Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 6

Day 6: Monday, April 28th 2014

Day 6 was a little all over the place while I waited for different sections to dry or cure, but I seemed to get a fair amount done. The grip and receiver section got all the love, and now are getting pretty close to complete and ready for a first priming.

First, I got the new files out and set to smoothing/sharpening up the magazine bevels.

It may take a couple rounds of fill-and-file to get them just right, but I might leave that until after first priming.
It may take a couple rounds of fill-and-file to get them just right, but I might leave that until after first priming.

Continue reading Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 6

Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 5

Day 5: Wednesday, April 23rd 2014

Building basically done. Filling and fitting today! First up, Dremelling down the parts of the forward scales enclosing the mag well. While the front core is supposed to be 1″ wide uniformly, the table saw made a diagonal cut for some reason on that one piece, so that the bottom part ends up closer to 3/4″ wide. The mag well is 1″ wide, so it pops the slotted scales up when inserted into the front end.

Where I smoothed the receiver scales into the mag well, it took down the mag well’s thickness a little towards the front, so there wasn’t too much to remove. It just needed maybe 1/32″ or less off the inside of each scale.

A bit bumpy, but nothing a little filler won't fix.
Took very slightly too much off, but it should allow some wiggle room during final alignment

Continue reading Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 5

Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 4

Day 4: Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

Day four is where things seemed to start coming together at last! I put in more or less a full day this day since I was waiting on stuff for work.

That grip I did the previous night is looking pretty sweet, contrasting compound curves against the linear geometry elsewhere.
That grip I did the previous night is looking pretty sweet, contrasting compound curves against the linear geometry elsewhere.

Continue reading Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 4

Sci-Fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 3

Day 3: Monday, April 21st 2014

Another day of gluing! This is where the previously rapid progress slows to a crawl, since it unavoidably takes x amount of time for glues to dry and fillers to cure. Not to mention, the weekend gives way to work days and there isn’t as much time available for playing with personal projects. Easy for motivation to be lost during these stages.

What I came into at the beginning of day three. No indications of the doom before me.
What I came into at the beginning of day three. No indications of the doom before me.

Continue reading Sci-Fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 3

Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 1

Day 1: afternoon/evening of Saturday, April 19th 2014.

I took the initial photo of the sketch from my tweet because I was too lazy to get the higher res version off my phone, and brought it into Photoshop at a low opacity so I could vector trace it. This would give me a scalable blueprint to build with. I cleaned up and straightened the lines, and added more details like a slide lock and safety selector.

The scaled vector drawing over the original photo of the sketch I ripped from Twitter.
The scaled vector drawing over the original photo of the sketch I ripped from Twitter.

Continue reading Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Day 1

Sci-fi Pistol Prop Build Log: Intro

As is probably reasonably normal for those like me- that is, the semi-obsessive, autodidactic, pancurious folk who tend to hang out at the nerdier edges of the watering hole- I found myself streaming all of Bill Doran’s Youtube back catalogue last Saturday while rearranging the studio. His ability to create something from nothing- like any other skilled maker- is inspirational to me on multiple levels.

While I was taking a break at the desk, the idea for the gun popped into my head pretty much fully-formed. A single quick pencil sketch laid down the main lines, and it cleaned up nicely in pen. While looking at it, with the video on at the time playing, the back of my brain decided that it would be a good idea to attempt to actually build it.

I thought it looked pretty good for a quick freehand sketch!
I thought it looked pretty good for a quick freehand sketch!

I consciously agreed, thinking it would be a good challenge for me. Could I still build so precisely despite having not done it in so long? Could it be done over the remainder of the weekend? Could I make it out of whatever materials and tools are available, since I didn’t want to spend anything on what was basically a simple experiment?

It was just after mid day and the sketch lay on the desk in front of me. I decided to tweet it out, see if it got a response at all. Well, when Bill Doran unexpectedly RTed and responded, followed by a small slew of other favourites and responses, I decided to definitely get my build on!

The “shop facilities” were rather haphazard to do the spontaneity of the whole thing, but there would be time to organise later.

Day 1 tomorrow!

~Rob

Update time!

How about a blog at the two month mark instead of the three month mark! Fantastic then.

Last time, I’d just started the music thing with Brad Taylor. I’m still on the hunt for musicians to shoot, hopefully that’ll happen more this summer- though since it’s the gigging season, I’m not holding out too much hope of availabilities lining up. It might be more likely going into the Autumn.

I did a business/corporate shoot with Ryan, nothing too heavy, just looking for a couple pics for his portfolio as part of his push towards lifestyle modelling.

This is actually partially what I bought my iPhone for... Prop use!
This is actually partially what I bought my iPhone for… Prop use!

I quite enjoyed it, looking for the angles to tell the story I was trying to set up.

Love love love the lighting in this footbridge.
Love love love the lighting in this footbridge.

I tried a fashion-y thing again with Brittani, I think it went reasonably well. This time, I was shooting a jeans billboard!

Super Twilight.
Super Twilight.

I still haven’t decided if that’s something I particularly want to pursue, though. It may or may not pay the bills- I’m not sure about the market around here- and it doesn’t particularly thrill me. It may just be that I haven’t found my style within the genre, though.

I'm not sure it's possible to get enough gridded beauty dish.
I’m not sure it’s possible to get enough gridded beauty dish.

What does, though, is sports and fitness. Remember that location shoot with Ryan last year? Well, now I got the chance to shoot with an ANBF/OCB figure competitor, Kayleigh Trumpower. This is her first competition season, aiming for her pro card.

Started off with a headshot, since that's what I do and she needed one.
Started off with a quick headshot, since that’s what I do and she needed one.
A shot for Beast Apparel, who make that tank top.
A shot for Beast Apparel, who make that tank top.
A shot for Scivation supplements, which she exclusively uses.
A shot for Scivation supplements, which she exclusively uses.

That’s about it for now in terms of shooting. A little slower than I wanted it, but more deliberate and directional like I had been intending.

I have a couple irons in the fire though, a headshot job booked and a second shoot with Kayleigh planned. Hopefully Brad may be available at some point for the fitness thing, because he’s been getting his shred on too.

I’m loving the gritty drama involved with fitness shooting, it’s as enjoyable as music shooting to do. Less about telling a story though, and more about selling an image and lifestyle. So I get to play with lighting to my heart’s content!

I’m also working on my own projects; right now I have a devious scheme involving propmaking, which is something I love and want to incorporate into my shooting in some way. I have a couple ideas for that, which I want to get to over the next few months- as time and money allow!

My first prop build I’m going to do a daily blog on here after this post. It’s a simple scifi pistol (which you’ll already know if you follow me on Twitter), a bit like the Mass Effect guns, but it’s a small, easy way back into it- it’s been years since I even made anything of any detail, never mind something which has to fit together like that! So hopefully that’s going to go well!

All for now.

~Rob