Category Archives: Poplar

Poplar is probably my favorite crafting wood. It’s not dreadfully expensive, easy to find at local hardware stores (mine anyway), comes in numerous grades for general or crafting purposes, and is also light weight enough and soft enough to easily carve or work with hand tools, and also to grind away on a belt sander (unlike oak, which can wear out cheap general purpose belts quickly). Poplar is less brittle than pine, and has a softer texture (might also be my sandpaper) and more pleasant smell as well.

Seashell Sword – The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

With Halloween and Nekocon coming up in a month, I’ve been working on finishing up my Link’s Awakening costume and props. For those not familiar with Link’s Awakening, the Seashell Sword is a replacement for the regular sword that you start the game with. It’s essentially the equivalent of the Master Sword in most of the other Legend of Zelda games, and also bears a resemblance to them, as shown in this image from the Link’s Awakening concept art:

Ultimate_SwordAnd here are work in progress photos of my prop:

My vertical cutout tool is intended for flat mounted things, such as drywall sheets, but I managed to roughly cut the hilt pieces with it out of 1/4" thick particle board.
My vertical cutout tool is intended for flat mounted things, such as drywall sheets, but I managed to roughly cut the hilt pieces with it out of 1/4″ thick particle board.
After fusing the hilt pieces together and doing some touch-up work with the a "Dremel" rotary tool, I prepared the detail work from foam and wood scraps.
After fusing the hilt pieces together and doing some touch-up work with the a “Dremel” rotary tool, I prepared the detail work from foam and wood scraps.
The details were attached with hot glue, after which, I coated the entire sword in 2 layers of white glue. For swords that aren't supposed to have a rough-dirty texture, I would leave the glue off of the blade. In this case, while the game calls the Seashell Sword a "new" sword, the official art makes it look roughed up and I chose to follow the reference art.
The details were attached with hot glue, after which, I coated the entire sword in 2 layers of white glue. For swords that aren’t supposed to have a rough-dirty texture, I would leave the glue off of the blade. In this case, while the game calls the Seashell Sword a “new” sword, the official art makes it look roughed up and I chose to follow the reference art.
After the white glue coats had fully set, I used Silver and Gold Rust-oleum Metalic Finish as a base coat. This paint is highly reflective, so works especially well for giving a metal appearance. There are other paints I have used before, but most give a glitter-like shine rather than a mirror-like one.
After the white glue coats had fully set, I used Silver and Gold Rust-oleum Metalic Finish as a base coat. This paint is highly reflective, so works especially well for giving a metal appearance. There are other paints I have used before, but most give a glitter-like shine rather than a mirror-like one.
Once the gold and silver reflective coats had set overnight, I brushed on a few messy layers of watered down dark-gray acrylic (mixed colors). With a damp paper towel, I scrubbed away this "tarnish" from the most exposed surfaces while it was still half-dried. This made the sword look weathered. I left the majority of the tarnish on the handle, while only scattered faint flecks appear on the blade (since I wanted it to shine more). I then polished the cutting edges of the blade by repeating the process a few times to remove any remaining paint. This left a clean silvery edge, with a lightly tinted and spotty center to the blade.
Once the gold and silver reflective coats had set overnight, I brushed on a few messy layers of watered down dark-gray acrylic (mixed colors). With a damp paper towel, I scrubbed away this “tarnish” from the most exposed surfaces while it was still half-dried. This made the sword look weathered. I left the majority of the tarnish on the handle, while only scattered faint flecks appear on the blade (since I wanted it to shine more). I then polished the cutting edges of the blade by repeating the process a few times to remove any remaining paint. This left a clean silvery edge, with a lightly tinted and spotty center to the blade.
Here is the finished paint job, pending the blue gems for the pommel.
Here is the finished paint job, pending the blue gems for the pommel.

Dwarven Greatsword

While I am not crazy about the Dwarven Armor, or the design of the axe or mace from the same collection, the various Dwarven swords are my favorite weapons from The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. Also, being generally polygonal in their detail work, and overall symmetrical, this seemed like a project that would go well. Continue reading Dwarven Greatsword