My Dumb Projects
Monday, April 23, 2007
  D. Gray-Man Sword

My sister is a big anime fan so I decided to make a replica of this sword from D. Gray-Man for her birthday.

This sword was deceptively simple...In the end I actually made five before I finally got it right! If you see discrepancies in the photos, those are probably from previous versions of the sword, not the final product.

To make this sword safe for conventions and Cosplay events I decided to make the blade out of wood. I used a 3' x 1/4" x 3" piece of Red Oak and cut the beveled edge on the table saw. I figured out the angle I needed and cut a slot into a piece of MDF. The wood was put into the slot and the edge could be cut perfectly on each side!

The tip of the blade was hand ground on a belt sander. The blade in the anime has a tip that curves up like a scimitar but that wouldn't allow it to fit into a scabbard.

To remove the grain in the wood, I sealed it with shellac, primered, sanded, primered, sanded, puttied, sanded, etc. I left a trace of wood grain that is visible on close inspection so even the dimmest of convention security wouldn't think it was metal.

The blade was painted with a Krylon semi-gloss black. The blade was masked off to expose the edge so that it could be painted silver.

The hilt was constructed out of 1/4" MDF as a box. The center channel was cut out with the table saw and cleaned up with X-acto knife and files.

The white trim areas were drawn onto the hilt so they could be later masked off for painting

Seams and larger holes were covered over with wallboard joint compound and sanded smooth.

The trim was cut out of .040 strip styrene and CA glued to the MDF. The hilt pictured was an earlier attempt. I later did all the sanding and primer before the trim was glued on. The trim areas were masked off to the glue wasn't gripping paint.

I used a strip of half-round styrene for this band.

The grip was sprayed with Future Acrylic to protect the finish. Now it's nice and shiny! And it smells like citrus!

The scabbard was also made with 1/4" MDF.

To protect the blade's paint as it slid in and out, I lined the interior of the scabbard with a fake suede called mole-skin. It's soft like suede but ultra thin.

The scabbard halves with trimmed liner.

Once the two halves were glued together, I rounded the edge with a router.

The end was plugged with a small piece of MDF.

To make the opening a little nicer, I contact cemented a loop of mole skin around the opening....

I split the loop at the corners. I then coated the end of the scabbard as well as the facing fabric...

And then folded each side into the scabbard opening.

There! All perty!

I used two bands of .040 styrene to make the collar of the scabbard.

The final painted collar. This was later masked off and the body of the scabbard was painted with the Krylon semi-glass black.

The blade was glued in with some CA applied to the end of the blade. It's enough glue to keep the blade secure but not so much in case the blade ever needs to be replaced.

That is simply beautiful work!
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These are all the dumb things I find myself obsessed with building when I SHOULD be doing something more productive.

As a kid I built lots of plastic model kits, never knowing that one day those skills would actually be of use.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
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