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WIP - Ryuko Scissor Blade (Tutorial)

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So I received a commission for the scissorblade of Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill
this is a very interesting weapon and though i thought it was simple it proved to be quite detailed and i just wanted to share my process with you all>< All this was done in a process of 3 days and it will be finished tomorrow, so 4 days total to make this entire prop:)

-good reference
-drafting things (paper, pencil, color pencil, ruler, etc.)
-insulation foam
-scroll saw
-hand sander
-spackling paste (something to fill in holes)
-rough sand paper
-ultra fine sand paper
-wood glue (and something to apply with, so paint brush)
-plastidip (comes in red, black or white)
-acrylic paint
-gloss spray paint

1) started off by finding a nice reference and making an accurate flat reference. I scaled it and pulled the ratio up to the size i wanted, for this sword, i scaled it to fit my commissioner and it ended up being 42 inches long. I like to also draw in all the beveled edges in my reference and make small notes of how i wanted each edge to be sanded.

2) I used a piece of insulation foam and scaled it from a 12 inch model to the 42 inch life-size sword. Drew it out on my foam, including all the beveled edges.

3) Using my 18 inch scroll saw, cut out the general shape keeping close to the lines I drew and then used a small drill to get the holes and then gradually sanding it to make it the size i want. 

4) cutting and sanding was on the same day, so i beveled all the edges using a hand sander, smaller areas like the hilt area where the handle and blade connected i had to sand by hand to get the small details. The entire handle is also rounded to it fits the hand better and is more comfortable. The detailing at the top of the hilt I kinda made up, probably not canon but looks nice so I kept it and it was more in-depth in my opinion to keep it that way. After the initial sanding with rough sand paper, i used a fine sander to make it smooth.

5) Up until step 4, the insulation foam is super weak and flimsy which is good since as your sanding and cutting you might be a bit more rough so having a very flimsy board keeps it from breaking, the tip was extremely bendy as well since I had sanded it down so much so it requires some hardening. I used speckling paste to fill in holes and also the uneven surfaces and used an ultra fine grit sanding paper and hand sanded the entire sword down. Afterwards, I took wood glue and applied 2-3 layers. This hardens up the foam as well as seals it from being ruined by the elements and chemicals. Between each layer, i sanded it down with the ultra fine sand paper so that each layer is ensure to be super smooth.

6) I took rubbing alcohol and wiped the sword down to make sure its free of dust before taking it to my spray station. Be careful and wear protective things like goggles and a mask!! I did 3 thin layers of red plastidip so it will be more solid and be able to take some damage, and then a thicker layer of plastidip to end. Did it in 15 minute intervals to allow some dry time and its now curing for the next 4-10 hours in the garage without being disturbed to make sure its completely cured.

7) not shown but it will receive some weathering/shadow effects with acrylic paint and then be hit with gloss paint tomorrow for finished look!!
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anonymous's avatar
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WolfsMoon1's avatar
acryl paint is not necessary? wich gloss paint did you exactly use? c: 
I'm searching for spray colors for my siccor blade >w>'
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
i just used spray paint i had which was red gloss spray paint, if you dont have something glossy, after you finish painting you can give it a gloss coat to make it shiney
WolfsMoon1's avatar
Do you still know the brand name of the spray paint? c:
I had to find out that not every spray paint is suitable for it :/
rainbowpartyghoul's avatar
With the installation foam did you get 1 or 2 in in depth , lIke how thick was it
Trajectory54's avatar
do you think 10mm would work too?
C0oK13-T0oTHP4ST's avatar
Thank you so much for this tutorial. Just to make sure: 
Is spackling paste used to protect it from the chemicals in wood paint? I was thinking about just using the wood paint and plastidip to harden the foam.
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
i use spackling paste to smooth out the surface
the foam is not always smooth and sometimes you find these little black pellets inside that once you take out it leaves a little hole, so i just use to fill them up
the wood pain does nothing to the foam though
rabbityRogue's avatar
Hi! One friend and I are doing this for a con, and I was wondering, is it really necessary to use plastidip? What do you use it for, other than the color? I'm making the purple one, and it's a color plasti-dip doesn't seem to have, so I was going to use a standar paint spray. Does it matter?
Thank you very much!
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
i used the plastidip to help make it more sturdy on top of color
you dont really need it for color, it just so happened to come in red haha but for stability it helps
Night-Faun's avatar
This is really helpful! Thank you!
This'll be my first time making a prop though, have any advice?
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
I'm glad:)
honestly just take your time^^ its better to not rush and do it right the first time than having to keep remaking it
and don't make your expectations so high:p its your first time, theres bound to be mistakes! you just gotta learn from it! :)
happy-coyote's avatar
Do you know if the finished product would be allowed for cons? I know they all are different but just a general guess?
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
I'm pretty sure it is allowed
so far no one who's gotten a sword from me or have used my method has said anything about having problems getting the sword into a con (its so lightweight most people are astonished and definitely not concerned about it being a hazard)
plus i've seen plenty of other scissor blades at cons that are made from far more sturdy and "hazardous" stuff than my own like plastic and wood
happy-coyote's avatar
Okay! Thanks so much, you're very helpful! :)
Johnscott2133's avatar
I love the outcome! Also, never thought about using woodglue as a hardener for my creations. Thank you for posting this :)
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
your welcome:) good luck on your projects!
NekoJulio's avatar
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
good luck on your projects!
NekoJulio's avatar
MQ-Studios's avatar
Great work thank you!  I was planning on making my blade from insulation foam too that stuff is kind of amazing.  One question though, is this pretty durable once it's all said and done?  I usually seal mine with a bunch of layers of Gesso, then Modge Podge, then prime, paint, and seal.  It's reasonably durable but it still can be dented if I'm not careful.  I am wondering if trying your method with the spackling paste/wood glue/plastidip would make it more durable than my method?  Thanks again really nice job!
xXSnowFrostXx's avatar
it won't dent but if you hit it too hard or bend it a lot it of course will either crack the glue or break the sword
wood glue is more durable and thicker than gesso and mod podge so it will feel a lot stronger and have a hard outer shell
anonymous's avatar
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