Hello and welcome, dear reader, to the (hopefully) most bodacious tutorial you will read today.
I will be walking you through the process of how I made the Ubersaw, a weapon used by the Medic in the game Team Fortress 2. You should know that, though, if you don't then I think you stumbled into the wrong building, friend
Obviously, the image and concept of the Ubersaw belongs to the wonderful people who made TF2, if any of y'all from Valve are reading this; thank you, love the game! :D.
Okay, so bit of a disclaimer before we crack on (heh... crack...): this is my first tutorial, so if my instructions seem a bit odd or hard to follow then I'm very sorry! Leave a comment and I'll try my best to help you out or edit it if it's too bad! :D
The only way is onward there is no turning back. Are you ready, bold adventurer? Turn then, face the door, and take a step forwards...
Step 1: Gather Your Resources
So, as with any recipe, first thing you need to do is gather together your ingredients.
First thing on your list is cardboard - I'm not going to sugar coat this; no cardboard, no ubersaw. I had some quite thick cardboard left over from another project, which you can see pictured above. You're also going to need some thinner cardboard for the small details on the body, but we'll get to that later.
Reference picture of the Ubersaw - this is VITAL to the project. I refer back to it at several points during this process, so you better have that tab pinned on your browser.
Next, masking tape. Please don't skimp and think "oh, I've just got regular sellotape that'll be fine, right?" Because no. You NEED to be able to paint over the top of the tape you use, so bear that in mind.
Scissors and a craft knife. You may be able to get away with using just scissors, but I found a craft knife was easier for cutting the cardboard.
Pencils and A3 paper, to draw out your templates.
Paint. You won't need this until later in the process, but you may as well get it now.
PVA Glue. I used this because it was all that was available to me. It works well, but you could probably use hot glue or copydex if either is more convenient. I used PVA though, so I'll be referring to it as that throughout - sorry!
(Not Pictured) You'll also need a paintbrush (I used a flat one for easier spreading over a large area) and a glass or jar to hold paint water.
(Not Pictured) a fairly thick clear straw to use for the "needle" part of the Ubersaw later on.
Finally, Sebastian. He's optional, of course, but he's simply one hell of a butler. Plus it's always nice to have some company, especially when Archimedes has taken up residence inside Scouts chest.... Anyway, moving on.
Step 2: Drawing Your Templates
Okay, ready to get started? Well, if you're not you'll get left behind so kNEES UP, SOLDIER!
*ahem* Sorry. As this section states, you'll be drawing your templates first. How I did this, was I found a side-on picture of the Ubersaw and zoomed in on the screen until the hole for the handle fit the width of 6 of my fingers (so the 4 on my hand, then you want a gap of at least one finger width above and below.) You may find your own way to do this, or use my method. Or you could try and freehand a template, if you feel confident in doing so. Whatever works best.
Once you've drawn out your templates to the appropriate size, cut those suckers out and get ready for the next bit.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Layers
Now you've got your templates ready, it's time to cut the cardboard. Not the cake, the cardboard. Although, tea breaks are never a bad thing...
Okay, once you've done with your tea break (presuming you took one, if not good for you, you're so eager!!) you're going to want to lay out the templates on the cardboard. Starting with the ones for the body, lay them on the thicker cardboard and cut out the following shapes:
-One single handle.
-One "blade" section.
-Two handle and top section pieces.
Once you're done with that, take the two circle sizes and the rectangle and cut out TWO of the larger circle and rectangle, and FOUR small circles.
At this point, you're also going to want to make the syringe barrel part. I forgot to take photos while I was doing this (sorry!) but what I did, was I took a thin cardboard tube (longer than a toilet paper tube, and thinner too. I might suggest using a section of a wrapping paper tube, or one from cling film/foil) and cut it into two pieces; one thin for the top, and one larger for the bottom. (I used the picture of the Ubersaw as reference for this part, too). I rolled up some of the paper from earlier, and taped it to the inside of the two tube pieces. I also taped it on the outside of the paper with a strip of masking tape. Next, I measured around the top of the tube (the smaller section) and cut out a circle of thin cardboard small enough to fit just inside the top, and taped it with the masking tape.
Once you've done with the syringe, take it and hold it "on" the middle part of the blade. You're going to need to make two cuts in the cardboard to slide the tube onto, we can secure it later. Use the tube as a reference, and measure it to how far in it looks on your reference picture.
I hope this is making sense, if you're ready we'll move on to the next part!
Step 4: Gluing the Layers
Now, we make a sandwich. A cardboard sandwich. With PVA glue as the delicious filling... Okay, so you're not going to be eating this sandwich, obviously, so please don't do that, it's not healthy and probably toxic...
Moving swiftly onward, friends, we're about half way now. As I said before, you're now going to be layering up your Ubersaw to the base for painting etc.
Starting with one of the two "handle with top part sections", you're going to spread PVA all over one face of that badboy like you're spreading suncream on your friend (actually scratch that, please don't erase any rude symbols in the glue that would not be conducive to good sticking). You then want to take the single handle piece and stick it down, lining it up nicely. Then, the blade piece. This is only going to be stuck by a small surface area of the piece, so make sure you don't put the glue on that bit. Once that's done, take the second of your "handle with top part sections" and spread glue on one face of that also. Again, line it up and stick it down.
Okay! Once that's done, you now want to take the small detailing pieces and stick them on both sides of the Ubersaw, as shown in either my pictures above or your reference picture.
Now, you're going to want to take a nap. No, you're not done, but you need to let the glue dry over night. Put some books on it (or just general weight, to really ensure the glue sticks well) and walk away for the evening. Maybe you could play some TF2 while you wait! Or, just go to bed like a normal person.... anyhoo, sweet dreams!
Step 5: Taping the Edges
Morning! Sleep well? Okay I can't hear you, and if you answered you just talked to your computer...
Anyway, now your glue should be dry so take your Ubersaw and give it a bit of a swing. Not quite finished, but it's really getting there!
Now, we have to seal up the edges to give a "smoother" paint job. This is why you needed your masking tape, you're going to tape it and, as in the picture above, lay it on the edges of the saw. For me, three layers of the cardboard was just thick enough that the tape didn't need trimming or anything so you should be good to just use one piece, unless you used different thickness of cardboard... yeah.
For the areas where the cardboard is only one piece thick, cut the masking tapes into strips (it should be a third of the width of the masking tape, again, unless you used a different thickness of cardboard. Whatever works best.) and stick these along the edges of the cardboard. Trim any if necessary, and you're good to move on! We're almost done now, you're doing well!
Step 6: Time to Paint
Alright, fetch your smock because it's about to get messy!
Now you've cut, glued and taped your way to victory, it's time to colour this S.O.B. Got a bit of a note before I start, though - at the beginning, I said you would need Gold, Red, Silver and Bronze/Copper Acrylic Paint. I didn't lie, the Silver metallic paint will be perfect. For the bronze blade colour though, I mixed the Gold and Copper paint together to get the perfect shade. You might not need to do this, so you might just need Silver, Bronze/Copper and Red..
Once you've figured it out, time to start. First, we're going to paint the silver body. I did two coats of the silver part, waiting for the previous coat to dry before adding another. I also used the paint to make the masking tape stick slightly better, trying to make it look more seamless.
Once the silver is done and dry, you're going to paint the blade and syringe body. The whole blade is the Bronze/Copper colour, so get that done and move onto the syringe part (again, two coats of paint).
For the syringe part, the middle section needs to be painted red. Since this bit is just paper, you can probably get away with just one coat. The rest, however, is the same colour as the blade so wait for the red to dry before you paint the rest with another two coats of the Bronze/Copper colour.
While the paint on the bottom part of the syringe is still drying, slide it into the slits in the blade you made earlier and leave it all to dry. Hopefully, the paint drying should stick the two components together (it did for me, at least) but if you want to glue it then go ahead).
Step 7: Making the Needle
I bet you thought I'd forgotten about this bit, didn't you? Well, nope!
First, get your nearly completed Ubersaw. Using a pencil or pen, poke a hole in the center of the syringe barrel end part, making sure it's just big enough to fit your straw. Try not to make the hole too big, you can take more away but you can't make it smaller again so be cautious.
Now you're going to need your straw. Take it, and cut a small section off one end at an angle so it looks like the picture above or your reference picture. Measure how far the straw will stick out of the barrel and cover that far (plus maybe a centimeter) with masking tape. Trim it at the top where the angled section is, and paint it silver.
Once that's done, spread some glue or paint inside the hole, and slide the straw in (theres no way I can say this without it sounding wrong so I apologise...) and you're done!
Step 8: Finished
So there we have it, dear readers! You're done! Here is my finished product (accompanied by a red tie and "Medic" patch which I made as other parts for the cosplay), I'm rather proud of it if I do say so myself. If you're just here for the ride, then thank you very much for reading this far. If you made it yourself, I'd love to see how it went so give me a comment and let me know if it was okay! My end product doesn't look completely flawless, if you want something professional looking then you're probably better off with wood or foam or something crazy like that. This is just my little budget cosplay prop ^-^.
I hope my instructions weren't too confusing to follow. Like I said at the beginning, this is the first tutorial I've written, so thanks for bearing with me on this.
Now? Let's go practice medicine... ;D