Today you’re going to learn from my main man Paul Benson how to fashion a made from scratch machete for your wee plastic army. Break out your tiny tools and follow along!
THAT’S NOT A KNIFE, THIS IS A KNIFE.
Missed out on the ThreeA Jungler Ranger Grunt and then regretted having done so ever since, so I have kitbashed my own. Although the camouflaged kit I have used tends to suggest temperature forest rather than tropical jungle. I thought he still needed a machete to aid movement through heavy vegetation, ground clearance, cutting wood for fires etc.
The design I went for is similar in design and size to the British Army Bushcraft machete.
The materials I used were 3mm sheet balsa, 1mm sheet styrene and 3mm Grosgrain and linen cloth. The paints were a Humbrol acrylic aerosol spray, Games Workshop acrylic paints and a MIG weathering powder.
To make the machete the outline was drawn on a piece of sheet balsa and cut out with a sharp scalpel. It was then shaped with a scalpel and then with sandpaper. An edge to the blade was made with fine emery paper. The blade was then painted with super glue to harden the surface several times. Sand it down again to get a very smooth surface. The hand end of the machete was then used as a stencil to draw two grips onto 1mm styrene sheet. Cut them out and glue in place. “Screw” holes were drilled with a scalpel blade. To give the impression of wood grain I scratched the styrene handles with a scalpel blade point.
To make a sheath of the correct shape and size, I used the machete as a stencil to draw out the form on styrene sheet. The shape was then cut out with scissors. I’d never suggest that I’m very good at sewing. Buttons tend to be my limit. So assembly of the sheath was not done with finely sewn lines, I used super glue!! Use what you’re comfortable with.
The first step was to cover the styrene shape I had made. The fine linen material I used was wrapped round completely with a slight overlap and then cut. A few dabs of glue here to hold it fast. Where straight lines were needed, the linen was painted with super glue which hardened it and made it very easy to cut clean. Games Workshop super glue is superb for this job, as the pot it is in comes with a small brush. The back of the sheath won’t be very neat, but no one should see it anyway. A second piece of linen was used as the front of the sheath and again glued around the back as neatly as possible. To create an edge to the sheath where the machete would go in, the linen was folded over and glued inside. The top part of the sheath was painted with super glue and cut neatly. A short loop of Grosgrain was looped through one half of a 1/6 side release and glued behind. At this point you can clean it up by cutting any loose threads.
The webbing body strap was 3mm Grosgrain cut generously (it would be cut to the correct length later once on the figure) and looped through the other half of the side release. The sheath could just have easily been attached to the loop webbing on the figure.
The machete was then sprayed with Humbrol matt black acrylic aerosol paint. When dry the blade was dry brushed with Games Workshop boltgun metal acrylic paint. Unfortunately I was too vigorous and knocked of a little of the blade at the end. The handle was painted with GW scorched brown and when dry further dry brushed with scorched brown mixed GW skull white. The webbing strap and sheath were painted with GW catachan green acrylic paint mixed with a little GW chaos black. It was then dry brushed with catachan green mixed with skull white. To highlight the weave on the webbing and sheath, they were both finally dry brushed very lightly with skull white by itself. To dirty up the sheath dry mud MIG weathering powder was mixed with a little GW skull white and dabbed onto the sheath, this would match what I had done to the clothing of the kitbashed grunt I had made the machete for. To add a little bit of rust to the machete I used GW dark flesh lightly dabbed on with a small piece of natural sponge. The technique is all about trial and error, for example I dabbed the piece of sponge (around 4cm by 4cm cut from a bigger sponge) into the paint and then dabbed it onto paper. When I got a random pattern of small randomly shaped marks I was happy with, I applied the sponge to machete blade. Where I need more marks I rotated the sponge and dabbed again. I did the same technique on the sheath to add a little visual interest, although rust from the machete blade may well have got onto the sheath anyway.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Workshop. Thanks Paul putting together for us. Now get out there and customize something!
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