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Glass fibre mould from the slender plug

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My daughter needs a anime prop: about 1200 mm long sword that has opaque blade. Tried to mould that from PC, but it turned out pretty damn difficult.

Pretty much like on this picture:

Plan "B" is to use two layers 160 g/m2 glass fibre cloth and clear laminating epoxy to make two halves and then glue them together.

I'm making a practice run with another sword, that essentially is a katana blade. Plug is made from two halves, split, glued on the MDF board, finished and coated with two componenet acryllic paint. Covered it with six coats of release wax yesterday.

I was planning to make the mould with polyester resin (first gel coat brushed and then resin and glass mat), but I read that it the mould would take up two weeks to harden. Is that true?

"Leave the mould to cure up to two weeks at room temperature is desirable, post curing the mould is desirable but not sometimes practical, less if using low shrinkage tooling resin ( 2 3 days), releasing a mould too early can cause distortion to the mould."

Sounds pretty long....My mould would be about 1200 mm long (blade differently and handle separately) protrusions are small (specially with katana, it's only 3 mm for half thickness and planning to use only one thin mat and then two 400 g/m2 mats.

Tempted to use the better laminating epoxy to save least week, but I don't have compatible gel coat for that.

I keep on reading about tooling gel coat and that sort of stuf. They don't have them on the local shop and those materials are hazmat, when it comes shipping them. Aargh.


Two more coats of wax. This is Katana type sword that will be for her friend. This is the practice piece and I'm considering mouldin process for this one.

And the somewhat transparent sword has few more tricky parts and I finally made my mind how to make it. Took three prototypes :Doh:

So the blade is symmetrical, plan is to make only one mould for blade and use it for both sides. Because that will require pretty good symmetry I made a single sided jig to use router and bearing/copy bit to make both sides of the plug symmetrical.

Now the blade plug is ready for final coats and to mount on parting board.

Drat, the pictures are on the other laptop....I'll update them when I have it back.

Basically I'm trying to find faster way of making the mold than two weeks.


Have you thought about making the sword out of acrylic or some other clear plastic?

Something similar to this cosplay sword build.

Yes. I tried vacuumforming 1 mm polycarbonate (for two halves) to make lightweight, strong and non offending blade. Proble is that that slender piece needs an long ifrared heater and it is hard to get even temperature distribution. Managed to make decorative twisters, they looked ok in the mold and then twisted half a round when realesd from the frame.

Three tries (and two 1 kW burnt IR heater) later I gave up. I mm polycarbonate would have been pretty good.



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