My friend’s daughter who I love like a little sister is a huge Overwatch fan and for her birthday I wanted to give her something special. Crysta is a Mercy main and has been fighting for her golden gun which made this the perfect prop to give her. This is my first real prop build aside from a rocket launcher I made back in high school for an Unreal Tournament party. After seeing Bill Doran’s Destiny Hand Canon I knew I could build this.
Pattern and Reference
I started off by grabbing a dozen or so reference images online. I took a side view of the gun an imported it into Inkscape (a Free Open source vector program) where I began to trace the outline. After I had the rough outline I did some searching and tired to come up with dimensions for the gun. All I could really find was Mercy’s height at 5′ 7″. I took a few different images of her holding her gun and was able to get a rough guess of 11″ long by 6″ tall. I scaled my drawings appropriately and then split out the details into layers that would represent the layered foam pieces.
After I printed the patterns I made to scale I moved on to cutting eva foam pieces. Instead of cutting everything up front I cut a few pieces to see how they fit together. The first problem I hit was trying to get the curved top of the gun and the curved barrel. I tried using a heat gun to work a curve into the top barrel piece but couldn’t get a uniform shape so I improvised with a piece of pvc drain pipe. I heat bent the lower portion of the barrel and continued to cut detail pieces. I was using floor mats as a source of eva foam which had this textured backside that I had to sand off with the belt sander. I used a 120 grit belt but I quickly realized I should try to get something finer for parts where the sanded side is visible. I went on shaping and sanding parts based on patterns until I had the whole gun body and trigger frame roughed out. Then I took measurements and cut some pieces to transition the frame into the body.
Sealing and Priming
I bent a hook into a piece of welding rod then poked it into one of the seams in the barrel plug to hang the blaster. Then I hit all the foam parts with the heat gun. I planned to seal and prime the whole prop with platidip.
Here’s a few things I learned the hard way.
- try spraying on a test piece first.
- If it’s cold or moist in the area you are spraying shake at least 1 full minute longer than what the bottle says.
- Ambient temperature and humidity can drastically affect how the plastidip goes on.
- When in doubt do lighter sprays and more coats
Not really knowing what I was doing my first coat on the gun was terrible. Plastidip is thicker than regular spray paint, so putting it on in heavy coats and in cold damp weather makes for a bad experience. I had tons of bubbles and globs on the prop. I waited a few minutes to see if things would level out but they did not. In a panic I tried to wipe off the excess with a paper towel which helped even everything out, but it left the first layer very thin. I waited for a warmer day and applied 3 more very light coats using small controlled bursts of spray instead of continuously holding down the sprayer and sweeping across the piece.
Painting and Masking
I masked off the gun to paint the black first, I figured that would be the worst color to try and hide any bleeding. Pay the extra $1 for the blue painter’s tape or even some fancy model tape. I had some of the cheaper white masking tape laying around and it bled. This is my first experience with an air brush. I had some acrylic paints left over from a craft project my friend did a few years ago. I thinned it down with water and messed around with the air gun until I got used to the spray. This cheap paint worked out nice for practice. I painted 3 or 4 coats of black just because I mixed too much paint. Next was masking off the grey, which also bled. Still using a newer roll of the white tape. I blended a a few greys and some black to get a darker color with some variations in it. Finally I masked off the white and sprayed it on. I bought metallic gold and silver.
I mixed the silver with some of the grey to town down the shine. I sprayed the mix onto some cardboard for a test but it seemed too runny. After adjusting the mix I decided to just brush the rest on. I covered all the grey with a thin coat of the new metallic and waited for it to dry. I moved on to hand painting all the little details and then painted the gold accents. After that all dried I sprayed the gun with a layer of Krylon crystal clear gloss. I applied 2 more layers of gloss for extra protection since I figured Crysta would run around playing with it. Behold the final product.
The best of the project was watching Crysta freak out when I gave her the gun. She was wrapping up a match of competitive play in Overwatch when I slid it in front of her. She was speechless at first and gave me the biggest hug. After finishing this project I’m addicted; I’ve caught the maker bug. I watched a bunch of Evan & Katelyn videos and Punished Prop Academy videos which inspired me to get out there and make something physical and tangible.