This post comes a little later than promised, but here it is! Making the Battle Bunny Riven sword was a tough and awesome experience, and despite a few mishaps, I’m really proud to have pulled it off. I’d never even attempted to make something like this, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
If you’re looking to make something, the first place to turn is always YouTube. A quick search for a Battle Bunny sword turned up some great videos by Coca Rocha of Glamourous Gamer Girls. One set was a series on how to make the original Riven sword and a time lapse video on making the Battle Bunny version. These videos were super helpful in giving some step by step instructions and overall ideas on how to construct the sword.
If you’re thinking of constructing this sword too, I’d give yourself 2 weeks or more, depending on how busy you are. For us, we had 5 full days to work on the sword with some little work in between, and you have to give yourself time for things to dry too.
Here’s what we used:
- 12 sheets of particle board
- Tape or adhesive
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Box cutter and/or x-acto knife
- Fast mache or paper mache materials
- Household Plaster
- Spray paint
- Acrylic paint
The first thing to do is to sketch out the shape of the sword on the particle board. Fun tip: the Dollar Store sells these sheets so it’s cheap to stock up on them. We wanted the sword to be big, so we used two sheets, one of the top and one for the bottom of the sword. We freehanded the sketch and I used the videos and images as reference. Using a ruler to measure between things like wear the hilts leaf details began and ended was helpful too.
Once you have the shape you want, use the box cutter or x-acto knife to cut it out. I’d suggest cutting it as close as possible since you can use this first piece to trace the other pieces. It also helps cut down on shaving and sanding later. After ours was cut out, we traced and cut out 5 more full sword shapes to layer.
To give the sword mass, you simply hot glue the pieces together in a stack. How many layers you do is really up to you in terms of how think you want the sword to be. We did 6 full sword pieces and then two layers of just the hilt detail (circle with leafs, etc.) on each side of the sword. We also cut out the shapes near the hilt and at the top of the blade for two of the pieces to give them some depth.
When stacking, you want to be as exact as possible. We ran in to some problems where things were really off and we had to spend more time cutting these down so they were correct afterwards.
After you have the sword shaped and stacked the way you want it, it’s time to mache. If you’re more comfortable paper mache-ing, that’s cool. I think Coco suggests in her video to do 3 or 4 layers to make sure the sword doesn’t break. But since we were a little short on time and the sword had a lot of little details, we decided to go with fast mache. You can find fast mache mix at Michael’s of JoAnn’s for about $25 and it’s enough to last you a while.
Basically, you mix it up with water until you get the right consistency, and then you spread it on the entirety of the sword. Admittedly, Peter was much better at this than I was. Mostly, you just have to be careful to spread it evenly and not let it get clumpy. It takes about 18 hours to dry and we did it one side at a time, so make sure to leave yourself enough time for it to completely dry or it could effect your sword.
After the fast mache is dry, you’ll probably have to sand the sword. I just used straight sandpaper in varies grains, but if you have a sander, that would be easier. Sand down any rough edges or to bring out the little details more. If you run into places that the fast mache didn’t quite cover or places that are a little lumpy, you can use the household plaster. This is the same plaster you’d use to cover nail holes in your wall and it’s available at Home Depot and Target. I used an old gift card to help spread and smooth the plaster on some places on the sword. The plaster takes about 2 hours to dry completely.
And after all this time waiting for things to dry, you can start to paint. I used some plastic bags to cover different places on the sword, but the biggest area I did first, then the hilt. Don’t worry if some of the paint bleeds into some areas since you can always cover it later on.
Unfortunately, the day we were supposed to leave for San Diego, we noticed that the middle of the sword (where the two pieces of particle board were attached) was sagging a little bit. We really didn’t want the sword to snap in half so we made a last minute decision to wrap the middle section in painters tape. If we’d had more time, we could have re-fast mached that section, but we didn’t so we just went with a quick solution. We went with painters tape because we knew it could be painted over.
Here is the final result! We did silver paint for the outside and edge, since it is a sword after all, and then used acrylic paint to do some detailing. We used a bright green to pop out some of the hilt details and we used a darker orange for the inside edges. I love the way the paint job turned out, it really made the sword look awesome.
I was so excited to rock the whole Battle Bunny Riven cosplay at Gam3rCon’s cosplay lounge party. My favorite part of the sword was how big it was! It definitely looked intimidating. A lot of people asked about the sword and I was really proud to talk about making it. It really gives me the confidence to tackle other weapons projects in the future.
If you have any questions about making the sword, leave them below or check out the videos that helped me!