We’re back with another workshop by the might Paul Benson! Paul brings his technique in creating custom swords for all your 1/6 army.
How to make a 1/6 sword
What you will need:
You will need a sheet of 2 mm and 1 mm styrene sheet, masking tape, scalpel, sharp scissors, nail file, sand paper (various grades) and/or nail files, cyanoacrylate (commonly sold as Super Glue or Krazy Glue), Dremel with tool kit (optional), matt black paint and metallic paint (preferably as spray paints), acrylic paints of various colours (depending on the colour of the handle tape [see below]).
I am writing this up, in the hope it might be useful to folks. I am no expert on swords so please excuse any little inaccuracies that are due to my lack of ‘sword knowledge’ or being unable to scale details down to 1/6 scale.
Nothing new under the sun here, but as a little set of techniques that could be used to make a whole variety of things e.g. knives, axes, tools etc. Wrote them up as a set of stages to follow through.
As a starting point find a suitable picture online, using an image search. I chose to make a Japanese Katana. From the found image find out the actual size 1:1, which you can get from the website who are using the picture.
Copy and paste the picture and then crop and resize to 1/6 scale using Photoshop or another photo editing programme. If you don’t have Photoshop or something similar, you can do this by trial and error, printing out and then measuring the length of printed sword and then resizing.
Print the sword picture onto card and cut out to use as a template.
Draw around the template onto 2 mm thick styrene sheet. Cut out the sword outline with sharp scissors or a fine modellers saw. After cutting out the sword blank it may need to be flattened slightly as the cutting process can distort the plastic. This can easily be remedied by immersing the sword in boiling water or use a hair dryer and hold flat whilst it cools.
To create the cutting edge for the sword blade use any or a combination of scalpel, nail file, Dremel and various grades of sandpaper. Start off by removing the square edges. A scalpel can be used at to shave off the plastic to make the cutting edge. Final corrections can be done with coarse and then finer grade sandpaper. Depending which figure you are making the sword for you may need to thicken the sword handle. That is certainly the case for example for ThreeA Tomorrow Kings and Queens. This can be done very easily by adding further strips of plastic card glued to either side of the handle.
The guard can be made by drawing a small suitably sized oval onto 1 mm styrene sheet, cut out with scissors. A slot then needs to be carefully cut out with a scalpel the same width and thickness as the blade next to the handle. Slide this onto the sword and glue in place with super glue. The blade collar is just masking tape cut into a 4 mm strip and wound round the blade. Once on the sword to keep the tape in place and to harden it, ‘paint’ it with super glue. Some super glue containers come with a brush in, very handy.
The handle was also wrapped around with a 4 mm masking tape strip gradually wound down the length of handle. Japanese swords, of course have a tape wound round the handle in a particular way. I have done the winding in the simplest way possible! To get the 4 mm strip, if you have one of those green soft artist cutting boards, the tape can be run along a line on the board. Mark off 4 mm along the tape and use a ruler and sharp scalpel to cut a strip around 40 cm long. When done, again it was painted over with super glue.
To paint the sword it was first sprayed with matt black using Humbrol acrylic aerosol paint (enamel paint would be fine). As the sword was light it was held in place on a piece of waste board whilst being sprayed with a small blob of Blue Tack. When one side was dry, the sword was turned over and the other side sprayed. The blade was sprayed with Humbrol acrylic polished steel metalcote. After the paint had dried and been allowed to harden for a few hours it was rubbed with a soft cloth to give the ‘polished steel’ finish. The sword can of course be sprayed with another suitable metallic paint. The handle was lightly dry brushed with a dark brown, mid brown and then a light brown. What colour you use for the tape is of course up you. The guard was dry brushed with silver on it edge.
Being the ninny that I am, I forgot to photograph this sword before I sent it off to someone! The pictures below are of several swords I have made. The sheath shown was made from styrene tube carefully and evenly squashed with pliers to make an oval cross section. The tube was cushioned with a cloth to stop the pliers marking the styrene. I drew round the ends of the tube onto 1 mm styrene sheet and cut out the ovals with sharp scissors. With one of the ovals a rectangular slot was cut out with a sharp scalpel slightly larger than width and thickness of the sword blade collar.
So that’s it! Again, this can be applied to a wide arrange of melee weapons. Trial and error is part of the fun! Thank you for reading and see you next time!
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Until next time!