Chrow's Nest

I finished this sword a while ago, but finally got the chance to deliver it this last friday for my buddy Charizard (aka The Streetwise Paladin) at Anime Central 2012.

Here’s a few photos of him emanating dangerous levels of swag with his new toy.

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.

You’re sick of that ugly sword, so let’s dig into the archives and pull up some other shit I’ve made. Y’know, since I haven’t updated in a few weeks.

How about the Chargin’ Targe from Team Fortress? This was a commission for a friend (friend and friend’s crotch partially pictured above).

As you can probably tell, the majority of this prop was just cardboard cleverly layered and assembled to give it that sort of cartoony bulk that’s so prevalent in the designs for TF2. This prop was made before I discovered Gesso so I went through some difficulty getting certain things properly covered, but an abundance of hot glue seemed to do the trick.

Like several of my previous projects, I started working on this far earlier than expected, then stopped for a while, then rushed in the last couple weeks to get it done. I need to stop doing that.

The paint job was another thing I wasn’t too proud of, mostly because it looks like shit here. Before I handed it off and received payment, I did touch it up with some more metallic paint and tried to hide some of the more obvious flaws. It came out looking much better than these last two photos would imply.

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.

Another commission that I started forever ago and the friend only now wants them.

A simple set of wolverine claws made with cardboard, wire, and lots of hot glue and gesso.