This series is about building Nur Ab Sal’s medallion from Indiana Jone and the fate of Atlantis ourselves. Here you can find the first article, which explains the idea. Today I will show you the first steps on my way to the actual construction of that locket.
UPDATE: The next post is not done yet but have an impression what it will look like in the end:
This is how we do it: The articles of this series are about how I created the first version of the locket. I already found things that I can improve in the second version. So when I finish this series, I will create an all-in-one-tutorial that allows you to build your Fate of Atlantis-medallion yourself without making my mistakes. Deal? 🙂
Let me briefly summarize the last article: For the medallion of Nur Ab Sal, we need four parts, which, glued together as layers, form the locket: base plate, faceplate, “nose”, “forehead”.
Since in the screenshot the medallion shines golden with a little touch of green, I decided to use brass. The 3D-printed kits you can buy online and assemble yourself are pretty, but they are made of plastic. We want the real thing, don’t we?
A few years ago, I ran a “do it yourself” blog, and it turned out to be a good idea to mentally go through the building process to know what tools you need. Of course, from time to time, you may overlook something, but in the end, you will be well prepared for your project.
I found everything I needed on eBay and it came to a total of about€ 60 Euro (~$65). I will provide you with a complete in the all-in-one-tutorial right after this series.
I was lucky that our neighbors happened to have bought a folding workbench the day before, which I was able to borrow. However, you can work on a balcony, a stairwell, or even on the floor – Better not let your wife catch you, though!
When working with metal, always keep one thing in mind: safety first. While I was sawing the parts, a bunch of saw blades tore and went flying through the air. Guess what happens when those get into your eyes. The same applies to metal splinters. Always be careful.
For the medallion, I chose brass. It’s soft enough to saw it with a fretsaw, has a suitable color and a reasonable price. I used a 2 mm thick plate for the larger parts and a 1 mm thick one for the forehead. For the spiral on the forehead (see screenshot above) I don’t have a solution yet. I might do this with a wire – I will get to that later. For now, we need:
- 2 mm thick brass plate
- 1 mm thick brass plate
A full list of materials will be provided in the all-in-one-tutorial. I have bought the plates on eBay as well, where I paid about €15 Euro (~$17).
The fun begins
This was my first time working with metal, and I didn’t know what to expect. Each part is processed the same way: Draw the outlines of the desired shape from the printed template with the velvet pile wire and the stop angle, then saw them out. Unfortunately, the saw blade jams very often. Pro tip: To keep the mood up, stay calm whenever that happens, and take a short break 🙂
I can assure you that this was one of the most annoying things I’ve ever done in my life – I wasted about 20 saw blades. I even had to go out and buy a new pack in the middle of it. Even more “fun” was cutting out the mouth and eyes. Looking back, I could still scream in frustration.
You need to drill holes in the brass (see the picture on the right) that you thread the saw blade through and reattach it to the fretsaw. So you have to hold the saw, keep the saw blade under control, and tighten the screw on the saw all at the same time. But you only have two hands. I forgot to say that you additionally have to take pictures with a DSLR.
Many times I bent the saw blade too much and it broke. Or I let go off the plate and then then the saw blade broke. On top of that, I made the mistake of sawing out the outer shape before and then cutting out the inner ones. Doing it that way is the completely wrong order since it’s tough to keep such a small piece in position while sawing at the same time.
But I have learned my lesson… or better, my lessons. I finally got the pieces done, and just needed to file the edges straight. That was more difficult than expected, too. In the past, I have often wondered why people who learn metalworking have to practice it so often.
I no longer wonder.
Anyway – Here is final the result of all my work until now. It gives you an impression of what it will look like at the end of the project. It took me a couple of days, but I think it can be done faster because sometimes, when I was on the verge of losing my patience, I preferred to call it a day – Nobody is perfect 🙂
Compared to the medallion from the game which you can see here, it’s already quite close. What do you think?
I hope you enjoyed this article. To be honest – When I look back, I can laugh about it, but while I was doing it, it was sometimes pretty upsetting, and I respect all the people that work on metal with their bare hands.