So now that the blog is set up, let’s get started.

The Plan

Since it’s hard to get a lot of angles from photos of primary sources, I will be looking to replicas to get some measurements and photos of different angles.

The general idea I’ll be going for is to get a total measurement for a rapier. This should give me a sense of scale, and using some math I should be able to get some measurements and figures to work off of to create in SketchUp.

The Plan in Action

Since they are the simplest, I plan to start with a Spanish style cup hilt rapier.

As mentioned previously, there are only two pictures of this particular piece, so I went searching for a replica that is made for sale. I found this site in particular: Looking at the Spanish Cup Hilt Rapier we find some measurements: 48″ overall and 42″ blade length, giving 6″ for the hilt. This seems a bit small, and looking at the photos we can see why. The blade continues through the cup, so we’ll need to figure out that distance as well. We have a 12″ width, so we know how long to make the cross guard.

I loaded up the image showing the full length in Photoshop and got out the ruler tool and made some measurements.

Length in Photoshop Length in Inches Conversion Ratio
Total Length 1400 48 29.17
Handle Length 151 6 25.17

Since the perspective changes in the photo, the conversion ratios differ. To get a decent estimate for it, I averaged the two to get a value of 27.17. I measured out the full hilt in Photoshop with a measurement of 237, and applying this ratio, that gives us a total length of 8.8″.

Using the same methodology we get a measurement of a height of about 2.8″ for the cup height, and we can use that as the radius to get a total width of about 5.6″.

So far the methodology seems to be working well so far. Using these measurements, the first part has been made: The cup itself.

SketchUp Screenshot


I hope to continue to use a similar method for the rest of the hilts I will be working on.