Sunday, September 18, 2011

EE3 Boba Fett style blaster pistol built from scratch

I decided on doing a full costume for next year of a Mandalorian Assasin/warrior. My first item to build was the pistol I will have in a thigh holster. I modeled it after Boba Fett's EE3 blaster rifle from Return of the Jedi, which is made from a Webley and Scott flare gun. I started off basically making a replica of the flaregun, and then turning that into the blaster much like the original propmakers for the movie.

I downlaoded and printed a blueprint for the original Webley flaregun made by Alan Sinclair (Wizardoflight) on the Denated Helmet forum and used that for measurements and reference. I cut the main frame of the gun from mdf and the barrel from a piece of pvc pipe.

next I cut the hand grip sides from some 1/4 inch mdf and glued them on, I think in the future with a gun grip, I will finish the grips seprately and attach them later in the build.

using a pattern I made from a piece of cardboard, I cut out the reciever shell from sintra, heated it up some and wrapped it over the barrel, gluing it in place.

I rounded off the edges of the handgrip

I cut another strip of sintra and formed it to a similar shape as the bluprint for the trigger guard

The trigger and hammer parts were cut from.... can you guess... SINTRA ! thet were shaped accordingly and glued into notches I made in the gun frame. after that, it pretty much looked like a Webley and Scott flaregun !

Up to this part in the build I only have a couple hours in this, so things are going smooooooooth !

i used Bondo to finish the reciever shell and fill in the rear of the gun.

me holding the pistol for scale

Next, I decided to lengthen the barrel rather than adding something over it, which was easy enough !

I then decided to use my x-acto knife in an unsafe way.

After applying first aid, (paper towel and duct tape) I moved on. I cut some thin strips of sintra for the barrel fins with my new(ish) band saw. I'm so glad I didn't have to cut those by hand, especially after cutting myself already. I marked out even spacing around the barrel to line these buggers up right the first time.

After that, it got some touch up sanding and a coat of primer

I painted it mettalic silver first, so that after the final paint I can weather/damage it by scraping and sanding down to the silver layer, giving it the bare-metal look. I coated it in a gunmetal gray charcoal, added some grip detail using self sticking black foamies, and made the barrel tip from a conical shaped rubber foot I found digging though my junk boxes. I also took an old cheap rifle scope and cut it down shorter for the pistol. I notice that a lot of pistols in the Star Wars universe have scopes for some reason and I felt staying with tradition would help make this custom blaster more recognizable.

In that last picture I started light weathering and a light inkwash in the details to age the blaster some. I will add a matte clearcoat to it later to dull the finish down some as it is too shiny. Thanks for reading !

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Scarlet Witch costume headpiece

So this is my first comissioned replica ! A friend in Canada wants to cosplay as the Scarlet Witch and I was asked to make part of the costume, This was a really easy piece and was made with scrap stuff I already had so the write up will be short.
The above image does not belong to me and was not created by me, it is a sample found through a google image search and used as a reference in my project.

I was given some basic measurements and guessed at alot of it , I started with a cardboard pattern that was bent and tested to get the shape right.

 I then used the pattern as a template for the real thing made from Sintra which was formed to shape in boiling water, then cooled under the faucet to set it.

I used a spare adjustable headband from an L.E.D headlamp that I used on my Predator mask build. I painted it a deep red first, wet-sanded, then top coated some bright red spray paint before sealing it with a clearcoat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Optimus Prime's Ion Blaster rifle Build

I wanted to build a Large replica of Optimus Primes ion blaster, one, because I'm a HUGE tranfsormers fan, and two, I wanted to build some kind of weapon/rifle. I looked online and couldn't find a single decent fan-made version so I set out to do my own! I used no tutorials or designs by anyone else, everything was planned by myself.

I started out with a trip to the plumbing section at Lowe's and got some 4" couplers, 4" pipe, 3" pipe, and a couple reducers, I had to assure the cashier that I was NOT building a potato gun ! LOL !

I used the Masterpiece Optimus' Ion Blaster for reference, It represents an updated version of the G1 rifle

The main chamber of the rifle started out as a 4" coupler and a reducer glued together, then using a pattern I made from cardboard, I cut the piece of sintra to curve around it for the raised part. I then smoothed it out with bondo.

The barrel tip is a pvc adapter that I thought looked just nifty

For the barrel ridges in the middle of the gun, I cut the basic shape I needed and formed them with Sintra. 

I then glued them in place and smoothed out the joints with bondo and spot putty.

I cut the hand grip and clip from MDF and glued the outside detail, cut from 1/4" MDF to the outside.

For the raised lines in the grip and clip, I used Sintra yet again. I love this stuff and it has been very useful in most of my builds !

I also cut the shapes that go on top of the barrel out of mdf, then drilled them out hollow with my tabletop drill press.

I made the "stock" out of poplar, then made the side panels out of, you guessed it..... Sintra. To make the bend nice and straight, I just scored a line in it with a sharp hobby knife, then I just bent it back, filling in the gap later with spot putty.

I used mdf pucks I cut out and glued together to make the piece joining the 2 front barrel parts , I tapered the 2 middle pucks and smoothed them with bondo to give it the look that the front barrel tube tapers into the inside of the 2cnd barrel tube.

Here I have it mocked up, I attached the grip, and the clip with a wooden dowel and epoxy, I made the front barrel ridges out of bondo. The cut-out square in the main chamber was made by cutting out a square, and then inserting a 3" pvc pipe inside which fit perfectly !

I used my Dremel tool to cut the grooves in the top of the barrel, and a 1" hole saw along with the dremel the cut in the "screwhead" detail on the bottom-sides of the stock., I Glued everything together with either 2 part epoxy or pvc glue, the latter puts of some HORRIBLE fumes so it is to be used outside for sure. I filled in every possible crack or gap and made everything as straight as can be because I plan on making casts of this to sell, I may even add electronic sounds and lights later to one of the casts.

I hung the rifle up outside and gave it a good coat of primer, I used OPTIMUS primer, lol .(get it?)

and here is the rifle now, ready for a final sanding before making a mold ! It's 3 feet long total and weighs under 10 lbs, which isn't bad considering the heavy materials. Of course the resin casts will be much lighter ! In the next pic, you can see a picture of the actual toy I used as reference

I will paint this eventually, but my friends over at The Replica Prop Forum  suggest waiting until after I make the molds, so it doesn't mess up the paint.

I would also like to give thanks to the creator of Volpin Props whose excellent write ups and helpfulness with others have both helped inspire me and teach me some tricks. Also my best friend Alan who is so wizard, he is so supportive and always helpful !

UPDATE !!  Since it's gonna be a little while before I can make a cast of this beast , I decided to paint it anyway, unfortunately during paint prep, the blaster took a 4 foot drop to the concrete and broke into 3 parts, and also smashed the rear part of the rifle.

after shaking off the severe depression of having weeks work of hard work obliterated, I pushed on and fixed it. I even modded it to disassemble into 2 parts to make casting and transporting easier.

and here it is with paint !

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Iron Man Arc Reactor build.

I wanted to do something a little different for my next project and with my friend starting his Iron Man helmet, I wanted to make an Arc Reactor. I used 2 main references and kinda went with my own design, so It's not screen accurate. I checked out an "instructable" by Honus, and a build by ThrowingChicken on his website for some tips.  I printed out a picture from TC's website as a blueprint to start, and cut a ring 1" deep from 4" pvc pipe for the outer bezel.

I then cut out 2 rings from Sintra for the inner ring the same size as the one in the blueprint

Next it was time to cut out an acrylic ring for the light lens/diffuser. I started with a 3\8 inch (aprox) thick of acrylic and traced the outer and inner lines on both sides with a sharpie. I then cut out the center section with my rotary tool. The cut was kinda gnarly so I needed some serious sanding to get it round and smooth.

I wrapped some medium grit sandpaper around a tube around the same diameter as the hole, this trick make a perfectly round hole that looked like is was done on a bandsaw by someone who knew what they were doing !

and again for the outer cut

I scuffed the acrylic ring with some fine steel wool to hopefully diffuse the light some.. I made a template to use so I could make sure the copper wrap would be evenly spaced

I cut some little squares out of Sintra to put between the copper wrap and the clear ring to simulate the tops of the transformers, then I took some light guage power wire left over from car audio installations and cut them into about 2 foot lengths. I layed the wire flat and carefully using my hobby knife, sliced off a strip of the casing lengthwise and pulled the bare wire out. I wrapped the wire tight around the Sintra square and clear ring and trimmed the end of the wire to be on the bottom of the ring, then superglued it in place.

Based on a tip from a youtube video, I checked out the cheesy car accessory aisle at Autozone and found a package of blue LED lights that came with a little 12 volt battery box and switch so people could try the lights out in the package. I thought this was perfect and saved me alot of time and headache soldering led's and trying to wire my own contraption.

The Arc reactors similar to mine on screen had 10 lights around the outer ring and 1 in the middle. The lights I bought only had 10 led's total so I cheated and put 9 on the outer ring and 1 in the middle, it turned out good for the spacing in the final product. I mounted them to another thinner acrylic ring the same diameter as the main ring, which fit nicely on top.

I took one of the inner rings I cut from Sintra and drilled holes in it, keeping them "grouped" in 3 even sections , and used some small screws and spacers saved from a fried computer I painted the top ring black and the bottom ring silver and mounted the 2 together as shown.

I used a faucet aerator for the center bit. The one I bought from Lowe's was a pain in the behind to cut apart too.

Here you can see the 2 inner rings together, and the back plate of the reactor. I used a dvd shiny side up thinking it would look cool, but you really can't see it, so that was a waste. I glued little pieces of Sintra between the wires so I could mount the center part above them and not damage the wires. I hot glues the wires in place so as not to pull them out from the lights from the back, that string of wires is bound to catch on crap occasionally when showing off.

I glued the backplate into the bezel first, then the light ring, and I also cut a short piece of chrome 1 1/4 sink tailpiece to put in the middle for mounting the whole center section, it fit perfectly inside the rings and the sink aerator fit right on top. Before mounting this however, I glued the last led into the sink aerator.

 In the previous picture, you can see the 12volt battery box and switch that came with the lights. The last thing was to make a trim piece for the back, cut from a sticky foam square from the craft store.

 All finished !!