Cosplay Build Pt . 1 – DBS Future Trunks Sword & Scabbard

After attending pop culture conventions these past three years or so, I’ve grown admiration for cosplayers and costume makers who spend their talents on creating such detailed outfits and props. I remember my first time going to WonderCon and seeing some really cool costumes and wondered how they made it and discovering it’s not constructed out of metal or plastic. Huh? I learned that foam whither it is in the form of styrofoam, foam board, craft foam are the essentials to a cosplayer’s palette. I figured why not give it a shot myself and after watching Dragon Ball Super, I had wanted to build a Future Trunks costume with minimal effort possible.

My first build post will focus on the sword building as it has been the most work I’ve had to do. It has been a fun process thus far and I wanted to share with you my progress on it. A lot of it the sword building I had learned through EpicFantasy on YouTube, DIUCosplay and Fire Lily Cosplay. Here are some essential materials to build a foam sword: Modpodge, Paint brushes, Measuring tape, Hot glue gun w/ glue sticks, Craft foam, Foam board, Elmer’s Glue-All, Sewing kit and X-Acto knife.

Sword Build: 

I used two 20 in. x 30 in. foam boards and measured 27 in. x 2.5 in. for the exposed blade and 9 in. x 1 in. for handle. I used an X-Acto knife to try and cut the board to made defined edges. Afterwards, I would give it a few coats of Modpodge to seal and primer it then sprayed it with Krylon Premium Metallic Chrome paint.

One thing I knew, I wanted to make this bad boy modular! So I can take it apart and fit it in a tube for easier packing when going to cons. Therefore, for the hilt guard I had to cut out two 8.5 in. pieces and two smaller pieces to fill the gap in between so the 1 in. wide handle can slide in. I ended up cutting two more longer pieces to secure the space that meets the blade and handle portion. I glued the pieces together using Elmer’s All Purpose glue. To make the edges more even, I used an X-acto knife to trim. To give it a smoother look, rather than sanding/filing, I wrapped it with craft foam along the rough edges and hot glued it then put two coats of Modpodge. Wait a few hours to dry then spray it in Chrome paint.

For the handle, I used a papertowel roll and cut down the middle and then wrapped it in Newbaum’s khaki cloth tape while holding the end of the blade handle.

The pommel was probably the most hardest part in design and one of the last additions to the sword (still not completed yet). I couldn’t find any pommels that I could buy that was cheap nor could I find door knobs that were proportionate to the sword. But then I found out I could use paper clay to make it myself as it air drys to harden.

Scabbard w/ Strap Build: 

Used craft foam and wrapped it around some cut out pieces from Amazon cardboard boxes I had lying around and hot glued it together. Then I used Modpodge to seal and primer it and spray painted it with some Satin Colonial Red paint.

I spent some time researching olive drab belt buckles that matches what Trunks is wearing. It resembles a lot like seat belt buckles. I tried to see if Buckle Down had any plain olive drab ones but I was out of luck. I thought about using various military seat belts and uniform belts but then I realized how heavy a seat belt buckle is after owning a Spider-Man Buckle Down belt. Then I stumbled across Strapworks.com that specialized in all sorts of straps you can think of and I found they had aluminum side release buckles with 1.5 in. lightweight polypropylene straps in olive drab. I thought to myself, although, it’s not screen accurate, it would look great to keep the metal buckle look but strive more for functionality. So I ordered two with one sized at 4 ft. for the scabbard strap while the other is 3 ft. to be used as the waist belt.

After they arrived, I started measuring about how much I needed to wrap some scrap straps around the scabbard. I miscalculated and realized that 4 ft. didn’t have any slack remaining to use so I was like, “Shit!” Then I was thinking, should I order more from Strapworks or go to Amazon? Neither… I ended up finding an old web belt lying around and cut it up to size, although it is in a more vintage olive drab color. I figured it’s not that serious and it gives the scabbard a vintage look anyway. It ended up working out. I sewed the 4 ft. strap w/ attached buckle to the smaller straps and then hot glued it on to the scabbard. But I had to reassess and re-measure it a few times to ensure that the buckle is close to center along the body when worn because it would look kind of funny if the buckle shows up too high or too low along the chest. The lower wrapped strap needed a little more slack compared to the upper wrapped strap.

Stay tuned to my next post on building the outfits…

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