Hello, I just registered today, even I love Japanese arts, especially swords for a long time.
All started with the movie and serie highlander, me a a friend, at this time we were teenage, bought a highlander katana, then I found a book about Japanese swords and left the highlander design for more realistic, so I started to modify the ugly spanigh stainless sword to something more decent, making my first tsuba, and fittings, then I found some Japanese stuff on fleamarket, time run, I get knifmaker for a while and changed to other stuff because of professionnal issues.
I totally left the interest for any bladed item for many years, but in 2010 I started a new interest for movie props, especially star wars lightsabers, and then, other movie related props, started to collect pictures about lightsabers, and more and more in Japanese swords from movies (kill bill came first, then, the last samurai, walking dead, heroes and...highlander)
I started with kill bill sword.
The original prop used a iaito blade ùade fro zamac, some iaito parts and a custom engraving on the blade, and saya.
It was easy to find the tsuba and menuki, as I wanted something real, but didn't want to damage and buy a real Japanese blade I bought a chinese one, with steel core and folded steel sides, and fully reshaped it, and engraved it, added "okinawa ju hattori saku" on the tang, and the lion engraving of course.
For the fuchi kashira and kojiri it was much harder, the original iaito parts are impossible to get, I bought some casts from bronze, but these were so ugly I fully sanded down the details and redone them myself, now it's closer to a real item even than the original iaito part, I did same for tsuba, and menuki.
I ordered some steel to make a new tsuba to replace the modified iaito tsuba, and I willhave to paint the sheat in black and gold, using genuine lacquer not industrial stuff with gold mylar tape like original prop.
And a few weeks ago I bought a marto highlander sword, and already made a new tsuba from brass and a new fuchi, I will make a copy of handle from ivory, and use a chinese blade for it too, I am not a great polisher, but it's possible to bring a decent finish to these chinese blades, and avoid using genuine Japanese blades for replicas.
I would make several movie swords for my collection, using geniine Japanese parts if possible, or replicating them myself if not, and using either chinese blades or tsunagi if I want to make only the fittings.
The last samura sword will be tricky, because of the 1000 monkeys tsuba and oni nanako fuchi and kashira fittings.
The highlander ivory handle will be tricky too, because the design is meant to be made from several parts if I want a historically accurate result, I checked some real ivory mountings and most of the times it's a complexe assembly, for the highlander handle it would be made from 4 parts.
And of course, my dream is to own a pair of Japanese swords, one day I will.