Welcome to another instructable from Cairdy Crafts!
Recently, I've got into making foamboard swords and shields in a big way and, being a big Legend of Zelda fan, I started looking into the different swords Link wields. It turns out he handles over 50 swords spanning the different LoZ games. So, I set my Facebook group the question of which sword to make. The favourite choice was the Master Sword (before being restored to power) from Windwaker.
So, without any further introduction, let's grab some tools, materials and get crafting!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
For this project, you'll need these tools and materials:
- Xacto/Stanley/Sharp craft knife
- Tacky glue stick
- PVA glue/Spray adhesive
- Optional: Lolly/popsicle sticks
- 2 sheets of A2 foamboard (I picked up mine from The Range)
- Paper templates (downloaded from this step)
- Spray paints (or you could use acrylic) - Royal blue, Black, Silver
- Filler putty / Sealing caulk
- Rubber gromits (surface protectors for mug mats or glass draining boards) - I picked up mine in the pound store
Step 2: Print and Join Your Templates
First up, print and join your templates using your tacky glue stick.
The top part of the sword blade running up to the tip overlaps a fair bit, so be generous with the overlap!
Step 3: Stick and Cut Out Central Sword Piece
Next up, roughly trim the sword template and glue around the white space by the sword template, pressing the sword template onto a sheet of foam board from corner to corner diagonally.
Then, use your knife to cut around the outside of the sword.
I'd recommend using a healing cutting board underneath so save that carpet or floor boards!
If you glued around the white space on the template, the paper template should come away unscathed. We'll need that for step soon.
Step 4: Draw Around and Cut Out the Central Piece
Next up, draw around the freshly cut sword piece on your 2nd piece of foam board and cut it out using your knife.
From now on, we'll be drawing around and cutting out a 2nd piece for every piece we draw around and cut out using the templates. Prepare for much drawing and cutting!
Step 5: Draw and Cut Around Middle Blade/hilt
Now we begin the process of trimming the template down, drawing around, cutting, redrawing and cutting again so you have a pair of each piece.
Check out the pictures to see where to cut away first on the template to create your blade inlay, hilt inlay and grip/pommel inlays.
Draw around, cut, redraw and cut to give you a pair of inlay pieces.
Step 6: Trim Down and Cut Hilt Pieces
To give you the main hilt mount, cut away the template as shown in the photos, trimming off the sword and the grip.
Then, draw around, cut, redraw and cut again to give you the hilt mounts.
Now, it's on to the flower piece which will sit on the mount.
Step 7: Trim and Cut the Hilt Flower Pieces
Now for yet more trimming!
Follow the photos carefully here to help you trim, draw around and cut out pairs of each of the five separate pieces that make up the flower and little rhombus at the base of the flower.
Dry fit each piece to make sure it fits, not being scared to shave a little off it needs be.
Once you have a pair of each piece to make up two flowers, it's time for the next step.
Step 8: Adding an Edge to Each Piece
This step will take you several hours, so put on a quality podcast or zone-out background film and let's get started!
Using you knife, angle the blade so it sits at 45 degrees along one edge. You can buy 45 degree foam board cutters, but I found that a steady hand and practice on spare pieces of foam board (curved and straight edged) was good enough for me.
You want to cut into the board at 45 degrees to give you sword pieces that edge which will add natural highlights and shadows, adding to the feeling of 3D-ness (if that's a word...)
Take your time with this as you can always shave a little more off if you need to.
Work your way around every (yes, every!) piece you've cut so far.
Once you've done that, dry fit them together to get a feeling of your your blade will look like. Look at the pretty light and shadow!!
Step 9: Etch Fine Details on the Grip and Pommel
Next up, using the A4 picture at the start of the printed template file to mark on the horizontal lines and fine detail detail onto grip and pommel.
Where I've marked a circle, stick one of those rubber worktop saver pads you get on the underside of coasters. Once sprayed, these will give a nice effect of riveted studs.
Using your knife, cut very shallow v-shaped cuts centred on your pencil lines. My lines only ended up being 2mm or so deep and this way enough to give some nice texture to the grip and pommel.
Step 10: Apply Filler to Exposed Foam Edges and Sand
This step is only important if you're using spray paint.
In my experience, spray paints don't do a great job of filling the air bubbles in the exposed foam and some spray paints can react with the foam, making it dissolve! So give a smooth surface on your 45 degree edges, use a lolly/popsicle stick to smooth filler putty or grouting caulk over the bubbly surface.
Once the caulk/filler's gone hard, use a piece of sand paper to smooth the edges ready for painting.
Step 11: Glue the Hilt Decoration Pieces Together
Using your tacky glue stick again (or PVA glue), build up the flower pieces for your hilt and set aside to dry.
Leave the smallest piece aside as this will be our black gem to crown the hilt's flower!
Step 12: Glue the Sword Layers and Hilt Piece Together
Now, run a line of PVA glue down the bottom side of the long sword inlay piece and use another lolly stick to smooth the glue over evenly. Flip the piece over and press it onto the central sword piece.
Apply pressure on top using cans of paint and allow to dry.
Once both sword sides are dry, spread glue on the underside of the flower piece for the hilt and press it into place on the main sword piece.
Step 13: Mask the Hilt Ready for Spray Painting
To prepare for spraying, use masking tape to mask off the flat edge where the hilt meets the blade so you don't get cross-over from one spray colour to the other.
A piece of card from a cereal box makes a great shield here (see photo 5!)
Step 14: Spray the Blade, Hilt and Gem
Holding the silver spray can around 20 cam away from the blade, spray in steady lines along the length of the blade until the whole blade is covered.
Remove the masking tape and switch to the royal blue.
Holding your card masks in place, spray the hilt and pommel of the sword.
Switch to the black spray and give that small piece you left aside from the hilt's flower a good spraying.
Repeat for the pieces on the other half of the sword. You can re-use the cardboard masks as everything's mirrored so the pieces are the same sizes!
Step 15: Dry Fit and Glue the Sword Halves Together
Next up, dry fit your pieces together to see how they look. Check for pieces that might need a quick trim and refill/spray as you need to.
When you're happy, use PVA to glue your black gems onto the top of the flowers of each half of the hilt.
Finally, run a line of PVA down the back of one half of the sword and spread the glue using your lolly stick.
Flip the other half of the sword over and press it in place on top of the gluey half.
Join the edges in several places with masking tape and add weights on top of the sword to press both halves together.
After drying, remove weights and masking tape and trim any white edges you may see.
Step 16: Weight Anchor and Set Sail!
With your unpowered Master Sword all finished, it's time to retake to the high seas with the king of red lions and set off to power it up!
I hope you enjoyed reading through the instructable and found it helpful. If you'd like to suggest a future LoZ sword project, check out the picture in this step and let me know what sword you'd love to see a build and template for!