Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Link's Master Sword

I had planned on going to a convention here in Atlanta in September, but didn't really think of the fact that most conventions don't really like you huffing around a steel sword. Unfortunately, the one I used for my Link costume was steel, and I had 8 days until the convention to figure out what to do.

I started with a 38" sheet of 3" x 3/8" fiberglass and scribed the blade pattern onto it

After cutting along the shape with a jigsaw, I used an orbital sander to refine the edges and sculpt the blade

The hexagonal details near the hilt required some bondo and filing to make sharp and smooth

After a guide coat and some more sanding, the blade was near finished!

I sculpted the hilt from paperclay. The plan was to make a mold of this and cast the two halves in resin. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to any of my usual materials, so I had to make due with some unfortunate substitutes. The paperclay took forever to dry, shrank in size considerably, and was generally a bad material to use for a mold.

The castings turned out alright, but needed a lot of work to bring up to par.

Two pieces of MDF were affixed to the handle and rounded over. The handguard was sculpted out of apoxie sculpt, as well as the pommel. both were epoxied to the fiberglass on the blade. This is after some bondo cleanup work.

Hilt attached, and primed

After considerable cleanup, the whole blade was coated in perhaps the crappiest silver paint I have ever used. It may look pretty, but to this day the stuff isn't completely dry...

The hilt and pommel were then painted with Testor's Enamel

Finally, the handle was wrapped in purple vinyl and stitched around the handle. The green ribbon is a bit too wide, but with hours to go before I needed to get to the con, I just went with it.

And a finished shot. This piece is currrently in teardown, awaiting some much-needed revisions.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Midna's Helm

Midna is an interesting character. You don't want to like her, but as the game progresses, you can't help but find yourself drawn to the little imp. Her helm is a particularly interesting piece of sculpture, one of four pieces of the "Fused Shadow" that you're sent to collect in the beginning stages of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Since this is a helmet, it had to be light enough to not fatigue the wearer if used for 4+ hours. I decided on making it out of insulation foam. The initial parts were angled pieces of foam that were made to fit around the client's head. After that, I heated 2 pieces and bent them around the circumference of the piece, forming a flat surface to work with.

The "horns" were flat pieces of foam, glued to this structure. A raised edge was built up between them to form the front of the helmet. Recessed runes and patterns were carved into the foam using a soldering iron, while the raised portions were made using hot glue.

Unfortunately, there are only three process photos of this project that exist, as I was in a time crunch and the entire thing needed to be produced in four days. Despite the rush job, I believe the finished product came out very well. Other materials used were Crayola Model Magic (I will never use this again,) expanding insulation foam, ABS glue, and several different types of paint. The helm comes in weighing just over 3 pounds.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hylian Shield

Link's Hylean shield. Much like the sword I built, this was done in a week and mostly just "eyeballed" with regards to sizing and dimensions. I cleaned up a lot of the edges from "V1" to V1.1" that you see here.

Side Shot. The curve of the shield right now is far too shallow, and the profile is also too thick. This was mostly made with insulation foam and MDF board, then bondo to smooth details. The feligree pieces were also carves from insulation foam, which can't hold details very well. These will be redone in Apoxie Sculpt for the next version.

The back details were faked in a time crunch. The actual shield has raised edges and rivets in this area. If we're going for total game accuracy though, the shield model is just flat on the back with a textured map placed on top. That means this is correct!

A full-fledged "V2" rebuild is in the works, since I've gone and built a more accurate vector outline of the shield.