This post is not meant to be an exact how-to guide. I’ve detailed the main steps first. If you don’t want to read those you can skip down to the gallery which is posted in chronological order. Warning: there are a lot of gaps in the progress shots. I tried to remember to take photos along the way but I missed a lot of steps. (Sorry, I was up to a deadline and had less than two weeks to create this and I was still working on the Loki armor at the same time.)
That said, I completely forgot to take photos of the woodworking portion of this build. I started with a large plank of 3/4″ select pine from my wood bin, I ripped it into 2 pieces and laminated those together. I printed out this photo of the actual prop to the scale of my daughter (who is significantly shorter that Tom Hiddleston) so the staff would be proportionate to her size. I cut out the print and used that as my guide for the staff and blades. The rest I just eyeballed as I worked. I used photos of this amazing staff created by Eldrich Arts for detailing reference.
The details on the staff body are all Worbla which I cut into various strips and wrapped around craft foam to give it some thickness. I heated those strips and hot glued them to the staff. To create the flares I filled the “down-edge” with wood filler until it made a nice smooth transition to the staff body. I later prepped the Worbla using my smooth finishing technique.
The blade assembly is made from pine and MDF. I shaped the tapered sides of it with my bench belt sander. I then “skinned” each side with 1/32″ birch plywood so I could approximate the “fingers” which are on either side of the middle blade and hold it in place.
I shaped the top portion of the staff (which has three flares that the main blade connect into) out of pink insulation foam. Those were extremely tricky and time consuming as they were not only curved and rounded they also taper in width/thickness. Once I adhered them to the staff I covered them in Bondo and sanded them down. I ultimately was not happy with the Bondo so I skim coated them with Wood filler and got a better prepped surface.
The lower blade has two uniquely shaped little “brackets” that hold it in place. To create those I first wired the blade in place then sculpted Worbla around the wire to get the desired shape. (No in Worbla progress pics for this step. There are a couple of shots of the wiring in place in the gallery below.)
The orb is made from a clear plastic egg I found here. To make it more orb like I hit it with some 80 grit sand paper and my hand held grinder until I got the look I wanted. I wired it with three 10mm blue LED’s and utilized the battery holder from an old LED glow-stick. The coil that the orb is connected to was made from Worbla which I rolled out into a long snake then wrapped around pvc pipe. Originally I made the mistake of not coloring the orb blue also. Indoors the blue LED’s looked pretty good so I wasn’t concerned. We ended up doing a lot of outdoor photos at ECCC 2014 and the orb was totally washed out in the sun light. I have since painted it with watered down acrylic and it looks great on or off. (All of the finished hero shots in the gallery below are with the LED’s off, easier to photograph that way.)
Orb assembly. Made from a “rope” of worbla wrapped around the end of an LED glow stick.
Well, I think that covers all of the main parts. This was actually a fun build other than the time constraints and I am pretty happy with the finished product.
To see the full build gallery with annotated images, click here!