Skyrim Nordic Dagger

Thanks to people like Volpin Props and Punished Props (Among many, many others. Thank you based YouTube), I’ve been interested in costume and prop making again. It’s a bit different from the toys and models I typically post about, but there is quite a bit of overlap. Surprisingly so, actually. Every year I go to C2E2 and photograph the costumes and it’s always such a fun experience, and it leaves me wanting to attempt a photoshoot in a non-convention environment. While I get on setting that up (it’s a lot of work!), I thought “why not try and build a prop yourself?” Which leads me to Impact Props and their Nordic Dagger kit from Skyrim. You can buy a finished kit that’s painted and ready to go right out of the box, but pfffft, come on. I paint models and toys all the time! How hard can it be to paint a plastic knife, am I right guys?

One raw cast delivery later…
Nordic Dagger 1
So that’s one dagger, straight from the mold, two leather straps, and some fur for the handle. Awesome! Let’s take a closer look.

Nordic Dagger 2
Nordic Dagger 3
You can see the mold lines that aren’t a problem to clean, the tiny bubbles left over where the resin hardened before the air could fully escape, and the big pour spout. It may look daunting, but, honestly, this was maybe half an hour’s worth of work to clean. I took a scraping tool and used it to smooth out all of the mold lines. No trouble at all. Then I grabbed an exacto knife and cut away all the little air bubbles; just a little pressure and they popped right out. The pour spout was ground down with my dremel in… seconds? (always wear safety gear, kids!) Finally, I went over the whole dagger with a fine sanding sponge and then again with super fine.
One thing I didn’t realize until too late was that the dagger was actually cast with aluminum powder, so that by sanding it, I was actually revealing the shiny metallic color. I say I realized it too late because, well…

Nordic Dagger 4
I covered it in spray primer so that my paint would have something to stick to.

Nordic Dagger 5
These Testors Metallizer paints came highly recommended and I can see why. They have beautiful color and they’re polishable to an amazing shine! They look just like real metal. Or they would had disaster not struck. After applying the paints with my airbrush, I went to put on a satin varnish to protect them. Unfortunately, something in the varnish didn’t like the lacquer in the Metallizer and the varnish beaded up into tiny puddles! Once the varnish beads had dried, it was back to the sandpaper to smooth it all out and start over. This time with just acrylics.

Nordic Dagger 6
Acrylics I can handle. This time I airbrushed, drybrushed, and sponged the different shades on to simulate a rough, hammered texture. Ok, so it was mostly to hide spots where I couldn’t quite get the bad varnish job off.

Nordic Dagger 7
In Skyrim, this dagger has recessed areas that are a different color than the rest of the blade. It’s still metal, but it’s more a dull brown than copper or gold. I’ve seen people just paint it brown, paint it gold, fill it in with black, or even as rust. I decided to go down the rust path by stippling the two colors together, dragging pools of paint together so they overlap and blend. I’m just a fan of the contrast between these colors and the dark silver on the rest of the dagger.

Nordic Dagger 8
The (mostly) finished Nordic dagger! I glued down the fur and, while that was drying, I sanded the leather strap to make it look old and worn. Then I just wrapped and glued it! There was one final step that I didn’t get a picture of, because I am a professional photographer and that’s how this always seems to work. All I did was put a wash of very watered down brown paint over the leather to get it looking dirty and used.

Nordic Dagger 9
Viola! And there you have it. One completed Skyrim Nordic Dagger from start to finish. I’m so happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to try my hand at another one!

Be good,

base damage of 8, 3.5 encumbrance, and worth 115 septims

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