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  1. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 15, 2013, 9:10 PM - WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - More handle work #1

    As we continue to work on the Steampunk Ironman helmet I decided to do a little work on Thrain's war hammer.

    I was very inspired when I saw Thrain's costume and weapon design in the Hobbit art book, and I honestly think this might end up being a costume I'd build for myself (which would be the very first costume I've built for myself since high school).



    REFERENCE:
    Regarding his hammer (which is sometimes referred to as an 'axe'... though I'm not sure why), they included a pretty good art sketch. And with a bit of photo work, I was able to get this reference picture:


    BUILD MATERIALS:
    Now let's talk materials... Since this is not for reproduction and just for me, I wanted it to LAST and I wanted it to have some weight. So, I decided to attempt to build the hammer of wood. It would be easier to make it out of foam with a wooden handle (and I'll default to that if I completely fail to pull off the wood version), but there is something 'substantial' about the weight and feel of a solid wood piece like this.

    SCALE:
    I used the above image of Thrain and the image below (production pic) to try and gauge what size the hammer would need to be if Thrain was my height.


    I used those calculations to make a full-scale 'flat' version of the hammer for me have as a reference.


    TOOLS:
    In addition to my scroll saw, chop saw and a variety of other power tools, I lacked a couple necessary piece to create this hammer. One of them was a table router - which I picked up for less than $100 on Craigslist (including a set of bits).





    BUILD PROCESS:
    Router in place, I started cutting our the handle and other pieces and then slicing 45 degree angles off of them.


    Handle cut to size...


    Edges cut to match the reference...



    Testing the size and shape of the hammer head pieces after using the router to created the 45 degree edges...




    I cut the handle into three pieces so I could put a set of angle-cut pieces in between (thus creating the look from the original).


    To get the inlay look of the reference, I decided to cut out a thin piece of wood and glue it to the handle. This would give the look of a carved out section, without the work of actually carving it out!


    Cutting out the design in the thin wood...


    Placing the veneer on the handle sections and placing some temp gems inside the inlays.


    Same process for the pummel section...

    Once the veneer was glued on the pieces, I measured the spaces again and ordered myself some metal studs...


    Studs and Spikes... my new favorite online shop!


    Then I just about burnt up my 8" chop saw by trying to cut this beautiful wood block into a spike! Much sanding will need to be done, but the rough shape is definitely there.


    ...another picture of the hammer pieces laid out together...


    This weekend, I finally got some big blocks of wood glued together and then cut into roughly the size and shape of the hammer's business end. That thing is MASSIVE!

    NOTE: I've decided to make that part in four quadrants. So, that block you see there is all four pieces stacked up together.


    Then I again used my trusty (and slightly burnt-smelling) chop saw to cut the angled edges for these blocks.


    ...and here is the hammer head roughly held into position... yah!


    *****

    That's where I'm at with this project so far... I'll be tying to figure out the angle cuts and all for that massive hammer head this week, so expect an update when I get a chance!

    Take Care!
    Last edited by indiefilmgeek; Aug 12, 2013 at 11:27 PM.
  2. RPF Premium Member Gibbtall's Avatar
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    Jul 16, 2013, 10:28 AM - Re: WIP: Thrian's War Hammer #2

    This is looking fantastic!! I've got a design for my own dwarf axe, maybe once you've finished this you'd be up for some commissions? Hah.
  3. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 16, 2013, 7:51 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's War Hammer #3

    Gibbtall said: View Post
    This is looking fantastic!! I've got a design for my own dwarf axe, maybe once you've finished this you'd be up for some commissions? Hah.
    First off, awesome work on the Erebor Helm in Foam! If I ever complete this whole Thrain costume we'll have to connect at some North American convention or other for a photo shoot!

    Also, I like your maille work. My wife and I used to do custom pieces of chainmaille armor and jewelry back when we first got married (now we have four kids and no time), but was a lot of fun. This Thrain costume might be the first time I've pick up my pliers and created some 6-in-1 armor in almost a decade - it's hard to believe!

    Regarding custom prop pieces, I've very selective about what projects I take on... but for a fellow fan of Dwarven armor and weapons, I would certainly consider helping a brother out. Were you really interested in having the axe you modeled built?
  4. RPF Premium Member Gibbtall's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2013, 9:04 AM - Re: WIP: Thrian's War Hammer #4

    indiefilmgeek said: View Post
    First off, awesome work on the Erebor Helm in Foam! If I ever complete this whole Thrain costume we'll have to connect at some North American convention or other for a photo shoot!

    Also, I like your maille work. My wife and I used to do custom pieces of chainmaille armor and jewelry back when we first got married (now we have four kids and no time), but was a lot of fun. This Thrain costume might be the first time I've pick up my pliers and created some 6-in-1 armor in almost a decade - it's hard to believe!

    Regarding custom prop pieces, I've very selective about what projects I take on... but for a fellow fan of Dwarven armor and weapons, I would certainly consider helping a brother out. Were you really interested in having the axe you modeled built?
    Thanks so much! It's going slow but still going. I'm actually headed to Fan Expo in Toronto this year to sell my chainmaille and will hopefully be returning the next year if it goes well. I also go to some other cons in the GTA like Comic Con and hopefully sometime Anime North.

    The axe in my Dwarf Armour thread is the one I'd be looking for (possibly 2). I bought a big wooden 2"x2" square pole figuring I'd try to turn that in to a handle and then either make the blade out of 3D printed parts or EVA foam, but I'd love to have a sturdier display piece made entirely out of wood. I'm in no rush on it, but let me know if you get to a point where you'd be willing to take it on.
  5. RPF Premium Member Gibbtall's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2013, 9:36 AM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #5

    Someone posted this link on my thread, thought you'd enjoy this picture:



    The section pieces of the handle show that it should actually be a rectangle, though I don't really like that idea and don't suggest you change all the work you've done so far, heh.
  6. Siliconsmith's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2013, 3:12 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #6

    Good, clean work so far on the hammer. Do you plan on casting this beast or just painting the wood straight?
  7. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2013, 8:27 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #7

    Gibbtall said: View Post
    The section pieces of the handle show that it should actually be a rectangle, though I don't really like that idea and don't suggest you change all the work you've done so far, heh.
    That's a great picture! ...I actually had pulled that from your thread already.

    Regarding the rectangle vs square issue, I'd have to say that it might show as a rectangle in the that reference pic, but EVERYWHERE else it 'looks' square. And the inlays would also look pretty funny if they didn't match side to side and front to back... I think that might have been drawn prior to construction.

    Same goes with the hammer-end of the weapon. In the ACTUAL picture of the hammer in the art book it shows the BOTTOM two points as longer than the top two points. It also shows the top part to be much 'thinner' than the bottom section... it even appears like the etched line is messed up on the hammer end. It's weird....


    But in the picture from the actually filming of the movie and the other art pieces it shows the longer points to be ON TOP (not on the bottom). And since that seems to make more sense than the longer points on the bottom, I went that direction. I haven't measured, but the reference art that you posted (which shows a LOT of details I hadn't seen before, also looks like there isn't very much difference (if any) between the top and bottom points of the hammer's face.

    Again, I'll probably defer to the photo-shopped version I created which hybrids both - I swapped the longer points to the top and also balanced the two halves so the bottom and top are balanced.


    Basically, I'm aiming the most for THIS:


    Looks like a square handle profile and the longer points on the top edge of the hammers facing.

    ..Not that I've been staring at these images for WAY too long mind you!!! I'm not obsessed or anything (really)!
  8. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2013, 8:33 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #8

    Siliconsmith said: View Post
    Good, clean work so far on the hammer. Do you plan on casting this beast or just painting the wood straight?
    I wasn't planning on casting this one (I didn't figure anyone would be interested in copies of this piece since Thrain is barely mentioned in the movies). So, I plan currently to just created it 'solidly' out of wood and hardened materials, prime it, paint it and then distress it.

    That all might change as we go... but that's the plan right now!
  9. RPF Premium Member Gibbtall's Avatar
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    Jul 18, 2013, 12:00 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #9

    indiefilmgeek said: View Post
    For the length of the prongs, I actually think the problem with this picture is a cropping issue, it looks like a small section of the front of the hammer got cut off in layout by the other picture, that would account for the missing etching lines and the shorter prongs on the top. I can't say for certain if the actual hammer really had longer prongs on the top versus the bottom since all of the pictures have their own share of perspective. I'm certainly not against it though, I think it looks fine with the longer prongs.
    Last edited by Gibbtall; Jul 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM.
  10. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 18, 2013, 8:18 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #10

    Gibbtall said: View Post
    For the length of the prongs, I actually think the problem with this picture is a cropping issue, it looks like a small section of the front of the hammer got cut off in layout by the other picture, that would account for the missing etching lines and the shorter prongs on the top. I can't say for certain if the actual hammer really had longer prongs on the top versus the bottom since all of the pictures have their own share of perspective. I'm certainly not against it though, I think it looks fine with the longer prongs.
    I agree with you regarding the weird photo crop... it's too odd to be part of the original. You're probably right about that.

    But since it was 'funky', I actually did some overly OCD-type calculations based on the main reference pic I was using.
    Check this out...

    Art Design


    Production Still

    ...talk about obsessive compulsive, right?

    It definitely looks like the physical prop they used in the film had four points (all the same size), even through the early art of Thrain's character design showed the top set longer than the bottom set.

    I think I'll probably stick to the early art (as there are several other minor difference that I like better in the art than the final production version)... But that could change as I keep working on it - you can never tell how it will work out until it's done!


    *****

    I got my studs in yesterday and couldn't wait to get them onto the handle... Here's what the pummel looks like with the studs added.





    Overall, I'm pleased with the results... It will certainly be easier to see what it will look like once I have it smoothed out with puddy, sanding and primer, but it's a good start.
  11. Jayn's Avatar
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    Jul 19, 2013, 10:26 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #11

    Where is the LOVE THIS button? Amazing work so far! Will be watching this thread.. Where are you planning to wear this?
  12. EyeofSauron's Avatar
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    Jul 19, 2013, 10:39 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #12

    boy your title confused me for like 3 days

    i was like: who the **** is thrian?
    now i figured out that its a typo and means thrains dwarven war hammer

    anyways great work
  13. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 19, 2013, 10:48 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #13

    EyeofSauron said: View Post
    boy your title confused me for like 3 days

    i was like: who the **** is thrian?
    now i figured out that its a typo and means thrains dwarven war hammer
    Oops!

    It's fix now!


    Jayn said: View Post
    Where is the LOVE THIS button? Amazing work so far! Will be watching this thread.. Where are you planning to wear this?
    Hopefully D*con (as some point). I've come down for years, but since I work slow, this one won't be done for this year's con. Maybe next year it will be ready.

    If there's a Hobbit group of Dwarves attending this year, let me know. I might bring down the hammer just for fun and picture of folks in costumes with it.
  14. wgering's Avatar
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    Jul 20, 2013, 4:14 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #14

    That looks great! Nice to see a LOTR weapon build that isn't a sword.

    What kind of wood are you using? In the close-ups I can see some fuzzy edges and scratch marks that look like pine (or spruce, or some softwood).

    It's probably impractical to switch materials at this point, but if you decide to do a version 2.0, a harder wood could hold those sharp edges better and could take a little more abuse. Poplar is probably the most economical (and easiest on your tools), but rock maple or hornbeam would be my choice for something like this (assuming my budget could accommodate it, of course...)

    You may also want to reinforce the joints somehow. I'd recommend either an internal dowel or steel rod. Wood glue is pretty strong stuff, but it doesn't usually do well against shear stress, which I think might be a problem.
  15. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 22, 2013, 8:10 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #15

    wgering said: View Post
    That looks great! Nice to see a LOTR weapon build that isn't a sword.

    What kind of wood are you using? In the close-ups I can see some fuzzy edges and scratch marks that look like pine (or spruce, or some softwood).

    It's probably impractical to switch materials at this point, but if you decide to do a version 2.0, a harder wood could hold those sharp edges better and could take a little more abuse. Poplar is probably the most economical (and easiest on your tools), but rock maple or hornbeam would be my choice for something like this (assuming my budget could accommodate it, of course...)

    You may also want to reinforce the joints somehow. I'd recommend either an internal dowel or steel rod. Wood glue is pretty strong stuff, but it doesn't usually do well against shear stress, which I think might be a problem.
    Thanks, wgering!

    Regarding the wood, it's a wide variety of stock. Most of it is Pine with some Poplar and Bass in some places. The pointy end is Yellow Birch. It won't make much difference, as the whole thing will be smoothed and puddied before I prime it and then paint it. There definitely won't be any wood grain showing or staining on this.

    An Internal Dowel rod (wooden) is the plan currently. I even bought a nice used drill press for my shop recently. I'm looking forward to testing it out as I start putting final pieces together after I finish sanding and cleaning them up.


    And speaking of sanding and cleaning up... I bought a belt sander this weekend and 'tested' that out on my pointy stick.


    It still will need a little puddy in some places, but it's MUCH closer!

    I also got all my cut lines drawn for the 'business' end of the war hammer...


    I've been struggling to figure out how to cut these, but opted to go with a muscle-powered mitter box saw. It still needs to be cleaned up, but here's the first point I got cut.


    Now, I just need to cut three more of these!
  16. wgering's Avatar
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    Jul 22, 2013, 4:09 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #16

    Shame you don't have a bandsaw, that would be perfect for those spikes. I'm assuming your scroll saw doesn't open wide enough to accommodate the pieces?
  17. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 22, 2013, 4:33 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #17

    wgering said: View Post
    Shame you don't have a bandsaw, that would be perfect for those spikes. I'm assuming your scroll saw doesn't open wide enough to accommodate the pieces?
    Yep. Band saw is DEFINITELY on my short list. Just have to find one at the right price.
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    Jul 22, 2013, 4:56 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #18

    indiefilmgeek said: View Post
    Oops!

    It's fix now!




    Hopefully D*con (as some point). I've come down for years, but since I work slow, this one won't be done for this year's con. Maybe next year it will be ready.

    If there's a Hobbit group of Dwarves attending this year, let me know. I might bring down the hammer just for fun and picture of folks in costumes with it.

    Yep. I'm thinking you just may want to bring this around for pictures then
  19. RPF Premium Member Blaxmyth's Avatar
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    Jul 22, 2013, 8:20 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #19

    Yay! Way to go with a real 'old time' handsaw! Nice to see this being used for a change.

    indiefilmgeek said: View Post
    I've been struggling to figure out how to cut these, but opted to go with a muscle-powered miter box saw.
  20. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 22, 2013, 10:40 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #20

    And a little more progress....

    Cut out one more pointy edge (again by hand-powered mitter-box saw, my dremel and a fine toothed detail saw).




    And I used my new drill press to punch a hole in the three pummel pieces so I could glue them together with a re-enforcing 1/4" wooden dowel. This is still VERY rough... it will be cleaned up with puddy, sanding and have some trim pieces added before it's primed and painted.



    That's it... I'm calling it a night!
  21. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 24, 2013, 10:58 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit #21

    I finally started to put some of the pieces together last evening. I started with the pummel. I drilled a 1/4" diameter hole through each of the pieces (except the very bottom piece, obviously). And then glued each piece onto a wooden dowel to keep everything square and well-connected.


    I still need to puddy the seams and add some trim, but I feel like it's getting close!

    I also spent some more time with my mitter-box and hand-saw... I first cut out my third part of the war hammer's head.


    ...and then the fourth (and last piece).


    But as you can tell, that still leaves the 'face' of the hammer without the carved 'x' in it from the art...


    To fix this I used a hand-router and some old-fashion sanding blocks to complete the shape.




    Now I'll need to clean up the edges and get these four parts glued together.

    At that point, I will need to decide on whether I should carve/burn the detail lines on the correct pieces BEFORE I attach all the hammer-head parts, or AFTER I attach all the parts. I'm leaning toward BEFORE I glue them all together... And that brings up another sad fact -- I've never really done any wood-burning, but that seems like the VERY best/easiest way to create the detail/decorative lines on the hammer.

    Choices:


    • Router/dremels have all been ruled out due to the VERY delicate nature of the lines (and my very low skill level at this sort of thing)
    • Chiseling them by hand will take forever and since their very thin lines, I don't trust my skill level at that either.
    • Wood burning... It would be fast, and since I'm painting the whole thing I don't have to work about discoloration.



    So... thoughts?
  22. wgering's Avatar
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    Jul 24, 2013, 11:49 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice! #22

    Could you just sculpt them into the putty layer? They don't look very deep.
  23. RPF Premium Member Gibbtall's Avatar
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    Jul 25, 2013, 9:02 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice! #23

    Wood burning sounds good, maybe try etching them? Like with the corner of a hack saw blade?
  24. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Jul 25, 2013, 9:44 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice! #24

    Gibbtall said: View Post
    Wood burning sounds good, maybe try etching them? Like with the corner of a hack saw blade?
    I was thinking about a dremel cutting wheel or saw blade, but I'm concerned about keeping the depth the same. I figured wood burning might provide the most even 'trench'... I might do some testing and see what works.
  25. indiefilmgeek's Avatar
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    Aug 12, 2013, 11:26 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice! #25

    A bit of progress on the war hammer tonight...

    I had started with this simple assembly (re-enforced with a wooden dowel through the middle).


    I hit this with some of my bondo...


    And then did a little sanding...


    At this point I've been delaying two parts I didn't want to tackle... #1 was those damn engraving lines and #2 was sixteen more studs for the top of the handle.

    #1 is still too scary for me, so worked on #2 this evening... I started by cutting out 16 square pieces of the 1/32" thick veneer material.


    Then I would take each of the 16 squares and cut out two slots for the prongs of the studs to fit through. I'd also have to carve out a place in the handle-piece for the stud prongs to go into as the they would NEVER go in straight without pre-cut holes to go into.


    After all that work, the first two sides were pretty easy... after that I had to balance the two sides of this piece on narrow boards with a space between them (since there would be a row of studs facing the table - which is not convenient when you're trying to hammer studs into the opposite side of the wood).


    Finally, after finishing up all four sides and 16 studs, I drilled some holes for another wooden dowel re-enforcing rod and glued the top part of the handle onto the lower part of the handle.


    It looks good... but now I guess I'm gonna have to buckle down and figure out that etching, huh?

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