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 !