I'm going to be showing how to make a light weight Zangetsu, Shikai version, from the anime bleach.
This will be made using quite a low budget and no expensive tools, equipment or materials are used.
All items can be found around the house, at a local store. (The cardboard can even be acquired for free. A lot of stores will let you have a bunch of them since they have no use for them).
Step 1: Equipment
You will need:
two cardboard boxes - medium sized.
A black marker or sharpie.
A cutting knife or scissors.
PVC tape (this creates no crunching sounds like sticky tape, and has a smooth surface unlike Duct-tape).
PVA glue or Flour (self raising flour is fine).
Black spray paint.
Metallic silver spray paint.
Clear Spray paint.
Step 2: Draw the Shape.
Use your marker or sharpie to draw the shape of the Zanpakuto.
You can freehand it from memory like me, or use a picture reference.
Depending on how accurate you want it to be, you may want to use a measuring tape to measure your height since Ichigo's Shikai Zanpakuto is "body-length". Meaning it is the same height as him.
I am currently 5'10" so this is how long my result will be.
Use your eyes to judge the dimensions that your Zanpakuto will need to be depending on your height.
Step 3: Cut the Shape
Cut the shape using scissors or a knife.
Follow the lines as cleanly as possible as any sudden bumps are quite noticeable.
Once the shape is cut, use it as a template to trace around to create a second piece.
Step 4: Glue Support Structure.
use as many bamboo poles along the top of the Zanpakuto. This is the side that isn't the blade edge.
Secure them in place using the PVC tape and be sure to overlap the poles in a brick-layed fashion. This will provide more support and stop the finished project from flopping.
Use super glue to secure the poles firmly in place.
Next, lay the second face in position and use plenty of super glue to secure it in place. Use more glue on this side since there won't be tape helping hold it in place.
Step 5: Paper-mache.
Mix PVA glue with water as you would typically do for paper-mache.
If you don't have PVA glue at hand, mix two cups of flour with two and a half cups of water into a bowl.
Next, use the newspaper and dip strips into the glue or Flour solution. Layer the paper-mache over the entire design and take extra care to make sure everything is layered smoothly otherwise any lines will show in the final product.
Do this for about 4 to 7 layers to build up a good strength and thickness. Be sure to let each layer dry completely before working on another layer.
Step 6: Painting and Finishing.
Once you have completed the final layer of paper-mache, leave it 48 hours to dry completely.
After that, spray the Zanpakuto with the clear spray paint to seal the shape and smooth the surface. This will help a lot to bring out the metallic look with the metallic silver spray.
Once the clear coat has dried, spray the entire Zanpakuto with the metallic silver spray paint and leave it to dry. Do this twice to create a nice even and thick coat.
Then, mask off the silver bladed area using masking tape and newspaper.
Spray the exposed area with the black spray paint. Again, spray this twice for a nice coat.
Finally, coat the entire Zanpakuto with a final coat of clear spray to lock in the paints.
Step 7: Final Touches
Use super glue to glue one end of bandage onto the end of the handle.
Wrap the bandage around the handle up until the weird bump on the handle shape, then glue the end down. You may need two bandages to complete this.
Then, you're finished. Shikai Zangetsu is ready to slaughter the Hollows.
NOTE: I don't currently have pictures for the last few steps of this Instructable as I haven't actually completed making the Zanpakuto yet. However, this is EXACTLY what I will be doing.
Hope you all found this interesting and helpful.