This build is of Sakura’s Final Staff from the anime/manga Card Captor Sakura.
This build was one of my first few props I made when I started out. That means I was not using Sketchup at the time, I drew out the templates on some grid paper and then used my projector to project it on to my large screen to trace out. However, On my second rebuild I did use sketchup for the bottom tip of the staff. You can grab that sketchup file from here: Final Staff Tip. So in this build I will go over both processes.
With the patterns ready, I proceeded to trace them out onto insulation foam. I needed 4 cut outs of the wings and just 1 cutout for the tip. (In my version 2, the tip is replaced with a 3D print, which will be shown further down)
The next step, cut them out! The first time I cut these out I used a hotwire gun. This did do a clean cut, but the fumes it creates are extremely toxic. When I made version 2, I used a jig saw, which also did a clean cut but without fumes. I then glued them together with Liquid Nails (foam and panel).
Next, I proceeded to sand down the edges into a nice bevel. I first used some 80 grit sand paper to remove a lot of foam fast. I then used a 320 grit sand paper to smooth it out.
This next step I did not do in version 1, which lead to the wings breaking at the very thin part. For version 2, I drilled a 1/4 inch hole through to help support the weak part. I used an aluminum rod, a wood dowel would work just as well.
Next, I coated the wings. I used some string with clips to attach to the rods. In version 1 I used wood glue as a coat (which works very well). In version 2, I used a more expensive material called Smooth Cast 300 which is a liquid plastic. It is much stronger and more durable. If you are on a budget, wood glue will work, it just takes much longer to dry. For both ways I applied 4 coats with a chip brush. You can buy chip brushes in bulk for cheap at Harbor Freight.
Back to the tip. This is version 1 of the tip. I sanded down all of the edges by hand. Turned out quite well.
I then added a PVC pipe connector and surrounded that with celluclay while also attaching it to the foam tip. I also coated the tip with wood glue so that it could be smooth and paintable. Spray paint will melt insulation foam. Once the celluclay dried, I sanded that down as well.
Version 2 of the tip was handled with sketchup and a 3D printer. The sketchup file is at the top of this guide. Once designed I simply printed and had this as a result. This model was for just 1 half of the tip.
I proceeded to sand it, then sprayed it with primer + filler spray paint, sanded, filled in tiny holes with bondo putty, and finally sanded again. At this point it was perfectly smooth and ready for molding. First I created a mold box out of foam board and hot glue.
I used Oomoo 30 from Smooth On for my mold. Came out great. Though I forgot to seal the gaps at the bottom to prevent seepage, but no biggie.
Time to cast 2 copies with Smooth Cast 300! I also casted gems with Tap Plastics Clear Cast Resin. 2 copies on the left, the original on the right.
Forgot to take some pics, so some steps are missed. Basically the model has a hole at the top so that a PVC connector can slide in and be glued in. I glued both halves together with E6000. I then filled in the gaps with bondo, a final quick sand, and then painted it as you can see here.
The crescent moon. This was cut out from insulation foam. I am missing some pictures here, but I sanded both sides down (not glued yet). In version 2 I sanded just 1 side down and created a mold, similar to the tip above. In version 2 the moon ended up being made of Smooth Cast 300 instead of just foam.
I then created the star. In version 1 I created a mold from a paper star and filled it in with celluclay. I made 2 halves.
In version 2, I created a mold from a wooden star I found in a local hobby shop. Easy to find in Texas since many people want it for the “Lone Star” symbol. With that mold I used Smooth Cast 300. The following was the result from using the molds from perfected objects. I don’t have a picture of the wooden part here alone, but as you can see the plywood is a single piece containing the star and moon. This helps act as a connector to hole it all together. Before gluing the moon on, painted the parts first.
Painted the star a nice yellow.
I then added glitter right after I sprayed the start with clear gloss.
I then painted the moon gold. Where you see the tabs of tape, that was to prevent paint so that I have a clean area to glue the pieces together. It is hard to tell, but there is a slot at the “top” (bottom side in this picture) so that it can slot with the star.
Next, I needed a connector piece for the staff pipe, 2 wings, and the moon. I made it out of MDF and created a shape to fit the pieces.
I used my dremel to round out the edges. I also drilled holes in the top and the 2 sides. The 2 side holes are for the rods that are coming out of the wings so that it all connects strongly. I have a small piece of aluminum rod between the moon and this connector. The rods are then glued with JB Weld. I coated this connector with Smooth Cast 300 before painting. I actually used the smooth cast to help re-enforce the bond between all of the connectors.
The top jewel holder. In version 1 I shaped it out of insulation foam, then coated with wood glue and filled in gaps with wood filler.
The jewel holder for version 2 was designed in google sketchup and then I 3D printed it.
I don’t have any pictures, but like the staff tip, I made a mold of this piece and casted 2 copies, 1 for each side of the staff. After casting, I painted them gold. I then created the 2 red gems with Tap Plastics Clear Cast Resin. I then cut out some aluminum foil to put behind the gem to make it a bit more gem like.
And here is a shot of it all glued together. The wings were painted white and like the star, I covered with glitter after spraying it with clear gloss. I used the clear gloss like a glue for the glitter.
I seem to have not taken any pictures of the actual staff, but that part is pretty straight forward. It’s just a simple PVC pipe painted with pink spray paint.
And here is the final result, showcased by HERO-DA