After reading Frank Miller’s “300”, I became interested in the ancient Spartans. I based my pattern on actual spartan swords from museum collections, not the horrible movie.

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I cut out three 3mm sheets of plastic based on two photos of actual swords. Clamping them together, they still had too much flex. I got a piece of flat 3mm steel (3/4″ wide) and cut out a channel in the inner layers.

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I added two more shaped layers to build up what was described in my research as a “diamond profile”. On retrospect, I should have used full blade width layers as the shaped ones caused gaps that had to be puttied later.

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I used the long blade from my Swiss Army knife to shave a blade edge on the sword. Hold the knife’s edge PERPENDICULAR to the surface of the plastic and you can shave the plastic into shape. This also works as a alternative to rough sanding.

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Next comes the boring part where you fill all holes and imperfections with model putty. Be prepared to apply multiple coats and spend some time sanding.

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The pommel was constructed by cutting elliptical disks of different sizes with a rectangular hole. The “cap” I made separately to make it easier to get a file into the hole.

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The hand guard was constructed as a box which fit over cross members that were cut as part of the sword body.

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The grips were cut out of 1/4″ walnut and Dremel sanded to shape. Note the tabs at either end to tuck into the pommel and hand guard. I then used some stain to bring out the grain and seal the wood.

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After painting, all the pieces were glued on completing my Spartan Hoplite Xiphos!

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The final sword.

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