8/28/2007

Tensa Zangetsu

Materials
-8" (minimum) charm bracelet chain $ Varies (to make 'charm')
-2 jars of Liquid leaf, 1 silver, 1 chrome tone $5 roughly each (for guard stopper, and blade -optional-)
-3 rolls of red braided ribbon 1/8-1/4 inch wide (for handle)
-3 rolls of black, slightly ribbed ribbon 3/4-1 inch wide (for handle)
-Gorilla glue
-1 to 3 cans of spraypaint - Gloss Black (Testors I found works best)
-1 to 2 cans of laquer clear gloss/overcoat/primer (same as other paint)
-1 guitar pick, a simple basic plastic tri-edge pick (if you know someone with a guitar, then ask to bum one off of them used to make 'charm')
-A roll of Duct tape
-1 capsule of Silly putty (yes I said Silly Putty)
-2 strips of Balsa wood (to create guard) - At least 3-5 feet long and 8 inch wide
-Popsicle stick or something else for stirring the Liquid leaf
-Cardboard (to paste the template to so its more sturdy)
-A little vegtable oil (for final assembly, if needed)
-Some paper to draw out templates if needed


Tools
-Foam brushes
-Sandpaper, various grits
-Hand sanding block, or just a small block of wood
-Ruler
-Scissors
-Needle nose pliers
-A very lightly damp rag
-small disposable bowl
-Pencil or other marking tool, that won't do major damage
-A small punch (or flat chisel, small) and hammer (for helping make a small hole/notch to put the chain in)
-Disposible latex gloves (in case you don't wanna have the fun of cleaning the stuff off your hands)


Procedure

Step 1. Ok one you got all the goodies together lay out and set up your area to best suit your work method.

Sword

Step 2. First thing you will do is take the bokkun and the sandpaper and sand the whole bokkun down, first with the rougher grit, then with each subsequent grit till you finalize it with the finest grit. Pay attention around the handle are and the sword edge. The time it takes to sand depends on fast you work. You are basically roughing the wood and removing the light glaze on the bokkun to prep it for painting.

Step 3. Once you finish sanding the bokkun, then take the very lightly damp rag and wipe the whole bokkun with it to help remove the residual sawdust from sanding. Use this opportunity to also check over for any other imperfections you may need to remove to make sure the sword is smooth before going to the next step. If you do need to sand a little more, make sure you wipe down again before the next step.

Step 4. Give the sword a few moments to dry a little from the wipe down before taking the bokkun and either holding it or finding another way to secure it (such as tying it up by a piece of string around the handle, and hanging from the ceiling or something) so you can do the first run with the painting. Make sure you have tacked up paper and laid down paper where you plan to spray the paint. Once ready, take the gloss coat/primer and spray it all over the blade part of the bokkun. It will take a lightly clear sheen with a little bit of white foaming during the initial spray. Let the sword sit to dry for about 30 minutes or more depending on the temperature of the room and other factors. A fan aimed at it on low will help speed the drying time, not to mention, make you not fall over from paint fumes by helping circulating the air.

Step 5. One the first coat is finished; check it for any imperfections to the gloss coat/primer. Buff with fine grit sandpaper if needed. Once your ready, you can now take the can of Gloss Black paint and repeat what you did with the gloss coat/primer and spray the black paint over the handle. Let dry. Repeat this up to two more times. After each coat of paint check for and lightly buff any imperfections off and wipe with rag before applying new coat.

Step 6. The next part is up to the individual, but if you choose to, open the Liquid Leaf and following the directions, put a little of each of the Liquid Leaf colors, into the bowl and stir together to create a kind of liquid metal color. Take the foam brush and very lightly and sparingly brush it across the blade along roughly on what would be the 'sharp' edge of the sword, just enough to give it that faint shimmer, when the light catches it. Let it dry and set aside for the moment.

Guard/Guard Stopper

Step 7. The guard is probably the funniest, yet most annoying part of the sword. Using the Bankai 2 Picture as a guide (though I shall add the template piccy I made, once I find the bugger), will draw the design onto the balsa wood a few times, using a ruler to make sure you make each piece of the guard the same size. You will use the guard piece you received with the bokkun's purchase to help as the guide for the size of the opening in the center, so you may make the hole large enough to allow for the guard piece to slide onto the sword. I suggest making at least three pieces of the guard with the balsa wood, to stack together to increase the durability of the guard. I also suggest each arm be at least 1/2 inch to 3/4 wide. Once you draw out the design on the wood, use the sharp hobby knife to cut the wood slowly and carefully. Do the center first, since this will make it much easier. Once you finish cutting the pieces out, you will use the Gorilla glue and carefully stack the three pieces together to make a sort of sandwich that will become the finished guard, prior to it's final work. Let the guard dry for a little while.

Step 8. Once the guard piece is dry, sand it lightly just to smooth it a little on the edges and prep it for painting. Once that is finished, take the gloss coat/primer and spray the one side, and let dry. Repeat with the other side. You will then repeat the process twice for each side with the gloss black paint, and then a final coat of the gloss coat/primer. You may wish to sand the inner portion of the guard when finished to remove some of the paint from the central hole inside, so when you go to slip it on during the final construction, it won't try sticking as you slide it on the sword.

Step 9. Once you’re done with that, you can take the rubber ring piece they also give you, which holds the guard in place, and work with that. If it isn't already a sort of darkish gray silver black, you will need to take the Liquid Leaf and mix some of each together to make a dark liquid metal color. If you feel the need to do so, spray a small amount of the gloss black paint into a rag and rub the color on the outside of the ring. Just enough to darken the tone lightly. After you do that, take the foam brush and lightly apply the Liquid Leaf to the rubber piece and then let it set aside to dry. Just the outer side of the ring only!

The Chain/Handle Adournment

Step 10. Ohhh...the chain thing that dangles off the end of the sword. For a little while I had fun trying to decide what would be the easiest way to do a simple adaptation of it, and it ended with a guitar pick, that gets a small hole punched in the top, and a ring threaded through it, and attached to a chain.
So first off take the charm bracelet chain, and remove the claw piece/clasp off the one end, using the needle nose to open the jump ring, but keep the other end on. Next you will take the guitar pick and punch a hole in it along the top of the pick with a small punch. Don't need to big a hole, just enough to get the jump ring through. Next take the charm chain and on the end where you removed the claw, use the pliers to open the jump ring on the end just enough so you can them thread the punched guitar pick onto it. Once the pick is on, close the jump ring. Next you will take the gloss black and spray the chain and the pick black. You may want to thread a piece of string though the other end and hang it on something to make it easier to spray the paint on. Make sure you cover the area you use to spray the charm. Let it sit aside and dry.

Handle Wrapping

Step 11. The fun, oh the fun. The wrapping of the handle is probably the least fun of the whole thing, as it takes some time and your wits. First off, get the sword portion of the prop and take a small punch and hammer, and make a small indent in the base of the hilt, to be where the charm piece will go.

Step 12. Once you make an indent, push the charm chain into the indent, pushing the side that has the other half of the clasp that wasn’t removed. Place some glue to secure the charm in place. Next take the silly putty and break pieces off and mold around the charm imbedded in the handle. Mold it around handle and just slightly over to secure the charm well. Once you secure it, place a few pieces of duct tape on the end, and a strip around the base.

Step 13. Now the fun part. Your going to take your sword and settle on the floor and stuff with your rolls of ribbon, some scissors and that bottle of Gorilla Glue. First step will be to take the rolls of the red braided ribbon and slowly glue and wrap the ribbon all around the handle all the way down to the end. Wrap as tightly and close as you can without over lapping the ribbon. Once you finish the red inner handle wrapping set it aside for a short time to allow to dry and set.

Step 14. Once the red layer is set, you will next take the black ribbon and tack down one side (blade side end) and do two sets of twists (see pictures for idea) before removing the excess and taking down the other end. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not quite such a pain in the butt. Do this all the way down the handle, till you have about a ½” left (Where the duct tape is). Once you finish this grueling part. Let it s it aside for a short time to dry and set.

The Final Assembly

Step 15. Now for the grand finale! You will take the sword, the guard, the guard stopper, and assemble it all together. The guard slides on first, followed by the guard stopper. You may need to rub a small amount of vegetable oil on the blade part of the sword to help make the stuff slide easily. Wipe it off once your done though. Lastly, if you so desire to do so, do one final gloss coat finish over the fully assembled sword and let dry. Viola! You now have Tensa Zangetsu.

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