A Big Fuckin' Sword

22 May , 2012,
Crimson
,
No Comments

Let’s face it. Big swords are cool.

Practically every character in Japanese games, anime and manga has one.

In this back-to-basics tutorial, we’ll teach you how to craft a stunt-ready greatsword for cosplay that’s as tall as you are, but light enough that you can tote it without looking like a complete klutz (unless that’s what you want).

We’re going to scratch build the Dragon Slayer from Black Rock Shooter in this tutorial, but with a bit of tweaking (it’s all about the blade shape, really), you can create practically any big weapon you like under the sun.

This tutorial will take approximately an hour to complete.

Stuff you’ll need:

1. Some EVA foam

2. Some Craft foam

3. A large piece of corrugated plastic board (also called PP, or polypropylene board)

4. A long PVC pipe or rod

5. Contact Glue

6. Scissors and a sharp box cutter/pen knife

7. White glue or putty

8. Paint (duh!)

You’ll also need a ruler and markers.

Step 1:

We’ll start by creating the blade shape. Draw out the blade shape on the PP board using a permanent marker, and cut it out using a box cutter or pen knife.

I created a paper template first, so I could be sure that the blade would fit just right, but you can skip this step if you’re confident with your measurements. ^_^

Draw out the blade shape on the pp board with a marker…

… then cut it out with a box cutter or pen knife. Be careful! ^_^;;

Trim the edges down with a pair of scissors if you need to to get rid of uneven cuts and bumps.

Trim it just like so.

Repeat the process, and you’ll have two identical pieces.

Step 2:

Next, we’ll create scour lines down the middle of the PP board and at the tip of the blade to create an angular wedge shape.

Cut lightly down the length of the blade shape with your box cutter, pressing hard enough to slice through the top layer of the board, but not all the way through.

Once you’ve made a deep enough scour line, you can simply bend the blade shape edgewise, and it will snap into a wedge shape.

Remember not to cut all the way through!

Do the same for the blade tip. In this case, I’ve drawn out the shape of the tip with a marker so I know just where to make the cuts. ^_^;;

Cut along the black lines. XD

You gotta do this twice, and it helps if your cut lines are as similar on both blade pieces as possible.

Step 3:

It’s time to assemble the blade!

Because the Dragon Slayer’s got a pretty unique, layered cross piece, I’ve cut out some craft foam just for that portion.

Cut out two foam squares…

… and paste it on both blade pieces with some contact glue. XD

Next, sandwich the length of PVC pipe in between both blade pieces. Spread contact glue all over the inner surface of one blade piece, and rest the PVC pipe in the valley created by the bend in the blade shape.

Apply some contact glue to the valley of the other blade piece, and along the edges, then join both blade pieces together. Be sure the pieces are both aligned neatly, and pinch the edges tight.

It’s just like making a PP board sandwich. XD

You should end up with something like this.

Yep. Close enough. *nods sagely*

And that’s about it! It’s pretty easy to create a greatsword base isn’t it?

Step 4:

But we’re not done yet! We’ve still got to wrap the blade with foam, and to do some detailing.

To create the handle portion, simply wrap the entire length of PVC pipe with strips of scrap foam, and then go over it with a piece of craft foam.

Craft foam gives you a comfortable, non-slip grip, and that’s really important when you’re swinging your sword around during cosplay performances.

Just coil a foam strip round the handle, like so.

Handle details can also be simulated with foam too. You just have to cut the pieces out, and join them in the correct shapes.

Paste on the rest of the handle details. XD

Finally, cut out large two pieces of foam (the edges should extrude slightly beyond the width of the blade, and paste it to the blade base on either side with contact glue.

Pinch the edges together (the same way we did in our previous cosplay sword tutorial).

All it needs now is a bit of color…

Slap on a layer of either white glue or putty to prime the prop, apply paint, texturing and accents, and voila!

Dragon Slayer, completed! ^_^


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