Warcraft: Gorehowl – The Axe of Grom Hellscream

Warcraft: Gorehowl – The Axe of Grom Hellscream

Gorehowl was and still is one of my favorite fantasy weapons of all time. Its just so brutal and simple, a huge ass cleaver that has slain demigods, demons, and countless enemies of its wielder. I decided to build one on a whim awhile ago, and here are the results! .. Lok’tar Ogar?

I wanted to do the OG version this time, not the Iron Horde version. So I installed WoW again and got to model ripping. After a bit of tinkering, I had the model and a solid size reference.


Yes. Good.

I scaled it up to my size, and found it should be just a little over 4′ long total for maximum choppiness.

I booted up pepakura viewer, got a solid size profile of my model and printed out a rough template for the blade.

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Then, I transferred this pattern to a 1″ thick chunk of Expanded PVC I had been lucky enough to find in the scrap bin for $10 (usually $200+ a sheet).

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I planned to make the entire back of the axe removable (with screws for reinforcement) until final sealing up, so I bandsawed off the back 2 inches of the blade for later. I created my blade lines with my template and a lot of model turning, then transferred those lines to the new blade blank.

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At this point, it was time to take the blade blank to the belt sander/orbital sander. this was the first time I had tried to sand out the blade of such a thick and solid chunk of plastic.. and it was just incredibly slow going and tiring. Eventually though.. I was able to sand out the bevels using the above tools and a dremel.

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After this was done, I mounted a wooden dowel into the blade of the axe for the handle. It was a big, fat, 1.5″ dowel rod. I traced where I wanted it in the blade, then cut a channel out of it using my bandsaw. I then used hot glue (yes) to mount the blade handle in place, then screwed it securely into the blade using the access I had created by cutting the back of the blade off. Believe me, this is a lot more sturdy then it looks. I then sanded both sides of the dowel until it was flush with the blade.

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Using the textured version of the model from earlier, I traced out the designs on the blade, cut them out and transferred them to either side of the blade for alignment later.

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I then cut this template out of 3MM Expanded PVC , after a good sanding the blanks looked like so.

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Bless the low res glory of old school Gorehowl. I glued these patterns down to the blade and hit it with a coat of primer to see what needed mroe work. Chocolate Axe.

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I did not like the blade edges roundness, or the finish on the detailing so.. back to the sanding/priming table. I got it where I wanted it (mostly) and drew on the numerous battle scars Gorehowl has acquired over its long life. Years of orcs swinging it around has been rough on the old blade.

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I then went at it with an X-Acto knife and made the damage quite real. The big chunks were cut out using a bandsaw.

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I did a test paint on the blade at this point, trying to figure out how I wanted to do the coloring for the blade. That silver enamel takes ages to dry so I hit it early, still had some issues from the tape messing with the finish but.. so far so good.

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I then started to work on the “sprine” area on the back of the axe. The newer version is very obviously a spinal shape, with bone style spikes coming out all over the place.. this older version looks much more like an orcish design from skyrim.. with blades spikes. I guestimated what it would look like as best I could and cut my design out of 1MM and 3MM XPVC. The guidelines are where I planned to bevel the edges.

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I long for the days when I will be building templates like this in Illustrator or another modelling program, but for now this will have to do. I got out my trusty Dremel and got my ass to the task of sanding out these tiny bevels.

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Turned out pretty good! Starting to look a bit like Gorehowl.

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I further tweaked the design, adding another detail layer of 1mm XPVC and got to work on the next part – the Spines. I considered sculpting these.. but whether a quirk of the old garbage 3d model, or by design, the spikes looked quick bladed to me. I decided to just build them out of XPVC  like everything else. I cut a bunch of 1″ thick chunks to shape and designed out my edges.

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Ohhh.. pretty. I took these to the Belt Sander and got to work turning triangles into spikes.

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Worked out preeeettyyy well. I sealed in the back of the axe, and figured out my placement of the spikes.

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Once these where glued in place, I used Apoxie Sculpt to fill in the gaps, build up the “lip” where the spikes seem to grow out of the axe and generally clean up and prep the back.

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Hell yeah! It was time to work on the big, fat, ugly ass counterweight on the bottom of the axe. I wanted to try running PVC on the Lathe for this so.. Using scrap chunks of that 1″ XPVC I built up a big ol chunk of the stuff to throw on my little Lathe.

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Time to make a good goddamn mess.

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Pretty clean! Using my favorite hole puncher the Forster Bit I drilled out a hole big enough to fit the dowel in there, wrapped the handle temporarily and..

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Looking a lot like Gorehowl now. After cleaning it up further, improving the wrap and finishing the paint job on the pommel.. my grim task was finally completed. This thing lives on my wall and in my heart.

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Thanks for reading!

I will be re making this axe very shortly, using all that I’ve learned since the build. I look forward to improving on this original and making something truly glorious and worthy of the name Gorehowl.

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