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I believe the color scheme is as close to the real Minecraft sword as current LEGO colors allow. You may have noticed that I left the handle one solid color- I did this because the handle on the real sword is only shaded very slightly. Trying to match the shades in LEGO made it, in my opinion, a bit too busy. I also did this for structural reasons; the extra decoration would weaken the layer system (explained below).
Here is my 'layer system' for maximizing structural integrity. (LAYERS ARE COLORED ONLY SO YOU CAN SEE THE INDIVIDUAL BRICKS the actual version will be the correct colors). The top and bottom layers help somewhat to strengthen it, but they are mainly for decoration.
I built a version in real life with my personal collection of LEGOs. It is not colored as the final version will be, but I was able to test the strength of the sword. This version did not even have a full 'layer system' and it was still able to withstand quite a beating. The LDD concept (show above) would be even stronger. This sword could be swung hard enough to make a 'WOOSH' noise and I believe the individual pieces would have to crack before it would fall apart. You'll never have to worry about it falling apart while showing it off to your friends (and it could definitely protect you from a creeper blast!)
Here is an alternate version I made in LDD. It uses flat tiles instead of studs. Personally, I like the studded version better (I think it makes it look more LEGO-esque if you know what I mean). But let me know what you think in the comments! Please give me any feedback and tell your friends, your dog, and the rest of the world about this project! :D