I was a complete novice to woodworking when I did this (I still am lol) so sorry if I did things badly! Its good to have your own interpretation on things too, but this is just how I went about mine. All prices are in AUD.
- Plywood (5 sheet thickness)
- 1 sheet of Carbon paper (you can get this from newsagents)
- DAS air drying modelling clay (you can get this from any art store, lincraft, spotlight, etc)
- Spray Primer
- Spray Putty
- Spray Paint/Markers - The best brand is Molotow! But its expensive, depending where you buy it. If you had an airbrush it would probably be alot more cost effective... :S
- plastic chain
- metal binder ring (the only place I've seen these sold is at my university shop)
- 4 short screws
- 1 Hook for the hanging bit
- 4mm wide piece of dark blue rope (just get the minimum cut, around 20cm I think)
- 10mm wide (?? not sure), 2m long piece of light blue-grey rope
- Rope funnel end thing (Not sure what its called, but you can get it at spotlight in the upholstery section)
- Sticky Tape
- Green material for the leaf hanging bit
- 1 Hook for the star hanging bit
- dremel (rotary tool)
- sawhorse (I think thats what they're called)
1. drawing out the keyblades
a. Figure out how long you want the keyblades to be. I did it in relation to my height, so they're relatively short - around 39-40 inches long.
b. Get a copy of a picture of the keyblade, and bring it up to scale. Theres a few ways to do this such as going to a printer place, taking your picture and asking them to scale it up to the percent you want it to be (Most likely it'll end up on a very big piece of paper though).
If you dont want to do this, then put it into a graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, or Photoshop; whatever you're most familiar with. Then, trace the outline of it (and as much detail as you want). Try to keep your stroke length thin, as this means you'll be more accurate.
Next, bring up the rulers in the program, and scale the length of the image to the length that you want your keyblade to be (It'll end up looking very big on your computer!)
c. Print out the picture of the keyblade; you'll have to piece all the A4 pieces together, so try to make sure theyre all lined up properly! Stand next to it with a full length mirror; if it looks like its too big or too small, then you're going to have to scale it up and down again a bit, and print it out again.
d. If you're happy with the size of the keyblade, then you're ready to go buy the wood. Now that you've got a scale model, you can either bring it along (and feel very silly), or you can take the width and dimensions of what you want with you, so you know what will fit on the wood you want to buy.
e. Using the carbon paper, sticky tape one end of the pattern you printed out to the top of the wood, and trace over the top of it. Carbon paper generally comes in A4 size, so you'll have to slowly move down the piece of wood, moving the paper along with it.
I don't know if people still know what carbon paper is (lol) but it used to be used on the back of reciepts to make a 2nd copy. If you can't get a hold of carbon paper, the other option is to rub a dark lead pencil over the back of the drawing, and then trace over the top of the drawing onto the wood.
click for a bigger image
2. Making them!
a. Cut out the outline using a jigsaw. Be careful with the way you work around the wood, because the middle parts of both oblivion and oathkeeper are structurally weak. The easiest way (I think) is to cut out the inside parts first, then work on the outside. With Oblivion, the chain was also attached first before I cut the outisde. Don't worry if the chain sags a little! You can fix it later. Just, remember that the chain is attached through holes from the top and bottom. (I forgot, so it doesnt attach properly). The chain is attached using 2 small hooks screwed in on either end of the hole,, then closed over the top of the chain.
In the picture of oblivion you can see theres a white mark in the middle. Thats because I accidently cut out a hole where the raised part was supposed to go (lol). You can fix it by getting the DAS (white clay) and shoving a whole lot in the hole. Leave it for a day or so, and the clay dries in the air. You can also use the clay to smooth out any bits where the wood has split, too! It can be sanded when its dried.
b. Sand the edges of the keyblades. This is where, if you've put in alot of detail onto your outline, they'll come in handy. If you've drawn in where the parts slope in, then its easier to figure out how far in to shave off the edges. If you havent drawn them in, the roughly mark them in using a pencil.
The inside little holes are the hardest to sand, so you'll need a rotary tool such as a dremel for it, or you can use a file (but that'll take longer).
c. Get the DAS out, and a bowl of water. This is the fun part!
Mould the DAS over the top of the keyblades. It dries in the air, so only bring out a little bit at a time to use. Keep the rest in a plastic bag in the fridge so that it won't dry out. To make it stick to the wood, just put a bit of water onto the wood, and the DAS should stick on.
You can use sticks etc to move the clay around too, if your fingers wont do the job.
After the clay has dried, you can then sand it again with sandpaper or your rotary tool! Also, if you made mistakes, you can sand it off then put more DAS over the top. Just remember, that if you have a 1kg block of clay, and you put the whole lot onto your keyblade, you're adding another 1kg of weight onto the keyblade itself. While the wood is light, the clay isnt! So, try to not put too much on.
Note: To fix the chain! If your chain is sagging (lol) just glue the edges of the links to the side of the hole. Move the links around if they're not sitting properly; You can push them up and down and they dont have to sit nested inside each other, since as long as they're not hanging out, you wont notice any difference.
click for a bigger image
a. Use the primer, then spray putty over the keyblades. The spray putty fills in the gaps and gives a smoother appearance. You can also sand over the spray putty again, and then spray again later. I went through around 4 cans for the keyblades, but I was being stingy! You need a few coats of each.
b. Paint the keyblades. I used spraypaint since I like the look of the enamel. I didnt want brush strokes, so I tried not to use a brush as much as I could. But, for smaller details theres no avoiding it. Just get a plastic lid, and spray some of the paint onto it, then apply it with a brush. To clean the brushes, use turps.
When you choose the spraypaint, be careful! I had alot of difficulties, since I didnt know at the start which were good and bad brands. For silver, I used White Knight Superchrome. It gives a fantastic finish, but tends to repel every other spraypaint over the top of it. To work around this, if you used the silver first you need to put another layer of primer over the extra parts you want to paint.
The Belton Molotow cans give off a beautiful semi-matte finish, with a great range of colours (depending on the store you go to) but are quite expensive if you're using alot of colours.
My own keyblades weren't painted too well, but heres some other tips I can offer:
- When you go to the spraypaint/paint shop, bring a piece of paper with the swatches of the exact colour you want to get. This will make it easier for the store to help you find the closest colour.
- Use a piece of cardboard to bounce the spraypaint off it onto the keyblade if you want a softer finish
- You can also use masking tape and plastic bags to block off other edges.
After painting, you can add in the other details like the screws on oblivion, and the hanging bits.
To attach the oathkeeper rope, braid the grey rope into a 4 way plait, looping one end through the star and working from the bottom up. Put the smaller rope through the hole in the top of oathkeeper, pass it through the metal stopper, and join it securely to the thicker plait. Reinforce it with tape and then push the metal stopper down again; you shouldnt be able to see the tape from under the stopper.
Theres still a few problems with these, such as how to stop paint flaking off which I'm not sure how to resolve *lol*, and also if you knock the keyblades against something hard they'll scratch or chip a little bit. Apart from that, they're pretty durable though!