Saturday, 13 June 2015

Oooh - first post in ages, and a commission!

I've been pretty busy of late - busy being an overtired dad, an overworked corporate puppet, and, from time-to-time, a modelly hobbyist. Too busy, to post here, although I have joined the Britmodeller.com forum for a specific group build, and force my hand to keep to a deadline.

I'm still working on the burnt-out Mk1 Esort, Halcyon Predator and resin (repop) Jango Fett - albeit slowly, and I recently painted a Space Wolf piece for Dave (@docbungle)'s #waac charity drive. I'll post separate builds for all of those soon.

So, because I'm too busy to be actively creative with my writing, I'll share here a post I wrote on Britmodeller. It's a verbatim copy and paste, but I don't think many people are following my threads over there. Quite proud of this build - more for the turnaround time than the quality, but it's definitely "fit for purpose".

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I was asked last week to build a blaster prop for a friend. He's off to Secret Cinema's showing of Empire Strikes Back this weekend, and has been told he has to dress as a 'mercenary' - basically a Han Solo-type. He's got enough clothing to pull of the general look, but doesn't want to spend silly money on a prop on Etsy or eBay.
"Pete, can you finish it in 10 days?" he asked me.

Challenge accepted. A DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol. Not screen accurate, but more 'look and feel'.

First job - I told him to order a toy Mauser from eBay. £4.99 and quick delivery It arrived last weekend, so I only got it Monday.

Han Solo's gun came from a Mauser C96, and is quite distinctive. 

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This thing makes a clicky noise when you pull the trigger. Cheap, plasticky rubbish.

Let me give you a quick rundown of my schedule. 10 day turnaround was a pipedream. By the time this arrived, it was already 5 days after the initial conversation. He's going Sunday. I work from home on Fridays, which meant bringing in a finished prop on Thursday. Which means finishing it Wednesday.

3 day turnaround.

First job on Monday night. Assemble the gun.
On my way out of the office, I asked the IT department if they had a PC graveyard I could defile. I got a couple of heatsinks and a knackered GPUfilled with capacitors and microchips. Win.

I also found a toy sniper scope - my stepson broke the scope off his toy rifle, and it had been sitting around for 6 months. He said I could have it

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The batteries are flat, but I think there's a laser pointer (red light) in there.

Next - shave the unnecessary bits off the pistol

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Glue the scope in place. JB Weld is strong, but takes a long time to set. Gaffa tape will help, and hide unwanted gaps. It's a prop, not a showpiece. 3 days, people - gimme some slack. I know, I know - gaffa tape.

Add some capacitors and other greeblies to hide the tape, and give some visual interest, and we're nearly there.

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I even got some Warhammer on it.

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The problem was the muzzle - although not a replica/facsimile of Solo's weapon, I wanted it to look as part of the same custom-built family. There are at least 5 different versions used in the films - some of the early production photos don't even have a scope! What they all have in common, though, is the flared muzzle-end - a drilled

I found the answer in the supermarket. A bottle of mouthwash had the perfect shape lid. Worth 65p, I think.

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I drilled the muzzle holes and found a couple of other bottle lids to glue it to, cut the main barrel and attached. This was Tuesday night. I ran out of JB Weld as well, so Araldite was found in the garage recesses.

I gave it 24hrs to cure, and then set about painting. Mixed materials on the gun, so Alclad II lacquer primer and gloss black, and metals, and acrylic brown for the handle.

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A few touchups here and there where the silver oversprayed, and it's done. 1am tidy up, but 3 days from start to finish.

Not quite up to Adam Savage's DL44, but it's was a fun little build. Next one will be tidier, I reckon.


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