My Dumb Projects
Thursday, May 14, 2009
  Magic Knight Rayearth: Hikaru's Sword
I was commissioned to make a replica of the swords from the series "Magic Knight Rayearth". Hikaru's was the last completed of the trio.

For the blade, I used 1/4" Poplar with a channel cut to contain a 5/16" steel rod.

Once the basic dimensions were cut, I shaped the blade edges on the belt sander.

The blade was shaped to leave a 1/8" flat edge to make it "convention safe".

Much putty, primer and sanding later, I have a smooth blade.

The handle was made from Bass Wood and turned on a lathe.

I clamped a hand drill and cored out the handle.

I cut the scallops at the base of the handle.

I used half round styrene to make the trim.

I formed the detail at the top of the blade with thick styrene.

The flat gem detail at the blade tip was made with styrene with the bevel gap filled with Bondo.

The hilt center layer was made by gluing 1/4" poplar pieces.

The second layer was made with 1/8" MDF. The white plastic coating as sanded off.

I used a Dremel to round off the organic details.

A quick test fit of blade, hilt and handle.

I started adding layers of 1/8" MDF.

More layers added.

The completed guard.

The center was built up with 1/4" poplar sheets.

I added half round styrene trim.

1/2" MDF was used to make the base of the hilt center.

MDF was shaped to make the center plate.

The final painted guard.

I built layers with styrene and added a cast resin gem.

The pommel was a cast resin 2" sphere.

Cast resin gems added to all parts of the guard.

The final sword.

The handle comes off for easier shipping. It will later be glued in place

Monday, May 11, 2009
  Magic Knight Rayearth: Umi's Sword
I was commissioned to make a replica of the swords from the series "Magic Knight Rayearth". Umi's was the second completed of the trio.

Since this blade is so thin, I wouldn't be able to run a steel rod in the core. For maximum strength, I decided to use maple. I constructed a jig to tape the blade at a consistent angle.

I turned the wood to cut the front profile.

Once the basic dimensions were cut, I shaped the blade edges on the belt sander (not shown).

The handle was shaped on the lathe from Bass wood. I drilled out the center to accept a 5/16" steel rod for connecting to the blade.

I used styrene sheets filled with Bondo to shape the upper blade area.

I made a quick cast of the guard area to sculpt the dragons.

I used epoxy putty to add scales to the dragon bodies.

I sculpted the guard using clay trying to keep it symmetrical so the two sides will match up.

The completed sculpt. I made a mold of the body and head for casting in resin separately.

A test fit of a casting of the dragon. The gem master is made from a wooden sphere.

I added the plates to the base of the handle using styrene and Bondo.

I made a maple plug to attach the dragon guard to the steel rod.

The assembled guard test fitting with the gem master.

The assembled and primered dragon guard

The guard painted.

The final sword with cast resin gems.

Guard area details.

Detail of the hilt.

The sword disassembles for transportation although it will have to be glued before using.

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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