Jul 15, 2013, 9:10 PM - WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - More handle work
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).
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:
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.
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.
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).
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!
Last edited by indiefilmgeek; Aug 12, 2013 at 11:27 PM.
Jul 16, 2013, 10:28 AM - Re: WIP: Thrian's War Hammer
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.
Jul 16, 2013, 7:51 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's War Hammer
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?
Jul 17, 2013, 9:04 AM - Re: WIP: Thrian's War Hammer
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.
Jul 17, 2013, 9:36 AM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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.
Jul 17, 2013, 3:12 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Good, clean work so far on the hammer. Do you plan on casting this beast or just painting the wood straight?
Jul 17, 2013, 8:27 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Jul 17, 2013, 8:33 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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!
Jul 18, 2013, 12:00 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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.
Jul 18, 2013, 8:18 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Jul 19, 2013, 10:26 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Where is the LOVE THIS button? Amazing work so far! Will be watching this thread.. Where are you planning to wear this?
Jul 19, 2013, 10:39 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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
Jul 19, 2013, 10:48 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Jul 20, 2013, 4:14 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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.
Jul 22, 2013, 8:10 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Jul 22, 2013, 4:09 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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?
Jul 22, 2013, 4:33 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Yep. Band saw is DEFINITELY on my short list. Just have to find one at the right price.
Jul 22, 2013, 4:56 PM - Re: WIP: Thrian's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Jul 22, 2013, 8:20 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
Jul 24, 2013, 10:58 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer from the Hobbit
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.
- 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.
Jul 24, 2013, 11:49 PM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice!
Could you just sculpt them into the putty layer? They don't look very deep.
Jul 25, 2013, 9:02 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice!
Wood burning sounds good, maybe try etching them? Like with the corner of a hack saw blade?
Jul 25, 2013, 9:44 AM - Re: WIP: Thrain's Dwarven War Hammer (from Hobbit) - Need Advice!
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.
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