Introduction: FFX: Auron's Masamune
Final Fantasy X has provided a haven of fond memories for me. Summer nights spent shouting at the TV with my brother or pouring over walk-through guides -- these are some of the most enjoyable moments that I'm fortunate enough to have experienced. It was usually my brother who held the PS2 controller, capturing monster after monster and defeating Sin after Sin, but I always tried to be the supportive player two who cheered him on and helped him solve puzzles.
I've been wanting to recreate Auron's celestial weapon, Masamune, using wire and sketched out a rough design for how I'd go about doing that. Eventually, it escaped my mind and didn't come back until I saw the game.life 4 contest. My desire to see this project through roared back to life, and quite a few pictures (and frustrated mumbles) later, here's a tutorial for the world to see.
Step 1: Materials
- thick and thin wire (I used 20 and 26 gauge black-colored copper wire.)
- thin red string (I just used sewing thread)
- black sharpie
Step 2: Sketching and Shaping the Frame
First, sketch out a picture of Masamune. Make sure that it's not too small; the smaller it is, the harder this process will be. My final version turned out to be 6 inches, so plan accordingly.
Then grab your thicker wire and bend it to fit the shape of Masamune. This will be your frame for weaving. Do NOT cut the wire yet; it will make things easier.
Step 3: Weaving: Arms
Start weaving at the "arms"; the bigger ones closer to the hilt, to be exact. Wrap one end of your thinner wire (working with the whole spool) around the tip of one arm and begin weaving. See the MS Paint image for how to weave the wire.
Step 4: Center Hole and Dividing Line
Now's the time to cut your thick wire frame loose from the spool. Cut the wire, leaving a 1.5' wire tail.
With the free end of the wire, make a circle and wrap the excess wire around the wire that's still connected to the spool. Put this bubble-wand shape on your unfinished Masamune and see how far down you'll have to cut (see pictures). After cutting the wand off, make a hook on the end without a circle. Use your thin wire to attach this hook to the central hook of Masamune (again, see the pictures because this is hard to explain).
Step 5: Weaving One Top Half
Use the same method as from the "arms" to weave one of the top halves, EXCEPT THAT INSTEAD OF ONCE, WRAP TWICE, AND INSTEAD OF TWICE, WRAP THREE TIMES. Stop at the intersection of the loops from the previous step and cut the wire loose, making sure you wrap the thin wire's end around the thick wire of the frame twice to secure it (but don't cut the tail as short as possible yet).
Step 6: Weaving the Rest of the Top
Weave the other side up to that same intersection as in the previous step, but DON'T CUT THE WIRE LOOSE YET. Instead, use the wire (by the way, you should be working with the whole spool still) to weave between all THREE wires (see pictures above). Stop at where the top of the blade intersects the first, smaller pair of "arms."
Step 7: Weaving: First Pair of "arms"
This is where you cut the thin wire loose. Make sure you cut and leave yourself with a wire tail that's as long as your wingspan.
Then use this wire to weave in the section in between the first pair of "arms." This will be pretty tricky; see the pictures, but it's basically the same as the previous step except that the left and right most parts are thin wire, not the thick wire of the frame.
Step 8: Weaving: Second Pair of "arms"
After finishing that part, weave normally (wrap around left and right sides TWICE) up to the second pair of "arms." Weave in between this pair like you did in the first pair.
Step 9: Weaving Around the Loop
Here's another tricky part: weaving the loopy part. Just treat the larger loop as your "left side" and the inner loop as your "right side." You'll have to wrap the wire TWICE around the larger loop (left side) each time and only ONCE around the smaller loop (right side).
Once your reach the middle of the loop where two wires branch upward, wrap the thin wire around these two thick wires to secure the two sides before continuing with the weave.
After finishing the entire loop, cut the thin wire and wrap the leftover end around the thick wire twice to secure the wire. Then cut the end as short as possible and use pliers to push it down as close to the rest of the blade as possible so that it won't poke upward and prick you.
Step 10: Finishing Loose Ends
Huff! Weaving complete! Time to trim the loose ends though.
To do this, just cut the tails as short as possible and use your pliers to press the ends down as far as possible so they won't poke you.
If there are shiny hints of copper from underneath the black coating of your wire, use a sharpie to color them in.
Step 11: Handle
Let's hope you can handle this part... (cough/chokes at the bad pun)
Compare the two ends of the thick wire from the frame to your sketch and see how long the handle will be. Make a loop at where your handle will end and turn the excess wire from the loop into a double loop (a loop within a loop). Make sure no wire sticks out from the loops.
Then, use the other, longer end of the thick wire to wrap down the entire length of the handle.
Step 12: Ending the Handle, and Blade Complete
To finish the handle, cut the thick wire short and close the the handle before using pliers to press that end flush and parallel to the rest of the handle.
Now the blade part is complete! Time to add some detail to the handle though...
Step 13: Decorating Handle
Use red sewing thread and macramé square knots to finish the details of the handle. Look at the pictures above (or this link) to see how to do them.
Step 14: Tassel and Completion
To make the tassel, wind red string around some fingers (three for me, numbers vary depending on the size of your fingers) until you're satisfied of the volume of thread. Cut the string and put the loop of thread onto a jump ring (I just made one with my 20 gauge wire).
I didn't have any black beads that would fit the tassel so I made imitation ones using my 26 gauge wire. I just wound the wire around the thread, cut the wire loose when I was satisfied with the "bead's" size, and used pliers to push down the ends so that they wouldn't poke out.
After that, cut the loop and trim the ends before attaching the tassel to the handle with the jump ring from before.
And phew we're finished! A wire sword to continually conjure fine memories. Not too shabby for a first attempt too, eh?
Step 15: Bookmark Version
I originally had a silver frame, but I switched to black because I had 28 gauge silver wire (as opposed to 26 gauge black), which would have taking two more eternities to weave. I didn't want to waste the silver frame so I turned it into a bookmark.
Basically, I cut the sword's frame out, curled the ends of the two wires sticking down, and used 28 gauge wire to wrap them together, forming a handle. Using red thread and square knots again, I added the red detailing on the handle and made a tassel the same way as for the black Masamune. The bookmark works pretty well, and I have to say that it might be the coolest one ever. I want to hammer the shape so that it doesn't warp as easily, but I don't have the tools necessary... One day I will though! And until then, I'll just bask in the euphoria of finally completing the project. ^^
Finalist in the
Game.Life 4 Contest