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Friday, 7 February 2014

Creatively Speaking - How A Vorpal Blade Was Made

I recently received a comment on my other blog asking for step by step instructions on how I made my vorpal blade when I cosplayed as Alice (which I reposted on this blog).

It wasn't all that difficult really (although I had problems towards the end). But here it is step by step (I can't show you exactly step by step without making another one so I'll be recycling the original photos).

So this is what the vorpal blade, from the game, should look like:

 So to start with I cut a piece of foam board (but cardboard would work just as well) in to the shape of a slightly over sized chef's knife.

Then I covered it all in a couple of layers of papier-mache. Covering the blade part is simple enough.

I used more papier-mache to bulk out the handle and to create the guard, where the handle and the blade meet. Just make your papier-mache more like pulp and add to those areas until you have them in the desired shape (you could also use bits of cardboard to bulk out the handle). Then go back to your more strip-like papier-mache over the top to kind of secure it while it dries.

Once it had dried and I was sure I was happy with the handle shape I did another layer of papier-mache only this time I used kitchen roll - this was so the newspaper didn't show through when I painted it.

My camera clearly didn't like my duvet cover
Then it was time for painting. I used acrylic paints (only cheap tubes of acrylic paint - nothing fancy). I mixed a couple of different browns together for the handle. I originally tried using a metallic silver acrylic for the blade but it didn't show up very well. So I mixed up a grey, painted it in that and then went over it in the silver.

For some reason I didn't take a photo of the blade after painting but before adding the patterns.

I managed to find some close up images of the blade online to copy the patterns from. I vaguely sketched out the pattern (I had to do that in pen as pencil didn't show up properly - hence me vaguely sketching it).

Then I drew the pattern on in silver and gold permanent markers - drawing the pattern on the blade was easier than the handle owing to the blade being flat. I also went along the edge of the knife (the bit that would be sharp) in silver marker pen.

Again following online images I copied the blood splatter on to the knife using acrylic paint (this was a crimsony colour that I mixed the tiniest bit of blue in to to make it look more like blood.

Then I covered the whole thing in a thin layer of pva glue... which is where my problems began.

It doesn't look so bad in this photo but once the glue had dried the marker pen seemed to fade or come off altogether. So on some areas of the blade I painted the grey back over the glue and touched up the pattern again, and then added more glue.

I couldn't be bother to redo the patterns on the handle (but my hand would be covering that, most of the time, so it didn't really matter).

I think that is all I did.

Any questions?


Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for making this! :) I want to try making an Alice cosplay eventually(read:never) and was wondering if you had any tips for the pattern for people with terrible drawing skills?

Chippyminton13 said...

You could print out a picture of the knife to scale and use it to trace the pattern on, or if you are handy with a craft knife you could turn it in to a stencil (I'd probably end up missing a finger!).

Or to make it simpler you could just drawing on a random swirly pattern, especially if you didn't have much time.

When it comes to the handle the pattern is more fiddly and even before the pattern came off I didn't draw it on very well - but like I said your hand covers that bit so it isn't as noticeable.


Anonymous said...

Alright, thanks! :)