Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cloud Strife's Hardedge

This is actually almost a year old now, but it was what started it all and as such I thought it appropriate to make it the first prop entry. After my girlfriend had gotten me to take the final leap going to AWA 2010 in costume, I was hooked. I also purchased a Buster Sword from another replica prop maker at the same convention which pushed the idea even further. Cloud holds a special place in my heart being the protagonist of one of my favorite games and I really wanted to do him justice when I eventually do the costume. One of the ways I thought to do so is to recreate each one of his iconic weapons in the order that he acquires them in the game, and since I already had a Buster Sword this was the next in line.

The sword is an extremely simple design. The initial profile was cut from a single 1x10" board that I had lying around, then two additional profiles of the square guard were cut from the same board and sandwiched around the full profile. Unfortunately I didn't have the mindset to take progress photos at each step, but  the result of the above work can be seen here with a size comparison to the Buster Sword.

Hardedge is 49.5" from end of hilt to tip of the blade. The blade is .5" wide, the hilt guard is 1.5" wide. Size was determined by scaling the Play Arts Hard Edge and Play Arts Cloud action figure with the known height of Cloud.

The small rings at the base of the hilt were cut from two sizes of PVC pipes. The 'Materia Slots' were made with a hole saw and a drill press, they are approximately 1/8" deep. "Hammered" Gunmetal Grey paint with silver air-brush dusting is was applied then the center strip was masked off and painted red.

Ittoouroudan: "Cutting in two with a single stroke"
That's the best translation I've been able to find for the Kanji on Cloud's iconic sword. Drawn out by my girlfriend who has a much steadier hand than I, then painted basic black. She also pointed out that it needed to be mirrored on the back side so it would still read correctly, something that I had forgotten about.

After adding two half round dowels the hilt was wrapped in maroon gauze.

A couple shots of the finished sword.

And a quick shot to show how much of a FFVII nerd I am. I snagged that well worn, but ridiculously awesome, T-shirt way back when, on September 7th 1997 as a reserve item from Funcoland. A fan since day one.

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