A Simple Guide to Make Your Own Sub-Zero Ice Sword From Epoxy
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Sub-Zero might just be the coolest character in Mortal Kombat. Bad puns aside, he has some pretty impressive weapons in his arsenal including, but not limited to, his iconic Kori or icicle sword.
Wouldn't it be great if you can have one of your own in real life? As it turns out you can.
Follow this simple guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- White epoxy resin
- Liquid rubber (for mold)
- White liquid epoxy (or clear plus white pigment)
- Liquid dyes
- Lumber or MDF
- Band saw
- Shrink wrap
- Spray paints
- Caulking gun and tube of silicone sealant
- Dremel rotary tool and various bits
- Vacuum cleaner
- Heat gun
With all our gear and materials in hand, it is now time to get on with the actual build.
Step 1: Design your blade
Like any project of this kind, the first step is to sketch out the final blade to scale. Cut a long strip of paper, or stick several pages of A4 together, and sketch the blade onto it.
Depending on your ambitions for the project, you can either make it as close to the original blade as possible or invent your own design.
With that complete, grab a pair of scissors and cut out the shape of the sword. Try to be as accurate as possible when doing this as it will form the main template for the piece.
Once done, transfer the design to some plywood or thin MDF.
Next, cut out the wooden shape using a jigsaw or band saw. As before, try to be as accurate as possible.
Whether you are using plywood or MDF, ensure you carry out any sawing in a well-ventilated space and/or wear a suitable mask — you don't want to breathe in sawdust (especially from MDF).
Also, ensure you keep a vacuum cleaner's nozzle close to the area being carved to suck up as much sawdust as possible.
With that complete, tidy up the wooden template using a Dremel tool or equivalent. Smooth off any cut marks or splinters. Next, give the piece a good once over with sandpaper too.
Step 2: Shape the blades
With the pommel and handle design more or less complete, grab some chisels and refine the shape and form of the sword to your liking — especially the pommel and grip.
Once you are happy with the overall design, tidy up and chisel and cut marks using your Dremel and sandpaper once again.
For the main blade details (like the forked icicles of the blade), use your Dremel and chisels to excavate the wood as needed.
Round off any sharp edges, and use your chisel to thin and round the blade from handle to tip and across its width from the center to blade edges. You want it to taper to a point at the end but be more rounded around the blade bodies.
With that complete, use your Dremel to form a series of concentric grooves or bands along the lengths of each blade. You want it to look a little bit like a windpipe or some palm tree trunks. You are trying to simulate the texture of large icicles.
Keep working on the blades of the sword until you are happy with the final look. It should look almost organic once you are done.
Step 3: Paint the blade
With the main blade and handle design now complete, we can now move on to the next phase of the build. Spray the entire piece with matt black spray paint.
Alternatively, you could paint the piece by hand.
Ensure you fully coat the entire piece and leave the paint to fully dry. At this point, it should look like a piece of burnt wood or driftwood.
Next, wrap the entire base of the blade in shrink wrap, and use a heat gun to fix the shrink wrap to the underlying wooden mold.
Step 3: Make the icicles
Next, mix up your epoxy resin until is a playdough-like consistency. Once ready, make a series of points to make the icicles to make the barbs or icicles for the "hilt" of the sword.
Make a series of them of varying sizes. Once ready, use your heat gun to partially melt the base of them, and then stick them into place on the blade on top of the shrink wrap.
With that done, place your sword against another piece of paper (or use the reverse of the original). Roughly sketch out a series of flame effects to add the blades.
With that complete, place some more shrink wrap over the design for the flames. Tape it down so that it can't move.
Once ready, take your caulking gun and silicone sealant, and trace the outline of the flame design on top of the shrink wrap.
Step 4: Make the molds for the sword
Next, cut two small support legs for the sword and glue them into place on the blade. With that done, glue the legs to a piece of wood and ensure the entire sword is effectively suspended in free space.
Once complete, use other pieces of wood to box in the entire sword in preparation for submerging it in liquid rubber.
With the boxing built, seal the joints with a hot glue gun or silicone sealant. Rinse and repeat for the hilt icicles you made previously.
With the frame(s) complete, mix up your liquid rubber as per its instructions. Measure out half the volume needed into a tall cylinder needed and then inject a small amount of red dye.
With that done pour the other half of the required volume into a tall cylinder. Next, mix the rubber and dye together until it is light pink color.
Once ready, completely cover the sword, and the icicles, inside their boxings.
Leave the rubber to fully cure and then dismantle the boxings for the sword and the hilt icicles.
With that done, cut the rubber mold in half lengthways and pull it away from the wooden sword, and epoxy icicles to leave a perfect reverse impression/mold of the design in the rubber. Just cut the rubber enough to free the wooden sword, do not cut the piece in two.
With that done, secure the rubber mold into place using another frame and then mix up your clear epoxy resin as needed. Once done, measure out into five approximately half-pints of resin, and add a small dot of dark blue dye.
Mix the dye into each of the measures of epoxy.
Once the epoxy is ready, start to pour each measure into the rubber sword mold.
Keep pouring the epoxy until the void within the rubber mold is completely filled. With that complete, seal the rubber mold at the top using clamps and leave the epoxy to fully cure.
While you are waiting, pour the remains of the epoxy into the flame mold you made earlier using silicone. Fill the shape as needed and leave it to cure.
Step 5: Remove from molds and tidy up
With the epoxy resin now cured, peel away the rubber mold from the epoxy to liberate the sword.
With that done, peel away the silicone from the flame piece of the sword.
With that complete, take a Stanley knife, or similar, and trim off any mold lines on the epoxy parts and main sword.
Where needed, grab your Dremel and work all the epoxy pieces to smooth out and remove more stubborn mold lines and other imperfections. Once done, glue the icicle hilt piece into place onto the sword as needed.
Do the same for the flame pieces you also made earlier.
Leave the glue to dry fully. Next, mix up some more epoxy and paint it by hand over the entire sword.
Pay particular attention to the joins between the main sword, hilt, and flame pieces. Leave to cure as before.
With that, your Sub Zero ice sword is now complete. Now all you need to do is take it with you everywhere you go and show off your awesome DIY skills.
Obviously, don't go around hitting people with it — that is not, dare we say, cool!
If you enjoyed this project, you might like another weapon-based DIY project? How about, for example, making a working gun completely out of cardboard?
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