Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Progress Report

So I haven't been all that good at taking along my camera to get pictures of the in progress stuff for the actual costume. All of the amusing photos of me dressed in a paper version of Raine's coat are on my cousin's camera. Since I made Lloyd's twin swords at home, however, I was able to document the progress a little better. To get the general shape, I used Deviantart swordmaker *chioky's tutorial extensively. I made some major modifications, however, on method and materials. My piece of strip pine was twice the thickness of what he recommended, resulting in a chunkier sword, which is the look I was going for. Nearly everything in ToS is chunky, and Lloyd's wooden swords are supposed to be especially rough looking. Since it was so much thicker, I didn't have multiple pieces to the swords. They were shaped by hand out of a single piece of wood. The tsuba (tsubae?) for the swords weren't MDF as suggested because they had to take a stain like the rest of the sword. I used luann plywood left over from an around the house project. Also, there is no balsa wood anywhere on these swords. The habaki is made of mitered pine trim from the same home project cut via an antique miter box. (That was fun to figure out, let me tell you.) The hilt of the reference sword itself was unshaped and had a fan motif carved into it to match the tsuba, so it was filed down with the rest of it and painted after staining with acrylic paint to invoke those designs. I had no wood files of the sort the tutorial suggested, so I did the rough shaping of the blade with a plane and a series of wood rasps and then did the finer sharpening with coarse sandpaper wrapped around a metal file. The swords are yet unfinished, but I thought it would be good to post pictures before I forgot.

During cutting. Here's another shortcut where I violated the tutorial. I used my dad's ancient saber saw to cut out the rough shapes. Of course, isn't that the purpose of a tutorial: to serve more as guidelines than actual rules? Let's say this way was much easier.

More cutting. How 'bout that fancy workbench?

These are the rough shapes prior to any sharpening or shaping. They really don't look all that sword-like.

After planing but before fine-shaping. It has bevels in all the right places, but it still looks boxy.

Both semi-finished products after staining and painting. I stained them with miniwax red oak.

The painted tsuba design. I am officially sick of David's taste in techno music. I had to watch that video so many times to get a good idea of what the tsuba looked like, and even then, there were a lot of artistic calls made.

The shaped and painted hilt. Might get eventually wrapped halfway, might not. It's really David's call, but I like it the way it is right now.

And a shot of the semi-final product. It still isn't polycrylic'd or anything, and the back of the tsuba might acquire identical designs to the front. It looks kind of bare the way it is.