Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop



I’m back!  This time I’m doing something new from the Warhammer 40k universe.  I had a special commission from a gentleman in the UK for a Guard Officer’s Chainsword.  I started by drawing out the plan on some paper.  I used some PVC pipe for the grip.

1 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

I used a couple layers of ¼” MDF sandwiched around a piece of 1/8” MDF for the blade there’s a dowel inserted into the PVC grip that I notched to fit around the MDF blade.  A couple small dowels lock it in place with wood glue over everything.

2 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

3 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

The “gearbox” guard for the sword I actually made from 3 layers of MDF sandwiched around some EPS foam insulation.  The whole thing was covered in Bondo to give it a hard shell and keep it light.

4 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

More details on the gearbox, I used sintra plastic to add some flanges and on the grip.  I also started casting up some teeth from resin.  The teeth were glued in to the channel in the middle of the blade where the 1/8” MDF was recessed.

5 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

I used some resin tubes that I had cast with excess resin and I turned a few of the round pieces.  I used more sintra plastic to make the various layers over the gear box.

6 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

7 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

A little bit of primer covering the whole thing to make sure that the surfaces were smooth.  Once that was done I used some .030” thick styrene to cut out the Aquila for the sides of the blade.

8 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

9 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

After I started painting I decided that the grip still needed some more detail.  I used 18 strands of vinyl “leather” and braided them around the grip.  This is a process I learned last year while working on a Deathstroke staff and I really enjoyed it.  It took a little longer than anticipated because the pommel was already in place and it interfered with the braiding.  The result is a nice texture to grip with just a little bit of padding.  It adds a nice texture to an otherwise flat prop.  A little bit of weathering with some acrylic paints and it was time for a photo shoot with Primarch’s Wrath!

10 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

11 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

12 Building a Warhammer 40k Chainsword Prop Cosplay Larp

 

Overall I’m very pleased with the result.  While building the sword I did figure out a couple methods where I could make the teeth of the blade move, I only wish the budget of this project had allowed for that feature.  I currently don’t have any further WH40K projects on my schedule but I’m always looking for new commissions!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
QEProps Author Avatar

Zach Pickard has been making props and replicas as “QE Props” since 2012. He has done replicas of props from Firefly, The Avengers, Mass Effect, Warhammer 40K, The Legend of Zelda, The Lord of the Rings, and even a few custom pieces for local films. Check out facebook.com/QEProps or @QEProps on Twitter and Instagram.

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