Tomb Raider (2013) Ice Axe Build

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by JennCroft, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    I have decided to go ahead and start producing replicas of Lara's ice axe from the new Tomb Raider 2013 game. Mold was made from two different brands of silicone; Pinkysil and I don't even know what the blue part is. I think it's generic from Barnes.com.au. I first tried casting them out of epoxy resin but failed miserably due to the incredibly long set times and amount of heat required. I switched to a polyurethane resin (4PU from barnes) with a work time of 5 minutes and set time of 30 minutes and it has been working great. Less bubbles as well, due to the thin oily consistency (unlike the epoxy, which had the consistency of tar or syrup).

    Here are some pictures of the official render and progress of the build. The finished product will be weathered just like the render. So far I'm up to the detailing and weathering on the first axe, after the black handle paint sets better, of course. This is my first time making a mold, casting resin, and producing a replica so please don't tear me apart. :angel: ;)

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  2. SEBRET

    SEBRET New Member

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    Looks great so far. Pretty darn good for a first time deal.
     
  3. TheShinyOne

    TheShinyOne Well-Known Member

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    And that's your first time? ...I can't wait to see what skill-level you reach when you master this, 'cause you're starting of pretty * good.
     
  4. merkymerx

    merkymerx Active Member

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    Wow! Amazing job!

    If I may ask, is this cast from the actual DMM Rebel? Would you consider offering raw castings / kits in the future? Big fan of the new game :)
     
  5. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    Hi guys! I'm Shona and I've been working with Jenn on these axes.

    We have indeed made the mold from the original DMM Rebel axe (the one used in-game) which Jenn already had. This picture shows the original axe in the mold box, ready for the first half of silicone to be added:

    [​IMG]

    I'd only made one other mold before this one, and it was very small so it was easy. Working with something this big has been a bit of a challenge, and we've been learning a lot along the way which has been both frustrating and fun. Finding out that our original epoxy resin wasn't curing properly was the biggest frustration of all, as originally we thought that we were making a mistake with either measuring or pouring so we lost a lot of time waiting for a couple of axes that never set properly.

    I took a molding and casting workshop recently to learn how to do all of this, and our original idea was to make an axe for me, since up until now I'd been borrowing Jenn's axe. But quite a few people have expressed interest in them which is great (especially as the cost of materials used has turned out to be more than if I'd bought an original axe for myself!). And merkymerx yes, we're planning to offer a resin kit pretty much straight from the mold.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  6. jollyskeleton

    jollyskeleton Active Member

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    Looking great Jenn and Shona! Nice to see you here on the forums! Have been following your Fb page for a while now
     
  7. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    Yes, it is. And we plan on offering raw castings as well as the finished axes for sale when our Etsy and Store Envy shops go live next week.

    Thank you everyone, for the nice words! It's reassuring to hear we're doing things at least mostly right. ;)

    Here is the first weathered axe!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. The Schlitzie

    The Schlitzie Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very cool, let us know when your Etsy store opens!
     
  9. pinder91

    pinder91 Sr Member

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    That looks great! I wondered if you were going to show up here. Welcome to the RPF!! :)
     
  10. JPH

    JPH Sr Member

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    Dat looks great!!!
     
  11. CeSquared

    CeSquared Sr Member

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    Hard to believe that's resin!

    I'm playing the TR reboot now. Very well done game. A bit too much like the Uncharted games but considering how great those were, it's a minor complaint.
     
  12. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Like Uncharted you say? I'm sold, thats all I needed to hear!

    I'm sure I'll want one of these after playing the game, it always happens like that.
     
  13. CeSquared

    CeSquared Sr Member

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    It's very much like Uncharted. In fact, if they were to give Elena Fisher a game, it would probably be this.

    BUT, it's beautifully done. The graphics are incredible even though it's only in 720p (I was disappointed when I saw that on the box), the combat system is really good (better than Uncharted), voice acting is great, background sounds are great (I literally thought there was a bird outside my window while playing but it was just the game) and they have a nice feature called "Fast Travel" that allows you to go back to old "camp sites" (checkpoints) to explore without having to backtrack in the game.

    It has some of the same infuriating parts like TR 1 and 2 where you die over and over and can't figure out why. The QTEs are particularly annoying. I died literally 11 times in a row and had to finally pause the game and look it up online to see if it was a glitch.

    Overall though, if this is the future of the TR franchise, they have a winner. I've played for about 6 hours and am 30% done.
     
  14. CeSquared

    CeSquared Sr Member

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    When you play, let yourself die a few times. The death scenes are absolutely hysterical.

    There is a Youtube video of the "Best Lara Croft Tomb Raider Deaths."
     
  15. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    The deaths are brutal but hilarious. I killed Lara a bunch of times just to see what happened! I just beat the game last night, it was pretty awesome.

    We can do that! It will open this Friday at 12pm Australian eastern daylight savings time (Melbourne time). Just one thing: because we're both new members here, the rules of this forum seem pretty strict about new members trying to sell things. So are we allowed to link to our store this early? Maybe I'll throw a link into my signature if nothing else!
     
  16. merkymerx

    merkymerx Active Member

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    Can't wait until it becomes available! Hoping it'll be within my price range. It's a really awesome casting! Will be keeping an eye out :)
     
  17. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    Thanks! I'm so happy with how they've turned out :D

    The finished axe will be USD$99 while the resin kit will be USD$75. Both plus shipping and handling (from Australia).
     
  18. The Schlitzie

    The Schlitzie Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't think it would be kosher to link a sale in this thread outside of the JY, maybe posting a link to your etsy page in your sig, or PM.
     
  19. Strickler

    Strickler Well-Known Member

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    Soliciting sales outside the JY is a definite no no. But like Schlitzie said, either post a link in your sig or pm members about it. Looks fantastic btw, and great to see more aussies here.
     
  20. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    Ok thanks. I'll post a link in my signature when the stores open, and if anyone is interested in one of these, please PM me and I'll send you all the information you need! We're mostly here to show these off, but since quite a few people are interested in them now, of course we'd like to make them for you!

    (And now I'm wishing I had joined up years ago instead of just browsing so then I wouldn't be considered a new member right now!!!)
     
  21. CeSquared

    CeSquared Sr Member

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    Or just PM a mod and ask if they'll waive the newbie initiation JY period.

    Worst they can say is no. :cool
     
  22. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    Haha that's fine. I'm no more special than any other new member who's excited about what they've created, and as a forum administrator myself I find it annoying when members try to get special treatment. I'll wait it out :)
     
  23. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I checked out your cosplay on deviantART, I dig the action shots!
     
  24. 72Princess

    72Princess New Member

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    Looks great!!
     
  25. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    Thank you guys! They're still not perfect, they have some minor flaws but I'm weathering them anyways so it should be alright. I'm hoping to try some different and more expensive weathering techniques down the road.
     
  26. Ryaline

    Ryaline New Member

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    Great! Another thing to add to my I GOTTA BUY RIGHT NOW list! Spot on,that axe is!
     
  27. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    Three buddies, just hanging out! The left one is the real axe.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. merkymerx

    merkymerx Active Member

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    Looks fantastic! I really love how you did the taped parts and the weathering! They certainly look like the real deal.

    Since you own the actual axe, may I ask what the finish of the real one is? From the photos it looks metallic, like an anodized finish. But I could be wrong :)

    And the thing they're hanging from, is that for cats? Haha! It just reminded me of the rope arrow targets in the game XD
     
  29. CeSquared

    CeSquared Sr Member

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    How rigid is the blade? I imagine it can't be that thick. Would it hold up during shipping?
     
  30. LizardJedi

    LizardJedi Sr Member

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    Nice! I was almost ready to start CADing this up so I could CNC it but this would save me a ton of time!

    Your paint job looks awesome as well!

    I wonder if adding a metal bar into the mold before putting all the resin in would be worth it, if it's not super strong...
     
  31. metal wood

    metal wood Well-Known Member

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  32. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    Yes, the real axe is a metallic finish but the one in the render is not so I decided to go with a basic red paint for metals. After all, the render is heavily based off the real axe but it isn't an exact clone.

    It's not very thick but it is sturdy enough to handle hitting a friend on the leg with it (as proven from real experience :angel:) which makes it totally convention safe. The thing I like about this polyurethane is that it has a bit of flex to it so that the smaller parts won't just snap off. The epoxy wasn't like that. It was more rigid but that ironically made it less durable. This polyurethane is also very heat sensitive, I have found. It's best to hang this by the top hole in room temperature. If it warps a bit from heat, I have been easily able to gently bend it back into shape. Right now in Melbourne it has been in the 100's so I have gotten to see exactly what this stuff does on a hot summer day.

    I don't think it's possible, to be honest. The shaft of the thing is pretty wide but there are no parts of it that are thick enough to put a metal bar through it. Doing so would decrease the amount of resin even more and make it very likely that you will get a cast with the metal bar sticking out of it and/or a very weak cast that will fall apart. Besides, what would a metal bar do? Make it hold its shape? It does that just fine when left in temperatures that don't heavily exceed room temps. And putting a metal bar in it is definitely not going to make it climbing rated. ;)
     
  33. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

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    Very good work looks the same as in the game, the game is amazing I have played, the best Tomb Raider game ever.
     
  34. CeSquared

    CeSquared Sr Member

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    Ok. I might have to get one. I'm finally at the part of the game where I can use it as a melee weapon. Up until now, I could only climb with it.
     
  35. BPOnTheAir

    BPOnTheAir New Member

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    I love this build! The game is a ton of fun. My wife says I've left her for Lara again. :)

    I'd love to get an axe when you open your store.
     
  36. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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  37. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    I'm probably not allowed to say on here but keep an eye on my facebook page where I announce all of the info on these axes.
     
  38. BPOnTheAir

    BPOnTheAir New Member

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    I've "liked" your page, and I look forward to hopefully owning one. I hope I can at least snag a pre-order spot if not one of the few you have available.

    These are simply beautiful. :thumbsup
     
  39. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Welcome Jenn and Shona. Glad you guys are here :) Really nice work on this too.
     
  40. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    Thank you, stranger. ;)
     
  41. LoneWulv

    LoneWulv New Member

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    brutal!
     
  42. GOING SOLO

    GOING SOLO Well-Known Member

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    Want one!!! Lol
     
  43. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    Thanks! I don't know why I didn't join here years ago (although I did the same thing with RQ too >.<) - running a site of my own takes up a lot of my online time I guess!
     
  44. tim

    tim Sr Member

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    Nice work, ladies! Looks great for a first-time cast.

    I have the game on order (from the UK, 'cuz the download-only option for North America is poopy) and hope to be playing soon!
     
  45. JennCroft

    JennCroft New Member

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    Hope you enjoy it, Tim. I hear nothing but great things about it. I haven't gotten around to it yet because we're so swamped with the axes but I hope to try it soon. :thumbsup
     
  46. tim

    tim Sr Member

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    I'm trying to decide whether I should pick up a real ice-axe or one of these awesomesauce replicas...decisions, decisions.

    Now if my job wasn't so poopy and let me have time to play video games... ;)
     
  47. Lysia

    Lysia New Member

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    You'd probably guess which way I'll try and steer you ;-P but what would you use the axe for? If you had the real axe, you couldn't weather it much without compromising the integrity of the axe itself (as a functional piece of climbing equipment).
     
  48. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    You could find pre weathered (used) ones on ebay UK.
    Although if for merely display purposes a resin version would be lighter and less expensive.
     
  49. The Schlitzie

    The Schlitzie Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'd get a real one but I have a kid in the house. If they're sharp at all it goes to the garage/workshop collection. And I want something my wife can take to a Con!
     
  50. tim

    tim Sr Member

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    You mean I'm not supposed to get lost on a deserted island and use it for survival? :p
     

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