Dunking fools? Yes please. Heres a fun little side project I did for Riot. You can see the axe leaning against the wall in this cool video they made (All Chat). It may also serve another, more mysterious purpose sometime in the future. OOOOOooooOoOoOoo.
In any case, here it is! The Dunkmaster Darius Battleaxe.
First things first, I decided on a size (6’4″) and scaled the head to match, transferring this to paper as a template. I got this image from the Texture file, ripped directly from the game files.
After cutting the shape out, I transferred it to 3/8ths inch Expanded PVC and cut a pair of them out for the main body. Due to its size, it simply had to be hollow.
After cutting these sections out, I sandwiched a number of insulation foam sheet chunks in-between the two halves to give it some sturdiness and stability, as-well as an even level throughout. It worked pretty well! This is standard 1.5″ insulation foam, giving it a roughly 2″ thickness with the PVC sheets on top of it.
Next up, I sealed it all together with very long strips of 2mm PVC, including the inner decapitation area. This whole process was very clean and the only sanding required really was on the damaged area and gap filling with some Apoxie sculpt and filler primer.
All said and done, the base of the head weighed a whopping 2 pounds and was a little over 2.5′ across. Time to move on to the pole! Enter everyone’s favorite tool – the home depot plumbing section!
I decided to use 2.5″ and 4″ ABS tubing, because it fit the size I needed, was the color I wanted, and was fairly rigid and didnt flex all that much. After buying a length of tubing, some fittings and a few end bits I got to work assembling it.
Tada! It probably took 5 minutes to get these bases together. The end cap I got fit snugly into the 4″ pipe, and had a circle directly centered in it that I aligned the smaller tube up with. This gave me a perfectly centered mount to slide the other pipe into and not have to worry at all about it being off. This saved me so much time and headache. God I hate centering circles.
A couple marks and a lot of bondoing later.. and I have a serviceable mount point for the “torn off” part of the hoop …stand. Now I just have to sand it for jesus, then make it look like its been ripped out of the ground by the Hand of Noxus. Enter my old friend the skill saw.
I did all of this in one sitting and forgot to take pictures, sorry. I traced some break lines where I thought they should go, then simply ran the skill saw over them so the ABS was shredded like string cheese. I then took my trusty old heat gun and bent the ends out as if they had been torn from their earthly bonds by some tremendous angry noxian force. After this, I added additional cracks, gouges, seams and beveled every edge with my exacto-knife, giving it some life. The last part was the most important, as that extra detail really made it believable(in my opinion). After a thorough sanding to remove the gloss of the abs it was ready for paint. On to the backboard!
Now that everything is pretty.. lets cut it up!
More pictures I forgot to take (can you tell I was extremely rushed?), but I traced and cut the locations of all the gashes and scratches in the model into the original paper template for both sides, then traced them in place on the actual prop so all my detailing would be exactly in the right spots and the right size, then I sat down with some music and cut deep and lasting gouges into my prop. I did all of this with a simple exacto knife, cutting through the thin PVC where I needed to, and building the valleys back up with Apoxie sculpt to fill the gaps. This was a long but satisfying process, and it turned out pretty well. Looks like Darius let Rengar at this thing.
Nothing like a bit of filler primer to make things pop. This was the last step before the painting began, it was filler primed and sanded very smooth. This was to finish hiding any seams at the edges, aswell as any frayed bits inside the gouges.
A couple coats of brilliant white, and a CHERRY APPLE RED square apears! Centering this square, then making it were actually quite a pain in the ass, but it was just a blue painters taped off area. I measured out the red edges and traced it on from the paper cutout I had earlier. Endlessly useful those things. After that.. It was time to lay down the garish red. The red I used is Rustoleums American Accents Gloss Apple Red, crazy bright stuff.
After a lot of tape, and a number of sacrificial paper towels…
Bam. Its a basketball hoop. I was getting pretty close to my deadline at this point, as this was one of the fastest projects I’ve done to date, so the rest of it is more or less a blur with very little documentation.. but
The baxeboard is attached to the ABS handle by inset screws inside the tube that screw into a thick piece of PVC set inside the actual head of the axe. There is also hidden apoxie sculpt giving the area it meets a bit more umph. I then used thee same 3/8ths pvc and a heat gun to create these straps, painted them silver and dusted them with black until you could barely tell. These were glued onto the tube, glued to the axe head and then, finally, screwed in place. It is surprisingly sturdy, and could be swung around pretty safely.I used acrylic black in the gouges, giving them a bit more depth. Then dusted the whole prop very heavily with a matte black spray paint. This gave it the dirty look I wanted. After doing this a few times with some browns and other bits, I sealed it all in with a matte clearcoat.
I have no pictures at ALL of the hoop parts construction, but I built the box it would mount to out of 2mm PVC, then glued a number of chunks of half inch PVC blocks inside it to sturdy it up a lot, and give me a spot to mount the hoop into. I really wanted to hoop removable, for some reason. I bought a pair of 12″ diameter brass rings (amazon) and then cut out two thin strips of 2mm PVC, using the rings to create lined hoops out of the strips. There is a combination of superglue and dreams holding those rings to the PVC. After this was done and painted (same red and dusting as the rest), I mounted it to the backboard with two 4″ bolts that screw all the way into the meat of the backboard. Its not sturdy enough to actually dunk, but it worked pretty damn well. The hoop can be removed by simply removing the bolts.
Next up, the BLOOD AND GORE. This was done the night before I had to deliver the finished prop (TIGHT TIMETABLE YO), at 3AM and there are no pictures. This is a process I wish I had photographed, as it was my first attempt at making and painting blood, and I learned alot. I made up a batch of “blood” using Red paint, a combination of dark red dyes, elmers glue, a little green, and a lot of trial and error. There are a lot of scraps covered in blood laying around my shop. The process of making FX blood paint is out there online, but the most important part of it for me was the elmers glue, it added that thickness I wanted and enabled me to layer the blood a bit for a more gory effect. I would have spent a ton of time on this testing before actually going for it, but since I was delivering the prop in 6 hours.. I had to commit and just do it. After finishing this I delivered it in the morning, but snapped a few pictures in the parking garage before handing it off to its new owners (Riot).
Hope you enjoy, this was a fun project!
Next up, Trundles Ice Mace!