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Unread 02-12-2013, 12:16 AM   #1
Meru Lee
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Subaru's Axe

I thought I had posted this question, but it seems I clicked preview then forgot about it.

Anyways, long story short. I'm looking to start to work on a cosplay for Subaru from .//Hack

and I'm looking to replicate her axe. I considered making it out of wood but I'm not sure how to make the handle then or attach the axe head to it if I do. Also there's the point that both wood would make it heavy and the front corners of the axe sharp, there is one con that I would like to take this weapon to that will not allow anything that large with sharp corners so I do need to be careful about this.

What do you suggest? I'm completely new at prop making, never have made one before... but at the same time I want to make it look professional as well.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
Meru Lee
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Best picture of her axe I could find
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Unread 02-12-2013, 12:40 AM   #3
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Reference pic?
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Unread 02-12-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
Meru Lee
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I seem to be getting stuck in a filter whenever I try to post a picture or link to this post and the message gets deleted I will get one up when I can
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Unread 02-12-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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ya think you need to have 20 posts to do that
try posting a URL without the .com and i ppl will figure it out
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Unread 02-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #6
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http://dothack.wikia.com/wiki/Subaru_%28LINK%29
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Unread 02-12-2013, 04:08 PM   #7
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If making it in wood, the handle would be turned on a lathe. Since most lathes are not that long, it'd have to be turned in two pieces and then joined together with a mortice and tenon joint.

If you aren't too particular, you might be able to just scrounge it out of a curtain rod; they often have similar designs to this.

If you can't have any sharp corners, then you should make the axe blade from a flexible foam, specifically, furniture foam. You cut it with a extendable utility knife. You might want to carve the star shape separately and just hotglue or spray glue it in place.

In order to fasten the blade to the handle, a dowel fastened to the handle needs to run about halfway up the blade. This is easiest to accomplish by starting with 2 sheets of foam and cutting a semi-cylinder out of each of them such that when they are spray glued and sandwiched together, it makes a hole for the dowel to slide into. You should start carving out the axe blade after this step.

To hide the foam texture, you paint the thing in repeated layers of latex house paint, letting each layer dry in between. The final layer can be done using any sort of paint you like to get a nice metallic effect.

Once the paint has dried, coat the dowel in polyurethane glue (e.g. gorilla glue) and slide it in place.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
Meru Lee
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Thanks for the help, I think I understand what you're saying, but as a long term art student.. the one thing that does concern me is if I painted it like that afterwards, wouldn't the paint on the blade crack if the blade got mushed or bent into anything at all? (not that I plan to smack it against anything or anyone, that would be silly....)
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Unread 02-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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At least it looks like you have plenty of leeway with the specifics of the axe: The art that I linked is quite different than the figure you posted.

I like how the sleeves don't actually attach to the shirt in either one

When you're new to the forum and your post count is low, sometimes it takes a couple of days (or moderator approval) for posts with images to go through.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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That's why you use the latex house paint. It's pretty flexible stuff. It can bend a fair bit before the paint job is impacted. If you push it, it mostly just wrinkles. By the time it cracks, you're already close to the tear strength of the foam.
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Unread 02-12-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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Hi there—this is a bit of a long reply.
If you’re still looking for a way to make this out of wood, I may be able to help. And when sanding edges, it can always be pretty much sharp enough, but still good for cons. Although, you will need some tools not everybody has. You will need:
A belt sander
A dremmel (preferably—for detailing)
Lumber (obviously)
• 3 pieces of lumber—
o Axe head piece
o Axe handle piece
o Two small pieces of wood doweling
A drill—with drill bits the size of the wood doweling you will need.
A decent saw of some kind (this varies, although using a nicer saw such as a scroll saw is preferable).
First, when working with wood props, always, always, always measure first and draw a very specific pattern to make sure you have it right. Like the old adage says, “measure twice, cut once.” You will want to start by maybe making some sort of measurements for exactly how big you want it all to be (thickness, length, etc…). Making a pattern out of paper may be of some help.
Then get the piece of lumber you need for the axe handle--close to the thickness you will want the axe, but get it with a little extra wiggle room for mess-ups. Then, get the piece you need for the axe head. Again, depending on what you have access to, get it at least a bit bigger than you will need.
Then draw out the patterns on both pieces of wood (it would be helpful to draw out the patterns like ¼ - ½ inches bigger than you plan for, so you have leeway). Now that the pattern is drawn on the handle, take your drill (with bits the size of the wood doweling), and drill two holes, a few inches apart, within the area that the axe head will fit through. Now, cut these pieces out of their patterns.
With that done, cut the slot where the axe head will go, the EXACT width of the axe head (so that it fits in tightly). It’s length may have to be a bit longer than the skinniest part of the axe head, due to it widening when it’s out the back a bit. Then, fit the axe head in so it’s nice and snug.
Next, you will want to align the axe head as it will EXACTLY be when it is finished. Once you do that, since there will still be two holes in the handle, take a pencil and mark the outline of the holes you have now onto the axe head. You can then take the axe head out and drill the holes within these outlines. You should now be able to fit the pieces of wood doweling through both of your pieces to fit them together. Now, cut the doweling pieces to fit the axe so they’re not sticking up.
Now that everything is ready to fit together, you will want to do your designing on your axe. With the belt sander, you can slowly (and it will take a while) sand the square edges into the perfect roundness that you need. Depending on how you apply pressure, you can even carve it at the specific incline you need. Try practicing on a separate piece of wood. You can turn the belt sander and press at different angles/pressures to carve it nicely. A dremmel will be nice to do the detailing, but not 100% necessary.
Now, you can fit the axe head in and all the holes should all align. Make sure that you are ready for this step, as you will be gluing. Spread wood glue on everything that will be touching. The inside slot, the axe head, within all the holes, and on the doweling pieces. You can go ahead, slide the axe head through, and put the doweling rod through the entire thing.
Now, take a piece of scrap wood that will fit along the entirety of the pieces being glued on each side. You will want to put these in between the actual axe and the clamps you will be using to push it together. (if you don’t have clamps, then putting the axe on a flat piece of ground with weights on top should suffice, just be careful of the glue that will overflow out). Once this has the proper pressure, leave it for 24 hours. The following day, you can return. If your slot was actually cut too large, don’t fret. Just cut some small pieces for the parts that are missing and wood glue them in.
Once everything is completely glued, feel free to smother whatever needs it in wood filler, which is easily sand-able. Sand your axe, and paint it! (Personally, when working with wood, I recommend a layer or two of craft paint in whatever colors are needed, and then to finish it with a few coats of spray paint).
If this sounds like something you may be able to do but aren’t completely sure on all aspects, I can send reference pictures to make the process clearer. Or, if you end up needing this commissioned, I’ve done plenty of wood props and can send pictures of a few of mine so you can decide for yourself. 
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