Holy crap it's been a while! I've been so busy as of late that I keep getting distracted and forget to do these write-ups! Well, here at the beginning of a new month, I have a couple for ya. Stay tuned for the other one!
So as you all know from previous posts, after showing my prop stuff to a good friend of mine, he suggested I make a replica of the Tomahawk from AC3 for the midnight release. They would offer it as a giveaway, and tout me as a sponsor of the event. I totally agreed! This was a boatload of fun (what isn't lately? ;) ), and I even made extra that got sold at the local convention!
So here we go.
Now, I wanna say right up front that this isn't an exact replica. The one in the game was curved, but I've always preferred the straight-handled tomahawks, so I went with that. Also, mine's bigger. Pretty much everything else is the same though. I started with generic wooden planks from Lowes:
...which I rounded with my router. Pictured are 3 poplar boards and 1 red oak (for me!). Did I mention I hate the smell of cutting red oak? It has such pretty grain though.... Anyway, I pretty much free handed the blade pattern, though I did use straight edges and things to make sure everything was even.
I also did the smart thing by remembering to trace it out onto the next one before shaping/detailing, which would have been a lot harder.
Now, since I didn't have a sander of some kind, I first tried to do some of the shaping with the table router, to take it down enough to use the dremel. After starting that, however, I decided to take the plunge.
Pictured here is precisely how far I got when I made that decision, since my dremel was literally trying to kill me at this point. So I got me one of those 1" wide belt sanders (typically used for sharpening knives lol) and tried again!
Much better with the sander. Still did the bottom part of the symbol with the dremel, and a little bit of rounding on the inner blade section, but other than that this is what I ended up at. I also used the sander to thin/angle the rear spike.
After the blade sections were done, I got to work on the attachment section. I wanted to make a mold of this, but cost wise and all it was looking quite a bit overbudget, so I stuck with making it all at once.
I wasn't sure how I was going to shape this before I got the sander, but after I did not only did it make it faster, but the angle of its table was just perfect at its lowest so I didn't have to worry about that. Made life lots easier. As you can see above, I glued the thinner pieces, then glued the wider ones after. Then I sanded down the angled sides, then etched the inset with the sander to give it a raised edge. This turned out even better than I had hoped!
And then, as I went to attach the blade, all my hopes were dashed:
Kind of hard to see, but there's a crack there at the top of the picture where the blade broke. Wasn't too happy there, but it was clean enough that I was able to reglue it (yay for Titebond 3 again!). I patched it up a tiny bit with wood putty, then set about gluing.
This part was kind of tricky, since I didn't want to risk another break with clamping it down. Had to rely on gravity here. I also should have put a dowel or something in there, but my experience so far with the Titebond 3 is that the wood will break long before the glue does. Also, as you can see in the second picture, I used more wood putty to fill the openings left by the outer bits and formed the inside triangle with more. It has the consistency of sculpting clay, mixes in two parts, and dries hard as a rock in 8 hours. We use it at work to patch missing corners and such on student violins, since it can stain as well. Ridiculously useful.
Next came using the burning tool for what it's supposed to be for:
Then wrapping, and paint! I used white primer (couldn't find black, which I would have preferred, but white worked great), then Velspar Metallic Silver, three solid coats each.
I also used thumbtacks, though the first bunch I found were gold so I had to paint those too. After this I stained the wood, which really makes the grain pop.
"Pop" is relative, of course, since this is generic pine which doesn't have a lot of grain. I wasn't worried though, since a lot of it will be covered by leather wrapping. And I had planned ahead, so the part that *will* be showing has the most grain. ;)
So I don't have any progress shots between here and the end product, but as there isn't much else to show it's not that big of a deal. I did try out a different method of weathering, however, which I totally stole I mean borrowed from Harrison Krix, at Volpin Props. Here's a time lapse vid of the process, which he showcased of his M8 rifle.
In a nutshell, I dabbed on a bunch of black acrylic paint, let it dry for a little bit, then wiped off the excess. I went faster than he did, since he let it dry halfway then wiped off a bunch, whereas I let it dry for a few seconds then rubbed off most of it. I wanted to keep the shine of the metal, with tarnished areas here and there and a bit more in the crack around the blade tip so you could see the design a little better.
I also found a great length of fabric at JoAnns, which looks exactly like deerskin but is a fabric. Cheaper, and I got a whole yard which has lasted foooreeeeeeeever. Good call. Michaels had the thin leather strips, beads, and a pack of feathers, which made up the rest of it.
Now the finished product:
I glued as little as I could to keep it as authentic to true wrapping as possible, though I superglued some small bits to make sure it didn't start unraveling any time soon. Hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed making it! :D