Build: Dumbledore’s Wand – Fantastic Beasts 2

I love Harry Potter. It actually wasn’t until a recent rewatch of the franchise that I realised just how much.

I, like many Potter fans, have been somewhat excited about the revival of the franchise. For me though, Fantastic Beasts is what the Hobbit it to Lord of the Rings. It attempts to scratch the itch, but it’s not quite enough! Anyway…Dumbledore has a new wand! Another new wand that is; it’s quite confusing, as he was pictured with a different wand originally, but now it has changed to something entirely different, and if I say so, quite elegant.

I saw the pictures of the wand on Twitter, and thought ‘I should make this’. So…I did! Here’s how I went about it.

Modelling

To start with, I made a 3D model of the wand in Blender, my 3D application of choice. There weren’t a bunch of references, and so some of it was guesswork. Over on the RPF, we could make out some runes on the wand handle, but not very clearly, so I left them off. We have now (rather annoyingly) gotten some clear images of those runes…grrrrr!

I first started out by trying to get the rough shape correct. This took a few iterations to get right.

My first attempt, trying to understand the shape, and how the wand winds around
My second attempt, with a more accurate shape
Made it thicker, and tweaked the shape
General shape complete

It was pretty simple to model, but getting the shape right was important. It does differ slightly from the actual wand, but I was pretty happy with it overall. The next step was to do some sculpting on the wand, to make it appear less smooth, and more woody. I didn’t want to go overboard though, as the finished wand was still pretty smooth and polished.

The complete model

 

Printing

Once I had my model finished, I sent it over to my printer. The main wand was split into two pieces, with the wand handle also being separate. The Bottom half of the wand was printed at 0.06 layer height. It printed very well!

The second half of the wand was difficult to print. At first, I tried printing it normally, but it wasn’t too stable, and would wobble a lot whilst printing. I next tried printing it flat on it’s side. This worked ok, but the shape wasn’t great, and it was very rough. So what I ended up doing was going back to printing it upright, but with 3 ‘wings’ attached to the outside of the mesh, to give it support. This worked surprisingly well, although they were more difficult to remove than I had expected.

The file in Sli3er, with the support structures
You can see the constructed wand. An old test print on the top, and the final printed version at the bottom

Sanding and Finishing

The next part of the build was, as it often is, sanding! This was pretty easy to sand in all honesty. The second half of the wand, I sanded with some 60 grit sandpaper This helped knock back the lines left from it’s supports, and also to blend it back into the bottom half. The bottom half was sanded initially with a medium sanding sponge. This did a pretty good job at smoothing the general surface out. I then used some 120 grit, and sanded all the spaces the sponge couldn’t reach as best I could. I then sprayed it with some filler primer (which didn’t seem all that different to normal primer), and repeated sanding where needed. Once I was satisfied, I wet sanded all of the pieces up to 3000 grit.

Initial sanding up to 240 grit
After wet sanding up to 3000 grit

The next step was to paint the wand. I would only be painting the wooden part of the wand at this stage. The handle would be painted later. I used some Vellejo Model air Black Brown. I seem to have finally worked out how to spray acrylics from my crappy airbrush (hooray!). I sprayed several light coats onto the wand. It was a little too brown for my liking, so I mixed a few drops of black into my jar, and then sprayed a light coat over. This gave the finish I was after.

Painted wand

The final step was to spray it with some satin clear coat.

The handle

I wanted to try my hand at mould making, and I thought the wand handle would be an ideal item to test it on. I made a simple two part mould, which I could then make casts of in resin. Below is a photo summary of the mould making process.

I start with the final piece, and some cardboard. (3mm thick greyboard)
I then pack clay around roughly half of the model. (it was actually pretty wonky – oops).
Once the clay was smooth and relatively flat, I build the walls around it, and pushed some registration holes into the clay
I then poured some mould silicone over the part. I mixed waaaay to much for this
Once the silicone had cured, I carefully removed the walls, and flipped the model over, removing the clay. After some clean up, I re-build the walls, and poured silicone over this half aswell. I sprayed mould release over the first half, so that the two wouldn’t stick permanently.
Once it had cured, I carefully separated the two mould pieces, and removed the model from the mould.
My first pull wasn’t great. I mixed 10x too much resin, and it cured very fast
My second pull was much better, and I had a better idea of how much resin to use, and how to pour it. I made several good pulls

I didn’t do too much clean up on the mould I used for my final wand. Just a little sanding to remove some of the seams, and then a final wet sand up to 3000 grit to get it nice and smooth, ready for painting. There were a few imperfections on the handle, mainly some bubbles, that I should have fixed, but didn’t because I’m too impatient!

Painting the handle was relatively straight forward. I first sprayed it with some primer, and then sprayed over a layer of Alclad gloss black base. This would give it a nice smooth and shiny finish before adding the chrome. Once that had dried, I then sprayed over some Silver Hook chrome. It’s just a spray can, bur surprisingly good. I would have used some Alclad chrome, but I ran out. I let the handle dry for 24 hours. This apparently wasn’t long enough, as the next day, the paint was pretty ‘fragile’. It was dry, but it would leave dark finger prints, and would still rub off. This was probably down to me being impatient when I painted it, or a result of the colder weather, and the paint simply taking longer to dry. Either way, I had to be careful when handling it.

I wrapped some leather around the handle grip, and then attached it to the wand using some epoxy. I let it cure for 24 hours.

My genius device for keeping the wand upright whilst the glue dried

The box

The box was pretty fun to make, and adopted more techniques that were new to me. I used some 3mm greyboard for the box which I had lying around from previous projects. I used templatemaker.nl to get my box templates. Very useful website btw! Once I had my templates printed, I tacked them down to my board, and then cut some small cuts on the corner of the template. I then removed the printed paper, and used the cuts that were left behind to draw out the template pattern with a pencil. I could have just used the template to cut it all out, but I wanted a clean surface, which would have been hard had I glued down the template and the removed it later.

Once I had the shape cut out, I scored where folds were, and then folded the pieces to create the box shape. I then glued it together using PVA glue.

Once the two halves of the box were together, I sealed it with a couple of coats of PVA, inside and out. Once dried, I painted a few coats of black acrylic. I didn’t paint the outside of the lid, as this would be covered in leather.

To cover the lid in leather, I first made a template. I modified the original template for the box, adding some extra space for folds and overlap etc…

I then printed and cut out my template, and tested it on my box lid first, to make sure it fit. Once I had confirmed it all fit nicely, I placed it over the back of a piece of leather. I then drew around the outline of corners, and the joined everything up, using a ruler and pencil. I then cut out the pattern.

I then layered the top of the box lid with some PVA glue, and careful placed it in the center of the pattern.

It stuck pretty well with PVA, so I was able to do the other side with relative ease. I started with the end pieces, as these would overlap slightly onto the sides. I then folded up the sides, and allowed it all to dry completely before folding the tops in. Folding over the top was a little more tricky, as It didn’t want to stick straight down, and wanted to flick back up. So I did each side individually, and used some clamps and tape to keep everything in place whilst the glue dried.

The final step for the box, was to make an insert for the wand to sit in. I made this using some foam mat, making sure that the wand sat in there nice and snug. I started, once again, with a template. I then applied that onto some foam, and cut it out. After some more cutting and sticking (using PVA again), I was left with this.

It was a little tatty, but that didn’t really matter, as the next step was to cover it with some velvet. This was pretty straight forward. I put some PVA glue over the top of the foam, and made sure to get it into the various channels I had cut for the wand to fit into. Once the glue was a little tacky, I pressed the fabric over the top, and allowed it to dry.

The final step was to glue the foam pad into the bottom of the box, and add some ribbons to the side, which would cover the wand. And that was it. My Dumbledore wand project (that I never intended to make) was…DONE!

FINISHED PIECE