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A19Riku
10-18-2007, 06:41 PM
basically since I have given this tutorial out so many time I thought I might as well post it .
So here is my tutorial on how to make lightning's sword from FFXIII

Reference: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=lightning.jpg

MATERIALS:

* foamboard (about 3-4 sheets) * primer
* gorilla glue * silver spray paint
* boxcutter * red and black acrylic paint
* large paper * projector (optional but its the easiest way to go)
*wax paper (recommended but optional)
*sandpaper * some sort of clear sealer or gloss

Before I get started with the explaination here is the link to my gallery with some progress and finished pictures of the first sword I made

http://www.cosplay.com/gallery/76884/p2

I made the sword out of foamboard (you can get it at the dollar store so its cheap). The whole sword can be constructed in about a full dayís worth of work and then however long painting takes so it is not terribly time consuming. Also if you choose to finish the edges in model magic factor about 2 to 3 days for the model magic to fully dry before you begin to sand it.

1. ok first get a good image of the side of the sword head on and then if you have a projector use it to make a large projection on the wall of your sword (about 50" for lightning) then trace the image onto paper (you can tape sheets together or use newspaper ) The image on the very bottom of the reference I provided is what I always use. Now cutout your image so that you are left with a full size paper version of your sword (this is your schematic)

**** You can also make your schematic by gridding off the image and the large paper then copying square by square the lines to enlarge the image. Also you can print out the large version from your computer and then attaching the sheets together. If you do this I would suggest simplifying the image down to just the outlines of the image so you donít waste as much ink. Of course you can always freehand the design too though this is not as accurate most of the time. ****

*** note the 50" recommended measurement was made for someone about 5' 4" *** therefore if you feel this size would not be right for your height then you will want to measure the length when you are standing from the ground to your chest and use this for the length of your sword


2. OK once you have your schematic figure out how many layers you want ( I do 7 for lightings sword (1 base for the whole sword, 2 (1 on each side) inner layers of the blade and all the handle, 2 of just the inner handle, and 2 of the higher parts of the handle).

Layers: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1112105/ this is a full view of the layers there are others in the gallery that are close up

***** there will be seams on the sword part because it wonít all fit on the foam board make the single bases seam under the handle so that it is still reinforced by all the layers of the handle then make the 2 inner sword ones cover the whole base seam so that it reinforces that seam but also is having the handle reinforce its own seam****

Seam: http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/help3.jpg


3. Use your schematics to trace the layers onto your foam board going from largest to smallest. Then cutout the foam board shapes with a box knife.


4. Now glue together the base layer and the 2 inner sword layers (1 on each side of the base layer ) remember these 3 layers will be made up of 6 pieces because they are so long that they need to have seams. Once you get them glued together put heavy objects (ie. books and other things) all over the top of the sword to make sure the pieces stay together (I would suggest having wax paper under it so it wont stick as much)

****** THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I CAN TELL YOU******* SOME GLUES WILL MELT FOAM so I use gorilla glue it dries in about 1 hour and has a STRONG hold. The only downside is it foams when drying so use very very little near the edges or it will foam out the cracks you can also use liquid nails but personally I prefer gorilla glue and walmart has gorilla glue so ya its easy to find. If you want to try another glue just check it on a scrap piece first.

Once the sword bases are glued glue the remaining pieces the same way

4. Now sand you sword's edges until your happy with it

*** Edges with only sanding will have a layered look still visible on the edges which is not that noticeable but if you wish to make your prop nicer you can either papermache over the edges of the sword or put model magic over the edges and then sand it smooth after the model magic dries for 2 to 3 days. Of these 2 techniques I find that model magic has the nicest finish.****

Sanded only edges: http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/HPIM1371.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/HPIM1372.jpg

Model magic edges : http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1397.jpg yuna gun but it has the model magic finished edges

Unfinished model magic edges: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1483.jpg

5. Once you sand you can add the engravings to her sword by taking the end of a pencil and pressing into the foam slightly so that it indents the design you can also paint on the design but I think the indented version looks a lot nicer.

6. now your sword is completely made you just have to paint it BUT some paints will melt foam too (spray paint!!) so first you have to use primer or gesso on the entire sword. I did 2-3 coats to be safe and it gives the foam board extra strength.

Once it is completely primed make sure you didnít miss any spots because any spot not primed will melt and then you will have a tiny hole if you did miss a spot hit it w/ primer in the spot or you can just put a little bit of white school glue over it.

7. Once you have primed the sword I would use silver spraypaint do a few coats of that itís super shiny and you wont get brush strokes.
Then paint on the details with a couple of coats of acrylic paint.( you will have both a dark red and black designs) ****** watch out though because the acrylic can chip off at this stage***

8. Once your sword is completely painted cover it with polyurathane, laquer, or some type of clear sealer or gloss. This will make you sword glossy and prevent the acrylic paint from chipping as easily.

now you are done but if for some reason you need to touch up something small I know I use sharpies to touch up all of my props if I am in a bind or a time crunch.

Finished Sword: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1513.jpg

I hope this tutorial is helpful. If anything is unclear or you just have other questions feel free to pm me.

~A19riku

**** April 11, 2009 *****
I updated the tutorial and added some images.

Liquidfire3
04-23-2008, 02:56 AM
Wow, that's a great tutorial! :bigtu: Especially for a somewhat not so well-known prop/cosplay. I'm in the planning stages for making my own Lightning cosplay, and this is definately gonna help me out perfectly. Thank you so much for making/posting this! :toothy:

hinaxchan
06-04-2008, 03:14 PM
omg you're awesome! i was planning to make Ragnell for my boyfriend but i had no idea how to go about using foamboard @_@

now i can make the sword! =w=~

hinaxchan
06-22-2008, 10:33 PM
did you spray the primer straight onto the foamboard without having it melt?

A19Riku
07-07-2008, 02:35 PM
No I used a paint on kilz not a spray primer. I used a spray primer on my storm sword and If i remember correctly It worked and didn't melt the foam but didn't cover as well as just painting it on yourself. If you are going to use a spray primer just make sure to check it on a scrap first and then do multiple coats.

Meitachi
03-05-2009, 12:40 AM
How thick is the foamboard that you used?

mischa-chan
03-05-2009, 11:21 AM
Thank you sooooo much! I would also like to ask how thick the foamboard you used was. I'm cosplaying Lightning for MCM Expo London (I'm from England) and taking this on the train is gonna be fun...

A19Riku
03-05-2009, 06:08 PM
3/16" thick

XD oh lord good luck with that LOL I carried the one I made into the postoffice and all the little old ladies mailing their letters just stared at me the entire time XDD

Meitachi
03-05-2009, 08:59 PM
Would there be a problem carrying it onto an aircraft? Because I need to bring it up north with me back to school. :P

Liquidfire3
03-05-2009, 09:55 PM
Would there be a problem carrying it onto an aircraft? Because I need to bring it up north with me back to school. :P

That's probably not be a good idea. I would recommend finding a cheap gun case, like the ones with foam inside for protection, then just have it as your checked luggage.

Meitachi
03-05-2009, 10:06 PM
That's probably not be a good idea. I would recommend finding a cheap gun case, like the ones with foam inside for protection, then just have it as your checked luggage.

Ooh, good idea. I was rather hesitant about going through security with it. Any idea where I can find said gun case? Or even just improvise and make my own?

Liquidfire3
03-06-2009, 05:40 PM
Ooh, good idea. I was rather hesitant about going through security with it. Any idea where I can find said gun case? Or even just improvise and make my own?

Hmm, I'm sure you can find them at Wal*Mart for about $20-$35, depending on how sturdy it is. :) I know that's where my brother got one of his nicer gun cases. All it was made of was a semi-thick outer plastic, then lined with that egg crate foam. You could also google it and see if you get any results.

Meitachi
03-06-2009, 05:57 PM
So, basically, it looks something like this:

http://airsoftnow.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/peli_2.jpg

Ah, well, if I want to be really thrifty, all I need is the foam, essentially, and improvise on the case.

A19Riku
03-06-2009, 09:24 PM
Actually the first sword I made was first shipped by ups to my friend who I made it for then she flew corsscountry to anime expo with it so It can be taken on the plane or you could mail it to yourself ... depending on how far you are shipping it mailing will probably be cheaper because if i am remembering correctly its 15 $ on most airlines to check a bag while to ship it from tennessee to california I think it was also 15 whenever I last looked that price up. So if you weren't flying cross country then its probably cheaper to just ship.

But ya liquidfire3 said You would have to check the sword bc I'm pretty sure its too big to carry on in most cases and ya you deff. wouldn't get through security with that. A gun case is a good Idea but If you are looking for a cheaper route my friend just wrapped hers with a lot of bubble wrap and put it in a large box. Also she didn't do this but I do when I ship these swords. If you take a long box that is longer than the length of the sword then cut/ fold the box so that it is a triangle rather than a rectangle(lengthwise) that it gives the box more strength and is less likely to bend. Also you can take a piece of cardboard and bend it in half so that it folds over the entire length of the blade (since it is the part most likely to obtain damage) and tape it on the other side this acts as a sheath and just helps keep the blade from breaking even more. With this sword in particular I would make the sheath longer than the blade so that it extends past the tip and I would also make it so that it rest on the edge of the silver things that fold up in sword form but extend in gun form. This way if the box gets tossed around and the sword moves back and forth the force would hit the end of the sheath and not the tip ( because it can break ) and then transfer that force back to the stronger portion of the handle.

I hope this makes sense XD

Meitachi
03-06-2009, 10:08 PM
Surprisingly, I understood all that XD Not because you're bad at explaining; I'm pretty bad at visualizing what people say. But, it really did make sense. I only ever have a carry-on duffel bag when flying back and forth, so to have a check-in luggage is free for the first item. Thanks so much for the tip on the make-shift sheath. I never would've though about using it to shield the blade and the using the guard to prevent the tip from smashing. You have some pretty ingenious ideas! Kudos to you :) And thanks, of course.

nomorekimchi
04-11-2009, 04:59 PM
how many foamboards did u use for the whole sword? and if u dont have a projector, what else can u do for the sketches?

konataFTW
04-11-2009, 05:10 PM
ref please?

A19Riku
04-12-2009, 12:17 AM
how many foamboards did u use for the whole sword? and if u dont have a projector, what else can u do for the sketches?

I used about 3 to 4 boards bc while the sword is long it is narrow so you can get a lot of pieces on one sheet. Though you might use a couple more boards if you dont pack the layers in as tight as I did.

If you don't have a projector you can either grid off a picture of the sword and then grid off a larger sheet and then just transfer the lines square by square to make the image or you could just print it out from a computer to be a larger image and then tape the sheets together. If you print it though you will probably want to simplify the design in photoshop or something so that it is just the necessary outlines that way you don't waste as much ink. Also Kinkos does enlarge prints so you could get them to print it out. I just don't know hoe big their machines can enlarge an image so it would probably be best to stick to doing it yourself.

Also I am working on posting an updated version of the tutorial with some new advice and pictures but it is taking a while to save it to coscom for some reason. srs its taken like 10 min so far ... idk though I will try to get that up as soon as possible but if i cant and you would like to see it sooner just pm me and i can send it to you.

A19Riku
04-12-2009, 12:31 AM
ref please?

lighting sword ref:
http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=lightning.jpg

finished sword ref: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1513.jpg

whoops i didn't realize I had forgotten to post such an important thing XDD I R Dumb

and as i said to the post before just now I just finished an updated version of the tutorial but coscom is taking a really long time to post it so idk if its actually going to post but I am going to try to get that up asap but if you want it before it is up just pm me and ill send it to you

Meitachi
07-07-2009, 06:10 AM
After having put my first version gunblade through a full-on four day con, I realize that it's not actually very battle-ready, if you know what I mean. The tip and any other small protruding parts snapped off within the first day of use. It may be that I was careless or that bringing it through a large crowd wasn't very smart. Nonetheless, I'm looking for a way to strengthen the gunblade, if that makes sense. Is there a way to do so?

kisa_bunnie
09-16-2009, 04:38 PM
hello, I am planning on cosplaying as lightening for Youmacon 2009, and let me start off by saying that you are a GOD SEND. This tutorial is great! I would never be able to pull it off if it wasn't for this! I mean, I would have done Lightning regardless but the fact I will know have her sword rocks my socks! There is one part I am confused about, and that would be the layers and how they all fit together @_@ I'm not the best at visualizing things in my head, do you happen to have pictures of all the individual layers?

A19Riku
09-17-2009, 11:26 PM
hello, I am planning on cosplaying as lightening for Youmacon 2009, and let me start off by saying that you are a GOD SEND. This tutorial is great! I would never be able to pull it off if it wasn't for this! I mean, I would have done Lightning regardless but the fact I will know have her sword rocks my socks! There is one part I am confused about, and that would be the layers and how they all fit together @_@ I'm not the best at visualizing things in my head, do you happen to have pictures of all the individual layers?

I am afraid the only pictures I have are with the layers put together in my gallery which I believe are already linked in the tutorial.

I do however have some pics of the yuna guns I made ts not the layers just layed out but it a process of them being layered so maybe that will help some

layer 1: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1378.jpg

layer 5: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1381.jpg

layer 7: http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/sizzing/?action=view&current=HPIM1384.jpg

try and think of each layer being the outline of the weapon at its thickest part. but as we know most weapons arn't giant hulking masses they have holes and thinner parts. therefore the holes or cuts you make in each layer shows a cut into that mass. For the most part there are no holes in the layer unless it shows when its all together so you only have to focus on what you see. EX. on thetrigger of a gun there is a bar around the edge but the space b/t that ring and the trigeer is completely clear so it won't have any layers therefore the cuts will be in all layers. Whereas the indent at the tip of the gun isn't very thick and has material inside so it will be on one of the outside layers. Had it been a deeper cut it might have been on the 2 outside layers and only the center is left whole.

I hope this helps some if not I can try something else

kisa_bunnie
09-17-2009, 11:29 PM
Thank you so much! That definitely helps! :)

Meitachi
09-18-2009, 01:19 AM
Ah, I actually made a paper pattern for all the parts! Unfortunately, that's back at home and now I'm in college :/ once I get a chance, I'll post it up so people have a better idea of what the individual pieces look like.

kisa_bunnie
09-19-2009, 11:47 PM
That would be awesome Meitachi :D

SaiTheKid
10-06-2009, 05:52 PM
I kind of understanding what your saying.
Anyways, how hard is a foam board?

fairuza
10-06-2009, 06:29 PM
This is a pretty cool and very informative thread. I am planning on going as Lightning for AX next year and was looking around for a tutorial on how to go about making her sword. Thanks alot for this!:D

FUYUMI
10-11-2009, 09:23 PM
thanks so much for the tut ! i was so desperate to find one since my friend wasn't able to fit it in his schedule do do one for me xD

i loves you A9Riku ~

A19Riku
12-10-2009, 06:09 PM
I kind of understanding what your saying.
Anyways, how hard is a foam board?

Ah super late sorry I don't come around here often enough. Foamboard isn't a particullary strong material in a single layer. The more layers you add the stronger it gets. It is a nice lightweight material for easily making props and for having to lug them around all day. But if you intend to be rough and careless with you prop or have mock battles then I would not suggest using foamboard bc it will most likely break in that case. In its defense though I have a number of props made of that material and I have had no problems yet with them and they have been toted to several cons.

I would say though if you still wish to use this method but are worried about it breaking the most likely layer to break is the blade where it is only one layer of foamboard. If you were willing to sacrifice a bit of accuracy and make that part into 2 layers it would be much stronger. Or you could always coat the entire sword in some strengthing material like fiberglass or papermache. Both have their pros and cons of course but would deffinatly add strength. Fiberglass would be the stronger of the 2 options but has some nasty fumes and is a material that you have to be careful in the application. Also the entire prop would have to be covered in primer first bc the resin would melt the foamboard (not fun)

Papaermache is the cheaper alternative since the paste is white school glue water and of course paper but its not as strong and the problem I see most with people using papermache is that they don't sand the material well wnough and can end up with a lumpy surface which just becomes even more visible with the application of either matallic paint or a gloss. but if you make sure to really sand it smooth and (i would suggest) do a couple coats of gesso with light sanding inbetween it can also produce nice results.

Sorry for the long response to what should have been a short question answer but I don't want to give anyone a mistinterpretation of this material. It has its pros and cons just as anything else it just depends on what you are needing in your prop.

Braithcakes
12-10-2009, 06:51 PM
can this tutorial be used for a saber-gun type weapon that isn't lightning's direct gunblade?

A19Riku
12-14-2009, 12:20 PM
can this tutorial be used for a saber-gun type weapon that isn't lightning's direct gunblade?

I am sure it could. I use the basic method of layering foamboard in many of my props from normal swords to basic guns. You just need to get a good side shot of the gun and figure out the layers then just use the same methods but with a different shape.

aznpride1150
12-17-2009, 03:34 PM
wow...really nice work, looks much easier than insulation and fiberglass
thank you for sharing

mintneko
12-28-2009, 06:43 AM
thanks for the tutorial its really helpful !

though, i have a few questions ..
can i use silver acryllic paint instead of spraypaint ? because i cant find any primer . will it still look the same ?

and i dont get what model magic is, is it like clay ? so you mould it around the outsides let it dry then sandpaper ? is there any other type of product like model magic ? because i cant find it either TT'

A19Riku
12-30-2009, 01:58 AM
Yes you could use acrylic silver paint and it would still look fine. The biggest difference in the two is that the spray will have less brushstrokes but more noticibly the shine from the spray is much more shiny and you won't get that as well with the silver acrylic. If you do acrylic paint just make sure to do 3 - 4 coats bc the paint will streak if you don't do enough coats. again not very noticable but eh its a pet peeve of mine so I like to tell people.

yes its like clay. basically a very lightweight airdry clay to finish the edges. so yes you do mold it around the edge filling in the gaps and uneven spots and then sand it. Yes there are quite a few products varring in quality and weight

1. any air dry clay - crayola makes small bins and art stores will sometimes sell big bags of it. Pros: its air dry and will work plus pretty cheap. Cons: a lot heavier than model magic.

2. Rose art super stuff - basically off brand model magic Pros: 1/2 the price generally. Cons: very sticky and hard to use unless you mix in baking flour (like the stuff you use to make cakes. I kid you not I discovered that if you kneed in flour into the superstuff until it gets less sticky/ slightly thicker it fixes the sticky bit and the cracking and make it like normal model magic) crack when dries easily unless you do the flour trick as I said above.

3. creative paperclay: this is the best stuff you can buy really I hadn't used it when I wrote the tutorial so I guess I'll update that later when I get back in town but its great. It cost the same as model magic when you price it down to the ounce and is much stronger and it sands a lot nicer than model magic. The only reason I use model magic any more is if I find it on clearence bc it works good for edging but never use it to sculpt. Deffinetly if you can find this stuff buy it bc it is good stuff worth every penny. You can buy it on the internet too if thats an option for you.

Hope this helps :)

TrollWarrior
02-17-2010, 08:31 AM
Oh my goodness this sword looks sooo good thank you so much for posting this! I will definitely use this to make my sword!

***book marks***

SapphireChaos
03-28-2010, 10:20 PM
what thickness of foam board do you use? I've seen anywhere from 1/4" to 2"

hakobakoplayer
03-29-2010, 03:27 AM
Cool!

Arylonne
04-04-2010, 08:59 PM
awesome tutorial :D! I just have one question, what primer did you use for your sword? :3

A19Riku
04-05-2010, 07:53 AM
oh gosh what primer did I use uhhhh good question lol man its been so long I am pretty sure it was probably kilz or whatever my parents had in the garage at that time left over from painting our house. Now I typically use gesso just because I have a lot of it and I don't like dragging the big primer can out. But most any primer should work for you, just be sure to test it first on a scrap piece to make sure there are no adverse effects

chexlleim
04-10-2010, 09:02 PM
Oh, i has a question, for the foam board how exactly do you cut it? Cause im having trouble with the tip, the foam likes to sort of stick and then it pulls back and im left with this not so pointy tip anymore @.@ I dont know if that made sense, but any help is appreciated. =D

RottenSoySauce
04-11-2010, 02:36 AM
Amazing tutorial. however, most cosplay's i see of lightning dont have her Holster for her gunblade for some reason .-. i plan on making that-- should i just make like half the sword and permanently attach it to the holster and that will become an accesory? (eek it means less posing oppurtunities haha)

fairuza
04-11-2010, 03:03 AM
oh gosh what primer did I use uhhhh good question lol man its been so long I am pretty sure it was probably kilz or whatever my parents had in the garage at that time left over from painting our house. Now I typically use gesso just because I have a lot of it and I don't like dragging the big primer can out. But most any primer should work for you, just be sure to test it first on a scrap piece to make sure there are no adverse effects

I used gesso on my Gunblade just to play it on the safe side.

On another note,I'd like to take the time to thank you very much for putting this tutorial up. I used your advice on making my sword and helped my sis out with her Lance for Fang. You rock all sorts of awesomesauce for this!:D

A19Riku
04-11-2010, 06:12 PM
chexlleim: No I know exactly what problem you are having. It is caused by 2 factors normally. 1. dont press down too hard trying to get the cut made in one swipe just press lightly and go back over the cut a couple times. Pressing too hard pulls the foam like you mentioned. The other problem is if you don't have a sharp enough blade. It is best to work with a very sharp box cutter so unless you just rather patch all those holes with clay then I would invest in either a pack of refills for your boxcutter or better yet you can buy inexpensive snap blade box cutters that have 1 blade that snaps apart so after the first portion of your blade gets dull just snap that piece off and continue and you will normally get about 5 or 6 snaps per blade so its really useful.

RottenSoySauce: I mean its really just whatever is your preference. Attaching the handel would probably be the easiest method but for more posing options it isn't hard to make the full sword and then just make the bag but add more support to it to hold the weight of the sword which isn't much maybe a pound at most.

fairuza: Yes gesso is very safe and really a good material too. lol I don't think it is possible to go wrong with gesso its great stuff. Also Thank you very much I am glad to see this tutorial being of such good use to others :)

RottenSoySauce
04-11-2010, 10:22 PM
[QUOTE=A19Riku;3400731]RottenSoySauce: I mean its really just whatever is your preference. Attaching the handel would probably be the easiest method but for more posing options it isn't hard to make the full sword and then just make the bag but add more support to it to hold the weight of the sword which isn't much maybe a pound at most.
QUOTE]

Thanks! I just needed to know how heavy it would be, but if i made the full length sword wouldnt the holster have to be amazingly larger than it should be? ._.

A19Riku
04-11-2010, 11:23 PM
well looking at this picture http://animehistory.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/ffxiii-lightning_cg.png it is not in sword form when she stores it it is in gun form.

Therefore unless you want to rig a way for the sword to transform the other option could be to use the same method for making the sword form but instead make the gun form and have a stationary version of that gun that can be stored in the holster.

RottenSoySauce
04-12-2010, 12:34 AM
Yeahh see that is what i was thinking Riku, however-- if i make the gun form and just stick it in the holster it would still limit the "funness" to the outfit (excuse my vernacular, 90% of my vocabulary is made up-afied) Anyways, yeahh-- so now i am going to ATTEMPT a way to creat a foldable sword. Any suggestions? Lol

chexlleim
04-15-2010, 09:55 AM
chexlleim: No I know exactly what problem you are having. It is caused by 2 factors normally. 1. dont press down too hard trying to get the cut made in one swipe just press lightly and go back over the cut a couple times. Pressing too hard pulls the foam like you mentioned. The other problem is if you don't have a sharp enough blade. It is best to work with a very sharp box cutter so unless you just rather patch all those holes with clay then I would invest in either a pack of refills for your boxcutter or better yet you can buy inexpensive snap blade box cutters that have 1 blade that snaps apart so after the first portion of your blade gets dull just snap that piece off and continue and you will normally get about 5 or 6 snaps per blade so its really useful.



oooooohhhhhhhhhhh i was wondering about that xD, anyway, thank you very much =D.

mellowyellow
07-14-2010, 02:33 AM
Hey, and thanks for the tutorial. I wouldn't want to buy the really costly ones off the web...
But I am really confused. I am completely new to cosplay. I don't really understand exactly how to go about this, like how to stick the layers together to make the shape of the blade. I also don't know what model magic is. Could you clarify? And also, is there a noob thread explaining these things? I couldn't find one for props like this.(I don't even know what primer/what a seam is :S)

And how much does making this blade cost?

Thanks :S

A19Riku
07-19-2010, 08:15 PM
Hey, and thanks for the tutorial. I wouldn't want to buy the really costly ones off the web...
But I am really confused. I am completely new to cosplay. I don't really understand exactly how to go about this, like how to stick the layers together to make the shape of the blade. I also don't know what model magic is. Could you clarify? And also, is there a noob thread explaining these things? I couldn't find one for props like this.(I don't even know what primer/what a seam is :S)

And how much does making this blade cost?

Thanks :S

There is probably a noob thread but I am not sure.

most of the stuff you see on threads though can be googled to find out what it means or at least a closer understanding for future reference

ok basics
primer- a type of liquid (like paint) that you paint on to something before you apply normal paint. it acts a a sealant and preps the surface for the paint and makes it stick better. Think about if you have ever painted wall in your house you most likely primed them first.

seam- place where 2 things meet or join. AKA a seam in clothing where 2 pieces are sewn together. in this instance it is just where 2 or more pieces of board meet each other.

model magic- http://www.crayola.com/products/splash/MODEL_MAGIC/
paperclay- http://www.paperclay.com/
super stuff- http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Art-Super-Modeling-Compound/dp/B000W24QQ0

all are air dry lightweight clays

and as far as layers and how to make the shape you have to think of your sword in parts that you build up. Like if you had a stack of pancakes each pancake would be a layer. Or a better example is if you have ever worked with photoshop or a similar program think of those layers each is independent of the other but when put together they form the image.

A simple way to try and grasp how you would begin is to first try and grasp the concept by making 4 sided stepped pyramid. Here you would have a series of flat squares that would stack and get smaller as you near they top to give the pyramid illusion.

Now with a prop you think of it in layers like say the middle of your sword is the widest part but as you get toward the edges it gets shorter and has smaller parts so the middle of the sword would be have the largest area and make the outline of the sword then as you add more layers you make them smaller in the shape of the details.

then as far as sticking them together this comes after the layers are made its just gluing them together.

back to the pyramid example you now have this series of squares and you can stack them and make this form but to make the pyramid finished you have to glue them together. Literally just imagine putting glue on one piece and stick it to the other that is all I am saying.

and as far as cost it depends on how much of the stuff you already have
maybe 25 dollars if you have to buy all the supplies. I am sorry I am not sure it has been awhile since I made one and I don't count a lot of cost for myself on stuff like paint and primer since I keep those in stock. I would suggest shopping at the dollar tree and walmart as much as possible for cost savings

I hope this helps some

KiraCosplayHai
08-02-2010, 07:34 AM
Hey, thanks for the tutorial! just one thing. you lost me at:

2. OK once you have your schematic figure out how many layers you want ( I do 7 for lightings sword (1 base for the whole sword, 2 (1 on each side) inner layers of the blade and all the handle, 2 of just the inner handle, and 2 of the higher parts of the handle).


***** there will be seams on the sword part because it won’t all fit on the foam board make the single bases seam under the handle so that it is still reinforced by all the layers of the handle then make the 2 inner sword ones cover the whole base seam so that it reinforces that seam but also is having the handle reinforce its own seam****


3. Use your schematics to trace the layers onto your foam board going from largest to smallest. Then cutout the foam board shapes with a box knife.


4. Now glue together the base layer and the 2 inner sword layers (1 on each side of the base layer ) remember these 3 layers will be made up of 6 pieces because they are so long that they need to have seams. Once you get them glued together put heavy objects (ie. books and other things) all over the top of the sword to make sure the pieces stay together (I would suggest having wax paper under it so it wont stick as much)

i really didnt understand that part. i am very new to cosplay and this is the first time i make a prop. could you explain in more detail by what you mean?
thanks so much!

Shouri no Hana
09-01-2010, 10:50 PM
I'm just wondering, has anyone had any durability issues with their gunblade? I two mine to two conventions, however by the Saturday of it's second convention the blade started to crack around the first 'hole' if I may. By Sunday it was deemed unusable. By no means was I rough with it, I carried it with my hand around the weakest point both conventions.

So I'm wondering, is there a way to make it stronger? I was thinking renforcing the blade with plastics or something, but I'm not 100% sure.

fang_of_oerba
11-14-2010, 09:07 PM
This is a great tutorial! Thanks for all the great ideas!

I have a question though, I hope it's not a dumb question. Does the model magic stick to the foamboard after it dries? Do you have to reinforce it with glue or anything? I've used model magic to sculpt things out of but never tried applying it to a different surface.

Also, when you talk about sealing the foamboard before painting it, would something like Mod Podge work? Or would you recommend artist's gesso, or some other kind of sealer or varnish?

Thanks!

NoOptionOtaku
11-24-2010, 11:20 PM
I seriously love you for making this thread! :D Sounds much more affordable than buying a $200+ weapon from someone else! You're amazing!

MsValentine
12-02-2010, 11:05 PM
Nice :)

Jeyel04
12-02-2010, 11:32 PM
Bookmarked!! Thanks for this wonderful tutorial!! ^^

LLawlietYagami
07-07-2011, 01:34 AM
Thanks so much for posting this tutorial! I was wanting to make Lightning's gunblade to complete my costume for ComicCon San Diego, and this is exactly what I was looking for. Oh, and there are spraypaints out there that won't melt the foam in the foamboard. You have to go to a hobby shop or somewhere that REALLY knows the spraypaints, not Home Depot. I found a chrome spraypaint that worked amazingly, looks just like metal and didn't melt the foam at all. Enamel paints (stuff used on models) work really well for the details, just watch out for the paint blending with the silver spraypaint. You can easily get a rubbery look on the handel while having a glossier one on the trigger area. I suggest the brand Testors, the same goes for the spraypaint. I used All Purpose Spray Enamel. Attached is a picture of my finished product. Warning, I only sanded the edges! Thanks again for the tutorial, and I hope this advice helps someone!

LLawlietYagami
07-07-2011, 08:19 PM
I'm just wondering, has anyone had any durability issues with their gunblade? I two mine to two conventions, however by the Saturday of it's second convention the blade started to crack around the first 'hole' if I may. By Sunday it was deemed unusable. By no means was I rough with it, I carried it with my hand around the weakest point both conventions.

So I'm wondering, is there a way to make it stronger? I was thinking renforcing the blade with plastics or something, but I'm not 100% sure.

You can paper mache the whole thing. It really reinforces it and makes the whole thing 3 or 4 times stronger, no need to worry about the thing breaking at the seams. And the paper mache helps give the sword a smoother look, especially around the edges. It's really easy to make home-made paper mache, too. All you need is glue and water. Works like a charm.
Hope this helped!

user0913
07-13-2011, 09:18 PM
For people using foamboard: try finding the type called "mightycore". It's about 1/4" thick and is a lot heavier than regular foamboard. Mightycore is foam sandwiched between thick posterboard type material. It hates bending and does so with a lot of complaint. It's only heavier by fractions of a pound, and being thicker, will at least cut down on some of the strength issues. Regular foamboard is foam between thick paper, and is not as strong. Mightycore will stand up to being sprayed, though on exposed foam areas there will still me some melting. It's not that bad. I used it to make a huge Yen symbol, which I sprayed gold, and it worked fine...held up to normal wear, swinging around banging on stuff.
The edges do tend to bend a bit, but this is true of regular foam as well. If you use the Model Magic sealing technique, that should take care of it
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g198/section913/artworx/6324f33d.jpg
You can see the edges bending a bit, but that's from me just cutting it out, and spraying, not edging or anything. Use a sharp blade!
By no means an expert, but I hope this helps

Torta011
11-19-2011, 11:57 PM
Hi! I've recently gotten into prop-building and I'm thinking of building this sword. I thought about the sturdiness factor after seeing some of the responses and an idea then kind of popped into my head: Do you think that adding a layer of chipped board between the foam could help it out?
Also, thanks for posting this! I never really thought of using foam board for something like this.

CosplayJelly
01-14-2012, 01:08 PM
thanks! im using the model magic and sanding part for my oblivion blade. it had previously been on hiatus cuz i didnt know how i would fix the edges to make it smooth. very detailed tutorial.
*edit*
i still Love this tutorial and i finished my oblivion..its wonderful!!!thanks again!!!

chexlleim
05-22-2012, 04:49 PM
Wow its been like forever since I posted here. Out of curiousity would anyone consider using wood? I know its heavy and all but I gave up on the foam bored a while ago.

NightsLotus
06-19-2012, 03:25 PM
I was wondering wat the measurements of the sword were in cm. Since I'm living in the netherlands I'm not really good at working with Inches. I also wonder where I can find the photo's of the layers from Lightnings sword. I've been searching for the parts and that worked great.

As soon as my sword is finished you'll recieve a picture because you'll make it possible for someone like me (aan newb at cosplay) to make a sword as hers.

thanks a lot!

StHoly
08-16-2012, 04:59 PM
hey i'm starting to make it soon. informing you now so you can help me out soon! >.<

thanks for the tutorial! makes things easier! :D

StHoly
08-16-2012, 09:54 PM
Hey! Thanks for the tutorial! I'm thinkin of making Lightning's FF13-2's weapon with your technique! Will that work??

Thanks!!!

Aurora Maryte
08-18-2012, 09:00 PM
Wow its been like forever since I posted here. Out of curiousity would anyone consider using wood? I know its heavy and all but I gave up on the foam bored a while ago.


Actually...it's really not heavy at all.
We do all our props out of wood. My sister made a transforming gunblade for her Lightning costume out of wood.
Foam is terrible to work with- we tried it for a small piece of armor once- and I don't blame you for giving up on foam.

Here are pictures of it: http://www.cosplay.com/costume/306552/
The design plans and the actual construction took 3 days.