View Full Version : Contoured Sword [Midori]

04-23-2010, 01:14 AM
So I'm planning on cosplaying Midori from .Hack, since the .Hack//Link character designs came out pretty recently and I am pretty much obsessed with the weapons 8D

Her Xth form that I'm doing looks like this: http://i42.tinypic.com/qsqg4z.jpg

...And I'm a total weapon newbie xD

I'm making her sword out of 6'2'' PVC piping, foam (either pink insulation or styrofoam, I haven't decided yet - which one's better?), and paper mache. I'm thinking of inserting a cardboard slab in the shape of the blade into the middle too for support (necessary or not?)

Right now, I plan on making the foam/blade about 2 inches thick. But if you look at the picture, it seems that her blade (not including the flower) is contoured in a swirlyish pattern, with about 4 levels/steps (the lowest level being inside the eye-shaped pink things). What do I do in order to achieve this and make it look like I did it on purpose, rather than messed up carving my sword? Like,

-How deep into the foam should I carve? (I'll go thicker than 2 inches if necessary)

-How should I carve it? With what tool? Is there something like an RGM linoleum knife I could use (http://www.rgm-art.com/images/disegno1.jpg), but for foam?

04-23-2010, 10:42 AM
For a sword that size you'll definitely want to use pink insulation foam, 1 sheet should be plenty. A PVC piping handle also looks like it would be ideal, how are you going to do the arm on the bottom of the handle?

I'm not sure what you mean by the swirling contours, but what you might be referring to can easily be achieved in the painting stage. You could possibly get a swirled texture on the sword using a hand sander and the tool you posted, but I wouldn't recommend doing it that way. It would be tedious and if you mess up it would be very difficult to fix. Using acrylic paints to blend and create shadows and 2D textures would be a lot easier in so many ways. Or epoxy putty to create raised textures, that would work very well too.

Now for the cutting, a jigsaw would be the best tool to use on insulation foam. But because jigsaw blades get really hot it will melt the foam, so if you use a jigsaw remember to add about half an inch to an inch to your measurements, you'll sand it down anyway. Power sanders are perfect but you can still do it by hand it will just take a bit longer.

Once you have the basic shape it's just a matter of layering fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. You absolutely do not want to skip doing this, it will ensure that your sword doesn't break. This sword has a lot of little spikes and sharp edges with one really thin spot so ensuring the foam's rigidness is vital.

Someone made the World of Warcraft sword Ashbringer (http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/5291/ashbringer8nd.jpg) which has a similar style. Here's the creator's cosplay.com gallery: http://www.cosplay.com/gallery/100839/

If you have more questions I'd be glad to help.