What’s New at Inkblade Studios

It’s a time for lots of firsts here! This lovely down-sized Gabriel is the first sword to be completed at my new workshop and it is also the first sword I’ve carved from the new stock of 50mm (2 inch) thick acrylic. It was an absolute joy to work on. It came together like it was just waiting to burst out of the slab and slay some demons!

Let’s have a look at what the new, thicker plastic allows me to do.

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The easiest way to show you the three-dimensional details I can get now is to point Gabriel at the camera butt first. You can see that the pommel (back end of the sword) is flared out from the grip. It has an actual rounded shape in 3 dimensions. If you look on the other side of the grip, you’ll see that the acrylic flares out again to give some actual hand protection.

Before I bought the 50mm (2 inch) plastic, I was quite limited in how much contouring I could get.

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Here’s the pommel of Michael for comparison. It’s fanned out vertically, but pretty flat on the horizontal axis.

This doesn’t mean that the blade is any chubbier though! I grind everything down to be nice and slender except the parts I want to stand out. It just means more work for Chewie, my beloved belt sander.

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Even in my bright workshop lights, you can still see that the LED is activated. Acrylic transmits light so beautifully. The material is ridiculously hard to carve but by the Angel I think it’s worth every minute. 🙂

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I don’t know about you guys, but this is always my favourite part. Turning down the lights and seeing just how much illumination the sword gives is a real treat. It’s hard to believe only one tiny LED can put off that much glow.

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I turned off all the other light sources for this photo. The wall you can see in the top right corner is actually several feet away but the light has no trouble reaching it. Even though the LED is pointed at the tip of the blade and away from the pommel, the back end of the sword is still illuminated. This is because the light reflects off the contours of the sword and the frosted finish on the surface of the acrylic.

The frosted finish gives a consistent glow all over the sword whereas the crystal clear finish reflects off the curves and edges and not much else. This is a different but also very cool effect as a crystal clear sword has a ghostly quality, almost like it isn’t completely in this world.

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Lots of fun options to choose from! I know … I can’t even decide which I like better.

So what’s up for the near future? Well, I’ll be ordering my new CNC milling machine soon so hopefully I will be able to make more blades more quickly so there will be more availability for you awesome Shadowhunters out there! It will take some testing and learning and experimentation because I absolutely refuse to sacrifice quality for quantity. The Iron Sisters would be very disappointed if I gave you anything but my best work!

Also … aw maybe I shouldn’t share this yet … I should leave it for next time …

Ah dangit I can’t wait to show you! Okay, here’s a little sketch. Shhhh … 😉

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Heeeee! Okay I gotta run now. Back to work Iron Brother! Those swords won’t make themselves!

Azrael gets SHINY

Awwwww yes look at what just came out of the studio today!

Azrael Shiny

This Azrael is equipped with a genuine leather grip done in silver and black, colours inspired by the TV show. Of course, it has my own little twist.

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Lookin’ super srs as I concentrate on taking a good photo. As you can see, the glow is noticeable even in a brightly lit room. But let’s take it in the dark shall we?

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All bathroom selfies should have a sword. As you can see, because I left the pommel uncovered by the leather, you get a nice little crescent of light there where it reflects off the fan-shaped crest.

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Unintentionally Silent Brother kind of shot going on here… Azrael provides its own dramatic lighting.

How about the mechanics behind the magic?

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Here we have my go-to illuminator: the Flatlight (TM). I’ve removed the keychain that comes with it and put in a small length of  elastic cord for easy retrieval. Without this aid, it’s a bit of a pain to extract the light since it fits so snugly. The flap shuts with a simple Velcro closure. Now you see it …

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… now you don’t!

As this beauty wings its way toward the USA, a new project gets shifted up to my worktable. I now have all crafting slots full and one project in the queue. Stay tuned for more crafting adventures! Coming up, we have rune engraving, the longest of longswords, two never-before-seen new designs, and a long awaited secret project…