I’m back with Part II of my McCree work log! Part I featured his hat, gun, and serape. Now we’ll tackle his arm!
I was really nervous to start this project, but it was actually easier than I thought (but still difficult!), especially since I’ve never created something like this. It’s in 2 parts; the arm itself, and a glove.
Let’s get into it!
Each finger has 3 foam sections (the thumb has 2) that are glued completely around the finger, allowing for movement of the joints. There are thicker foam layers on the back of the hand with knuckle joints cut out.
The back of the hand, and center of the hand, each got foam glued to it. For the front, I layered 2 pieces of foam with cutouts at the knuckles, and added ovals where the knuckles go.
The arm portion was completed in one day while marathoning Altered Carbon on Netflix :) The base is a foam trapezoid shape which I layered four pieces of foam over to create a “staircase” effect. To make sure the foam layers stuck closely together, I used superglue and a hairdryer to shape the foam.
I made sure that I was able to slip my arm and hand inside since I didn’t want to have to worry about closures and opening/closing the arm. It’s duct taped inside (high tech!) Sometimes it’s best to go simple and effective, especially since it won’t be seen.
Then I stated working on details…since this was a more feminine version of McCree, I went a bit more stylized (and to help keep mobility at the elbow!) At the back “seam” of the arm, I added foam squares in 2 layers with a small triangle painted on in puff paint.
The top of the arm (elbow area) is a rectangular piece of foam with a circle piece on top with dremmeled edges for a clean look. There are a few cutouts in the circle to give it a multi-dimensional look.
The little knob on side of arm is actually a twist LED light (battery dead) that was already a circular shape with a little circle at the top. I glued it to the side and primed and painted it along with the arm. Gives a nice detail!
The skull is a thin piece of foam layered over the top of the arm, layered on top of a thicker piece of foam (that covers up quite a bit of the mess underneath it with duct tape). Really, the entire arm is all based on layering of foam :P I free handed the shape based on reference pictures; I made it quite slim compared to his actual arm so that it takes up about 1/3 of the entire arm.
I’ve never made anything so foam-heavy before, so I read a lot of tutorials on how to seal the foam before painting. I ended up using grey plasti-dip, which is like a spray paint. I then primed it white (so the color of the plasti-dip never really mattered) and sprayed it silver.
The entire arm is weathered with black paint on a flat brush. I dip the brush in the paint then dab most of it off on a rag before applying it to the foam; I start light then build it more into cracks and brush it on larger surfaces to look like dirt. If anyone wants a more detailed tutorial on weathering, let me know!
The are a few finishing details to the arm that I think make it stand out, even without fancy LED lighting:
- Knuckles: I hot glued some silver dots (not sure what they are, but they’re flat little round silver ‘dots’) to each of the 4 knuckles
- Silver edging: To add depth to the skull, I painted a thin line of silver around the edges. This both acts as weathering (where the actual arm may have “chipped”) and as an added reflective surface to catch light. On any of the raised edges I also applied this technique.
- Blue paint: In lieu of using LEDs, I mimicked the look of the blue lights by edging some of the pieces with a teal paint – obviously not the same effect, but it gives it depth. The triangle pieces in the back and the circle at the top of the arm both have this effect
Phew! I was so pleased with this result. The fingers move and I have mobility in the elbow – not a ton, but enough to be able to navigate a con.
As always, I hope this helps you in some way! And if you’re working on a McCree cosplay and have specific questions, just let me know :)