April 24, 2017

Oh, hanzbow.


This is something that I was actually pleasantly surprised at the amount of time in which I completed it. When I was organizing the progress photos for this post I realized that I started on Hanzo's bow only two weeks prior to finishing (almost completely) the construction.


You guys know me by now (hopefully), first thing I do it stare at the piece for hours before then gathering reference shots and drawing up a template.


I purchased the Lone Wolf skin specifically so that I could look at it in my Hero Gallery in game, but I ended up having to get Daniel to model it for me in a Custom game anyway so that I could get a closer look at everything.


If you're working on a character and need some detail shots, find a friend who has the skin you're making, create a custom game and set yourself as a spectator, this is a great way to get all angles close up of your character!  Be sure they're not afk though, as it will boot them.


So I have a folder full of references of Hanzo, about 30 of them of the bow only. Of course Daniel has the golden bow, which messed with my understanding of surface difference and the general build, but I was able to grab enough shots from the Hero gallery later for the detail work.


When I mention surface difference, I mean being aware of the prop in a realistic way...so if this thing were real you'd need to see the differences in material and pieces.  This will help you make your props look more realistic in the end as you can have one bit piece but add details to make it look as if there are many overplayed pieces.  The paint is what makes this come alive, always my favorite part.


Moving on...


 Here are a few shots to refer to in this post, we've got a close up on the side, a back shot where you can see how weird the bow actually is, another side close up with Hanzo drawing the bow, and a shot of the end piece.


So once I have my references I usually just do a template for the side view of the prop.  I create my templates in Adobe Illustrator with the pen tool, and enlarge them to scale. Like with all of my garments, props and armor, I draft the patterns for everything unless otherwise stated.

I then print, tape together and cut out my template.


(Before we get further if you're ever wondering, "Hey, where can I get that template?" I am not currently selling or giving out my templates as I usually find things about them that I alter during the creation process and wouldn't feel comfortable offering my templates as is.)


Below is a gallery of the insulation foam stages.  I had a lot of pink insulation foam left over from Hou Yi's bow, so my wonderful husband retrieved it from the attic and I cut out one layer.  Too thin.


I cut out two more layers and stacked to be sure this would be thick enough.  Looks good.

I knew that I wanted to have this bow break down like Hou Yi's bow, it made traveling with it so much easier and this bow is almost two feet shorter than Hou Yi's bow!

I had some PVC pipe fittings and pipe lying around and thankfully had the proper size of each to use with this project. I believe it was a short 3/4" pipe cut in half and a male/female screw coupling for the center. I could have gone with something smaller but wanted a strong connection in the middle so that any bending on this point wouldn't break it or mess up the threading of the couplings.

After gluing the layers together with hot glue, I took a retractable blade to it and carved away, all the while checking my references.  I made marks with a sharpie to help me know where I needed to carve.  After carving I sanded using a sanding pad to get it nice and smooth, then used my blade to cut out additional details.

You can see in photos 3 and 4 that I thought the bow was too straight, its length in photo 3 was 6 feet.  I ended up cutting the ends and re-gluing them on to be at more of a curve, putting the bow at 5'3" long. (Best decision ever...the curve looks so much better).


 After I had finished carving everything (thank the good Lord) I moved on to the next tedious task of covering everything in Worbla.  This step is totally optional.  Whether you're anti-worbla or just don't want to purchase it or use it, you can do several different things here. You can paper mache the outside to protect your foam, you can coat it with Mod Podge and primer, or some other method that's out there (I'm sure other cosplayers have offered up videos on how to work with this foam).


I chose worbla because it's a fantastic material, easy to use and it's very versatile...not to mention it totally damage proofs whatever you cover in it. For something this long and slender I wanted to be sure to protect it, the ends specifically.


Below you can se the base worbla covering with details pressed in and carved out using a pencil and clay working tool. The left is the bow unscrewed and the right is the bow put together.



 I had to cut out a few parts to correct mistakes as I worked, like the piece of pipe in the photo below.

I used a sharpie to mark different parts on the bow where pieces would be added to help me scale where other details would be.


The piece that sticks off the side in the last photo I attached using magnets.  because it's right where the middle is, It pops off to allow breakdown of the bow.


I cute some small pieces of faux fur fabric and marked on the bow where I needed parts cut out to place them after priming.


Then I got some EVA foam, transferred my patterns (did some altering) and took them outside to the dremel where I sanded my heart out (for about 45 minutes) trying to get somewhat of a bone look.


 Back inside, I glued together small pieces of pink foam and carved them down with my blade to get the shapes of the teeth.  Then I covered the teeth in worbla and added them to my EVA foam bone pieces.


Once everything was constructed I added a few details here and there, had to alter the bone pieces a bit to fit properly, then glued them on.



 I still can't believe I built this thing in two weeks....that's doing the majority of the work on weekends with only about 1-2 hours during the week. 


Super excited to prime this thing and see what it looks like with a flat color.


Thanks for taking the time to read, if you've got any questions you can contact me or comment on a photo on Facebook or Instagram and I'll try my best to answer what you've got.










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