Hey everyone SKS Props here with another cosplay prop build. This time I am taking on another Borderlands character Krieg and more importantly his iconic Buzzaxe! This weapon was completely scratch built and resin cast using Smooth On products making it con safe at most conventions throughout the country.
Before we begin let me say some of the products that are used in prop building can be bad for you :(
So read all warning labels and be safe!!! Always wear eye protection, wear gloves, and use a respirator when needed.
Lets get started!!!!
Step 1: Reference and Materials
As with all of my prop builds reference material is key. When you start to think about making a prop from a video game, movie, etc. Always try and find as many reference images as you can. These are various screen shots were taken to help me see this axe from all sides.
Step 2: The Axe Handle
I started the build by making the handle of the axe. This was drawn freehand of MDF and cut out using a band saw. Once the basic shape was complete I contoured all of the edges and added the wood texture with my Dremel. Part of the grip will be wrapped with elastic so I did a mock up just to make sure it would line up properly. The handle was then used to scale the top section that will hold the blade. It was originally sketched out on Bristol board and then transferred to the MDF and cut out on the band saw.
Step 3: Giving the Piece Some Dimension
The raised details were freehand cut out of 1/4" MDF, sanded on the belt sander, and glued to the frame with basic wood glue.
Step 4: Bits and Pieces
Lucky for me I keep a bunch of different resin cast bolts, nuts, screw heads, washers and other odds and ends on hand. Any additional leftover resin I have during casting I drop into box molds so nothing is wasted. These little bits worked great when detailing out the axe head. Most of these were glued to the MDF pieces before it was molded.
Step 5: Molding
I used some foam core to create mold walls around the 2 top halves and the handle. Then I poured some Rebound 25 silicone over all of the pieces making sure to get rid of any air bubbles.
Step 6: Casting
Smooth On Smooth Cast 300 was used to cast up all of the pieces. This high impact resin is a two part liquid that chemically reacts and becomes a solid plastic.
Step 7: The Blade
Once all of the pieces were cast up I scaled the bade of the axe and measured out all of the blades spikes. I cut this part out on the band saw as well. Just like the upper section this was coated with Smooth On Rebound 25 silicone and resin cast using Smooth Cast 300
Step 8: Clean and Trim
After all of the parts had been cast I trimmed off all of the flashing with an exacto knife. The backs of the two halves were smoothed out using the belt sander and all of the pieces were drilled using a 1/4" drill bit.
Step 9: More Dremel Work
Using my Dremel I trimmed down the handle and the blades. By trimming the handle down the two top halves will fit together snug. I assemble these so that the bade doesn't spin. That way additional pant isn't getting rubbed off.
Step 10: Assembly
All of the parts are brought together, clamped, and glued using loctite professional superglue. I sink 1/4" dowel rods though all of the parts to bind them together.
Step 11: Primers
The resin casts as a bright white so I really like using a green self etching primer to give the piece a good base for the paint to stick to. Once that has dried completely I spray the top with a little red rust primer and hit the blade with some hammered metal silver.
The first bast coat of acrylic paints is a wash of Mars black. I use Liquitex heavy body acrylics because their pigment count is fantastic. Which means more vibrant colors and less paint needs to be used
Step 12: Top of the Axe
I really enjoy the painting process it is by far my favorite part and what brings the prop to life. I start off using a mop brush and tube of Cadmium Red. Real cadmium is very potent and is very easy to over do the effect. By hitting the high points and varying the pattern it give the mental a grimy look.
As a contrast I use liquitex Brilliant Blue to break up the red. Just like the red the blue is moped on using a drybrush technique.
Step 13: Painting the Handle Abd Blade
The handle is drybrushed in multiple layers to give the wood a textured look. The trick with the dry brushing is to keep the dark paint in the cracks and imperfections.
Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics
Layer 1 - Raw Sienna
Layer 2 - Unbleached Titanium
Layer 3 - Parchment
I detail paint all of the metal bits on the top of the handle with Liquitex Rich silver. Then highlight all of the high points with Liquitex Bright Silver. I add a little bit of Raw Sienna to act as rust on the blade.
Step 14: Elastic Straps
Elastic straps are glued onto the handle to mimic the look of the game. The straps are brushed with a little Titanium White just so that it's not a solid black.
Step 15: Krieg's Mask
I know that I'm not detailing it here but I also made Kreigs mask to go along with the axe. The mask was hand sculpted out of monster clay, silicone molded, and resin cast using Smooth On 65D.
I might be able to do an additional build thread specifically on the mask in the future.