the tinfoil method described previously.

This seal is a marked improvement over revision one. The cloth part makes it look much better. Further improvements to the molding process also made for a more uniform look. I made around 20 of these.

Revision Three

Two big changes in this revision. One, I stained the cloth much darker to be more in line with the in-universe examples. This was done by two successive tea stainings. Two, I was able to get a much nicer rounded seal by using a silicone muffin tray as my mold.

The silicone tray allows me to easily remove it once it is cooled and gives a very uniform circle.

Two small changes of note. One, the placement of the fastener on the back. Previously I placed the fastener in the middle of the seal. This unfortunately makes the seal flap around unnaturally when worn as it will rotate around the middle. Now I placed the fastener at the top of the seal which reduces the amount of flapping that happens when worn. Two, I abandoned the wood burner indentations and instead just painted the gate on freehand. I was a little concerned I would mess up a few times, but for the most part I exhibited a steady hand. This sped up the production process and did not noticeably change the look.

Overall the darker scroll makes these seals look much better. Now that the seal itself is more uniform I would say this revision is much closer to the in-universe examples. I made 18 of these and am ready for Connecticon.

Future Revisions

Couple things I want to clear up in future revisions:

  1. I need some way to capture the lip around the edge of the seal. This happens because the seal image is stamped down. I have tried to stamp some seals in the past, but the results have been very poor.
  2. Hot gluing the fastener and scroll to the back of the seal is not sufficient. There is too high a rate of failure with this method, I will have to investigate other ways of attaching things.

Further images available at the gallery here.

Prayer Documents: PuritySealPrayers2 PuritySealPrayers1