So for my coming-later-this-year Tsurumaru Kuninaga cosplay from Touken Ranbu I wanted to start by making his sword, in good time. Technically he is a sword himself so... yo dawg. x) But yeah, you get the point...
I decided to split my progress in several parts to avoid a text wall. I also want to mention that this first part, the beginning, mostly consists of me being a disaster master – everything that can go wrong went wrong, basically. Can't succeed every time.
So yeah, what I started with is your generic plastic toy katana:
|This is what the sword looks like straight out of the package.|
|This is the naked sword, all removable parts removed.|
|The sheath comes with these two "hanging loops" on each end.|
I cut them off with a scissor and then sanded them flat.
I started by making the tsuba. I decided to try my hands at the sandwich method and I must say that it... didn't go quite as planned. I almost ruined my work twice but, by some miracle, I managed to save it. I want to say a few things about it because I ended up with a hilarious fail. xD You see, at first I started heating the bottom worbla piece on my freezer's lid. I had no idea what was a suitable working space for worbla because the damn tutorial didn't say a word about it so yeah, I thought that plastic shouldn't be all that bad – WRONG. My worbla stuck to it like hell (even though glue side was up) and I had to rip it off with force, to the point the whole thing got deformed, bumpy and almost tore. Seriously, don't do the same mistake.
My second thought was to use a metallic surface. The idea was good and I was on the right track but yeah, much to my disappointment I had no worbla-friendly metallic surface to work on; the closest would have been the sink/stove area on my mini kitchen but the problem was that it's way too uneven to work on. As desperate as I was I went to the common kitchen and dug through the closets and then I found a... metallic tray. It had some intricate designs on it but because it was flat I didn't think much more about it – BAD IDEA.
So, well, I did the other side of my worbla piece and –while it didn't stick as horribly to it as with the freezer– the tray had another surprise up its sleeve...
|OH MY FUCKING SHIZZLE DRIZZLE .........|
Later on it finally hit me that aluminium foil might be the best surface to work on and... guess what? Of course that's what I don't have at home. So yeah, I had to call Sacchan to fetch some for me since she was coming over to my place anyway.
I need to say that I was right – tin foil is by far the best surface to work on that I've tried so far. The worbla doesn't stick to it!
Note to self: fucking glue the craft foam details onto the main foam piece before using worbla on it. It will save you from raging and screwing up your project.
|My first sandwiched worbla piece done.|
It's fugly but it'll suffice... I guess.
|My creative "where to put it to dry" solutions.|
Read ahead for a disastrous PU-foam story. Learn from my mistake and fucking don't do it yourself, okay? Thanks. Oh, and warning for foul language ahead.Okay so, I seriously got so frustrated that I just thought that it would be a good idea to start from the beginning and so I tried to pull off the straw from its attachment point on the mouth of the can. Horrible idea, okay – I accidentally ripped up the whole damn straw, with the can mouth/dispenser still attached to it. >_> They were really inseparable, lol...
Okay, so after some brainstorming with my teacher and one of the, err, I guess he counts as an extra teacher/helper, we came to the solution that I should use PU-foam (aka expanding foam) to fill out the gaps of the handle. I had taken with me my barely used can of PU-foam and started shaking it and preparing it for use. But yeah, as you know my luck is as shitty as that of Donald Duck so of course nothing came out when I pressed down on the "trigger" on the straw piece that I had screwed in place. Nothing. Nada. Nope. I started twisting and turning the straw and heard some soft clicking sound and hoped that it was the "turn the nozzle to activate it" sound but nope, still no foam came. At this point I started getting both frustrated and confused so I just kept turning the plastic straw around until it fucking locked itself on the can's screwable plastic mouth piece. Fuck me. :) Now I got even more irked and because I was ashamed to go ask someone for help at this point, for such a simple thing, I decided to try and do it myself and oh lordy lord do I hate myself when I catch myself thinking like this – things never end well when I don't ask for help, especially when my gut feeling tells me that I should.
Now I just had the black rubbery pipe-like thing still standing and if I peeked into it I could see the foam in the can, oops. I just felt so lost and so infuriatingly stupid and self-hating that I had no choice but to ask the extra teacher what the fuck I should do now. He just casually told me that it's possible to buy a new mouth part for the can. He also wanted to check if the foam hadn't hardened already since he said it does that after a while and, well, I had had mine for over half a year. He looked at me and said: "you can also do like this – take something thin and stick it to the can! :D".
I kid you not – as soon as he poked whatever thin object into the can a loud explosion was heard across the whole garage, followed by "PFFFSSSSSCHHH" and then foam started gushing out of the can in all possible directions! It flowed so rapidly that it was uncontrollable and it ended up on the floor, into open cardboard boxes, tables, walls etc – fucking everywhere, basically.
It was like trying to stop the goddamn Niagara Falls, except that it was Foamgara Falls.
|Remember doing shit similar to this during chemistry class in school?|
– Yeah, something like that.
|This is what the can looked like once the foam explosion finally ended...|
Regarding my shoes I sat for over an hour with a blade from an exacto knife just carving off the fucking foam, painstakingly slow, from my shoes. I was so angry I was gritting teeth and just wanted to kill something. No wait, correction – I wanted to drown something in PU-foam.
Do you know that feeling when a stupid disaster happens, that ends up costing you a lot (both in materials and time), and you just try to joke/laugh it off with your classmates but inside you are about to break down and start crying/screaming because you hate your life and your fucking constant shit luck so fucking much? That's exactly how I felt.
|I got some foam where it was intended at least... very overkill though.|
Thanks for reading my... err... explosive foam experiences and unintentional worbla prints, I guess? xD If nothing else I hope you won't need to experience these mishaps yourself, lol.
I also guess it would be uplifting to hear about the not-so-successful cosplay making stories of others, so feel free to share your bad luck adventures with me so that I don't have to feel all alone in this misery, huaah. ╮(─▽─)╭
~ Shiro Samurai out.