Tracer's Pulse Pistols, Overwatch

Terry Lyons

New Member
The prop-making projects I take on keep increasing in complexity and time to complete, so I go a long time without posting anything. After finishing my Witcher 3 Swords, I was planning on taking a break from prop-making, but that didn’t last long! As usual, idly considering “How would I build…?” quickly advanced to making blueprints and fabricating masters, and grew into a year long project full of new challenges, from materials and finishes to electronics and components. Finally finished, here are Tracer’s Pulse Pistols from Overwatch.

Tracers Pulse Pistols 1.jpg

I have covered in detail the processes used and challenges faced in a blog post, but I’ll briefly go over it here. In Overwatch, Tracer is a fast-moving, time-jumping sci-fi adventurer and test pilot, and this is reflected in her signature weapons – all chrome and carbon fibre. For this project, the base construction was a relatively straightforward process of MDF and styrene fabrication, sculpting with Apoxie Sculpt, then plenty of sanding and priming before molding and casting. It was once I had castings that the project got challenging – I spent a lot of time learning and experimenting with different materials and finishes to capture Overwatch’s futuristic aesthetic.

Tracers Pulse Pistols 2.jpg

The carbon fibre is real cloth, skinned onto the castings with layers of brushed-on epoxy, sanded with higher grit sandpaper after each coat. The grips are rubberized with layers of PlastiDip, carefully applied to get a smooth, textureless finish. The metal was airbrushed on using Alclad paints – gloss black undercoat, chrome main coat, and sealed with gloss varnish, while the white shells were weathered with airbrushed browns and greys, and varnished to give them a gloss sheen. The decals were sprayed on using 3D-printed stencils, and the whole piece was weathered with black and brown acrylics brushed into the recesses. I spent some time testing casting with clear resins to make the translucent cyan caps that sit over the lights at the back of both guns.

Tracers Pulse Pistols 3.jpg

Each gun is lit with 23 Ice Blue LEDs, while a timer circuit drives LEDs in the barrels to rapidly pulse on and off when the triggers are held – a central white LED surrounded by blue LEDs to replicate the game’s white-hot muzzle flash. A relay trips when the triggers are pressed, turning on a separate circuit which powers rumble motors in the grips to give some haptic feedback. Access to the batteries and components is hidden behind the plate in front of the grip, and the discs at the sides of the guns, which are secured in place with neodymium magnets – the flash rate of the barrels can be altered, the rumble feature disabled, and the primary resistor removed and replaced in case of failure.

Tracers Pulse Pistols 6.jpg

Thanks for reading,


Terry Lyons

New Member
Thanks for the replies!

mtrixman - I don't currently do commissions - with the amount of time and resources it taken to finish my recent projects, I don't think its really viable at the moment. But maybe I'll figure something out for future projects!


New Member
Fantastic work. As I already got some new ideas and inspiration from your post (like 3d-printing the stencils): How are the chances for a more detailed (and preferably picture-heavey ;-) ) build-thread? This community can learn so much from highly talented makers like you.


Sr Member
Seen a lot of these around, yours are the best I've ever seen. Well done!