Note: I started this instructable towards the end of the project, so I'm going to apply my GIMP skills to magically make duplicates of pieces that require duplication. If pieces look cloned, it's because they are. :)
Step 1: Materials/Tools
* 1 2x4 1/8" MDF sheet. I actually had a bunch of scrap laying around that was enough. You just need one piece that's long enough for two copies of the blade+grip, and 6 copies of the crossguard+pommel.
* Wood glue.
* Wood putty.
* Scrap cardboard - the thin kind that's not corrugated.
* Sandpaper with sanding block.
* Spray paint: 1 can primer, 1 can brown, 1 can silver.
* Acrylic paint: black.
* Masking tape.
* A printer, or a very good eye for tracing outlines.
* A coping saw. You could probably get away with just a box cutter/X-Acto knife.
* A box cutter/X-Acto knife.
* Oddly enough, I found a chisel very handy.
* A pencil.
* Soldering iron (or woodburning tool).
* Optional: a Dremel or rotary tool.
I chose to work with MDF for it's workability: it's really easy to tear away big chunks of the stuff to get it down to how you want it looking. On the other hand, it gets a little nerve-wracking when you're trying to do fine details, so your mileage may vary.
Step 2: Cutting Out the Blade+Grip
Step 3: Cutting Out the Crossguard+Grip+Pommel
8 crossguards (the one that looks like a moustache)
4 grips (the long skinny one)
4 inner pommels (sort of looks like a spaceship maybe?)
2 outer pommels (the spaceship without the inner corners)
At this point, before laminating everything together, you'll want to clean up the edges of all the pieces. Initially, I used a Dremel to do this, but I was having a hard time keeping it under control for the little pieces. What I ended up doing was using a chisel to gouge out big chunks of MDF (it's really soft) until it was pretty close, and then plain old sandpaper for the fine details. Do this for the two blade+grip pieces as well.
Step 4: Laminate the Crossguard+Grip
The crossguard is a little more complicated. First, glue three crossguard pieces together, and then glue them to one side of the blade+grip piece, butted up against the grip pieces that were just glued to the main body. Next, you need to cut two of the crossguard pieces to fit around the blade+grip pieces. I eyeballed this at first, and then sanded down the interior edges until everything was flush. Finally, laminate three more crossguard pieces on the other side of the blade+grip assembly.
Step 5: Laminate the Pommel
Step 6: Shape the Pieces
I used my chisel to give the crossguard its initial shape. If you're not comfortable using the chisel, you can just use a low-grit sandpaper, it will just take more time. The crossguard follows the same basic shape as the blade, but just at a slightly sharper angle. After chiseling, sand down until there are two sheets of MDF at the tips. The only detail you need to keep in mind during the process is the overlapping lip in the center of the crossguard. I messed up a bit here, in that I made one side of the crossguard a mirror image of the other, when they should have looked the same when flipped over. Once you've got it looking like you want, take a 150 grit and then a 220 grit to make it nice and smooth.
Next, shape the grip. This is probably the easiest part to shape, since you just need to make it into an oval. Same basic process as the blade here: start with low grit (I used 80) to get the basic shape, and go up to high grit to get it smooth. The only detail is that it needs to taper off towards the pommel. It should taper off to 4 MDF sheet widths. This is so the grip fits into the pommel.
Lastly, shape the pommel. This step is the most artistically involved. It's hard to explain the exact shape, other than the basic roundedness of it. The pictures are probably more illuminating. Same process here though: start with low grit, work towards high grit.
The last image shows what the cross-sections ended up looking like for me.
Step 7: Attach the Pommel and Clean Up Gaps
After that, fill in any gaps with the wood putty. I had gaps where the crossguard butts up agains the grip, and where the grip meets the pommel. You can be pretty liberal with the wood putty since it's just going to be sanded away, just make sure to get it all the way into the gap. Let the wood putty dry overnight. After the wood putty dries, sand/shape the excess.
Step 8: Make the Lettering - Crossguard
Step 9: Make the Lettering - Blade
SAFETY NOTE: I'm going to take a minute here to say: soldering irons (or woodburning tools) get really REALLY hot. The packaging on mine said that it gets up to 900F! That's over a tenth as hot as the SURFACE OF THE SUN! Needless to say, you need to be really REALLY careful with this kind of tool.
The script on the blade roughly translates to "Sting is my name - I am the spider's bane" in Elvish, for those of you that are interested. :)
Step 10: Spray Paint
Next, apply one coat of silver, using the same technique as the primer.
Now for the tricky part: getting a silver leaf inlay effect on the grip. Wrap the WHOLE grip in masking tape, and tape some newspaper (I actually used wrapping paper) to the crossguard and pommel. We're focusing all our attention on the grip at this point. Using the attached template (sting_leaf_pattern.pdf), sketch the outline of the leaf pattern on top of the masking tape. With the X-Acto knife, CAREFULLY cut the masking tape along the pattern. Don't cut too deeply, or you'll go right into the MDF. Now, carefully peel away the excess masking tape leaving ONLY the leaf pattern.
The trick to getting nice clean lines from this kind of process is to first spray paint over the masking tape with the base color, in this case, silver. When you do this, it gets under the edges of the tape to make a nice crisp line when you pull the tape off. After the silver has dried on top of the masking tape, apply a coat of the brown spray paint. Once the brown is dry, slowly and carefully remove the masking tape. Almost there!
Step 11: Finish!
Finally, apply a light coat of silver to the blade using the same technique as in the last step. This should be a very light coat, just enough to dust it with the silver, which smoothes out the imperfections in the blade.
And that's it! You can now show off your awesome replica of Sting! And maybe slay an orc or two in the process. :) If you have any questions or suggestions, please post them in the comments. Thanks for reading!