For a long time my good friends bumpus, and Nova Hawk have been insisting that I work on making a proper revolver.
I also want to give a big thank you to all my new friends over at Brass Goggles for giving me advice as I went along.
I had taking my inspiration from the PPC Wesson, and from the hit series Firefly, all I needed was the 'right' piece for the chamber. I found this piece a mere 7 days ago, and in that time I have designed and fabricated the following prop. I was at work all last week, so the max number of hours I could have spent on this was about 15-20 hours.
The Quasi-Dimensional Air Displacing Revolver works on what is considered a not fully understood fringe technology, the actual chamber is a found piece of equipment with no reference to where it came from. After many tests and experiments it was found that the chamber would randomly shift matter from one place to another, the outer of the weapon was fabricated to contain and control this strange phenomena.
The Revolver will shift every thing in its path forwards by 2.3784 mm, creating a clean cut unmatched by any other tool or weapon. The range of the device is limited by rotating the two sections of the chamber, the longer the range the narrower the spread.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Thick straw board cardstock (one could easily use a wooden base, or use layers of MDF etc)
- A small collection of individual pieces to accent the design
- A chamber shaped section, you will have to look around, if all else fails you can use a section of card tube, or PVC pipe
- Black straight to metal spray paint
- Metallic paint of your choice, one to be applied with paint
- A matt varnish
- A leather to compliment the metallic paint chosen earlier
- Wooden Corner dowel
- PVA (elmers glue)
- Epoxy Resin
- Thick craft wire
- A hand drill, and selection of drill bits
- A hand saw
- Stanley Knife (boxcutter)
- Sand paper
- Desk vice
- Extra hands and fingers (thanks Wells!)
Step 2: Cutting Out the Base.
The base of the handgun is made from several plies or layers of card.
I started off by drawing the shape of the weapon onto paper, making sure to make room for the chamber. Depending on the depth of your card cut out enough sections for the thickness of the gun, the thinnest section of the prop is the section the chamber sits in, so this is where to measure for depth.
At this point I did something I do not do often, I planned ahead; I knew I would need to embed a trigger and hammer at some point, so I made the holes before gluing the plies together.
I decided on a slightly strange round hammer.
Step 3: Glue and Build Up.
Next, we want to start building up more dimension to the gun, I decided I wanted to build up the handle, and to build up the barrel.
Using the already cut out shapes you can easily trace the extra bits you need.
I then coated the sections in glue and built them up. If you have any intersecting sections like the trigger and hammer, its worth using epoxy resin to glue these in. The rest of the sections should be glued using Woodglue/PVA/Elmers glue. Be sure to get a lot in there; remember the more PVA you use, the stronger the final thing will be.
At this stage when I was working with alot of PVA, I cut out the trigger guard, It's a simple section of card which I cut to match the depth of the gun, a few scores on the joins allows you to bend the card to a nice shape. Coat the trigger guard in PVA also.
At this point, once you have all your sections glued together, clamp it, and leave over night.
Step 4: Modding As You Go Along Is Key.
At this stage, Bumpus pointed out that my revolver chamber was too small.
I did have an extra section for the chamber, and took the executive decision to make the hole bigger, to install a bigger chamber.
This was fairly easy as I just cut the card back, however, the trigger was in the way. At this point the trigger was secured very nicely with epoxy resin, so I took my nice big bow saw to cut off the bit that was in the way of the chamber.
I unhooked the blade from the frame, slotted it into the chamber hole, and rehooked it up.
Step 5: Working on the Barrel
Next we want to make the barrel look less like a square block.
I started off with an old radio aerial, although I had no need to extend it, I decided it was just the right size for what I wanted.
I fixed it in place at one end with some epoxy resin, and held it straight at the other end with a piece of masking tape. When I was mixing the epoxy up I also attached a small bearing to give it a better look at the front of the gun.
Next I used some thick gauge crafting wire and went about creating my own set of curved 'staples' to hold the tube in place. I used dabs of super glue to hold these in permanently.
Next I got hold of the correct sized corner dowel to bit nicely at the bottom of my barrel next to the tube I had just fitted. I glued these in using PVA, then to smooth of the design I but an outer layer of thin card stock ontop.
On either side of the gun I added some old metal perfing strip, which has a slight serrated edge of sorts.
At the front of the gun I sacrificed some more of my bearing collection to add the actual exit point of the barrel.
Step 6: Further Embellishment
I decided that the trigger guard needed just a little bit more strength, so I shaped some of the thick craft wire into the same shape, wrapping clean round the gun to the other side. This was then glued into place using super glue, as I felt that epoxy might look too messy.
I also added some custom metal 'brackets' to hold the chamber in place on the one side, on the opposite side I did the same, but used magnets to hold the bracket in place, so the chamber could be removed.
A final step with any prop like this is to drill some small holes, and then screw in and glue some spare screws to give it the look of being bolted/screwed metal.
Step 7: Sand and Prep
We going to be moving onto the painting stage soon, before we do that, we need to get the prop ready to paint.
Firstly I sanded down all the corners to curve then off, and along the edge I did alot of sanding to give a smooth finish.
Second thing to do is to put a nice layer of PVA glue all over the card, this helps to seal, and give a nicer finish.
Finally, If there are any sections you do not want to paint, mask them off!
Step 8: Paint Time.
For the base coat of the gun you want to get hold of some metal spray paint. The stuff I use is called 'Direct to metal' spray paint. Because we have several metal sections we need to make sure its going to stick, cheaper spray paints will flake off after a while.
Start off with a nice light dusting of the spray paint, remember that you will get a nice finish with lots of lighter coats.
Find a good distance from the prop, practice on some spare card if needs be, you will find the right point for the spray paint to kind of just fall and settle, opposed to being pumped into one spot.
Be sure to give it a few minutes before adding another coat.
Remember, If you mess up, you can just sand off the bad bits and start over.
If after you have done paint, you can touch up any extra sections with a sharpie (black permanent marker). Be sure to stipple, and not scribble.
Step 9: Dry Brushing.
In order to give it that kinda worn scratched metal look, we brush on some metallic paint in a specific way.
Start off with a new, clean, dry brush. I always use a new brush, as I get the best results.
Pour out a little of your choice of metallic craft paint onto a sheet of card.
Bring the brush close to the edge of the blob of paint, and gently catch the brush on the paint so there is a little on the end.
Carefully brush a few strokes onto some spare card, until you get the density your looking for.
Very gently apply the brush to the prop in a swift motion.
There are several ways to get different effects,
- You can get a more worn, or less worn effect by layering ontop of each layer
- Using the brush in just one direction will give you lines like brushed metal
- Pushing on harder with the brush can give varied effects.
Step 10: Leather Handle.
The last step is the handle, personally, I think that leather both looks and feels great for a handle.
I cut a nice long strip of my chosen leather, you want something supple, but fairly thick.
Coat the inside of the leather with PVA glue, you then need to cut a strip to fit around the diameter of the handle.
The best way to describe how to get the leather to fit is to 'massage' it into place, leather does stretch and condense alot, and can easily be made to fit a shape.
Step 11: Fin.
So, Thats it, you know have a massive revolver prop.
Please let me know what you think works, and what does not, I always seek advice on how to better what I have done.
Enjoy some more shots below.