I wanted to create a Sword Of Omens so I started with a design from thingiverse.com, the Life-Sized Sword of Omens by Cyclone. There were certain stylistic choices I was unhappy with, like there not being enough detail in the hilt. I downloaded the models, imported them into Blender and either remade them or simply modified them. I then printed the parts on my Makerbot.

Here's the center part

center part

Each part, including the cat's head, was printed separately. They were then glued together. I didn't like the amount of texture around the cat's head, so I covered it over with a small amount of white glue, which smoothed it out.

Here's the hilt, and you can see I've added a lot of detail from the original at thingiverse. They were printed in two stacks, and glued together.


Then the top and bottom part of the blade. I made the triangle thing out of clay, as I'm sure you realize.

top of bladeBottom of Blade

After this, the real trouble begins. I assembled the whole thing, and went to paint and sand it to see how it looked. Seems fine, right?

Prototype colored

Not so fast. I used spraypaint first, which was fine, but I ran out of it. So I used a different kind of paint after sanding it down a bit. This caused the paint to go all funny and peel and just look terrible. So tip number one is to not use two different kinds of paint on one object. EVER. So I did a bunch more sanding to try and fix that mistake, and got it looking okay. Then it was time to build the box.

making the box

Seems straightforward enough, right? Now, the guide I was using to make the mold said to use clay to make the bottom and seal it off. Fine, I can do that, I had just enough clay.

Clay in Box

Ah yes, I made this sort of weird design to try and minimize the amount of silicon molding material I would have to use. Turns out I still made it too big. So tip number two is put the edges of the box quite close to the object, that silicone stuff is pricy! Plus it isn't exactly halfway, as you can clearly see on the hilt. Anyway, fool- I mean full speed ahead.

Purple Gloop

Yeah. As I was pouring I I realized my mistake of it still being too big and tried to make it even smaller on the fly. It sort of worked. Let's let that harden.

half the clay is off

Then pull out the clay from the back and start in on the other side.

Oh, and to make the gems look nice, I got some little plastic jobbers and glued them on.


That seemed to work okay. Here's a closeup of the hilt.

Hilt Copy

What I wasn't counting on was the nature of the material I would use to make the copy. Basically it was not meant for things like sword blades. Set it on a table and in an hour you have a very droopy blade. I tried some wood dowels, but they stuck up through the blade. I have since cut them down (I tried twice) and maybe I can sell them as mini versions?

Mini Version

Also, I was trying to mold it laying down, which wasn't working. Basically only half the model came out properly. So I decided to change my plan and just have it as a display piece, hung on a wall, so the back didn't matter. I really need to stand it up, which would mean two very large pieces of wood and a lot of clamps. I suppose it could work?

So I made two good copies, and set them aside to bring to my father's house to see about adding something onto the back to make them less fragile. Well, my cat stepped one one and broke it in two places. I tried gluing it,but even the glue and the backing it still snapped off in my hands while I was painting it. Also no matter how much I painted and sanded, it still looked broken. Pity too, the blade on the other one didn't look as nice. I needed to buy some air dry clay and reshape part of the top.

But finally it was as good as I could make it, and this was the final result. See at the top, it still seems messed up. It didn't look that bad in real life. Sigh.

Final Result, blade painted

I suppose if I had to do it again, I might mold the hilt separately. Then make two copies of a blade split down the middle. Put the rod in there and glue them together, then slide that whole thing into the hilt.

There are probably a variety of ways I could have done it better.

Learn from my mistakes!