PROP: Ebon Vanguard Pistol (GW2) (Reference)
This is the third prop I’ve made, the Ebon Vanguard Pistol from Guild Wars 2. It’s part of my Exalted Mesmer cosplay that I’m working on for the KonKon photoshoot in October (not much time left!). I’m delighted with how it turned out, so I thought I’d give a brief overview of how I made it.
The vast majority of this prop is made out of craft foam. Everything but the barrel and the trigger plate (?) started out with craft foam. (The barrel is a wood dowel and the plate is Wonderflex, although that could have been craft foam too).
I started out by making the base of the gun the same way I made my Evoker, by following this tutorial, except I had to make my own pattern for the foam pieces. To do that, I printed out a screenshot of the gun to the size I wanted it to be. Then, I traced the outline of the gun body with a charcoal pencil and rubbed it onto a white piece of paper. I traced a pattern for the center piece from this. Then I traced three more patterns, each one slightly smaller than the last, so the body of the gun would have a rounded shape once it was done. I cut 2 pieces out of craft foam for each pattern piece and 1 out of posterboard for the largest, center pattern piece (to give it some stability). Then I glued all the pieces together, covered it in paper mache, then spackle, sanded the spackle, and spraypainted the whole thing with primer. I then put tape over the trigger part and spraypainted the rest of the body black, then painted the trigger parts silver and gold.
For the barrel, I picked up a 1/2” dowel at the craft store (since we couldn’t find PVC pipe that thin). My partner cut the dowel to size, and we used his Dremel to cut the grooves at the angled end (you can see them in the 2nd photo).
For the trigger plate, I drew a pattern with paper, then cut it out in Wonderflex, heated that up and molded it to the gun… only to realize it was now permanently attached because I didn’t know that’s how Wonderflex worked. Oh well, no problem! I just painted it while it was on the gun. However, this means I did not use Gesso to get rid of the pebbly Wonderflex texture. If I did it again, I would do it differently, but for now I’ll just try to not let it bother me. I used Wonderflex in the first place because we haven’t used it before and wanted to try it out with something small before my partner attempted to make a sword out of it for me.
For everything else—the handle, “wing,” and the little pieces on the side, I used this classic craft foam armor tutorial. Particularly the larger pieces, since I used heat shaping to get them to curve. Getting the size and shape right for the handle was very tricky since the handle of the base was too wide to do a straight trace from the printout. I ended up doing a lot of trial and error. The handle is three pieces of craft foam: two sides and bottom plate, all hot-glued together and then heat molded over my stove. The wing is one big piece glued together along the long edge and also heat shaped. I spent a week sealing them up with a glue/water mixture, then painted them (my partner did the lines on the wing with a gold paint pen since I was too scared to do it!).
I used classic gorrilla glue to attach the dowel to the gun base, leaving the two pieces (gently) clamped for two hours. Everything else is attached with super glue. Once it was all glued together, I finished it with a matte finishing spray.
And that is basically it. It was time-consuming, but not all that hard. I used techniques I had learned from other projects and tutorials and applied them to my own project. Don’t limit yourself to what tutorials exist out there—adapt others’ knowledge to suit what you want to make!