Mi first real challenge when I started on Cosplay was to make the Vorpal Blade from Alice: Madness Returns videogame, which is why I want to share the whole process with you and the entire materials you’ll need to make it (if you are already familiarized with what you need you may jump ahead to the process):
- EVA foam: This material is very useful when it comes to creating props, although it has its advantages and disadvantages, among the advantages is that it is an economic material compared to other materials, however, what you can not be used again (unless you have the exact size on the leftovers for your next project) and creates a lot of garbage. You can buy EVA foam for around $16 dollars (4 pieces) in department stores, commonly as a mat that is used for exercise as shown in the image:
- Vorpal Blade Blueprints: You can work on your own but here’s the one I created, I will recommend to print out at least 4 copies in case you make a mistake you can always go back.
- Rotatory Tool: This is the tool that will allow you to detail the entire prop, with this tool you can remove excess foam and shape the entire weapon. Its cost varies between $ 20 – $ 30 dollars depending on its brand and you can buy it in stores where they have construction materials.
- Contact Cement: This glue will be your best friend, it will help you to stick the EVA foam without problems. Its cost is around $ 5 dollars and you can find it in stores where they have construction materials.
- Plastic Dip: This is going to be super useful when it comes to prime your prop, you can also find this on your local construction store or even your local paint store. It is a Multi’Purpose Rubber coating that will protect your prop and make the paint stick on the EVA Foam, for more information visit: http://www.plastidipmx.com/Default.aspx
- Lollipop Sticks: Yes you read correctly! We’ll need simple lollipop sticks for this prop, EVA Foam is not very firm and since we’re building a big knife we need stability and for that we’ll use some of these.
- Hot Glue Gun: As you’ll probably already know a Hot glue gun is one of the most useful tools as a cosplayer, you may buy brand from many craft store locally.
- Mask: Health and security is always important, you’ll be sanding a lot therefore a lot of particles will be on the air and to protect yourself you’ll need a mask, you may get any N95 mask.
- Black and white spray paint
- Gold Rub’n buff: This paint will be used for the handle details, you can easily rub the color on it that will give it a great antique gold finish, you can get it around $9 – $13 dollars on a craft store.
- Heating Gun: Before spraying Plastic Dip or primer to the EVA Foam you’ll need to seal it and for that you will use a Heating Gun, is basically like a giant hair dryer, the price for these tools are around $15 – $25 dollars depending on the brand or quality.
- Craft Knife: Is easy to get one of these and just like the hot glue gun, this will be a necessary tool for your creations in the future. They’re very cheap.
- X-acto Knife: A cutting tool, we’ll use this for many small-scale precision details on the blade.
If you have any question or one of the steps are not clear please do not hesitate to let me know on the comments.
- Cut both the blade and handle from the blueprints you printed out already.
- Carefully using the crafting knife cut out the pattern using the blueprints on the EVA Foam of the handle, we’ll need 2 pieces of each one.
- Repeat step number 2 for the blade, we’ll need 3 pieces since we’ll glue them together to give it thickness.
- (Please put on your mask before you start to sand) Since we’re going to glue them together we need both sides smooth, if you got the proper EVA foam you could skip this step; however, if your EVA foam have texture, we’ll need to sand it using the rotating tool. (Be patience this will take time)
- Before we glue them togther we need to make the blade regit and for this we’ll need the lalipop sticks, carefully using the cutting knife cut a small portion where those lalipops sticks will fit, once you cut it out you might need to sand it a bit with the rotating tool.
- Using another lalipop stick start adding the contact cement to one of the lalipop stick and the small holes we made on the EVA foam, leave it dry for 15 minutes before putting them on.
- Wait until it’s completatly dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Now, we’re ready to glue both blades together, using one of the reminding lalipop sticks smear the contact cement on each side that you’re going to glue togeter, you should get something like this:
- Follow the same process to glue the other 3 EVA foams we cutted earlier for the blade’s handle.
- Glue the handle and blade together with the same contact cement procedure we just followed with the blade. Your end result should be like this:
- Wait until is completaly dry.
- The time has come to sand this blade, as you were able to tell from the previous step it doesn’t look much like a blade, therefore we need to sand both the handle and blade to give it detail to our prop. Don’t forget to wear your mask and be patience with this process because it will take some time, also be careful not to sand too much since there’s no way to go back, so take your time on this one. You should get something like this:
- Now is time for some details! Using the x-actio knife we’ll need to carve the details you printed, to do this simply cut the shape and tape it on top of the blade, cut through the paper to cut out and carve the blade with all the details, just follow the pattern on top.
- Repeat the same process on the other side of the blade to get the details on both sides of your blade.
- Seal the foam and details you just made on your blade with the hot air gun, just be careful not to leave it in one particular place or you might burn your prop.
- Now for the fun part! Adding the final details to the handle of your blade, using the hot glue gun carefully start adding details and let it dry, follow the design of the original blade.
- Prime the prop using Plasti Dip or Mod Podge. 3 or 4 layers will be best.
- Let if dry.
- Now we’re finally ready to add some color to our prop.
- Paint the blade with silver and the handle with black.
- Let it to dry, this doesn’t take that much but you can get a little bit of help from the sun.
- To finish let’s work on the final details, using the gold Rub’n buff smodge it on the details you made earlier with the hot glue gun and if you’ll like you may add shadowing to the blade using black paint on the blade and cleaning it up with a cloth, this will give the blade a more realistic look, finally add blood to your blade.
And you’re DONE! You should have your blade something like this: