Chirugai with retractable blades from Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness PIC HEAVY

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XenoMorpheus

New Member
Hi everyone!

I'd like to share with you how I made a practical Chirugai prop for my Kurtis Trent cosplay. I am really pleased with how it turned out as I really wanted to have the blades retract just like they do in the game without changing the dimensions of things too much.

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I sourced this image for reference as the game is quite old now and the in game model doesn't have much detail.
Image credit http://jeanettesworld.blog.cz/1107/zadneho-muze-jste-tolik-nemilovali-a-nenavideli-zaroven
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I began by working out on a cardboard box how everything would fit together using the template downloaded from Tomb Raider Cosplay.com. I took a little artistic licence with the shape and size as I wanted the blades to fold away neatly and I guessed had the game been made today the developers would have probably made it circular anyway.
Template Link http://laracroftcosplay.com/HelpWithOutfits/kurtisweapon.html
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Next I began figuring out a mechanism for the blades to open and retract.
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I used jewelry wire to link the pieces together
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Here I used ordinary sewing pins as makeshift hinges. When the central disc is turned the wire would pull on the outer corner or the blade pieces and they all open out at once.
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Next I traced out all the parts I'd need onto a piece of craft foam board. I originally planned to use pieces of foam board to link the blades to the central disc. however I soon realised it would be far too thick so ended up not using those pieces and decided to use wire instead. I also cut two discs for the centre part as the blades would be folding over one another, so the middle would need to be built up a bit.
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I wanted to reinforce the foamboard to avoid it breaking and the whole thing having to be taken apart, so once I had cut out and labeled each individual piece, I drew around each onto a sheet of Wonderflex we already had (I wanted to get some Worbla for this but ended up buying a house instead), being sure to draw around and label each side. I also did this for one of the central discs to prevent the wire ripping through, but not for the two "faceplates" at this point.
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It was at this point I realised how thick the whole thing could potentially end up being, so since I was reinforcing the blades anyway I decided to squash the blade pieces down with a rolling pin. You can see in the second picture how much I flattened it by. If I was to make another I'd probably use craft foam for these pieces instead.
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Next I cut out the Wonderflex pieces, leaving a margin for folding over the edges. I also marked out where I would need to drill holes.
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I cut a small square from each corner to make it smooth once folded. Then I used an ordinary glue stick to help hold the parts together while I heated the Wonderflex with a heat gun. I did this for each piece, carefully molding the Wonderflex over the edges and smoothing them out before it completely cooled.
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Once The Wonderflex had completely cooled I drilled the holes using a Dremel.
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To plan out where to put the finger holes I roughly assembled everything I had so far onto the back piece to see where none of the blades would be in the way, and using the paper template from the beginning as a reference marked the position for each hole.
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Then I drew around the outside onto a piece of grease-proof paper, then lining up the edge I traced the finger holes. Then I flipped the grease-proof paper over and scribbled over the finger holes with a HB pencil. This gave me a makeshift transfer.Turning the grease-proof back over, I then got the front piece, lined up the edge and applying a little pressure drew over the finger holes with a ball point pen. This left the outline for the holes in the exact same position as on the back piece.
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I drew around a marker lid that was the right size to neaten it up.
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To make a hinge that would pivot freely I used nuts and bolts with normal washers and spring washers. I needed 6 nuts and bolts and 11 of each washer.
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I placed the normal washer on the outside and the spring washer on the inside. Then pushed it through the middle hole in each blade piece (you can see here I'd already painted the blade silver, this could be done at any point prior to final assembly). The washer configuration was then mirrored on the other side of the blade. Then I temporarily fixed each blade to the back piece.


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XenoMorpheus

New Member
Re: Chirugai with retractable blades from Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness PIC HEAV

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To connect the central part to the blades I cut 5 equal length pieces of garden wire. Then I looped it through the outer holes on the Wonderflex covered central disc, being sure not to make it too tight so it would be able to pivot freely.
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With the blades in the closed position i marked the place where the wire would need to bend to loop through the corner hole (in the interest of not blinding myself I removed the bits of wire I was not working with).
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Removing the blade, I looped the wire loosly around to secure it, but again also making sure that it would be able to pivot freely. I did this for all 5 blades.
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Next I cut out the finger holes from both the front and back pieces, and marked where holes would need drilling.
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And to double check that the finger holes were going to be OK before I went any further I loosely assembled everything. I decided the wire over the one hole didn't matter as I'd only be holding it that way with the blades open.
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Then I drew around the front and back pieces onto the Wonderflex, marking the finger holes. Due to the Wonderflex being stored in a roll and being really curved I used a spray adhesive to secure it in place and weighted it down while it dried. Then I trimmed the edges being sure to leave enough to cover the edges. Using the heat gun I molded the Wonderflex around the edge and smoothed out the excess.
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For the finger holes I first cut out a small piece in the middle of each, then cut slits up to the edge where it would need to fold. Then again using the heat gun I folded and smoothed out the edges one at a time. I did this for both pieces.
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I drilled the holes and once again loosely assembled everything to check everything was going to plan.
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For the middle hinge I used a bolt with a countersunk head, and pushed in into the Wonderflex while it was still warm to make it sit flush. Then I covered the screw head with a small piece from when I cut the finger holes to give a smooth finish. I secured it with a washer and bolt (which I removed after) to ensure that it would set straight. I also roughed up the surface a bit to help things stick when I came to glue it to the mechanism together.

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XenoMorpheus

New Member
Re: Chirugai with retractable blades from Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness PIC HEAV

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I then gave all pieces to be painted a coat of Primer, then I sprayed the front and back pieces with some Copper Enamel for a base coat. Then I lightly sprayed them with gold just to lighten them a little bit. The blades were painted silver, then I weathered everything with watered down black acrylic paint.
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I painted the inside of the "face-plates" black. so it would be nice and dark in there and hide everything. Then I put the front piece aside and gave everything else a coat of lacquer to protect it.
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I found the design from the game via a Google image search for "sanglyph" and printed it onto some decal paper, using Photoshop to work out and mark out the finger-holes. Then I placed the decal as best I could. The edges went a bit wobbly where I tried to re position it. To neaten it up, I printed the design again onto some normal paper, cut it out , positioned and drew around it with a marker. I finished it with a coat of lacquer.
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I hot glued the bare center disc to the back piece, using a bolt to secure it in place while it dried.
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Once again I assembled everything onto the back piece, only this time I permanently attached the blades. I loosely fitted a bolt in the centre disc to hold everything in position, and tested it to make sure everything moved freely.
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I drilled 3 small holes in one side of the centre disc, being careful not to go all the way through to the other side. Then I cut the ends off of 3 cocktail sticks, leaving them about 1 cm long and inserted them point up into the holes.
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As with the blades I used a normal washer and a spring washer. I used a bolt inserted from the outside of the back piece to help position everything, and slipped the washers between the two centre discs (normal washer against the foam board one, spring against the covered one).
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I put a blob of Gorilla Glue in the middle, being sure to cover the spikes and trying hard to not get any near the wire.
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With the blades in the open position, I very carefully threaded the front piece bolt through the centre of everything, lining the finger-holes up with the back ones. Then I pushed it down onto the 3 spikes so they would hold it in place. I then bolted it together and left it overnight so the Gorilla Glue had time to expand and grip the front to the mechanism.
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I used the Dremel to trim down the bolts, and then smooth the edges. The heat generated had the unplanned and added bonus of sticking the nuts to the Wonderflex. I painted the bolts by spraying a little copper enamel onto a piece of card and used a brush to color them.
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So I'd be able to attach it to the belt, I found some bronze picture hangings with a large enough loop and carefully screwed into the correct position in by hand.
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The finished peice! Rotating the front anti-clockwise makes the blades spring out, by turning it clockwise the blades will tuck away again. View attachment DSC_0049.jpg

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