COMPLETED - Fierce Deity Sword (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

Vox

Sr Member
My friend is a huge Zelda fan, and Majora's Mask is his favorite title in the series to date. With the holidays only a few weeks away, and my friend's birthday within the first week of January, I figured I would do some sort of combined gift and craft him the Fierce Deity sword, pictured here:
Fierce_Deity_Link.png fierce_deity__s_sword_by_blueamnesiac-d4oygiz.png


I definitely think I am being overly ambitious here, but unfortunately, my brain is stuck on it.

Anyway, I would love to carve the thing out of a single board, like Deviant Art user leveledup did for his cosplay, as seen here:
fierce_deity_link_cosplay_by_thevincentlove-d65bgh2.jpg

However, while I build things out of wood all of the time, I have very little experience actually carving things. I have no doubt that I could saw, sand, and chip my way to something that looks close to that, but I am not sure I could do it in the single month leading up to his birthday, especially with the holiday season monopolizing my social calendar.

What it will likely end up being is a carved handle from a dowel rod, a carved 2x4 for the hilt, and the blade will be jigsawed out of a single piece of 1/4" plywood and painted to give it the appearance of some three-dimensionality.

Tips, tricks, recommendations, comments, questions, etc. are welcome! I intend to begin work this weekend and will post updates as I have them.
 
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Re: Fierce Deity Sword (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

After a lot of research, I decided that insulation foam would be a more suitable medium. More work than the plywood option, less work than the poplar board, but above all it would make the sword safe for a convention should my friend decide to use it for such purposes.

(PRO TIP: Home Depot cuts wood for you in-store, but not insulation board. So have fun slicing that up in the parking lot yourself so you can fit 4 2'x4' sheets in your little sedan...)

I started out with a sheet of cardboard 3ft. long, to create a traceable pattern for the sword blades.

IMG_20141217_213526_813.jpg

I cut that out, then traced it twice onto 3/4" insulation board.

IMG_20141219_202104_390.jpg

I cut them out with a utility knife, using very short sawing strokes to keep the curved edges intact.

IMG_20141219_210911_944.jpg

I started to bevel the edges into the bladed shape using a belt sander. Not only was that a little hard to control, but it caught the tip of the first blade and tore it off, so I had to cut a replacement. (Luckily a 8'x4' sheet gives you plenty of foam to work with.) I decided to use the utility knife to bevel all the edges.

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Time for sanding! I used 150 grit sand paper to mostly even everything out. If you run your fingers over the flat of the blade, you can still feel a slightly uneven surface, but that was necessary to maintain some semblance of integrity in the blade while also maintaining the right shape.

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I cut two 1' x 6" sheets, glued them together, then set about carving and shaping the cross-guard.

IMG_20141221_143627_094.jpg

I tested a wood glue coating on a test piece. It looks like it tends to crack with any flexing, and with a weapon of this size the foam is definitely going to flex, so I will probably do 2-3 coats of wood glue on the entire sword before painting.

It's far from perfect, so I cannot honestly call it a "replica" prop, but for the purposes of making my friend freak out at the sight of it, it should get the job done once it is complete.
 
Re: Fierce Deity Sword (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

Great start! Can't wait to see where this goes. :)
 
Re: Fierce Deity Sword (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

I'm guessing you're not expecting to have this done in time for Christmas at this point. For pink foam I've found that Modgepoge hard coat (purple bottle) works amazingly well, but you have to follow the directions for curing EXACTLY. My friend who makes carved foam keyblades turned me on to the stuff after showing me how much flex one of her blades had without cracking or breaking after coating it in that stuff.

The formula goes like this:
Carve
Coat in modgepodge
wait for it to cure
paint
topcoat in modgepodge
wait for it to cure again
have fun
 
Re: Fierce Deity Sword (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

I'm guessing you're not expecting to have this done in time for Christmas at this point. For pink foam I've found that Modgepoge hard coat (purple bottle) works amazingly well, but you have to follow the directions for curing EXACTLY. My friend who makes carved foam keyblades turned me on to the stuff after showing me how much flex one of her blades had without cracking or breaking after coating it in that stuff.

The formula goes like this:
Carve
Coat in modgepodge
wait for it to cure
paint
topcoat in modgepodge
wait for it to cure again
have fun

You're right: with the scheduling nightmare that always is these couple of weeks, I have had about 25% of the amount time I needed/wanted to work on this. So this will be done by his birthday on January 5th.

The Modge Podge is a great idea, I had not thought about it because I have never used it. I will check it out at the store and see if it will serve my purposes. Thanks Ronin!
 
Re: Fierce Deity Sword (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask)

The Modge Podge was a no go. It looks like a great product, but with two applications both requiring FOUR WEEKS to cure, I couldn't use it. After all, the recipient's birthday was January 5th, and I wanted it done by then. So I opted for the wood glue route, with 3 coats on each side of the blade/guard. Then I hot glued the top of the blades together prior to painting.

IMG_20141228_092445_948.jpg

I used a rotary tool to carve out a slot in each blade bottom and two in the top of the guard, coated popsicle sticks in wood glue and inserted them into both parts, then kept them compressed for a few minutes until the tack held them together enough to dry completely.

IMG_20141228_203028_999.jpg

With a combination of a belt sander, band saw, and hand sanding, I filed down one end of dowel rod handle. After drilling a hole into the guard, I wood glued the handle into the guard. Then I cut out thin craft foam for the three dimensional details at the base of the blades and guard. Finally I taped off the areas supposed to be green and it was time to paint!

IMG_20150103_204720_303.jpg

Two coats of paint in close succession produced an unfortunate cracking effect. A third coat of paint fixed it, but I feel it is important to document this in hopes someone else won't make the same mistake.

IMG_20150104_105349_658.jpg

Then I reversed the paint tape, and painted the green parts and the handle.

The end result is far from the exact replica I was hoping for. That being said: I had a month to work on it, the foam was far more brittle to work with than poplar wood, and the holiday season is far from forgiving in terms of scheduling. All things considered, I am glad with the end result and so is the recipient. Here it is pictured with a hobby knife to show the size scale.

IMG_20150106_183815_096.jpg

It was fun to work on! On to the next project.
 
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