This is a simple card prop dagger based on the Klingon one from Star Trek. It can easily be adapted for other fantasy weapons.
This one will be used as a prop for a stills shoot in the future.
Step 1: Materials and Design
This dagger will be made from card laminated to form the blade and handle.
I'm using 'show card' or 'border matt' card. It's the stuff that is used to frame watercolours and is available in large sheets from an art supply shop.
You could use any high density card that is about 1.5mm (1/16") thick.
You will also need some thin card, some VERY sharp knives, general purpose glue, a steel straight edge or ruler, a cutting mat, some car repair resin and some car repair body filler, and some paints (I use artists and hobby acrylics), a bit of kitchen foil and an old bottle top (screw on plastic type). A pencil.
I began by finding an image of a bladed weapon that I liked. I just browsed the net for one.
Next I roughed out my design on paper, then using the size of my hand as a guide, I started adding some dimensions. I used millimetres but use whatever suits you.
Once I had a rough that I liked, I VERY CAREFULLY drew it out correctly on to some thin card. I drew everything in pencil then outlined the main part in black pen.
This was then carefully cut out using a scalpel to form the main template.
Step 2: Construction of the Blade
Once I had the main template, I transferred the design onto the show card by simply drawing carefully around the outline with a pencil. I cut this piece out and checked it. It will form the central portion of the blade and handle.
Once this was done, I marked and removed material from the main template to allow for the slope on the blade.
I then drew around this new template and cut out two identical pieces from the show card.
These three layers were then glued together using general purpose glue. I have reversed one of the show card pieces so that you can see the black of the smaller side section against the original piece.
The laminated pieces were then placed under a board and heavy items placed on top. This was left for 24 hours to fully set.
Step 3: Construction of the Handle
Once the blade had set, I marked up and removed material from the master template to just leave the handle section. Once again I drew around the template on show card and cut six identical pieces (only 4 are seen here).
Each piece was then coated in glue and laminated to the blade section.
Once all six were in place I again cut down the master template and drew around the lozenge shapes on show card, cut them out and glued them in place. I also drew around, cut out and glued the rectangular and trapezoid shapes and added them to the handle.
I again set this aside to set fully.
Step 4: Strengthening and Sculpting
Once the laminate had hardened off, the next stage is to coat both sides with two coats of car repair resin. Once these have set the dagger will be much stronger and less prone to bending. It will also be waterproof.
Once that had dried I added some car body filler to the edges of the blades and to the handle where there were ridges in the lamination. This was then sanded back and some aluminium kitchen foil strips were glued to the blade edges.
Step 5: Painting and Finishing
Once everything had fully set, I added some base colours. This will help to show up any imperfections that require correcting and give an overall idea of the final dagger.
Next i added a bottle cap to act as the pommel for the handle. This was glued on, then a small self tapping screw was added and the cap filled with car body filler.
Once that had dried I began adding layers of paint using the brush, sponge and dry-brush methods to bring out the details.