A couple years ago I made Nora's hammer. Since I am still working on my engineering skills I did not create her hammer with the ability to transform. As such, I found myself yearning for her grenade launcher for its small size and reduced weight. So here we are, I have a new grenade launcher and all of you are receiving a new tutorial.
Materials / Tools
- 6 mm EVA foam (sponsored by The Cosplay Pros)
- 4 m EVA foam (just some scraps)
- Contact Cement
- Super Glue Gel (quick setting is best)
- Hot Glue Gun WITH Gorilla Glue Hot Glue sticks (the only hot glue that survives hot weather)
- Plasti-Dip (I used black but any color with work)
- Silver Spray Paint (I use Rustoleum Mirror Finish)
- Sharpies / Markers / Writing Implements
- Ruler or Yard Stick
- Pringles Cans (not necessary but makes tube creation MUCH easier)
- Protein Container (again...not necessary but simplifies creating the main chamber)
- Poly Fil (yes, it is inside my grenade launcher)
- Cutting Implements (I used a Utility Knife and Cutting Shears)
- Pink Acrylic Paint
- Matte Mod Podge Sealing Spray
- Respirator (graded for particulates and fumes)
- Rotary Tool
- Safety Glasses
- Gloves (I use mechanic's gloves)
- Reference Images (google is your best friend)
- Heat Gun
- Paint Palette
- Paint Brushes
Oh...and patience. You definitely need patience. This build took me 8 hours so let's get to it!
Cost estimate (without tools) = $75 - $100
Cost estimate (with tools) = $150 - $200
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Step 1: Prep Work
To get started, you'll need the following...
- Reference Image(s)
- Hot Glue Gun / Glue Sticks
- Cutting Shears and Utility Knife
- 4 mm EVA Foam
- Marker / Sharpie
- Rotary Tool
I took an old protein container and some Pringles cans left over from a party. I measured how short I needed to cut the chip container's so I could fit them in the protein container with a foam wrap on top. It turned out they just needed to be cut in half (yay!). Once I cut them in half I added their foam tops (for the chamber round cylinder) then measured one more time how much of the protein container I would need to cut to place them inside and expose 6 of them.
I also measured where I would be inserting the handle (better to secure INSIDE the prop than hope it stays attached on the outside) so I could cut slits with the rotary tool.
After I cut away the excess I began preparing the cylinders for insertion into the protein container.
Step 2: Framing, Mapping and Building
You will need every tool/material for this portion of the build EXCEPT the painting materials.
- Glue your grenade cylinders into the protein container. I used super glue, hot glue and contact cement to do this (be sure to sand or rough up the areas where adhesive is going so it adheres better). Using a marker as a guide helps.
- Measure your exterior shell (the half circle that wraps around the bottom of the grenade launcher) by either wrapping the foam and marking where to cut OR using a flexible tape measurer.
- Adhere the piece of foam to the bottom use contact cement and super glue (again, sand or rough up adhesion points).
- To create the grenade site, handle and barrel details I used pieces of printer paper and drew out the shapes. The paper is fairly sheer which makes it easy to map things out. You can also use painter's tape applied to the outside and draw on shapes that you then translate to foam.
- Cut out your details in 6 mm foam and add it to your grenade launcher using contact cement.
The fifth step took most of my time as you must wait for contact cement to look matte (not shiny) before you can mate both surfaces. When using adhesives of this nature please wear the following safety equipment...
- Respirator (graded for fumes)
- Eye Protection
Be sure your clothing covers ALL area of skin that could come in contact with the adhesive (these materials ARE toxic so ventilation is also important).
Once you have all details applied it's time to add the handle.
- I made my handle using 6 mm foam with the spare plastic from the protein container sandwiched in between for support. You will want to make the handle longer in the front so you can insert it into your main barrel.
- Cut a hole in the back of the protein container (if you did not do this in section one) and insert at least 3 inches of your handle inside.
- Use polyfil to pad the sides so the handle does not slip or wobble (I used a rod to help me push the poly fil in).
- Use a mixture of hot glue and super glue to secure the handle at the point where it meets the protein container (you are essentially creating an external join).
- Allow the adhesives to settle for 15 minutes.
- Finally, heat seal your prop using a heat gun (this closes all air bubbles in the foam).
Now it's on to painting!
Step 3: Painting
You will need the following items for this section...
- Respirator (graded for fumes and particulates)
- Eye Protection
- Plasti Dip
- Silver Spray Paint
- Pink Acrylic
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Palette
For starters, create an area where you can paint safely. Be sure it is well ventilated. I used two old cinder blocks and mounted my grenade launcher in between. I hit the prop with black Plasti-Dip from 6 inches away. I do quick shots and releases so an even stream comes out. If you continuously hold the trigger build up can occur and cause spattered layers. I gave my prop 2 even coats (allow 30 mins dry time in between layers).
Once my last layer was dry I came in with the silver spray paint and lightly dusted the prop for 1 foot away. This created a subtle silver layer that I was able to build up until I was satisfied with the shade.
Next I used Pink Acrylic paint to add the details on the grenade cylinders. For the dark gray illustrations on the launcher I used sharpies.
When all paint was dry I sealed the prop with one coat of Mod Podge Matte Spray Sealant.
Step 4: Summary and Final Result
For those who are a little lost...it's OK. I've been there. So above you'll see a video where I recorded each step of this build to help you figure out any missing information.
This build took me 8 hours. That is FAST for a prop. It weighs about 2 lbs and it fits my large luggage EASILY. The foam I used was from The Cosplay Pros and it is an AMAZING EVA foam (smooth on both sides).
I hope this helps you figure out how to create your own RWBY prop!