These were the weapons I didn’t have time to finish for BlizzCon 2014 when I had worn my Wrath Sonya cosplay. I decided to try to complete it anyway because I typically don’t like to leave projects unfinished regardless of whether I missed the deadline for a convention or not. Plus, I was able to use them for a photoshoot and I ended up learning new painting tricks!
Sonya, in Heroes of the Storm, carries two large matching swords. The only difference between them are the tips which they are shaped differently. This build write-up will only consist of progress pictures of the sword on the left, for reasons.
While I usually “eye” things to create my patterns, I didn’t want to do the same thing for this sword. I really wanted it to be perfect to the original but I didn’t have access to a printer, instead I used my digital camera and Photoshop program.
On paper, I started off by drawing the shape of the sword as close to the original image as possible, keeping shape and size into consideration. Before cutting it out, I grabbed my camera and took photos of the rough pattern from the top down. I had to take a few shots because I didn’t want there to be any slight angles that might distort the shape.
After uploading the pictures to my computer and picking out the best one, I then transferred the picture onto Photoshop and cut out the background. I rotated the original reference image so I can compare the original and the cut out shape together. Whichever part was inaccurate, I would fix it on my “real life” pattern. Once the pattern was finalized , I then cut the shape out and transferred it onto 1/2″ thick EVA foam to trace.
With the final pattern I had, I used that to trace my sword three times because there will be three layers of EVA foam for the sword. Going with two layers instead would’ve actually been better and more accurate but the PVC pipe I had was too thick for two layers of EVA foam. I had to use three to be able to cover up the PVC pipe, otherwise it would’ve bulged out. Each layer had a cut-out for the PVC pipe to be inserted and hot glued together. The EVA foam layers, however, were glued together by contact cement.
To create the beveling on the edges of the sword, I first used a box cutter to carve down the rough shape. Afterwards, I used a dremel tool to make the rough cut more defined. To clean it up even further, I used a mouse sander for the final part of the sanding process.
I added an additional layer of EVA foam to cover the PVC pipe on both sides. This EVA foam is 1/4″ thick, so it is much thinner than the EVA foam that I used for the main base of the sword.
I used a dremel tool to create the battle damages and mostly craft foam to make the smaller details at the lower part of the sword.
There are three parts to sealing the sword:
- Heat gun: Once everything was glued on and carved/cut/sanded out, I ran a heatgun over all parts of the sword to seal and “close up” any imperfections.
- Mod podge: I applied about 3-4 layers on anything that has been sanded by a dremel tool (ie: the edges) and anything delicate or more likely to chip or break (ie: the very bottom part of the handle).
- Plastidip: I sprayed about 3-4 even layers of Plastidip on all parts of the sword.
What follows after sealing is priming and painting the sword. Unfortunately, I only had about five hours to paint the sword for a photoshoot so I didn’t have time to take step-by-step progress pictures.
Here are some pictures of the final swords, in action!