The Gale Boomerang is one of the most iconic pieces from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The boomerang itself is said to contain the Fairy of The Winds which allows the boomerang to travel in a tornado-like fashion to retrieve items, get through elaborate dungeon puzzles, and even defeat your enemies. While this one doesn't do any of that stuff, I promise you will feel like the Hero of Hyrule once you finish making it!
The process itself is pretty straight forward with only three major steps: The Boomerang, The Foam Pieces, and The Painting. As a result, you will get a Comic-Con worthy prop piece that will be sure to wow all Zelda and videogame fans alike! Now let's go smash some pots and get some rupees!
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Step 1: Assembling the Materials
This is actually a semi - inexpensive project depending on whether you have a lot of the tools readily available. Also, if you have certain woodworking tools such as a disc sander, bandsaw, table saw, etc, this project will go faster for you. For me I didn't have any of those things so I had to get creative.
Materials needed for this project are:
- 1 Medium Density Fiberboard [MDF] (I got mine from home depot)
- 2 Clamps ( The more clamps you own/use the better)
- Jigsaw with accompanying blades
- Drywall Hand Sander
- Small Chisel
- A mask
- Angle Grinder (Picture 2)
Materials Not Pictured in this step but will be explained/displayed in later steps include:
- Sand Paper / Sanding Sponges 150, 220 grit paper and 250, 320 grit sponges
- Spray on finishing gloss
- White Spray Paint (Flat)
- White Primer
- 2mm Crafting Foam
- Scrap Cardboard
- Mod Podge
- Kwik Seal
- Various Colors of Acrylic Paint
AND THAT IS EVERYTHING! LET'S GET TO IT!
Step 2: Making the Boomerang: Prepping the Wood
Okay, okay I confess, this is not a working boomerang. But what I do confess is that this piece is super cool and will leave you speechless by the end! Also, I am not a wood worker, so if I can do this, I know you can!
First, you will want to take your MDF board and measure out two 9 inch wide by 30.5 inch long by 3/4 inch thick strips (Picture 1). Next you will want to cut the boards along your registration lines, with the jig saw (Picture 2) .TWO WORDS OF CAUTION: 1: Be sure to be super careful with the jigsaw, you can easily cut your finger right off! AND 2: Be sure to wear your mask while cutting/ sanding. The dust that is given off can easily get in your lungs and cause severe health problems. Once you are done, they should look like (Picture 3).
Now that the pieces are cut, you need to glue them both together. You can do this by applying a generous amount of wood glue to one of the surfaces on both of the pieces. You can spread it out with a spare piece of cosplay/ exercise mat foam. (Pictures 4,5,6) If there is wood glue spilling out the sides, no worries! We won't need the edges anyways.
Next you can line up the pieces and clamping them together. (Picture 7) I would let it dry overnight or for at least a couple of hours. If not, you will run into wet glue while you are cutting and it will be extremely difficult to cut through!
We can finish up this section by doing a rough sketch of how we want the boomerang to look. I used online references of the boomerang in the game and I gathered it would look something like (Picture 8). All boomerangs made will vary slightly, but for your reference, the measurements for mine are as follows:
- 20 inches long tip to tip
- 2 inches wide towards the bottom
- 2 inches wide in the very middle
- 3 inches wide towards the fat part of the feather.
(This should give you a rough outline to trace the lines)
GREAT JOB! ON TO THE NEXT PART!
Step 3: Making the Boomerang: Cutting and Sanding
Now here comes the most dangerous part: cutting/ sanding the outline that we have made. Again, be extra cautious to not have your fingers in the way of the blade. *Tip* A good way to prevent having your fingers too close are to use clamps to hold down the board instead of using your hands. It will make for a much safer cutting zone.
Begin by clamping the board down as tight as possible without damaging the clamps or the board (Picture 1). Carefully trace along the lines with the jigsaw, holding the bottom flush with the board. If I were to go back and do it again, I would cut the feather slits first rather than at the end (let's just say it got really dangerous so be sure to do that). Once you are done it should look like (Picture 2) minus the feather slits that is.
Next, you should clamp the boomerang down again to start sanding. (Picture 3) Grab your angle grinder and begin to work the boomerang from the middle to the bottom. If you don't have one, you can get one just like mine at Walmart for $20.01. *Tip* to get the thickness in the spots you want, be sure to start pushing lightly in the middle and push harder as you get to the bottom to get that rounded, thinner look. The boomerang should get smaller and thinner as it spreads from the center to the edges. Slowly but surely the boomerang will start to take shape. (Pictures 4, 5) Try different angles with your clamps and the boomerang to get those hard to reach places. (Pictures 6, 7).
Next for the sanding process, just grab some sand paper, your drywall hand sander and a bowl full of patience and start sanding! Also, use the drywall sander for those hard to reach places (Picture 8,9). Start with the lower grit count like 150 and slowly work your way up to 320. You should get the 220, 320 grit sanding sponges for the final parts to make it smooth (Picture 10) Near the feathers there may be some discrepancies (Picture 11), if you grab a small jigsaw blade, you can carefully work it in and out to shave down excess/ unwanted pieces. Be sure to touch it up with sand paper or the drywall sander. Now use the drywall sander to really sand down the fat flat part of the feather to make it thinner and rounder on that edge. Once you are done, it should look really similar to (Picture 12).
Finally for the feather indentations, draw out with a pencil the lines where you want the indentations to go. They should follow the natural contour of the boomerang itself. Be sure to do this to the top and bottom parts of the boomerang. With the tip of your chisel, push away from you on the wood while following the lines to make small canal-looking grooves (Again clamp the boomerang down). This can also be done with a Dremel but I do not own one so this is what I had to do! *Tip* to sand inside those small crevices, wrap a piece of sand paper around your chisel and follow the same lines you made and it should end up buttery smooth! (Picture 13) When all is said and done, the grooves/ sanding of boomerang should look like (Picture 14). Don't feel like you need to do these feather grooves just like mine. Be creative and make it your own.
Good news! We are done making the boomerang!
Step 4: The Foam Pieces
For this part, you will need to summon your inner cosplay costume builder, and the following materials: The 2mm foam, a hot glue gun, some Kwik Seal, mod podge, and the stencils we will talk about here in a second. (Picture 1)
Using any reference you find online, you will want to sketch out where you will want the foam pieces to go. This includes the bottom piece, the two symmetric middle pieces and the center diamond piece. When you sketch it out, it should look similar to (Picture 2). I used carboard pieces to create stencils for the two middle pieces (Picture 3) which I then taped together and then transferred to foam. (Picture 4) I outlined them and transferred them to a new piece of paper with dimensions for your convenience (Picture 5).
For the bottom part that wraps around the tip of the boomerang, I had to get creative. I essentially had to experiment with different stencils until one fit. It looks like a blob, but once you play around with it and wrap it around the bottom, it comes to a point on the tip with some overhanging material so you can trim it down and get it to line up nicely. (Pictures 6,7).
Now with the foam pieces made, feel free to slide them on to the boomerang (Picture 8) and brush a coat or two of mod podge onto the pieces. We are brushing it on while the pieces are on the boomerang so that the pieces conform properly to the surface. (Picture 9) This way we ensure that there are no floppy looking pieces.
*Seamless Foam Cosplay Tip* If you want to make seamless foam pieces, sand down the seams with sand paper wrapped around a paint stirring stick (Picture 1) and gently rub the seam. Then, apply the Kwik Seal onto the seam. From there, run your finger under a bit of water and smooth down the Kwik seal onto the seam.
Cut 2 big diamonds and 2 small diamonds (one for each side) out and glue the smaller diamond onto the bigger one. (Picture 10) You can freehand draw them or you can find a basic diamond stencil online. Apply the same mod podge procedure to the diamonds.
Slide the pieces off of the boomerang again and along with the diamonds, spray 1 or 2 coats of Plasti Dip (Picture 11) onto the pieces. Make sure that you get the edges as well. Once you are done they should be totally black. (Picture 12) While the pieces are drying, give a base coat of primer onto the boomerang. (Picture 13) Once both the boomerang and the pieces have dried, go ahead and slide them onto the boomerang once more where they are ready to be permanently placed on the boomerang. Glue on the diamonds. If the middle pieces still slide, go ahead and glue those down too! (Picture 14). Once the pieces are on, give the boomerang another coat of primer. By this point you should not see any black or any wood. The boomerang should be 100% white.
NOW GRAB THOSE PAINT BRUSHES BECAUSE WE ARE READY TO PAINT!!!
Step 5: Painting the Boomerang
Time to turn an ordinary boomerang into the Gale Boomerang. Painting is not always the easiest thing for me so I recruited the help from my talented sister who knows the ins and outs of mixing paints. I would highly recommend watching a video online on how to do this. However, looking in hind sight, the colors we are dealing with are not too difficult to replicate. Again, if you think a color is slightly off or you think it would look cool with a different color, be creative and make it your own!
First, using the online reference you have been using, replicate the design that is found on the two middle pieces with a mechanical pencil. (Picture 1) I could not find any reference photos for the back part of the design so I just extended the design into that blank space and finished them off with some hooks. (Picture 2) The beauty of having a totally white piece is that if you mess up you can just run over your mistake with white paint.
Next assemble the following colors. We used Gray, Dark Green, Brown, Yellow, Gold, Dark Blue, and White. (Picture 3). We then mixed the paints to form several different colors. You can tell how messy it got. (Picture 4) All I can say is if it looks like the picture, BINGO you did it. However, I will try to walk you through it as best as I can.
For the grooves in the feathers - this is the easiest one! Just add gray! (Picture 5)
For the two middle pieces - try mixing the gold, the green, and the white paint to get the greenish-brass looking color (Picture 6)
For the trim on the two middle pieces - try mixing yellow with white to get that really light yellow color! (Picture 6)
For the brown wood-looking part in the middle - add a flat coat of brown. Next mix white with brown to lighten it up and add a tiny bit of yellow. Paint the "grain of the wood" as if the color is shooting out of the diamond. (Picture 7)
For the diamonds - Start with a darker blue and slowly work your way into the center of the diamond with a lighter blue by mixing the dark blue with the white to get a light baby blue color. The border of the diamond should be just white with a hint of gray. (Picture 8)
Finally, for the feathers - mix the lighter blue, the green, a little bit of gray until it gets to the color you want. In this case it was almost a turquoise color. Make it darker or lighter by adding the dark greens/blues or by adding white. Be sure to add the subtle detail of blue to the back side of the feathers on the lower shaft. (Pictures 9, 10)
Once you have added in the final details, spray a clear coat of gloss onto it to really bring out the colors and seal it all in! (Picture 11 - Also shows the kind of white primer I used and flat white spray paint to cover up earlier mistakes if needed)
Whew that was a lot of work! Now your boomerang is done, let's see the final product!
Step 6: The Gale Boomerang - Adventure Ready
With that last stroke of paint, you have given the breath life into the Gale Boomerang! Well done! Now it is ready to accompany you on your many quests wherever they may be!
If you made The Gale Boomerang, be sure to post it here and show me how your boomerang turned out!
This is one my favorite projects yet and I can't wait to do more!
Like this Instructable? Check out my Knight In Shining Soda Tabs Instructable too!
Thanks for reading and I will see you on the next Instructable!
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