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Toughening a PapercraftToughening a Papercraft in Artisan Crafts
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Someone asked me how I made my FF7 SOLDIER swords---constructed from a papercraft template---strong enough for use as cosplay weapons. So, I divulged my favorite techniques. This can work for all kinds of swords and armor, of course, not just Final Fantasy. Even original designs! Though always beginning with a shell contrived from polygons (papercraft templates) is recommended.
To make my SOLDIER swords, I flattened out several breakfast cereal boxes and traced each of the template pieces onto the brown side. (Because the waxed side is just too hard to write on, or see amongst the cartoons.) After I cut the cardboard out, first I assembled the sword in two major parts: the blade above where it will connect to the hand guard; and then the hand guard, handle, & pommel. Then I took a lightweight hollow steel rod (could use wood or any other strong light material) just slightly less in diameter than the handle, and about 2.5ft long, and inserted it into the handle through two round holes I