How to Make Overwatch: "Snow Owl Ana" Costume

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I'm a kid in a candy store when it comes to creating things. I love learning different versions o...

In the video game Overwatch, there are a multitude of characters including a girl named Ana. You can choose outfits for your characters and apparently this is an outfit is entitled "Snow Owl"

For C2E2 2018, I had met a fellow cosplayer through a mutual friend who was interested in learning how to build props for his Snow Owl Ana Overwatch costume. I was told that his skills were more in sewing and that he did not really have a lot of armor/ foam fabricating experience. At this time, I had a few costumes that needed more sewing (which is a task that is more frustrating than enjoyable for me). We decided to swap services so that I would build his armor and he would sew my cloth materials together. His work is illustrated in the jacket and boots of the Batman Who Laughs suit, the tunic, shorts, and booties of the Evil Robin suit, as well as the pants for the Skurge the Executioner suit. Thank you again, Mathew!

For this build, Matthew made all his clothing from scratch, so i don't have the blue prints for any of those things. However, I can show you how I built all the armor pieces, including the rifle. Shall we get started?

Materials

- Cardboard

-hot glue

-exacto knives

-cutting mat

-heat gun

-superglue

-pvc pipe

- pvc adapters

-ruler

-measuring tape

-belt sander

-EVA foal (Thick)

-Roll of EVA foam

-Craft Foam

-Grey Gym Shoes

-Dremel

-E6000 permanent craft glue

-Scratch Paper

- Sharpies

-Feathers

-plastidip

- Modge Podge

-elastic

-soldering iron

-black clips

-metal rings

-aviator sunglass lenses

-comic book cardboard

- white/tan fabric

-teal colored plastic circles

- Metal buckles/ clasps

Step 1: Reference Photos

Before I ever start ANY costume, 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 from its source (movies, comics, 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 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. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, 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: Feet

1. Grab your grey gym shoes and take off anything that is unneeded, straps, buttons, etc. When you are looking for shoes, the goal is to find something that you will have to minimally alter.

2. Measure out your size of the top plate that will be placed on your shoe. Get the width and length using your tape measure.

3. Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after.

4. repeat this process for all of the paper templates that will be attached to the shoe.

5. Transfer all paper templates onto EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the back tread using your belt sander.

6.To create the front grooves of the shoe armor, i used a soldering iron and burned them in.

7. To attach the foam to the shoe, u used E6000 glue and held them in place to dry with some rubber bands. I let them sit overnight for the glue to dry.

8. I used the same process to create little foam rings that would be glued onto the

9. For the actual claws, i sketched out a paper template and then transferred it to the thick EVA foam. I sanded the tread off the back and then used my sanding belt and dremel to create the angles.

10. I inserted the claws into the circles and attached them using hot glue.

Step 3: Knees and Shins

Shins

1. Measure out the front plate of the shin armor onto your actual shin. Get the width and length using your tape measure.

2. Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after.

3. Transfer all paper templates onto EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the back tread using your belt sander.

4. To create the fold in the foam, use a soldering iron to create groove in the back, Fill with hot glue. Pic 1 shoes an example of the process, however, it is not from this specific build.

5. Use your soldering iron to create any grooves in the armor.

6. For the back of the shin armor, take your shin piece and a large scratch piece of paper. Wrap the paper around your calf, and place your shin armor in the front. Use the paper to draw in the dimensions of the template that you need.

7. take off your paper template, draw in any more details needed, and then cut out of EVA foam.

8. Glue the shin in place with the calf piece, so you have a tube to slip your foot into.

9. Once you have your calve "tube", you can start adding your details (pic 2 +3). to add in the lines, i used my exacto knife to cut into the foam (but not fully through). Use your heat gun to expand your line, thus giving you a defined slit.

Knee

1. . Measure out the front plate of your knee. Get the width and length using your tape measure.

2. Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after. (pic 4)

3. Transfer all paper templates onto EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the back tread using your belt sander.

4. The knee is made of 3 layers: a base, a face. and a nose.

5. Once you get the base created, Use a deep bowl, heat the foam with your heating gun and push it into the bowl to have it concave. (Pic 6)

Step 4: Chest

1. Measure out your chest. Get the width and length using your tape measure.

2. Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after.

3. Transfer all paper templates onto EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the back tread using your belt sander.

4. To create the fold in the foam, use a soldering iron to create groove in the back, Fill with hot glue.

5. to add in the lines, i used my exacto knife to cut into the foam (but not fully through). Use your heat gun to expand your line, thus giving you a defined slit.

6. In the center of the chest piece, i cut out the little space and added foam to the back side, thus giving it two layers.

Step 5: Belt

1. 1. Measure out your waist line. Get the width and length using your tape measure. I usually make my belts about 1-1.5 inches tall. Don't forget that that "buckle" is a little larger.

2. Do this also for the buckle. Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after.

3. Transfer all paper templates onto EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the back tread using your belt sander.

4. The belt is made of 4 parts. Thin EVA foam for the belt, Thin EVA foam for the cheeks, thin EVA foam for the under layer of the brows/ nose. 1 more top layer of Thick EVA foam for the brows and nose. I used a dremel to sand down the pieces to get them into the shape i wanted.

Step 6: Mask

1. Measure your face using your measuring tape to get the width and heigh.

2. Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after.

3. You can chop the paper mask template in portions so that you know how to draw it onto your foam.

4. Transfer all paper templates onto EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the back tread using your belt sander.

5. I used a soldering iron on the back of the mask to create grooves. Fill the grooves with glue to create bends. ( Pic 2)

6. The forehead is a layer of foam that i glued underneath. the main face

7. I used 4 layers for the face:Forehead, main face, top layer of face, Nose

8. The nose was made from thicker EVA foam that was dremeled into shape.

9. Ears were made from craft foam. The base of the ears was EVA foam, and then glued in place using hot glue.

10. Eyes were random plastic teal circles.

11. Grooves were etched in using soldering iron. Circles were dremeled in.

Step 7: Hood

Mathew created a separate hood for the costume which was then lined with tons of feathers.

Step 8: Backpack

1. Mathew already created the bag for this.

2. Using the existing bag as a template for size, Transfer the measurement onto your scratch paper and cut it out so you have your rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half vertically and draw in your design on half of the paper. At this stage, i draw in as many details as possible. One finished, you cut it out the folded template, open it up, and the paper design will be symmetrical. This is now your paper template base. You will add on all the other details after.

3. I use the template to draw on 2 thick pieces of EVA foam (pic 1)

4. On one of those pieces, i draw in all the details using my paper template (pic 2)

5. The bag emblem is essentially 3 layers: Base, eyes/mouth + nose, and then top layer for a nose.

6. Glue all those pieces on top of the base. For the nose i used a dremel to get the shape.

7. The legs/ feet are made of two layers: base and top claws. i used a dremel to carve in the shape for the claws.

8. ONLY GLUE IN THE BASE LAYER FOR THE FEET TO THE FOAM OWL AT THIS STAGE> DO NO GLUE IN THE TOP CLAWS.

9. I used some craft foam to add some extra accent layers around the ears and legs. (pic 3)

10. Set aside. Do NOT glue onto backpack until end of build

Step 9: Knife

For a more detailed explanation of building a knife, look at my Boba Fett tutorial. We had to create 2 knives using this exact process.

1. Draw on a full scale picture of your knife.

2. Using your template, cut out 3 cardboard pieces of your knife. 1 is the FULL shape of the knife, and 2 cardboard shapes will be missing the blade part of the knife. (pic 2)

3. use your paper template as your guide and cut out the blade of your template from comic book cardboard. You will need two for either side. Glue in the comic cardboard onto the blade of your cardboard knife.

5. Glue comic cardboard onto the handle of the knife.

6. Now this is the tedious part.. Take your hot glue gun and start creating the blade of the knife. Slather the edge of the cardboard knife with hot glue and use the tip of the glue gun to spread the hot glue along the end of the knife. (pic 3)

5. once you have the basic shape of the edge, you will take strips of the comic cardboard and use it like sandpaper on the hot glue blade to get it smooth. This is a process so just be patient with it. Furiously rub the hot glue with the comic cardboard and the friction will cause the glue to smooth out eventually. add glue to holes, rub down with comic cardboard and just repeat till you are satisfied.

6. Once you are happy with the blade, you can start adding more details to the blade handle. don't forget to glue comic cardboard to the back of the blade itself.

7. For the hand guard, i used a thick piece of Foam

8. Your knives should be done (pic 4)


Sheath

1. For your sheath, you are essentially creating a box. Take your measurements now that you have your knife, Draw your template out, and cut out of EVA foam

2. Create your sides and the top of your sheath.

3. Create any details.(pic 4 +5)

Step 10: Rifle

The rifle itself is a very complicated build. This alone could have been its own instructable.

Body

1.First get a full scan print of the rifle. You can have your printer print it in the correct size you want it. It can be printed on several pieces of paper. (pic 1)

2. Cut off the barrel and the mini barrel (pic 2). Set aside. The main body is now our paper template

3. Use your paper template and draw out the shape onto cardboard (pic 3)

4. You have two sides of a gun, so you need two sides of cardboard. (pic 4)

5. start creating a 3D form but adding cardboard to connect the two pieces. You are making the walls. You need to determine how wide you want the gun to be. I believe the gun was 1.5 inches wide (pic 5)

Barrels

6. Your main barrel will be attached to the gun using a PVC adapter. Your barrel is a 1 inch pvc pipe, so your adapter needs to fit that 1 inch PVC diameter

7. Take your EVA foam and wrap it around the nozzle of the EVA foam. Add more foam around the front and end of the nozzle. You can cut areas out of the foam to create gaps. I also used my soldering iron to burn in the very front hole.I took some craft foam to make some thinner layer details (pic 6-9)

8.now use a smaller PVC pipe (maybe 1/2 inch diameter) for the smaller barrel. Cut it down to the length you need. (pic 10)

9. Similar to the larger barrel, you need a pvc adapter. Sandwich it between cardboard and glue it in between you cardbody body of the gun. (pic 11)

10. You can add some foam to the end of the mini barrel to create a cap. Use your dremel to shape it.

11. At this time, your rifle should look like pic 12 + 13.

Butt of Gun

12. Use your EVA foam to encase the butt of the gun. (pic 14+15)

13. You can use extra pieces of foam to add details to the butt. I used my exacto knife to carve in some grooves, and i used my dremel to get it to the shape i wanted, including the beak.

14. I added some comic cardboard around the butt area because it was going to be left as a base layer. I don't like leaving cardboard exposed, as it tends to ripple when painted.

Body Details

15. Using your paper template, cut out the main body details. Transfer to EVA foam, cut out, and sand off the tread.

16. I cut out some of the sections and pushed them inside to give it a recessed look. I then sanded off the extra foam from the back so the piece would lay flat against the gun. (pic 16-18)

Bottom Canister

16. I made a tube out of EVA foam. Draw out your two circles which will be our bottom and lid (pic 19)

17. Glue in your strip of EVA foam onto one circle. IF you want to add lights to the gun, this canister is hollow so you could technically house a battery inside of it. (Pic 20)

18. Wrap an extra layer of Craft foam around the canister. You can add any other details with EVA foam at this time.

Owl Body details

19. Using your paper template, draw and cut out the shape for the owls out of EVA foam. Sand off the tread.(pic 21)

20. Glue in place on both sides of the gun.

21. Now use the paper template to draw and cut out the eye brows from thicker EVA foam. sand off tread. (pic 22)

22. Use your dremel to shape it and then glue it in. The rifle should look like this now (pic 23+24)

Top Details

22. I used a combination of PVC pipe and adapters to create the details on the top of the gun. I cut the pipe vertically in half and glued it down. Also i got a big adapter and created two caps from EVA foam to glue to the back of that area. I used strips of EVA along the sides to act as a stabilizer for the scope to glue into. (pic 25)

Base of Scope

23. I chopped a T pvc adapter in half using a dremel. I used my belt sander to smooth out the edges and also cut in a back groove. I added some EVA foam at the end so that it would encase the PVC tube it is resting on (pic 26 +28)

Side pipes/ Bolt Loading system

24. Using an even Small pipe (i think maybe 1/4 diameter) and a few adapters, I created the side pipes. (pic 29)

25. Remember that the right side of your gun, there is the loading system. I used a T adapter and a very short piece of pipe to create the bolt. I used a ball of EVA foam for the end of the bolt. I simply dremeled it into a circle. (pic 30)

Scope

26. The scope is again made from a piece of PVC pipe and a PVC adapter

27. I created a connector from thermoplastic so that the scope would attach to the base of the scope.

28. i used screws to securely attach it in place.

29. i covered the scope in EVA foam for details. (pic 31)

Arm Rest

30. The entire arm rest is created from the thin small pipe i used for the bolt system. I had a 3 adapters, (pic 32)

Final details

31. We chose not to have the gun light up, so i was able to just add in foam owl caps to cover the remaining open areas. (pic 33)

32. You can now prep everything with plastidip or modge podge. Paint everything.

33. Wrap the handle of the gun with your faux leather material. Take your strips of cloth and wrap around the barrels. (pic 34)

Step 11: Finishing Touches: Prep and Painting

1. Using your Kwikseal caulk, fill in any grooves in your costume. Any gaps, holes, etc can be filled at this time with the kwikseal. I usually use it in areas where there are multiple layers joining each other. (pic 1).

2. Before you paint, You need to prep your foam. First, make sure all your foam pieces have been heated with the heat gun. Second, IF the foam piece does NOT need to bend, you can use modge podge as a cheaper alternative (backpack, hand guard of knife, etc).. However, if it is a piece that you need to bend/ manipulate, use Plastidip as it will allow for some bend. If you use modge podge on things that will be bending, then you will see cracks IF the piece bends when you put it on.

3. You can paint with acrylic paint or rattle can. Once dry, cover all pieces with a clear coat.

4. Once all pieces are done painting, you can glue in anything else (sun glass lenses into the mask, feathers, own on backpack, etc).

5. Use elastic for the mask. I also used a few straps and clips to attach the knife sheath onto the backpack. ones the straps are glued in, i glued on the foam claws, essentially sandwiching the straps in between the base and the claws.

6. I used elastic and metal rings on the corners of the chest piece. I used some string to tie the chest piece off in the back, like a girdle.

7. I think that should be it! go find some other Overwatch cosplayers and have a shoot out.

More projects located through my FB site, instagram, tumblr, and Youtube channel. As always, thanks for the support =)

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