My friends and I attended Gen Con a few weeks ago, and for the first time ever we cosplayed! Gen Con is a tabletop gaming convention located in Indianapolis, Indiana. During the convention we dressed up as members of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a fun experience and in the following posts I want to share the details behind creating each costume.
First up, I’ll talk about how I made Rocket Raccoon’s rocket. (This post is part one of three on Rocket Raccoon’s costume.)
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Tools and Supplies
The following items are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to create Rocket Raccoon’s rocket:
- Scroll saw with foot switch (or a sharp box cutter or a hot knife)
- Heat gun
- Hot glue gun
- Dremel with sanding bits
- Banner paper
- 1/2 in. thick EVA Foam floor mats
- Craft Foam Sheets
- Acrylic craft paints
- Mod Podge
- Gray Primer
- Wood Filler
Building Rocket Raccoon’s Rocket
I found a really wonderful video tutorial by Commander Holly. In the video she describes her process for building a replica of Rocket Raccoon’s rocket. I followed her process for creating my version of the rocket, and I highly recommend you watch her video below:
I built my rocket the weekend before the convention, therefore it is a simplier version of Commander Holly’s replica. I left off details such as the rocket’s scope, and I skipped a few steps like coating the rocket with Plasti Dip. The final dimension for the rocket is 4 feet long and 5 inches wide.
Step 1: Draw a template of the rocket.
I sketched a drawing of Rocket Raccoon’s rocket onto a 4 foot long piece of banner paper.
Step 2: Trace rocket template onto EVA foam
I traced the outline of the rocket onto two connected sheets of EVA foam floor mats.
I traced the other details onto the scrap portions of the EVA foam floor mats and a few sheets of the craft foam.
A lesson learned:
If you are working with floor mats that have one smooth side and one textured side, make sure you flip the template or trace it onto the opposite side of the foam mat before tracing the second half of the gun.
Step 3: Cut out the rocket’s shape
I used my scroll saw, equipped with Flying Dutchman Polar blades, to cut out the pieces of the rocket traced onto EVA foam floor mats. I used a sharp pair of scissors to cut out the portions of the rocket traced onto craft foam.
Step 4: Cut out 3 inch wide strips of 1/2 inch EVA foam
With a sharp box cutter and a straight edge, I cut out strips of the EVA foam floor mats. I cut each strip 4 inches wide, however if I did it all over again, I would have cut the strips 3 inches wide. You’ll need to cut enough strips to cover the perimeter of the rocket.
Step 5: Glue the strips to the perimeter of the rocket’s sides
Next up, I attached the foam strips to each side of the rocket with hot glue. Make sure you are attaching the strips to the textured side of the foam. For the really tight curves, I cut the stripes into smaller pieces. For the slight bends of the rocket, I heated up the foam strips with a heat gun to shape the foam to follow along the path of the rocket outline.
Step 6: Build up the rocket’s layers and fill in gaps
The rocket really starts to take shape when the details are layered on. I attached the raised portions of the rocket with the hot glue gun. I also cut a few strips of craft foam and attached it to the mouth of the rocket dividing that section into 4 smaller squares.
The edges on my rocket were a little sloppy. To clean it up a bit, I applied wood filler to cover gaps and to smooth the edges.
Step 7: Sand and seal the rocket
Once the wood filler dried, I used my Dremel, equipped with a sanding drum, to smooth the edges. I then applied 3 coats of Mod Podge to seal the foam. The foam will soak up paint like a sponge. It is a tedious step, but necessary.
Applying the Rocket’s Finish
Step 1: Prime the rocket
I spray painted the rocket with 2 coats of gray primer.
Step 2: Paint a base coat
Once the primer dried, I painted the raised portions of the rocket with 1:1 ratio of orange and brown paint.
Step 3: Give the rocket some character
At this point, the rocket looked rather bland. To add some character, I gave the rocket the apperance of looking dirty. With dark brown paint, I traced the edges of the raised portion of the rocket. I returned with a wet brush and blended the brown towards the center. I did this one portion at a time.
I repeated the same process on the gray parts of the rocket. This time, I worked from the edge of the raised portion out. I traced the edges with a charcoal paint, returned with a wet brush and blended it towards the edge of the rocket.
The mouth of the gun was painted with a blue/white blend to give the appearance the rocket was active.
Step 4: Apply the final seal
The final step is sealing the gun. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of using a spray sealer in humid weather. Instead of giving the the rocket a nice matte finish, the spray frosted the surface of the gun. The good news is noticed this before I completely ruined the finish and the frosted spots added some nice character. I applied a couple coats of matte Mod Podge to protect the finish.
The Finished Rocket
I am pretty happy with how the rocket turned out. I do regret waiting ’til the last minute to get started on the project. I would have liked to add the scope and spent more time on the paint job.
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 as well as tutorials for Gamora’s and Star Lord’s costumes.