This is a great way to start a project and while it is best to have multiple views, I did this project with just the one view. I traced a reference image from the ThunderCats cartoon using Adobe Illustrator. If you compare this print to my final build you will notice some slight variations. I changed some minor details to what I thought would have a better end look.
The blade of this sword is identical on both sides (top and bottom) so I made only one side of it. To do this I cut two pieces of styrene plastic. One the width, and the other the height of one side ( one quarter ) of the blade. Also cut was a thin strip of mdf for support. I did this for both halves of one side of the blade.
Each half of the blade has a peak to it. I marked where the peak would be at on the width cut piece of styrene.
With the peak of the blade marked, I glued the support strip of mdf to the width piece of stryene. Once that was set I glued the height piece of styrene to it. With this all set in place, I now have the proper guides for the widths and height of each side of the blade.
Now I get to see how the guidance system worked out. Both sides of this piece are filled with Bondo and then more evenly filled with filler putty. Low and high spots are marked accordingly and added too, or taken from.
I took this picture at a bad angle for this example. Even though all the guide pieces for both sides of the blade are measured and cut to the same size, they don't end up perfectly the same, unless they were cut with a laser cutter. To help correct this I taped the pieces together and sanded their edges to match one another.
With everything lining up, the two blade halves are glued together and any gaps between the two are filled in with putty filler and sanded smooth.
I don't know what this piece is called on a sword, but it was stupidly frustrating to make. It's the parts you think will be the easiest/funnest to make that can give you the most grief. I cut a piece of styrene plastic to the shape of the peak of this piece and glued it to the center of the sword. I filled the sides in with a two part epoxy clay and sanded it smooth once cured. The unevenness was taken care of with filler putty.
Another bad example shot. I covered the end of the blade with more plastic and cut it (which is not shown in this picture) to the shape of the Eye of Thundera.
This unfortunately is the only development picture that I took of the Eye of Thundera. I discovered that the ring to a jar lid was perfectly the size I needed for the eye piece. I smoothed out the sides with Bondo. Next I cut out the bottom of a plastic container and glued it to the top of the inside of the lid. I then transferred an image of the cat from the Eye of Thundera onto a piece of styrene, cut it out, and then glued it onto the rest of the piece.
The blade and eye have been primed and made ready to be molded.
With the eye piece being molded I could finish making the whole Eye of Thundera piece. To do it I made two copies of the eye piece and put spacers between them. I lined up both sides so that the angle of the cat would be correct no matter which side of the sword was being looked at. I used tape to hold them in place while the glue dried.
The base that the Eye sets on is made from two 1/2" pieces of mdf laminated together. I covered each side with its own piece of styrene and closed up the gaps with filler. To get the rough textures, I cut to shape a heavy grit sand paper and glued it on. I used this technique for all of the handle pieces.
One area of design on this sword I thought strange is the spade piece. I thought of leaving it out, but knew I couldn't so I didn't. It grew on me and know I like it and am very glad I didn't leave it out. I started out by cutting two spade pieces, then cutting them in half where they set on different planes of the piece that they go to.
These pieces were glued in place and then a center guide spine was added. Once all the glue was dried I filled each side in with epoxy clay and sanded it smooth when fully cured.
I did final priming and touch up of the cross guard and Eye of Thundera and made molds of them.
A paint test of one side of a cross guard and the excitement of a glimpse of the final piece.
Next in line was the fabrication of the grip. I turned a small cylinder of urethane on a lathe to get the width of the grip correct as well as getting the rings that go around it properly spaced. The detail on the sides were made with styrene. Also in this picture are stones that will go on the grip. The stones are made from epoxy clay. The grip and stone masters were molded next. I made one part block molds for these.
The pommel was the last piece to make. I laminated pieces of mdf and turned it on the lathe. The detail on the top half was done with sheet styrene. The bottom half was done with half round styrene.
To ensure this would never come apart, I hollowed out all the grip pieces and the top half of the pommel. I glued each piece together one at a time using a two part epoxy adhesive. This allowed me enough time to move the pieces around for proper alignment, but still have it set up quick enough to keep adding pieces. Once all of the pieces were set properly, I put a hollow tube all the way through it. The tube had several holes drilled in it and I filled the empty cavity with urethane. The urethane fills every empty spot making it all one inseparable piece. This worked really well, but it will be just as easy to use a piece of rebar from now on, and it will add just a little more weight to the handle.
I used the same technique for the cross guards. I drilled holes into the sides, stuck a piece of rebar in it, and filled the cavity with urethane. Holes were drilled into the sides and from the top to the bottom of the Eye of Thundera. Once the cross guards and grip were glued into place, I filled all the holes with urethane. This made the entire handle from the pommel to the top of the Eye one solid bonded piece.
I forgot to document the assembly of the blade with pictures. I put thin support strips along each peak of one side of the blade. I made cavities in the other side of the blade to fit the support strips and then glued the two blade halves together. A small amount of urethane was poured into the cavities of the support strips to help hold the blade halves together. A thin metal rod was slid part way into the blade along one of the supports. An aligning hole was drilled into the top of the Eye and the rod was slid into place. Two part epoxy was used to adhere the metal rod to the inside of the blade and Eye. The one thin metal rod doesn't sound like much, but I tried to pull it apart with everything I had in me, and it wouldn't budge. None the less I will probably use two rods next time. The blade didn't meet perfectly with the Eye. That's a good thing. I closed the gap between them on one side with Bondo, and once cured, I filled the cavity between the Eye and the blade with two part epoxy. Once that was cured enough, I filled the gap on the other side with Bondo. Some light sanding and it was a perfect fit! Final painting was next along with the satisfaction of a finished product.
lets make it!
If you enjoy the step by step process of how my replicas are built, and/or want to build one yourself, this is the place to see how they came together.