King Arts Mjolnir: Making a Worthy Hammer

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jholt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
hey all!

so this is my very first post regarding my own personal projects!

Mjolnir is one of those props I have been obsessed with for quite a while now. and like many others here, haven't really found a replica that does the screen used ones justice.

i think it is widely agreed upon that the EFX mjolnir is a fantastic replica of the hammer however based upon an outdated design.

and i also think it is widely agreed upon that the King Arts Mjolnir is the best example of the latest design for several key reasons.

1. its the right size and shape
2. possesses the most current design
3. is made of metal
4. has the closest match to the metal chevron design/shape on the handle
5. has the correct inner stitching pattern on the inner leather strap

however there are a few short comings that doesnt quite get this fella over the finish line:

1. hollow as a tin can (will post video clips of this)
2. horrible paint job
3. and less offensive, the leather on the handle is actually cast rubber

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the biggest challenge with this hammer was actually finding one for sale at a price i could sleep at night with. these are surprisingly scarce and when they do pop up, they are insanely expensive.

well after ages of searching i FINALLY located one.

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now that i have one, the first step was to pull it all apart.

i want to give a MASSIVE shout out to Heyjude7 for all of his support and advice when tackling this project. he went absolutely above and beyond and i am eternally grateful. he tackled this same project years ago and was happy to share his knowledge.

so pulling this sucker apart was incredibly difficult. in particular, unscrewing the handle to the hammer head.

for the wall mounted version the hammer comes in tact. however for the pedestal style i believe it comes separate which would have been nice lol.

loosening the epoxy grip inside the head was a herculean effort, and several times i thought i was going to break it (thanks Jason for reassuring me that i wouldnt lol)

but i guess eventually i was deemed worthy and it loosened!


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now that it was separated, i decided to begin the paint stripping process.

after chatting with Jason, we deemed that the best method would be the good ole fashion manual process, fine grit sanding and wet sanding.

i tried several other chemical options and they werent successful... i also have a 4 yr old son and was hesitate on trying anything too toxic in the basement as im not familiar with ANY of this process.

so manual sanding began!

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after 2 days in my off hours i finished 3 sides! LOL

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during this stripping process i couldnt for the life of me understand WHY King Arts covered up this beautiful metal... i do know the reflectivity of the metal from the avengers moving forward definitely did get more matte... and i can only assume it was for filming purposes and not having to deal with reflections of the camera and crew... so it makes sense but i digress.

this metal is absolutely stunning and was incredibly excited to see this hammer literally come to life as i stripped and polished.


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as for the materials, i used 600 fine grit wet sandpaper to strip the paint and then 0000 steel wool to polish and buff to a mirror shine.

next step was to polish all the metal chevrons on the handle and pommel.

the right 4 chevrons are done and the left half isnt for comparison


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and after 3-4 days i finally had a BEAUTIFUL clean Mjolnir!!!


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i will stop this post now and continue in another with the next step:

FILLING THE HAMMER!

thanks for looking!
 

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jholt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So the next step was to fill this hammer solid due to this knock test.




Pretty terrible... and for me personally, it completely destroys the illusion that this thing was forged from a dying star... ALSO....

The out of the box weight wasn't worthy enough.


PXL_20201124_002426565-01.jpeg


I then needed to decide exactly what I wanted to fill this thing with... And I wrestled with several ideas.

Originally I did want to keep it a bit lighter so I could still mount it on the wall mount it came with but then I decided that making it as heavy as possible was the only way to really transform this prop into something REAL.

So quick dry cement it is!
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This fill process was very tricky for a couple reasons...

The way this hammer is constructed, there was no way I could quick fill the head and close it up...


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the top portion is on a slide mechanism so I couldn't remove one side and fill it up like a cup...

so I decided I had to drill a hole on the top plate and fill from there.

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I've actually never drilled into metal so I didn't know what to expect... Fortunately it was super easy!

From here I went through the nerve racking process of filling it in!

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And it is done!!!

There was a significant amount of leaking as I decided to make a more watery mixture so I had more time to fill but nothing too terrible.

I left it overnight to cure and in the morning I had a solid block of amazingness!

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and here is the NEW knock test!!!




SUCCESS!!!

And 22 lbs with a top heavy prop is incredibly impressive.

I would have loved to get it to the accurate 42 lbs but I can't complain :D

And now all that is left to do is the final and more exciting step...

WEATHERING!!!
 
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jholt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As a disclaimer... I have never weathered a prop before in my life.

In fact, my entire career is based in CG... I worked in the visual effects film industry for 15+ years and have recently moved over to games where I work as a senior texture artist at Epic Games working on characters for Fortnite.

Having worked exclusively in the digital world on many big films, I have always wanted to make the CG assets I have worked on in real life. To physically create it over digitally.

And as a fun fact, I actually painted the CG Mjolnir in Thor Ragnarok.



mjolnir01.PNG


mjolnir02.PNG


So I knew exactly HOW i wanted to weather it in my mind's eye, however I had no idea exactly how to do that physically...

And thanks to Filandrius and Heyjude7, I started doing some paint tests with some techniques they shared with me.




And after days of testing various techniques, I was finally happy with not only the overall look but the process in which I could achieve that look consistently.

I'm so used to easily ctrl + Z to fix any mistakes I do so not having that, and being on a clock with how acrylics work was a MASSIVE learning curve for me.

At times it was a bit deflating and frustrating but I stuck with it and finally came out on the other side!


PXL_20201126_005324799.PORTRAIT-01.COVER-01.jpeg

PhotoGrid_1606367500675.jpg


And after several attempts and redos on the actual hammer, I finally completed the weathering process!


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I couldn't be happier with the final result.

It is beautifully reflective with just the right amount of weathering and wonderfully solid and heavy.

And to cap it off (no pun intended) I just received this punched aluminium discs from Heyjude7 to cover up the unsightly base of the pommel you can see in my final beauty shots

PXL_20201203_002305156.PORTRAIT-01.COVER-01.jpeg


I will finish it off with a bit of weathering and it will be truly complete!

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

And thanks for looking!!!
 
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Loneken

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Love this thread. Thanks for sharing the steps. Wish those King Arts were more affordable. Last time I found one it was over $2000 on eBay.. hope they do another release when the next Thor movie comes out.

Did you do anything to the fake leather handle ? Have you considered replacing it with real leather?
 

jholt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Love this thread. Thanks for sharing the steps. Wish those King Arts were more affordable. Last time I found one it was over $2000 on eBay.. hope they do another release when the next Thor movie comes out.

Did you do anything to the fake leather handle ? Have you considered replacing it with real leather?

Thank you!

As fate would have it, I actually found a second one that I plan to do the same treatment as this one and sell this one.

And thats a good question!

Originally I had planned on it however when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the look of the cast rubber... its actually not bad.

Furthermore, if I do replace with leather I'd want it to be seamless which I don't have the expertise to execute on... I actually contacted several local leathersmiths (not sure what you call them?) and all of them said it isnt possible without a seam lol.

So I'm happy to leave it as is.
 

Loneken

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you!

As fate would have it, I actually found a second one that I plan to do the same treatment as this one and sell this one.

And thats a good question!

Originally I had planned on it however when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the look of the cast rubber... its actually not bad.

Furthermore, if I do replace with leather I'd want it to be seamless which I don't have the expertise to execute on... I actually contacted several local leathersmiths (not sure what you call them?) and all of them said it isnt possible without a seam lol.

So I'm happy to leave it as is.
Awesome! Great job on it! Will follow closely your second one when it comes on sale
 

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Filandrius

Sr Member
I had somehow missed the mention that you painted the CGI Mjolnir in Ragnarok. That thing got some serious screen presence. I’m geeking out just thinking about it.

As for your actual hammer, I’ll say it again: you nailed it. Glad to have helped even a little in the making of that gorgeous prop.
 

jholt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you sir!
I had somehow missed the mention that you painted the CGI Mjolnir in Ragnarok. That thing got some serious screen presence. I’m geeking out just thinking about it.

As for your actual hammer, I’ll say it again: you nailed it. Glad to have helped even a little in the making of that gorgeous prop.
 

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Sublime619

New Member
As a disclaimer... I have never weathered a prop before in my life.

In fact, my entire career is based in CG... I worked in the visual effects film industry for 15+ years and have recently moved over to games where I work as a senior texture artist at Epic Games working on characters for Fortnite.

Having worked exclusively in the digital world on many big films, I have always wanted to make the CG assets I have worked on in real life. To physically create it over digitally.

And as a fun fact, I actually painted the CG Mjolnir in Thor Ragnarok.

View attachment 1374560

View attachment 1374561

View attachment 1374562

So I knew exactly HOW i wanted to weather it in my mind's eye, however I had no idea exactly how to do that physically...

And thanks to Filandrius and Heyjude7, I started doing some paint tests with some techniques they shared with me.

View attachment 1374563 View attachment 1374564 View attachment 1374567
View attachment 1374566

And after days of testing various techniques, I was finally happy with not only the overall look but the process in which I could achieve that look consistently.

I'm so used to easily ctrl + Z to fix any mistakes I do so not having that, and being on a clock with how acrylics work was a MASSIVE learning curve for me.

At times it was a bit deflating and frustrating but I stuck with it and finally came out on the other side!


View attachment 1374569 View attachment 1374568
View attachment 1374572

And after several attempts and redos on the actual hammer, I finally completed the weathering process!


View attachment 1374570


View attachment 1374571

I couldn't be happier with the final result.

It is beautifully reflective with just the right amount of weathering and wonderfully solid and heavy.

And to cap it off (no pun intended) I just received this punched aluminium discs from Heyjude7 to cover up the unsightly base of the pommel you can see in my final beauty shots

View attachment 1374573

I will finish it off with a bit of weathering and it will be truly complete!

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

And thanks for looking!!!
Looks nice and like the actual prop from Age of Ultron and Thor Ragnarok. Can I commission you to do that to my King Arts Mjolnir?
 

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