I realized while prepping the step by step for version 2.0 that I never gt around to posting how I created version 1.0.Whoops! So, over a year behind, here’s how I created Loki’s Scepter v 1.0!
Working on this piece for a client, but I’ll also be making a copy for myself to display. It didn’t get as much screen time in the film as the shorter, scepter like version, but the two are actually exceedingly similar, so much so that making a short version of this is as easy as lopping off most of the middle handle and removing a few blades and plates on the butt end, so I’ll probably make a shorter version after this to display along with the big version.
The design, I discovered later that parts were incorrect, but more on that later. I created this in photoshop using the above image and blu-ray stills.
Here is the breakdown of how my client and I plan on sectioning the pieces off, you can also see how the scepter is just the spear with bits removed. This image came from one of the figures.
After making the template in photoshop and getting it printed out by my husband, I started by heat forming a bit of 3/4″ PVC pipe into the shaft’s characteristic S shape.
The lines/grooves took some experimentation. At first, I was using a combination of my dremel’s cutting wheels and engraving tips, but the PVC was being a pain to cut, and the lines were ultimately too jagged and crooked. Also, the tighter curves were proving to be tricky, so a new method was needed. After some thought, I went with melting the lines in using a woodburning tool with a chisel tip. This gave far cleaner lines and was a lot easier to control. The disadvantage was the fumes, I never forget what the C in PVC stands for, so a good mask and plenty of ventilation was key here. Here is a section of the shaft immediately after burning in the lines, the slag and char proved very easy to clean up, a few minutes with an x-acto blade and some sanding sponges did the trick nicely. I ended up doing most of the major likes 2-3 passes with the woodburning tool.
After priming the main shaft, I decided to give it a quick and dirty drybrush to see the overall effect, and was very pleased with the results!
Around this time, my motherboard in my PC died and I was separated from my references for about a week, but continued working. Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes in adding lips where they weren’t needed, and had to remove them. But, one very fortunate thing came out of this; I realized while looking at reference pictures to check where lips should be, that my design for the butt end was off. So, I had to re-do the design by hand before I could move on to doing the taper out from the butt and start doing the detailing. Up top are two copies of the old design, and the bottom is my new design.
To make the forming buck for the butt, I first made a quick skeleton with a dowel and some cardstock ovals.
This was then added to the shaft and given a proper curve. the windows were filled with more wonderflex and apoxie sculpt to smooth it out.
The main butt plate detail was added (after cutting out the small window) and heat formed to the butt, the whole mess then got some primer so I could see irregularities more easily. Now come loads of bondo, sanding and priming.
Once I got the base mostly even, I transferred the detail lines for the butt. It’s a bit hard to make out in this photo, but now all of the detail lines are cut in, and the finicky bit of smoothing can continue.
Got the butt end closer to where it needs to be, a few more pockmarks to fill and sand down. I’m working right now to do the end as it is for the shorter “scepter” version of his spear. I’ll then mold that part and add the extra plates to create the full spear version.
However..while looking at my ref folder, specifically the prop cases put on display with the scepter version, I noticed a line I was missing. It’s not visible in the movie stills though..but better safe than sorry, I went ahead and started adding it with Apoxie sculpt.
Got the basic staff butt done, I’ll be molding it like his for the scepter version, then adding the two extra plates to it for the spear version
Now, onto the plates near the spear blades (I call these the backplate), also cut and formed in wonderflex.
This was then given the proper curve. I also filled the bottom edge with about 1/3rd an inch of resin.
I then started cutting out the blade bases in Sintra and started to bevel the sharp edges with a dremel and hand sanding.
The backplate with the sintra parts, laid out to check for scale and form.
To create the extra levels of the underblade base, I used a layer of styrene. I also cut the assembly arms, which seem longer than they should be here as they will be molded flat, then will have a curve put into them as the resin pieces cure, thus shortening the overall profile.
The gem will be cast in tinted clear resin with micropearl pigments to scatter the light from the LED. Here we have the sculpt for the gem in plastalina. I went with the texture from the screen used prop, however, in the film the gem is always CGed over. I used an old scrap terry cloth towel for the texture.
The gem will be rigged up with an embedded LED to light up, so I’m tucking he battery pack into the cavity of the “backplate” area. here it is roughly cut out. This will also be the access for one of the assembly screws. All of this will be hidden under a plate secured with metal posts.
I was terrible about taking photos for building up the main spear blade, but styrene photographs badly anyways, so NBD. I built up the contours for the blade in styrene layers, then did the blade bevels in apoxie sculpt. This is the blade after preliminary priming and sanding.
Here are the pieces thus far laid out together. The white piece is just some leftover resin I ran in the gem mold to finish cleaning out clay residue.
I also had to go in with some more apoxie and fill in the back end to create a snug slot for the handle to slip into.
Here is the base piece for the gem, sculpted in apoxie sculpt. The wire for the LED will feed through this and into the backplate assembly.
Here are all of the various parts laid out as they appear on the spear.
And a shot of just the head assembly.
The first run at the gem, this particular one was too dark and too much assembly, so the dye and inclusion amount was adjusted for the next gem.
I had originally planned on casting the gold areas in cold cast brass, but I just wasn’t happy with the finish. Here you can see the brass up top, and weathered gold paint on the bottom.
I masked off the silver and gave all of the gold areas several coats of primer and then a good quality gold enamel.
The piece was weathered with cheapo black and brown acrylic paint after the silver areas were polished. I used a combination of washes and sponge stippling with paper towels, cruddy brushes and cheesecloth.