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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

XMLR Laser Rifles

Some time ago I made a couple of Cobra Infantry trooper costumes.  I ran out of momentum on that project when it turned out that the only model I had available at the time was my assistant Rachel.  Somehow she didn't quite look the part: 

VanDerp as Cobra Trooper

The other problem was the rifle.  This was an airsoft AK74 from Lancer Tactical.  It looks good, has a folding stock and plenty of weight, but it would never be allowed into any convention and I can't imagine there's any other time or place where someone would want to wear one of these getups.

Some time later I was collaborating with my friend Sean Fields on a tiny project for the Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins movie and found out that he was a huge GI Joe fan.  So much so that he just happens to have made a digital model of the XMLR laser rifle that shows up big in the original cartoon series and a bunch of the old toys.

He offered to send me the model so I could use it to make a physical prop and I figured I might as well go ahead and print it.

Then for an exceedingly long amount of time after that, this thing has been knocking around my shop with a couple of coats of primer on it, waiting for me to do anything at all with it.  Eventually I got a wild hair and decided to make it shiny and pink:
XMLR in Pink

In my shop, that's typically the last step before a prototype gets molded.  So we covered it in plastic food wrap, mounted it on a board and made up a quick clay matrix:
shop progress 019

Then we laid up a fiberglass mothermold over the whole thing:
shop progress 022

Once that was set up, we flipped the whole thing over and did the same thing for the other side.  When the second half of the mothermold was cured, we removed the clay from the first side, cleaned up the edges, sealed it all back up before pouring silicone into the void left behind where the clay used to be:
XMLR Mold Pour Done

Once the rubber had cured, we flipped the mold over, removed the clay from the other side, and filled the second half with silicone.  After that had cured, we had a nice, new mold that was ready for making castings of the main body of the rifle:

The muzzle, sights, and butt pad were molded and cast separately.  With no real goal in mind, we ended up casting a handful of these:
XMLR Casts Stacking Up

Three were painted in a blue Cobra theme:
XMLR Base COlors

XMLR Base Colors

The muzzles were given an appropriate scorched look:
XMLR Muzzles

One was done in a khaki G.I. Joe color scheme.  All of them were weathered:
XMLR Weathering

Even with the weathering, they still look a lot like toys:
XMLR Weathered

But since the aim was to make a "convention friendly" weapon prop that we could carry around in public, the end result was more than adequate:

Cobra on the Scene

Now I just need to make the infantry officer version of this costume and maybe the anti-tank trooper as well...

Stay tuned.