Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sword of Omens

When I was a kid growing up in the 80's there were a few television shows that I watched - G.I.Joe, Transformers, Voltron, and Thundercats.  I'm going to attempt to make the iconic sword from Thundercats - the Sword of Omens!

But I'm not going to make this sword from scratch.  Instead I am going to build on top of a nerf sword I bought at the store.

To start I looked up many reference images and then made a scale illustration of the sword (based on the nerf sword) in Adobe Illustrator (approx 32" tall).

Since the hilt seems to have many layers to it, I made separate templates for all those layers.

And then I printed them to scale on some card stock.

Then I cut them out to use as templates.

I then used my templates on some crafting foam.

I cut the pieces out and assembled them.

Next I put my foam hilt against my sword to compare.

It just doesn't look quite right.  So then I decided to not make my sword look exactly like the one from the cartoon, and instead make a stylized version.  I put a piece of crafting foam against the side of the hilt and began to draw the new shape of the sword.

I then cut out that piece and made another one for the side.

I glued the quarters together making sure to have a piece of cardboard in between to make sure that the foam stays somewhat rigid. 

Then I glued the 2 pieces onto the sword.

I kept a piece of my original hilt to use on this one, but I'm not attaching it yet.

Next I traced the shape of the new hilt onto a thin sheet of crafting foam.

I cut out the foam to make sure it would fit well and further solidify the connection between the existing hilt and the new additions.

I then traced out the shape 3 more times.

Then I started drawing and cutting out shapes from my thin foam.

And I glued the new shape on to another piece of thin crafting foam.

I did this will all 4 pieces and left it alone for a while to dry.

While they were drying I went out and bought a bag of 2" diameter Styrofoam balls, which I will use for the eye/thundercats logo at the base of the sword.

I cut one ball in half and sanded the bottoms.

I determined where to position it, marked it...

...and glued the styrofoam in place.

Next I used a piece of crafting foam and drew in the shape around the circles.

Then I cut enough foam to fill the space between each styrofoam ball and glued the pieces together.

And then I glued those pieces in place.

When the thin foam for the hilt were dry I glued them in place.

And then glued the older piece from my original hilt in place.

Next I sanded the beveled NERF logo off of the blade.

Here's how the sword looked after a morning of working on it.

Next I applied some Mod Podge to solidify all the new elements, and to coat the styrofoam.

When the MP dried, the sword got a layer of black paint.

When that dried I decided to take it outside and give it a coat of filler primer.

When the primer dried I decided to paint the sword silver with acrylic paint.  I did this because the sword is still soft and nerf-like.  Acrylic paint will be more flexible (hopefully).

The first coat of silver was streaky, so I applied a second coat.

Once that dried I then painted in the black details on the hilt.

Then I added some furniture tacks to the hilt and handle.

Next I painted the circles on both sides red.

When the red dried, I took my Thunder Cats logo template I made earlier and used it to trace the logo onto one or the red circles.

Then I filled it in with black paint.

On the other side I painted in the eye (which is what shows when the sword is smaller....if you watched the show, you know what I'm talking about).

Next I took the sword outside and gave it many coats of glossy clear enamel.

Then I let it be for a while to dry.

And I'm done!

Thanks for reading!

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