Another Aliens M56 Smart gun build (many scratch bits) to finish the wall.

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by bigbisont, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    I needed a smartgun to round out (dare I say finish?) my Aliens weapons wall. It is made from a combination of correct/actual parts and many scratch built ones.
    Still a WIP that I hope to continue to evolve (I would like to build the vest/arm by next year), but I hit a little plateau here and will show the results.

    Ingredients:
    -Matrix MG42 airsoft
    -Real Kawasaki Brackets
    -Modified Kawasaki Switch housing
    -Correct Magura 'perch' (but 'wrong' lever)
    -Everything else scratch built.


    First up was the handles. I used 7/8" steel tube. I wedged in the rear handle using softened (heat gun) pvc pipe and welded up the front handle (forgive terrible welding skills!)
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    The switch housing I had was the 'wrong' one. Identical housing, but the screen used one had a black button in place of the red button on my housing. So I just just removed the red one and glued a black cover on. It is no longer a functional button...but who cares, right?!
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    For the muzzle break I used common 2" PVC pipe with some strips of plastruct wrapped around it for the grooves.

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    The trigger cover was heated and flattened PVC pipe that was stacked and glued.
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    It slides in and secures exactly how the regular handle does. Unfortunately this solution does require you to chose between 'screen accuracy' and 'airsoft functionality' when setting up, but the two modes are easily interchanged.


    The tube from the trigger housing to the lever is common 1/2" CPVC tube (which is a bit larger than regular PVC tube) and chopped up couplings for it. 1/2" copper is the same size.
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    The drum mag cover was made from, you guessed it, more heated and semi flattened PVC pipe. Cut stacked and wrapped in plastruct. I secured it to a bit of scrap sheet metal.
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  2. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    Did have a drill a few holes to bolt on the bracket. But got everything secured nice and tight
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    For the rear block, I wanted something exceptionally strong, so I drilled out a 1" thick bit of aluminum. This was insanely tedious, but I think it turned out ok.
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    For the hand guard I used 2" aluminum tube. I tried to mill out a groove in the block to secure it, but again, quite difficult and tedious with only basic hand tools. Still I got enough of a lip cut out that, so far, steel sticking the cover in place has decent strength.

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    I reckon the last boring part is the charging handle. I wanted the foam grip to be a solid piece (not cut up the side and resealed around the handle) so I knocked off one half of the handle. This allowed me to cut a single hole in the foam grip then slide the handle into it.
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    Then I used a series of spacers and bolts to re-establish a top half of the handle, get the desired length, and strengthen everything back up (obviously the pic below just shows the construction. I would reassemble it all once the foam grip was in place first).
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    So boom. Charging handle ready.
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    And here it is after everything is painted and tightened up.
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    Still needs the tracking camera and I'd like to give it the counterweight/bracket bit. As I said earlier, I fully intend to make the arm and vest to go with it before DragonCon next year. However for now, I am pretty happy with it. It does its job on the wall well I think!
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  3. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    And I am back at this project!

    Found a 'real' vest ('real' as in a cinema products steadicam vest. But this is likely the model 2, as it does not 'open' via 'escape cord' in the back like the 3/3A does. Still it has that distinctive and accurate lower abdomen support/padding area).

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    It didn't come with an arm (of course the arm would have added $6k to the price! So good it didn't have an arm!)

    So I am scratch building one.
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    Lot of work to go to clean up and reinforce the arm, but hopes are high.

    Also pepped out the chest plate (a couple actually. One for myself, one to paint up like Vaz then hang on the wall, one for my bro, etc)
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    Should have this thing ready for my brother to use at DragonCon.
     
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  4. ChiZ

    ChiZ New Member

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    Love it! Looks legit man. Are you going to build the head unit from scratch? Oh, and Your wall of weapons is amazing. Nice collection!
     
  5. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    461
    Thanks!
    I will be building the headset from a combination of real parts (the head band/mic, parts of the stalk, and the swivel will be from correct parts), 1 resin bit (the eye piece), and the rest will be scratch built (camera and body of the headset). I'll be sure to post all that up here too.
     
  6. Prefect42

    Prefect42 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Congratulations. That is quite a build.

    That weapons wall you have is stellar.

    Ted.
     
  7. bigbisont

    bigbisont Active Member

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    With the scratchbuilt arm, my connector to the vest is a bit slap-dash, but I think it will hold.

    Layered steel sheets wrapped by a gate strap, bolted in several spots, with a bit of square steel tube sandwiched in the middle.
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    The end post of my 'arm' then goes into the square tube and a pin gets dropped in, for quick and easy disconnections.
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    I added some features to the arm to make it a bit more screen accurate. No one in the filming world would ever confuse the arm for a real 3A, but to the casual fan at a glance, I think I did pretty well. The thing that primarily sells the look are the 'covers' over the bracket bits. (22g steel sheet, bent and hammered)

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    So when it was all drilled, riveted and bolted up, I painted it with a "Drake" style scheme. Unlike Vaz's arm, which was primarily black all over except at the base bracket, Drake's arm brackets were silver/gray with the anodized finish. I left my primary supports with their natural aluminum look and just hit it with dull coat.

    The rest was painted black. Here is the arm with teh springs installed.
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    Youngins had to to go to bed after I got it all put together, so I didn't get to do a final "full weight" test yet. Hopefully tonight!
    But overall I like where I am at. Fingers crossed that the whole thing won't crumble on me with the gun attached!!!

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