Making Foamboard Keyblades - Tutorial

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#1 Kerodohi on 10 years ago

You can make nice-looking Keyblades out of foamboard and Sculpey, which is what I used for Riku's Soul Eater sword [URL="http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1437613/"] here[/URL]. [Different angle [URL="http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1786486/"]here[/URL]] So I thought I'd post a tutorial of how I made it.

I made a mini-Soul Eater for the progress photos, so please forgive the imperfections![COLOR=DarkOrchid] The photos have explanations on them and are generally more detailed than the text here.

Keyblades made with this method:
[COLOR=DarkOrchid][URL="http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2237434/"]Way to Dawn[/URL] (made by TheWestWind)
[URL="http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p177/Akakioga/P1000911.jpg"]Soul Eater[/URL] (made by Ayame Uchiha)
[URL="http://s738.photobucket.com/albums/xx29/spencercook8/?action=view&current=Photoon2010-09-15at1821.jpg&newest=1"]Soul Eater[/URL] (made by spencercook8)

If you make a keyblade using this tutorial, send me a PM or link to pictures in this thread if you want - I'd love to see what you created!

[B][COLOR=DarkOrchid]NOTE: This method doesn't provide the sturdiest results, and it does take a lot of time and fussy work. Nor is my way the only way to do things (especially since I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to this sort of thing ^-^) A lot of people have suggested good ways of adding more durability and support, so be sure to read their posts too!

[/B] Materials:[LIST]
[*]large sheet of 0.5 cm thick foamboard
[*] Sculpey of any color (I used almost 1.75 pounds) - paperclay and Fimo work, too
[*] large sheet of normal paper
[*] waxed paper
[*] acrylic paint
[*] hot glue
[*] exacto knife (electric knives/hot wire cutters have been suggested also)
[*] pencil[/LIST]Let us begin! ^-^
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106033/[/URL]

1. Make a template of the Keyblade on a big sheet of paper. [INDENT]Usually, it takes a few tries for me to get it right, so I don't like to draw on the foamboard right away.
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106034/[/URL]
[/INDENT]2. Cut out the paper template, lay it on the foamboard, and trace around it.[INDENT][URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106035/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106036/[/URL]
[/INDENT]3. Cut out the basic shape.[INDENT]Make sure you cut through all layers of the foamboard. Be careful not to pick it up until it's completely cut out or the weight of the board will bend the skinny parts of your prop, and that's not much fun to fix.
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106038/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106040/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106041/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106042/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106043/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106044/[/URL]
[/INDENT]4. Draw the details onto the foamboard shape with a pencil.

5. Cover the foamboard with large sheets of waxed paper.[INDENT]Make sure there's lots of overlap on either side (you don't have to cut it to shape!) Tape the corners down to the table so it doesn't move. The waxed paper is so that you can move the Sculpey off your foam and into your oven without deforming its shape (as well as not staining your foamboard!)
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2106045/[/URL]
[/INDENT]6. Grab your Sculpey and, on top of the waxed paper, model the parts that you want to be 3D.[INDENT]Make sure you do a set for each side and try to keep them as thin as possible, or you'll risk bending/breaking your foamboard. And unless you have a REALLY big oven, you're going to have to split the Sculpey into several parts. Use a knife to cut the longer parts into smaller pieces; make nice, straight cuts that'll fit together nicely when you glue them later on. Then take the waxed paper off the foamboard (with the Sculpey pieces still on it). Put it on a baking sheet.
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2269498/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2269499/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2269500/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2269501/[/URL]
[/INDENT]7. Follow the instructions on the package for baking the Sculpey.[INDENT]Watch the oven carefully to make sure that your waxed paper's not burning! When the Sculpey is cooled, peel off the waxed paper.
[/INDENT]8. Using a hot glue-gun, carefully glue all the clay pieces to the foamboard.[INDENT]Make sure they're secure! Generally, I glue around all the edges and do one stripe in the middle of the piece, too. If there's parts of the clay that are slightly raised off the foamboard, just seal the hole with a line of hot glue.
[URL]http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2269502/[/URL]
[/INDENT][B]9. Paint with acrylic paint and let dry.
[/B][INDENT]I used acrylics easily found at a local art store - any opaque mixable acrylic will do just fine - and a #4 fine-bristled synthetic round brush. Once you're done painting, you can do a clear coat of sealer (clear acrylic, varnish, Mod Podge, floor polish, etc) over top you want. It's an optional step (I didn't do it on mine because I was lazy) but it'll help protect the paper layer and your colors.
[/INDENT]

#2 Koisnake on 10 years ago

Nice tutorial. But I think that it will be alot faster and easier if you cut with an Electric Knife. They cut foam like butter and leave a smooth finished :)

#3 Kerodohi on 10 years ago

Thanks for the tip! I'll modify the tutorial. ^-^

#4 Beryl on 10 years ago

Kinda bumping an old thread because it's useful and hasn't been added to the Tutorial List yet.

Out of curosity, do you think that this would be possible with some sort of air-dry clay?

I don't know any particular brand off-hand, but it seems to me that if one could get through this without having to try and fit a keyblade-shaped piece of clay into an oven, it would be a major bonus.

#5 Kerodohi on 10 years ago

Thanks! ^-^

I'm pretty sure air-dry clay (like paperclay or something) would work just as well as oven-bake, as long as it's paintable and not too heavy. You make a good point!

#6 nithirne on 10 years ago

It may sound stupid (and perhaps due to misunderstanding the language) but I don't understand this step:
5. Cover the foamboard with sheets of waxed paper. Tape it down so it doesn't move. [U]The waxed paper is so that you can move the Sculpey to your oven without deforming its shape.[/U]
I don't understand, do you put your foam togheter with the paper and sculptey in the oven?? (cause I always thought dat foam would catch fire!)

#7 Kerodohi on 10 years ago

Ooooh, sorry, I guess that wasn't very clear! ^^; Thanks for pointing that out!

What I did was tape the corners of the waxed paper to the table I was working on, with the keyblade foam underneath - not the foam itself. Just the paper and Sculpey go in the oven, not the foam. Sorry about that! Hope this explanation made more sense.

#8 nithirne on 10 years ago

But doesn't the paper get burned?? Or is wax paper totally different from usual paper (I'm sorry, some terms in English,I find difficult to understand)

#9 saberslash on 10 years ago

Yes it is different. Wax paper has a wax (or wax-like substance) in it that raises the temperature that it will burn at, as well as make it so things rarely stick to it. It is often used in baking (be it clay or cookies) as a liner for a sheet pan.

#10 nithirne on 10 years ago

Ow that^^ doesn't it look alot like aluminium??

#11 saberslash on 10 years ago

That would be aluminum foil.

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wax_paper[/url] is what ShadowWarrior mentions.

#12 nithirne on 10 years ago

OOW THAT o_O oh my god I feel so embarrased now >.< we>.&lt;
You see this is what happens during the examens ^^ Thank you for your patience!!

#13 Koisnake on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=nithirne;2462480]It may sound stupid (and perhaps due to misunderstanding the language) but I don't understand this step:
5. Cover the foamboard with sheets of waxed paper. Tape it down so it doesn't move. [U]The waxed paper is so that you can move the Sculpey to your oven without deforming its shape.[/U]
I don't understand, do you put your foam togheter with the paper and sculptey in the oven?? (cause I always thought dat foam would catch fire!)[/QUOTE]

I think she means that the wax paper is there so you can easily transfer the Scupley pieces to the oven. You need remove the waxpaper from the sword and Scupley pieces and put the sculpey pieces in the oven. Simple enough and makes sense to me.

If you were to put the Scupley pieces on the sword without the waxpaper, then it would be a hassle trying to scrape the pieces off, thus ruining its shape. With the waxpaper, simply pull it off the sword and take the pieces off. Waxpaper is a good non-stick surface.

#14 nithirne on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Koisnake;2463088]Simple enough and makes sense to me.
[/QUOTE]

Yes indeed it is simple, now there are more sentences so I can get the point^^. English isn't my first language, although I can understand it pretty good, I sometimes have problems with some words or have grammatical problems. But it all makes sense to me now, and I want to thank all the above for being so patient and explainable (is that a word? >.&lt;)

Thank you very much

#15 BeeToTheRye on 9 years ago

Oh man.. I'm so nervous to try this out xDD