Friday, November 26, 2010

How-to Tutorial: Maka Albern from Soul Eater Scythe

Okay, this tutorial is for the girls that are cosplaying Maka Albern from Soul Eater. I was going to be her for Halloween this year; however, she never made the deadline. So, I'm going to show you how to make her scythe. For now, I don't have any step-by-step image tutorials, but I WILL create them. Don't worry. This is for those girls that are 5'5". Other size girls must get a good reference picture of Maka without her scythe and start doing some math. Alright, a way we go XD


Cardboard (big and small)
Craft Foam (big sheets: Red, Black, and White)
1/2" PVC pipe (will come in 10 ft long so be prepared)
1 1/4" PVC pipe (this will come in shorter feet, try finding the shorter feet first! It's less of a headace to deal with ^_^)
Scupty Clay (any color! You'll see -_-; )
Medium masking tape
Hot Glue gun (with hot glue sticks of course)
Metalic Silver Spray Paint
Red and Black Paint (not spray paint, regular tube paint)


Step #1: Take the 10 ft 1/2" pipe and cut it to 5 1/2 ft with PVC pipe cutters.(Tip: ALWAYS measure more than once. It won't hurt you if you measure 5 times. Just make sure that the left over pipe is 55". Mark it first just case of accidents! Once you cut, it's done! You CAN'T take it back! After marking, cut where that mark is! ) So you're practically nearly cutting the 10 ft pipe in half! After the 5 1/2" cut out, take it and set it to the side because this is your ultimate pole of the scythe. The other pipe should be 55" (If not, then try 5 ft! )

Step #2: Once you cut the 1/2" pipe to 5 1/2", take it into your work station or where ever you're creating this. Next, take the 1 1/4" PVC pipe and cut it 13". This is will be the top of the scythe. You're going to have to use some sort of electric saw that can cut PVC pipe or use the PVC pipe cutters, but you'll have to have major pressure by using your feet to add that pressure, like stepping on it, only do it slowly and a little at a time.

When the 1 1/4" is cut to 13", take a good chunk of Sculpty Clay, and stuff it into the ends of BOTH pipes. The Sculpty Clay is to prevent having any hollowness and also will provide some support for the pole and the top part. Make the ends smooth by taking some pieces of the Sculpty Clay away from the edges. In other words, don't cover up the edges of the pipes.

Next, some white craft foam and cut out 3 circles . Make sure that they are the same size as the 1/2" pipe and the 1 1/4" pipe. 1 will be for the 1/2" pipe and the other 2 will be for the 1 1/4" pipe. Make sure that they fit on both of the ends the pipes and then take the hot glue and glue them like you're gluing a cap; HOWEVER, leave the bottom of the 1 1/4" pipe and leave the top of the 1/2" pipe open! VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!

Step #3: Now, this is the precision part, so be ready! Take the 1/2" PVC pipe and place right in the middle of the bottom of the 1 1/4" PVC pipe. PUSH IT AND ADD SOME PRESSURE!!!! Not too much because the more you push, the smaller the scythe will become and we DON'T want that. This should make a nice little dint or mark inside the bottom of the 1 1/4" PVC pipe's Sculpty Clay. When this happens, it will give it a firm grip and hold on the 1/2" pole.

If by any chance that you vered the pole to the left or right and not the center, it will become top heavy and will lean over or backward when we add the blade. So, pull it out and keep trying to place in the center. Make sure that it has that firm grip and hold.

When you have a firm grip and hold, take the second 1 1/4" pipe circle, made from craft foam, cut out the shape of the 1/2" pipe end in the center, and then cut one of the sides, making a slit, to the cut out center. Once cut out, you then place it where the 1/2" pipe is and you fit the circle of the 1 1/4" pipe bottom. Then, you take the hot glue and gently take the edges of the craft foam circle and glue it to the edges of the pipe bottom. Don't worry about the slit that you created, that can be easily covered up with the masking tape. You may go on and do so now if you wish. Now the both bottoms are now sealed! ^_^

Step #4: Next, look at your reference and start measuring! Measure where the blade should be! When I looked, it seemed that the blade's edge had gaps in between, meaning that the blade itself was in the center. So, measure to about 2 3/4" to 3" to the center of the 1 1/4" pipe and mark it. This will help you for when you create the beginning edge of the blade itself, like that attachment part, persue. Once that happens, then measure the center part from mark to mark. When you have your measurements, then go to the big cardboard. Make sure that there are 2 big cardboards on top of one other because it will appear like it's an actual blade.
Here, draw the attachment part first and make sure that measurement is correct, which is pretty much a straight or a some what straight line ^^;. Afterwards, take your reference picture and copy close or exactly as possible to the shape seen (no thicker, no thinner, than what the reference shows!) Okay, the blade itself measures approximately 44" in length. So, make sure that it's 44" in length, not 12", not 24", not even 20 1/2"! It must be 44" in length. Make sure that both pieces of big cardboard are all one piece so it won't be as flimsy (it might be a little flimsy, not it won't be badly flimsy!)

Once drawn out, take either scissors or a box cutter because that works just as well, and cut out the shape of the blade. When both of the the blade shapes are cut out, make sure that they are on top of one other facing the same direction. Next, while they're still placed on top of one another. hot glue them together a section at a time on the edges. Now, since that is completed, you now have a full blade.

Step #5: Since the blade is now complete, you then turn your attention to the piece on the other side of the blade. Again, look at your reference and measure. I've measured around 8" down (in length) and at least 2 3/4" to 3" across (in width). I say this because from top to bottom, it has cruves and the very tip of each end is important, so just because it has a sharp curve, doesn't mean you should ignore the very bottom (always remember that^_^)

Once measured, draw it out on some cardboard and make sure that it appears close or exactly like the shape for the back of the blade. Draw 3 small holes in the center of and leave some gaps. Again, go by your reference picture. Like your blade, you must have 2 cardboards on top of each other so it will appear accerate. Next, cut out the shape and the holes in the center. Afterwards, also like the blade, hot glue the edges of the back piece together to each other.

Step #6: Take BOTH your blade and the back piece and use masking tape on the tops and bottoms. DO NOT TAPE THE ATTACHMENTS!!!!!!! Only tape the tops, bottoms, tips, and edges. For your back piece, also tape the inside of the holes. Also for the back piece, take white craft foam and cut 2 more of the same shape as the cardboard and make the same holes as well. Try to be neat as you possibly can! These will help you when it's time to paint. Take those 2 and hot glue them to the front and back sides of the back piece.

Now, take the back piece and place it on the center (behind where the blade itself will be) and make 2 marks. This will help show you where to hot glue the back piece.

Step #7: Now, you take your blade piece and put a good amount of hot glue where the non-tape (attachment) place is. Where the marks are located for the blade part of the scythe, you CAREFULLY place the blade in between where the marks are. In other words, it MUST be in the center of the 1 1/4" pipe! Once you place the hot glued area on the object, you CANNOT take it off! If it's there, it's there, you can't change it (that's for ANY project you do with hot glue, so always remember that too ^_^).
You do the exact same thing with the back piece and then where you marked in the back of the scythe, put a good amount of hot glue on the non-taped (attachment) side. Then carefully place in between where each mark is. In other words, it'll be in the center right behind where the blade will be. Here, for both the blade and the back piece, you take the masking tape and cover the hot glue areas so it won't show, on both the front and the back.

Step #8: Okay future Maka cosplayers, almost there! Since the scythe itself is almost completed, now it's time for the paint. What you do is first off, make sure you take this outside due to the chemicals that spray paint contains. Once you're outside away from people and pets harm's way, you take some newspapaer and cover your blade and make sure the masking tape of the blade isn't showing either, except the back piece of course^_^

Next, you take your spray paint and then go up and down the pole area and you spray the back piece completely as well. This may need 1 or 2 coats of paint. Cover the pole on both sides evenly and be careful about drips. If any drips, just sand it off and go over it again, but carefully. Let this dry over night or possibly 2 nights just to get rid of the chemical smell. If you got a little silver metalic paint on the blade, then it's okay! It's getting ready to be fixed soon^_~
Step #9: Now, it's time for the blade to be decorated. Get your red and black craft foam ready! For the triangle patterns, measure out the each triangle because there are 1 for each side, so you need 2 of each size that is listed here:
Red Triangles:

2 9 12/16"
2 5 9/16"
2 5"
2 3 5/16"
2 3 10/16"
2 2 1/2" x 3 2/16"
2 3" x 6 3/16"

Remember, there's only 1 for each side (7 for each side) and they will be facing each other back to back on both sides. To make it easier, start from the front side. For the red triangles, first make sure that you traced them on the cardboard blade in the order given and also make sure that they are just barely touching each other at the bottom ends. Then, hot glue and place them in this order:

1 9 12/16" (biggest, at where the attachment is)
1 5 9/16" (second, barely touching the first one)
1 5" (third)
1 3 5/16" (fouth)
1 3 10/16" (fifth. I know, it's strange, you'll see-_-)
1 2 1/2" x 3 2/16" (sixth. It's kinda starting to take the bottom edge of the blade's form).
1 3" x 6 3/16" (very last one. It will be the longest and make sure the longest side is towards the tip of the end of the blade).

Repeat this for the other side. These triangles will be forming the edges of the blade. Now, for the black parts, which is the top, have some tracing paper ready and start tracing where the red triangles are. Instead of using the red triangles, you're using the cardboard area for the blade. So, make sure that when you cut, that you're making the black pieces of the blade fit the edges EXACTLY like the edges of the red triangles. When that is finished, then hot glue the black pieces so it will fit each other like a puzzle. Repeat this for the back side.

Once that is complete, then you take the masking tape and whatever cut edges, which in this case is going to be the black pieces, that you tape them up, but be careful NOT to hit the red triangles. Then you take the black tube paint and go over it a couple of times and then you paint the top edge of the scythe all the way down to the tip where the black parts are. When you're done with that, then take the red tubed paint and paint the very bottom edge underneath the blade all the way down to the tip of it. Let this dry over night or for a couple of nights. Repeat this for the other side.

Because the different black colors are so obvious, you need to go over the black part of the scythe in the tubed paint so it will be even. Go over it gently and smoothly.

Now, if for some reason that you have gaps in between the red triangles and the black pieces, take the masking tape and cover them up. Take the tubed paint and cover it carefully by making the red triangle(s) with the paint. This will take time, but it's worth it.

Step #10: Alright, we're coming to the final touches. Now, look at your reference picture and study how big each section of the eye is. Remember, it has 2 (one for either side). So, you measure the distance between the top and also the bottom. Right underneath the bottom part of the blade (red triangle pattern), there's a black triangle pattern of its own. So, take a minute and study both the eye and the black triangle pattern underneath the blade.
Once you have thoroughly studied these aspects, take some more red, black, and white craft foam and start making these shapes. Again, make sure the measurements and sizes are correct. Remember to make 2 sets of eyes (one for either side). The eyes are going to be facing back to back against each other. Make sure the black triangle pattern is right where the bottom edge (where attachment is) of the blade. In other words, make it touch the edge of the bottom part of the blade. This pattern is a strip, not single pieces.

When you have 2 sets of eyes ready, make sure you have studied the measurments where the placement of each eye should be. By looking at your reference, it appears to be in the middle of where the blade is and where the back piece is on the 1 1/4" pipe. If you have to make a mark to you place better, that's fine, but try to make a very small but noticable mark so you can cover your mark with the eye. Make sure all of the eye pieces are now one complete eye. All you have to do now is carefully hot glue and place each eye on the mark you made. The mark MUST be covered by the eye. Once each eye is correctly hot glued and placed, just throughly examine it and fix anything that need touch ups.

I finally got around to doing the visual part of the tutorial. This is basically if anyone is confused by the written portion of it. It's not the best drawn out, but it still helps for reference of what you're doing. I strongly suggest you print out BOTH the visual and the written portion of the tutorial because some important information in the written portion of the tutorial is NOT in the visual portion and also it helps you to follow along as you go through step-by-step throughout the process of making your Maka Scythe. Also, print of the photo picture of the finished scythe because that's a more accurate result than the hand drawn one^^;

This alone should have roughly takin' you at least 5-6 hours, not including the painting!!! So, this was just as a job for me then it was me giving it to you. Here's mine and the reason why the pole is kind of bending is because of I kept hitting either the left or the right side when I was trying to put the 1/2" PVC pipe in the middle so it could grab a firm grip and hold. All in all, this should be what the finishing product should look like. HERE'S YOUR MAKA ALBERN FROM SOUL EATER SCYTHE!!!!!!! ENJOY!!!!!


  1. Needed pictures but good otherwise :)
    I have been gathering as many ideas as possible on how to make my own

  2. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. As we are also working with online cosplay shop.

    Cosplay Sushi