Wind Waker Construction Notes
I put a lot of effort into the different parts of my Wind Waker/Toon Link cosplay, so I wanted to break up my construction notes into bite size pieces and really include good info on the processes I used. The Wind Waker prop was the first pieces I started, and took me just over 2 months (I worked on the rest of the costume concurrently) .
Step one was creating a blueprint in inkscape (feel free to use blueprint if it helps you) I made this by tracing over what i felt was the best representation of the piece in game, the stylistic nature of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker did make many aspects of this cosplay difficult. After that I had to decide upon the size/scale I wanted this to be. I ended up printing a bunch of these at different sizes and holding them up until it felt ‘right.’ Again Wind Waker Link is very unrealistically proportioned, so I had to play it by ear. I ended up making mine 12.5 in long. Conveniently that also meant the blueprint fit on one sheet of paper, yay!
After that I cut a dowel to length, flattened the top and bottom a bit (I didn’t want a perfectly round shape), carved a dip into one end that would form the end scroll, and gave the other a nice taper. Then sanding (there will be lots of this) to get it even and nicely shaped. I added little nubs of Freeform Air epoxy putty, and let them set up overnight. They will form the base for building off the rest of the scrolls.
The scrolls were several days of adding putty, letting it set overnight, sanding to shape, then repeating. The basic round shapes of the scroll were created as sort of flat disks, then I drilled in holes and filed them to close to their final size, using the holes in my pattern as guides. The height to the scrolls was added after that and smoothed into the body of the main disk, I added some shape to the dowel with more putty towards the end, and the final element to be added to the rough sculpt was the little horn elements.
Sanding, filing, sanding, and more sanding. I used 80 grit and files for rough shaping, then 120 and 220 to get finer finishes.
There was a lot of sanding.
Finally, after all that sanding, I got to the primer stage. Lots of light coats of a filler primer because I wasn’t happy with my surface finish and wanted this sexy smooth. Then guess what? More sanding. This time wet sanding with 400 grit sandpaper. The sharpie mark you can see in this picture is marking a place where I need to go back and add filler. For the bigger issues I used more epoxy putty, and for lesser sins I used glazing putty. Glazing putty is really amazing for smoothing. Then more primer, sanding with 400 grit till happy, then primer and 600 grit, then 800. I stopped there because I am craxy, but also on a time crunch.
LOOK AT HOW SMOOTH, SANDING IS LIFE
Nendoroid Link also helped.
Working on everything at the same time meant I was going a billion directions at once, and forgot to photograph any of my painting progress. (The sword and shield will get their own post if you are wondering) Filler primer can be finicky with wet sanding, so I made sure to let it sit for several days before adding my base coat of gloss white. I wanted to avoid any trapped moisture deciding to mess up future paint layers. To make spray painting easier I rigged up box with a hook that held the piece by the hole in the end scroll. Then several layers of the white gloss base coat, wait 48 hours, light layers of a translucent pearl coat, wait 48 hours, then gloss clear coat. I’m not sure why I wanted to have this be pearly, it just seemed right to me.
Tada! Sadly the pearl paint looks way cooler in person than in photos. I do plan on pulling a two part mold from the Wind Waker and doing up resin copies, but that is a project for a different day