Cosplay tutorial: Eivor's ax

Cosplay tutorial: Eivor's ax
The Christmas holidays have arrived and although they are very different from those we are used to, for nerds there are whole days spent playing video games or board games. If, however, you would like to vary the time spent at home a little, you want to start a new hobby or simply want to build something of your favorite Viking-themed video game of the moment, this article is for you!

After you are finished to play Assassin's Creed Valhalla or have read the novel inspired by the game, if you want to own an object used by Eivor, just follow this tutorial to create the ax of the new protagonist of one of the most loved sagas created by Ubisoft.

The iconic ax is one of the staple items in Eivor's costume and can be found in any promotional image, figurine or video game teaser. If you are a cosplayer or a fan, you absolutely cannot miss this piece from your collection! Don't worry though, you won't have to do everything by yourself: we will guide you step by step in the construction of the ax that you can customize as you prefer.

Read also: Assassin's Creed Valhalla: a tribute to Keith Flint of the Prodigy has been found

This tutorial is a bit more difficult than the one of the most famous Mandalorian shoulder straps of the moment. However, it only requires a little more precision and dexterity with regards to the neck part, but nothing that is out of your reach. Patience is your most precious ally and remember that the more you try new things, the better you will become at working foam!

The materials

iron ruler scissors bostik superchiaro cutter pen foam 0,2mm (foam rubber) foam 0.5 (craft foam) pvc tube diameter 35mm, length 100cm (available in any shop of building) acrylic paints (silver, black, white, brown) plasti dip dremel heat gun In addition to our readily available basic tools (such as scissors, ruler and cutters) for this tutorial you will need 5mm foam (65cm x 50cm approximately) and 10mm (approx.40cm x 25cm). But if you don't have the thicker one, it won't be a problem, nothing prevents you from creating your project with the thinner one. You just have to calculate how much more foam you will need to complete it.

Getting started

First, you need all the patterns you need to create this ax. You can download the pdf file for free at this link, of which you will have to print each sheet, exactly as you find them, in A4 format. Once all the parts have been collected, cut the excess paper following the marks on each sheet, and place all the pages side by side to have the patterns well aligned and associated with their own continuity. Warning: to make sure you are proceeding correctly and have the blueprints correctly, join all the sheets before cutting them, so as not to get confused later!

The blade

In this step we cut the foam necessary to compose the whole central body of the ax blade starting from the end of the spike until just before the actual blade. The patterns we are going to use are “ax body”, “addition for blade” and “lateral ax”. Take these last two blueprints and join them to the indicated signs: you will have the basic drawing of your ax. Now let's move on to our first pattern: as you can see, "ax body" is made up of two parts. The shorter one has a circle inside it - the point where your handle will pass.

With this in mind, cut enough layers of foam to fill the basic pattern of the blade. Depending on the foam you have available, whether 5mm or 10mm, you will have more or less filling levels. As you can see from the photo below, the layers that fill the two axes are shorter than the others. By always keeping your base pattern below, you can save material as you don't need the full length of all the layers, which would otherwise create a single rectangular block.

One once all the various layers have been cut, glue them together with a thin layer of Bostik Superchiaro on both sides. Wait about a minute for the glue to dry, thus becoming opaque. Then lightly press the two pieces together, so as to make them stick well and proceed in this way until you have attacked all the levels. Then following the example of the previous photo, draw the pattern of your ax on the foam block, helping you if necessary with the blueprint created earlier. Gone to eliminate the excesses with the cutter, paying attention especially in the points where the foam is thicker. If it is too difficult to cut in one stroke due to the thickness, avoid forcing the cutter and make several passes to engrave the foam up to the work surface: you will be more precise and you will not risk breaking the blade.

To finish the center piece, use the dremel at the lowest speed with the cylindrical tip attached with sandpaper around it. This is to quickly eliminate the bulk of the foam that you do not need, thus giving a better shape to your ax body. It is not necessary to be very precise in this step on the central part of the blade, but pay attention to the decorative part of the "spikes": always sand the foam with light touches, so as not to remove too much material. And please, always wear a mask to avoid breathing the foam dust you are removing!

Once finished, remove the spiked part from the paper pattern you used as a base. The “side ax” alone is what you need now to complete the blade part. Go and bring the pattern back to the 5mm foam and cut two equal pieces with the cutter. Before gluing them on the sides, place them on top to make sure you have enough foam to cover everything, except for the spikes. From the "cutting" part you can see how the two sides touch each other, covering the whole blade body. It's not a mistake: this part will be your base to model to create the cutting edge!

Proceed as before, covering the two pieces with a thin layer of glue, then letting them dry a few minutes before place the lateral on the body, pressing lightly to make it adhere well. Repeat this operation on the other side of the ax as well, so as to have both sides covered. With the pen or white marker, then mark how far you want the thickness of the cutting edge to reach. Being very careful, tilt the cutter as in the photo below and thin the foam without exaggerating, following your guideline. Proceed calmly and remember that later you can still arrange and refine everything with the help of the dremel.

The time has come to move on to the handle of your ax! With the handle pattern that you printed on paper and cut out earlier, position the pvc tube over the design, in such a way as to understand exactly where it will have to bend. With the heat gun, then go and heat the chosen areas one at a time, being very careful to aim the heat on the entire circumference of the pipe. Here, too, it is good to proceed calmly and a little at a time, in order not to risk exaggerating and damaging the tube.

Once this step has been carried out, it is time to decide at what height the body of your ax will remain. I suggest you leave the blade between two and three centimeters above as in the photo: if you go further you risk sliding the foam on the tube with a lot of effort due to the bends. Once you have decided where to place it, mark with a marker on the PVC above and below the blade, turning around the tube. Remove the foam and cover that piece of tube with Bostik glue. Let it dry and in the meantime apply the glue to the inside of the ax hole. Here you will need a little more than usual, because without waiting for it to dry, you will slide the foam onto the tube, stopping it on the second of the two marks. Press the ax lightly so that it adheres well to the tube and let the glue dry properly.

Now you have to calculate more or less how much foam you need to cover the entire tube. I advise you to add a few more centimeters, so as not to have problems with missing foam to cover the neck. Once you've cut your strip of material, you'll first need to decide where to start. Once marked with a marker, cover the tube with a thin layer of Bostik Superchiaro and let it dry. Put a layer of glue of about one or two centimeters also at the beginning of the strip, so as to stop the foam along the tube. Then lightly heat the material with the heat gun, so as to make it less difficult to wrap it around the tube. Put another strip of glue of about a centimeter on the foam, let it dry and by lightly pressing the rubber, make it adhere to the tube following its shapes. Repeat this step until you have covered the entire handle.

Once finished, cut off the excess and move on to the upper body of your ax. With the same procedure, go to cover the small portion of the tube that remains on top, then creating a sort of cap with a circular piece of foam. Remember to let the glue dry well so that it is more resistant once you have attached the various pieces. After this step, it's finally time to decorate the handle before moving on to color!

As you can see from the next photo, I decided to make my handle very simply, with typical wood grain. To do this I used the dremel and the usual cylindrical tip with sandpaper around it, but this time using the edge of the cylinder instead of the side. In this way, you will go to dig into the foam leaving a more or less light furrow that recalls the veins present on the bark of trees. Of course, you can choose to decorate your handle in the way you like, perhaps by looking for some examples of axes in the game.

Here we are at the last steps before you can admire our ax in all its beauty! Once you have completed the gluing of the various pieces of foam, make sure you have arranged and finished with the dremel every part, from the grain of the wood, to the spikes, to the "edge" of the blade. Give it some light touches to fix imperfections, but keep in mind that being a weapon you can also do some combat damage to it which will give your weapon some character!

Let's move on to closing the foam cells with the gun thermal. This is a necessary procedure when working with this material, as it eliminates the porosity of the foam, ensuring that the color is not absorbed. Be very careful not to use a temperature that is too high or to keep the gun too close to the foam, as you would risk to heat the glue too much and make it come off. Once the foam is darker and slightly shiny, you are ready for the last step!

This part depends mainly on your creativity, but before you go wild with color, you will have to move on a couple of coats of primer, following the instructions on the Plasti Dip package. This will allow you to have a uniform base from which to start and give vent to all your creative vein. Mix the various colors, add some splashes of blood just as if you had just finished a fight or decorate it with some piece of fabric or leather.

For example, I made strips of white cotton from a rag to then turn it yellow and dirty it by dipping the fabric in tea. To create a darker effect you can use coffee or more simply you can dilute a mixture of acrylic colors and dilute them a lot with water. Squeeze the fabric and let it dry, retouch it if necessary and embellish the ax as you like, making it so personalized.

Try different techniques to create various color effects on the blade or handle, giving depth or accentuating certain areas , taking as inspiration photos of axes from the video game. Get creative and remember to show us the result!

If you are a fan of Assassin's Creed, do not miss the official Eivor statuette in a male version!

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