Chrow's Nest

It’s completed!

Sort of.. I guess.. Sure, why not?

So, you’ve all seen the general gist of how the making of this thing went down, but let me give you the step by step just in case you are curious.

Step 1 - Calculate scale, estimate size, and confirm measurements. This step is mostly for roughing out about the size the whole thing is going to be.

Step 2 - PVC pipe core and cardboard blade. The blade in this stage is more structural support than anything, but it is roughly sized out to the dimensions it should be.

Step 3 - Additional Blade structure. Built up a few layers of cardboard, then started building this poster board exo-skeleton over it. This is just more structure so it has the shape I need it to have allt he way through.

Step 4 - Cover the whole thing in a thicker sheet of poster board. This stuff is thick enough to smooth over all the layers and bumps and shit of the previous steps while still thin enough to conform to the shape I need it to be. Then I covered the edges in a gratuitous amount of hot glue..

Step 5 - Begin sculpting! For the rib cage, I rigged up a little structure to help fill out the space and give me a guide for each of the ribs and their spacing with some cardboard and wire. Made a big difference. The ribs are made from paper clay.

Step 6 - More structure for the hilt and rib cage! I neglected to take photos, but during this step, I also started making the handle, the whole hilt pieces, and creating a structure that is glued and wired around the core PVC pipe. Tons more paper clay to follow.

Step 7 - Sculpt the mother fucking skulls. For these, I taped on a wad of news paper and sculpted the paper clay around them to fill out some space and save money on paper clay. Also, makes the prop a little lighter, and that makes a huge difference. Once the sculpt was adequate, I touched it up with some sanding and several coats of paper mache mix, which seeps into the paper clay and makes it tougher and stronger.

Step 8 - Gesso. SO. MUCH. GESSO. at least 4 or 5 layers of the stuff. It fills in little cracks and bumps. ots of sanding to follow because gesso dries really rough. General assembly and shit in there too, like gluing on the handle, rigging up the hilt, and so on.

Step 9 - Painting and finishing touches. Lots of silver paint and tons of dry brushing in black for the details and crevices. The silver paint can be a pain, but after a few coats and the touch ups with the black dry brushing, it pops really nicely and gives the whole thing a really neat texture.

Tired of this thing yet? Ha ha! Too bad.

The basic construction on this is pretty much entirely done, hopefully. All the parts are in place, and all the sculpty parts are done. All that’s left is to slop on a ton of Gesso then sand and paint and sand and paint ad infinitum.

Holy shit. Where the fuck have I been?

Got some serious work done on the Rebellion. Other than some final detail sculpting on the skulls and some touch ups on the horns and such, this things is just about ready for paint after one or two more coats of gesso.

Sculpting the rest of the ribcage for the Rebellion. Going to build up a little armature for the skull and throw that together next. I’m probably going to need more paperclay, though.

What have I been up to, you may ask? Started the ribcage sculpt for the Rebellion! then I ran out of paperclay..

Coming along nicely though!

Smaller update. Got the blade pretty much done at this point.

Been working on the Rebellion.

The blade is coming along nicely, though one side looks slightly off in a way that I’m sure only I’ll ever be able to see, because being the artist who makes something gives you a supernatural attention to detail when it comes to your own work.

It’s educating time!

A friend has commissioned me to make a sword for him and in order to keep this thing looking right and properly proportioned, I’ve had to calculate the scale of the sword based off a reference picture.

So, let me teach you how I calculate scale, because it’s super easy.

So, first off, get yourself a decent reference picture. One that isn’t angled weird is preferable. You can print it out at this point, if you need, because I find it helps to have somewhere to write measurements. I usually measure in centimeters because the whole base 10 thing helps.

Once you’ve got your scaled measured, you need to figure out how large you need it to be. You can adjust it as necessary to find an appropriate size, but you need to have an estimated size in inches.

So, For example, when measured on my screen, that sword comes up as 20.5 cm and I need the whole thing to be about 4 feet long to avoid breaking con rules. 4ft equals 48 inches. So, now I make my formula.

20.5x = 48

Then you do math and solve for x (algebraic!). 48 divide by 20.5 equals 2.34 roughly.

So, in this scale, 1cm equals 2.34 inches. With that calculated, I can measure across the image and figure out the size of everything, pencil it out, and end up with a rough size estimate for the whole thing. From there, it’s all construction.