cast bronze and sprung steel broadsword

Cast Bronze and Sprung Steel Broadsword

Cast bronze hilt and pommel, sprung steel blade with Tengwar inscription and wet-formed leather grip over carved ash handle.

I made this for myself, purely for the fun of it, after visiting an exhibition of props from the "Lord of the Rings" films and feeling suitably inspired. One of my friends is the very talented sculptor Laurence Tindall, and he very kindly agreed to guide me through the intricate cire perdue process needed to create the bronze elements of the sword.

The hilt and pommel are first made in sculpting wax, then a silicone mould is created and new wax poured in. This wax form is then sprued to add the runners and risers necessary to let the molten bronze in and the gasses out. The whole structure is then heavily covered in plaster, which gives one chance at a successful cast. After the bronze is poured in, the mould is broken, the sprues are removed and the long process of cleaning and fettling begins. I also acid-darkened the bronze to give it an antique patina.

The sprung steel blade was reshaped from an existing blade to give it the leaf form, then engraved with the Tengwar script (used in the "Lord of the Rings" books). The handle was made with wet-formed leather over carved ash.

Although I made it purely as an ornamental piece, the sword’s balance is pretty good. It pivots just in front of the ricasso, where the hilt and blade meet.