I was molding Brad's Mark 42 helmet when I noticed something happening to the print layer. The silicone hadn't cured properly and was now folding upon itself, so I figured I had to wait until it cured to peel it off and start all over. In that time, I decided to work on a quick little build that I wanted to make at San Diego Comic Con: the nordic dagger from Skyrim. After seeing the professional work of Nappin Kraken Crafts' nordic war axe and Volpin Prop's steel axe, I felt compelled to try my own. This build turned out to last three days, my quickest build yet. Read on.
The basic shape of the dagger was sketched out on photoshop, and these blueprints became the key to achieving a screen accurate model.
I then started cutting out layers of sintra and styrene in various thicknesses using an exacto knife. The proper shape was achieved by transferring the blueprints onto the plastic sheets and tracing out the major parts. These layers were then super glued together.
The next step was filling in the edges. The blade sections were filled with bondo and sanded down until the blade was flush with the body.
The dagger was then masked off, save for the beveled area in the center, and sprayed with a textured metallic spray paint to achieve a subtle stippled texture. The filigrees were then carefully cut out of a "For Sale" sign and super glued on. The handle guard section was sculpted out of apoxie sculpt and later sanded down.
The hilt was made in a similar way. I found a plastic dowel of the perfect diameter and length at Tap Plastics, bent the end with a heat gun, and sculpted the pommel using apoxie sculpt. The sculpt was sanded down after curing overnight, and details were added using an exacto knife, needle files, and some more of the "For Sale" sign.
The two sections were then held in place using clamps and attached with epoxy putty.
With the prototype complete, it was time for a rubber bath. I used Rebound 25 silicone to make this block mold, and Jolly King plasteline for the claying process.
P.S. Lego bricks make excellent mold boxes because they're easy to assemble and disassemble.
The daggers were then cast with Smoothcast 300 using a technique called cold casting. The molds were powdered with aluminum powder and the powder was also mixed into the resin before pouring. This gives the cast more weight for realism and adds a subtle metallic look after weathering.
When a cast comes out of a mold, it still requires a little cleaning up before it's ready to paint/weather. The tiny air bubbles were cleaned up with a needle file and the mold flash was trimmed with an exacto knife.
To bring out the shine of the cold cast, I lightly went over the dagger with 0000 steel wool and gave it three passes with Mother's aluminum polish.
The daggers were then weathered with a mixture of brown, black, and green acrylic paints.
Finally, the fur on the handles was hot glued on and thin strips of leather were wrapped around the fur. The leather was also weathered with acrylic paint to add realism. The excess fur was trimmed off and voila!
Thanks for reading!
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