Introduction: 1st Thunderball Watchdogs Build

About: i am now a full-time 3D Artist, constantly believe i can be a better man, Just be the change you wanna see in the world, thats why i am here...

Welcome Dedsec newbies!

to win the fight againt ctOS in San Francisco, you gotta defend yourself sometimes. Here is a hands on tutorial on making your own thunderball! I was fotunated enough to be the firstone on the internet to make this replica i think, at least the first official retweeted by ubisoft during E3!! i am so thrilled and honored!! i was also the first one who photoshop the pins and print physical ones that Ubisoft retweeted!! I think i can call myself number 1 Fan hehe.

retweet here:

This is a high fidelity replica build instruction at a low budget with daily items.... I pretty much grab stuff around my craft bench and barely spend 10 usd in the process.

My thunder ball is 70+ gram in weight, when a real billiard ball weighs around 140+ gram.

We will cover modeling, painting, stickers making and knitting technique!

Wait no more and join Dedsec!

WARNING!! this is not a toy nor a weapon, this is meant to be a prop replica, be careful and responsible of your action! don't hurt yourself/others.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


  • blue and green rope (i use cotton craft rope rather than paracord, cus it look more like the original)
  • christmas ornament ball
  • document rings
  • spare key chain
  • corn starch / baby powder(optional)
  • Office Document ring


  • cutter
  • scissors
  • superglue
  • silicon glue (optional)
  • Acrylic gel medium / Mod podge

Step 2: Reference

most of this build is referencing the Marcus Holloway cosplay guide released by the dev team on the official site. you may access them here:

so our goal is to...

  1. Attach a small ring to a sphere roughly the size of an billiard ball.
  2. Paint the ball in black with 3 stickers on top, finished by splatter coat of lacquer to achieve the reflectivity in the reference.
  3. Knit a simple cord to it, and
  4. Attach a bigger ring for grip.

I have recreated the stickers in photoshop, which you can download on my deviantart page (QR code):

While you are there, feel free to drop me a fav, or +watch. Supports of all kinds are appreciated!

Also a quick promotion, Me and my girlfriend has started a small business on Shapeways, We are M.G. your friendly 3D Modeler.

This support the craft supply on more demanding projects and help us alot in becoming professional 3D artists in the future! We have many ready to go cosplay items.

if you have a new cosplay, you need to print sth in 3d, or you want custom accessories,rings etc...

You need a modeler, WE are the guy! Thank you!!

On with the thunderball...

Step 3: Ball Construction

for both budget and safety, we are Not gonna use real billiard ball!

Instead cheap plastic Christmas ornament are ideal! they come in all sizes, you can cut away excess part with hand tools! mine also split in half which is a plus!
if yours comes in a whole. you can cut your ornament ball in halves.

  1. Eyeball how much of the key chain you wanna insert into the ball.
  2. Mark down the intersection of the ring and the ball with a sharpie.
  3. Cut away holes for the ring to seat in the ball.
  4. Fill the ball with anything! You don want an empty shell. if it does, it would behave like a ping pong.
  5. Add super glue droplets to corn starch to make a paste, this is a cheap substitute of glue and putin.
  6. Glue the key chain hoop down to the ball with the superglue paste
  7. Glue the two half back into a sphere!


  1. Test fit part all the time, so you wont glue thing the wrong way by accident.
  2. I filled the balls with sillicone/rubber glue, since they give a better solid fill eliminating the pingpong effect. By pingpong effect, i mean you can tell it is a hallow shell from the feel it handles or the sound it makes on collision
  3. If there are gaps, fill them with the superglue paste as a putin, then sand away the extra!

Step 4: Painting

The painting process is very easy, it is fun for people who are starting to learn spray paint!

The principles of painting is: Sand, Prime, Paint, Clear Coat!

For any paint to stick, a slightly sanded surface is the best!

  1. Sand the surface to a matte surface, even the metallic ring.
  2. Wash and Dry the ball.
  3. Set the ball on the lid of the spray paint, this way we can paint the ball half at a time. Apply thin multiple layers.
  4. Spray Primer (Surface) on the ball. I did 2 layers half a sphere a time.
  5. Wait 15 to 20 minutes between coats. well i was photoshop-ing the stickers.
  6. Spray Black matte Paint in the same manner.

Clearcoat will have to wait after the stickers.

Step 5: Sticker Application

I did thought about the sticker idea since the beginning of the project in the limbo of my mind. This doesn't bother me at all. All i mean is, unlike painting & modeling. i wasn't sure how i would do it until the moment i did it. A a matter of safety, i waited a full 24 hour for the paint to dry before applying stickers.

The 4 key things to keep in minds are:

  • Weathering
  • Scale
  • Position
  • Orientation

I did The weathering part for you in the digital design already!

  1. Draw a rough mock up of your stickers, this help determine the Scale, Position, Orientation!! Compare it with the reference constantly! Draw new iterations until it looks right. i stick them on with blutack temporarily.
  2. Measure the rough dimensions of each sticker mock up.
  3. Frame the Mock up with thin Masking tape.
  4. Print the the stickers in your desire dimension, Or print the attached .pdf with friendly sizing.
  5. Cut them out with a nice white border.
  6. Brush a thin coat of gel medium on the BACK of the sticker.
  7. Place the stickers in the previously made frame.
  8. Smooth the sticker on the surface gently eliminating wrinkle without ripping.
  9. Brush a thin coat of Gel medium on the top of the sticker.
  10. Keep brushing the layer of gel medium non-stop, you will see the brushstroke disappear as it is drying.
  11. Seal everything with 2 coats of splattered Lacquer to achieve the gloss look in the reference.


Even with careful planning, scaling is hard to nail. Even i removed the bomb sticker with a smaller one. It proves that the Acrylic gel medium can still be clean completely with water, since the gel stick permanently on the paper, and the paper can "dissolve" with water, you can for sure clean the paint surface clean!!

Step 6: Knitting

i know paracord knitting a a big part of the maker culture! it is particularly popular among hikers and survivalist.

However, I have been refrain to try this craft, since paracord is not that accessible in Hong Kong. i do love knitting bracelet. i am learning this with some knitting background, so its not all that difficult for me. I wanna thank Paracord guild from their resource on this braiding. This is the braid i found matches the reference the best!

I do have some tips on dying the rope. Getting the perfect shade of blue in store is not easy. Dying them a little bit would be great remedy. Just pipe a bit of acrylic in some water, dilute it well. Use thin colors, cause you can dye again for darker shade. It is way harder to un-dye. just soak the rope in thoroughly, let it dry, dye again if necessary.

Also, start the knot at the rotating bit of the office document ring, so you can hide the ugly part. I used one with 1 1/4" diameter.

Step 7: Assembly!

Tie the Rope on the Ball itself!! Then you are done!!

I hope this instructable made sense to you, feel free to ask me anything you wanna know about my works... i will try my best to reply ASAP. Any suggestions are appreciated! just let me know... This is an early build i did without much reference, nut Me and my Girlfriend really love Watchdogs and ubisoft in general! I hope you picked up a few tricks along the way!

Go ahead and build your very own Thunderball... share with me i would love to know... Hope you like my instrutable, if you do pls vote.... Share it with your friends!! I enter contest with this piece... THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND SUPPORT... pls comment and give suggestion below, constructive criticism is most welcome...