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Unread 01-07-2013, 11:13 PM   #1
Tj_05
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Buster Sword help!

Hey guys! So I made a buster sword for my first time cosplaying as Zack from Final Fantasy. Had a ton of fun and was pretty pleased with how the sword turned out in the end. I did want to improve on it before I cosplay again and wanted some advice.

First off - Here is an album of the sword making in the process and what it looked like on the field. http://imgur.com/a/a2CpP (My friend made one also, that's why there is a 2nd one)

The sword is pretty rough all around so I as going to sand the crap out of it and re-paint it. It's made of an insulation foam with a wooden dowel for the handle that goes up to the bottom of the first circle in the sword. It did bend a little but it wasn't too bad for it's first time in action. I used two coats of fiberglass resin on each side to prevent bending. I was trying to think of a way to cut the sword in half and have it connect together in someway without losing it's durability, it was very hard to transport. I had thought of cutting it in half, then drilling a hole through the center of each half and inserting a metal rod or pvc pipe of some sort to prevent bending.

I had also thought of making a new sword since I have a lot of left over material and using a hot knife cutter to make the edges smoother but I'd rather try and fix up the one I have. So my biggest question is if anyone has any ideas as to how connect two pieces of the sword relatively well without it breaking in half when being picked up.

Thanks!
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Unread 01-09-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
rj_sosongco
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I see you were at ALA as well, I'd recognize those balconies anywhere. I was the Rufio running around half-drunk the whole time, haha.

Adding support to the blades of your current sword is going to help just the blade from bending, but without a support bridging the handle AND the blade, there will be a lot of stress right where the dowel ends under the slot. Furthermore, the lack of material in those slots may make it structurally weaker as well. If you try to split your current sword in half to put a rod inside, that just adds one more seam for the sword to break. For something as huge as this, building the support INTO the prop at the beginning is really important, rather than trying to add it after the prop is finished, so I'd just start again if you've got material and better tools like a hot knife.

For support, you're going to want something that runs through both the handle AND the blade. The circular materia slots prove a problem, however. If it were me, I'd actually run the dowel or pvc of the handle all the way up into the blade, through the materia slots, and then cover the open slots with halves of styrofoam balls or clear plastic ball ornaments.

Now, if you want to keep the slots open, I'd suggest you make your support two pronged instead. Use pvc pipe, and then attach a t joint at the hilt. A small length of pvc going forward and backward from the t joint, and then 2 l-joints to create two branches of pvc to go up the blade on the front and back edges. it should look like a huge tuning fork:

http://visual.merriam-webster.com/im...uning-fork.jpg

Glue all that pvc together and you should have a fairly sturdy skeleton. You could probably use wooden dowels of the same diameter with those pvc connectors for even more strength. Then, cut two blades out of insulation foam, half as thick as you want the final blade. Carve out a channel in each of your blade halves and sandwich your skeleton inside, gluing it all securely.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 12:47 AM   #3
JasonTerror
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Damn, I really wish I could find the picture I had that would help you right now..I'll just make a new one so gimmie a min after this..

Anyway, What you want to do is use Insulation foam (the pink or blue stuff NOT THE WHITE STUFF!!) and get a 1" thick sheet. It will be enough. Then cut out 2 swords, get doweling, and sandwich it in like the pic I'm gonna post (just wait for the pic).

Glue the entire thing. I suggest liquid nails. This will give you tons of stricture without having to use fiberglass..Then bevel it. Then just use Gesso on the foam and use like 5 coats (that's what I did) then sand and paint..

EDIT:
Here's the pic:
http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k1...ps4c07b9ec.jpg
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Last edited by JasonTerror : 01-09-2013 at 12:52 AM.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
Tj_05
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Awesome, thanks for the help guys. I kind of wanted to build a new one so I could smooth everything out. Do you guys think it's viable to cut the sword in half after its finished and connect the two halves with some type of locking mechanism so I can transport more easily?

I'm not worried about the line showing because I can just work that into the design of the sword but I'm not sure how I would go about making something that would let me connect and disconnect the sword fairly easily. The break could also be where the guard meets the blade of that would make any difference. Doesn't necessarily have to be at the half way point.

Thanks again guys (And big thanks to you JasonTerror for your original guide on how to make one!)
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Unread 01-09-2013, 09:06 PM   #5
JasonTerror
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No, don't cut it in half. Unless you want the locking mech to be SUPER noticable..Which would look really bad..There's not much you can do..You could, however, make the hand guard a slip cover that slips over the bottom of the blade, but you would need a way to keep it together still..
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