Monday, December 29, 2014

Gundam 0083 90mm GM Rifle

I had some major surgery at the beginning of the year and decided I needed to make something during my recovery. It had to relate to my other projects, and be relatively easy. I needed to be able to do most of the work from home, as I wasn't supposed to be driving much. I settled on a Gundam rifle.

Some Gundam rifles, especially from the Universal Century timeline, are based loosely on real weapons. In this case, I chose one based on the L85. I love bullpups, but the L85 is ugly as sin. The Gundam rendition is pretty cool though! Luckily, I scored a Chinese made airsoft springer on ebay that was broken and didn't have a magazine or any accessories or about 15 bucks. Perfect.

Since anime guns vary in look between drawings and screenshots, I settled on the Master Grade Rifle that came with the GM Custom. It was my favorite take on the rifle, and resembles the L85 most closely.

Basically, I had to merge these two rifles.

 The stock had to be hacked down, with the "wedge" shape eliminated. The cheek guard was not salvageable on the airsoft version, as it was far too flat and rounded. The entire sight and carrying handle assembly had to be scratch built, as well as the top and bottom of the foregrip. The magazine would have to me custom made, and the magwell moved back further. Lastly, the grip had to be relocated and the misc. plates and details made.

I stripped out all of the internals, and the "weights" (some are lead bars, some are compressed sand wrapped in a rectangular wrapping. The cheap airsoft springers are notorious for having these.) I hacked off the top of the foregrip first and scratch built the receiver extension out of styrene. The vent holes were covered as well.

I got sidetracked and made some hand armor while I was at it. As I said, I was making this from home, so here's a progress shot in my workshop (The kitchen)

I continued by wrapping styrene around the edges of the carrying handle frame. I also covered up some sections in the front of the foregrip that got hacked off. You can see the tons of screw holes that will need to be filled in later.

I visited the shop (against my doctors advice) and cut out a few MDF parts all at once. The buttpad was one of the first. here it is installed with the now wedge-less receiver. The magazine was made out of styrene, and the misc. detail bits molded into the receiver were cut out or relocated.

Some more MDF and styrene details on top of the foregrip being blocked out.

Some tedious styrene wrapping.

I wanted this thing as light as possible, so I even made the cheek guard parts layered for minimum weight.

The grip was lowered and all the odds and ends started getting filled in.

A few more details, screw holes, and gaps before paint!

These were taken my my friend Eric from the ever popular Impact Props!

I painted the rear sights and some inserts black to give it a more modern look.

Thanks for looking! More projects here: Zprops

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Team Fortress 2: Demoman's Grenade Launcher

I love Team Fortress 2. Yes, I know this is a big surprise. But with only a mere 700 hours on the game, I decided I still couldn't get enough and wanted to bring more of it into room.

Initially I was going to do the Demoman's sticky launcher, but couldn't find the appropriate piping. I could make it or source it somewhere, but wanted to start on something right away. Plus, the mechanism of the grenade launcher as well as the sheer size and stock make it a more complex build. I figured it would be more of a challenge and thus more satisfying.

Did I mention this thing is huge?

I started with the chamber and the frame that goes around it. This is the heart of the gun, and if something is slightly off, everything else will follow. I decided to get it right before trucking onwards.

This is one of the only MDF parts on the gun that isn't hollow. A you can see, there's only a hair of structure keeping the center "star" attached.

The top part is the start of the "frame" of the launcher. I left a circle as an opening to line up with the chamber, and left two stems of support. The edges are relatively thin, but it saves a ton of weight.

This, of course, had to be covered up. Even in this layer I eliminated any MDF that was going to be covered up with yet another layer, but also didn't effect the structure.

The next layer goes on with the holes cut for the screw heads. The large circle cut had to be precise, as I wanted the barrel to friction fit inside so it can be removed for storage/transport. 

 Happy with how everything fit so far, I started gluing the tubes in the revolving drum bit.

Dry fitting the barrel to see how everything lines up, as well as creating a parallel reference for the upper support arm pictured below.

Did the front sight and took a teaser picture.

I don't have any non-blurry pictures of the lower support arm. So here's this. It too, was hollow and took about 8 parts to make. I could have done this on a few layers of MDF but it would have been heavier. Every bit helps!

Did a quick layer of the back plate. The lower arm was off just a hair here, so this was a good place to correct it.

 I cut out and glued the mass of the back plate to the part I just made. Hollow as always, but I left a small support frame for the stock. Also I left a square area for a mechanism that I knew I'd have to retrofit in there eventually.

 Moving right along!

The stock had to be made next so that the trigger, mechanism, and trim pieces could be made based on measurements taken from the outlines of the stock. This is what I started with:

*Correction* This is what I started with: (Shaved a pound just by taking this simple, extra step.)

I might have forgotten to take more pictures of the stock progression.. Anyways, heres the basics of the stock mechanism shamelessly stolen from a similar build by TLL Creations. I refined the idea a little bit and it works great!

This is the underside of the release lever. The deeper notch is for a spring, and the shallow notch is for a stop.
Happy with everything, I sealed up the mechanism.
The frame for the trigger was made, of course with some room left to make the trigger move.
Trigger made and Pinned. A spring was inserted between the rear of the trigger and a corresponding hole drilled into the stock.

This is the cuff that goes around the stock where it meets the back plate. It was shaped using some....unusual....methods in a successful attempt to avoid filler.

Coming together. #Prime #Sand #Repeat

Time to revisit the front end. To panel everything on the front, I made a series of MDF supports to be covered in styrene. That means that yes, even these parts are hollow. Gotta save that weight!

Same story with the bottom. 

The foregrip was made hollow by calculating all of the angles in which a bunch of 1/2" pieces of MDF need to meet at. The rest was just simple sanding.

Looking good so far! (PS. Spot the Coke can in the picture.)

This is a cuff that goes at the base of the barrel. I borrowed a chop saw to get the section cut at exactly 90 degrees. Then I taped a line and used my scroll saw to do a 45 degree bevel all around.

Made the "rear sight" that sits on the upper support arm. The mechanism is also fun to play with. Almost there!

I re-did the front sight at the last minute. The one on the left (The first version) had too much angle and just looked too cartoony.

Last shot before small detail bits and paint. Redbull for scale. (No, it doesn't fit in the chamber. Barely...)
"Leeeeeet's do ittttttt!"
Special thanks to Dagger 6 Productions for the awesome photos!

Off ye' go lads!

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