Building your own cosplays can be fun. It can also be a good way to promote your own original characters and works. But if you`ve never build a cosplay before, knowing where to start and which materials to use can be quite a challenge.
Cosplay materials are relatively cheap and most of them can be purchased very cheaply at your local $1 Store or 100¥ shop! even professional start off building their cosplays this way, with some insanely awesome results! But if you`d like to practice prototyping your cosplay models on the cheap before investing in more solid materials, you can simply start by building them out of good ol` cardboard!
Cardboard works pretty well for weapons because the material is easy to use, fast to build with and doesn`t require so much expertise. It usually only takes about 1 – 2 days to complete a build like this. Using this method, you can easily build a working model of your weapon, which can later be cut up/split apart and used for templates when you`re working with real materials like Eva Foam or Lion Board.
Check out the video above to see how I built the sword below! The materials that I used are visible in the picture and listed below. All materials were bought from my local 100¥ shop.
– 2 large Cardboard Boxes ( got these for free by asking my local 7-eleven convenience store is I could use boxes they were throwing
– 1/2 inch diameter wooden poles (1 meter long) x 3 (100¥ shop) – used for the spine of the sword and the handle (+ 1 extra to
strengthen the inside)
– Round wooden handle of some kind, with a hole a little bigger than 1/2 inches in diameter (you can drill the hole to the right size
if you have a drill)
– A length of PVC pipe to use for the handle. You`ll slide the round wooden handle into this, so you might have to sand the handle down to fit if it`s too big
– Pencil & Eraser (to draw your design)
– Black Marker ( to trace for cutting)
– Box cutters with blades ( 100¥ shop)
– Exacto Knife x1 (100¥ shop)
– Metal ruler (for cutting) 100¥ shop
– Cutting board – to lay cardboard on while cutting the pattern
– Foam flooring panels ( 100¥ shop), you can use this stuff to create glueable stabilizers & supports inside of the sword to keep the
wooden rods you`ll be using for the spine from sliding around inside. Actually, you should he used to using this type of foam
anyway because it will be what you will eventually be using to build professional cosplays! 🙂
– Hot glue gun & glue sticks ( a lot ) – 100¥ store. You`ll be creating a “folding blade” pattern with this one, so you`ll use the hot
glue to reinforce the inside of the spine as well as seal the edges of the blade.
– Glue sticks (100¥ shop) for some of the small details
– Liquid Glue (100¥ shop) – you`ll use this on the interior of the sword for the foam supports and spine by spreading it all over and
then folding the two sword halves together and letting them stick to the spine inside while the glue hardens. This will take some
time (probably overnight). But while that process is going, you can still seal the outside edges of the sword with hot glue.
– Masking tape (100¥ shop) – to mask off parts of the cardboard while you are painting. You can mask off the edges of the blade
while painting the body or vice versa.
– Spray Paint (100¥ shop) of course to add color to your weapon! Depending on your build you`ll probably want to get at least 1
extra bottle of black or white spray paint to use as a base (something you`ll spray the entire prop with once its build in order to
prepare it for actual painting once it dries. You don`t need to use stuff like plastidip for cardboard). My build is a dark matalic
color that uses black, gray and silver flake paint, so I used black paint as my base.
– Soft Felt (material) to wrap the PVC pipe handle with.
– Black electrical tape for more detail and for wrapping the internal parts of the handle together (which will be hidden by the box-
shaped hand guard assembly at the bottom of the sword that holds the 3 blades.
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