Hello! This is my first instructable!
I will be making Dante's Rebellion sword from the Devil May Cry series.
I decided half way through that I would take some pictures and make a tutorial to post or just to record my progress for personal reference. I decided to post it for fun. I didn't take pictures of most of the beginning stuff but I'll try to describe it best I can.
I know there's more efficient and durable ways to make cosplay swords, but this is just a cheap version using what I could get and know how to use, so i would have a prop for my costume. It sure beats buying an expensive replica, plus it was fun to make.
This isn't much of a tutorial (because I changed a lot of things during the way and didn't have a solid plan) but more something you can refer to.
Step 1: Planning and Materials
First I gathered many reference pictures of the sword. This includes from the games and anime, as well as looking at other replicas and cosplays. It is also good to look at other already made tutorials to get ideas and modify them. Because there are many variations, I just kind of combined them.
I measured every detail of the sword in a picture, and then used proportion to make the real-life measurements. For example, if I wanted to make the sword about 140cm ( I did add more length to the handle afterwards before I cut it out though), so if the picture sword is 14cm long then to get 140cm I would multiply it by 10. Which means for all the other measurements I would multiply each one by 10 to get their real measurement. It is also helpful to use a protractor to get the angles of the handles.
I had an idea of materials I would use, but a lot of materials were improvised or added later. I'll try to put down everything I used until completion. You'll probably have an idea of what extra things you need if they're not here (i.e. face mask when spray painting, scissors), this is the main stuff.
Materials and Tools Used
- Foam board (Styrofoam, but not the one with the little balls)
- Measuring Tape and Ruler
- Jigsaw and Knife
- Sandpaper 60 grit, 120 for repairs
- Masking Tape or Painters Tape
- Plastic Rod, or fibreglass rod, or wooden rod, some sort of strong dowel to support the sword
- Wood Glue or a good adhesive
- White glue
- Air Dry clay (papery or natural) - I used Prang DAS Air Hardening Modeling Clay
- Mod Podge (Glossy)
- Thin cardboard (Cereal box)
- Various clay tools
- Acrylic and/or Spray Paint (Silver and Black)
- Clear Topcoat
Basically what I'm going to do is cut out and shape a foam sword, cover it in paper mache, and use clay to sculpt the skull and ribs and cover the handles and add detail. Then paint it.
Step 2: Cut and Shape
Now that you have your measurements, use a sharpie and measuring tape and ruler to mark basic measurements, and then drawing out the details. I find that for the longer measurements it's easier to use the measuring tape, but for details use a clear ruler. I don't have a picture of this unfortunately but you're basically just redrawing your image larger. And option would be to even print out a template to trace.
Also to note for the skull and ribs part I just drew two oval-ish shapes because the detail would be sculpted. The handles were also just basic shapes.
Once you have your shape drawn out, use a jigsaw to carefully cut out your sword. If you make any little mistakes you can fix them up with clay or other materials later.
Now that the sword is cut out, you can start sanding. I used 60-grit sandpaper to shape the sword, what you want to do is sand the two sides on an angle to create the "sharp" blade. Mark the halfway part on the side of the sword so you know where to stop sanding the edge. You'll pretty much get the idea of how to shape it when you look at pictures.
As you can see some areas were too sanded etc, so I fixed those later with clay.
>Someone accidentally broke a handle off, I just used some bamboo skewers and glue to stick it back on later.
Step 3: Masking Tape and Fix Ups
All I had was painters tape but you can use masking tape. Basically I just wrapped the tape around the foam sword so it covered the whole thing and kept the details. When sanding I sanded some parts too much so to add more detail/sharpness to some parts I used some air dry clay to sculpt the points on the end of the sword and the indent part at the base of the sword. Then I covered clay parts with more tape.
Step 4: Support Rod
So should have done this before, as you may expect the sword was too flimsy on its own. I first thought to somehow put a support rod through the sword, maybe by heating it and melting it through, but it was too difficult and risky and I couldn't get a metal rod. So I found an old tent pole that is plastic or fibreglass(?), and put it on the outside. I did this by using a knife to cut out a line of foam along the handle and "rib" of the sword, so it would create a groove along the line. I don't have pictures of this but here's a (sad) drawing.
Then I put some wood glue in the groove and stuck in the rod. I put some more masking tape over the rod to keep it in place.
Step 5: Paper Mache Coat
So this paper mache involves cut up newspaper and glue. First you cut up your newspaper into squares/rectangles, not too big or small. Then you need a glue mixture. I mixed some white glue and wood glue together and then thinned it down with water. Get ready to get your hands messy! So like in kindergarten you're gonna dip the paper in the glue and stick it onto your sword. Smooth it out and spread some glue on top of the paper piece as well so it stays better. Cover one side of the sword, let it dry and then cover the other side. I did one coat but you could do more.
There's probably smoother ways to cover the sword but this is all i got.
Afterwards I added a few coats of mod podge to each side of the blade before I began sculpting the guard and handle.
Step 6: Sculpting (1/7)
This is a really long step and I want the pictures in order so I separated it into 7 steps.
Now sculpting may involve some artistic talent but it's your own style so it'll look cool! Have lots of references on hand, pictures of the sword and different skulls. You can have your skull with an open mouth or closed, I did closed because it was easier. I find that this Prang modelling clay was less prone to breaking than the Crayola natural clay, but it is harder to add detail to and sculpt. For my skull I should have gave it a more "angry" look but I didn't shape the eyes downwards enough.
First I sculpted the skull, as flat as I could. *You could also skip this and use a store-bought plastic skull from Halloween stores.* I used toothpicks in the horns. The tools I used include a thin knife, ball tools, smoothing tool, and a basic clay sculpting set. You can use whatever tools you can find, needles and toothpicks are helpful as well. You can find other clay skull materials, but what I did was make a basic skull shape, round at the top and smaller at the chin. I used the ball tool to make two eye sockets. You can shape rims around them, and make eyebrow dents. Shape cheekbones and carve in a nose, kind of like an upside down heart. Also push in the temples. For the teeth push in a rectangular area and then put in a plat rectangular piece. Use a knife or toothpick to shape out little teeth. I'm going to name him Reby.
Step 7: Sculpting (2/7)
While the skull was drying, I made the ribs on one side. First I rolled out an oval about less than a centimeter thick, and I put it where the ribs will be using a paste I made from the clay. To make the paste I just mashed together some clay and water and then added white glue. Using a flat tool or knife, mark the basic outline of the ribs. There are five ribs on each side. Then define the shape of each rib by rounding out where they meet in the middle. Cut out pieces between the ribs on the sides so they look more separate. Add texture using a ball tool. Once these ribs are dry, flip it over and repeat on the other side. You can also use paste to stick on the skull.
Step 8: Sculpting (3/7)
For the guard I rolled out a thin sheet of clay, spread some paste on the back, and wrapped it around one side of the guard. I rolled out two snakes and wrapped them around each end, I used a flat tool to smooth out one side of the snake to blend it in with the guard. Finally I used a ball tool to add texture. Repeat on the other guard part.
Step 9: Sculpting (4/7)
Next I made the piece that goes around the skull. For this, I rolled out a snake and then flattened it to about half a cm thick. I trimmed the sides. Then I cut it in half a used the clay paste to stick it on around the skull. This is hard to explain put here's pictures.
As you can see, I also put some wet clay in the bare areas and smoothed it out.
Step 10: Sculpting (5/7)
Finally I sculpted the handle. It is similar to the guard and uses the same techniques. First you roll out a thin sheet of clay, and cover the handle using the paste. Next you roll out a snake and put it around the middle part and the end. Add clay to each side of the snakes and smooth them out. Use the ball tool to add texture.
When the handle was done I created a round clay shape at the back of the skull and filled in any bare spots with clay.
Step 11: Sculpting (6/7)
For the pommel of the sword, I put a clay spike in the middle. I cut out spikes of cardboard and stuck them in around the sides of the bottom of the handle. I later re-enforced the spikes with some hot glue.
Step 12: Sculpting (7/7)
What the finished sculpting will look like.
Step 13: Mod Podge Coat
Before you coat the clay parts in mod podge, let them dry. It's safe to wait at least a day from the last time you sculpted. You can continue coating the blade part first while you wait for the clay to dry. This entire step is pretty straight forward, just get a wide paintbrush and slather the sword in mod podge, letting each thin layer dry before putting on the next layer. Do as many layers as you like. This makes the blade smoother and protects the clay and the sword itself.
I probably should have sanded the sword before spray painting, but I tried it with 100 grit sandpaper (what I had) which was not fine enough so it almost sanded back to the newspaper. I was kinda lazy too...
Step 14: Painting (1/2)
Because I couldn't get a smooth surface, the newspaper lines and mod podge clumps showed up on the sword, but oh well. That's what I get for not trying some other way. It still looks pretty good though. So this step is also straight forward, get some metallic silver spray paint and follow the instructions on the can. I put three coats on each side of the sword.
I let the spray paint dry a for a day before doing other painting. Use silver acrylic paint to cover any parts that didn't get painted.
Step 15: Painting (2/2)
On Rebellion, the skeleton and handle part of the sword is a darker grey silver, but instead of painting it a darker silver I am going to paint a black 'wash' over it for a different look. So what you do is mix black acrylic paint with lots of water and paint it over the handle. Cover the blade areas near the handle with painters tape so the black paint doesn't stain the blade. Use a thinner brush and a mixture of black and silver acrylic paint to darken/outline areas to add depth. This is mostly done in the skull, like the eye sockets, nose, cheek bones, etc. Also outline the ribs. Kind of like 'contouring'. If any black gets on the blade then just fix it with silver paint.
Step 16: Final Coat and Touches
To give Rebellion a nice, protective finish I sprayed it with some glossy acrylic sealer. Any clear coat would probably work, a spray paint one would probably work better.
Warning: I shouldn't have used newspaper and I should have propped it up because in some spots the sealer peeled the paint off with it! This was upsetting but I just repainted and resealed these spots carefully. -.-
Step 17: Conclusion and Flaw Improvements
I had lots of fun making this cool prop and now I have a replica of one of the coolest demon hunting swords ever!
Thank you for reading!
I like to look back and see what I could've done better, though since I was tryin to be cheap it can't always be perfect. This helps me for future projects.
- What bugs me the most is the blade, I can never seem to get a smooth surface, it looks like I just duct taped it. What I would so next time is try to get my hands on some paper mache clay or even just use larger pieces of newspaper over the small pieces so at least there would be less lines. If you know a different way, that's easy, for making a smooth blade I'd love to know!
- I could have sanded the guards and handles of the foam to help me get a more tapered look when sculpting.
- If I were to take this to a convention I should use lighter clay, but this clay was cheap in a good quantity and was good with detail.
- Should have thought up a support rod before I made the sword so I could put it in the middle of the sword.
- I noticed the guards were uneven…
- On the sculpting work I should have made a more realistic and angry (eyebrows) skull. But it's got my own style I guess.
And that's my finished Rebellion! Have fun hackin' and slashin' demons in style!