Stormbreaker with Bottle Opener (Infinity War/Endgame)

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
Hello RPF!

Long time, no see! I'm back with a new build tutorial! I have decided to build a fun new cosplay from Avengers Endgame - #ThiccThor ! Below is picture of me from Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. I had an awesome time and thought I would put together a build tutorial on how I made Stormbreaker. First of all, huge shoutouts to fellow builders: PepperMonster Cosplay, SKS Props, Odin Makes, and Daniel Wiggins. Stormbreaker was a super easy build after these talented builders paved the way. Primarily, I used Pepper Monster's build as my main guide, but the other builders definitely had some influence on this build as well.

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Pepper:
SKS Props:
Odin Makes:
Daniel Wiggins:

Please follow along as I take you on my journey.
 

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
I started off by printing out Pepper Monster's templates which can be found here:


Now, Pepper's build was from before more screen references were available, but her build withstands the test of time, so I used her designs with just a few tweaks.

I started off by acquiring some supplies. Most other builders used thick HD Foam from cosplay supply stores (which I would recommend), but I was building on a shoe-string budget and making due with some supplies I had laying around. Knowing the foam I had access to was just some cheap anti-fatigue mats I knew that I would want to fill in the inside portion of the axe to give it some more durability. So, I bought this small swim board from Five Below for $5USD.

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Spoiler Alert: In Endgame Thor uses Stormbreaker at one point in the film as a bottle opener. with this is in mind I knew that a built-in bottle opener was a must for my design. I had this bottle opener laying around my worshop, and it would be perfect.

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I printed out Pepper's designs on paper, and then cut out the templates.

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Next I stripped the cover off of the swim board and trimmed the entire thing down to a more manageable size.

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Next I traced the axe template onto the foam.

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Next I started trimming down the foam with a big serated kitchen knife. Then I marked the approximate shape of the blade to start finding the 3d shape I wanted. Careful if you choose to trim using a kitchen knife... it was the best tool I could think of on the spot.

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I ended up using a Medium Grit Sanding Sponge to complete shaping the axe head.

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With the interior foam finished I started tracing the templates onto the EVA Mats. These mats are pretty thin. Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 5mm.

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I also marked the mats where I wanted to beveled edge to begin.

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Next I started assembling the foam pieces using contact cement. As you can I added a pool noodle inside the hammer end to help with the rigidity.

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The pool noodle was cut down to about 8" total.

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Next I started lining up my PVC pipe connectors. The main PVC pipe is 3/4". The "T" connector was then reduced down to 1/2" on either side of the connector that will remain inside the hammer and axe.

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Next I trimmed the 1/2" PVC pipe down to end where the beveled shape begins on the axehead.

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Then I hollowed out the foam with a 3/4" drill bit. Be very, very careful doing this!!!

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Once I was satisfied with the installation of the pipe into the foam interior piece I started assembling the EVA foam skin.

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Once I was happy with the overall shape I started to figure out how I would install the bottle opener. I started by making a posterboard template of the opener that could be easily folded-bent to align with the shape of the axehead.

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When the shape looked correct I put the stainless steel bottle opener in the vice and started bashing away at it until the shape looked correct.

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Getting the bottle opener to fit over the PVC "T" connector proved to be the most difficult step. There was a lot of filing, sanding, bashing, and cursing. But, eventually I got it on there. I used zip ties to secure it in place.

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I dry-fit the entire assembly together to ensure that the fit was good. Then I glued the PVC pipes that would all be contained inside the axe/hammer together with regular plumbing cleaner and glue.

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Now this is where my build really differs from Pepper's... I made new templates the hammer and axe that seemed to correctly reflect the size proportions from screen captures from Infinity War. I found that a standard size tissue box was a good size for the base of the hammer.

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Screen captures... It looks to me like the base of the axe and the base of the hammer are not actually the same size or shape...

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I didn't make the axe and hammer bases perfect, but they are mostly covered by Groot's hand/fingers/vines so I didn't spend too much time fiddling with my designs...

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I also used a flexible ruler to make templates to cover both the top and bottom of the axehead (sorry no photos)...

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My next post will cover the construction of the handle...
 

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
With the hammer and axe assembled I started putting together the handle. I am a Flight Attendant, and I wanted to make this prop capable of being broken down for travel. With this in mind, I made the core of the handle from two 24" long 2" PVC pipes with an extra long coupler in between.

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Some of the other builds I have seen were completed before Infinity War was even released. Since then, there are a lot more references available. One of the very first references available for these early builds was a 1/6th scale toy. That toy incorrectly portrayed Stormbreaker as small and highly curved. Now we can see that in Infinity War and Endgame that Stormbreaker is quite long and that the handle is fairly straight.

Chris Hemsworth (the actor who portrays Thor) is 6'3" tall. In this screen capture you can see that Stormbreaker extends from his shoulder to his ankle. With this is mind, my Stormbreaker is 4'9" tall.

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I started off by using my heat gun to shape the pipes and give them a slightly organic shape. However, I was careful not to add too much curve based on the new information available.

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I labeled the handle so each time I separated the parts I would be able to reconnect them as originally designed.

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I used a foam plumbing insulation tube for the first layer of Groot's arm.

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The tube I had laying around my basement was a little on the smaller side, and when I slipped it over the 3/4" pipes it left a gap. I filled the gap with more EVA foam from anti-fatigue mats.

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I left the EVA foam mat long enough to be able to wrap over the top of the axe/hammer with enough extra to be able to add velcro to each piece.

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I also wrapped the bottom end of the handle cover with a piece of scrap foam i had laying around. I twisted the foam around the insulation to add some thickness to the bottom end.

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Next I really ripped down the EVA foam with my belt sander to give it a much more organic shape.

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When I was happy with the basic shape I wrapped the entire sleeve in 2mm craft foam using contact cement.

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I ended up with this...

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Once I was pretty satisfied with the overall size and shape I really started grinding away some of the foam with the belt sander.

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When the shape started to feel right I added some wood grain texture with my old soldering iron. I just drew random lines all over...

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Then I started to rough out the design that would end up being Groot's fingers/hand/vines/etc... I tried to look through the screen captures whenever possible for inspiration...

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Once the shape started to come together I glued the velcro strips on with contact cement.

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First I trimmed it down quite a bit with scissors, and then way more belt sanding...

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I used the soldering iron again to continue the wood grain texture into the fingers/hand/vines...

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My next post will get into the paint process...
 

Attachments

BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
After a lot of shaping with the belt sander I ended up with something I liked.

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I sort of skipped ahead in my process and didn't add the Runes or fine details until after everything was assembled. So, now I had to go back and add these details.

I took some liberties and changed the Runes a bit. I changed the location of them, and the phrases. If you use your search engine you can find a "Runes alphabet". I just did a simple letter for letter translation of the phrases I wanted to use. I'm sure there are some errors, but this prop is just for fun, and I'm not going to get hung up on the etymology... lol...

My phrases read: "SUPERHERO ALLIANCE" and "BOBBYFROMBUF"

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I just used a ballpoint pen to create the indentations for the Runes. I also moved them to the top and the bottom of the axehead. Do whatever makes you happy! ;-)

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I used a flexible ruler and also traced all the detail lines on the ax and hammer. After this step I used my heat gun to heat seal all the EVA foam before coating with Plasti-Dip....

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After the Plasti-Dip dried I added several layers of tan, green, and brown colors to the handle...

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After I achieved a nice base color I used acrylic paint and I used a weathering technique I like. I painted the brown/black mix on in small areas and then proceeded to wipe away the acrylic paint to leave a nice weathered look.

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When I was really satisfied with the weathering I just added a tiny dusting of this green color to really achieve that organic branch look I was going for...

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The ax and hammer was painted with a metallic silver Rustoleum. Then afterwards I mixed up acrylic silver, with a tiny bit of copper and bronze. I then painted the mix onto the detail areas and then immediately wiped the excess paint away leaving this slight color change behind.

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Finally I mixed up a combination of acrylic black and silver, and used the same technique again. I painted the mix on in small areas, and then immediately wiped the wet paint away. This leaves behind just a slight residue that makes the metallic finish look much more realistic.

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In the end, this prop is not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it. It was a lot of fun to have at my side, and people really loved that I readily handed it over for photos! I hope this tutorial helps you with your build someday!

ALWAYS GO FOR THE HEAD!

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BobbyFromBUF

Active Member
Here are some random photos from Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con 2019....

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Check out my other build on the RPF...

 

Attachments

kickman88

Active Member
Nice work...one of my comments after the film was "This will give us guys who don't have Chris Hemsworth's build a way to cosplay Thor!"
 
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