Making some Shards of Narsil... the canon way?

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Jm419

Sr Member
I've done some research, and I've been hankering to do this for a while. I originally bought a cheap Anduril knockoff, and it ended up being a cheap Narsil with some Anduril runes painted on the blade. Once I got a UC Anduril, I polished up the Narsil, bought a UC plaque, and now I have both an Anduril and a Narsil.

Now, I'd really kind of like to have some Shards of Narsil. I'm not interested in a UC Shards, because I want the shards loose, so I can display them properly. I've followed PHArchivist's thread about hacking up a Narsil, but I've found out that that actually takes quite a bit of work.

I'm curious if anyone has done it a different way. In the film, Sauron stomped on the sword and it "snapped," but I'm aware that's not how the real prop was made. Has anyone tried to maybe dremel some lines to control the breaks, then snap the blade cleanly? Would that work? If it's a bad quality blade, would it snap easily?

This could be really stupid. I'm not too interested in sending little shards of metal flying in my garage, but has anyone actually tried maybe wrapping the weakened blade in a cloth, and smacked it with a hammer? Anything like that?
 

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Maelstrom

Sr Member
I just don't think scored metal will snap like you are hoping it to do. Maybe if it were pot metal like old statues that you see with broken of heads/arms.

If you cut this with a Dremel you won't have little shards of metal everywhere. You should have a fine metal dust everywhere. Any little pieces that were around anytime I've cut metal with a Dremel usually stays partially stuck to the original piece and can be picked off with fingers or pliers.
 

Stivie

Well-Known Member
I have done this but with an extra UC Narsil I had. I used a Dremel (actually burned up my old one) and probably about 6 of 7 cut-off wheels. It does take some time and is rather messy. Here are a couple of pics. I ended up making a custom display for the shards and some of my helmets.

100_1990.jpg

TD1.jpg

td4.jpg
 

PHArchivist

Master Member
I have done this but with an extra UC Narsil I had. I used a Dremel (actually burned up my old one) and probably about 6 of 7 cut-off wheels. It does take some time and is rather messy. Here are a couple of pics. I ended up making a custom display for the shards and some of my helmets.

Totally. I gave up after creating the hilt. Never finished with the remaining shards...
 

Jm419

Sr Member
I kinda want to try dremeling through halfway, like Weta did, then snapping it off. Did you guys go all the way through?
 

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Stivie

Well-Known Member
I kinda want to try dremeling through halfway, like Weta did, then snapping it off. Did you guys go all the way through?

Yes, the steel is too strong. I think the only way it would work is if maybe you could freeze it first. :love
 

Chris Fields

Well-Known Member
The steel is stainless, so it's "tough" which means with will plastically deform and bend before snapping. It's not quenched to it's max hardness, it's not even heat treated I believe (hard to do with stainless and usually not cost productive for those companies) so it's not brittle. You can step on it and hit with a hammer all day, and you will break it, but it will also be all bent up and plastically deformed. It won't shatter like a overly hardened blade.
 

Jm419

Sr Member
I take it that it's too difficult to shatter or freeze?

Hmm. Laser cutting probably wouldn't work, would it?
 

Hecubus114

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A water jet maybe? I did this a couple times with a dremel and it took MANY cutoff wheels and a LONG time. Its a good feeling when its done though.
 

Maelstrom

Sr Member
I have done this but with an extra UC Narsil I had. I used a Dremel (actually burned up my old one) and probably about 6 of 7 cut-off wheels. It does take some time and is rather messy. Here are a couple of pics. I ended up making a custom display for the shards and some of my helmets.

100_1990.jpg

TD1.jpg

td4.jpg


Not to derail, but this display is frikkin awesome!
 

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Husker75

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I just bought myself a shards from UC, then plopped them off the wood, and dremeled off the knobs. Even THAT took a lot of work/blades, and nearly took me and my dads hands off! (the shards are so tiny to hold onto already, especially with big hands, and the dremel can make them very hot, even with gloves.

I love the way they turned out, but it was a chore.

So yeah, I fully understand looking for an alternate route. But I don't see any way you could break or cut to shatter one of the swords. I'll be following up on this though. Interesting to see what you guys think of! :)

My own display is still being built. I have a giant painting Indy Magnoli did for me of the mural that is on the wall across from the shards. I'm gonna build a shield/mantle type display to hold the shards on and mount it under the painting. That way I don't have to try and recreate the whole statue/take up tons of room. Can't wait to finish that all up!
 

CyberPaddy66

Well-Known Member
If I had a sword here that I could take a mould of I'd probably make an acrylic copy to 'break' once painted up it should look the part but like I say I don't have one here to work with.

As for breaking a real sword you would have to make the blade extremely hard by heating and quenching it several times, this should make the sword brittle enough to break however there's no real easy way of controlling the break. The dremel option might work as metal tends to snap at the weak points but I seriously doubt you would be able to snap it along the length like it is in the prop.

The only other way I can think of that you might be able to make a good shards replica is to make your own sword extra long from mild steel so cutting and shaping would be easy, once the bits are how you like them then heating and quenching them would work harden the parts making it seem like the whole sword was in one piece and then broken.

This is all from my knowledge of sword fighting and metal work from when I was younger so I hope it's helpful to somebody :D
 

Jm419

Sr Member
I'm not too interested in casting it in a plastic, then painting it up. I have a cheap knockoff already that I could replace with a UC Narsil, and use the knockoff.

A water jet may be the way to go, but I'll ask a machinist friend of mine before I do anything with it. I've never worked with a dremel before, and this doesn't really strike me as a good beginner project.

Is there a pattern to the shards you've used? Or did you guys just eyeball it?
 

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Fawbish

Sr Member
Awesome idea, just seems like it's one of those ideas (I find them more and more the longer I stay here and gather ideas for props :( ) that end up being massively difficult for what seems like not at glance, a difficult project!

Also, that is an amazing looking display, ridiculously authentic!
 

Maelstrom

Sr Member
You may want to invest in a handheld grinder with a cutoff wheel for the majority of the work. You can get them fairly cheap ($30-$50) and it will make quick work of the major cuts and then do the finish work with a Dremel.
 

Stivie

Well-Known Member
Well from what I can tell you having done this with a Dremel already is that the Dremel cut-off wheels are sometimes too big to get the cuts you will need. I think the water jet idea is the best, just make sure to cover the leather hand grip.
 

Chris Fields

Well-Known Member
I take it that it's too difficult to shatter or freeze?

Hmm. Laser cutting probably wouldn't work, would it?

freezing it won't cause it to harden or give it the ability to shatter.

Laser cutting would definitely work though if you have a laser that can handle the surface contours of the blade.
 

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