Junkrat – Overwatch
October 2016

Project Duration: 3 months (July 27-October 24)

Process and Materials Included:

  • Craft foam
  • Sewing
  • Wig-styling
  • LED wiring

Shortly after Blizzard’s Overwatch was released, I found myself inspired to try my hand at cosplaying Junkrat. I had some logistics to work through in regards to how I wanted to handle his robotic leg, and after brainstorming and subsequently scrapping numerous ideas, I decided to forego the peg leg entirely, which turned out to be better for comfort and mobility while wearing the costume.

Due to time constraints and limited working space, the Rip-Tire on his back was started but never completed. I also opted not to build his frag launcher weapon, as I wanted to have my hands free for the convention I planned to attend.

Overall I simplified the character’s look for ease of cosplay, and removed a lot of accessories that would have been a burden while walking around the convention floor.

I began working on this cosplay project by starting with the robotic arm. I had no prior experience with building something like this, but after some research and testing with scraps, I decided to build it on a silver full-length arm sleeve, with painted and sealed craft foam built up around it.

I created the finger pieces and glued them into place, then chose to paint the fingertips directly onto the glove so that the fingerpads would be more dexterous and actually be able to operate a touchscreen device. Once the hand was done, I created separate pieces for the wrist, forearm, and elbow pieces, which all slid on the arm separate from the armsleeve to allow them to shift, twist, and adjust as my arm moved, allowing me a wide range of motion.

For a few reasons, I decided I wanted to wear a shirt with this cosplay, despite the fact that the character doesn’t wear one. I painted a black tanktop with one of Junkrat’s iconic sprays, then created custom patches by painting onto scraps of muslin fabric. I fabric glued the patches into place on a pair of cargo shorts, then sewed twine around the edges to create the effect that they had been haphazardly sewn on.

I also sewed a glove out of green lyrca fabric, which would become the base for the device around his other wrist. I then created the tire-like device with craft foam and velcroed it to the glove so it could be slipped over the glove and wrist separately, and then attached in place.

Junkrat’s wig was a unique and exciting project for me to work on. It was my first time working with LEDs, and the first time styling a wig that had such a distinct look. I began by designing the circuit with flickering LEDs, a on/off switch, and a battery pack. I then loosely styled the wig, determining where spikes would be located and deciding which ones would contain the flickering “fire” effect. Once I had mapped out the hair, I measured lengths of wire and soldered the LEDs into the circuit. I threaded the LEDs and the wiring up through the base of the wig into the tips of the hair spikes, then sewed the wires into the base of the wig cap. Starting from the front and working back, I styled the spikes, positioned the LEDs at the tips, and spray-cemented them into place. Once the whole wig was done, I darkened the base and tips of the hair with spray paint, copic markers, and painted-on dye to create a burnt, sooty effect.

The battery pack and on/off switch is located at the back of the wig, tucked into the wigcap right where the head meets the neck, and is practically invisible.

Lastly, I used some scraps of hair from trimming the wig to create matching eyebrows by applying latex to a flat surface and embedding the hair. I then styled the eyebrows similarly to how I treated the wig.