This morning I got to experience quite possibly one of the most rewarding things I've ever had in my cosplay career. As you guys may or may not know, I am a giant wrestling nerd and am actually going to wrestling school in the spring!
Over the entirety of November I worked almost everyday on something very special for my favorite wrestler out there (and all around amazing dude) Kenny Omega! I was honored with the task of creating a gun for his entrance at Wrestle Kingdom 12, the #AlphavsOmega match.
Props have never been my strong suit but this was a great chance to make something amazing!
So I kind of wanted to post a little blog on what I did and how I did it!
I got to work almost immediately, I knew it was going to take some time to make and the first step was designing it! I looked all over for plasma rifles to base mine off of, came up with a few preliminary sketches which settled on the block design. There was actually another design I liked more but this one was going to show better on stage, so we went with that one.
Once I had decided I came across the Vigilance Wing from Destiny 2, realized it was a similar shape and layout that I wanted but with the wing. I loved it and ended up using it as my main inspiration!
Then I got down to making it! The entire gun is made of foam and weighs about 8 pounds (crazy I know). I followed Kamui's "Advanced Cosplay Prop Making: Creating Guns & Rifles" to build the majority of the gun. This was a totally new process but I honestly enjoyed it more than building some of my own costumes. I'm actually quite excited to make something for myself with these methods! If you're interested (or even curious) in prop building I highly suggest this book! It's only $5!
So after cutting out my blueprints, transferring them to the foam and gluing everything together I basically just had a solid block of foam. Which lead to the crucial step of lighting the thing. I have never worked with LEDs, soldering or programming. I've dabbled in it but never actually went through with it.
So what's a better time to learn than now? It took some time and patience, I was extremely nervous about messing it up because of the limited time frame but it's amazing what you can do if if you just trust yourself! After soldering the LED strands together, gluing them into the gun and then attaching the whole thing to a microcontroller, I got to learn coding. It was fairly simple once I got the hang of it though. I think I'd like to do something with patterned lights on a project sometime. These were fun to play with.
From there, I could assemble the rest of the gun and start with the details. Covering the handle and the back with worbla... which was probably unnecessary. It took the course of the entire second season of Stranger Things to hand paint all the lined details, which I've now realized would have looked better etched in with a soldering iron... oh well you live and you learn.
After all that I primed, painted and started adding the little blue and black details which are metallic blue foil. I had actually settled on less black but ended up adding more so it'd match the gear a little better. The first form you can see in my photos below ;)
So there you have it, the Omega custom vigilance wing! Omega Wing? I kind of like that actually... I can definitely see myself doing more entrance gear for wrestlers since it kind of combines my two favorite things. If you're a wrestler that wants some cool looks feel free to contact me for quotes! All in all I'm so proud of myself for making this gun, I know that with that experience I'll be able to continue building even more crazy things. It was a great challenge and really put my self doubt to rest.