Energon Axe prop - Transformers G1

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#1 Marthony on 3 years ago

Salutations! Please oil your imagination cog and assist me in transforming this prototype into something worthy.

I'm working on a glowing costume prop version of G1 S1 cartoon Optimus Prime's energon axe as seen in 'The Ultimate Doom' episode, though it will be worn with a 9.1 scale G1 toy version costume (silver onesy enroute from China vs. the clothes in ref. pic). The prop will also be held at a 90 degree angle for practicality - my wrist won't be strong enough to hold this axe the way Optimus does. (I'll only be carrying the axe, as the rifle is mis-balanced against my thumb and required changing hands every 5-10 minutes.)

This will be for wearing at the Calgary Comic Expo in late April, though I am not in the costume competition.

As a starting place I've chosen a 3rd-party toy energon axe as a model. I knew this was meant to be when I zoomed in the image on my laptop, measured it in centimetres, estimated the total length I wanted when standing so there were a few inches of space to the ground, and the cm sizes exactly matched the inches scaling! (1 error in pic; is 15" wide, not 14")

The prop will be made almost entirely from 1/4" clear acrylic/plexiglass, and lit with either colored or white LED's depending on how testing progresses. Where the LED's are against the plexi edges, the plexi will be perfectly clear by method of carefully snapping parts. When assembled, the exterior surfaces will be sanded with 60 grit so the surfaces glow. After sanding the surfaces will be covered with 1 layer of colored cellophane plastic (color TBA as testing continues) or spray painted (hoping for former to keep costs down).

(I'm in quite a bit of luck as I've access to unlimited free plexi due to some stock being stored unprotected and being scratched beyond normal use, and the same folks are willing to cut it for me as well)

I am hoping for criticism on this initial design version. What would you change?
Here are my initial thoughts:
- Exterior shaft pieces should have 45 degree bevel on edges
- 'Grip box' needs serious appeal work! Building a curved shape may be challenging but I can try doing a series of 22.5 degree bends and see if it still keeps the light within the plexi (found note that 42.5 degrees is the limit before it refracts out) Yes, I want to get the box to glow too, though it will take some work!
- Connection between shaft & top of grip box will need reinforcement

Prop is already estimated to be 6lbs. I weighed matching sizes of 1/4" plexi & cardboard to get a ratio and then this V1 prototype for the estimate. I'm hoping I can remove 1 piece of shaft on either side of the blade and for it to remain strong enough, but that weight savings will be partly lost when the reinforcement bits are added between shaft and base...

Thanks for any thoughts!

As I cannot seem to attach files, here are the hyperlinks to the reference pics:
Energon Axe model:
Cardboard V1 mockup:
Existing costume pic:

#2 Marthony on 3 years ago

To explain further, the prop will have external transparent color so it still appears colored when in harsh daylight - no LED's would look good without. If this was to be used in a dim room it wouldn't be needed.

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