One challenge with props can be finding the balance between making them look realistic and making them practical. The last thing you want to do at a convention is carry around a heavy sword all day or keep a dagger in your belt that weighs so much it keeps pulling down your pants (related: that sort of hiccup is why it’s important to put on your complete costume before wearing it in public for the first time). Swapping out heavier materials for plastic 3D printed ones is one solution, and Gateros Plating has done some beautiful work in that area.
They’ve 3D printed and plated at least a couple of weapons: A sword from Skyrim and a dwarven-inspired dagger that looks right out of Middle-earth. They printed the items on their Ultimaker 1.0 3D printer and after cleaning and sanding, the sword and dagger were covered with a thin metallic coating through electroforming. If you’re interested in trying your own hand at this, Gateros offers plenty of kits on their website to help you get started.
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