These are the prints I made for this project. The one on top is the design for the web detail on the sides of the sword. The bottom one is the outline of the sword. I also printed out a scaled picture of the sword for reference.
I marked the outside of the sword onto two pieces of mdf. The blade outline from my print was transferred to sheet styrene. All pieces were cut and I glued the styrene in between the two pieces of mdf to start the body of the sword.
To make the bevels on the blade, I cut guides out of styrene. Once one side was glued in place, I faced it toward a light so I could see the guides shadows on the side without any guides. I marked the placements and glued on the other side. Now both sides match.
All of the styrene edges were filled in with Bondo. I also rounded out the handle using Bondo. Starting to look like a mean weapon!
Oh to have a laser cutter! This is the detail that goes on both sides of the sword and it was an intricate piece to cut by hand! I only made one of these with plans to cast copies of it for both sides. The best way to do this is with a block mold. I learned this because I made a brush-on mold of it and it is a little wavy, so I have to be very careful when casting it so that I don't have lumpy and light areas.
To start the detail of the handle, I cut several strips of styrene and glued them into place.
Before adding anymore detail to the grip, I made the handle butt. Two pieces of styrene were cut to the same shape. I used a heat gun to warm them up and put a curve in them. I made a sandwich with them using a two part epoxy.
Why is the lining detail of this piece green? Styrene is available in varying sizes of both full and half round. I was lazy and wanted to save a few dollars so I went to my garage and grabbed some weed eater string. It worked, but it is really hard and frustrating to use compared to styrene.
You may have not noticed in the shot above, but I marked where all of the channels would be. I used a template so they would all be the same size. It took quite awhile to cut these areas out. I filled the empty channels with more weed eater string and this was when I absolutely knew I didn't want to ever use it again in replica building. You can also see in this picture I filled the space between the handle and the butt piece with a two part epoxy putty.
The butt of the handle has a nice little head bashing spike on it. I didn't have the luxury of a lathe at this time, so I came up with a technique that isn't perfect, but looks the part in the end. A circle of styrene was cut to the widest part of the spike. The center of the circle is marked and a toothpick is put through it. Next, a wad of Milliput is added and rolled back and forth on a flat surface until a cone shape is formed. When this was cured, I sanded the wide end of it to fit the shape of the handle butt and glued it on. Half round was added for detail.
Once the green string was all on I lined it with half round. Next I made the piece that leads to the "ramps". I measured the width and length necessary for this piece, cut it out, and glued it to place. I added a piece of half round that was the thickness of the depth of epoxy putty I wanted to add.
I tapered epoxy putty on this piece and then dug channels out of it with a piece of styrene half round.
I didn't think to take step by step pictures of this process. For each ramp, a piece of styrene was cut, bent in the middle to fit properly over the sword, then glued in place. I marked where the next ramp would be then filled up to that mark with Bondo. I did each ramp one at a time.
The last area of attention for this part of the sword are the grip detail pieces. Sheet styrene was cut to shape. I next outlined these shapes with styrene half round. The half round ended up giving it a cartoony look, so I sanded the rounded edge down to get the look I was going for.
What is that!? This is the beginning of Mr. putty face; an attempt to try a technique I had seen other makers use. For each piece, two pieces of mdf were cut. One for the height and the other for the width. They were glued together and then the cavities were filled in with a spray foam. When using this technique for a larger project, insulation foam is a far better choice. I used spray foam because I already had it and didn't want to buy an entire sheet of insulation foam for something this small.
After the foam was cured I trimmed it to the basic shape I needed. A coating of Bondo is applied to give the foam a strong shell to work on.
Because the jaw of mr. putty face would be the easiest part of the head build, I worked on it first. This is how it looked after I sanded the Bondo smooth.
To make the detail ridges I first marked where they needed to go and then glued down half round following the marks I had made. On the image I was basing this build on, the ridges look like they start as one piece and split into two. To imitate this look I filled the gap between the half round at the top and tapered the fill as it came down the side. This was the very easy part of the head build. I still had the teeth to add, but I wanted to do the teeth for both parts of the head at the same time.
When I came back to the top part of the head, I was not at all happy with the piece I had made. I started over and made it a little bit different. I used a block of florist foam and cut it to the basic shape I needed. I again covered it with Bondo to give it a strong shell. The eyeballs were made with polyester resin. I don't remember what I used for the mold.
I had never done any real sculpting before so I used a two part epoxy putty called Milliput for all of the sculpting, hence the name, mr. putty face. It is easy enough to shape with sculpting tools and has a good amount of work time before completely curing. I started with the eyes by building up around them and defining the eye lid opening. I did one side at a time and let it cure, that way I could try to replicate it on the other side without messing up the first side. I continued this process to create the entire face. Also seen in this picture is the nose template. Styrene was cut to the basic shape of the nose. I made holes in it to ensure that the putty would bond to itself and not come loose.
With the sculpting of the face finished, I thought it a good time to make the horn. Again, styrene was cut to shape for the length and width and glued together. Holes were made to ensure the bonding of the filler to itself. I forgot to take progressive pictures of this part of the build. The major filling of this piece was done with Bondo. It should have been done with foam to make it lighter but I didn't have any to use. I put Milliput on top of the Bondo to make it easier to get the correct shape. I marked where the grooves in the horn would be and carved them out.
Next in line is the head detail. I used two different sizes of styrene half round. I marked where the detail would go and glued it to place. I used spot putty to blend all of the seams and areas where one piece of half round ran into another.
The spaces between the ridges are sunken in. Easy enough to do with a heavy grit sand paper.
Thin strips of styrene were added to define the sunken in areas of the cheeks. All the sunk in areas were feathered with spot putty.
Both pieces are hollowed out; he needs teeth though. I just happen to have a minor degree in the dental field.
No, not really.
These were made with the same technique I used to make the spike with. I made a bunch of them trying to keep them close to the same size in relation to where they would be in the mouth of mr. putty face.
I came up with an idea to make the teeth installation much more predictable and uniform. I marked the teeth locations and them made holes at those spots. This allowed me to position the tooth at any angle and depth that I wanted. I used a five minute setting two part epoxy adhesive to adhere the teeth so that I would have time to correctly position each one. I used the same procedure for the jaw.
Looks like he flosses regularly.
The last thing to do was put some holes in the handle end piece to hold the chains in place. Also I made a peg that holds the chains in place on the jaw. I used the peg to make push molds with regular non sulfur clay. All the masters are finished at this point. Obviously I made molds of everything but I didn't document the process. I used a brush on silicone for the molds, and made the support shells out of fiberglass.
All pieces were cold cast with aluminum powder. The gold on the chain and sword detail were done with gold Krylon spray paint. Because the chains are real metal, I used an etching primer on them first so the paint would bond properly. The rest of the painting was done with acrylic paints. All pieces were glued together using two part epoxy.
Enjoy the step-by-step process of how my replicas