If, by now, you haven't seen last year's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where in Merlin's beard have you been?! The film follows magizoologist Newt Scamander's adventures through New York City as he struggles to track down his escaped beasts, and if you want to recreate the action for yourself at home, you've certainly come to the right place!
In this Instructable, I will show you how to make your own replica of Newt's wand, using just a few materials and all in less than a couple of hours.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
The materials for this Instructable only cost me £3 altogether (not including the paint and tools, which I already owned), and I had plenty of dowel left over for future wands.
All you will need are the following things:
- fine-toothed saw (I used a hack saw along with a mitre box)
- craft knife
- drill w/ 10mm bit
- sandpaper (I used 150 grit throughout)
- wooden dowel (15mm thick, at least 14"/35.6cm long)
- acrylic paints:
- grey (I mixed my own suit white and black paints)
- dark blue
- metallic silver
- (optional) - for weathering - black & dark brown
A good supply of reference images is also a must (I have included some above).
Step 2: Drill the End of the Wand
**WARNING: I cannot stress enough how important this is -- Be very, very careful during this step. Always get a responsible adult to do this for you, and use a vice to hold the wand while you drill!! I will not be responsible for any injuries sustained whilst following this Instructable! If you don't feel comfortable carrying out this step, skip it and move on - safety ALWAYS comes first!**
Looking at photos of the original prop, you'll notice that Newt's wand is hollow at the end.
To stop the wood from splitting during this step, I wrapped the end of the dowel in 2 or 3 layers of duct tape.
After marking out the centre of the dowel, drill a small pilot hole (2mm diameter should be large enough). This will prevent the larger bit from slipping while you drill the actual hole.
Using your 10mm drill bit, drill a hole roughly 1 inch (2.5cm) of the way into the dowel.
Step 3: Cut the Dowel
If you haven't already, cut your wand to a length of 14 inches (35.6cm). Since the dowel is too thick to be cut with an ordinary craft knife, I used a hack saw (any other fine-toothed saw should work just as well).
(I would also recommend the use of a mitre box for this step, as it will greatly improve the accuracy of your cuts.)
Now, cut a 45 degree angle out of the hollow end of the wand. I also sanded the inside of the handle to make the hole an equal thickness all the way around.
Finally, lightly sand the sawn ends of your wand to make them smoother.
Step 4: Carve the Dowel
This is where it really starts to look like a wand!
Using your craft knife, carve the wand so that it gradually gets thinner towards the end (again, adult supervision is required at all times during this step!)
The best way to do this is to point the dowel away from you, then slowly push the flat of the blade along the dowel to "shave" off strips of the wood until you get a shape you are happy with (remember to use your reference images to help you.)
Step 5: Sanding
Once you have a basic shape, sand the dowel to make it smoother. As revealed by Eddie Redmayne himself in an interview, Newt's wand has a "whittled" look to it, so don't worry about your wand not being completely smooth, as even the original prop has a few marks and dents.
Afterwards, wipe the wand with a damp cloth to remove any sawdust.
Step 6: Painting (Part 1)
First of all, mark out where the two sections of the handle should be. (I've included a diagram to help with this.)
Then, paint the inside of the hollow. For this I used metallic silver, to represent the "mother of pearl" on the original prop.
Step 7: Painting (Part 2)
Now it is time to paint the handle.
To begin, I mixed some grey acrylic paint with a small amount of dark blue paint, to match the unique colour for the middle of the wand (you can of course simplify and just use dark grey paint).
The best part of this wand is that the paint job doesn't need to be perfect, as the colours blend together and there are no clean edges.
Get a small amount of paint onto the tip of your brush, then gently dab the paint onto the middle section of the wand. Make it as random as possible and don't be afraid to go over the lines.
Step 8: Painting (Part 3)
For the handle of the wand, I used "cinnamon brown" acrylic paint (although any other brown will work just as well).
As before, get a small amount of paint onto the tip of your brush, then gently dab it onto the handle. Try to blend the two colours together where they meet, and don't be worried if the sections overlap slightly - it just adds to the effect! :)
Step 9: (Optional) Weathering
If you really want your wand to look the part, it's time to add some weathering! In the film, Newt's wand looks like it's been on the wrong end of a rampaging Beast on quite a few occasions, so that's the look I wanted to recreate with mine.
It is entirely up to you how far you want to go with aging your wand. There isn't really a set way to "correctly" weather any prop, but I went down the purely cosmetic route, using small amounts of dark brown paint to create a natural "wooded" effect on the handle.
I then dirtied up the rest of the wand by watering down some black paint and applying it to the blue section and the wand's shaft.
Finally, I cut a small notch out of the hollow end of the wand (based on images of the original prop), and used a craft knife to carve an uneven line down the brown part of the handle.
Step 10: Finishing Off
To finish off your wand, give it a coat of PVA glue. Not only with this give the wand a shinier look (almost like the wood has been varnished), it will also seal the paint and stop it from chipping off as easily when being carried around or handled.
If these instructions helped you to make your own version of Newt Scamander's wand, post some photos below; I'd love to see all your replicas! And don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions or aren't sure about any parts -- I'll try my best to help out. :)