Sunday, April 28, 2013

Light-up Ray Gun

I had been wanting to create a piece that lit up for a while now, but was unsure of the best way to do it. I've been picking up various compact lights for a while now and experimenting, and finally came up with a one that I like. Below is a shaky video of the gun with the light on:

I like the way that it cycles through various colors and it has a vary ominous effect. The shape of the clear chamber was in my head for a while, but it took some time to find the right way to frame it. Eventually, I came across some scrapbooking borders that I had bought a while back, and they seemed to work pretty good. I used electrical tape as well, and dressed the whole thing up with some metal brads.

You can see the other side of the brads through the transparent portion, and, at first, I wasn't sure how I felt about that. Eventually, I convinced myself that they look cool like they are. Besides, you can barely see them whe the light is on.

At the early stage of putting this together I had to test the fit and power of the light, with the bottle that makes up the body of the gun. I planned all of the clear and opaque spaces out and then taped everything off accordingly.

I also had to tape off both ends of the bottle, to keep from accidentally getting paint on the inside, and screwing up the clear portions. This was the most nerve-rattling part; with the primer and various paint layers, it was a few days before I could remove the masking tape and test the light. So, the whole time, I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to pull off the effect I was looking for. In the end, though, it worked pretty well, and comes off just the way I had originally imagined.

The light is a short squat hockey puck-shaped item that makes up the back portion of the gun barrel. I was worried that I would ruin the device by spray painting it, but it held up quite well. The switch is on the bottom of the cyliner, so I had to design a new grip to accomodate it.

I love this handle, which was itself kind of a happy accident. It was cut from a larger handle that I had screwed up from another project. I continued to screw it up while cutting, but I really dug the strange organic shape that popped out, so I kept it.

The muzzle and dish were also originally tranparent, and I had toyed with leaving them that way. The light was strong enough to illuminate the whole thing, but in the end I decided to paint them, though I did leave a little clear spot just behind the dish (though you can't make it out in this picture).

One of my favorite parts came out last; the tuning crystal in the tube on the back of the gun. I knew that a tube was going back there when I started, but didn't know what was going in there until the last minute. I just toyed with spare parts until I came up with this.

It  was a vary elegant way of handling the crystal, and imbodies the ornate aethetic that I love so much about steampunk. Hope you like it.

Keep zap'n!!!



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pocket Ray Gun


Though I'd been toying around with a compact pistol for a while, this particular piece didn't take long to make at all. I had wanted to make a pistol where the handle had a door in it, with a setting dial, but I had a lot of trouble making it work. I kept the general grip size and shape, but settled for an inset gage, which I think looks pretty good.

The barrel is a wooden chair leg, with maetal brads and some plastic do-dads glued on.

I tried to keep it pretty simple, but elegant. I have had trouble with smoothing and rounding the edges of the handles using a table sander. On this piece I tried the sandpaper tip for the Dremel and it worked great.


 On the flipside I added some decorative flourish, and...

...some silver foil doiley from decorative trim.
Hope you like it, and keep zap'n!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Legions Above the Aether

My good friend Winfield Strock has now published his second historicalish/steampunk novel Aether Legion. It currently exists in a reasonably-priced electronic state, but will soon be irrevocably transfixed to paper and bound for your reading enjoyment.

-Good job, Win!
-Enjoy, everybody!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rock'em Sock'em Robot Pin

Made this from a toy ring (well, half of one), based on the famous fighting game. The head doesn't move, but there is a switch on the back that makes the arm spring up.

Here is a close up of the pin. Its about 1 3/4" tall. Thinking about using it as a tie tack. This is one of those "puts a smile on your face projects". Lots of fun to make. Hope you like it.

Keep zap'n (sock'n)...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Silver & Gold

I didn't realize how long this one had been sitting on the self, but apparently I started working on it around Christmas. I had gotten the idea for this ray gun while working on another with a similar body shape. I wanted the end to be a setting dial that you could twist, but I had a hell of a time getting it to work right, so it sat on a shelf until this morning, when I finally figured it out.
Here is the earliest WIP picture. Still using plexiglass for the fin here, though I have tried some other options since. The fin is a good thickness, and pretty tough, but it is a bitch to cut. Using wood for the barrel. I tried sealing the barrel to keep the grain from giving away that its wood, but that didn't work out very well; I eventually just wrapped the big pieces in electrical tape.

Here is a pic with the twisting dial set in the back. I use a template for my wooden grips, but the normal handle style interfered with the dial. So, I had to create a grip that kept the hand off of the dial , but was still organic and comfortable.

Then business as usual; paint-paint-paint, glue-glue-glue, and it was done.

I just could not stop adding gold accents to this peice. The intensiometer was a new direction that I've been wanting to try for a while; I really love the way it came out.

The whole back piece of the body is the setting dial, and it twists under a gold-painted and stylish arrow. The idea for the mechanism is a few months old, but most of the finishing touches were concocted today.

Glad it is finally finished, hope you like it.

Keep zap'n!!!