Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pumpkinhead Keyblade Prop Build - Kingdom Hearts I - Part Three

Here it is at last, Part Three!  This will cover the construction process from mold making through project completion.  Part Two left off with the Keyblade components looking something like this.  (Ignore the weights in the background, I am still organizing the workshop!)

The parts were too fragile and too heavy for the finished prop, so copies needed to be cast in resin.  I chose to use Mold Max 30 to make the molds.  A gram scale was required to measure out the correct amounts of Part A and Part B.  I was able to get away without degassing the silicone, since I suffer from an acute lack of a degassing chamber.  What bubbles did form in the silicone did not have an effect on the final castings.  My first step was to build the mold enclosures.  I used ready made enclosures where possible and made the rest out of foamcore with hot glue as caulking.

Some molds were simple one part molds, some were two part molds.  Make sure to apply enough mold release before pouring the second half!!!

Smooth-Cast 320 made for a great quick curing resin that was both lightweight and durable.  I was very happy with the first castings.

There were actually quite a few small pieces in this build.

For the larger pieces I first tried to make a brush on mold with Mold Max Stroke.  I completely messed this process up by not making the silicone layer thick enough.  I ended up having to cut my losses and re-make the molds using more Mold Max 30.  It turned out to be a much better choice for my application, but less cost effective.  Here are the brush on molds with their fiberglass jackets that had to be scrapped. 

They were not a complete loss, I was able to cut up the old silicone and put those chunks into the new molds as space fillers (after all, this silicone not cheap.)

Silicone pie anyone?  Anyway, the new Mold Max 30 molds turned out much much better.

To cast from these it was just a matter of sandwiching the mold halves between two boards and strapping them together.

To support the ward I inserted a threaded metal rod into the mold before adding resin, this made for an easy way to attach the ward to the main blade shaft.

With all of the castings finished I was able to start cleanup and assembly.

Taking a page straight out of a Warhammer guidebook, I pinned many of the pieces in place before adding epoxy.

The handle was wrapped in leather.  It was my first time wrapping a handle in leather, though ironically I have plaited many handles in para-cord when I was making whips.  One would think that a simple wrap would be much easier, but it did pose a few challenges.

After a bit of painting with some enamel the Keyblade was ready for the client!

Thanks for reading!  Keep an eye out for some costume write ups in the next few weeks!

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