Well today i started work once again on my dragon slayer series weapons my skull axe 'blade' & broad sword 'blade'. Ten minutes in working on my skull axe blade i realised you have to appreciate the guys who made real weapons in the darker days before paper mache sculpting & power tools. Hmm i think i had better explain my reasoning here before i ramble on too much. Many of you will know from reading my introduction blurbs etc on the right hand side of my blog page as well as some of the bits n bobs posted down the main page. I prefer to work as 'hollow' & as 'light' as possible with as much as 90% of my sculptures. Using shaped balloons & or shaped card'/paper in my armature stages. Then removing as much of the insides of my sculptures as possible without comprimising strength.
It occured to me that if & when i sell these weapons that the buyers are surely going to want to role play with them at least once even when told these ARE DISPLAY sculptures ONLY. I just can't believe that they will pay any attention to that, well would you? I know i probably wouldn't either. SO, with that in mind i have deliberately made these weapons as 'solid' in construction as possible. Apart from the skull on the skull axe & the axe shaft which by theyre very shape & the way they were made are strong without having to be solid. The blades how ever on BOTH weapons are 90%/95% solid construction.
Which brings me back to the skull axe blade. I 'should have' shaped the blade more as i did with the sword blade during construction, but i am not sure of how i want the final 'edge' to look, clean edged or well used basically. So with that in mind i left the axe blade edge around 4mm thick. Now i am using a hand held orbital power sander (135W rectangular pad base) to do the heavy work for me. On which i am using heavy duty 40 grade glass coated sanding sheets.
The axe blades construction is 2mm corrigated standard box card stock through out the main blade. with 1mm pizza card stock bulking/shaping to the back of the blade (where it attaches to the skull) then levelled out using common serial box card stock on the gradient in the blades final shape. This is all covered on BOTH sides of the blade in a criss-cross fashion with 10 layers of 1 inch wide strips of alternating standard news print & 80 gsm white printer paper. ALL stuck down with 50%/50% water PVA glue soloution.
The skull axe blade (& the sword blade) each have had a solid 7+ days in a well aired warm place to thoroughly dry out.
Working on the skull axe blade is a 'nightmare' lol. It took me almost 10 minutes to just take one side of the axe blade down a few layers of paper & NOT reach the corrigated card stock of the main blade yet. I have had to stop to let my hand feel like a hand again. If thats bad enough thats just the actual 2 inch 'edge' of the blade i haven't started to shape the rest of the side of the blade yet. Mercifully that is not such a big job as the actual edge lol.
Working on this i just can't help but think of the effort that went into creating some of the more refined quality weapons of old. Man those guys must have had TRUE dedication to what they were doing. They were not only forging weapons of note they were forging theyre names in history as TRUE artists in the weapon making scene. ALL of it by hand pre-power tools. It makes me wonder who held the greatest pride the weapons owners or indeed the makers?