A glowing sword?

Jon Taylor

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Location
Big Rapids, MI
We’re doing a production of "The Nutcracker: A Play" and the script calls for a glowing magic sword. I’d appreciate any suggestions on how to create this (on a community theater budget). The sword will be used in stage combat.

Suggestions I’ve had so far include a black light effect or glow-in-the-dark paint, but I've not had experience with either. I’ve looked on Amazon for LED swords and am finding light sabers and party favor swords. I’ve looked at some cosplay sword builds on Youtube, and that would be attainable but time consuming. I have existing swords that I can modify as needed.

Any suggestions?
 

jonliles

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Sep 8, 2008
Location
Marietta, Georgia, United States
EL Wire mounted in the desired pattern to any sword you have and a snazzy paint scheme. Pick a color. You may have to dip the lights a bit for the full effect. Quick. Easy. Relatively cheap.

That UV Cured "bond it" glue willbe your friend in mounting it.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
I once built a sword from 3/8 Lexan, used a sander to shape it, left the sanded finish then dusted it with Silver spray paint. Mounted LEDs in the hilt along with batteries and the blade glowed when the actor hit the micro-switch. It could be swung and hit but it was by no means a 'Combat ready' piece.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
So you want people to hear the swords clank and ring when being swung at each other if so you might have to forgo the fancy effects on the sword and just make believe with some lighting.

IF you are expecting something like this

You will be disappointed to hear a lot of that is in post production.

Now that all being said cause I don’t want to turn down an opportunity to concoct a glowing sword theory.

SO here we go.

I would go out and get the length of some 1/8” even 1/16” flat stock times 2. Then get the same length in 1/8” plexi or acrylic.

Cut your sword to desired look on all three piece of material.

Take the plexi part and cut from tip to tail down the center of a 1/8” or little bigger.

ELwire is nice and cheap but very finicky you will need a good solderer to do this part. I suggest talking to the guys at http://www.elwirepros.com/ about the specifics.
Last ELwire project I did was 4 costumes double sided from one source. It took months.
282EA9A1-9815-423D-A670-B38EBC1CBA06.jpeg



So after you have cut your mold for the ELwire you will have to cut your handle you might have to modify the power box that comes with the ELwire they are cheap plastic outsides and dipped in heat protective good on the inside you might have to rewrite the switch to stick out on your handle.
Making the handle is about as important as the sword itself you don’t want it to slip and fall apart so make sure it’s tight. Here’s a demo explaining it.


Maybe keep the ELwire box on the outside of the handle and tunnel in through plastic from the outside to make it easier and wrap it in whatever handle wrap you use.

Finally putting it all together.

I would melt and adhere atleast one side together. One side being metal and the plastic this will give you a way to lay in your ELwire and give it somehting to adhere to. Hot glue should work.

To complete the other side I would pin it somehow so if you need to take it apart and fix the ELwire or replace it you can.

I would suggest pinning it like you would pin the handle so it’s snug. Cause you don’t want this thing to be sliding around.

If you don’t ever want to take it apart and YOLO then adhere t to the plastic once it’s finished and Pin it as a safety measure.

Now you have a sword that glows all the way around the edges.

Furthermore you could get creative and cut on a design in the middle and cut the plexi short a bit and pound down the edges and grind it dull thus giving it the illusion that it’s coming from the middle of the sword only.



Somehting like this.

I look forward to hearing what you do for this cause this looks like a really fun project.
 
Last edited:

Jon Taylor

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Location
Big Rapids, MI
Thanks for that very thorough reply! For right now I'm going to try a wooden sword with holographic craft vinyl on the blade and a spotlight. I love your suggestions but my set project is growing larger by the day, and therefore my time is dwindling.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Well that works too. Hopefully whatever you make turns out.
 
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Jon Taylor

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Location
Big Rapids, MI
We’re doing a production of "The Nutcracker: A Play" and the script calls for a glowing magic sword. I’d appreciate any suggestions on how to create this (on a community theater budget). The sword will be used in stage combat.

Suggestions I’ve had so far include a black light effect or glow-in-the-dark paint, but I've not had experience with either. I’ve looked on Amazon for LED swords and am finding light sabers and party favor swords. I’ve looked at some cosplay sword builds on Youtube, and that would be attainable but time consuming. I have existing swords that I can modify as needed.

Any suggestions?

Hi all: as I said elsewhere I decided to go with a reflective rather than glowing sword. Here's the result:

20181023_110346.jpg
 

Chase P.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Location
San Francisco
I'm late to the party, but I wonder if one could use a metal sword, but a re-built handle with LEDs pointing up the length of the blade. Kind of the way uplights work on a column in event lighting. It would still clank and could be fight ready.

Gosh, I kind of miss doing props!