Time to paint.
Step One – Base Coat
I ended up putting on a base coat of black spray paint just to even out the colouring (especially with the crazy craft foam colours) and give a steady base to work off of. I took it out to my spray box and gave it a single coat – that was enough.
Step Two – Priming
From there I used mod podge and coated the whole thing to prime it properly. This step was invaluable. For the few sections I missed, it wasn’t as easy to paint.
Step Three – Painting
I then ended up going through the motions of painting. This is my favourite part of any cosplay – I really love painting. It’s difficult to say how I managed it, since most of the time colours and shading are purely instinctual for me. However, here are some tips:
- Always have a reference photo on hand to look at
- Have a good palette of black and white to add for light or darker shades
- Start with a grey/white base coat and add layers to build up texture
- For the metallic aspects, mix a matte colour similar to the shade of metal you want, then add the tinted, sparkly stuff afterwards for a great sheen. Gold or silver paints can end up being super thin.
- Make your brush life longer by making sure you don’t leave them in water – wash them when you’re finished with them, and have a dedicated brush for your primers or glue-based products.
- Add in plenty of shading and highlights. The Highlights make a huge difference to your piece.
Overall, this took me roughly two days to paint from start to finish. So many tiny details with the etchings meant there were a lot of little areas I missed and had to go back over.
The tiny details are my favourite part – little streaks of white, and tiny bits of highlight. I always do this step last.
Step Four – Top Coat
To add some strength to the handle, because I didn’t prime the Worbla with mod-podge, I ended up actually putting on a top coat of it instead. This worked pretty well.
Step Five – Leather Grip
The final touch for this weapon was the handle grip. It was easy enough to craft. I made a template using scrap foam to get the correct length and width, and left around an inch of seam allowance round the edges for the piece of pleather I cut.
I put a bit of wadding within the pleather to give it some extra bulk; it also made it super easy and comfortable to hold as well, rather than the pleather by itself. Then I simply hand sewed the grip together.
I added in the eyelets, which honestly were really inconsistent with the kit I bought. Some were perfect, and others I had to adjust a little on the back with pliers. Either way, it had the desired effect.
Once this was done, I actually painted some fine detail around the edges to highlight the seams similar to the model. Fine line in brown paint – super easy, but made it pop in the end.
Then I attached on a scrap piece of cord through the eyelets and laced it shut. I glued everything into place so it wouldn’t slip, and ended up coming out with a pretty neat design overall.
So there it is – the finished product. *Edit: I did actually go back and add in some more little details that I’d forgotten about – whoops!*