Roronoa Zoro Cosplay - Part 3 - Katana
As you guys know, I’m going a costume party as Roronoa Zoro. His costume comprises of the following:
- Three Swords [This post]
- Green Striped Haramaki [done]
- Green Hair
- Dark Green Bandana
- Dark green/black pants
- Earrings [done]
- White tshirt
One of the KEY things about Zoro, more than clothes, or his green head, are his swords. They’re his weapon. Just like Luffy is the Rubberman, Zoro is a swords man. For you Japanese purists… we’ll call em Katana.. but honestly.. I don’t really care…
[Note: After I did this, I found some cool guides for wrapping the ‘hilt’ of the katanas. (I’m sure there’s a special name for ‘hilt’ in japanese..) You can find the guides here ,here and here. The first one is pretty simple, and I wish I knew about it before hand. And the 2nd is really really complex, but it’s interesting to know what goes into the real thing.]
Okay. Since my craft skills are quite low, I started off with some $2 plastic katana from Cheap as Chips. Back when Ninjas were all the rage (after Pirates, but before Zombies). Anyway, Zoro has three, I had a black one. So I bought two more.
It’s actually quite hard to find a consistent reference picture of Zoro’s swords. This isn’t helped by the fact that his swords break and he acquires new ones throughout the series.
The three he currently uses are
- Meitou; Wadō Ichimonji (formerly belonged to Kuina)
- Sandai Kitetsu (formerly belonged to Ippon-Matsu)
- Meitou; Shuusui (formerly belonged to Ryuuma)
For all intensive purposes, they have White, Red and Black sheaths. And some kind of matching handle. I knew that sheaths, and handles are works of art, especially for swords that are meant to be as good as Zoro’s. So I figured I’d just make it up.
To get started, I popped off the end caps, and the hand guard from the swords. The Red swords had black and silver guards, not the gold I desired. So decided to spray paint all three (for consistency).
So what started off like this:
Ended up like this:
I was pretty happy with that, using the same $3 gold paint from Cheap as Chips.
Next up were the sheaths… or case.. or scabbard… or cover. Whatever the technical name is. I had some white paint, and some black left over. So I sprayed them.
Here’s a pro tip when spray painting. Like the can says, even strokes, light coats AND GIVE IT TIME TO DRY. I wasted soooo much time repainting because I was impatient. [Note: Also, it’s probably best to put some kind of primer down on the plastic.. because I noticed it had already started to chip…]
So here’s the White painted sheath.
Now we move on to the blades. There are SOOO many guides about painting a realistic looking sword. Just google ‘how to cosplay sword’ and you’ll find many results. I went with this tip. Silver (or chrome) swords look fake and plastic. So I sprayed a bit of back whilst the silver was still wet. That removed some of the sheen and added a bit of a dirty look to it. A bit of balancing act to get it right.
So, here are the swords before I painted them
And After I painted them
I also painted the base color of the handles. But I should have let them dry first Also.. Masking tape rips off paint… >.<
After they had dried, it’s time to wrap the handles.
Here’s what it looked like once the pieces are put back together.
Because there is an art to katana handle wrapping (later I found out it’s called tsukamaki). I decided to cheat. Normally, the diamonds come from the left over. exposed parts of the handle and everything else is covered. But because I didn’t know the proper technique to cover the handle, I laid down some satin ribbon first. to try and cover the parts that I knew i would miss.
And then, I wrapped.. in a criss cross pattern, and then I tucked the ends into the end cap. It was pretty easy in this case because the diamonds are raised. I imagine it’s much harder to do when it’s a real sword :D
Unfortunately for me, the two red swords i bought didn’t have the raised diamonds, and I also didn’t have the right kind of ribbon. So instead of researching and going out to buy the right stuff, I improvised… Which left with a white sword that looked like this:
Yessss… moving right along. (The pins were to help me stay away from the diamonds.
The last red sword was pretty simple.. after my past failure.. I decided just to wrap it plain black. In the end they ended up all looking like this.
Now, finally, just tie them together,
To be honest, I’m not too happy with how they turned out. The red sheath looks like a toy (it is :Þ ), And the white handle looks like the cat used it to sharpen it’s claws. I’m happy with the black one tho. I don’t really have time to redo the white and red ones before the party. But at least now I know for next time.
[Edit: I caved, and decided to fix up the handles at least. Check it out here]
Still waiting for my shirt to arrive….>.<