I received an email asking to write a tutorial on this because the page that had the original guide, belonging to tkyzgallery, is now closed. I’m just passing the info along, but with additional details and a few alterations.
- Hot glue gun
- Simple pair of gloves: This is optional. Fabric and color choice really depends on you and the version of the character you’re going for.
- Poster Board OR Wonderflex: If you’re on a tight budget, go with the poster board. If you want something more sturdy and strong enough to stab your enemies (jk), go with Wonderflex. I went with the latter because I tend to be pretty rough with my props.
- Heat Gun: Only if you’re using Wonderflex.
- Spray paint and/ acrylic paint of your choice.
Like any other armor or prop, please use scratch paper before using the actual material for the claw nails. You need to test it out first!
The version of Lady Deathstrike I’m working on seems to have shorter claws than usual so I was able to use a regular 8×10 printing paper to draw my shape on. I drew a skinny triangle onto said paper, cut it out and traced that shape onto Wonderflex.
After cutting it out, I used the heat gun to make the Wonderflex flexible. While it’s warm, I then rolled it to a skinny cone. After the Wonderflex cooled, I used my pencil to draw two diagonal lines that acted as my guide as to where to cut.
They have to be cut diagonally so when you stick them back together, the angle of the edges will make them well, more angled. For poster board, you are using hot glue to stick them back together. For Wonderflex users, I heated both ends of the tubes and stuck them together. Usually, the tubes get dented when they get inserted back, so while it’s still warm, I used a pencil to put it in the hole (where your fingers would go) and use it to flatten out the sides.
This is how it should generally look. After putting the three pieces of tubes together, it didn’t fit my fingers perfectly right off the bat (as expected) so I had to cut away some sections to get the right fit. If you are planning to wear gloves underneath them, please wear gloves while you test the fit. I didn’t do that, so the claw nails ended up being really tight on my gloves.
After I had all ten “claw nails”, I was ready to attach them to my gloves. While wearing the gloves, I put hot glue into the end of the tubes and then stuck my finger into each respective one. Of course, my gloves were able to withstand that kind of heat, so I wasn’t hurt. I wouldn’t suggest doing my way, unless you know your gloves can withstand some heat. For a much safer method, instead of putting your fingers into the hot glue-fested tube, use a pencil instead to act as your fingers.
The ends of the claws were never as sharp as I wanted them to be, but that’s ok only because security at conventions can be pretty strict about what kind of weapon prop you can bring in.
Since there are various versions of Lady Deathstrike, the painting and style is entirely up to you. Some of the artists draw her with extremely long flesh-colored claw nails and some are silver instead. The version I’m going for has Lady D with yellow nails. So I used yellow spray paint as the base, and used acrylic paint to dry brush it and add in the bloody details.
I used a styrofoam board and kabob sticks to support the claws while painting them.