This amazingly detailed frostsaber was created by art student Brittany Zerkle
, who's been making plush toys since she was a kid -- and, more recently, selling them on her Etsy shop
. But this handmade version of the Swift Frostsaber
-- 14 inches long from nose to tail and 5 inches tall at the shoulders -- was definitely a labor of love. Zerkle started working on it last July, drawing sketches and making some of the small parts, but put the project on hold because she didn't feel she had the skill to pull it off.
When she picked up the frostsaber project again, she says it took three days to complete. "Which means from the moment I woke up until it was time for bed, I was working on it and only taking a break to eat, go to the bathroom, and wait for paint to dry," she explains. "The last night, I pulled an all nighter out of excitement, finished it, and photographed it. Then I crashed and slept about 12 hours."
We've had gaming binges like that before, but can't say that the results were nearly as nice. Read on for more photos and an in-depth look at how this craft cat came into being!
The frostsaber is a combination of sculpted pieces and plush parts: the head and paws are sculpted and attached to a wire armature, which makes the final product somewhat posable (as you can see in the photo above). Once the sculpted parts were baked and painted, Zerkle made the body out of quilt batting, which she sewed around the armature and stuffed. Then came the fur, which had to be trimmed -- it started out three times the length -- using a comb and scissors for just the right level of fluff.
The last step was attaching the armor, which Zerkle had sculpted when she made the head and paws. "I originally wanted to attach them like the WoW
model shows," she says, "but that was actually impossible, the shoulder armor wouldn't stay in place." In the finished product -- in which all of the armor save the headpiece is removable -- the shoulder armor attaches to the saddle with a snap.
"There was a lot of first times for me," Zerkle says. "I had no idea how to make and attach the armor, for example. I've never sculpted a feline face before and I have never used flocking to give sculpture a fuzzy texture. " However, we can safely say that the finished product looks fantastic.
For a look at what she's working on now, see Zerkle's DeviantArt page
or check out her crafts for sale (including this Frostsaber
) on her Etsy shop