The Monster Hunter sword project started because of a contest at myminifactory.com. If you haven't played or seen the monster hunter games they are really amazing looking games.
I always start projects like these sketching out my ideas on paper to kind of work out some basic concepts before I start digging in to it. After I drew a few concepts down on paper I started modeling, I used a program called Fusion 360 made by Autodesk the guys who make Maya and Autocad. Its a really great visual cad software and its free for hobbyists or those who don't make a lot of money with it.
Now Fusion 360 probably isn't the best choice for organic 3d modeling, but it actually does a pretty good job at it and this my chance to try out what it could do, kick the tires so to speak on it free form modeling section. I would say that it did perform admirably. I may right up a review on fusion at a later date so stay tuned for that.
I printed the sword in 3 pieces on my Ultimaker 2+, the total size was about 13 inches in all. I also decided to try some ideas for display so I made a little cat modeled after my own cat and a monster skull to go as a sort of stand to display all of this.
When I modeled the sword I created some pins and gloves on the inside, the whole thing is hollow so that when I glued it together I could get a sort of registration point on each section.
I used "Plastruct Weld" its a plastic styrene type cement you brush it on then stick the two pieces together. It works pretty well on PLA not sure it would work for ABS your probably better using superglue or epoxy for that. Anyhow it softens then melts the two pieces of plastic together creating a stronger bond. Now while in my experience plastic cement works better than superglue in most case on PLA it doesn't hold as well as styrene and some other plastics, I don't think it fuses them as solid and when it dries there is definitely a a breaking point at the seam.
You can also apply a coat cement on the outside of the model and it will smooth out the plastic, its great on seams because you can melt the edges together.
After I finished gluing my pieces together I used a plastic filler product, its like a toothpaste kind of goop in a tube that you can squeeze out and fill any seams or crack that may be in the model. once you let that dry you can sand it smooth and there go any seams that may be left in the model.
Painting and Finishing
I did a lot of sanding on the sword before I did any priming or painting. I also always use a filler primer first on projects, this helps to fill in some areas that I may have missed when sanding. It also shows any major areas I may missed that still need filling or sanding. At this point after priming the sword I did a lot more sanding starting at medium grit like 220 and worked up to about a 600 grit to get in ver smooth. and this point I prime once more and check again do any final sanding if needed and do a final primer coat. I like to Krylon grey matte primer in projects it dries quickly and has very little smell afterword.
I started with a very dark grey base coat and worked unto brown and tans then started working in some color, the oranges and reds and the purples. I also used a metallic silver that I mixed with black to get an obsidian look on portions of the blade, it gave it that pearlescent look that obsidian or fresh lava has.
Once I finished the most of the sword I moved onto my other stand elements and printed my cat "felyne" as they call them in the game and my monster skull, I wanted something dragon or large lizard like for the skull.
Painting the Skull
I did a lot of sanding just like the I did with the sword.
For the skull I used a white primer from Krylon and started off with a base coat of a khaki (medium tan color) and build up with layers of dry brushing in different off whites and light tan colors and some light yellows with a very light off-white color for the highlights. All the while I made sure to leave some the previous layers of darker paint behind in the recesses. to finish it off I made a wash of a medium tan color to wash over the whole thing and give it some dirt then I retouched any highlights that needed it. I tried to make sure that the wash didn't stay on any areas the sun would have bleached out.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this project I sure enjoyed doing it, if you have any questions just drop me a line or leave a comment.
If you like any part of this project and would like to do it it yourself you can download this project from MyMiniFactory.com
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Painting the Felyne
With this guy I modeled him in pieces so he would be easier to print out and this way I could get higher details and without needing supports.
I once again sanded him until super smooth to about 400+ grit sandpaper then primed and sanded and primed again in grey primer.
Unfortunately I when painting this guy I ran out of time and the project had to posted so I didn't get to finish all his face details but in all I am happy with the way he looks after just a couple hours of painting.
For her body I used a series of grey paint colors that I wet blended together and then dry brushed on lighter colors to give a fur-like texture.
The coat I mixed up a forest green and some lighter leafy greens that I once gain wet blended then dry brushed on top of the base tones to give some texture. For the hat I started with a brown woody color and then just built up layers of blended colors and to finish it off I painted different shade lines in a radial pattern.