Asked by: Anonymous
Oooooh, your first con or your first cosplay? Either way, good luck and have fun, anon!
I admittedly am not a fan of how the Corsair’s sword turned out due to a silly mistake I made early on, which meant that I had to bulk up the initial sword structure with wood and hot glue for stability. Not making that mistake again! But the mistake did teach me a few things that I’ll apply to my next weapon, so here we go!
First of all, I have a couple of friends who are awesome at props and I basically bow to them. Some are crazy professional propmakers and commissioners (like Punished Props) and others are just crazy talented propmaking cosplayers (like Aziza). Crazy-ass armormakers (like Beth) can also provide some excellent advice :)
Because I am not a crazy-ass prop/armormaker, but instead a humble fabric-zombie, my preferred prop technique is to work with with Paperclay. Honestly, you’re usually better off making things out of wood or casting things, but particularly if you don’t have access to machinery/materials or don’t have an ideal workspace for this sort of thing (or are just generally intimidated by Fancy Techniques like I am), Paperclay works! It’s a really great, sturdy material that is both light and sands beautifully—the one downside to it is that it doesn’t stick to surfaces too well and you’ll be battling that a lot, but it’s great both for making props or for building up details on things you’re making/altering.
The important thing to note when using clay for prop-making is that you always want to start with a sturdy base. This is the mistake I made: I made a core of foam for the Corsair’s sword, but the weight of the drying clay made it break, meaning that I had to build an exoskeleton around it and then build up with clay on top of that (thus the bulk). Seriously, don’t make that mistake. It’s a silly mistake, and with the Corsair and Trickster, you want your props to be very delicately dangerous.
So basically you want a sturdy armature. Your best bet for that will be wooden dowels—you can get those on the cheap and at varying sizes, and you can break and glue them together to create a very rough core. For the Corsair’s sword in particular, with that curved blade, I would break and glue pieces together so that it makes that shape. It won’t be pretty, but you’re going to be building up clay around that structure anyway, so it won’t matter. Then use clay, let it dry a few days, sand it down, patch if necessary (I always do a few rounds of patching because I’m a perfectionist), and then you’ll be good to go! Just remember to Modge Podge it to seal it before you start painting—Paperclay is paper-based and not terribly water resistant by nature, so you’ll want to go to extra lengths to seal it for protection.
I think that’s everything! If any of my followers have preferred prop-making techniques they’d like to share with Anon, please do so :)
Insulation foam is another good bet—the really hard pink kind you get at home depot. It can be cut and carved, but you have to take care to SEAL IT A LOT WITH LOTS OF GESSO. I used it for Nero’s sword—it’s quite sturdy!
- cynicalcanasian said: what do you mean by sealing insulation foam?
- zeico likes this
- stealyourshiny likes this
- devious-muffin likes this
- iapetusneume likes this
- azimedes said: Insulation foam is another good bet—the really hard pink kind you get at home depot. It can be cut and carved, but you have to take care to SEAL IT A LOT WITH LOTS OF GESSO. I used it for Nero’s sword—it’s quite sturdy!
- cikirita likes this
- subitoallegra posted this