I decided to try my hand at building my own version of McCree’s belt buckle from Overwatch! I used references from the game in order to create a comprehensive digital model which I then 3D printed, smoothed, molded, cast, mounted to a buckle blank, painted, and weathered. Start to finish (and with lots of breaks in-between!), this entire process took me a little over three years to complete.
Phew. Three years (three years?!?) and a lot of sweat, sanding, and tears later, I finally have a finished belt buckle! To be honest it turned out much better than I expected. There are of course some issues with it and things I wish I could have done differently, but the final prop itself is fit, functional, and looks the part. I may be biased, but I really do think my version of McCree’s buckle is one of best I’ve seen.
It was quite a journey to get to this point, and there were lessons learned for every step along the way. The buckle is done! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and figure out what worked well for this build – and what didn’t.
The first step in creating a real-life version of McCree’s belt buckle from Overwatch is to find references that tells us what we’re aiming for and how the final version should look. From these I’m going to build a detailed digital model that will serve as the basis for building the “master” version of the prop. Let’s get to it!
I’ve been doing a little streaming on Twitch, and a lot of streamers I follow have something called an Elgato Stream Deck. The Stream Deck is a small device with 15 buttons, each of which has its own customizable RGB icon. By configuring the bundled software, users can set button icons and macros to control your casting software, send messages in the stream chat, launch programs, and much much more.
Unfortunately the Stream Deck is out of my price range, at a whopping $149.99 retail. Fortunately I think I can make something that replicates the basic functionality for a fraction of that price: what I’m calling a “Stream Cheap”.
Although I’m focusing on using this as a replacement for a Stream Deck, at heart this is really a custom macro keyboard. It could be used as a hotkey board for any program. I’m just using it for OBS and Twitch.
A couple of years ago I picked up an inexpensive sustain pedal for an electric piano at a garage sale. The piano itself wasn’t much to look at, but the pedal intrigued me… it’s a basic on/off switch, but the pedal itself feels fairly robust and I thought it would be a handy switch to have around.
This past week I finally got around to doing something with it! I built a small box that converts the signal from the pedal into a keypress, allowing me to use this pedal as a foot-controlled hotkey for my PC.
For one of my recent projects, I needed a way to control some lights powered by a 120V household wall socket. Rather than reverse-engineering some commercial “smart outlets” for the task, I decided to try and do this the old-fashioned way by embedding relays in electrical boxes.
Using a Nerf Hammershot and an Arduino, I built my own custom video game controller for the character of McCree in Overwatch. Overview The Arduino inside of the Nerf gun acts as a mouse and keyboard, sending HID commands over USB to the computer. The trigger and hammer are wired to Read more…