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Back at the start of the year, we all had the urge to go out and fight some monsters when we saw Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton recreate the massive sword wielded by Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth. Of course, Sephiroth is just one member of the gigantic collective cast of the long-running video game franchise. With so many more iconic weapons to choose from, it was only a matter of time until craftsmen went to work on armaments from the other games in the series, and next up is a real-life version of Squall’s gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII.

The recently launched web series Man at Arms Reforged is a retooling of the program with Matt and Kerry Stagmer taking over for Swatton. Along with the rest of their team at Baltimore Knife and Sword, the Stagmer brothers create weapons for film and stage productions, plus historical reenactment groups across the U.S.

For Man at Arms Reforged, most of their recent work has been centered on designing an alternate arsenal for Marvel and DC superheroes. Due to popular demand, though, they recently went to work on making Final Fantasy VIII’s sword/revolver hybrid.

In contrast to the low-tech approach Swatton took with Sephiroth’s Masamune, Baltimore Knife and Sword starts out by creating a 3-D rendering of the finished product.

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Once that’s done, even more technology is brought to bear with a plasma cutter slicing out the blade and frame from a sheet of chromoly steel.

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That’s only the beginning of the painstaking process, though.

Squall’s blade might be far more compact than Sephiroth’s, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less complicated. For one thing, there’s an intricate engraving of the winged lion Griever that has to be added.

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It’d be a shame for all that fine, detailed work to go to waste when the sword is heat-treated, though. To protect it, the team employs something a lot less hardware-intense than the machinery used to etch the pattern, as they simply cover it with a layer of soap.

More complications come when it’s time to add the gun’s chamber, trigger, and hammer. While the team wasn’t looking to make a functioning firearm, they did want the gunblade to look as close to how it does in the game. That meant they had to craft bullets for it, and also design the various mechanisms to move, even if they won’t actually fire any rounds.

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Final Fantasy’s heroes tend to be as skilled at accessorizing as they are at swordplay. Since Squall’s gunblade has a pendant attached to the grip, also in the form of Griever, a bronze version had to be cast.

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After some additional sanding and sharpening, the wood paneling is attached to the handle, and the gunblade is complete.

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With no Cactuars or Ultima Weapons round to fight, the Stagmer brothers and their crew turn the gunblade loose on a zombie bust and a variety of supermarket produce.

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All we can say is, amazing work, and we totally want one for Halloween.

▼ Especially since it makes getting rid of your jack-o’-lantern a snap on November 1.

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Source: Kotaro 269
Screenshots: YouTube – AWE me