Time to detail what I did for detail.
It took me a long time to decide what to do with this knife, but I eventually decided that I was going to turn it into a dark cultist group’s ritual knife. I really wanted a logo that I could slap onto the knife, and I wanted that logo to be done out of 2mm foam instead of just being painted on. That way I could practice weathering the crevices and such later during the painting stage, as well.
I made a tiny mistake in that I quickly slapped together the general shape of the knife with no regard for what else I might have to do, which left me with very little room… the knife blade’s width minus the “sharpened edge” was about 4.5cm. I also didn’t want my raised cultist logo to go edge-to-edge, which… you just don’t do. That looks immediately wrong. So I took off another 5mm so I’d have a 2.5mm margin at the top and bottom, leaving me with only 4cm to use for the logo (and about 20cm on the other axis).
I opened up Inkscape and set up a 4cm by 20cm drawing, and essentially just spent an afternoon trying out various ideas until I came up with the idea of using a pattern based on a rose stem with thorns, with an added swirl. It still took a while to get a result I was happy with. I wanted to get something that would match that idea, look good, and be symmetrical (so that the logo looks the same when the knife is turned upside-down). In the end, I came up with this, as well as the name “Cult of Thorns”:
While I was writing this article, I didn’t have access to the original artwork, which I forgot to upload from my hobby room’s computer – so I reconstructed this particular version of the logo artwork from a photo. Some of the lines are a bit too straight because it was a rushed job, but you get the idea. 🙂
When the logo was finished, I opened a new A4-sized Inkscape document and copy-pasted the logo several times. I was able to comfortably fit six onto a single page. I then printed the document onto a single sheet of regular 80-grams A4 paper, and cut out all six rectangles. I only needed two, but it’s good to have spares…
Of course, I didn’t need the logo on paper. I needed it in foam. So what I did was cut off two pieces of 2mm foam that were about the size of the rectangles of paper. I then used some masking tape to tape the paper more or less in place:
I was then able to use a sharp knife to ever-so-carefully cut deeply into the lines on the paper, to cut the foam underneath into the shape of the outline above it:
I then repeated it for the entire process on the other side of the knife. Because of my health issues, I had a lot of trouble pushing down the knife and making a deep enough cut. The next time I do this, I’m going to make sure to start with a fresh blade. Some of the cuts didn’t go all the way through, so I had some clean-up to do to get a result I was satisfied with. Luckily, that didn’t take as much work as I’d thought.
With both pieces finished, I was able to heat-seal them, and then use contact cement to glue them to the blade of the knife. This was my first time working with the stuff, so the results are kind of messy… but it worked:
At this point, I still felt like something was missing… the knife, for being a ritual knife, felt entirely too clean. So I whipped out my rotational multi-tool and added some damage to the flat areas. If you look very carefully, you can also tell that this is where I started making thin cuts into the blade’s edge to give it that stripey look knife edges tend to have:
Since I had some fresh damage, that meant foam that wasn’t heat-sealed. I got out my heat gun to seal the new areas. This is also where I learned another important thing about heat guns. You’ve gotta be careful using the heat gun around glued areas. That stuff can burn and release Bad Things into the air if you keep the heat gun in one spot for too long:
Speaking of mistakes with the heat gun, don’t over-heat your foam, either. That’s what I did by accident with the foam logo that was meant for the back side of the blade. The foam will deform, and it will become very difficult to get it back into its original, intended shape. I tried to repair the logo it back but you can tell it doesn’t look quite right anymore:
Still, I wasn’t going to redo it. This was my first project, and I felt I was allowed to make a few mistakes. Besides, it helps me warn other creators not to make this mistake, with the photos to show what can happen.
I was a bit upset at the logo having gone wrong, but I was otherwise happy enough with my Cult of Thorns Ritual Knife at this point, in terms of its basic shape as well as its detail work.
Tune in soon for the next post about this project, where I’ll detail the paint job, which is where the project really takes comes into its own!