There are many, MANY things I love about Horizon Zero Dawn
- The world – just amazing, beautiful, surprising
- The creatures – OK robot dinosaurs was the headline, but the rest of the machine creatures are stunningly well conceived
- The story – Right from the start I wanted to know what had happened, I shared Aloy’s curiosity about the world and about herself and finally..
- Aloy – a strong, feisty sometimes a little snarky character who I enjoyed inhabiting during all of the playthroughs I’ve done.
- The gear! The weapons used in HZD are unique and provide support for any preferred gameplay – I like staying at a distance if I can so the bow is MY friend!
So, if we look at the gear Aloy has, there is one constant; her spear. It goes through various iterations during the course of both games and the one I chose to make is the Champions Spear from The Forbidden West.
The majority of this one is 3D printed and I used a model I bought online (I’ll see if I can find the link..) so it was a question of churning out the parts and then sanding them back ready for gluing together
Getting the finish I wanted meant that some pieces needed to be fixed together during the sanding and smoothing process, most notable the blade which was made of 3 elements.
The blade and the twisted center section of the spear had holes pre-formed in the model to allow the use of 2mm and 6mm carbon fibre rods to support both alignment and rigidity of those pieces and connection to the front and back body bits.
I didn’t use all of the 3D model parts as they would have been both a pain to print and also to finish and I though it’d be easier to actually make them.
The wires which run down the sides of the blade were made from 4mm aluminium armature wire and the narrow metal elements on the sides of the rear box were strips of 3mm aluminium from my stash of offcuts. These were made and fitted after the rest of the bits were put together.
The other ‘made’ bits were the 2 wires which run the length of the handle – they’re just wire the I had lying around, the bracing straps which run around the twisted centre handle are strips of 4mm EVA foam. The blue and red fabric are PVC off-cuts bought in a bundle from eBay and the cords are a combination of some cotton cording which I dyed blue and garden twine which I plaited to get the thickness I wanted.
After sanding the 3D printed pieces were primed (the grey ones) and/or coated with spray putty (the beige ones). Spray putty is my new friend as it gives a solid surface which is easy to smooth and provides great build-up over the course of a few layers.
I re-etched the detailed engravings on the blade with a fine sculpting tool and then is was all gluing.
I mostly used CA to put this together but a couple of items needed the ‘fill’ provided by 2-part epoxy. I have a couple of little bottles of CA filler (it’s like a very fine sand) which is GREAT to dust into the gaps and a drop of CA immediately locks in place.
I painted a lot of the pieces before sticking them together as it’d have been impossible to do afterwards. Most were airbrushed and I used Vallejo Steel metallic for the blade, twisted handle and back-box.
The Off-white elements were sprayed with an automotive paint called ‘Alpine White’ which I believe is a BMW colour! Even though I was going to weather everything afterwards, I knew that bright white would be too much as a base, the off-white of the spray was perfect.
The Gold was actually a Bright Brass airbrush colour and the more orange (wooden??) curved connection to the back box was hand painted with acrylics as were the bracing straps which twist around the handle.
Finally the weathering was done with a wash of raw and burnt umber acrylics over the whole piece and Process Black, Pearlescent Black and Silver on the blade and back-box which was also beaten up with a craft knife and a 1-2-3 block to keep with the ‘used’ aesthetic. (Note to self – take more pictures!)
- Amazon PLA 3D filament
- 4mm EVA Foam
- 4mm aluminium armature wire
- 3mm Aluminium sheet
- Cotton cord
- Garden twine
- Random power cables
- Pale blue and red PVC off-cuts
- CA Glue
- 2-part 5 minute epoxy glue
- Vallejo metallic airbrush paints – Steel, Bright Brass
- Motip Alpine White BMW 300 spray
- Pale blue craft (cheap) acrylic paint
- Cadmium Orange, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Process Black, Pearlescent Black, Silver acrylic paints
- XFORM-D 3D printer (my design)
- Metal files – standard and miniature
- Craft knife
- Modelling tools