Introduction: Alita Battle Angel Props - Cosplay
I'm a huge fan of Alita comic book, anime and new movie, which come out few years ago. When my wife and myself went to see Alita Battle Angel premiere in 2019, we absolutely loved it. On the same day, when I come back home, I have decided to design the Damascus sword from the movie. In the movie, Alita was able to charge the sword with plasma, which made the sward to glow in blue. Of course, to create that effect, movie makers used CGI, but I have started to think how could I simulate similar effect using available electronics.
After few hours, I came up with the idea to use electroluminescent wire (EL wire). I made a correction to the original file, and that's how I managed to replicate the glowing Alita sward.
After few weeks when the prop was ready I have decided to carry on and make Dr Daisuke Ido weapon, which was also based on the prop from 2019 film. More details about the design and assembly you will find in next steps.
In addition, I have decided to add Alita Hunter Warrior ID and Nova glasses, as those are also props from the movie, which I have designed and 3D printed. In this instructable you will find files and instructions about how to make 4 props, all from 2019 film, 'Alita Battle Angel'.
- 5m long 2.3mm diameter blue EL wire with controller
- 3kg - 4kg PLA
- Spray paint (Silver, Black, Copper, Blue)
- Equipment wire
- Super glue (Gorilla glue)
- 4 x M3 x 20mm screw
- Insulation tape
- Microswitch 22.7 x 9.5 x 3.2mm (L*W*H)
- Double AAA battery holder
- 2 x AAA 1.5V battery
- Double sided tape
- 1mm thick A4 clear perspex
- 3D printer
- Soldering Iron
- Colour laser printer (or inkjet)
- Laser cutter (optional)
Step 1: Alita Damascus Sword Part 1
It took around 12 hours to finish the project and to make few improvements. Everything was done in Fusion 360. During the movie, Alita channels plasma into the sword, giving it a blue glow, and that was the next step to making this prop more accurate. Instead of using LEDs, as with many other glowing prints we’ve seen in the past, I have used electroluminescent wire, usually just known as “EL Wire”
It took 60 hours to complete the sword, resulting in a prop that is 100 centimetres long.
On the third picture above you can see the latest version of the CAD model, where left and right side of the blade is cut with 2cm offset, making the sword pretty strong after gluing all the parts together.
Step 2: Alita Damascus Sword Part 2
Initially, we have to hack the EL wire controller. To do this, you have to remove the electronics from the case and then solder battery wires to a new double AAA battery holder. After that, you have to install micro switch, which will be used to switch on and off the blue EL wire. The easiest way to do that is to break one of the battery wires, and solder the micro switch between them, so when it's pressed the circuit will be closed (solder to NO - normally open).
Finally, you have to either solder the push button, which is on the original pcb board, to close the circuit, or press it and use insulation tape to keep it in this position. The reason we doing this is that we want to switch it on/off with micro switch, which we soldered before (see pictures and connection diagram above).
NOTE: The push button is quite tall, therefore you might have to cut it slightly down, so it will fit inside the sword's handle.
Step 3: Dr Daisuke Ido Weapon Part 1
It took me about 30 hours to design Dr Ido weapon, and I have tried to re-create as many details as possible from movie screen shots. When it comes to printing, it's my biggest project so far, which took 130 hours to print and additional 20 hours to glue it together and paint.
NOTE: After printing all parts, glue everything together and then paint the prop. If you try to paint all parts and then glue them together, it won't bond well, as there will be a layer of paint between the parts.
Step 4: Dr Daisuke Ido Weapon Part 1
If you decide to make this weapon and do Dr Ido cosplay at Comic Con, you will need to get few more items, like leather coat, polo shirt and hat. I got my fake leather coat from eBay for less than $80 (it doesn't have to be super accurate, as long as you can find similar length and brown leather - it should look pretty good).
You can buy the hat and fake glasses on Amazon for about $20.
As you can see on the pictures above, I used sliver spray to paint entire weapon after it was glued, and then I painted details with copper, blue and black paint. In addition, you can add thick (5mm) flexible pipe or thick wire around the stem, to give it more screen accurate look.
Step 5: Alita Hunter Warrior ID Part 1
After few months from the film premiere, I was still fascinated with Alita, so I have decided to make another prop which was Hunter Warrior ID. It took me about 5 hours to design that in Fusion 360, and then couple hours to print it.
After I had recreated the graphic, which took another 5 hours in Inkscape, I was ready to put the Alita ID together.
Step 6: Alita Hunter Warrior ID Part 2
Glue two parts of Alita ID together and then paint it in silver. You can print the graphic on the laser or inkjet colour printer, and cut out with scissors.
Then you will need 1mm clear perspex, and you can either cut the same shape as printed graphic with scissors, or you can use laser cutter, if you have access to one (if you do, dxf file is attached).
I used double sided tape to glue the printed graphic onto the perspex, as glue would leave stains. After that, all you have to do is to slide the perspex with graphic into the slot in the ID case and your Alita ID is ready.
Step 7: Nova Glasses Part 1
After making few props from Alita movie, I have decided to make cosplay of one of the bad characters. Nova isn't the main antagonist in the first film, but he is definitely the main boss in charge of all bad characters.
It took me about 40 hours to design Nova glasses, as I wanted to make it as close as possible to the original, and I had only few screen shots from the film.
Step 8: Nova Glasses Part 2
Printing and assembling the glasses require a little bit of patience, as it's not the easiest model to print.
You have to use support material and brim due to more complex shape than a typical print. I recommend 5%-8% infill for the support material, and 20%-25% for the item itself. After printing, remove the support material and glue all the parts together.
NOTE: Everyone have slightly different head shape, so you can use hair dryer to warm up the plastic and then re-shape the glasses to fit your face perfectly. For more details about printing's settings please visit one of my previous Instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/Color-Instrument/
Step 9: Comic Con Time
Finally, when both Alita sword and Dr Ido weapon were ready, we went to Comic Con. It was unforgettable to be able to become Dr Ido for a day. There was a dedicated Alita stand too, where me and my wife took few pictures.
I hope you will find at least one of Alita props worth printing :)
Runner Up in the