24 September 2019 at 13:28:47 MDT
What do you do when you finally get the Dr Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillator you've been salivating over for years and find out all the universal ray gun stands are sold out? You make one of course! And THEN what do you do when that dinky thing doesn't cut the mustard anymore? You roll up your sleeves and get your tools ready and craft the custom stand you envisioned from the start!
Greg Broadmore, a senior designer at the illustrous Weta Workshops prop studio in New Zealand released a brilliantly designed line of limited edition steampunk rayguns some years ago. Each model was limited to 500 pieces. The least expensive models didn't come with a stand. So I purposed to make one.
My original stand was made from the ribbed connector of a juice box I snagged out of the scrap at work. That one's long since been trashed (back to its roots). The final version is made from almost entirely EVA foam with the exception of the orange and green rods which are acrylic and the ornamental brass tacks. All the parts were cut out on a bandsaw and shaped with a Dremel. The base and the backdrop were metallized using graphite powder. For the base I was going for a hammered metal look. What I ended up with looked more like a meteorite but that's ok because rayguns and rocket ships and meteorites all go together. After everything was assembled I sprayed it with five coats of Plastidip and primed and pained it. Everything but the base and back face were painted using silver and gold Rub 'n Buff and silver Testor's paint. The acrylic rods and ornamental tacks were added last. Finally all the painted/ powdered surfaces were carefully sealed with a thin coat of satin varathane. Overall I've been pleased with the results. It's light, durable and its design is unique while still matching the overall Grordbort's theme. The only thig I've never liked about it is that it completely occludes the bottom of the butt; however, I'll live with it.
There were a lot of ways I could have coated the foam: resin, epoxy, fiberglass. The original idea was to use epoxy putty. What I discovered is that Plastidip is just fine and even preferable for a low wear situation like this. This thing will not be handled much and doesn't need to be highly durable. The Plastidip gives it all the resilience it needs for low impact applications. It makes the foam more rigid without killing its flexibility, protects it from scratches and tears, can be applied multiple times, and is lightweight. It also comes in multiple colors. It can be primed and painted. Two caveats: I can be peeled off, and you need to work with adequate ventillation and preferably wear a respirator.. If you haven't tried it on an EVA project I highly recommend it.