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vrijdag 23 oktober 2015

Twelve-Sided Mace

In my previous post, I showed how I built a battle axe out of EVA foam. It was the first time I made a weapon out of this stuff, and it turned out great. In fact, I already had some people ask me if I could build one for them! At this moment, I don't have time for that, but maybe in the future.
Anyway, the axe was for my girlfriend. We attended Elf Fantasy Fair as dwarves, and we both needed some kick ass weapons. For myself, I built something else: a mace. I used the same techniques I used for the battle axe, and the handle is pretty much the same, so I won't be talking about that.
The mace head is shaped like a 12-sided die, a nice reference to role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons.





Materials
  • EVA foam
  • Contact cement
  • PVC tube, coupler and glue
  • Fake leather
  • Gesso
  • Book binding glue
  • Acrylic paints
The shape
The shape of the mace head is a so-called dodecahedron, or 12-sided platonic solid. It consists of twelve regular pentagons. For a detailed description, including lots and lots of math, I recommend Wolfram Alpha's page on dodecahedrons.

I cut twelve pentagons with a 10 cm edge length; this would result in a dodecahedron approximately 28 cm in diameter. No need to sand the texture off the back, since this will be on the inside. To join them together into a dodecahedron, the edges needed to be beveled. The angle between two faces (the so-called 'dihedral angle') is 116,57°, so the edges had to be beveled at 58°. My bench sander has an adjustable sanding table, making it easy to set the exact angle.

After all pentagons were prepared, I first made a hole in one and inserted a PVC pipe coupler, for the handle. A short piece of pipe was inserted into it, extending inside the head, all the way to the opposing face, and glued in place using construction adhesive (no need for a clean finish here). All twelve pentagons were glued into place. They fit together more or less perfectly!


 


Detailing
After completing the shape, I added the details. I started with glueing 2 cm wide strips of thin foam over the seams between the faces. Next, I added a pyramid-shaped spike in the middle of each face. I made these by glueing three pentagons made from thick foam together, and then sanding them into a pyramid shape.


The corners between the faces also got an extra layer of foam. I first cut out small trapezoids and glued them in the corners (already visible on the last picture), and then made a pattern using masking tape and cardboard. Each corner, including the small trapezoids, then got an extra layer of foam.



The corners were finished with three foam discs each, wich represent rivets. The spikes still looked too rough to my liking, so I used some acrylic caulk to smoothen them. This works great, but make sure you use acrylic caulk, not silicone, because you can't paint silicone. Also, it needs to be smoothened while still wet; it can't be sanded. Use a damp sponge or your fingers for this.
Finally, I used my Dremel with a round-tipped grinding bit to make small holes and dents in the faces.


Painting
Painting was done pretty much the same way as my battle axe. They were supposed to have a similar color scheme, so I used the exact same technique. A quick overview of all steps:
  • Prime using a mixture of gesso and book binding glue;
  • Neutral grey basecoat
  • Dark brown wash
  • Black drybrushing
  • Silver drybrushing
  • Bronze brybrushing
  • Clearcoat




The result
I won't describe how I made the handle, that's already explained in my battle axe tutorial. I carried this thing around for an entire day, and it's a lot easier to handle than my huge hammer.


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