Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mastersword and Hylian Shield

Mastersword, Hylian shield, and Sheath

As usual, we'll start by finding reference images before we do anything so we can see all the details we'll need to add. Fan-art and other replicas are alright, concept art is good, in-game models are better, and hi-res models are best. I've chosen to go off of the Super Smash Bros model screenshots, and the twilight princess sword and shield concept art, so we get the first and final visions. Most of the details are the same, and any differing details aren't worth noting. 

This concept art is the best reference material I could find showing the back of the shield as well as the whole sheath and multiple angles of the sword.



I used the concept art to measure and sketch the outlines onto the wood I'll be using which is pine for the shield and sheath, and poplar for the sword. I use ratio math to plot points to scale from the picture to the wood.

Drawing additional details is a good double-checker for your measurements. I know that the wings on the sword weren't symmetrical until I drew the details and it didn't look right. 


Cut out the Outlines

From here I'm going to split up the process for each piece: sword, sheath, and shield.



I started by adding additional layers to the handle section by tracing, cutting, and gluing it together. The base layer is 3/4 inch poplar wood. I cut out one copy of the handle section and cut that in half from the side with a bandsaw, creating two 3/8 inch copies. I could have also cut out two 3/8 inch copies, but I didn't have that size wood and didn't feel like driving 20 minutes to get it.

Angled the blade first with the beltsander using high grit paper

Carving begins one side at a time, and rounding of the handle.

Both sides shaped, but they still need to be sanded and smoothed out.

First coat of filler primer

More sanding and another coat of primer, this time black to see the layers a bit better. I also like the way props look so sleek in black.

Spot putty is useful for pinholes and surface imperfections. I had to do this a few times with a round or primer after each until I got it right. The first times there were lopsided areas and little imperfections that I couldn't see if they were fixed until after priming.

Next, I put on the black gloss, which is supposed to help with bonding the paint onto surfaces, make it look smoother for the chrome paint.

Then I taped off and painted the silver.

And then taped off and painted the gold detail.

I taped off and sprayed the blue on the handle the same way, and wrapped leather strips around the handle (Shown at the end).



Here's a picture of the sword in comparison to the sheath. I don't actually have a before picture for the sheath besides this heh.

Here's the inside of the sheath. I used an angle grinder for the heavy duty removal and sandpaper+block to smooth it out so it doesn't scratch the paint of the sword. . 

The closest section to the mouth of the sheath needed to be deeper and wider in order for the sword to fit, so I glued a block of wood onto it. bleh

The full sheath so far.

Next, I need to think about the details on the OUTside of the sheath. The shaded areas will be covered in leather, and the unshaded areas will be raised up with bondo and smoothed out.

The first couple coats of bondo are the grip coats, so I try to just keep it in the lines before I build it up. I tried sticking tape down around the designs so the bondo doesn't get on the wood and then pulling up the tape while the bondo is soft but not quite set. It worked, but it left the edges pulled up and rough, so I just decided to keep putting it down with craft sticks.

Then I built up the bondo and unfortunately, bondo has a way of sticking to things you don't want it to like the craft sticks which made it look kinda of messy.

To correct this I just had to flatten the designs to the desired thickness and apply bondo to fill in gaps left by air pockets and things. 

After a lot of smoothing, I was finished with the details.

Next, I cut and fit the leather to the sheath, an dyed it with Eco-Flo's evening blue dye (Shown at the end).



The most difficult part of making the shield was how much to curve the front of the shield and how thick to make it all in all.

I started off with 3 layers of pine 3/4 inch and 2 layers of 1/8 inch mdf, resulting in 2.75 inch thickness. The reason for the thin mdf was to add the design on the back, but I decided in the long run to only have one layer of mdf for the design.

Here you can see the two halves of the shield to be carved separately. The front half 1.5 inches thick, and the back half 1 inch thick (before deciding on just one layer of mdf). 

The front half was done first since it had the most detail and was the most likely to change the outline. I beveled the outer edge first, then started rounding the middle of the shield by lowering the inside of the detail lines.

 I had to add some bondo to make the curve pop out a little bit.

Next, I started to make the front decorations separately by laying down a sheet of wax paper and sculpting bondo on top to get close to the same curve as the shield. Once they cured, I was able to build up and shape them.

Here's the two top decorative pieces finished and the start of the triforce.

A layer of primer for a seal, and I bonded the top  decorations onto the shield to finish sanding. I still needed to finish the bottom pieces and bond them on.

I had to make the handle and the arm strap holders next.

I took some poplar and cut it square and to the length of the handle (~7") and the distance from the shield (2.5") to leave room for the hand. In order to ensure the handle would be strong enough to hold up the shield, I had to use some jointing. I cut the ends at 45 degree angles and drilled a hole from the front of the handle for a dowel.

I found some bolts at home depot to hold the front and back halves of the shield together that look pretty close to the art. The only difference is with the nut, which I will make a cover for.

I primed the shield with a black sandable primer in case there were bumps.

I applied the black gloss basecoat like I did with the sword for smoothing and bonding the paint. You can also see the hylian crest stencil.

Taped off.

Blue acrylic paint sprayed on. I don't have pictures, but after this I removed the stencil and placed the negative over where it was to spray the red on.

Acrylic gloss sprayed on. Acrylic has very little interaction when sprayed over other types of paint, and since I'm using acrylic and enamel paint, I used acrylic gloss.

Taped off for the silver.

Silver paint on.

Here is what it looked like without the tape. The only thing left to do on the front was to spray yellow anodized paint from Duplicolor Metalcast series over the triforce, and paint the triangle in the center blue.

Finally, I painted the back of the shield a hammered texture.


Finished Pics!

Thanks to my brother-in-law for posing!