Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Makonde Dagger Build

The Makonde Dagger was designed by artist Jonah Lobe to commemorate 250K YouTube subscribers for Punished Props.


Bill Doran built an absolutely beautiful one in a video you can check out here, and then issued the challenge to the PropTarts to build their own. Here's what I did.

Due to work, a few conventions I was preparing new coplays for, and a vacation, I had to wait until Labor Day weekend to start work on this project. A very generous PropTart with Fusion 360 skills far beyond mine uploaded a model for the dagger onto Thingiverse. It's an excellent model and I tried slicing it but could not for the life of me get the blade to fit on my 3D printing bed. So seeing as how I probably wouldn't be able to complete a full size build anyway, I decided to make a 50% scale version because you know, it would be adorable. So I printed out the sliced parts on my Prusa I3 MK2S using MatterHackers Pro PLA filament in gold.


I then glued the blade and hilt together, masked off parts of the handle I knew I'd be using glue on, and proceeded to use XTC-3D to smooth out my print lines. I forgot that this stuff takes about 3-4 hours to cure and boy does it stink! Work in a well ventilated area and use fans!


I then proceeded to give the XTC-3D a sanding with some 220 grit sandpaper. I also glued everything together.


Then multiple coats of Rustoleum filler primer and more sanding after each coat until I was happy with the surface. My ultimate goal was to eliminate any print lines on the blade.


I wanted to give the dagger a gold paint job, and I've been told that the base layer should be a gloss red. So I used some Rustoleum gloss apple red spray paint I had leftover from my Captain America shield repaint as a base layer. I'm not sure if this paint ever fully cured as it always felt tacky to the touch.


Then I used Testors gold Aztek airbrush paint as my final layer. I LOVE how this color came out. It's hard to see in pictures and video, but the gold has an iridescence to it and changes colors at multiple angles. You have to see it in person. This also solved the tackiness issue I had with the previous layer.


For the handle, I superglued suede lace that I had leftover from a Nathan Drake build.


And just for a sense of scale, here's me holding the dagger. I guess this is more of a throwing knife now?


See, bigger isn't always better... ;)


Things I didn't do. I did not do the hamon line, nor did I clear coat or weather my dagger for fear of ruining the iridescent gold color I have on there now.


Everything here took about 3-4 days to finish. This was really fun, and hopefully I can build a full size one at some point.


Also, getting great feedback is awesome! :) :) :)


One last look. Thanks again to Punished Props and Jonah Lobe for all their inspiration!

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