He-Man/Skeletor Power Sword

cepts

New Member
I know I'm not the first to replicate this sword. I'm just posting this to show the materials and processes that I used to get the results I wanted. We all have a trick or technique that might help someone else out with their project. I hope you can benefit from one of mine.
The illustrators of He-Man used the same sword design for He-Man, She-Ra, and Skeletor. I potentially have three swords in one.
So this build starts out the same as the others. I made a scaled vector blue print of the sword. I transferred the image to a sheet of styrene using a method that involves acetone. With this method, the image is placed face down on the surface you want it applied to, which was styrene in this case. Pure acetone is applied to the back of the image and before it evaporates, which happens very quickly, the print is rubbed with a hard flat object onto the surface of the styrene. Because of the quick evaporation, it's easiest to do small sections at a time. If the styrene is to be your final finished surface, you should try a different approach as pure acetone melts styrene.




Styrene is easily cut with scissors making it a great material to work with.





The shapping guides are made from what else, styrene. The longer guides going down the center of the sword are supported with strips of mdf. This is done to prevent them from getting wavy or leaning to one side. This took awhile to do, but it isn't as complicated as it may look. The guides are either following the outline of the sword, or the lines of the transferred image. They were all set in place with super glue.​





The buttons that go in the corners were made from discs I cut out of 1/4 inch plywood using a hole saw. I wrapped them in styrene for a smooth outside finish.



The tops of the buttons were made from urethane poured into a paint tray.



I added half round to the ridge of the domes for a cleaner look.





The biggest cavities were first filled out with foam to make the piece lighter. The remaining voids were then filled with Bondo body filler.





I wanted the bridge pieces that went from corner to corner to have a beveled center. This was easily done with half round glued to the center of those pieces.





All of the empty spots were filled in with milliput. For small areas like this it is far easier to use a sculpting clay/putty than to use a body filler like Bondo. Body filler is sticky and has a very short pot life which is great for filling in big areas, but harder to handle in small ones.​





I covered this entire sword with spot filler. This took a little while to do, but I knew there were lots of scratches and small blemishes that needed filling out.




Spot filler sanded smooth and the piece is ready for primer.




I primed this with a filler primer. This was the first time I used it on an area this large. Filler primer is supposed to fill in any minor defects in your piece, so it has a thicker consistency than typical primer. This made wet sanding less fun than it should be. I didn't like using it too much, but I have a good bit left so I'll have to use it some more.




Once satisfied with the surface I made a mold box. I make a lot of my mold box walls out of faux wood blinds. They are easy to shape with just your hands, but not so flimsy that they won't hold that shape. I shape the pieces as necessary, score them, and snap them in half. Hot glue is used to adhere the joints together. It's cheap and easy. I put supports across the top to keep the walls from bowing out and creating more space to have to fill with silicone.





The handle for this sword is a very simple design. The grip is a piece of one inch pvc pipe. The ends are turned mdf. On the bottom piece of mdf I added a piece of urethane that I cast in my paint tray. All of these pieces are glued together with a two part epoxy adhesive.




Just a little bit of work was necessary to make this look like one uniform piece. Spot filler to hide the joints.




Primed with my favorite primer, Krylon ruddy brown. Ready for wet sanding.




Since this is a two part mold, I needed taller walls than what the blinds could provide. I used cardboard to make the walls. This was a test to see how low budget I could go with a mold box. I also decided to try registration keys facing both directions.




When making a replica in this way, one side to be mirrored, there is a bit of worry at this point. Nothing is laser cut and everything is done by hand. Will it all match up properly?



I had to do a few castings to figure out how to get the most accurate pieces, and overall they line up pretty well. Of course there is the inevitable joining seam line. Once the pieces were adhered together ( using two part epoxie ), I filled all the seam gaps with milliput.




Once the milliput was cured I smoothed everything out with spot filler.


The piece was primed to check for accuracy in the seam and to prepare for paint.


I drilled a hole about 3/4 of the way down into the handle. A piece of rebar was put into that hole and joined to the handle with urethane. Another hole is drilled into the blade and the other end of this rebar will be mounted into the blade with more urethane. This is how the handle will be secured to the sword and give it complete support.


Base coat of purple.


The black markings were made using a technique I use for rust spots. I paint the spots globing more paint in some spots than others and let the paint get a skin on it. Next I dab water onto the paint and let it set shortly. With a wet brush or small sponge, I remove all the loose paint. If too much comes off, I go over it again.




I didn't document the handle texturing with photos. I primed and applied several layers of paint onto a medium grit sandpaper. The sizing was figured up and cut out of the paper. I super glued the paper to the handle and added super glue to the seam to make sure it wouldn't peel apart.​

Skeletors version of the sword-




















He-Mans version of the sword-












































 

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Ruddigger

Sr Member
Very nice. He-Man was my absolute favorite as a kid, and you've done his sword justice. What paint did you use on the He-Man sword?
 

cepts

New Member
Thank you, and I'm glad you asked about the paint as I forgot to give the details of how I did it.
I first primed the sword with Krylon grey primer. I did not wet or dry sand the primer, but rubbed over it with a cloth to knock off the few dry rough spots associated with this primer. Everything else was done with an airbrush.
The first color I applied onto the primer base was Wicked Silver made by Createx. This was sealed with acrylic gloss clear coat made by Krylon. I don't remember how many, but I applied several coats of Wicked Silver until I was satisfied with the look. I recommend a dark base coat prior to using this color to get the best look.
Next was a blend that I made starting with more Wicked Silver, Pearl Black by Createx, and a little bit of yellow acrylic paint. A lot of the Pearl Black paint was necessary to darken the Wicked Silver to the level I wanted. I used Pearl Black instead of a straight black so that the shine of the silver wouldn't be lost. I added the small amount of yellow acrylic paint so that the overall look of the blend would resemble dirty steel, at least, that's what I was calling it. I completely covered the sword with this blend, and as soon as it was dry, I lightly wet sanded the areas that I wanted stressed and most worn looking. This wet sanding is why I clear coated the silver, I didn't want to accidentally remove any of the silver.
The last layer was just pearl black. This was sprayed into the crevices and once it was dry, I lightly wet sanded where I had some over spray to keep a uniform look.
I let this all dry overnight and coated it with acrylic satin clear coat made by Krylon.
 
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