Very excited to show you my work on the axe for my Stormcloak costume. It was tough to decide specifically what weapon to make from the game. Since it was to accompany my shield, two-handed weapons were out of the question. The concept art for the costume depicts the Stormcloak with a sword, but I really felt an axe better fit a Nord and Nord culture, as well as the traveling Stormcloak soldier. It's got that nice hammered texture and looks like it was made quickly for outfitting a soldier, which I liked.
Here's the finished project. The handle is made of wood, but the axe head is fiberglass over foam using the same process as my shield.
I found a nice branch in my backyard that had the correct shape needed. I sawed off the ends and sawed/sanded off the bark as it was very loose and wouldn't be good for the finished prop as it was.
I continued to sand it to fit some PVC which would be used as the cap for the axe.
Since the branch had fallen off a tree some time ago, I wanted to strengthen it to make sure it could take a bit of abuse as a prop (not that I'd be really hitting things with it :P). So I used wood hardener along the entire length.
I made some approximate measurements from the in-game render to draw out the shape of the axe head on foam.
Here you can see some of the sanding process.
I used an exacto to carve out the edges. I didn't focus on any of the texture yet, just creating the base shape to work from. I sanded the interior edge of both pieces to allow them to fit the PVC.
Like the shield, the foam here was covered in 3 layers of masking tape to protect it from the resin.
After applying the fiberglass with an extra layer of resin to work into, I used my trusty dremel to create that hammered texture. I also used the dremel to carve into the handle to regain that barky texture, and used a dark ebony wood stain to match the hue seen in the reference. I glued the handle on with hot glue, which I also used to seal off the top. It was painted with chrome spray paint, semigloss clear, and a bit of black and burnt sienna acrylic for the rust and weathering. The final step was sewing on the faux leather grip to the handle.
I'm very happy with the finished product. I only kinda wish it really was made of metal so it would make a cool clanking sound when I hit my shield with it!