Devil May Cry - Dante's Rebellion
NOTE: I made this sword based on the reference pictures I was given at the time. (I know it may not be completely accurate to the in-game pictures, but I had to use my imagination for the parts of the sword I couldn't see. This is why it's always important to get plenty of pictures of the BACK of an item if you want to make it.)
The Rebellion is the name of the default sword the main character wields in Devil May Cry 3. Here's the start of a quick and dirty tutorial I've made for it (one which should be good for the making of ANY large bladed sword.)
The first step was to get ahold of a length of PVC pipe. (You can find it in the plumbing section of most major hardware stores and the people who work there will be happy to cut it to size for you if you don't have a PVC cutter.)
I started with a length of PVC that I had cut to about 5 feet long.
Next, I lay down a sheet of 3mm thick craft foam behind the pipe and traced out the shape of the sword.
Obviously, the sheet wasn't long enough to cover the length of the sword so I cut it into strips and hotglued them edge to edge. After tracing out the full shape of the sword and cutting it out, I had this:
(Yeah, I know. I really need to clean my floor.) The next step in the process was to define the flat area near the hilt. This was accomplished by drawing a simple triangle and then cutting it out (saving the cut-out triangular piece as it would need to be glued back on later.)
Obviously, you need to cut TWO foam shapes so you can cover both sides of the blade. Once the foam shapes were cut, I laid them down over a long sheet of .030 or .040 styrene plastic and traced around the foam. I then lifted the foam and cut the traced shape free of the plastic.
(this plastic is slightly thicker than the .020 gauge I normally use - it will split in half if you try to bend it, which is why it has to be cut in half lengthwise down the center of the blade, like so:
I reglued the two pieces together edge to edge (bending them slightly to create a ridge in the middle. This, of course, makes the sword 3-D and will allow the two halves of it to be glued around the PVC pipe.)
This done, I hotglued the craft foam sword shape to the concave interior of the plastic piece.
I then repeated the process to create the opposite half of the sword blade...
The next step was to take the shapes and glue them to the PVC pipe, (craft foam layer inside, plastic layer outside.)
Then I hotglued the blades together at the sides edge to edge:
The finished blade has a ground outside edge. To create this, I cut a strip of 6mm craft foam (creating a long, triangular tube shape) and hotglued it to the outer edge of the blade, as shown:
I then bent a long strip of plastic and hotglued it over the outer edge down the straight section of the blade. (For the curved sections, I had to cut curved pieces of plastic and glue them to each curved section of the blade on both sides.) This picture will hopefully illustrate what I mean by this:
To create the tip of the sword, I had to cut out a small wedge out of the end like this:
Then I glued the edges back together at the center. I did the same on the other side and then glued both sides together. (This makes it so the sword tapers and comes to a point at the very tip.)
I then put craft foam around the edge and covered it with plastic, creating the outer edge of the blade on both sides. (Neatness is very important at this step - you can't have gobs of glue or plastic overlapping on either side of the blade. You must make a neat, clean edge before you can move onto the next step.)
The next step was to lay down another layer of plastic over the blade. This I did by bending a straight ridge into a loooong piece of .020 plastic styrene, laying it over the blade, and then marking off a line about 3/8" away from the edge. I then cut through the line and hotglued the plastic shape onto the blade. You can hopefully see what I'm getting at in this photo.
This is a decent picture of the sword I'm trying to make. You can see how it looks like it has a sharpened, bevelled outer edge. That's the effect I'm trying to recreate by layering the plastic.
Here's a photo of the finished blade:
Before slapping any paint onto the blade, I'm going to have to sand it down to remove any glue strands, gobs, or dirt. Neatness counts in a project like this (especially when it comes to swords with clean lines and large areas of surface space.)
You'll notice that section of PVC pipe hanging outside the blade. That's where the hilt will go. (The hilt, being that neat skull and ribcage thing you saw in the reference picture.
I decided to make the skull using clay epoxy. (A type of putty epoxy that you mix together and can mold into various shapes, like sculpey, only it doesn't need to be baked in order for it to dry, and it's a LOT harder once it does.)
The clay is also mighty heavy, so instead of slapping an 8-pound ball of the stuff onto the pole and trying to shape it into a skull, I decided to create an undershape using pink rigid insulation foam (available at most big-name hardware stores.)
You can see how I created the undershape out of two pieces, a front and a back piece, which I made so they could be glued together around the handle.
Here's the box containing the putty epoxy. (Which I bought from this ebay store. Of course, this being epoxy resin, (like bondo or fiberglass,) it's dangerous to work with unless you take the proper precautions (wearing a pair of latex gloves and working in a well-ventilated area. Do not breathe in the fumes if you can avoid it and store the item you're making either outside or in a garage until it cures.) Cure time is 12-24 hours. The epoxy itself will be workable for a couple of hours, which should be more than enough time to make what you want to make with it. (If not, you can always mix up another batch the next day and slap it on over previous layers of epoxy. You can sand and saw the epoxy too once it dries (although you should wear a respirator and try not to breathe in any dust.)
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of me actually WORKING with the epoxy, as my hands were gloved and covered with dangerous, sticky chemicals at the time, but here's apic of what I managed to do the first day:
You can see I was able to create a rough skull shape. The next step was to cover the back of the undershape with epoxy and then refine the details...
Below the skull, I would have to set a series of ribs. This I did using strips of thick craft foam:
Here's a back view:
I did some putzing around with the ribs, and I wound up putting epoxy over them, starting with the front. It was my intention to cover the foam ribs with epoxy to give them an organic, bony surface, matching the skull.
Before I was completely finished with the ribs, though, I decided to start work on the handle. I did this by gluing strips of thick craft foam around the PVC pipe at strategic places and glueing strips of plastic and foam over them to create an octagonal shape (the thickest areas of the handle are the ones which have the strips of craft foam glued under them):
I glued two layers of plastic over the shape for maximum strength and neatness.
To create the spiky pommel, I hotglued triangular pieces of plastic to the tip of the handle like so:
And then used strips of foam and plastic to make some finishing touches...
The next thing to do was to create the side bone decorations. I made the core for the bones using a cylinder and some craft foam...
And then glued shapes around it to create another octagonal object...
A rather rough-looking one...at first...
I glued another layer of styrene plastic over it to give it a cleaner appearance (while my grumpy cat lay down and ignored me in the distance...)
The first bone completed, I hotglued it to the side of the sword.
At this point in the process, the hilt is nearly finished. There was a noticable gap between the side bones and the ribs so I filled it in with foam and plastic. And then glued a new layer of ribs over all, made from thick craft foam, gesso and varnish. (I didn't glue styrene over them because I wanted the ribs to look less plasticky and more organic and bonelike.) I added some more details with the epoxy putty (although I wanted to use it sparingly at this point, as the sword was getting fairly heavy.)
Finally, I had everything finished and ready to paint:
I sprayed chrome spray onto the blade and skull areas. (I wanted to use model acrylic to paint the handle, as I felt it would be touched more often and would need a scratch-resistant surface. The ribs would also have to be painted with acrylic since they had been coated in acrylic varnish.)
I used long brushstrokes (painted across the width of the blade) to create a polished look. I then defined the skull using silver enamel paint mixed with black. I sunk black paint into the eye sockets and in the spaces between the teeth.
Here's how far I've gotten with painting the ribs and handle. I've still got a couple more coats to go (as well as the back to do), but it gives you a good idea of what it will look like when finished...
Here's the painted version:
I dabbed varying degrees of silver and black paint to create an antiqued look on the skull/hilt.
Again, this is a good project for showing you the general idea behind a large sword with a PVC pipe core and sculpted/built components.
Questions? Comments? Leave 'em below or e-mail me at dietzt@REMOVEMEcloudnet.com
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