Incoming WIP image spam! Remember, I'm VERY picky, so this is a chance to get some feedback before I start assembling these. I've spent about 2 weeks (total work time) on them so far, so what's another week to make corrections?
Probably the most frustrating part I've work on thus far. This is that X detail on the crossguard of Elucidator. I think this is the 5th or 6th iteration. I had one that worked before this but the effect was inverse, whereas this matches the original artwork better imo. Cut from 1/8" Sintra with a scrollsaw, patched with Apoxie Sculpt, sanded by hand. Will be making a mold of this, unless you guys say it's a little uneven...my Asuna seems to think so. For the record, scrollsaw blades tend to melt thru sintra if you idle too long.
One of Elucidator's crossguard plates. I obviously made two, mirror images of the pattern and trimmed to be very close in appearance to each other, but this is just one. Yes, the mold box is made of Legos. Sue me, they work and they're reusable. These were cut from 1/4" sintra , then edged with a bandsaw set to 45 degrees and a file. These match my sword cutout almost perfectly, so minor corrections to the blade are needed and I already have molds cured. The second pic is an example of why I now hate Polyester resin...
Dark Repulser and Elucidator on the table...I admit I'm a little worried about DR's dimensions and stability. It's VERY lightweight (less than a pound) at this point and the crossguard is rather fragile compared to other builds I've seen--they are also thicker blades and dimensions though, where I was trying to match the appraisal Lisbeth does). One side of it is another plank of poplar glued on (and clamped overnight), which is semi-weak. Maybe once I get the hilt scuplt done, cast, and fitted, it'll be less prone to breakage.
This is...well...obviously I can't do those two and not do this. Last I checked most rapiers (or rather, the fencing foils we now call rapiers) are extremely thin blades. Instead, going off abec's artwork, Lambent Light falls more into the saber category in terms of width. 2' wide at the guard with an elongated tip seemed to match the replicas that have been shown in Japan.
I should note--this is actually what I call a dimensions check. I've come into the habit of drawing patterns in a vector program, but I can't personally get a feel of how right or wrong my plans are until I make a rough cut of it. I usually relegate this to a piece of 1" thick pine (cheaper than 1/2" poplar), which is double the thickness I'm actually using. In LL's case though, I had a few scraps of 1/2" poplar from Elucidator blades that I've lost and the waste from DR, so I went and used them. The size is actually right.
Lambent Light is probably the simplest of the three in terms of blade design, but the hilt is it's own puzzle. I'll be vacuum-forming the guard over a puck of MDF I lathed out a couple weeks ago once I actually finish my vacformer. The other parts...some half-round styrene bars, sintra, and apoxie sculpt will do. I suck at sculpting (DR hilt...ung) but I have nothing but time to kill right now.
And while I'm on things I'm not sure of...DR's handle has two light green cutouts set in it. Part of me thinks they should be cast with resin, but that's over a curved surface. Another part of me thinks it's just a cut in the handle wrapping, and another says it's sewn in. Oh, the joys of going from 2D art to 3D objects.
And I'm sorry if that was too long. I tend to ramble. ごめんなさい。。。
EDIT: Insanity: That is very well done, it's nice to see someone stretch past the end of Fairy Dance. Maybe someone will do Kanno Yuuki...or Alice...or Euego? I've recently finished reading tap's translation of Vol. 11 (Alicization Turning) and...that's kind of a mind**** at the end who Kirito is talking to. Not quite a 'ohai Kayaba" kind, but I expect we'll see him again soon...
EDIT #2 (2013/03/09): Recast the hilt parts for elucidator tonight. They pulled very, very nicely and in a total cast time of 15 minutes (versus the 24 hours for polyester resin...plus no fumes). I don't have a pic yet, but...in the process I realized my mold masters weren't quite right. One is narrower on top than the other near the bottom part, the other is cut a little wrong, and neither one is quite as symmetrical as I'd like. It's not something you're likely to notice on the finished sword unless you stare at it for a few minutes, but I know it's there, and it's going to bug me, especially when I may take commissions on these at some point (kind of the whole reason I made molds instead of just using the masters). I guess it's not bad for my first non-foamcore-and-duct-tape project--it's a LOT of firsts from woodworking, to lathe use, to casting parts-- and not really knowing what the hell I'm doing.