Friday, September 9, 2016

The Dubstep Gun from Saint's Row !

This is a big one, my biggest write up for my biggest prop yet. It has over 70 parts, led lights and full Bluetooth  functionality! It can run the sound straight from my phone and is rechargeable with an aux input to boot. Let's do this!

This was the very first prop that I made my own blueprints in Inkscape, much to the thanks of online tutorials, including a video by Punished Props. It wasn't much, but it let me get  scaled pattern for the basic shape, which I cut out of 6 mil Sintra. I use Sintra a lot, mainly because I already have so much of it salvaged from a grocery store remodel. Free stuff rocks!

I cut the discs on the side on a cobbled together jig I made on my band saw, and using the same jig I made the trim rings that attached to that. It worked great !

In the above photo, you can also see the led's I used. I got them from Amazon and they are so easy to use! My friends over at Cosplayforusall have a handy ebook that is easy to understand the basics of led's for prop and costume use. In the photo below, I cut the holes in the sides and put a pvc coupler through. This helped with structural support and gave me a place to attach the lights. I used blue acrylic sheet cut on the band saw for the lens rings.

I made the speaker box by attaching 2 boxes together, I used Smoothcast resin slushed inside both the speaker box and inside the main body where any important attachment points were, like mounting points and where the handles attached. Sintra on its own is not the toughest material and I didn't want anything snapping off.

Starting to look like something eh?

Where the larger dials go, I used pvc couplers of the appropriate size as the base, mounting the led's inside as such and installing blue acrylic lenses inside. I sanded the inside of the lenses to diffuse the light and then mounted the dials inside directly to the lenses. The dials themselves were made from 2 pvc pipes cut to different lengths, on inside the other, and made the bevel with Bondo. this made for crisp lines and an even bevel. I cut the excess Bondo off with a hobby knife before it fully cures while it is still rubbery.

Two of the dials needed to be a diameter in between any pvc pipe I could find, I was able to actually use 2 pieces of pipe as a mold itself to get the diameter I needed! The notches were done with a Dremel by hand.

I made the smaller light up dials much the same way as above.

I made the smaller dials from pvc pipe and Sintra, and lathes the little nubby part on a drill. I then cast copies for final use.

The slider controls were easy, just made a pattern and cut it out on the bandsaw, the buttons themselves were shaped out of.... guesses? - Sintra!

I also made the battery box out of that plastic I oh so love to make things out of, and it stays in place with some rare earth magnets to make batteries easily changed. The lights run 12 volts and are wired in parallel. Also.... Bill Doran is keeping me company helping me stay motivated! Thanks Bill !

Time for a mockup and test! I made the handle attachment points as sturdy as possible.

The speaker box attaches with lag screws from the inside of the speakerbox into the attachment points on the front of the "gun". I made the display screen from pvc pipe and couplers and are attached, but removable with 2 aluminum rods that fit into the side of the gun.

The handles are also made from Sintra and heavily slushed with urethane resin inside for structural integrity.

The handle in the picture above had the panel line made by heat wrapping a strip of Sintra around the inner block, then the trigger was glued on later. In the pictures below, I made the record arm by filling a vinyl tube with urethane resin, and before it was cured and still hot, I cut it out and zip tied it to a piece of armature wire to get the shape I needed, then left to finish curing in the proper shape! This plugs into the main body using metal pins and is also removable.

The speaker box is pretty light. The larger woofer is just for looks and I removed the heavy magnet to save weight. The woofer was donated by a local car stereo shop! The smaller speakers were part of a $15 bluetooth speaker from Big Lots which had all the electronics I needed including the rechargeable battery and cables! I just needed to solder longer wires to the speakers from the circuit board. It works great, and I even listened to Twitch streams on it using the bluetooth from my laptop.

These are only just over half of all the parts!

Another mockup

I sacrificed my old video cables for a  PS Vita I don't even have anymore and made a mold of the rca plugs, as they were almost identical to the reference pictures. I chopped up the cables themselves for use too .

And that's most of it right there! I have lost a few pictures of the build process and If I find them I will update the blog. Thank you for reading this post !