He-man Toy/Comic Style Power Sword

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Maul, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    I was going to wait and debut this when it was a little further along, but figured why not go ahead and do it now. The journey is half the fun, right? :cool

    This has been a long time coming for me. I've wanted a good version of the Power Sword since I was about 3 pretty much. I actually started one of these about 10 years ago, while I was in college. Same basic idea, but it was made completely from clay, and was much more freehand. Needless to say, it didn't turn out very well. For this one I wanted to ensure symmetry as much as possible. You can basically divide it in half lengthwise and widthwise, and get four quadrants. I figured I'd make half of it, mold, cast twice, and then joing together to try and at least save some work from one side to other. I cut a profile template out of 1/8" Masonite, screwed that down to backing boards, then glued green floral foam onto that. I made another template out of 1"x 6" that had the curve of the thickness of the sword that I wanted. On the bottom of it, I screwed a piece of the same Masonite to get it raised off the backing board the same amount as the sword, then pass the template over the foam until that lip meets the Masonite under the sword. That should ensure pretty good symmetry on both sides. I'll get a picture of it later and I'm sure it will make a lot more sense. I carved the foam down a little lower than what the template would hit it at, then sealed with some fiberglass resin. I know floral foam isn't really the most ideal kind to use for this, but hey, I had some laying around. :) I first tried coating it with drywall mud, which worked ok, except I would end up finding some soft spots from where the foam would move under the hardened resin. I didn't use any mat with the resin, to try and keep it as clean as possible, so in some areas it wasn't as solid as it needed to be. I just cut those areas out, re-fiberglassed, and then just started bondoing from there, rather than drywall mud. At first, I was holding the sandpaper on by hand, which just didn't work for long. I then started clamping the sandpaper to it, which also didn't work too well. Then it hit me, adhesive backed sandpaper, DUH. That's sped things up tremendously. It's been through many rounds of mudding and sanding, and still has many more to go. Once this part is done, I'll add the raised area in the middle, side guards, and handle. I left them off for now since it was easier to get to the inside of the curves, and I haven't decided exactly how they'll look yet since there are so many variations. Also, the bottom is going to change a good bit, so pay no attention to it right now.

    It's still very rough right now, but hopefully you guys can see the potential. I'll get more pics up soon if anyone's interested. It will look a lot better when it's in primer so it's one solid color, lol.

    Thanks for looking!

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    EyeofSauron likes this.
  2. Spifferiferfied

    Spifferiferfied New Member

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    Awesome! I look forward to your progress!
     
  3. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Here's some pics from when I started. First, the Masonite template:

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    Then the floral foam glued on:

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    The other template, and how I'm using it:

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    And finally a now shot, stuck in mudding and sanding purgatory :rolleyes. Mud, sand. Mud, sand. Mud, sand. A couple more rounds and all the low spots should be gone:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  4. Simpson77

    Simpson77 Well-Known Member

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    That's looking very nice!! I bet it took you ages to do the sanding. Keep up the good work!!!!!
     
  5. Captainjaze

    Captainjaze Active Member

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    I cant wait to see this!!!
     
  6. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    You could say that. :)

    Thanks a lot guys! Still plugging away, just nothing visually different enough for pictures really. I hope to have another update soon!
     
  7. hansicle

    hansicle Sr Member

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    I saw on He-man.org they were opening a gallery for Lou Scheimer , a fonder of Filmation, anyhoo, they were using replica power swords to cut the ribbon. You too could own a replica of a sword duplicated from one use in an 80's thanksgiving parade. It looks like the sword is Vac metalized resin, and it can be all yours for $1200..... I know you can do a better job :)
     
  8. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Still here, believe it or not. :rolleyes With the holidays and other stuff, just didn't have a lot of time to mess with it a lot. It's coming along pretty well now, finally starting to look presentable:

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    Pay no attention to the split near the bottom. The sides down there will get fattened up and addressed when I add the hand guards, so I'll take care of the split then. Also, the lines from the sides going into the middle aren't finished all the way to the center, but the raised area will cover that up so I'm not worried about it. I planned on wet sanding and polishing it up to 1500 or 2000, but I was stupid and used a piece of MDF as the main board, Also, the Masonite doesn't like water either, so I have to be really careful. It'll mean having to do it twice, but I'll probably just wait and do the super high grits when i get the two sides cast and together. There's still a few tiny things here and there that need fixing, but it's getting there. Now to add the raised part. I may photoshop up some hand guards soon too, just to see which style exactly I'm going to use.
     
  9. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    I've been working more in Photoshop lately than on the sword itself. Trying to decide which direction to go with the crossguard. Here's two ways I'm leaning right now. The one on the left is inspired by the old yellow and black light up sword which is a style that I've always kind of liked. The one on the right is obviously more the original toy, traditional version. Any thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Simpson77

    Simpson77 Well-Known Member

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    Any further along with your sword?
     
  11. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Actually, yes! I molded it this weekend. It was a quick and dirty fiberglass mold, but it should be fine for the two pulls I need out of it. I honestly got a bogged down for a little bit. I used foamies to add the raised section in the middle. I figured it would be a quick way to get a uniform thickness, and it would conform to the curves nicely. Yes and no. I kinda had to stretch it a little to make it lay right in some areas, so it ended up being slightly thinner in that area, etc. Then the foam just doesn't like to hold a small amount of bondo on it's edge when trying to sharpen up and finesse things. After many tries and beating my head against the wall for a bit, I figured I'd go ahead and get it molded and cast in a harder form and then just go ahead and clean things up there. Looking back, I've probably made this a lot harder than it had to be, but live and learn I guess. I would probably use different materials if I had it to do again, but I used what I had around for the most part. I hope to get to casts done this week so I can finally see it double-sided. :)

    Forgive the crappy cell phone pics:

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  12. Owens8176

    Owens8176 New Member

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    Looking good....
     
  13. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    One done and out of the mold. The one on the right will come out tomorrow and then time to trim!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. cokebabies

    cokebabies Member

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    This is coming along great. Five year old me would probably have an aneurysm if he saw this.
     
  15. Draphin

    Draphin Sr Member

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    This is looking awesome. I have just started getting into Fiberglass molds and I always see the Red Lining what is that and would you find it in a hardware store that sells Fiberglass or is it a specialty thing?
     
  16. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! I can't wait to get it together and make it really start looking like something. :lol

    The pictures make it look more red, but it's actually orange "Tooling Gelcoat." It's better for making molds than regular gelcoat as it's stronger and can handle more heat cycles from the fiberglass kicking off, etc. So it's better for a mold that's going to be used for multiple pulls. Unfortunately, you pretty much have to get it at a specialty shop. You can find it here, second from the bottom: Polyester Resins . With only needing two pulls from the mold, I could have easily used regular gelcoat, but I didn't have any. You definitely wouldn't typically use it for the parts themselves as it's pretty much a waste, but again, using what's on hand is still cheaper than ordering more at the moment. I used the last bit of regular, white gelcoat on an Imperial Guard helmet a while back. I didn't have enough so I ended up mixing a little of the orange with it, expecting a Creamsicle-ish color, but nope. PINK! It was pretty humorous to see a pink Imperial Guard when it came out of the mold. The Emperor would be most displeased to say the least. The tooling gelcoat also comes in black, the idea being that often people use white gelcoat for their parts. With the high contrast, it's easy to see if you've missed any spots and get a feel for how thick it is when applying the white over either of those colors. Orange on orange makes it a lot tougher. :facepalm I'm certainly no pro, but if I can help you out in any way, just let me know!

    Thanks for the replies!
     
  17. Draphin

    Draphin Sr Member

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    NO no no Thank you! I may end up picking your brain in the future till then Keep up the Awesome Work!
     
  18. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Out of the mold:

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    Rough trimmed:

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    Getting there...
     
  19. GrandScroll

    GrandScroll New Member

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    That's looking really good! Can't wait to see the finished product!
     
  20. utz716

    utz716 New Member

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    Looks great!!! I can't wait to see the final product
     
  21. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! I hope to have a good update soon! Unfortunately just haven't had time to work on it lately. :(
     
  22. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Re: He-man Toy/Comic Style Power Sword - BACK from the drawing board!

    Zombie project, back from the dead just in time for Halloween!

    Well... I said I'd do it differently if I had it to do over again. This project has brought about a lot of old phrases, such as "Be careful what you wish for..." :confused

    I owe you guys an apology. Another phrase that comes to mind is "can't see the forest for the trees." I got caught up in the technique and such, that I was missing the big picture and that the sword's proportions weren't very good. This thing was pretty crappy now that I can finally see it for what it was. Lol, I didn't even see it when looking at the silhouettes. It was WAY too fat and stubby. It did kinda have that toy proportion feel, but I only wanted to translate a little bit of that into the final product, not make it look ridiculous. And the thickness. Man, I was WAY off. :facepalm That one I kind of saw coming though, but I didn't want to believe it. When working on it, I would think it looked a little thick, but kept thinking it was because it was on the masonite template, it would come together once both halves were together, etc. NOPE! Again, missed the forest for the trees.

    So, I started over. This time, I thought I would try to avoid molding the half and make it all in once piece. Well, that didn't go well either. I won't go into it in detail, but I made a new template that was double sided, meant to run down the cutting edge sides and shape the blade on both sides of the edge. That part worked, but it was virtually impossible to keep the cutting edge straight. Unfortunately this was pretty much a big waste of time.

    I started AGAIN. The original idea DID give me a straight cutting edge on the sides. I had to fight the center line a little bit to keep it straight, using the bodywork trick of taping down the line and bodyworking one side, etc. This time, I figured I'd go all out and split it into quadrants. Hopefully it won't backfire again, but I think this is going to work out really well. I made two quadrants. I can work them laying flat, to get the 'face' of the blade done, as well as work them standing on end, to work the cutting edge. Once I have them both good to go, I'll join them and mold. At least that's the plan, but we all see how the plans have gone already, lol.

    Anyway, here's a few pics. I didn't want to show anything else until I was pretty sure it was going to work.

    Laying flat for the 'face':

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    On end for the cutting edge. The gap is pretty much gone once it's clamped:

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    It really is laughable how thick the other one was. This one is about half as thick. After looking at the toys, etc., it was kind of obvious my other one was completely wrong.

    Beginning work on the raised area in the middle, still a ways to go:

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    Finally, new silhouettes. This may not be an exact comparison, as I don't remember the exact length of the old one offhand. I believe it was coming in at 35-36". The new one will be about 38". I tried to stretch the blade out and thin the proportions down as well. It still has a little of that thick, toy feel when viewed from the side, but I think it works. It's basically just leaner and meaner. (I hope! :$ )

    [​IMG]

    I'd love to hear any feedback, and sorry again for being so blind before!
     
  23. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Small update to give a little better idea of the overall feel of it. The handle is by no means final. I was honestly just ready to start working on it and get out of Photoshop for a little while, lol. I've also started work on the side pieces, just didn't get any pics yet.

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  24. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Another small update. Still a ways to go. The PVC handle is some scrap I had and just there for an idea. I'll deal with exactly how the handle will look eventually.

    [​IMG]

    Feedback welcome! Thanks for looking!
     
  25. dred

    dred New Member

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    Very cool. Thanks for the update.
     
  26. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    No, this project has not died. :rolleyes I spent most of November and all my free time of December working on the dollhouse for my daughter's Christmas. Then my vacation time up until now has been mostly spent soaking in as much of this precious time while the kids are at this golden age and enjoy Christmas so much. We all know that they just grow way too fast. :cry On a good note, I got my son Classics He-man and Battlecat and he loves them! Even my daughter knows about and seems to like He-man as well, so the seed is taking root, lol. My wife just shakes her head and says there's no hope, it's in their blood. :cool

    I'm back on this now and trying to get the raised area on the blades just right. I've gotten a little bogged down on them, but they have to be right before I can move on. Then I can get the pieces stood up, glued together and then get the cutting edge done. I hope to make some real progress soon.

    Thanks everyone who has contacted me for the interest and compliments!
     
  27. Motuxmen

    Motuxmen New Member

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    Great sword. This is my first post. So much for an epic entrance. What's that old saying, in Like a lamb, out like a lion? Lol
     
  28. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Working on the edge of the raised area. Built it up some, sharpening it some, etc. Putting a different color on it really brings up all the flaws and things left to fix, but progress is progress, right? :lol

    [​IMG]
     
  29. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, forgot to say thanks to Motuxmen! I'm honored that my thread is your first post!
     
  30. pj2040

    pj2040 Member

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    WOW!!!

    OH MAN I LOVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH HE-MAN!!! HE IS MY CHILDHOOD!!!

    GREAT work. I love this. I've been wanting to make a sword like in the Filmation cartoon. I designed this pic but can't decide on which one I think feels more "He-man"!!

    But I love yours!! Wow! :)
    [​IMG]
     
  31. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot! Nice pic! I would like to do a Filmation sword eventually, but would probably need to do a project or two in between, lol. I personally like the one on the right better. I know there's some shots where it clearly had the round balls, but I just never really saw it like that.

    Sorry for the lack of updates. I wanted to wait until I could make a decent one, not just "I'm still working on it." If there's one thing I've learned on this project, it's to not be afraid to re-do something. I wasn't happy with the raised area. It just didn't flow and looked like it just sort of landed on it, not something that flowed with the design. So... it had to go.

    [​IMG]

    That was pretty tough actually, lol. They didn't look the best, but I had some time invested in them. I decided to go a different route and try some new techniques. I was pretty happy with the profile at the center of the sword, just not the edges. So before eradicating what I had so far, I traced that onto some styrene, cut it out, and then made a second copy. This would give me the profile on each side of the sword that already matched, instead of trying to make it match up on my own. The problem is that the pieces would add thickness to the width of the blade. Probably only a little over 1/16", but still. To account for that, I routed out a small bit on each piece to make the pieces fit flush. I'd just sprayed the primer and the discoloration is just it soaking into the filler versus the wood at different speeds.

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    So now I had a center point to start from. Switching colors occasionally helps see things better. Just working on smoothing out the blade before re-doing the raised areas.

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    Unfortunately, there's some spaces in places where the blade halves don't meet tight like before. I guess from moving it around so much while working it, and maybe just from warping over time? I'll deal with that soon.

    [​IMG]

    I cut styrene shapes to layout the base of the raised area. I used garage sale signs, so ignore the writing. I also put in the curved line in the middle to set the symmetry for it on both sides. I've seen a lot about Apoxie Sculpt, but never tried it. Ordered some and I have to say so far that I LOVE it! I couldn't believe how quick I was able to do two of the four areas. Between it and the styrene, it sped things up a good bit. It would have taken a much longer time with the other methods I'd been using. They're not 100% and will still need some smoothing once they set, but still.

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    Again, there will be some more refining needed. One last overall shot.

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    I'm not sure why I didn't have the blade pressed tighter there. 2 steps back, three steps forward! It's getting there.
     
  32. patolcott

    patolcott Member

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    wow man that is looking great I loved he man As a kid your build really brings me back
     
  33. Weaselhammer

    Weaselhammer Sr Member

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    Looking very nice so far ! Good luck with the rest of the build !
     
  34. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot guys!

    Weaselhammer, I see you're not terribly far from me. Small world!
     
  35. Monkeybark

    Monkeybark New Member

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    Any new updates? I am looking forward to seeing how this shapes up.
     
  36. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the interest! I haven't been able to work on it as much as I'd like, but it's getting there. I'll get some pics up soon!
     
  37. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, not the best pic, but I ran out and snapped one before work this morning. I've been refining the raised center section. I'm not sure if the angle of the pic is doing it or what, but it looks more symmetrical in person. Or maybe I've just been looking at it too long. :wacko The divots on the sides near the widest part are from testing clamping it together to see how much of the warping will straighten out. The good news is that most all of it did. There's definitely going to be some cleanup do to along the entire edge though. That's why I think I'll be better off gluing it together so I can finish the cutting edge to perfection and then molding it. If I'm going to have to do something twice, I'd rather it be the center line when it's laying flat I think.

    [​IMG]
     
  38. Dredgen

    Dredgen Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is turning out nice. Great job so far! This was always my favorite version of the sword. Can't wait to see it finished.

    Are you going to paint each half of the power sword it's respective color (Silver & Purple) like the toy or is this just He-Mans?
     
  39. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much!

    I plan on making multiple copies, actually. One of which I would like to paint half gray or silver and half purple. Beside's He-Man and Skeletor's, I also really want Faker's orange one. It would be awesome to see all the colors of the toys, honestly. :p

    I've been out of town and was busy with life again, lol. I look forward to starting back this week!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  40. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    An update, finally! :D It was finally time to join the two halves and finish the cutting edge. The edges weren't exactly even any longer just due to all the shaping. I had a couple more blanks already cut from when I originally planned on making all four "quadrants", for lack of a better word, rather than just make two and mold them. I clamped the pieces to one of the blanks so I'd have a template to build up both sides to. Some refinement would still be needed, but it would get me pretty close.

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    Some parts were closer than others:

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    I used Apoxie Sculpt to build up to the edge:

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    Again, there was some refinement afterwards, but not much. The halves are now joined, cleaned up the lines and it's FINALLY time to move on to hilt. I wasn't happy with the space between the wide part of the blade and the closest part of the cross guard, so I added in a couple of strips of masonite to space them out more.

    [​IMG]

    Roughly trimmed:

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    I'm working on building the cross guard thickness with Apoxie Sculpt, blending etc., now. I hope to have some more updates soon. I don't expect this part to take as long, but we'll see. I've actually gotten a little further than these pics, but they're all I have for the moment.

    Thanks again for the kind words everyone!
     
  41. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Some more progress. This is just about the cross guard end, not where it meets the rest of the blade. It's a lot easier to deal with the end while I can still pick it up and sand all sides easily, rather than fighting trying to sand the inside when it's fixed next to the wide part of the blade. I'll address the bottom half once I have this part done.

    [​IMG]

    It's coming along, but I'm still not 100% sure how I'm going to handle it. It looks a little blocky and unfinished at certain angles, but others it doesn't bother me as much.

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    The rough area in the center is just where the wood is peeking through the Apoxie Sculpt. I'll get it smoothed out more.

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    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if I want to round off the edges or not. I probably will at least a bit, as the sharp edges don't flow with the raised center section. Sometimes it's easier to round them off uniformly after getting them sharp uniformly. I'm thinking about thinning the edge closest to you in the third picture. So it's a little thicker on the inside, closest to the blade and thins out a little toward the outside, and then round the edges some. Something to give it a little more diversity and look a little more visually interesting, rather than just a big, blocky shape. I'll just have to play with it, honestly.
     
  42. oujala

    oujala Well-Known Member

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    This is looking great. Better and better every post, man. My 2 cents for you would be that you could definitely knock the edge of the guard, but I would be careful not to go too far. Of course the toy is pretty rounded. And the letter opener I have for...ahem...opening letters and not swinging around is pretty rounded.

    Really nice work.
     
  43. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot oujala! I've been tempted to get a couple of those letter openers myself. For... opening letters, of course. :cool

    Update! Whaddya know? :eek I've rounded them off a bit, so they don't feel like blocks, but they're also not just completely round shapes. There's some nuances for the shadows to play off of. There's also a few more spots to perfect, but I wanted to go ahead and get some pics up to see what people thought.

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    Here's a couple of QUICK photoshops to get an idea of how it will look:

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    Opinions? I'll get the area where it meets the blade cleaned up next. I'm actually going to be ordering the silicone and resin in the next couple of days.

    Look, there's light at the end of the tunnel! :D
     
  44. Dredgen

    Dredgen Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They look good rounded off. Once the cross guard is blended in with the raised portion on the blade it will look superb!
     
  45. oujala

    oujala Well-Known Member

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    Wow that looks great. Just the right amount rounded off. Keep it going!
     
  46. jessec

    jessec Well-Known Member

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    Totally badass! Brings back memories.!
     
  47. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks for the extremely kind words! Superb and badass are definitely good responses to elicit. :cool I'm still going, but not quite ready for more pics. Thanks again everyone!
     
  48. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is the sword I would want as a He-Man replica. My Dad used to cut me ones in the toy/cartoon shape out of plywood when I was a kid. THIS is the definitive style for that sword. Good work
     
  49. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I agree. I still really like the Filmation cartoon one, but this is the style I always gravitate back towards. That's awesome that your Dad did that for you, good memories!
     
  50. Maul

    Maul Well-Known Member

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    We've hit a point of no return. I've ordered the supplies for molding and casting. Definitely not cheap, but I'm excited! So now it's either I'll be able to make swords, orrrr I'll be sleeping on the couch for quite a while once my wife finds out how much the supplies cost. :lol
     

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