Tuesday, November 26, 2013


A year ago, I saw the trailer for RWBY, fell in love, and vowed to make a working, movable scythe. One year later, after months of not working on this, and going back between idea after idea of how to start and what to do, consulting with friends, getting cold and hot feet and becoming busy with work and life in general, I finally got around to starting!


I just wanted to update on what I've made so far, and where everything is headed in the next few weeks/months. Keep in mind this is all still in the prototyping stage (as you'll read), and there's still a bit of figuring out all the various mechanisms that needs to happen. It's getting exciting though! :D

Messy workspace omg!

Here's what I've done so far:

Here's a video of the blade sprung extension in action:

(Excuse my giggle at the very end.)

Eventually, the blade actions will be triggered from one motion, biased to open. And as of right now, I still have yet to figure out a closing mechanism I like, so that'll be manual until version 2+. Plus, all the prototyping material will be replaced with nicer cut metal/wood/other, and there will be the right sized bolts and nuts, etc etc etc. But the ball has been tipped over the hill now, and it won't stop rolling, hehe- :D


This scythe prop won't be as entirely as close in likeness to the one Red holds in RWBY - there are some pretty magical parts that I don't think I'll be able to implement in this first version. (I swear the size and length of the thing changes in some scenes as well, and the gif shows parts of it extending magically.) And granted, it all looks great transforming-wise in a cinematic sense, but the trouble comes when you have to physically make the thing that will fold up in that sort of space constraints and unfold according to a sequence of well-timed triggers. NOT TO MENTION- leaving room for all the connections and fasteners--

DESPITE ALL THIS- I''ll be trying to make this come as close as possible to the one shown in the series! Meaning, I'm trying to keep the main motion sequences the same - the blade extending and unfolding, how everything packs and unfolds together. And though I'm planning an electrically driven scythe for a later version, I want this first prop version to be entirely mechanically driven. I already knew from the get-go that this was going to be a tough project, but it's definitely going to be a worthwhile project. Thank you, Charles, for allowing me use of the lab equipment, as well as your support and knowledgeable advice whenever I consulted you!

Keep in mind, there are a million and one ways someone else could build this thing, of various degrees of complexity and likeness, but this is how I would build the scythe. With that in mind, LET'S GO~!


Here's a rough list of the materials I used, so far:
-PVC pipes, as close to nesting as possible (will be swapped out with intentionally nested pipes later)
-MDF boards
-long threaded rod and matching nuts (for cutting to desired length and
-various shop equipment (drill press, mill, dremel)
-SAFETY EQUIPMENT (goggles, hair tied back and up, etc - Make sure to follow standard shop procedures, guys!)

Cutting a threaded rod- I MADE SPARKS FLY!

Paperclip quick release buttons
(Before I actually bought some)

The quick release buttons were used on these tubes
for this prototype.

Laser cutting some MDF boards for a quick frame.

First time seeing the two tubes together!

Guess what this is!
(Answer: Torsion spring used as the main mechanism driving the blade unfolding)
(Yes, it's actually an intentionally reshaped torsion spring)
(Yes, I'll use a bigger one next version :P )

You can see it peeking out from in-between the boards.

( ・◇・)?

Overall, I'm really excited about building this, despite the fails and lessons I've gone through with this project so far (and there will be oh so many more trust me!). Next time, I plan to iron out the blade's 3-part action and add some colored covers to help visualize this scythe better.



And on that note, I will end this post. Amidst fails and do-overs, this thing will happen! I plan to make this as a prop for a RWBY cosplay, so I'll have to make this pretty tame for convention standards, but I'm thinking about going out and making an all metal one for my own sake later on, after I've figured out the little kinks of my design. I'll update again after I do some more work~


  1. I loved RWBY too. Excellent work! Great start, and great page!. Knock em dead, break a leg, a toast to your health, etc. I know you will do well.

  2. Omg this is amazing! I'm trying to figure out the mechanics of Crescent Rose but I'm very limited in my knowledge of doing something like this. I can't wait to see more progress!