A week ago, I wanted to try to create a prop for a cosplay. The weapon I choose was the Gehaburn from Neptunia:


I was able to find how to do most of the prop, apart from the blade. I searched online for some inspiration and was able to find someone who managed to create a very good looking one, created by Alucard:

enter image description here

My question is: What material could be used to create this kind of glass-like effect, or what material did Alucard use?

The material would need to be :

  • Inexpensive (creating it on a budget)
  • Easy to work with
  • Durable and water-proof

Does anyone know a material which fits these criteria?

1 Answer 1


It looks like it's meant to be translucent, even illuminated inside. So I'd be tempted to look into casting silicone for the blade, with a hollow core of the right colour, illuminated. Hollow saves weight as well as giving you somewhere to put the LEDs. To do that you'd make a positive master out of softwood and then a mould from that. Making that blade shape from a single piece of softwood is the work of an hour or two with jigsaw, plane and sander. I'm half way through making a toy sword from softwood:

Sword in progress

Another option to try would be working plastic (acrylic or polycarbonate) directly but it's hard to shape with a plane and you won't achieve the 3d shape of the blade with just a saw.

I'm not saying it couldn't be done with thermoplastic, but not by melting - you can't achieve the temperature control to avoid burning unless you've got very fancy kit. And it's the wrong shape to vacuum form. What you probably could do is make a a blade from several sheets solvent bonded together to give a stepped cross-section then sand out the steps. Lots of plastic dust means you'd need good dust extraction. I've just been sanding some plastic sheet (probably acrylic) to clean up cut edges and make a frosted surface, and it doesn't sand very quickly.

The simple and cheap option is just make it out of softwood and rely on an impressive paint job to get all the colour effects.

  • I was maybe thinking of using LEDs to make the light effect, and let's say that paint isn't the place where i'm the best. And if i understand correctly, thermoplastics isn't a viable option right ? I also heard that transparent worbla could work but i wasn't sure about that.
    – Enzof2003
    Sep 29, 2019 at 9:57
  • I'm going to try with some softwood and maybe some other materials, thank for the help
    – Enzof2003
    Sep 29, 2019 at 12:24
  • I wonder about UV LEDs in the guard and flourescent paint. I've put my previous long comment in the answer, along with a photo of the sword I'm making for my daughter
    – Chris H
    Sep 29, 2019 at 14:17
  • A thought on using thermoplastic--you can use fairly thin material if it gets rigidity from the shape (hollow with a little bit of a diamond shaped cross section). That can be done without vacuum forming by combining two half shells. Make a wooden form the shape of half the thickness of the cavity (flat on the bottom, with a triangular cross section; you can even get a little fancy at the tip by beveling the end a little). Cut blanks from plastic sheet a little wider and longer than the form. Use a heat gun on both sides of the plastic to soften it until it's limp. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Sep 29, 2019 at 17:54
  • 1
    It's easier to get scorching if you're doing line bends. Your answer was already good, and more practical if you don't do this kind of thing regularly. I upvoted yours and figured this could just be a supplement.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 29, 2019 at 19:33

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