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!!!



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