Hey everyone Steve here at SKS Props back again with another cosplay build! This time I created Mickey's Keyblade from the hit game Kingdom Hearts 3! I have some friends that are huge Kingdom Hearts fans and they have been asking me for years to do a tutorial on how I would build a con safe Keyblade...so here it is!
Before we begin let me say some of the products that are use in prop building can be bad for you :(
So 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/costume builds reference pictures are key. When you start to think about making a prop or costume from a video game, movie, etc. always try and find as many reference images as you can. Unfortunately for this particular one I could only find a few pics besides the hand drawn cover image. So some of it was reference and some was artistic license ;)
Products used in this build
HD-Foam and Foam Clay - https://www.sksprops.com
Respirator - https://amzn.to/2S8CrEC
Safety Glasses - https://amzn.to/2r3yEge
Black Skintx Gloves - https://amzn.to/2Jwizqy
Utility Knife - https://amzn.to/2HHclUD
Kershaw Knife Sharpener - https://amzn.to/2SjfXB9
Dremel - https://amzn.to/2r7tdxy
Belt Sander - https://amzn.to/2r9DDvK
Bob Smith Super Glue 2oz - https://amzn.to/2r3LbzW
Bob Smith Super Glue 8oz - https://amzn.to/2Jg84YJ
Bob Smith Glue Accelerator 2oz - https://amzn.to/2Khcsb3
Bob Smith Glue Accelerator 8oz - https://amzn.to/2LpuzeJ
Extra Tips for Glue Bottles - https://amzn.to/2JwuTuP
Iwata Airbrush - https://amzn.to/2ra5X0S
Mars Black - https://amzn.to/2I8kvIM
Iridescent Rich Silver - https://amzn.to/2KrQHoS
Golden Brand Iridescent Bronze - https://amzn.to/2VE5YHC
Iridescent Bright Silver - https://amzn.to/2LKywvq
1" Mop Brush - https://amzn.to/2HPta2X
Filbert Brush - https://amzn.to/2HPta2X
Liner Brush - https://amzn.to/2r4phN9
Step 2: Keyblade Build Video
For this fabrication I filmed a complete build video and took a bunch of WIP pics. I hope you enjoy the process and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more prop and costume videos!!!
Step 3: Keyblade Template
I created a custom template for this particular Keyblade in Photoshop so that I would have a decent sense of its scale and shape. If you would like to try this build out for yourself I offer the template for free on my site. You can download it here
Step 4: Skinning the PVC Pipe
A PVC pipe will be used as the main support of the keyblade running from the handle to the tip of the weapon. Paint doesn't adhere very well to PVC so I decided that I would need to skin the pipe with 2mm HD-Foam. This also helped cover the 10mm HD-Foam that was built up and sanded down to give the keyblade a gradual curve from the handle to the key. A thin layer of Barge contact cement was applied to the pipe and 2mm HD-Foam, this was allowed to dry and then the foam was wrapped around the pipe. The additional foam flashing was cut off and sanded down using a Foredom rotary tool. A 15mm HD-Foam half round dowel was glued to the end of the curve to finish it off.
HD-Foam and HD-Foam dowels are available at https://www.skskprops.com
Step 5: Foam Clay
So a new product came onto the Cosplay scene last year that being Foam Clay! This air dry material, which resembles EVA foam once cured, can be easily applied and sanded to it's desired shape once it has hardened (approx 24 hours depending on thickness). I figured that this would be a great material to use to create the complex curve in the middle of the weapon. Water was placed onto the HD-Foam (this helps the clay stick better) and Foam Clay was applied by hand and then smoothed out using tongue depressors that had been dipped in water. This section was allowed to dry for a day and a half before being sanded to the final shape. While this part dried I worked on a circle jig and the handle.
If you want to check out Foam Clay it is available at https://www.skskprops.com
Step 6: Bandsaw Circle Jig
So this Keyblade had a bunch of circles on the handle and I decided that I would need to make a jig to help me out because cutting perfect circles out of foam isn't easy. This could easily be an Instructable all by itself, but here is the build video on how I created the circle jig for my bandsaw. This thing works great and I have used it so many times since its creation on various projects.
Step 7: Circles, Circles, and More Circles
So you can see where that jig came in handy to cut perfect circles out of 10mm HD-Foam. Once all of the circles had been cut out I used a hole saw on my drill press to remove the center of some of the pieces. These parts were then glued together using Bob Smith super glue, shaped on my belt sander, and cleaned up using a stone bit on my Foredom rotary tool.
Step 8: Keyblade Handle
The handle of the Keyblade was made using stacked 10mm HD-Foam that had been cut out on the bandsaw and sanded on the belt sander. The curve on the end of the belt sander was perfect for removing the foam enough to where a circle could be glued into place. The two sections that will attach to the PVC pipe were also cut out of 10mm HD-Foam and detailed with 2mm HD-Foam.
Step 9: Hourglass Shapes
It has been a couple of days and the foam clay has air dried and been sanded to shape so the hourglass details can now be created. The shapes were first templated on a piece of Bristol board, cut from 2mm HD-Foam, checked for spacing and glued directly onto the Foam Clay. After that was complete the entire handle section could be assembled and glued to the PVC pipe.
Step 10: Handle Wrap Plus Stars and Screws
To detail out the handle I wrapped it with a 1" strip of 2mm HD-Foam to simulate leather. This was capped above and below with strips of 15mm HD-Foam Half Round Dowels. Stars and Screw heads were cut out of 6mm HD-Foam and rounded over using a rotary tool. These were then glued into place to replicate the artwork. The moon and star beneath it were cut from 2mm HD-Foam and glued in place to cover the lower seam. Additional stars are cut to transition from the handle up the Keyblade to the Key at the top.
Step 11: The Key
The template for the Key was traced onto 10mm HD-Foam and cut out on the bandsaw. The circles were deliberately cut off and made on the circle jig. They were each cut flat on one side and glued into place. The raised detail on the key was cut out of 2mm HD-Foam and glued on using Bob Smith super glue. This entire section was sanded flush on the top, bottom, and back using the belt sander and glued to the pipe.
Step 12: Kwik Seal
After Foam construction is complete I use some silicone tipped tools to apply Kwik Seal to the gaps throughout the piece. It is applied generously with the tools, then a little bit of water on my finger is all it takes to smooth it out and make it ready for plasti dip and paint.
Step 13: Construction Is Complete
So here are a few shots of the Keyblade once construction is complete. Despite the PVC pipe everything else is fabricated out of 2,6,10mm HD-Foam and Foam Clay. So not only is this Cosplay weapon light weight but also con safe!
Step 14: Plasti Dip
Two thin coats of Plasti Dip are applied to the keyblade. This will help protect the foam but also give a good base for the rattle can spray paints.
Step 15: Base Colors
Base colors of light blue and purple are selected and applied in thin layers to the Keyblade. These are just some basic Krylon rattle cans most of the details will be hand painted using Liquitex Heavy Body and Golden Brand Acrylics.
Step 16: Hand Painting
Golden brand Iridescent bronze is painted onto the handle and the stars on the Keyblade. The purple rattle can that was used earlier is sprayed onto a plate and hand painted onto the surface to maintain consistent colors. Mineral spirits are used to clean the brush and wipe away any over painting.
Step 17: Galaxy
The galaxy orbs on either side of the Keyblade were a little tricky. I started off with the purple as a base then painted Liquitex Heavy Body Mars Black at the top of the orb and feathered it down. To simulate the stars I soaked a tooth brush in Liquitex Heavy Body Parchment and splattered the paint onto the surface. This did a good job mimicking the stars then I went back in and accented some of them using a detail brush.
Step 18: KeyChain
At this point the Keyblade itself was pretty much complete I just had to make the keychain and Mickey emblem. Mickey's head and the keychain clasp were cut from 10mm HD-Foam and I used plastic chain from lowe's to keep the weight down. These were painted with the same Golden brand Iridescent Bronze I used earlier.
Step 19: Glamour Shots
Finished pics taken in my shop and I couldn't be happier with how this Keyblade turned out!
Additional Cosplay videos are now on my YouTube www.youtube.com/sksprops
You can also follow my work and check out HD-Foam at: www.sksprops.com
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