With the primary clothing of my Tomb Raider Reborn Lara Croft costume out of the way, the next step was to start making the props; more accurately speaking, the gun, holster and arrows. As I am portraying Lara when she is given no choice but to kill for the first time, the gun is an essential part of this cosplay as this is exactly her choice of weapon during this pivotal moment in her origin narrative.
Having studied this aspect of the narrative many a time, I realised that throughout the game this pistol tends to change its appearance depending on how you upgrade it. Therefore it was also useless for me to base this pistol off the duelweilding ones that Lara is usually known for using. I looked at the shape of the pistol while I was playing the game and what I noticed was that the model handgun that she uses first off is quite weathered and small in its size; which is why I thought the best way to replicate this look was to look online for a child’s toy handgun to help make it look rather makeshift.
As I have said before, because this is my very first ‘real cosplay’ I will admit that many of the props that I will be making are going to be amateur standard at best. This means that I had no interest nor did I have the materials or money to really make a real replica of the starter gun Lara uses; which is why I felt that it was better to buy a prop gun and make it look as much like the one seen in the game as possible. I was lucky to have found a pretty accurate looking toy-gun off Amazon for a fairly cheap price of £8 which included postage and packaging and what impressed me more was that it had the potential to make the sound of a gun being fired; which to me, made it all the more realistic. After this I bought a set of acrylic paints and then simply painted the gun using silver and light brown in order to make it look like the start gun that Lara herself using in the game and weathered it rubbing tissue on to the acrylic while is was still drying.
Once I had painted the toy-gun to replicate Lara’s starter handgun, I knew that I would obviously need somewhere to put this if I wanted to pose with the bow and arrows as an alternative. As I was studying Lara’s gun holster I found that it was quite a tricky prop to recreate due to it being attached as a belt as well as on her thigh; along with it also being made from leather to give it a ‘timeless’ feel. This is something that while I was searching to try and find something that was similar I realised that unless I wanted to spend £50 plus then I wasn’t going to be able to make it look entirely screen accurate; and so I needed to figure out an alternative solution. While searching through Amazon, I found a male fancy dress gun-holster that was obviously used as part of a cowboy costume; which I thought would come as close to the exact match of the one Lara uses as I was going to get. Once it has arrived however it was obvious that the belt was going to be far to big for me and so I punched in more holes so that it would sit just on the top of my hips like it does on Lara. Below is how the holster looks now that I have tweaked it.
Overall, I am quite happy with how the holster looks despite it not being entirely screen accurate. However in my defense I simply was not prepared to spend a ridiculous amount of money only to buy a real holster so that it would more like the one Lara has in the game. Especially as I feel you still get a feel of how it looks with this costume one that I bought for only a fraction of the price I would’ve paid. I feel as though the costume is coming together really well despite the long making process that it has been so far; but it has been highly enjoyable so far to see my costume come together so that I reach my goal of looking like a real-life version of Lara, which is exactly what craftsmanship in Cosplay should be all about!