Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck! (resolved)


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So Im want to build a set of enchanted daggers from Dragon Age origins, but I have never made blades before, only guns. I was wondering if any one had any advice on what to make it out of.
This is the Dagger:

I started off by drafting out a template for the dagger:
IMG_0390.JPG IMG_0391.JPG IMG_0392.JPG

I'm stuck on what material I should make it out of, and I would prefer not to use wood.
Tips, tricks, recommendations, comments, questions, etc. are all welcome and appreciated!
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Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

Not a true expert here, but back when I was building these kinds of props we generally went with aluminum bar stock - it's light, easy to cut with a bandsaw or jigsaw when dealing with blade widths, and you can shape it on a belt sander. Make sure you're wearing breathing protection if you go that route since you don't want aluminum dust cluttering up your lungs. If you want something more durable, then you'd probably start with a wax sculpt and bronze cast, but that's a technique that requires training in order to undertake it safely - not something you can DYI. If you're OK with a piece that's just for show and can be made with a minimum of tools then you should probably work with sheet acrylic or other plastic (so many plastic options these days) - it can be purchased in an appropriate thickness from commercial suppliers, or you can get thin sheets from an art shop and bond several together if you don't want to deal with minimum orders from your local supplier. Again, wear a protective breathing mask when working with this stuff. And at the end of the day, don't discount wood. A piece of fine hardwood is an amazing material to create things with - softwoods are lousy just because they are easily damaged, but hardwoods are pretty durable when properly sealed/treated - better than plastic IMHO, but harder to work because of grain issues. As always, this advice is worth as much as has been paid for it :)
Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

I agree with Ironic Chef, don't discount wood, as it can be used to easily get good results and is very cheap/easy to work with (red wood boards from HD or Lowes are great for a blade like this and cost less than 10 bucks). Is there a reason wood in no good?

As far as metal, I am not sure it is worth the effort unless you have a massive stock of tools and other gear to get it done, and you would still need wood for the grip (or some other non-metal materials).

What is the purpose of the sword? Is it display, con-gear, or some other thing (role-play, fan production). If you don't want a wood final product (and that I completely understand) then why not make it out of mdf and then cast a final version. This can get a bit pricey, but it give great results and would let you quickly make two. You could even cold cast it with some metal powder to get a metal like effect (add a couple of weights and you get very close to a full metal realization with far less grinding and danger). If you are worried about how porous wood looks (i.e. after painting it still looks like wood) get a good filler-primer and wet sand the crap out of the thing with many, many layers. This gives a very good, filled finish.

If you are looking for a very easy material, foam isnt too bad, and many people here can create amazing things with eva and other foams.

At the end of the day, know your use or purpose for the object will help dictate its materials. Cost and tools are also an issue. Can you add some more details?
Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

I would prefer not to use wood simply because I am not good at woodwork and really want this to be very clean looking, and I was wanting them for display purposes, and possibly cons in the future. I would like to keep the build around $50. I have heard about people building swords and daggers with pink insulation foam and have been considering that due to its strength. I have carving tools as well as a variety of heat tools because I usually work in eva foam, but I would like to keep the blades on the thin side and reinforcing the eva does tend to add some extra thickness. I hope this helps!
Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

Okay, cool that info helps quite a bit. In this case, if you still prefer to stay away from wood (though I would point you there for the sake of cost and look), layered plastic would probably be a good bet, as mentions by Chef.

I have worked with the pink foam and it is often murder on tools (heat wires and such). It is also less than fun to paint and not pleasant for disposal or sculpting purposes (true of many hard Styrofoam like materials).

Thus, I would head to a local hobby store and see if they sell thick styrene or another thick plastic sheet and plan to layer them together.

However, if you have some sculpting talent, there is another good way to go about it. Use apoxy scupt or plumber's putty on top of a thin plastic design. Folkenstal's stuff used this approach and it turned out great. You simply cut out your basic pattern outline on a thin piece of styrene and then build up the "3d" aspects to create the blade and hilt. I used this approach to create my own version of a crysknife and it worked great (except that I am very bad at sculpting). It takes patience and a fine hand. Check out Folkenstal's build threads hear at the RPF or look into his website, lots of good stuff. You can get great results with this method if you have some sculpting experience. Just search his name. He also used video game references for many of his projects, which means it is quite good for your purposes.

Would love to see build progress when you get it going. If you send me a pm with some in game pics, I can try to get a you a vector graphic of the thing (no promises, as the holidays might zap my time). Still it looks like you did yours by hand (better than my drawing skills I assure you, well done). The vector graphic, however, would let you play with the scale digitally in free vector software like inkscape. It would also let you create separate versions for different materials (a wood material design, for example, would probably benefit with a blade separate and require the blade to have a full tang to add some support in the grip).
Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

Eva foam would be a cheap and easy way to build it. Foam is easy to cut, mold,engrave, paint, so on and so forth and if you want it to have a hard outer shell cover in in a thermoplastic like wonderflex or worbla or just grab some fiberglass from a hardware store. Here's a tutorial http://www.worbla.com/?p=1480 and a general idea of what yours could end up looking like; good luck!
Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

I would personally suggest building a "skeleton" of the blade out of pvc sheet board and filling in with epoxy sculpt or bondo. Bondo would be cheaper and easier to obtain. Then for the handle, PVC pipe would be perfect. The hilt and pommel could be made from foam or clay. I say clay because of their organic-ish shape.
Re: Dragon Age Enchanted Dagger Build, Help I'm stuck!

Thanks for the help guys! I will be putting up a proper build thread soon!
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