Tauriel Daggers from The Hobbit

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by coregeek, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    I recently completed a scratch build of Tauriel's Daggers from The Hobbit films. Thought I'd share the complete build process.
    This is a comprehensive build covering the prop master build, molding/casting, and final finishing.
    I have 50+ photos so I'll post in sections.

    I started with a piece of scrap 5/8" thick MDF that I sawed down to 3/8" thick.

    Transferred reference to MDF.
    tdcoregeek-1.jpg

    Drilled out spots to make cutouts with scroll saw.
    tdcoregeek-2.jpg

    Cutouts made. I decided not to cutout the two small hole on the blade. I didn't want to deal with them during the molding process.
    I also decided to cut them in one string so I wouldn't have to fiddle with removing the scroll saw blade a bunch.
    tdcoregeek-3.jpg

    Starting the bevel of the blade. I freehanded this with my bench belt sander.
    tdcoregeek-4.jpg

    Cleaned up the transition of the blade to handle by hand cutting and sanding.
    tdcoregeek-5.jpg

    Still rough cuts at this point.
    tdcoregeek-6.jpg

    Shaping the blunt edge top.
    tdcoregeek-7.jpg tdcoregeek-8.jpg

    Overall progress.
    tdcoregeek-10.jpg

    Built up the handle thickness by gluing MDF slats on each side.
    tdcoregeek-11.jpg tdcoregeek-12.jpg

    Shaped the handle with combination of belt sander and hand sanding. The handle had several angles that made it a bit of a challenge to get right.
    tdcoregeek-14.jpg tdcoregeek-15.jpg

    That's it for the MDF.
    Next up adding all the detailing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  2. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    I decided to use Apoxie Sculpt for all of the detailing. I like Apoxie Sculpt because it is easy to work with, smooths well and is sandable. I'm a better at sanding then sculpting so that last part is important.

    Started with the guard piece first.
    tdcoregeek-16.jpg tdcoregeek-17.jpg

    Next the grip back-strap detailing.
    tdcoregeek-18.jpg

    Last the pommel.
    tdcoregeek-21.jpg tdcoregeek-20.jpg

    I decided the area near the circular cut-out had more of a flared shape to it, so I built that up a bit.
    tdcoregeek-23.jpg

    Next, I tackled the part I was most apprehensive about. The ornate detailing of the blade. I decided that the Apoxie Sculpt would need a little bit of a filler to get the correct profile. My solution was to superglue down thin sections of common garden wire to build up the profile.
    tdcoregeek-32.jpg

    Here you can see the stages of the initial slopping it on and the results of a bit of smoothing.
    tdcoregeek-33.jpg

    Detailing all done, prior to sanding.
    tdcoregeek-36.jpg

    The results of sanding, using sandpaper and needle files.
    tdcoregeek-27.jpg tdcoregeek-28.jpg tdcoregeek-29.jpg
    tdcoregeek-30.jpg tdcoregeek-31.jpg

    The prop has a wooden grip so I added "woodgrain" to it by scraping it in with an awl. I also carved out the recessed "outline" that is visible around the detailed sections.
    tdcoregeek-40.jpg tdcoregeek-41.jpg

    The actual build complete!
    tdcoregeek-37.jpg

    Next up: Sealing, priming and molding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  3. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    I sealed the MDF with several coats of spray-on Shellac.
    tdcoregeek-43.jpg

    Next, lots of sanding, priming, filling and repeat to clean up any imperfections.
    tdcoregeek-45.jpg tdcoregeek-46.jpg

    Final primer pass prior to wet-sanding.
    tdcoregeek-44.jpg

    Wet-sanded 320 then 400.
    tdcoregeek-48.jpg

    Starting of the claying process for molding.
    tdcoregeek-50.jpg tdcoregeek-49.jpg

    Added a pour spout.
    tdcoregeek-51.jpg

    Added mold box walls. (Also shown: foam Samus Paralyzer pistol I was working on at the same time.)
    tdcoregeek-52.jpg

    Added registration keys.
    tdcoregeek-53.jpg

    I forgot to take a photo of the poured side of the box so we jump to the results of the first side of silicone poured.
    tdcoregeek-55.jpg

    Once the first side is cured you remove the box and clay leaving the prop in the silicone. Clean up all the clay from the prop, rebuild the box, spray it with mold release and pour the second half.
    tdcoregeek-59.jpg

    Here's the second side poured.
    tdcoregeek-56.jpg

    Assuming all goes well, your silicone cures and your prop releases you then have a two part mold.
    tdcoregeek-58.jpg tdcoregeek-57.jpg

    Mold done. Next up: casting!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  4. helpfulnerd

    helpfulnerd Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    WOW! You do awesome work.

    Do you have a brand of Apoxie Sculpt that you prefer. I've never used the stuff before, but I like that it's sandable and have a project that I could use it on.

    Great job, looking forward to seeing the rest of your build :thumbsup
     
  5. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    Thank you. I've only ever used Aves brand Apoxie Sculpt. Mostly because it's easy to order on Amazon Prime. I've also heard good things about Smoothon's Free Form Sculpt but have yet to try it.
     
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  6. helpfulnerd

    helpfulnerd Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cool. Thanks for the brand name. I'll check it out, as I also have Amazon Prime. I'm just now getting into the whole molding and casting thing. So the more tools, tips and advice I can get the better.
     
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  7. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    I failed to take photos of the mold prep. Basically you dust the inside of the mold with a talc based powder then clamp it together.
    Next mix your resin and pour. I used Smoothon's Black Only resin because that's what I had on hand. Also, Onyx has one of the hardest densities so I thought that would be good given the thinness of the blades.

    Here's the mold after the first pour. The drips on the side are from where I cut channels in the mold in areas that I thought may cause trouble with air pockets. The channels act as a vent allowing the air to escape as the resin flows through the mold.
    tdcoregeek-60.jpg

    I neglected to take photos of the demolding, it's not that exciting anyway. You just remove the prop from the mold. Here's the freshly molded copy next to the handmade master.
    tdcoregeek-64.jpg tdcoregeek-66.jpg tdcoregeek-61.jpg tdcoregeek-63.jpg

    I was worried about how those blade cutouts would fare being molded but they actually turned out great.
    tdcoregeek-65.jpg

    I prepped the cast by lightly sanding it (to aid with primer adherence) and cleaning up a few spots that had surface air pockets.
    tdcoregeek-71.jpg tdcoregeek-70.jpg tdcoregeek-69.jpg

    Primed the cast daggers. (Had a few other projects gong at the same time.)
    tdcoregeek-72.jpg
     
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  8. helpfulnerd

    helpfulnerd Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That wood grain came out very nice.
     
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  9. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    First paint I put down was on the blade. This is Valspar Classic Bronze from a can.
    tdcoregeek-73.jpg

    Two colors of brown airbrushed on the wooden grips. I then hand rubbed burnt umber over that to help with the natural variations. First picture shows before and after burnt umber was applied.
    tdcoregeek-76.jpg tdcoregeek-74.jpg tdcoregeek-75.jpg

    Masked off the "wood" to paint the detailing.
    tdcoregeek-77.jpg

    Detailing painted with Rustoleum Hammered copper.
    tdcoregeek-78.jpg tdcoregeek-79.jpg

    Blade silver (Wicked colors metallics) added along with dark wash to fill in all of the weathered crevasses. These show the before and after of weathering.
    tdcoregeek-80.jpg tdcoregeek-81.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Final props!
    Last picture shown with the Sword of Thranduil I made a few months ago.

    tdcoregeek-83.jpg

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    tdcoregeek-82.jpg

    tdcoregeek-88.jpg
     
  10. Kabeiroi

    Kabeiroi Active Member

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    They look amazing! I love the wood effect, both the texture and painting - very realistic!
     
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  11. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    Very nice work.
     
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  12. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    Thanks. I was unsure if it would but really couldn't be happier.
     
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  13. helpfulnerd

    helpfulnerd Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, I was impressed that that grain came out so nice in the cast version. The wood grain looks better on the cast version compared to the master, at least in the side by side comparison. Maybe just the way it looks in the photo.

    Oh, and I gotta say, the finished version looks killer! :thumbsup
     
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  14. feedmyfunnyy

    feedmyfunnyy New Member

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    Wow love them they are absolutely beautiful !!! Great work congrats :)
     
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  15. kristen jones

    kristen jones Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So, uhh, coregeek..... are these for sale now? They look fantastic and I'd be all about buying a set if you're offering them.
     
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  16. crypto

    crypto Active Member

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    AWESOME !!!

    Great work with the detailing !
     
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  17. helpfulnerd

    helpfulnerd Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm wondering the same thing. Personally I'm not interested and that's in no way a reflection of your work, just not interested in collecting for this franchise. BUT...I do have some friends that would love a set of these.

    I'm willing to spread the word about your great work. Have you thought about creating an interest thread?
     
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  18. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    Hey all. Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to this. I subscribed to the thread but for some reason haven't been getting notified about updates.
    First thank you all for the kind feedback.

    Secondly I'm as of today taking orders on the raw kits for these daggers. Sorry to those who want fully finished product. I just do not have the time to commit to finishing.

    Here's where you can place an order:
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/241852135/tauriel-woodland-elf-prop-daggers-for
    OR
    http://www.coregeek.net/shop/

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  19. copius

    copius New Member

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    very very cool.
     
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  20. ebswift

    ebswift Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Amazing work man, love the details on working within technical and ability limitations. Things can be done that don't at first glance seem achievable by varying technique to using methods we are stronger with. Well done, thanks for all the detail.
     
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  21. kristen jones

    kristen jones Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    coregeek... I checked out both links above, and in order to use PayPal (which I want to do) it says to use the Etsy site. But there aren't any more available over there... you may need to put more up.
     
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  22. coregeek

    coregeek Member

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    Thanks for letting me know. It was suppose to auto renew but didn't. I've got it back up.
     

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