Friday, June 29, 2012

Connor's Tomahawk (build 2.0 ) - Assassin's Creed III

So, a good while back, I made a replica tomahawk from AC3, and though I was pretty happy with it, I wound up building it before the official announcement came out, and based it on a couple leaked images.
I really wanted to tackle it again

If interested in the old build. I blogged it up a while back
Fevereon Props: Ratohnhaké:ton / Connor's Tomahawk - Assassin's Creed III

Though I burned out the first one really fast to hopefully appease the inner fangirl between other work on the table (i think it was around about 15 hours or so, 8 of them due to hellacious beading), I wanted to sit down and put a bit more time into this remake, resize it correctly (the other one was too big for a traditional tomahawk) , and well as try out a different approach to the build

On to the wips! Please note that on these, you might see a couple different woods on the handle.. that was because I initially planned on just remaking one for myself, but then changed it up because I later decided to mold it. The technique is the same though,

Of course, first things first! I did the layout using Inkscape, and was much more picky about the shape of the handle. (The first one I pretty much banged out of an old stick of birch using a surform rasp in about a half hour) After doing the layout, and transferring it to the wood, I cut it out, and used the belt sander to shape it to the outline. I followed that up with rasps and files to achieve the desired rounded shape. I took into consideration the fact that the handle would be wrapped, so that area was shaped a little smaller than I normally would have. The diamonds were sketched on as well.

The axe end (bottom left end) was shaved down more since the photo was taken

Once deciding on molding this, I wound up remaking the handle using poplar (softer & faster to shape), then woodburned a woodgrain texture into it to make the wood look more like wood once casting took place (or else it would look like a plain ol' stick)

The diamonds were done in the same fashion, please excuse the shift back to the red oak stick, its the only photo I have of the diamonds.

I had initially started to make the blade out of mdf again, and did the spike on the back first. I later cut this off and used it on the final piece.

The rest of the head, I tried out a different approach. Since I have the laser cutter, I thought I'd try cutting the shape out (here I used acrylic). I used the contour of the acrylic to help with alignment and symmetry, sculpted one side out of Super Sculpey, and used a heat gun to cure it (to cut down on warpage that would result should i toss that hunk of acrylic in the oven. though some details I waspicky about when sculpting, I roughed out others since I'd be sandign it down evenly anyways.

The box was used to help circulate the hot air around the piece for a more even bake (it worked!)

When it was hard enough to sand, I got to filing and sanding the half, down to 1000 grit sandpaper. I decided to keep the head fairly thick to keep it sturdy, obviously convention safe, and in case I wanted to try molding this thing on foam as a larp prop. It was designed so you won't notice unless you look at it edge on.

A groove was cut into the poplar, and the head was slotted in. The pointed end was cut off, ad was replaced by the mdf one, since I thought it turned out well, and there as no point in remaking that AGAIN.. lots of bondo and sanding took place to make the sleeve (?). With more references, I thought I'd try the more angular approach, though I'm not sure if it was designed to be angular, or if it was due to games' polycount

(oop. just double checked, looks like deliberate design choice)

Though many spray paints eat Super sculpey over a shrt period of time, I've found that rustoleum's stainless steel pro paint doesn't, and also dries quickly, and can sand smooth without clogging up sandpaper. (also, tests with 0000 steel wool and buffing with a tshirt can produce really sexy results)

Molding time! The last thing i molded (an ac1 short knife) leaked something godawful, so I tried out instead of just little locking channels and some keys, to put a groove around the whole danged thing. Non sulfur based clay, rebound 25, etclalalala. Also boxed it up with some of the tons of convention flyers that i used to horde after events were over to use to mix bondo and epoxies

(the little bit at the bottom is a sculpt for Connor's buttons, decided that he's on the eventual cosplay list)

unclaying the first half. Yay! looks good so far!

The other half was molded in Mold Max 30, cuz i ran out of rebound. The shrinkage is very slightly different (the molds wound up shrinking maybe about 1 mm more on the mold max half), but the grooves that were put in to align the halves make the difference between shrinkage rates inconsequential

poured the first half, then once it set enough, I tacked some metal reinforcements down with crazy glue

close er' up, pour, demold, yay! (also hella happy that i had added that "lip" in addition to the keys and grooves)

demolding was fine, very little flashing to deal with, everything aligned right, good to go!. There's a bubble on one side though (oops!), so just plucked it off after demolding.

did some refining sanding where needed, and theres a lil' undercut that i was able to easily putty up. (this image was one of the earlier tests that needed a lil more work)

The handle was done by making a glove mold in a mailing tube that i cut in half (many dirty jokes were made during the molding process lol), and coated with packing tape on the inside. After demolding and pulling a cast (the mold is slid back into the tube and rubber banded to maintain alignment) , it too barely has seams to deal with. When casting it, I held a metal rod in until it set to reinforce the handle and provide a means of sturdily attaching the handle Here's photo of one after doing a test spray

I didn't document the painting process this time around, so I'm just copying and pasting the painting part of the previous build. The main difference is that I had gone back afterwards and drybrushed the blade to give it a more weathered and worn feel, and of course, the head was shaped differently!

After masking the handle, I laid down a couple coats of Krylon Satin black.

When it was reasonably dry, but not FULLY dry (a quick tap with a finger doesn't stick), I rubbed aluminum metallic powder onto the surface to give it a more worn metal look. I've been using powders from

After going through tons of different clear sealers, looking for one that doesn't completely dull out silver (or turn it grey), I found Testors Metallizer sealer (item 1459) actually works, with minimal dulling. Its a pain to get though, comes in tiny bottles, and isn't cheap around me unfortunately. I *do* like it though. An alternative is future floor polish.

The handle was wrapped in deerskin, leather straps, beads and cording at the base of the handle was done, and lots of drybrushing was done to weather the piece.

I also thought it would be neat to gouge the head up a little bit as well (this was done before painting though)
Here's the finished project!  (sorry for the poor quality photos, good camera went AWOL :\ )

Looking forward to the rest of the costume


Uki Asato said...


Clockwork said...

Wow, really awesome :D!

The Rambler said...

This is awesome. I'm similarly fascinated by all things Assassin's Creed, though I have not attempted to make any of the costumes or props... yet. Do you think you'll ever do any of the other weapons from the series?

Dorian Mouchague said...

You are a true fan apparently saw your tattoo and the beauty of your work.
Good work :)

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