July92012

Marceline/Marshall Lee’s Axe Bass Guitar

Here’s the Axe Bass Guitar I made for my Marshall Lee cosplay. The cosplay was last minute, so the making of the guitar was even more rushed. Combined with the fact that I have never made a cosplay prop in my life, I would say say that it turned out really well.

A brief tutorial on how I made it is under the read more.

Since I’m fairly poor and was short on time (I’m talking about only having a week to do this) I didn’t worry about using items that would make it look realistic, since Adventure Time is a cartoon.

The items I used were:

- a plastic battle axe

I found this on sale for a dollar after halloween. This was used as the base for the axe, everything was built around it.

- a large science display board

This was used to create the neck of the guitar and the headstock.

- 2 sheets of thick paper board

(This was used for the body of the axe.)

-Yarn

- sand paper

- various paints

- wooden pegs

- Model Magic

- various pieces of poster paper

- A glue gun

My glue gun is my best friend at this point, it has helped me so much. If you don’t have one already I suggest getting one, it only costs around 3 dollars at Joanns and Michaels.

All of this cost less than 30 dollars.

So, I started out making a stencil for the body of the axe. In order to make each blade of the axe symmetrical, I traced out the right side of the axe, then folded it over and traced it to make the left side.

I then used the stencil to trace and cut out both sides of the axe body.

Both the axe and the stencil can be seen in the picture below:

At first I didn’t have a glue gun, so I was trying to get the back and the front of the axe body around the plastic axe and to stick together with glue, which wasn’t working.

This was also before I bought the science display board, so I was trying to use the backs of notebooks for the neck of the bass.

I strongly suggest against putting yourself through this. It will only end in frustration and tears. GO GET A GLUE GUN.

So, before hot gluing the front and back of the axe body together, I glued the poster board to the plastic axe that I had been using as a base.

This made the axe more sturdy, and made it so the plastic axe wouldn’t be gangling around freely inside the guitar.

After that I hot glued the sides together, and painted the axe body.

Like this:

This is where things get kinda complicated, and why MEASUREMENTS ARE IMPORTANT.

As you can see in the picture above, the top where the tube is and the bottom on the axe body are open.

This will not do.

If you measured both sides, front and back, of the axe body correctly, you can create a stencil from the bottom and use it for the top that has the tube,

My measurements were off, so I had to make two stencils, one for the top and one for the bottom.

You can always do this free-hand without any stencils, but it makes things hella difficult. I know cause I started out without tracing stencils and it was a mess.

But anyway…

I cut out the poster paper and used it for the top and bottom, and attached them both with hot glue. This made the body a closed off shape.

I went and painted those red as well.

After that I started on the neck of the bass. I used the science display board, and laid it down so it was completely flat.

I measured the width of the neck to be 2 and a half inches (6.35 cm). 

I measured and cut along the science display board LENGTHWISE. I cut out two of these and two others that were 1 and a half inches (3.81 cm).

The two larger panels were hot glued to the tube that was already in the axe bass because of plastic axe.

The two smaller ones were hot glued to in between the front and back panels. I then sanded the corners and edges.

As far as length/height of the neck goes, it’s really up to you. I just cut it where I thought it looked right. But take into account that the head of the guitar is going to be attached to it, so you might want to make it slightly longer than you want.

Here’s another reference photo with my really bad mspaint job:

After letting the glue dry and sanding, I painted the neck of the guitar.

The picture below explains what I did next, and oh look, I’m getting better at mspaint:

Model Magic takes a while to dry, so I suggest working on those FIRST before hot gluing the neck and yarn to the guitar.

Finally I put another piece of poster paper on top of the guitar head and strings and hot glued the edges, and left the part that meets the neck open.

Not really correct, I know, but it makes it look like the strings are connected to the guitar head.

I then painted it.

So it turned out something like this:

There are still some obvious improvements to be made, like the size of the axe body, or the fact that the guitar doesn’t have any tuning pegs.

But as far as inexpensive and last minute goes, I’m rather proud of it.

Oh, would you look at that. There goes my first tutorial ever. I hope it helped you some.

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