Saturday, August 16, 2014

Javert's Sword - Les Mis 2012 Movie

Hello! It's been quite some time since I've posted. There's a lot that's happened between my last update and this one, but hey, here's something new! Javert's sword from the 2012 Les Mis Movie! This presented an interesting challenge as to get the level of detail, wood seemed the easiest option, but it was a chance to finally get into lathe work!

Here are the initial drawing from the imagery I was given to start with. I found soft but knot-free wood to work with, doodled, my usual beginnings!

This was my very first attempt to create the hilt with the lathe. I ended up thinning down the handle itself quite a bit over time, but for a first attempt at all with a lathe, I was pleased!

This was my 'pattern' to carve out the detail in the pommel of the sword.

 You can see my idea which is to use the bottom of the hilt to sit in the center of the guard to give everything support. My other idea was to have a metal shaft go through up into the hilt, through the guard, and into the sword.

Detail of the carving of the pommel.
 Carved out the hand-guard! This... took at least six tries to get the shape and the carve correct and that bit at the top! So frustrating, that bit! It had to sit against the pommel and neatly curve down to the bottom.

Which you can see here! I leveled it out with the band that would sit on top of the guard at the base of the hilt.

Now the guard is carved out along with the base of the guard...

Let me tell you - that blade. It proved to be a bigger challenge than expected. I originally wanted to make it out of plastic (Sintra) but the attempts were... terrible. So it ended up being out of wood as well. Cut a square wooden dowel at an angle and ground forever until it was properly sized, then sanded the whole thing down to a point and so the edges weren't sharp (or ugly).

So this wire! Well, cord. It's metallic cord. It took some serious hunting to find this. There's two ways the sword itself could be wrapped and from all available photos, it could be either - silver wire wrapped or silver cord wrapped. I went with cord as it's easier on the hand in the end and this particularly one looked so wire like I was quite pleased!

So this is a dual picture... it shows the very carefully done hilt wrapping process - glue smeared over the wood then very slowly and carefully wind it up, pushing down to keep the pressure and tension up. My hands were super sore by the end but I'm super pleased with the result!

...The 'dual' part is that this spray paint. Let me tell you something - there was nothing on the cap that indicated this would be a sparkly spray paint. NOTHING. It wasn't sparkly when wet, either. ...It's now jokingly called 'Cullen Killer' because it sparkles like a twilight vampire. Grumble. So... everything required a second coat of spray paint. Why spray paint? Because it's a more even coating and there's no brush strokes left behind.

Another mention is that I used a two part epoxy for this glueing and I'm REALLY pleased with the results. It dries painfully quickly but the bond is solid as a rock in only about two minutes! I shall be using in the future!


Here is the final product. Please ignore the disaster my basement is - I snapped the final pictures after staring to rip everything apart to clean from all the wood dust! I'm quite pleased with the end of it all. I wish I could have found a different color of spray paint (again) but nothing seemed to be the white-silver shade of silver I needed, and I should have weathered it properly, but still, pleased. Always feel like there's something left at the very end I wanted to do more of but I think no matter what it would always be like that.

Thanks for checking this out!