Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mass Effect 2 M-29 Incisor Rifle Part I

I have been commissioned by NinthWave over at cosplay.com to make the m-29 Incisor from mass effect 2. This project came to me because a previous contract with another prop maker fell through. I love making guns, so I will get quite a kick out of making this one!

Here is the reference I will be using as a base.

This is what I managed to get done yesterday. It seemed the most tedious and time consuming so I wanted to get it out of the way.

First I did the lower gas tube.

the grip section was sandwiched together in 3 parts, so that the center section could contain a built in trigger guard.

I carved a slot out of the center part, and angled slots out of the outer parts to hold the pvc barrel.

Grip at that point. I'm rather proud of how well this section turned out.

The stock can be quickly installed or removed, via a small notch I built into the lower receiver before I put it all together. 

Building up detail on the stock:

Test fitting the outer barrel, with the receiver and completed stock:

Progress on the receiver

Hndguard test fit+ outer barrel adjusted to lock into the forward receiver. 

Beautiful, 'aint she? I definitely under-billed my client for this one. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kyle Katarn's Bryar Pistol

I was commissioned by gboy6 over at cosplay.com to make this pistol, providing this reference as a base:

Because the pistol uses an m16 grip, I grabbed one from my spare airsoft parts bin and scaled up the reference picture on my computer screen to match the size of the physical grip. I could then use the computer screen as a light table and trace more complicated parts, thus taking measurements in real size. I drafted directly onto the materials.

The main body is .75" MDF, made by joining a .5" sheet and a .25" sheet.

These are the basic parts for construction. The .75 MDF frame was perfect because it allowed the airsoft pistol grip to simply slide on and off, So alternative grips can be easily installed.

Refinement on the basic parts below. The ribs were a complete pain to do. (all parts care cut out by hand) Notice the notch that guides the pistol grip in. (had to be perfect)

Putting it together :

The side faces were coated in super glue, and thin sheet styrene was looped around the bottom to make the handguard. The styrene was then trimmed with a hobby knife, and sanded.

Since I decided not to make the trigger functional, and I did not want to make it the same thickness as the basic gun body (.75 inches thick) It had to be made separately and glued on after. Because of the direction of the MDF fibers, Simply gluing it on would probably not last long. I decided to pin it with a copper rod, so that it could hold up to being "tested" by other people who may hold the prop.

Just about ready to paint. Just some minor filling, and some barrel details left.

Did I mention how tedious it was to space those ribs out while they dried in place?

So begins the barrel details. (very time consuming) I constructed 7 little styrene boxes, then cut out the holes for them and inserted them until they were flush. It was difficult to get the superglue in-between the seams to hold them in.

Filler primed and sanded.

a few coats of flat black. Still waiting to hear back from the client about "battle damage" and such.

Got word back from the client about coloring, but not battle damage. did some metallic drybrushing here and there.

Team Fortress 2 Level 1 Sentry Gun

As one of my most recognized past projects, I decided to kick-start my props blog with this project.

This was not a commission, I just woke up one morning and decided that I had to make this thing.

heres a video for you more visual people:

I have added the red LED since these photos, but it does not show up in daylight photos anyways.

before paint:

here's the build:

Step 1: the base. The base/frame of the sentry is the most complicated part. Not only is it annoying trying to take a million in game screen shots for reference and trying to translate it into a mechanical drawing, but its also very difficult to get the "modular" function I want. My sentry is fully adjustable, can disassemble completely with basic tools, and its fully upgradeable. (yes, there is a soon to be level III) I started making a template for the frame which contains the tracks for the legs.

I used a drawing compass at a fixed point to get the swivel tracks for the legs done correctly. the rest of the measurements and proportions are eyeballed from reference. I did the rear half of the frame next. After the templates were done, I traced them out on 1/2" MDF (medium density fiberboard) and cut them out on a scroll saw.

Step 2: the legs. The sentry legs in TF2 magically extend when upgraded. I wanted a real version of this instead of having to switch out legs every time I upgrade mine. I had a bipod from an airsoft gun lying around that I wasn't using. its made by UTG for those who wanted to know. I disassembled it so I could use the legs individually, and I needed to make some changes.

here is a picture from back then, "test" fitting the frame with the bipod legs.

Then I realized the whole thing was about 30% too small and started over at a larger scale.

I remade the templates, and cut out the parts again. after that, I cut out the rear feet assembly, and the incomplete front leg assemblies. The fold down rear feet use wingnuts so I can quickly adjust them. the front legs are angled out by bending some 90 degree L brackets from home depot. (literally 100% of the materials of this project are from home depot, except for paint.) The bipod legs were temporarily secured with one bolt through the L brackets on each side. They sort of flopped around because I wanted to move on to other parts of the sentry and would re-visit them later. A 1/2"X 10" carriage bolt was used to secure the frame and the front leg mounts. some small 1/4" bolts are used on the feet, and the mid section of the frame where it bends and can be adjusted for level 3 positioning.

progress at that stage:

Step 3: center post linkage

This part was made completely of plumbing and electrical parts. I think the PVC is 1 1/2 inch. It had to be the exact width of the frame, because when I tighten the carriage bolt, the post is supposed to stay at the angle it was tightened at. It holds the whole weight of the top assembly, where most of the weight is. I had to make inserts for the T square so that the carriage bolt would stay centered, and give it enough friction to stay in place.

carriage bolt fit test

A larger coupling and a disk I cout out was added for accurate detailing (I did the disk over because it ended up being too small)
I used a pot metal electrical flange to secure the PVC with the perpendicular MDF pintle mount.

Step 4: the pintle mount

The thread on the electrical flange was not long enough to go through a half inch of MDF for the pintle mount, so I used a 1/4 inch sheet and then reinforced it and cut out a section on the top layer to leave room for some metal L brackets for reinforcement.

I did a test fit with the vertical parts and the L brackets

A large clamp with scrap wood as spacers was used to glue them together firmly (holes were drilled in the mounts before gluing them)

The holes are for 2 big 5/8ths inch bolts and a huge MDF washer on each side.

this is where the project really got exciting!

Step 5: the barrel housing

I had to do the housing twice since the first version was too big. (well, actually it was the right size but it was too big for the ammunition housing that I found)

heres the front face being glued to the bottom plate. I used PVC to support it during drying time. the hole is obviously for the PVC barrel

The edges were cut at 45 degrees for added detail.
I made the sides and drilled the holes for the mount.

Heres a picture of the rear frame being cut. I left room on the corners to run bolts through to the ammunition cannister frame.
(my precious Ryobi scroll saw pictured here)

progress at that point:

rear frame installed:

I made the last top section removeable.

step 6: the ammo canister

this was the hardest part to find. basically, I was looking for a bucket with the perfect diameter at the bottom, and the perfect angle for the sides. I settled on a red rubbermaid bucket from home depot (a bit pricey, 11$ for a small bucket?) there were some paint buckets and plastic plant pots that came close, but had too much texture, holes, whatever. and they just werent the right size. I marked off the section I wanted to cut and sawed away.

I matched the frame off the barrel housing.

The curved parts that connected the frame to the ammunition housing were a pain to do. they were both curved, and angled, and it was hard to measure the curve off the bucket for cutting out the parts.

I ended up re-doing that part since the bucket was too tall and sat too high.

I made nut holders for the frame so I could easily connect/disconnect the barrel housing section.

progress at that point

Step 7: revisiting the feet

The sentry's front feet have a ball and socket joint. I took the rubber end caps off the bipod and glued some modified wooden doll head ball thingies to them.

They already had holes drilled in them, all i had to do was dremel grooves for the cross member going through the bipod legs.


The feet themselves were 4 layers

The top layer was beveled inside

and out

so that the ball would stay inside the foot.

The notch on the outside is to allow the foot to position at more extreme angles (level 1 especially)


Step 8: ammo canister linkage and acess panel

Because I originally had planned for this thing to be servo controlled and have a paintball/airsoft gun installed, I needed a quick way to get into the thing without completely tearing it apart. I decided to make a cover on the bottom of the ammo housing that could be easily unscrewed. the cut outs are for ease of removal, as well as making it easy to rig an external controller/power supply.

With that done, I could start the final bit: the linkage.

I needed this section to be industrial looking, convincing, yet low enough on friction to not fight the servos, yet have enough friction to help keep the back end up. It basically consists of several MDF parts that were carefully drafted out and sandwiched between some carriage bolts.

that just about concludes the build. the entire thing was sealed in filler primer, sanded to about 400, and sprayed with Montana gold "slate" and "steel" colors. the red is Duplicolor vinyl red.