For no one in this world can you trust...

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Nexus6, May 21, 2006.

  1. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ...THIS you can trust.

    On the heels of my earlier Conan project, I got an urge to make another attempt.

    Conan the Barbarian was the first movie I had ever seen where the weapons in the film caught my UNDIVIDED attention. I would buy any magazine I could find that had photos of the swords from that movie. Imagine my elation when Albion Armourers joined forces with Jody Samson to start producing exact replicas of the original swords. Take the "Father's sword" for example:

    [​IMG]

    Now imagine my dismay at the price tag of these edged works of art (from $2,500 to $10,000). Not too say that they aren't worth every penny, but that I cannot justify shelling out that much scratch for something that would amount to a mantle piece. My budget simply will not permit it. Apparently I am "prop small potatoes".

    In addition, I found all of the cheaper "Conan swords" that are available EVERYWHERE to be unworthy of purchase. They looked nothing like the originals, & appeared to be shoddily constructed.

    Then one day on e-bay I found a sword that was close to looking correct, but still not enough to be interesting to me, despite the very affordable price ($45 + $14 s&h). As I looked at it, suddenly an idea occurred to me, an idea that appealed to my curious nature of owning oddball props that many people (even prop collectors) don't have. So I ordered this fairly reasonable facsimile, & set about taking screencaps of the Father's sword after Conan & Rexor's duel at the Battle of the Mounds:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    When my "Father's sword" arrived, it was pretty much what I expected. Incorrect wrap-pattern on the grip (with incorrectly-colored "leather"), Shiny brass-colored pommel & guard, & the inscription was unexpectedly too far away from the elk's head (painted on with a gloss black):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The first thing I had to do was to MOVE the inscription towards the handle. I put masking tape over the inscription, & traced the lettering with a fine-tipped marker. I pulled the tape off & affixed it to a sheet of wax paper. Then with an exacto knife, I cut the letters out by hand. By the way, this turned out to be the biggest pain that I was to experience on this project, since the masking tape did NOT want to come off of the wax paper later on. I had to tear the wax paper off the tape, then pick the pieces of wax paper (between the letters) off of the tape, which took about 2 hours. When I finally got the tape put on the blade in the correct position, I masked everything off & first shot it with self-etching primer, followed by a dark gray primer. Then I had to clean up the edges.

    I replaced the grip wrapping with material of a better base color (which was later stained), & in the correct pattern. I sanded the pommel & guard & dry-brushed on some 'Anodized Bronze' paint (to simulate the weathering present in the screencaps), & cut the blade with my Dremel, making the "break" resemble the on-screen version. Then I lightly misted the blade with a 'Cast-coat iron' engine enamel (I just liked the color).

    That's about it, so without further ado, here's what I came up with:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm pretty pleased with how my 'Thulsa Doom killer' turned out. I'm currently working on the display-stand (will post pix when finished).

    Thanks for looking. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  2. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

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    Crom. That is a VAST improvement.
     
  3. Lord Abaddon

    Lord Abaddon Sr Member

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    Fantastic work. I didn't know about those new swords and passed the link (thanks.) on to my friend who's been a Conan fan his whole life.
     
  4. wuher da brewer

    wuher da brewer Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow. Nice work. That's a great improvement. Being able to see what you did, I feel I could do it too. Thanks.
     
  5. Imperialknight

    Imperialknight Well-Known Member

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    Wow. great work. I like it. I am also a big Conan fan but it never even crossed my mind that something like this could be done.
     
  6. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Amazing transformation, now it looks right :thumbsup
     
  7. propsculptor

    propsculptor Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks great , but wasn't the inscription Carved into the Blade?
     
  8. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(propsculptor @ May 21 2006, 08:34 PM) [snapback]1248292[/snapback]</div>
    On the screen-used & licensed replicas, yes.

    But is wasn't on the one I bought, & I was disinclined to find out how much money it would've cost to have the inscription machined into my piece. Pretty sure the whole "affordable alternative" premise that I used for this project would've gone out the window at that point... :confused
     
  9. propsculptor

    propsculptor Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, I can understand that.

    I have yet to buy a Atlantean Swod because of the Price, although I want one REALLY BAD.

    I'd like to eventually have both the Atlantean and the Father's Sword.
     
  10. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    Very nicely done. James Earl Jones will never know what hit him. You've taken a reasonable replica and made it into a much more fantastic piece. Looking at the before and after I would have never known they were one and the same. I know it's already been said, but... CROM. :)
     
  11. Hermes

    Hermes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just bumping, this sword looks terrific..
     
  12. Noeland

    Noeland Sr Member

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    Can you tell me what kind of attachment you used to cut that blade?

    This looks fantastic, and for my money props you personalize and work on like this end up having a lot more worth. :) And you take pride in your work every time you look at it..
     
  13. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Noeland @ Aug 11 2006, 01:54 AM) [snapback]1298141[/snapback]</div>
    Wow, RESURRECTION.

    Thanks again everyone. To make the "break", I used the 1 1/2" Fiberglass Reinforced Cut-off Wheel. I ended up wearing 2 of them down to nothing by the time I got done.

    And I agree with your personalization philosophy. I've found that I'm much more fond of the props that I've had to sweat over & use PURE creativity to get the finished result, than I am of the props that I buy already completed.

    I love it when I try out a technique, with NO idea whether it will work or not, & it turns out better than I ever could've expected. That happened several times with this project.

    By this weekend I should have the sword display stand finished, along with a second 'wheel of pain' pendant that I've been trying to get to for far too long...
     
  14. The Death Curse

    The Death Curse Well-Known Member

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    Okay, first of all, that's such an AMAZING conversion.. It looks nothing like the original prop it started from. Very well-done, Nexus.

    Second, I haven't heard of the Jody Samson & Albion project until just now...I clicked that link and proceeded to drool all over the floor. :eek
    Those are some amazing swords...I just WISH I had $3,000 for a Father's Sword...Or in my WILDEST dreams, $10 grand for that Limited Edition version...Ugghhghhh....

    Ryan
     
  15. The Hopkinator

    The Hopkinator Sr Member

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    COOL.. I WANT 1ST DIBBS IF U SELL IT....
     
  16. WookieeGunner

    WookieeGunner Well-Known Member

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    BTW, they make a paper called Frisk that is designed for making stencils for airbrushing. Don't know if that would work better than the wax paper, but it might.
     
  17. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(WookieGunner @ Aug 11 2006, 05:06 PM) [snapback]1298627[/snapback]</div>
    It can't be any worse. Any hints on where I might find this "Frisk"?
     
  18. juno

    juno Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's usually caleld frisket. You can get it at almost any art supply store. My local hobby shop also carries it.
     
  19. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(The Hopkinator @ Aug 11 2006, 02:30 PM) [snapback]1298489[/snapback]</div>
    Heh, if you're referring to the pendant, it was "dibbed" by an interested party a while back. So, he'll get first shot at it.

    If, y'know, he's still an interested party.

    PM me if you'd like more info...

    <div class='quotetop'>(juno @ Aug 11 2006, 06:18 PM) [snapback]1298679[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks for the info, I will look for it. ^_^
     
  20. anubispro

    anubispro Well-Known Member

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    EXCELLENT work.

    NOW that sword is worthy of display.
    There is no reason they could not have made that sword match the movie version closer.

    BTW, have you concidered etching in the letters with a sand-blaster?
    If you cut the mask yourself, it wouldn't be very expensive.
     
  21. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(anubispro @ Aug 11 2006, 06:37 PM) [snapback]1298687[/snapback]</div>
    Well, my personal goal was to make it look as good as possible with a minimum amount of money, because seriously, the original sword was a cheap knock-off.

    Any I never really considered sandblasting the "inscription", seeing as how I don't know anything about sandblasting or the related masks of which you speak.

    Tell me things...
     
  22. hollywoodhardware

    hollywoodhardware Sr Member

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    I love it. Really looks awesome.

    You can have the letters traced in a vinyl sticker shop and let them do those inverted using simple vinyl mask. Apply, mask the rest of the sword and use a cheapo sandblaster. You need an aircompressor of course.

    Thomas
     
  23. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Dude, you did that sword justice! Great work! Here are my babies. And I agree, I saw Conan in the theatre slightly before I was the 'legal' age and I was pretty much hooked.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  24. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(clutch @ Aug 11 2006, 09:39 PM) [snapback]1298808[/snapback]</div>
    Gorgeous. :love

    One day I hope to be able to afford one of each of those. Out of curiosity, why 2 Atlanteans? Are they different in some way?

    Anyway, color me envious. And thanks for the comments. :D One of the most difficult parts was figuring out the wrap pattern on the handle...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  25. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    The sword on the left is #1 and the one on the right is #20. I was planning on selling the 20 until I saw that there were subtle differences between the two. If you look really close, you can see them. Good deals pop up on ebay every once in a while. That's how I got #20 and I paid nowhere near full price.
     
  26. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I too snuck in underage a tad to see Conan (well they just didnt check too hard back then really when I bought the ticket) My brother was a weight lifter and so I knew who Arnold was then. Movie was EPIC. Still is. I have wanted a sword pretty much since then, but price will have to be reasonable, eventually Im sure something will pop up, and I cant bring myself to get one of the cheapies.

    I remember a story going around back then that that Conan swords made for the flim could chop an engine block in two. Now I know that is not true, but it was cool to believe back then.
     
  27. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Shrine completed:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The entire stand is made from 5/8" MDF, stacked in glued layers, & I used a belt-sander & a dremel to shape the shrine. The goal was to make the finish resemble the stone formations that were present in the 'Battle of the Mounds' scene. I used FleckStone Paint ("Santa Fe Sand" color), with later mist coats of dark & light gray, white, black, & brown. The cloth is a car-washing chamois, which I dyed a brownish-burgandy color.

    Also, I took a high-gauss hard-drive magnet (snapped in half) & imbedded a piece into the top of each of the "boulders" (where the sword actually sits). The pieces were added before painting, so the magnets are now invisible, but will still hold the sword quite securely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  28. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    That is awesome. I like the magnet idea.
     
  29. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    WOW. I really like what you did with that cheapo replica and turned it into something about 90% screen accurate. I personally wouldn't have cut the blade (I just cringe at the thought of a good sword getting broken/chopped), but it is your sword.

    The broken blade reminds me of this old shards of Narsil/Anduril pic I saw a while ago (and pretty much the shards of Narsil period):

    [​IMG]

    Again, good job.

    Seth
     
  30. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    *.... i wanna make one of those.

    very very cool.

    im in the minority here, but i never saw conan until it was availible on vhs or beta ;)

    it was cool, but i really didnt get that into it. that display though, is awesome.

    chris
     
  31. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(clutch @ Aug 11 2006, 08:39 PM) [snapback]1298808[/snapback]</div>
    Cool collection. Even I can see the differences between the #1 and the #20 and I'm not even THAT good when it comes to swords. Do you guess the #1 is the most screen accurate and the later numbers got less and less accurate (I'd hate to see the last number :lol )? Or is it that each one was hand made rather than CNC machined so they'd all look the same?
     
  32. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    I'm flabbergasted. That magnet thing is brilliant. I HAVE to go seen Conan again. It's been too long.
     
  33. david reed

    david reed New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(anubispro @ Aug 11 2006, 10:37 PM) [snapback]1298687[/snapback]</div>
    very cool,my first sword was a crappy conan sword,and I am inspired to improve it.centaur
     
  34. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  35. kell

    kell Well-Known Member

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    N6 great work and beautiful display, magnets...brilliant. :thumbsup


    Oh yeah. Crom .
     
  36. BLASTER

    BLASTER Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fantastic.
    The sword, the pendant, the magnets... Great work.
     
  37. bleyd

    bleyd Sr Member

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    I watch Conan at least once a quarter if not more. One of my favorites. Wish I could afford one of Jody's pieces but after seeing this thread may go out to get one to fix up a bit.
     
  38. Wakal

    Wakal Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'></div>
    Albion sword blanks are all CNC'ed. They are heat treated one at a time and polished/final shaped free hand.

    Touring the Albion 'factory' is pretty neat...very nice folks, passionate about their work, and extremely talented.

    Jody, besides being a hell of a neat guy and maker of ubernifty blades, also does fantastic model work. He has some spaceships hanging in his personal workspace that has to be seen to be believed :thumbsup

    And back on track...love the stand, and you did an AMAZING job making the "ThulsaKiller" sword :love




    Alex
     
  39. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    [BUMP.]
     
  40. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, you KNOW what I think. :thumbsup
     
  41. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bump cause I wanna do this as a new years project :)
     
  42. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Yeah, once I get through the Winter, I'm going to have to take a crack at one of these! This is still definately one of the coolest display ideas I've ever seen! :thumbsup

    -Sarge
     
  43. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh yeah, I remember this thread! One of the coolest projects ever. I might have to put it on the pile of projects-to-do myself...although I'd have to do TWO because I have a friend who's a Conan nut.
     
  44. nightrider

    nightrider Sr Member

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    Your project turned out extremely good, can't believe that's the same blade.

    As for #1 and #20, neither are "screen accurate", they're both far to nice.:p One of these days I'll pick me up one of those blades.

    I play Conan in the studio at least a couple times a week, maybe more. Something about all that talk of the mystery of steel is just inspiring whilst working on blades I guess.
     
  45. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Were the runes on the screen used sword really readable English? "Suffer no evil..."
     
  46. nightrider

    nightrider Sr Member

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    I'm not sure on that one, but I can certainly find out for you. Maybe in the mean time someone else might know.
     
  47. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Yes they were readable. I believe it was Ron Cobb who came up with the phrase. The Albion swords are replicas made in conjunction with John Milius (who owns the original swords) and Jody Samson, the original sword maker.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  48. Jedi2016

    Jedi2016 Sr Member

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    Yep. You can read it on Cobb's original drawings, as well as on the DVD if you freeze-frame it.

    I actually have one of those knock-off Father's swords. It's crap, but it was only about fifteen bucks, what are you gonna do? I've got one of the Marto Atlanteans, too. Not quite as nice as the Albion (by a long shot, I suppose), but it'll do for now.
     
  49. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Boot!

    -Sarge
     
  50. Hitogiri

    Hitogiri Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey you wanna do one of these for me lol
     

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