Previous entries for the KOS-MOS Custom DD Project:
KOS-MOS wields several iconic weapons through the games – gattling guns, her scythe, handguns, and swords. Kevin and I discussed this early on and decided that if we were going to do this project, it had to be visually impressive so a little handgun wasn’t going to cut it. Kevin really loved her blue sword, and I’m sure many others do too since it’s the weapon that is shown with many of her Ep. 3 version 4 figures.
The sword was Kevin’s project from the beginning, and it took a lot of trial and error, many late nights, tons of frustration but in the end it turned out looking really cool.
Trial 1: February 2012
Taking inspiration from the katana tutorial that XOHimitsuXO posted on figure.fm, Kevin planned on using several layers of 2mm styrene plastic sheets to make the basic form of his sword. Using the sword from the Volks 1:4 scale statue as his main reference, and the Atelier-Sai KOS-MOS ep. 3 Version 4 1:8 PVC figure as a portable refernce, he drew out a pattern of the hilt and blade onto lightweight cardboard, and then transferred these onto the plastic. It was an absolute pain in the [HAND!] cutting out the pieces of plastic over and over.
After gluing the layers of plastic together, this is what the rough hilt and the blade looked like. The blade was 2 layers of plastic, with the edges sanded down to give them a beveled look. Additional smaller pieces were added to make the weapon look less “flat.”
Since each layer of plastic was hand-cut, they didn’t all match perfectly and Kevin wasn’t satisfied with all the little gaps in between the layers. It would have been miserable trying to sand it down to an uniform surface, and impossible to get into the little nooks and crannies. He started looking into another option…
Trial 2: March 2012
We’re lucky that there are several places in Toronto to source sheets of different types of plastic. Kevin was able to get some aqua blue acrylic sheet plastic that he intended to use for the blade. For his first trial he had planned on using the styrene plastic and painting it light blue, but the clear plastic looked much nicer. However, when he tried to cut it, it was extremely difficult and also the edges would become “cloudy” from the cuts. This combined with the uneven plastic edges of the hilt from trial 1 sent him on the hunt to find a place that would offer professional cutting services. All of the places where Kevin was able to buy the plastic would cut down their own products to whatever size you wanted (to make it more portable, etc.) but they wouldn’t do any kind of specialty work.
A bit of legwork and asking around led him to a place that would cut out his patterns, as long as he provided them with the schematics formatted in a program they could work with and put on a USB key. It took Kevin several days of self-study to learn how to use several specialized computer programs, and draft out the schematics so that the plastic could be cut. >______<”
Having the plastics professionally cut made a huge difference: the edges were much cleaner and the individual layers were all the same size! However, the Tamiya Plastic Cement that Kevin had been using for the styrene sheets wouldn’t work on the acrylic plastic that the new pieces were cut out of, so he had to work with a different kind of specialized (usually industry only) glue. Everything was coming along quite splendidly until Kevin had a major setback a few week ago! While he was painting the sword hilt, there was a wacky chemical reaction between the paint, plastic and possibly one of the other products he was using (we’re still not sure at this point) and the paint ate through the plastic and caused a few layers to crack off! >__<” There wasn’t much that could be salvaged, so the entire sword hilt had to be scrapped and rebuilt from scratch.
Trial 3 – Third Time Lucky! – April 2012
So, after having more plastic cut, glued and assembled to make a new hilt, Kevin carefully assembled the additional pieces that attached onto the main body of the hilt. There were a few hiccups, but no major setbacks this time.
From left to right in this photo are the main hilt portion of the Atelier Sai KOS-MOS figure’s sword, the first protoype (with many thin layers of plastic), the second prototype after being damaged, and the third attempt after being painted. The change from using styrene sheets to acrylic plastic has made the sword much heavier – but it looks much cleaner.
I realize that it would be amazing to airbrush this prop, but I don’t own an airbrush and Kevin and I didn’t want to invest in one solely for this project so please forgive that the shading effect isn’t as nice as it could be. >__<” After assembling the blade, hilt and side pieces the entire sword is finally complete!
After a long journey, my sweet Makoto has finally become KOS-MOS. She’s ready to meet you all – are you ready?
On to Part 5: KOS-MOS photo shoot!