Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Labor Day Spoils: Building a Moonfire Sword

I've had a fondness of exotic weaponry. Drakengard will always have a place in my "Stuff to Build" pile due to the wonderful assortment of weapons and great lore behind them. One of the long swords I liked, appearance-wise, is the Moonfire.

The Moonfire sword, according to Drakengard's weapon history, is a granite blade that burns hot except to those under the protection of the moon god. My Moonfire is a sword made of a $0.76 bendy plastic ruler I bought at a local drugstore and some X-Men TCG cards that burn if you take a lighter to it. Not quite as exciting, but when you're building on a budget, it's acceptable.
This sword had the main goal of a translucent blade. Painting a sword red is pretty easy. I could have done that and been done in a few hours. I wanted something that was a bit different than the other bladed weapons I've built. I needed a blade approximately 20cm long for the Moonfire, so that limits a lot of raw material sources.

The above image shows stages of the Moonfire's construction. The first stage involves cutting out the materials and preparing them to be structurally sound. I've made cutouts using leftover 6-ply X-Men cards from the Devilscale for the guard. A notch was added for the bamboo stick grip and the blade. The blade itself was cut from a Penway "Megaflex" ruler. I remember the days when school supplies were solid plastic objects that splintered when you tried to slash at someone in school with them. The good old days of consumer safety. As a side effect, I have a really limp blade to work with at the moment. More on that in a bit.

I've hidden the notches with two layers of card on each side, then added two more to define some details in the guard. The third image shows the primed guard with the raised details. I created those details using a sheet of 110lb cardstock and cutting out the lowered parts. The thickness of the paper was sufficient in making the details stand out. The bottom image shows the details painted. I first painted the black details first, leaving the raised parts unpainted. What I should have done was paint the entire thing black first. Gold paint isn't good if it's thinned, and in some cases, the enamel paint thins as you use it, leaving light spots that show a bit of primer. If I had painted everything black first, then gone over it in gold, the gold would have stuck better to the layer underneath. I'd also know quickly which spots were underpainted. Oh well. Lesson learned.

So far, I've barely made use of my four month investment building Aelia. For all that work that went into building her, she's been photgraphed less than the minigun. I figured what better way to make a sword interesting than an armored girl using the sword. I'm experimenting (or better yet, just now bothering) with enhancing the photos I take, since I'm not going to wait until the weekend where there's better natural sunlight to take photos. They look a lot different than my usual darkened desk photos. Anyways, some opportunity to use Aelia in some photos!

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