Three dimensional manoeuvring gear sword replica
This was a commission from someone I know who had a deadline of about two weeks to complete this, there already were ready 3D models for what he wanted online so I took up the challenge and decided to document it.
This is my first attempt at designing a product with form in mind rather than function, the design I had in mind for quite a while now and when I found the original STLs I had to create one of my own. It was also one of my first experiences with the airbrush.
The first step was to modify the STLs as they were unprintable in their current from and I also had to add some form of support in the form of a metal rod as I am 100% sure it would flex and warp if it was pure 3D printed parts, I also improved the tolerances to fit my specific printer. As you see I used 123D as its really good for use with ready meshes.
Because of the warped pieces the clean-up was much more of a hassle than I expected. I did the usual support removal and sandpaper routine on certain parts but leave it in different places to make it look like a rushed casting, the original manga has little to no detail so I had to take some “artistic liberty”.
The look I was going for was this rushed cast steel as the manga is set in a rather primitive society so the only way they could make swords like this is through casting, I made this look by leaving some elements sanded less than others so the layer lines caused by 3D printing would be more visible in certain areas, this and the blood and wood effects made the sword look really visually interesting as it’s a rather simple shape.
After the clean-up, I did a test fit of all the elements and although tight at places it all fit really well and is time to get an appropriate length rod, this means get a too long rod and cut it with the Dremel as I am not taking this thing to B&Q. Also, fun fact I had to go to 3 stores before I found anyone that stocks 6mm rod, and it wasn’t even rod they only had tube but for my use it really doesn't matter, this country is ridiculous. I don't even know why its so filthy.
Now for the hard part being the painting, I was going to do it outside but then the moment I took the airbrushing box outside It started raining. I couldn’t just wait till the next day so I ended up doing it in my room and now have a layer of shiny dust on literally everything in my room.
The first stage was the primer, can't paint without that, at least I don’t think so, this wasn’t really the greatest time to experiment so I just rolled with it, 3 coats was enough to get the paint to stick nicely and the plastic was originally white so there was no need for more layers. Then I moved on to the grey and since I was too cheap to get pre-diluted paints I had to use paint thinner (again could have used water but not in the mood for a hassle), it was still a hassle to do as I had to get the same consistency of paint so that the different elements don’t look out of place with each other. As that was drying I painted the tip of the sword with a blend of reds to get the perfect shade of blood. The handle is just two shades of brown next to each other with some black streaks for the burnt effect.