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Unread 11-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
touchmon
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Tips for Very Long Sword?

So I am planning on cosplaying Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth but I'm not sure how to go about her monstrous long sword. If it was normal sized I think I would have been fine but the sword is taller than she is so I am worried about stability issues. I'm planning on making the sword around 6' tall and the grip out of PVC. I'm not sure what to make the actual blade out of that wouldn't be too heavy but strong enough to take a hits and bumps. I was thinking foam board but the sword is pretty flat and I really don't want to add bulk by running a dowel down the center. Also tips on how to go about the hilt would be great too. I was thinking maybe carving the basic shape out of green Styrofoam and working from there.


Ref:
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b68/Touchmon/fuu3.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/626582
http://www.zerochan.net/5393
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Unread 11-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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Foam, especially at that length, is going to need some kind of rod or support, or it's almost guaranteed to snap. You need some kind of support running the length of the blade. I'd suggest wood if you can. You may also be able to try a long piece of flat aluminum stock. Then, cover it in some kind of lightweight outer material. That chrome kind of poster board would do nicely to get a high gloss finish..
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Unread 11-29-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
touchmon
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For foam, is there anyway to reduce the bulk of having a wood support running down the middle? I don't think I would be able to work with aluminum stock.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
2DLogic
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If you go the foam route, insulation/extruded polystyrene is your best bet. It comes in 4x8 sheets an in various thicknesses(1/4 inch is the thinnest I've seen in stores), sands well, and once sealed accepts a variety of hard coats and paints. You will have need some sort of spine structure or your blade will snap like a twig, especially at that length. Dowels, threaded metal or fiberglass rods, or as RJ suggested, flat metal bars are available in small enough sizes that you wouldn't add any noticeable amount to the overall thickness.

Sand a channel into one side of your foam blade just wide enough for your dowel/rod/bar/ect. Glue it in place and fill the left over space with your filler material of choice then shape the blade segment.

As long as you choose something with relatively low density, wood can also be quite light even at greater lengths. Using wood allows you to make the sword "full tang" which eliminates the need for a support spine. The Rebellion I made for my Dante costume is about an inch taller than I am, which puts it at about 6'3", made entirely out of wood and comes in at approximately 3lbs.

Pretty much any prop sword tutorial can be adapted to give you the basic process of making this specific sword. You can also take a look at Blind Squirrel's build log from when he made the Rayearth swords for more inspiration: http://blindsquirrelprops.com/magic-...th-fuus-sword/
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Unread 11-29-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2DLogic View Post
Sand a channel into one side of your foam blade just wide enough for your dowel/rod/bar/ect. Glue it in place and fill the left over space with your filler material of choice then shape the blade segment.
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Just want to make sure I understand this part correctly. After putting the dowel in the center, for the filler, that means all of the area around the foam that isn't covered by the dowel? So it will be on the same width as the dowel on the one side? I also really don't know much about fillers.
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Originally Posted by .PapercutSenvy.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 02:32 AM   #6
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i like 1/4in. MDF sheet in this case
make a blank in the shape of the swords profile
then and add foam to both side to shape the blade

this sword is a different shape
but ya get the idea

hope it helps
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Unread 11-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by touchmon View Post
Just want to make sure I understand this part correctly. After putting the dowel in the center, for the filler, that means all of the area around the foam that isn't covered by the dowel? So it will be on the same width as the dowel on the one side? I also really don't know much about fillers.
Yup, you'd fill in the area of the channel not occupied by the dowel so that the surface of your blade would be smooth again. Your channel should be deep enough that when the support rod is inserted that it is in the middle of the blade like a sword hilt normally would be.
http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/x...130_155500.jpg
Didn't have access to any of my progress shots at the time, so hopefully that little sketch will help illustrate what I'm talking about.

Bondo is a common filler, you'd need to seal the foam first however. Expanding foam is often used for things like this. Wood filler can also work as can various construction fillers. It really just depends on what you want to work with.
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