After finishing my Stormbreaker build, I was a little stuck; What to make next? Annoyingly, nothing was jumping out at me. That was until I finished my annual re-watch of the Potter films, and read the books, and watched Game of Thrones, S1-8, and started reading the books. Then it struck me…
Over the past few months, I have been working on combining two of my absolute favourite worlds; Potter and Thrones (Yes, even after Season 8…shhh!)
I didn’t realise just how long this project would take when I first set off on my journey back in June (the 24th to be exact). The project has taken me in multiple directions, and introduced me to new skills and techniques which I can carry onto further project, and in some way, I feel like I have validated myself during this project, as a maker, and, I guess, an artist(?)…
The first step for this project was to form the very basic outline of what the project would actually be, and how I’d go about doing it. What I essentially ended up with was the idea of creating wands, based on GoT characters, and their swords, aswell as creating some completely unique designs based on some of the great houses.
The wands I settled on are as follows:
- Widows Wail
- House Stark Wand
- House Targaryen Wand
- House Lannister Wand
- House Baratheon Wand
- Wildling Wand
- Night King Wand
This would give me eleven wands to design and make, including six completely unique wands.
I started off with some simple sketched designs for each wand, with a little Potter lore thrown in. Below, we have the initial designs for all of the wands listed above. Most of them remained the same, though some changed slightly or completely.
Quick FYI – This post is quite image heavy..
Some of them are a little rough, but they game me a good enough starting point to work from, and put the ideas from my head onto paper, which is always helpful.
The next step was to work out how to actually make them. 3D printing was an obvious choice, but I was concerned with the quality needed for some of the designs. Step forward the Elegoo Mars. The Mars is an incredibly affordable resin 3D printer, which was on sale for £220. After seeing a review for the printer on Uncle Jessy’s YouTube channel, I was sold. Once they were back in stock, I grabbed one.
I did a few simple test pieces to make sure it was all working, but that’s not really relative to this project, so we’ll skip over it!
Once I had settled on my designs, the next step was to create them in 3D space. I decided pretty early on that the Wildling Wand and the Night King wand would be sculpted and cast more traditionally, which left the remaining nine wands.
Below, I have uploaded a bunch of pictures and wips from various stages of design. Some of the pieces you see were scrapped, or altered. I’ll include additional notes where needed…Off you go!
The Oathkeeper pommel was my first dive into sculpting. I learnt an awful lot during this, but my workflow was a little janky to say the least, but I refined my sculpting workflow as I moved through this project…More pics!
The next wand stumped me for quite some time before I was finally happy. I originally tried to create my original sketch, but even with a resin printer, I had to consider size and scale, and I wasn’t too sure about the three dragon heads. I started off by sculpting a dragon head – still learning the ropes at this point.
So I attached the three heads onto the base I had created and, it just didn’t work the way I had envisioned it.
I then tried a similar design, but with a single head, and ended up with this…
At that moment, I was happy with it. but the more I went forward, the more I was disliking it. So, eventually, revisited the wand, and tried something new.
I also sculpted a new dragon head..
I did make a couple of adjustments to what you see above, notably the head scale, and the size of the body. I still wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I needed to move on.
With the exception of re-prints, and the subsequent tweaks to the models, that was more or less the end of the modelling the wands (in 3D space at-least).
I did do a little more modelling however. The wand stems were all modelled in Blender too. I did a smooth and rough variant. These were then all individually scaled so that they fit their respective wands. I did my best to make the connections on all of the wands universal, but due to varying heights, the stems needed to be sized vertically to fit their wands. Needle got it’s own wand design, which was a little thinner than the others..
I also modelled a couple of decorative pieces for the Night King wands box. These pieces were based on his armour.
The next step was to start printing all of these parts. I was actually printing as I went, which helped to save time. Although, almost all of the wands needed to be re-printed to fix various issues.
We’ll go back into image mode, with notes where needed. Enjoy!
My bathroom window sill provides pretty nice lighting for some of these images.
You can see in this image that I had separated the prints into ‘good‘ and ‘re-print‘. Not completely accurate, as the Oathkeeper Lion head still had a bunch of resin and IPA inside, and literally disintegrated a short time after this. You have to be extremely thorough when cleaning resin prints, and don’t let your drain hole seal up! (I only did that once, thankfully!)
Although they all printed perfectly, some of the tolerances needed to be tweaked, mainly for the gems, but also for connection points.
That was the printing done! To give some sense of scale, or – more accurately – time, I started designing the wands on the 24th June. I didn’t start printing until August 8th, and I finished printing all of the wands on 20th September!
Wand boxes are pretty simple to make, but it can be a little tedious at times. I had eleven boxes to make – one for each wand – most of them for 15″ wands, though two were slightly smaller, and one was slightly bigger.
I started off with a test box, which I carefully cut out from my 2mm thick grey board. I then used the cut out as my template for the other boxes.
I made up my test box, using contact adhesive to make a temporary connection between various edges, and then re-enforced with PVA glue.
Once I was happy with this method, and I had tested the fit of the lid and base, I could move onto the rest of the boxes. Using my template I previously made, I drew out the shapes onto my card, and then cut them out.
I then scored the fold lines, and made the folds, making sure the card was loose enough that I didn’t have to force it to bend, but also not so loose that it would break apart.
I repeated this for all of the lid and base pieces, and then applied contact adhesive to the connection points, and then re-enforced with PVA.
Once the glue had dried, I started work on the wraps. The lids would be wrapped in a leatherette, and the bases in white paper, which would later be weathered to loo old.
I started with the cover for the base. Using a large roll of standard paper, I drew a simple pattern for each of the bases. I used my original template for this, and then simply measured an additional 4cm around it’s perimeter.
This design needs no additional cuts, and simply folds over the box, forming a nice triangle at the sides. I glued it on with PVA – I wasn’t worried about it being a little bubbly.
I repeated this process for all of the boxes, and then – once dried – moved onto weathering. The weathering process was super simple. I used a brown acrylic watered down, and then dabbed it on with a large brush. The idea was to stain the paper more than paint it, and get a good, natural variation in the color.
Once the bases were done, I could move onto the lids. The lids were done in a similar fashion – using the lid template as a base, and working off of it.
I added a small additional flap to the ends of the pattern. These would fold around the side of the lid, and allow the leather flap to overlap it, forming a much cleaner covering..
PVA glue was once again used to stick everything down, and once dried, I went around and touched up the cuts with a black sharpie hide the cut marks, or any less pretty areas.
The boxes were then tested with their corresponding lids, and the corners of the bases were filed down a little to give them a little better fit, and also to add to the weathered effect.
The Wildling wand box was slightly different, and a little fun. The base was covered on a suede like fabric, and so was the inside of the lid. The lid itself was covered in a faux fur; dire wolf, obviously.
The suede like fabric was glued on with PVA, whilst the fur was glue on using contact adhesive. Both used the same templates as the others.
I also made a brown leather strap for the Wildling wand box.
Once the boxes were complete, I could move onto the foam inserts which would house the wands. The foam insert would need to be made to fit their individual wands. The process for this is quite simple, if not a little tedious.
I started by drawing an outline around all of my wands on car, and then cutting them out.
Some were a little rough, but altercations could be made when the pattern was transferred to foam.
The foam is just the basic floor mats you can get pretty cheap. I cut two blocks for each box, matching the dimensions of the inside of the base. I test fitted them all first, and adjusted if needed. I then traced the template onto the top layer of foam and cut it out.
You can see in the image below how basic it is. Additional support strips of foam were added to compensate for high differences and the general shape of the wand. These were different for each wand…
I the placed my crushed velvet material over the top, and test fitted the wand, to make sure it all still fit nicely. Once I was happy, I could stick the fabric down; I used double sided sticky tape to do so.
I repeated this process for all of the boxes, and also added some ribbons, purely for decoration.
To finish of the boxes, I did some light weathering on the lids. This was done with some brown acrylic paint, scrubbed on, and then dabbed off.
Sculpting and Casting the Wildling Wand and Night King Wand
For the Wildling wand and Night King wand, I moved away from the 3D printer, and got the clay out.
I started with the Night King wand. The handle would be sculpted, and the main wand piece would be made from clear resin.
The handle was pretty simple to model. I used an old piece of plastic as a central support, and then added clay around it, building it up to it’s rough shape.
I tried to make the wand looks a little old, and gnarly.
The wildling wand was modelled in more or less the same way. I used a piece of metal rod to support the clay, and to help keep things straight. I modelled the handle first, and then added the main wand stem.
The next step was to make some moulds. I made simple two part moulds for both.
Kinda crude, but it worked!
Wildling wand was the same process, just bigger..
Now the moulds were made, I could move onto casting. The Night King wand was very simple and came out great first time. Sometimes I like to make a ‘waste’ cast, which essentially cleans out the mould. I didn’t need to do that this time though.
Casting the wand was slightly interesting…
I used a couple of piece of wood to brace the mould, and allow it to stand on it’s end.
Everything looked ready to go, so I began to pour my resin. It was going extremely well until I thought “I must be reaching the top soon”
Oops! Straight out of the bottom. I quickly grabbed a clamp, and clamped the bottom a little tighter, being careful not to deform the mould. I still had a good amount of resin left in my cup, so continued my pour. This time, the mould filled to the top, and I nervously left it until the next day, hoping it would be complete, and not full of holes…
All that was needed on these pieces was a little clean up, and they were more or less ready for painting.
For the main part of the Night King wand, I used clear resin. I figured I’d need a metal rod through the middle to give it a little support, but I also didn’t want an obvious metal rod through my clear resin. So I disguised it as the wands core. The Night Kings wand (from my own lore) has a core of ‘Child of the forest heart string’…Nice!
Not sure about you, but I don’t much know what that looks like, so sort of just made something up. I started by adding some frayed string to my metal rod, using PVA glue as a temporary way of fixing it into place.
I then coated it in some XTC 3D and then primed it once dry.
I then gave it a red undercoat, and added some blue and purple veiny detaily things…(I dunno…) I then gave it a black wash to tone the colors down a bit, and it looked like this..
It was now ready for the clear resin. I printed a very simple shell for the wand, including a section at the bottom for the excess metal rod to fit into. I then covered the shell in baking paper and duck tape. I affixed a metal rod for some rigidity and removed the 3d printed shell. I left the block the rod slotted into.
I then poured my clear resin, and hoped for the best. The next day, I removed the tape and paper, to reveal the crystal clear…ooh
Murky pond, more than crystal clear…but it’s ok. Nothing a little sanding couldn’t fix.
Clearly, this needed to be shaped, and so that’s what I did next. It took me a while to get a shape I liked. Initially I was a little scared to commit too much, as I didn’t want to break it, as it was more or less a one shot kind of deal…
After giving it a cleanup wet sand, I then coated it in some XTC 3D, which gave it the glassy smooth finish I wanted, ans also gave it some much needed clarity. I still wasn’t 100% sure about it, but after doing a test fit with the handle, I was much happier. (Not pictured, sorry..)
Before I was ready to paint the wands, there were a few additional bits I did, which don’t really fit into any kind of category. So lets take a look at those.
I wrote a small history for each wand, combining Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Potter lore. These were then printed out and weathered to look like old parchment.
The effect was achieved with relative ease. First, I made some tea, using around six tea bags. No milk or sugar, obviously…I then scrunched the paper up, and made a few tears around the edges, and flattened it back out onto a clean baking tray.
I then poured some of the tea over the paper, using a brush to spread it around.
Excess tea was poured back into the plastic tub I was using, and it was left for around five minutes to soak. It was then lightly pressed with some kitchen roll to remove excess tea.
It was then placed in the oven, and baked until well risen, and a knife inserted into the middle came out clean…
I did this for all eleven of the wands. They were later rolled up, and placed into their respective wands box.
The next thing in this section is the handle for the Heartsbane wand. This was a little tricky for someone with no real wood working tools or capabilities, but I made do..
First thing I needed to do was drill a hole through the middle of my block of burr wood. I first tried by hand, and failed miserably, and so printed a guide for my long drill but, which would ensure a nice clean hole.
It worked! The next step was to shape it. I started off by using a dremel, but this was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. In the end, I just used a sharp blade, some sand paper, and a dream…
Once I had a shape I was happy with, I attached the metal rod to my drill and spun it around whilst sanding. It worked quite well. I wet sanded it up to 1500 grit (I think?? – Honestly don’t remember, could be making that up)
To seal it, I sprayed it with some satin clear coat, which brought out the grain, and made it much nicer.
Another small (literally) thing I did, was make the gems for the Longclaw pommel eyes. I started with some larger gems, and then cut them roughly to the size I wanted them to be. I then filed them to the desired shape. It was very finicky work, and they’re not perfect. But they are good enough!
The final part of this miscellaneous section relates to some final prep work I did. The wand stems were glued, filled (where needed) and sanded. They were also attached to their metal rods in the process. I cut all of the metal rods to their correct lengths based on the corresponding connection points on their handles. I was then – for the first time – able to see the wands ‘assembled’.
Note: This photo was taken before I made changes to the Night King wand, hence why it’s a little chunky – This thread is not in order either, incase you couldn’t tell..
With the final little things done, I was ready to start painting and finishing the wands. I don’t have as many photos as I’d have liked, mainly because I was in super focus mode throughout, and didn’t really stop to take many pictures. But there are some, and I’ll try and explain as best I can..
Painting and Finishing
All of the work previous leads up to painting and finishing. it’s the final stage, yet, oddly, one of the shortest. Painting the wands took a couple of days, with a short amount of time doing some weathering. But it’s also the most crucial.
All of the wand stems were primed with grey primer. The handles were all given a base coat of Alclad Glossy Black. The Night King box decorations were also coated in this.
Alclad paints dry super quick, and although you don’t want to be handling them for at-least 24 hours, you can and arguably should apply your Alclad finish within 30-60 minutes. I gave the pieces two good coats of the black base before moving onto their final finish.
For the silver pieces, I used Alclad Chrome. I’ve used it a few times before, but this was the first time using it with a proper airbrush. The results were far greater than I was anticipating!
For the pieces that would be gold, I used Alclad Pale Gold. I originally intended to use some rattle can gold which seemed to give good results, but this is what happened when it was sprayed on top of Alclad Gloss Black..
So I stuck with the Alclad. For Needle, I used Alclad Polished Brass. The Baratheon wand, and Heartsbane wand were left black, as they would be painted later using different paints. The Night King decoration pieces were coated in Alclad Stainless Steel, which is the same paint I used for my Stormbreaker earlier in the year.
I left these for two days before touching them, just to make sure they’d had enough time to fully cure. It’s been very wet here the past month, so drying times could have been affected.
Next I roughly masked off around the Longclaw Pomell so that it was ready to paint. I used a Valejo Ivory primer for this, which actually has a satin finish, so was perfect for what I needed.
During the ‘drying’ time for the metallic pieces, I worked on the bits that would be painted by hand.
I started with the Wildling Wand and the Night King wand handle. I took these pictures, so clearly thought they were important…
I think I was just adding some base colors, and then got too into painting, and forgot to do pictures at the different stages…
Although I don’t have any more pictures of this stage, because I’m an idiot, I’ll try and explain the general process. Essentially, I used a combination of dry brushing and applying washes. For the Night King Wand handle, I applied lots of variations of brown, and then washed it with white, and greys, and then black and dark brown. This helped achieve the dead/dying wood effect I was going for.
The Wildling wand was a very similar process, but there were less washes involved.
The Wand stems (No pictures of this – again – I’m an idiot…) were given a base color which was brushed on. I then loosly mixed various shades of browns, with different shades loaded on the brush. When painted, this then gave a very easy wood like effect, with a good variation in color. This method worked a lot better on my thicker acrylics than it did with my Valejo ones. Longclaw and Targaryen wand were painted with the airbrush using a custom mix of Valejo Model Air Dark Brown and Black.
The Heartsbane and Baratheon wand pieces were painted with some bronze and gold acrylic, along with some black dry brushing.
I started by dabbing on some bronze paint onto my gloss black base. It interacted with the paint really well, and kept a nice shine. I then dry brushed some gold acrylic onto some of the high spots. I then did some more dry brushing of black into the lower spots. I repeated this process until I was happy with the effect. I then gave the pieces a finishing coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss to seal it all in.
That was all the painting done. The metalic pieces weren’t clear coated, as I don’t think it’s really necessary, plus I didn’t want to dull the shine on the chrome pieces too much.
The other pieces were given either a matt or satin clear coat, although for some reason the matt clear coat seemed shinier than the satin..
Once all the painting was done, I was able to move onto the final stage – Gems
During the printing stage, I test fitted all of the gem slots, and re-printed if necessary. So predictably, some of the gems didn’t fit their holes. This meant that a little sanding was required. For the Widows Wail wand, I had to take a fair amount off the height of the gems, as they stuck out a little too much, and also sand around the edges, as they didn’t quite fit. I then had to re-apply the reflective backing to them so that they shined again. I used superglue and tin foil for that, and it worked pretty well.
All of the gems were applied using Gorilla Epoxy, and a lolly stick cut to a fine point.
Most of the gems fit perfectly, but were just a little fiddly.
With all of the gems done, there were only three things left to do: Final assembly, leather wrap for the handles that needed it, and some final weathering.
I waited to assemble the wands that would have some leather strapping, and so left them until I had done so. The other wands were attached to their stems using generous amount of epoxy. I did have a slight issue where I attached the wrong stem to Widows Wail, and had to take it out. The glue had just started to set, but thankfully, no damage was done, apart from a little scuff to the wood paintwork. It was quick ad easy to quickly patch it up.
For the Night King wand, I used more epoxy, and then added a fair amount over the join, and allowed it to drip a little to make it look as if frozen into place.
I had previously grabbed some scrap leather from ebay, and so rummaged around my bag for some leather to complete this project. I found enough black leather to do Longclaw and House Stark wand, aswell as some slightly purply brown leather to do Needle.
Longclaw and House Stark were pretty straight forward once I understood how the general process worked. I used superglue to stick it down. Needle was a little more complicated, as it involved a seam. It was tricky joining the two halves, but I got a half decent result in the end.
Enjoy these late night images I just took at the time of writing this, because I realised I hadn’t done so when I finished them..
For the final step of weathering, I used a black wash. I considered using some water soluble oil paint, but Alclad paint seems to absorb it for some reason, which I found out when doing my Stormbreaker prop. Sometimes I can go a little overboard with weathering, but I think I got it right this time.
And with the weathering done, the project was COMPLETE!
And that’s it – Harry Potter and the Game of Thrones is now complete! For a bunch of ‘studio’ style images, you can click this Imgur link: https://imgur.com/a/mHzoeJu