Legion Commander's Dota 2 Halberd of the Valkyrie
My first challenge with this was choosing the set. It took me days to decide! I was seriously considering going with the Daemonfell set, but after seeing the wings and helm of the Valkyrie, I was sold!
So... first things first. Before patterns or crafting, I had to figure out the exact size of the weapon. According to my calculations, in order for the weapon to be in scale, it had to be just over 2 metres. With the wings and the helmet being a bit heavy, having a 2m long weapon, would be too heavy for me. Plus I don't think the spine of the weapon could withstand its weight. I ended up shaving off about 40 cm and even though it's a lot shorter than it's supposed to be, it's still a bit heavy.
Now for the spine I needed something solid. A PVC (water) pipe with a threaded fitting so I could break it in half and be able to travel with it more easily. Next step was the patterns. It took some time to design those since I kept changing my mind on the actual length of the prop. And when everything matched it was time for the crafting to begin!
Even though I wanted the weapon to be as light as possible, since it's a big prop (biggest I've crafted so far), I wanted to avoid using foam boards because it's more important to make it sturdy. I cut out two layers of the main body from 10mm EVA foam (100gr), glued it on each side of the spine and carved/sanded the main shape. Cut all the little details out of 2mm craft foam and glued it over the main body.
And now for the fan part: Worbla! Before adding the thermoplastic, I added some battle damage on the blade. Cut out smaller pieces of Worbla, heated them up and carefully covered all of the foam. I made sure to press down and carve all the details, with sculpting tools. Then I used Worblas crystal art to make the gems ( LINK to the crystal art gem tutorial) opaque, like the ones on the helmet. Next step priming and sanding.
After A LOT of sanding the prop was ready for colour. First I added the base colours: black for the blade and brown for the decorations. The "wings" didn't need a base colour since they were going to be painted white. And that's when I made a tiny mistake which I hadn't noticed until I finished painting the whole thing!
Then I applied the main colours: silver over black and gold over brown. Some highlights over the edges, and some shadows inside the cuts and creases and I was done! Or so I thought!
I set it up, took photos, got in the frame for scale, and posted it.
And I forgot about it for a whole week!
Until I saw the mistake... It seems that, I wasn't paying attention when I was painting the base colours. I painted brown over the last set of wings on the lower part of the decorations and then I covered it with gold. At first it didn't feel right because it looked like a separate piece from the rest of the gold (which obviously was) but I thought I didn't do a good job with the Worbla. I forgot about it until a week later I asked myself why I hadn't pressed worbla well enough and instead of a solid flat gold piece there was a wing looking extension on the....oooooooh........