If it wasn’t apparent from the background image beneath this very text (and indeed, all other text on this site) I occasionally–hey, there’s the title!–do digital mock-ups of things I’d much rather have in reality, but can’t afford because I’m a poor writerly peasant. The particular sword I’m about to display is one I modeled and textured over the course of a week this past February, then decided against mentioning here because I’m an idiot.
The first ‘full ensemble’ shot, with the sword tucked neatly in its scabbard.
Naturally, the next shot is of the sword unsheathed and combat ready. Notable absence of a wielder aside…
I was quite fond of the pommel and this side in particular, and I find they’ve only grown on me. The ‘smoky’ texture was a simple adjustment in GIMP, but did wonders for the character of the fittings.
An image of the leather grip that also shows the narrow copper spacers at either end. These need to be kept small in functional pieces so as not to interfere with, y’know, swinging the sword.
The other face of the pommel. The monogram with the character’s initials remains the one part of the sword I’m not 100% on, but one less-than-perfect detail hardly makes a botched piece.
One of two shots taken to show both how the collar of the handguard fits into the scabbard and the matching etchings. You’ll note that one side of the sword has straight geometric etching where the other uses swirls. This was an experiment on my part that I think turned out fairly well. The mouth of the scabbard is intended to be copper-inlaid white gold. I do not model simple swords, because that would be boring.
Sighting down the blade is always a nice shot, and also let me show off this comparatively simple pattern on the inside face of the guard. Depending on your monitor settings, you may be able to see that the pattern actually follows the individual facets of the guard.
The first of several shots showing the grain and shape of the blade itself. The brighter area along each edge is a trick of model shading to make it appear more polished than the rest of the blade. To sharpen a sword is to polish its edge; hence, this.
Note the three distinct patterns in the blade. Laminated swords (as this one is intended to be) have multiple different types of steel in their blades, which have their own unique patterns. The different patterns in the fuller or center groove are a result of grinding deeper into the same billet of steel so that the patterns inside no longer match the ones around them.
A shot to show the way light interacts with the grain on the blade. Just as with real swords, still images don’t convey the full effect.
One of a few shots focusing on the scabbard itself. This is one of the more successful leather textures I’ve done, and is a decent impression of a wood-cored scabbard with its binder rings fully concealed by leather.
The leather texture is two different patterns layered into each other. It worked better than I expected, frankly.
A shot which just barely conveys the ‘brushed’ texture on the brighter parts of the scabbard mouth.
The sword resheathed (ultimately preemptively) for what was supposed to be the final shot.
A parallel to the previous picture, showing the engravings of the swirly side all together.
I hurriedly took these shots of the point after realizing I didn’t have any. They show the lighting and texture differences between the grains at its starkest.
One last shot, unfortunately including some minor lighting glitches. It does showcase one other feature of laminated steel, however, which is that parts of the blade which appear brighter than the rest from one angle paradoxically become much darker at others. This is the end of the slide show, and at this point the sucker’s just going to loop until you stop it. Hope you enjoyed these just a bit more than I did working on them!