Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Black Gold Saw: Sword

So I realize this post has been a long time in coming (give or take a year or so), but I am finally getting around to the sword construction post for Black Gold Saw!

(pretending that I didn't completely forget about this)

My sword is quite similar to Stuart's - we went to Home Depot and bought a giant piece of that pink 2" thick insulation foam together and got them to cut it in half in the store (meanwhile having to awkwardly explain just why we needed almost six feet of insulation foam when we were clearly not making home repairs).

Unfortunately, Black Gold Saw's sword (what a tongue twister) features an entire edge that is serrated, so I had to measure and sketch out every zig and zag along the way.  
The top bit ended up being nixed and enlarged later
 And then came the fun part.  Carving.  Carving carving carving carving.  Expect to spend many many mind-numbing hours on this part, and be careful - X-Acto knives are sharp.  (You might think this obvious, but when you are trying to distract yourself from the tedium by watching bad television, your hand might accidentally slip).  My poor apartment had more pink insulation foam on the floor than actual carpet by the time I was done with this.

In order to get the hilt to fit snugly into the sword, I cut a rectangular strip down the middle of the sword so that I could insert the PVC pipe.  I remade the top part of the sword out of leftover foam (made it larger), so I just cut a hole through that and stuck the PVC pipe all the way through.
Just so.
Then came the joys of expandable foam, and here comes the warning: DO NOT GET THIS ON YOUR HANDS, CLOTHES, FLOOR, OR ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE REMOTELY ATTACHED TO.  Wear gloves, and then prepare to never be able to use them again.
Terrible quality picture is terrible
And once it is dry (you should leave it at least overnight- poke it with a stick to be sure it is hardened), you can shave off the extra foam.  However, here is something I was not aware of that caused a few problems- when expandable foam is cut, it actually shrinks noticeably in volume.  Do not shave the foam completely flat against the sword - you will end up with this weird warped indentation down the middle of the sword that I have (and was unable to mask).  Once that is done, cover the entire thing in masking tape.
Add paper mache, and voila!
Finally, spray paint/acrylic paint it until it looks the way you want it to, then seal it with Mod Podge (but get matte, not glossy...I accidentally used glossy and my sword was much shinier than it needed to be).

The handle was made with Delight air-dry paperclay , and I sculpted the skull on top with stone clay.  

The finished product:

Stay tuned for another sword tutorial!


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