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View Full Version : Unique sword structure help.


Hopeful_Koala
06-11-2010, 02:59 PM
Okay, basically, I was quite interested in making Red Queen from Devil May Cry 4:

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080424220109/devilmaycry/images/f/fe/RedQueen.jpg

I have read sword tutorial after sword tutorial and I basically have the gist of it: dowel as support, foamboard/corrugated plastic/cardboard/plywood as shape, paperclay, sandpaper and paint. To me, that's the basic what-to-do when it comes to sword-making.

BUT.

I have a problem. As you know, the wooden dowel support-thing usually starts at the handle and goes almost all the way down to the tip of the sword. But there's a major setback for this sword: as you can see from the reference picture, the handle does not actually fit down the middle like a normal sword. I tried to imagine a wooden dowel starting at the handle but it just doesn't seem like it would go all the way or even halfway down. I wonder whether I'm making sense.

Well, in a nutshell, I'd like to hear your opinions on how I should plan out this sword's structure and etc. =3 Ruepaw on deviantart and cosplay.com has used foam and glued the handle onto it but I was wondering whether that would be strong enough for me to hold up without the blade toppling off.

My ideas so far were:

I. Construct the whole base-outline on one piece of corrugated plastic and somehow make the handle appear cylindrical.

II. Whole blade made from foamboard & stab a dowel in as the handle without breaking it or anything scary happening to it.

III. Do the blade only and do some kind of fancywork clamp-things with the red blade bits. The red-blade-bits are somehow connected to the handle.

IV. Somehow get a bendable dowel (you can see me running out of ideas here)

As you can see, I'm somewhat desperate for some professional advice and some reassurance that it would survive a convention without the handle dropping from the blade or vice-versa. >.<

saberslash
06-12-2010, 02:34 AM
What I would do is take two dowels and a small piece of wood. Arrange them such that one dowel goes from the handle to a good ending point and the other from blade tip to about 2 inches past the end of the first dowel. Then take the block of wood, cut it own to size and attach the two dowels together using the block of wood to bridge the gap. This way you make the solid core you are looking for without adding to much weight.

Nerfherder
06-12-2010, 08:05 AM
I've thought about trying that cosplay just because of that sword and his gun. Awesomeness.

To be honest though, it doesn't look that complex, but don't misunderstand me. The ammount of details, choosing the right colors, getting the right proportions and that wonderful shiny surface and stuff like that is always incredibly difficult. I would make the blade in a lightweight material like pink insulation foam (I have boards of that stuff, 2*1meter and 2cm thick). Then get the basic shape down in that then cover it in thin plastic. Plexiglass 1.5mm or some kind of styrene of your choice.

The handle being a bit to the side is not that difficult if you think about it, the hardest part is making it durable but if the blade is lighter it will take much less strain. I would probably go for a aluminum tubing from a broom/mop or similar. Perhaps an old curtain rod. These are durable and cheap alternatives. Just extend the handle 15-20cm into the blade where the red detailing increases the width of the blade, that way you can probably hide it well.

Chipface
06-12-2010, 09:42 AM
My idea for the support. Instead of a dowel, has a steel rod instead. Now have it go into the handle which I recommend using a thick dowel for. Now for the blade, instead of one piece of wood at let's say half an inch, use 2 pieces that are a quarter inch. Now carve in a groove in each piece of wood about half the thickness of the rod, glue the pieces of wood together, and there's your support.

I'm gonna be doing that if I ever remake my Rebellion. The thing is a half inch thick piece of pine and it eventually snapped on me(it's back together now though).

bustercleveland
06-12-2010, 10:56 AM
Heya, Nana. I think you're on the right track. On any original build most things become very strong if they're 'tied' together. Don't over-think it and be afraid to start. Plenty of times I look at a prop and wonder how I'm going to do THAT? That's where your creative leap comes in- especially if you're handy with wood and saw, as we know you are. After the handle there is a flat 'facing' before the main blade. My thought- I would use foam core, using the 'facings' to work like a splint, holding the blade together and then connect the facings and handle together. It's not a bunch of pieces- it's one piece. I'm rambling. Luck!
bc

Nerfherder
06-12-2010, 12:57 PM
My idea for the support. Instead of a dowel, has a steel rod instead. Now have it go into the handle which I recommend using a thick dowel for. Now for the blade, instead of one piece of wood at let's say half an inch, use 2 pieces that are a quarter inch. Now carve in a groove in each piece of wood about half the thickness of the rod, glue the pieces of wood together, and there's your support.

I definately agree on the steel, thin plastic of any kinds just can't support it like you need to, but like I said earlier I'd recommend aluminum. Lighter but durable enough. And preferably a reasonably thin hollow pipe to decrease weight even further. The easiest way to come by these is by taking a mop, curtain rod or any other item you might find with a thin aluminum pipe.


I'm gonna be doing that if I ever remake my Rebellion. The thing is a half inch thick piece of pine and it eventually snapped on me(it's back together now though).

Large props made of wood has this disadvantage :P That is why I recommended foam covered with thin plastics/gesso which still have strength but won't weigh like a hundred pounds for a 4-6 feet sword or the likes. What to keep in mind is that you always have to reinforce and coat foams. And try on a sample before painting/spraying/gluing. If it melts you WILL go completely crazy after all that work.

Hopeful_Koala
06-17-2010, 05:18 AM
Hi again, guys. Thanks so much for all the advice you've given me. ^^ Sorry for the lack of reply, by the way... The internet farted and I got carried away with other activities... *ahem*playing FFXIII*ahem* >.< Anyway, I'd like to thank all of you for your contributions! I very much appreciate your helpful-ness and all. ^^ Thanks a bunch!

astillar
06-17-2010, 07:10 PM
Or instead of a wooden dowel, get a length of pvc pipe. Heat two points of the pipe and bend it so that it has a slight zig-zag to follow the back edge of the sword.

Nerfherder
06-17-2010, 08:40 PM
*ahem*playing FFXIII*ahem*

Mye that happened to me too, then the game suddenly ended so I'm back in business! (don't farm too much, you won't really need it! Though do mission 7 a bunch of times if you really need exp to items ;))

Though on topic, the key to properly attaching a handle is pushing it atleast ~10cm (3-4 inches) into the blade. it doesn't have to go all the way to the tip of the blade. You could also have a thinner pipe as framework to build the handle on, making it easier to "push" into the blade without having to deform it. The thin pipe can then be built upon until it reaches the wanted diameter/shape.

Heating and extruding PVC pipes sounds like making things much more difficult than it is. Those shapes are (reasonably) easy to make with a foam like pink insulation foam then sealed/covered with something of your choice.

Like Noctis' blade this reminds me of a motorcycle handle and it gets complicated if you want to be able to be able to push down the "exceed handle" or whatever you want to call it :P

Hopeful_Koala
06-18-2010, 02:16 AM
Mission 7? Uhhh... *kinda played it up to Mission 8 in 3 days* I'll keep that in mind when I do a second replay. xD I'm currently grinding at Misison 8 right before the annoying Fal'Cie. Gah xD The dude's not annoying 'cause he's hard to damage, no, it's just that I took a little too long and the Doom counter killed-off Lightning. *falls over* If that's not an indication my party needs more CP, then, I dunno what is. xD

Anyway, yes. Prop. Indeed. Yes. xD By the way, can't PVC pipes be cut and connected to 90 degree joints? Or would that as a sword support be a little too bulky? Hmm... =/ Oh, and though I frighten my friends with my strong urge to be 150% accurate with my props, I wouldn't want to kill myself making the exceed trigger actually move. xD Though, I have a vague idea of how the mechanism would work. =3

Nerfherder
06-18-2010, 08:27 AM
Mission 7? Uhhh... *kinda played it up to Mission 8 in 3 days* I'll keep that in mind when I do a second replay. xD I'm currently grinding at Misison 8 right before the annoying Fal'Cie. Gah xD The dude's not annoying 'cause he's hard to damage, no, it's just that I took a little too long and the Doom counter killed-off Lightning. *falls over* If that's not an indication my party needs more CP, then, I dunno what is. xD

Anyway, yes. Prop. Indeed. Yes. xD By the way, can't PVC pipes be cut and connected to 90 degree joints? Or would that as a sword support be a little too bulky? Hmm... =/ Oh, and though I frighten my friends with my strong urge to be 150% accurate with my props, I wouldn't want to kill myself making the exceed trigger actually move. xD Though, I have a vague idea of how the mechanism would work. =3

Well mission 7 is cleared in <1min and gives 5 bomb cores! nah but about that 90 degree joint.. Where exactly did you need this? Joints like that will - in general - make the construction weaker.

Skeff
06-18-2010, 12:30 PM
I'm not sure how well it would work for a heavier weapon, but here goes:

I just build a rather large sword for a friend of mine (mostly cardboard as he was low on cash for materials). For the support, I used a cheap pool cue we picked up from Wal-mart I think.

I ended up building the sword around that as the original base. it was roughly 4 feet long so it went into the sword quite a ways before the sword tapered off.

This may help, I dont know. But good luck anyway :)