Weekend Project Progress: 09/10/2013

Howdy! When I’ve not got a finished prop to show off, I’d prefer to keep this site up to date with progress on current projects. Get ready for a lengthy post, as there’s lots of time to make up! This week I’m covering details on the OMW Concept Recon, a full-scale, full-metal Buster Sword, and a gravity Hidden Blade based on Connor’s swivel blade in Assassin’s Creed III.

OMW Recon, Crisis Core Buster Sword, and Assassin's Creed III Hidden Blade

More projects nearing the finish line!

OMW Recon

After getting in touch with the guys over at Orange Mod Works, I received their permission to produce casts of the Concept Recon priming grip. I ordered a mold-making starter kit and prepped the parts for a smooth finish.

I assembled a couple of mold boxes from some scrap MDF I sourced from my day job. The pieces were hot-glued together to seal the seams and make disassembly simple enough. The boxes were built to such a size as to leave half an inch of space all around the grip halves.

The bottom half inch of space was filled with modelling clay, and then the part was placed in the box. A seam line was built with more modelling clay.

OMW Recon Grip Mold Boxes

The indentations in the clay are registration keys that will help the two halves of the mold line up. I just poked the clay with the eraser-end of a pencil.

Afterward everything was sprayed with mold release and covered in silicone mold material. A few hours later, the first of four mold halves was removed from the box. There were a few bubbles, but luckily they aren’t on anything structural or visible on the outside.

OMW Recon Grip Mold Silicone

That’s a pretty blue.

Sadly my little starter kit didn’t include enough silicone to finish any more mold halves. I’ve some on order, but it’ll be a while before it arrives.


Buster Sword (Advent Children/Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII)

Anyone keeping tabs on my social sites (you can see the Google+, Facebook, and Twitter icons sitting in the upper right corner of this page) caught sight of this project in the wild via a goofy Youtube video.

This was initially a project I’d started with my old man over five years ago. We’d wrapped up most of the basic construction and just left it at that. We’d show it off to the occasional Final Fantasy fan, but that’s about as much use as it ever saw.

I still chuckle at that munchkin battle at the lower left.

Even in its incomplete state, the Buster Sword drew a lot of attention around town.

I recent picked it back up to wrap up the detail work and get her ready for paint. The details on the hand guard needed some smoothing, and a couple more detail panels needed to be cut and attached. With all that ready, she was off to the paint booth.

Raw Aluminum Buster Sword

The last time I ever saw her naked.

The trouble with painting aluminum is that it’s a smooth, non-porous material – paint doesn’t like to stick to it. Using the right primer makes all the difference. I called in a favor at a local sign shop to get the sword coated in a special epoxy primer that will bond itself to the aluminum and give the paint something to bite into. After that, she got a coat of semi-gloss black to help identify any imperfections in the build.

Buster Sword Primer and Base Coat

The first image with primer was the first time I could get a good clear look at all the detail work that went into this sword.

Right now I’m in the process of puttying up any pits and low areas and sanding down any spots that’re too high.


Connor’s Hidden Blades (Assassin’s Creed 3)

This started out as one of Ammnra’s gravity blade kits.

Ammnra Connor Blade - Initial Assembly

The kit is made from 3D printed nylon, a durable, flexible material, though a bit too porous.

The design itself is solid, but it will help to be familiar with working on a garage kit before assembling one of these blades. This isn’t Ammnra’s fault; it’s just the variable nature of 3D printing. I personally had a few areas that needed to be sanded down for smooth operation, and I went ahead and reinforced the locking door because I didn’t like the pin being exposed on either end.

Connor's Left Blade - Painted

“Use brings about wear, tear, and rust.” Yes, the quote’s from the wrong game, but it applies perfectly to this paint job.

The color scheme was lifted off of the illustrated concept art:

Concept Art by Ubisoft

Concept Art by Ubisoft

Based on the oxidation visible in the render used for this week’s promo image, and my own assumption that the blades Achilles handed to Connor were the same set the old man used in his heyday, I wanted the device to look aged and worn. I’ve still some touching up to do, and I’m considering reworking the finish on the actual blade portion, but this one’s almost wrapped up.

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