Introduction: How to Make a Gears of War: "Torque Bow" Prop Gun
The torque bow is a ridiculously awesome weapon from the Gears of War video game series. Apparently it's like a high tech cross bow that shoots explosive darts. It also has a gnarly blade attached to the bottom wing in the event that something gets a little too close for comfort.
My Brother-in-law wanted to attend the 2019 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in some custom made Gears of War Armor. Well, what's the point of having armor if you don't have a cool gun to use. His favorite weapon is the torque bow so he asked if i could make it. How could I turn down a challenge?! Let's get started.
Information about this build:
- The way that i built this prop involves a blow torch and aluminum brazing rods. This might be a bit more of a challenging build.
- This build also involves cutting metal
- EVA foam (i used a belt sander to take off all tread from my EVA foam pieces)
- Craft foam
- drawing paper
- hole punch
- modge lodge
- comic book cardboard
- hot glue/ contact cement
- retractable tv antenna
- canvas fabric
- heat gun
- exacto knife
- aluminum bars
- thin aluminum pipe
- PVC pipe
- Mini blowtorch
- aluminum brazing rods
- DAP silicone
Step 1: Reference Pictures
Before I ever start ANY costume or prop, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better.
Look up: 1. Actual photos of the character/prop from its source (movies, videos, action figure, etc)
2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses with the prop that you think you'd like to do.
3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc.
4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc
Optional: 5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.
Step 2: Drawing
1. I can draw so i wanted to draw out a full sized torque gun (pic 1)
2. I did not need to draw both wings, as the wings are nearly symmetrical (pic 2)
3. I scanned the entire thing into my computer and manipulated it in photoshop. I made sure to reproduce the other wing and to also scale it to size.
4. Then i printed out the entire gun in sections (pic 3 +4)
5. Cut out full sized picture (pic 5 + 6)
Step 3: Base
1. Cut off the wings, undercarriage, and the gun barrels from your paper template and set aside (pic 1)
2. Transfer the paper template to cardboard (pic 2)
3. Cut out two versions of the cardboard base (pic 3)
4. Cover opposite sides of the cardboard panels with comic cardboard (pic 4)
5. I cut several strips that were the width of my yardstick (pic 5)
6. I used these strips to create the boarders for my base (pic 6 - 7)
7. I also use the strips to create support within the inside of the gun (pic 8)
8. Cover both sides and all edges of your gun with comic cardboard (pic 9-11)
Step 4: Back Details
1. Use your template to draw in the marker where your back plates should be. (pic 1)
2. Use your template to create a plate from craft foam for both sides (pic 2)
3. I realized that the back of the gun was tapered in, so i had to cut into the gun and then reseal with cardboard (pic 3)
4. Use your template to start building the layers. Here i added an upper layer from EVA foam (pic 4)
5. Create your handle from EVA foam. You can use your exacto knife to etch in the lines and then use your heat gun to accentuate them. (pic 5)
Step 5: Undercarriage
1. I used the undercarriage template to create an plate from 2 thick EVA foam pieces (pic 1)
2. Glue the two pieces together. I then dremeled the edges down (pic 2)
3. I cut out the spaces in between the template and then cut out the grate from craft foam. Glue it in place (pic 3)
4. Glue the undercarriage into the lower area of the gun (pic 4)
Step 6: Middle Details
1. Use your paper template and transfer to EVA foam (pic 1)
2. Use your paper template to create the grate and the "A" looking piece. Look to picture for detailed explanation (pic 2)
3. Use your exacto knife and cut your details into the foam. Use your heat gun to accentuate those lines. Look to picture for detailed explanation (pic 3)
4. Glue entire side plate onto the actual gun base (pic 4)
5. Glue grate on top of side plate. I also glued a craft foam rectangle around front grate (pic 5 + 6)
Step 7: Face Details
1. Measure out the space you will want for the face plate and transfer the measurement onto a folded piece of paper. Draw in your design (pic 1)
2. Use your template to draw and out out 2 layers of from your thick EVA foam. The second layer does not need the middle section (pic 2)
3. Glue the layers together (pic 3)
4. Glue the face plate onto the front of the gun (pic 4)
5. Cut your PVC pipe to the size you will need for the little barrels (pic 5)
6. Create the tops of those little barrels using EVA foam. Used a dremel to etch in the inner circle. (pic 6)
7. Glue the tops onto the pvc pipes (pic 7)
8. Glue the mini barrels to the front (pic 8)
9. Use a strip of EVA foam and glue around the face plate. This also serves to hide the seam of the two thick EVA pieces. Create your mini details and glue in (pic 9 +10)
10. Now you can make your top fin. I used a block of thick EVA foam and then covered it with craft foam (pic 11 + 12)
11. Use your paper template and cut out the inner details (pic 13)
12. Also create your main barrel by measuring it around your thicker eva foam. The diameter should be the same size as the pipe you will use for your arrow. (pic 14)
13. Etch in your face details, add your hole punched craft foam rivets, and then glue in your main barrel (pic 15)
Step 8: Arrow
1. Measure out your arrow head. Transfer to paper and draw out your design (pic 1)
2. Cut out your design from EVA foam (pic 2)
3. cut out the inner top that will cover your PVC pipe. I used 3 layers of EVA foam and then dremeled it into the shape (pic 3)
4. Glue all the pieces together onto your PVC pipe. (pic 4)
5. Insert into the barrel (pic 5). I personally did not glue it into the gun so that i could take it out for storage and for the look of being unloaded.
Step 9: Wings
So the paper template you draw was from a side profile. However, you need to think about what the wing would look like from a face view. Use your reference pictures to design what that would look like.
1. Take your measurements and draw out the wing on paper (pic 1). The size should be the same for both top an bottom wing.
2. You should be able to use your templates to transfer all the pieces you need at this time. Detailed explanation in picture (pic 2)
3. Glue the spine into the back of the wing. remember to bend the wings a tad. The spine will help keep it in place. (pic 3)
4. use your exacto knife to etch in the detail and then accentuate them with the heat gun. Glue in your wing caps and also your blade into the bottom wing (pic 4)
5. Glue your gears together. Detailed explanation within pictures (pic 5-7).
6. I cut out the rest of the details and glued everything together. Here is a level or something made form eva foam (pic 6)
6. Glue all the pieces in their designated places. Detailed explanation within picture (pic 7)
Step 10: Current Progress
At this time. This is where you should be with your torque bow. The base and wings should be pretty much assembled. You can see how all the proportions fit together.
Step 11: Wing Joints
1, Use your template to figure out the length of your wing joint. (pic 1). Remember that this is the length of the joint WHEN it bent, NOT when it is straight.
2. Using your aluminum bar, take out little triangles from the it using your dremel. If you don't have a side, you might be able to just bend the metal. Once you take out the triangles, bend the metal into a "?" shape. (pic 2)
3. Now use your aluminum brazing rods and your mini blow torch to seal the joints that you created. This is to allow for sturdiness of the mental piece (pic 3)
4. Attach your aluminum rod to the top of this metal piece by brazing it again. (pic 4)
5. Cut the rod to the desired size. This will be inserted into the wings (pic 5)
6. I used a small piece of metal bar, a screw, a nut, and some thermoplastic to create a hinge piece. (pic 6)
7. I was able to remove some of the eva foam and glue it directly into the cardboard. I then used the screw to secure the wings in place. (pic 7)
Step 12: Antenna
1. i found an old TV antenna and dismantled it together to the antenna piece. (pic 1)
2. I divided it in half. (pic 2)
3. I glued it into a piece of cardboard and then sandwiched it in between another (pic 3 + 4)
4. I glued the squares into the top and bottom of the designated area. I rounded off the cardboard as well (pic 5)
5. Use your template to cut out EVA foam for the covering (pic 6)
6. Assemble your covering (pic 7)
7. Stick your antenna through and glue the cover onto the gun (pic 8)
8. Repeat process for the other side of the gun. Now you should have both joints and both antenna on the top and bottom of the gun (Pic 9 + 10)
Step 13: Remaining Details
1. Use your paper template to create trigger out of cardboard. (pic 1)
2. use your comic cardboard and skin the antenna. Glue it in place on the gun (pic 2)
3. You can use a PVC pipe as a skeleton for the back support of the gun . I sectioned it off, split it in half, and glued it onto the back of the gun. Then i cover the whole thing in different layers of EVA foam (pic 3)
4. I created this little piece from thick EVA foam. I glued this onto the wings. This is what the antenna poke into (pic 4)
5. That should be your FULLY ASSEMBLED TORQUE BOW!!!! (pic 5-7)
Step 14: Caulking, Sealing, and Painting
1. Once everything is built, it's time to caulk all the adjoining pieces. Basically, use the caulk to fill in any gaps, unwanted spaces, etc. Also, if you layered any foam on top of each other, you should put caulk around the edges.
2. Next task is to seal it. If it is foam, i recommend plastidip as it allows for flexibility without cracking of paint. However, if you have pieces that will not be moving, bending, or squishing, i recommend modge podge. Therefore, i covered this entire gun in modge podge since nothing was really bending.
3.Once dry, I begin with painting all my pieces black. This is because the foam and cardboard are all different colors. I think it's better to start with a uniform color, especially since the whole gun will be a dirty metal color (pic 1- 3)
4. Once all the black is painted, i spray painted all the pieces a silver color (pic 5)
5. Once that was dry, I took a watered down black and used it like a shoe polish to darken the gun to my desired dirtiness. (pic 6). Just paint it on, rub it around, and then wipe off
6. Once everything is painted, i seal with a clear coat.
7. I did not have any lights for the gun, so i just painted the gun in a way the gave the illusion that it was illuminated.
Step 15: Wrapping and Finished!!!
1.Take your strip of canvas fabric and soak it in a paint+ water mixture to get it nice and tarnished.
2. Once dry, dip the entire strip and saturate it in wood glue. Wrap around the handle, and also the metal joints of the wings. The woodglue will dry clear and will make the fabric rock hard (pic 1)
That should be it! A few things to consider:
- Depending on the metal bars you used, the joints may be fragile. Be cautious about people bumping into you as you are walking around crowded areas like conventions or crowds.
- you can always have the gun in rest mode
- you can take off the wings and the arrow for storage or transport
- Think about your poses with you gun. You may want to carry it a certain way so it does not block your costume
- Don't forget that it is a prop! The trigger will break if you are actually pulling it.
Now go kick some major Alien butt, soldier!
The Instructables for the other featured costumes/ props can be found here:
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019