Sunday, October 21, 2012

Travis' Beam Katana: Part 2

When we last left off, I had several pieces put together and crafted and... not much looking like a katana.

You can see the sides of the trigger-box I made. I wish I had more shots than just this one because this little box was hell. To get it to that incredibly strange shape of the curved smooth edge of the metal cup, along the flat of the metal piece under it, then along the ridges of the part that should screw into something else was insane. It took many, many hours of carefully carving, recarving, some clay, baking it in the oven, recarving, then more clay and it was just insane. It turned out beautiful though in my opinion - you'll see it better later.

I realized that I had to put a notch in the metal cup or the wires to the trigger couldn't get into the box for the trigger. Little work with a dremel later (and managing not to set anything on fire with all the sparks) I had this notch. Very sharp edged though - I had to use heat shrink rubber to protect the wires so they didn't get cut through over time.

Here where all of the pieces after being painted for a first layer. I found a white-pearl-metallic paint that replicated what I was seeing in the picture of the prop, and I was quite pleased. What sucked was that in the end every piece needed MANY coats of this stuff to get them properly coated and matching each other.

Here is the entire lot of 'stuff' that it took to make the katana. You can see the battery pack (now with longer wires to make it up through the hilt), the rods that go along the outside, and some internal pieces that blocked the original saber from going up or down further than it should.

Here was the hilt being put together - just after all of the electronics were, with incredible difficultly, managed to be put in the small part of the hilt between the bottom of the lower metal cup and the thinnest part in the middle of the hilt. It wasn't easy. It just BARELY fits. Very, very barely.

The top and bottom of the katana - attached, finished, and painted... and here are the whole pictures.

This was after a bit more paint touching up - making sure the paint was as perfect as possible. Specially the red circles around the top of the katana - they were tough! I finally went at them with a paintbrush only a few hairs wide!

As always - I give a wrap up. Honestly? I'm super pleased with this prop. The only small faults I have are that it isn't smooth everywhere as metal should be but considering this is all hand cut, somehow managed together, and painted up as it never should have been?  I think it turned out very well. It can be waved around quite successfully even though it looks very delicate. I mean it isn't going to survive hitting someone, but it can survive a con I'm fairly sure.

The client - who lives close enough to have watched it all come together - is incredibly happy with it. I'll be posting a shot of her with the katana soon - in fact I have two other clients who were kind enough to send me shots of them and their props while they were in full costume! I'll do a little non-tutorial post for them.