Introduction: How to Make an X-Blade (Kingdom Hearts)
I had a commission November 2013 for either another one of Young Xehanort's keyblades or an X-blade. I was getting sort of tired with Young Xexy's key, and the X-blade looked interesting so I said to myself "what the hay". I was thinking clearly enough to take lot's of pics for a tutorial.
Please take a look at my blog as well for other tutorials: http://quitefranklybuilds.blogspot.com/
Step 1: Cut Out the Handle Guards
Since the handle guard for the X-blade is actually two kingdom key guards fused together, I cut out enough layers to make 1.5 inches for each guard. I used a template I made to cut out 4, but I cut out 2 extra just in case.
I used a jigsaw to cut out the guards. Then I put the template on top of 2 layers and cleaned them up with a flush trim bit. I waited to glue the layers together until after this in case I messed up.
Step 2: Shape the Handle Guard
With the basic shapes glued together, I turned some wooden blocks on my lathe to get cylinders. I measured and cut these cylinders on my table saw using a fence to get arc shapes and glued them onto the handle guards. After sanding down the extended parts of the raised areas with my dremel, I drill a hole in the tops and bottoms of the guards with a 1.5 inch paddle bit.
Next, I turned some discs for the raised bands on the handle guards which are just below the rainguard and at the very bottom of the key. I drilled holes in the smaller discs with the same paddle bit as above. I'll wait till later to glue these on.
Step 3: Making the Main Poles/Blades
I ripped four 2.5 inch wide boards (3/4 in thick) for each pole. I spread the glue out with a plastic putty knife as I applied it to get even coverage and clamped the boards down for a tight fit.
I turned the posts on my lather down to 2 inches diameter, and added in some details like the rainguard, the 2 grooves just above the rainguard, and lowered the handle down to 1.5 inches diameter.
Next, I used my Sorby Spiralling tool to add in a spiral texture going in either direction on the handle to get a diamond texture grip, also known as a knurling to metalworkers.
After the poles were finished, I cut notches in them to fit together where they cross to make a halved joint. They won't be glued together just yet, though.
Step 4: Make the Keyblade Teeth
I used a template for the keyblade teeth to cut out 4 layers and glued them together first. Then I cut them out on a bandsaw. I used a beltsander to give the teeth a slight taper from 1.5 inches to 1 inch.
I drilled holes into the backs of the teeth to fit them onto the poles using dowel rods.
Step 5: Fusing the Guards
With all the necessary pieces ready, it's time to fuse the handle guards together. To do this, simply cut out a portion of the guards where they meet, and drill holes into the sides for wooden dowels.
I placed the poles and discs on the handle guards where they needed to be, and applied bondo to fill in the gap left from the cut and also applied to the notches in the poles to smooth it out. I needed to wait to put bondo the poles together until the guard was set so nothing was misaligned. The bondo is then sanded down and the extra details are added into the guard like lines and the recessed circles.
Step 6: Cutting and Applying the Filigrees and Sword
I drew up a template for the filigree and cut out 2 layers in 1/4 inch mdf for symmetry. In order to get it into the keyblade, I left a solid edge on the inside of the filigree and cut out a slot with my dremel into the keyblade sides for them to fit.
Next, I cut out the sword design out of 3/4 inch pine with the extra wood edge and cut out the slot for it in the top of the keyblade.
I glued and applied bondo to the areas around the slots to fill in the area and hold in the pieces.
Step 7: Sanding
After getting the whole key assembled, I applied some bondo to any areas I could see that needed to be filled in and sanded it down. Then I sprayed on a layers of dark gray sandable primer, sanded, then white primer, sanded, then silver metallic.
Metallic paint really brings out bumps in props, so I added even more bondo and sanded. I did this process a total of 6 times before I got a finish I was happy with.
Step 8: Painting
I started the paint job with a silver metallic base coat. Then I use some gold and copper chrome spray paint from Montana Acrylic to add in the "shading" on the sword and filigree.
I covered up everywhere around the handle and rainguard and sprayed gloss black on the handle, and an anodized blue paint* on the rainguard. Then everything else was covered except for the handle guard, and that was sprayed with an anodized yellow paint.
*Anodized paint from Duplicolor's line of MetalCast paints work as a transparent spray paint. When sprayed over flat white, it looks like a flat version of that color paint. But when sprayed over silver or silver chrome, it looks like metallic paint.
Step 9: Finished!
We've reached the end of the tutorial. The outcome is rather nice, and it doesn't even need a coat of gloss.
Specs: 75 1/4 inches long; about 3 ft wide; 3 inches at thickest; 15 pounds (top-heaviness makes it feel like 30)
The keychain was made by making two 2.5 inch long keyblades, making a recess in the heart shape, gluing, bondo, sanding, and painting. Straight steel chain 10 was used with 2 snap hooks.