Skyrim Orcish Dagger Cosplay Prop Build
Honesty time. I made a massive mistake while I was building this Skyrim Orcish Dagger. What’s worse is that I didn’t realise until I was 80% of the way though the build. So keep reading if you’d like to know how I built my Skyrim Orcish Dagger, how I made a rookie error, and how I managed to just about correct the mistake.
How to Make A Skyrim Orcish Dagger
Foamed PVC is a new material to me. It’s been quite difficult to get in the UK at reasonable prices until recently. But having found a reliable supplier I was very keen to find a suitable project to construct using my newly acquired super-plastic. Enter the Skyrim Orcish Dagger. For those that don’t know, Foamed PVC is a sheet plastic material that has millions of miniscule bubbles trapped within the plastic. These bubbles are about the size you would find in EVA Foam. What this creates is a material that is both strong and light, which makes it perfect for prop and cosplay use. Foamed PVC is available from lots of suppliers under brand names like Foamex or Sintra.
If you would like to build your own Skyrim Orcish Dagger you can download the templates that I made right here. The dagger was printed out at 100% but you may want to adjust the size to suit your hands. Once I was happy with the size, I traced out the main body of the template using a sharpie.
I cut the main body of the sword from 10mm PVC and then fleshed out both sides of the blade and pommel with pieces of the same thickness. For this task I used my poor overworked bandsaw, but Foamed PVC is such a nice material to work with hand tools will do just fine. Don’t let a lack of fancy tools stop you making the things you want, there’s very little you can’t make with a basic tool-kit and some patience.
After gluing the pieces together using super glue it was time to shape the dagger. Using sanding tools, files and a lot of elbow grease I hacked out the main contours of the Skyrim Orcish Dagger. Sharp observers will notice the stupid mistake I made at this stage. In my haste to start making some real progress I forgot to take the protective plastic layer off one of the sheets of PVC. The blue line along the blade evidences my foolishness. You will NEVER be able to get a good finish if you make this mistake. The protective plastic stops the sheets bonding properly and melts easily when you sand it. Furthermore, filler doesn’t stick well to it. If I’d have noticed my mistake at this stage I would have abandoned the build right there and started fresh. Sadly, I didn’t.
After hacking the sword into its basic shape, I started the laborious process of sand, fill, repeat. I like to use Squadron green putty, it has a super fine surface finish and responds very well to sanding.
I have included this picture to highlight just how hard it was to fill along that line where the protective plastic is sandwiched inside the blade. In the end I had to run a bead of CA glue (superglue) alone the joint and very carefully sand back the finish. This was long, hard work, but I was in too deep to quit!
Once I had undone my previous mistake it was time to start painting the Skyrim Orcish dagger. I use my airbrush and Vallejo matt primer to get an even basecoat. Matt black spray paint will work just as well, I use the airbrush for my prop and cosplay work because it’s cheaper in the long run.
The main body of the dagger was painted an emerald green colour. I mixed a lighter version and blended that in on the blade side of the dagger. This would create a highlight and a more dynamic, 3D look to the blade.
As I was planning on doing some drybrushing effects later to highlight the blade this was a good time to get some dirt colour into the recesses. I used Vallejo German grey for this.
I drybrushed the blade of the Skyrim Orcish Dagger with a mint green colour. The in game model has a cross hatching kind of texture, so I tried to emulate this as best I could with the prop. As I was planning on adding a few coats of gloss varnish, I exaggerated the highlights. Gloss varnish has a habit of toning this kind of thing down. So, if you are too subtle, it may be impossible to see under the clear coat.
The most fun part of this build was the handle. The entire handle was wrapped with black teddy bear fur. I just used contact adhesive to attach this, nothing fancy. The leather wrap was made from, you guessed it, leather! I managed to buy a bag of leather offcuts from a company that makes sofas. While there weren’t many massive offcuts, the bag has enough leather in it to last me through dozens of smaller projects.
Weathering the leather and the handle was critical. The jet-black fur and bold, freshly died look of the leather looked very out of place alongside the battle-worn blade. I used my airbrush for this, spraying a light coat of earth brown. Weathering powders, acrylic paint, or even real dirt could be substituted if you haven’t sold your soul to the airbrush gods yet.
And here is the finished Skyrim Orcish Dagger after a few coats of gloss varnish. Again, I applied this with my trusty airbrush (it more than earns it’s keep!), but spray on clearcoat from a can is also great if applied carefully.
That’s it for the Skyrim Orcish blade build. I hope talking about my rookie error helps at least one person, even if they just needed to laugh at someone being a complete bonehead. Next time on Epic Fails: Prop Up Shop Edition – how to glue yourself to an increasingly improbably number of workshop tools.
More Posts From the Prop Up Shop:
Prop Builder – Once came 5th in a Ainsley Harriott lookalike contest.
I’ve been making things since I was old enough to pronounce Lego. Consequently my maker life has been spent constructing, kit-bashing and scratch-building anything and everything that has taken my fancy. After dedicating my time to Wargaming, Model Armour & Railways, I stumbled across what has now become an obsession – Prop building.