There was various alterations on the sword. First I had it painted straight metallic silver. Then I added a dark metallic gray or black to add 3d effect. I bought the Bleach slippers few months before AX 2007.
Uhmmm I haven't really won any Convention Awards for this costume yet. But I did win the Best Halloween Costume Award at my local anime store called Anime Nuts. Prize: Naruto Shadow Box and Gift Certificate.