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23 Oct 2012 - 10:0692979
Sword construction problems
I've been putting together a sword for my Kirito costume. Here's a WIP picture of it (it's foam):

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d40/konoha_ice_climber/Cosplay%20progress/cosplayprogresskirito002.jpg

The problem I'm having is that I'm coating it with PVA (ratio 2:1 water/glue) now and it doesn't seem to be getting any stiffer. Should I have tried to heat it before this? (didn't think I needed to as I wasn't shaping it). Or do I just need alot of glue due to how thick it is?


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23 Oct 2012 - 10:4992981
I'm having the same issue, only my blades is one craft foam sheet thin. Adding more layers of PVA mixture doesn't seem to make it stronger for me, as it'll still bend rather then stay straight.
So I'm interested if someone has an answer out there as well.


__________________
Cosplayer. Photographer. Idiot.
Forsrs.
23 Oct 2012 - 11:2292983
This is why people often have a 'core' of something with the foam surrounding it for non-armour props - foam isnt very structured/stiff unless you use the really thick stuff, cover it in things that set hard or use a 'core' - thick card or a thin wooden dowel can work for it. That would require starting from scratch however, which at this stage probably isnt ideal for you.

Alternatively, balsa wood, cartridge paper and wood glue make props that are extremely light weight but still resilient enough they won't accidently snap - s'how my Zoro swords in my gallery were done (even if I'm not happy with the final things, thats less materials and more me failing at getting the shapes I wanted! =P)

Edit: question I forgot to ask, is how many layers of pva & water have you done so far?



Last edited by Junta (23 Oct 2012 - 11:23)
23 Oct 2012 - 12:0192984
Well, at it's thickest its 5 layers of foam. I'm not how many coats of glue I've done so far. I think it might be about 8...

Would it be a good idea at this point to put some card on the back?

I might just have to start over...


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23 Oct 2012 - 13:2592989
It'd probably be easier to start again with using a dowel as the core of the handle and up into most of the length of the blade than trying to strengthen what you've already done.

PVA and water mixes are more used to seal the foam prior to painting than to strengthen the prop; for sealing you will probably want around 10-12 layers.

Not ideal advice I know, but we all learn as we try things


23 Oct 2012 - 16:4593001
When I was making my first round of armour out of craft foam, I accidentally over-stiffened! I was using layers of first 50:50 PVA/water, but then neat PVA ontop. After that I backed it with a thin cotton material, which also got multiple layers of neat glue.

It is possible to stiffen with PVA, though you might be there forever. Would a dedicated fabric stiffener help (something like this)?


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'There is only do or do not. There is no try.'
23 Oct 2012 - 17:0993005
Crap...

Well I did put this one back to Hyper Japan but still...

Where would be the best place to the dowling? In the centre of it all? Also would just be one long piece? or would I have to have use other pieces in different places?


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23 Oct 2012 - 19:2793023
Quote Ice-climber:

Where would be the best place to the dowling? In the centre of it all? Also would just be one long piece? or would I have to have use other pieces in different places?


You would put the dowel down the middle for the length of the sword to give it support. You basically have your dowel/carbon rod/fibreglass rod down the middle of the sword and then surround it with foam to make it safe.

This is a good tutorial for making a sword. He uses latex and plastizote but the same can be applied to EVA(craft) foam and PVA.


24 Oct 2012 - 15:1793055
The wooden dowling will need to run from the centre of your handle to near the tip of the sword - take a look at your sword design, draw a straight line up the middle of the hilt and up through the blade. Also only one piece - if its in fragments it won't give enough support.

Also, in reply to fabric stiffener - foams (craft, EVA, plastazote etc) that people recommend for props are forms of plastics or rubbers, not textiles. While porous to a degree (which is why you need to seal them with things like PVA or latex, else the paint never really dries/sticks to the surface properly), they don't really have the strands of porous fibres that allow liquid fabric stiffeners to work.


08 Nov 2012 - 12:3993646
Well, I've made a new one and it's going well. Looking alot better than before and is more stable too. Just one thing I need to do now and tat's make the Sheath. I'm not quite sure how to do it.

This is only picture I really have of it:
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d40/konoha_ice_climber/SwordArtOnline-07-Large38.jpg

Any ideas?


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09 Nov 2012 - 13:5593681
A few - it depends how much effort you're wanting to put into it though! Options range from a cardboard tube, to creating a fitted one using foam and fabric or leather or cardboard.

Unlike a real sheath/scabbard, it needs to have more space around the blade to 1. stop it from getting stuck and 2. not ruin the prop. Ones i'd consider personally are below, even though i'm sure there are better methods.

First option if you don't want to use a tube is to cut 2 flat sheets of whatever material and then flex them to get an eye shape. so it goes from something like || to something like (). Biggest problem with this method is getting it to stay that shape, but its doable. Good one for cardboard.

Second option is to lay your sword on whatever material you're wanting to use, draw around the blade, add around 1-1.5cm to each side. Cut 2 copies of this, lay aside. Then you need to cut "spacer" pieces to hold your 2 pieces apart enough the sword will fit between them - on gluing all together you should end up with something like the horrible line-art below.

--------------------
--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx--
--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx--
--------------------

Problems with this method - can be fiddly and you end up with a more square/rectangular sheath. You can disguise that in a few ways - if you've made the side fillers thick enough you can 'in theory' sand/cut material away. Roughly like below. Or you can try building on top of it to diguise its shape, but that will make it bulkier - also awkward with such a plain scabbard.

------------- ---------
---xxxxxxx--- to ---xxxxxxx---
---xxxxxxx--- ---xxxxxxx---
------------- ---------

Hope that helps give some ideas at least!

Ps. One other thing to note is its only attached to the harness at the top where those 2 silver bands/lines are - thats to allow it to actually be drawn in a non ridiculous way!

Edit - bah the forums broke my text art XD You may still get the idea though.



Last edited by Junta (09 Nov 2012 - 13:57)
09 Nov 2012 - 19:2193685
Quote Junta:
A few - it depends how much effort you're wanting to put into it though! Options range from a cardboard tube, to creating a fitted one using foam and fabric or leather or cardboard.

Unlike a real sheath/scabbard, it needs to have more space around the blade to 1. stop it from getting stuck and 2. not ruin the prop. Ones i'd consider personally are below, even though i'm sure there are better methods.

First option if you don't want to use a tube is to cut 2 flat sheets of whatever material and then flex them to get an eye shape. so it goes from something like || to something like (). Biggest problem with this method is getting it to stay that shape, but its doable. Good one for cardboard.

Second option is to lay your sword on whatever material you're wanting to use, draw around the blade, add around 1-1.5cm to each side. Cut 2 copies of this, lay aside. Then you need to cut "spacer" pieces to hold your 2 pieces apart enough the sword will fit between them - on gluing all together you should end up with something like the horrible line-art below.

--------------------
--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx--
--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx--
--------------------
Problems with this method - can be fiddly and you end up with a more square/rectangular sheath. You can disguise that in a few ways - if you've made the side fillers thick enough you can 'in theory' sand/cut material away. Roughly like below. Or you can try building on top of it to diguise its shape, but that will make it bulkier - also awkward with such a plain scabbard.

-------------               ---------
---xxxxxxx---     to      ---xxxxxxx---
---xxxxxxx---             ---xxxxxxx---
-------------               ---------

Hope that helps give some ideas at least!

Ps. One other thing to note is its only attached to the harness at the top where those 2 silver bands/lines are - thats to allow it to actually be drawn in a non ridiculous way!


Let there be text art



Last edited by Kata-san (09 Nov 2012 - 19:23)
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