This instructable is being made in conjunction with my other How to Train Your Dragon 2 one about how to make Astrid's axe: https://www.instructables.com/id/Astrids-Axe-How-to... . This is how I managed to make my version of Hiccup's weapon. However, feel free to improvise and substitute materials you may have if, in fact, it would be easier for you or save you money. This project was very low-budget for me, and I hope it can be that way for you too! In any case, the materials I used are very easy to obtain and shouldn't require any online shopping.
- lightsaber toy (fairly easy to find at thrift stores or garage sales, buying new is more pricey so this is where you may want to use something else as the base)
- gesso/primer (I prefer gesso because it's thicker and helps fill in uneven bumps and cracks.)
- wood filler (optional)
- Crayola Model Magic air dry clay (make sure it's in a sealed plastic pouch because if it's unsealed and in a bucket it tends to be somewhat dry already)
- butter knife (for sculpting purposes)
- hot glue
- silver metallic paint
- brown vinyl (I like the fabric-backed vinyl better because it's more flexible, granted it's a tad more expensive. Still, it was $24 a yard but it was 40% off and I had a coupon on top of that, so after getting only 1/8th of a yard it cost me about $1.50! It was on a tall roll from the home decor section, so note that you might need to get a little more than 1/8th of a yard if it's on a shorter bolt.)
- matte or satin clear finish
- box cutter
Step 1: Obtain a Lightsaber/Base
That's right...I completely demolished a lightsaber in the name of How to Train Your Dragon. (Please don't hate me, Star Wars fans!) If you feel so inclined to use something else as the base for Inferno, go right ahead. However if you do wish to continue with a lightsaber toy, as I mentioned in the materials list they are fairly easy to obtain from garage sales and thrift stores. (You may even be able to get one from your kids if they grew out of them. Please make sure it's okay with them first! I'd hate to make someone else's kid cry.)
Step 2: Take Off Unwanted Bits
*Feel free to skip this step if you're using something that's not a lightsaber.
You may want to strip the lightsaber down and take off strange, protruding pieces. Pliers and a box cutter worked well enough to take the parts off the exterior of the hilt. If your saber is red, it's up to you whether you want to keep the inside blade so that you can pretend it's the fire that comes out of Hiccup's weapon. I was making this for a friend and they felt like it would be a tad too campy so I cut it off.
Step 3: Sculpt Everything
Using the Crayola Model Magic clay, sculpt the dragon/fish heads on either end of the saber. You may want to refer back to the Dreamworks image I have in the above pictures. I did take a few artistic liberties, but for the most part that is what helped me get the idea for the overall look.
My saber had an uneven lip that protruded out at one end, so I used that to help support the upper lip on the bigger head. You may find that items around the house are helpful for sculpting- I mostly used a butter knife in order to get better edges and flatten parts when I pinched the clay. I also used a pencil in order to make the "donut eyes" on the first head. You may want to do this near a sink in order to have access to warm water. Not only is the warm water helpful for smoothing everything out, but when the clay is a little wet it sticks much better to itself. The warm water was especially helpful when making the smaller head on the back end of Inferno. It started as a half-circle cap over the end, to which I added a lower jaw and then the upper jaw. It's supposed to look like it's hinged.
*If you forget to make the little teeth, feel free to make them and hot glue them onto the lips once the head is dry.
Step 4: Prime Everything
Once your clay is dry, you have two options:
- merely use gesso to prime your weapon and fill in the cracks in the clay at the same time
- use wood filler to fill in the cracks in the clay and use a primer once it's all dry
I used gesso as my primer because I have a giant bucket left over from college art classes. Gesso is great, though, because it's very thick and you can use it to fill in the cracks that form when the air dry clay dries. You may or may not want to do some careful sanding with each layer of gesso. I didn't sand at all because I liked the rough look. The midsection doesn't need to look fancy at all because it's going to get covered.
Step 5: Make It Look Metallic and Finish It Off
Use at least two coats of silver metallic paint in order to make Inferno look like it's made of metal. My lightsaber has a handy-dandy little clip on it so I painted over that too. I know the clip isn't exactly in the normal design but it allows you to clip his weapon somewhere if you get tired of holding it. I'd say that's a win.
Once your metallic paint is all dry, use either a matte or satin/eggshell clear finish to help ensure that your paint stays on. Feel free to use either a spray or a can of finish. Make sure to use at least two coats.
Step 6: Add the "Leather"
Use brown vinyl (because it can look like leather but it's much cheaper) and cut it into strips. Using hot glue, glue the straps as you weave them around the middle of the hilt. This may take a little trial and error. I manged to mess it up a few times myself, but keep at it! It will be worth it once it's done! In order to finish it off, take more strips of the vinyl and glue them around both ends of the weave so that it hides the triangle edges.
On the first image I highlighted in red the way the strap was supposed to go so that it would weave correctly later. Don't worry- I yanked them apart and glued them back on correctly!
Step 7: Add the Finishing Touches! You're Done!
Glue two more strips around the center of the hilt. There also appear to be three metallic buttons near the strips, so I took some of the vinyl scraps and painted them silver. After using clear finish so that the paint stays on, I glued the buttons on as well.
Your canister weapon, Inferno, is now complete! It's time to ride some dragons!