Buck Rogers, Jack Deth & Other Laser Blasters of Yore (A build thread!)

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Krel

Sr Member
Battery insert, with a tapped hold to hold the cover in place. (From what I've been told, the originals just had the battery kinda "stuffed" into the grip.)

On mine, the battery is as you say, just stuffed into the grip. The battery cover is just press-fitted into place. I would put a strip of Scotch Tape, or electrical tape on mine to make sure it stayed in place. Mine also uses bulbs from Christmas Tree light strings, so you can pick your color. I believe they later switched to LED bulbs.

The holographic film, I think it used to be called refraction tape, was once very common in auto parts departments in stores and in auto parts stores. Some people would cover their rear bumper with it, and it would blind you when the sun hit it while you were behind them.

David.
 

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Krel

Sr Member
The pistols, especially the clear emitter are fantastic! I would never have guessed that the emitter was 3-D printed. Would you mind telling which printer you used?

To me 3-D printing like that is pure sorcery.

Looking at some photos from "Trancers" yesterday. What you can see of the pistol grip, it is painted silver with black grip panels. I haven't seen any photos of the pistol grip out of Deth's hand to tell if it is shaped like Coyle's.

David.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
On mine, the battery is as you say, just stuffed into the grip. The battery cover is just press-fitted into place. I would put a strip of Scotch Tape, or electrical tape on mine to make sure it stayed in place. Mine also uses bulbs from Christmas Tree light strings, so you can pick your color. I believe they later switched to LED bulbs.

The holographic film, I think it used to be called refraction tape, was once very common in auto parts departments in stores and in auto parts stores. Some people would cover their rear bumper with it, and it would blind you when the sun hit it while you were behind them.

David.
Yeah, normally I'm a stickler for staying accurate... but this wasn't a "prop" and it seemed like an opportunity to make a slight improvement!

I found the holo foil at a fishing supply place, where they sold it as a covering for lures. I have so much left over, maybe I should do a run of Arnold Rimmer "H" badges from Red Dwarf, haha.

Christmas tree bulbs? The pointy ones? Are those bright enough? I used a fairly strong LED (a normal one, not a high power).

Hard to believe those clear emitters were printed, they look fantastic!
Thanks. The trick is to coat them with a good clear spray paint or polish the hell out of 'em. Out of the alcohol bath (after print post processing) they come out "frosted".

The pistols, especially the clear emitter are fantastic! I would never have guessed that the emitter was 3-D printed. Would you mind telling which printer you used?

To me 3-D printing like that is pure sorcery.

Looking at some photos from "Trancers" yesterday. What you can see of the pistol grip, it is painted silver with black grip panels. I haven't seen any photos of the pistol grip out of Deth's hand to tell if it is shaped like Coyle's.

David.
For resin printers, I use Formlabs' printers. (Basically the cheapest professional machines you can get, but the engineerings resins for it cost more than their weight in gold, lol.) The newer models are better at printing clear parts due to almost zero risk of dust contamination in the optical path.

It takes a bit of experience to properly orientate the model for printing though... it's easy to get undesirable artifacts.

Are the photos you are referring to online?

I'm not seeing any silver aside from the barrel (which I'm guessing might be aluminum tape), but tan/brown resin poking though where the black paint has rubbed off. Maaaaybe you could make a case for the grip being silver-chrome, and reflecting "brown" light or being heavily weathered. Or maybe it was painted silver, then black, but had most of the black ribber off, then weathed... but it doesn't look like it to me, since the coloring is too even- it's on the front of the trigger guard too. The overall look of the gun doesn't seem to be "weathered" but closer to new. (And Most of Coyles similar ray gun models all have black grips and frames). Almost looks like the same type of resin they used on the Ghostbusters Proton Wand grips!

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Krel

Sr Member
Are the photos you are referring to online?

I'm not seeing any silver aside from the barrel (which I'm guessing might be aluminum tape), but tan/brown resin poking though where the black paint has rubbed off. Maaaaybe you could make a case for the grip being silver-chrome, and reflecting "brown" light or being heavily weathered. Or maybe it was painted silver, then black, but had most of the black ribber off, then weathed... but it doesn't look like it to me, since the coloring is too even- it's on the front of the trigger guard too. The overall look of the gun doesn't seem to be "weathered" but closer to new. (And Most of Coyles similar ray gun models all have black grips and frames). Almost looks like the same type of resin they used on the Ghostbusters Proton Wand grips!

View attachment 1337684
View attachment 1337689 View attachment 1337690 View attachment 1337691

The photos are online, but your photo here shows what I am talking about. If you look at his palm swell, you can see that the grip is painted silver and a black grip panel has been added. Richard Coyle did make some pistols with silver aluminum (?) bodies, so if this is one of his, they made some changes. This is what it looks like they changed to me. They put a sleeve over the main body and maybe shortened the barrel to bring the emitter closer to the body. They may have/probably changed the trigger guard because of the body sleeve. They pained the pistol grip silver and glued black grip panels onto the grip. This is all a guess, and can't be proven unless clear photos of the pistol surface.

The Isher Artifacts gun I have uses ordinary Christmas Tree bulbs (yes, the pointy ones :lol:) powered by a 9 volt battery. They were cheap and easy to use, and you could pick your color and change if later on if you wished. The bulb was housed in a separate part, connected by wirs to the battery and push button in the grip, that slipped into a hole drilled into the barrel (mine is about six inches long), I don't remember if they polished the bulb hole. The holographic tape is wrapped around the bulb cavity in the barrel and around the bulb socket that fits in the back of the gun. The light was pretty bright, and some colors showed up better than others. How well you saw the color depended on the angle at which you were looking at it. The entire pistol was flame polished, so there weren't really any frosted areas to show the light. The barrel also has a ringed emitter press-fitted over the end. It looks like the one in the ad you posted earlier. The barrel is held in place with a tiny black plastic set screw. They also had a chip in the bulb socket to make the light flichker. When they switched to LEDs, they made some of the pistols with a dial to adjust the rate of the flickering. The grip is a piece of black plastic that was grooved, heated, folded with the ends glued together to form a rectangular grip shape which is glued to the clear plastic body. I believe that on the early ones, the grip was cut to fit the body, but later pistols had the body cut out to fit the grip. I think they may have had problems with getting the grips to stay glued to the curved body, or maybe it was easier to cut a slot into the body, then to cut a curve into the grip.

Mine is in storage, but now you have me wanting to go pull it out. :lol:

David.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The photos are online, but your photo here ...

I see where you might think it's silver, but I'm still fairly sure that it's brown resin showing through. A glossy polished plastic would easily cast the glints that are reading as "silver" under studio lighting. I've run the clip of this on repeat looking at the way the light interacts with the surface. The Coyle-made guns that were in metal all seem to be made out of rectangular, angled shapes- no curves like on Deth's pistol or his black-cast ray guns.
And those are not panels on the sides of the grips- the ridges/grooves are molded into the plastic.

Look at this:
1597750106400.png


I brightened up the capture a little and you can clearly see the brown resin wearing through the black paint in several areas of the pistol. A couple months ago, there was a similar situation where I was initially seeing chrome/silver where there in fact was a painted surface. I was screen-stepping through an episode of the Mandalorian and saw that in one scene, one of his armor plates looked chrome (like the rest of the suit). For a while there I was certain it was chrome/silver, but after analyzing it in Photoshop, I concluded that it was in fact just the studio lighting making it look like silver. Now, the reference available isn't the best, so I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of a silver surface (maybe, as I suggested, an undercoat beneath the black, so the weathering would make the gun look like metal was poking through, OR even if the entire gun body was cast and polished aluminum), but for the time being I'm going to stick to the brown/black look. Now, Wolf's gun in Spacehunter on the other hand... that one as a painted silver grip, haha. Maybe I should get to finishing that one up too... the correct airgun has been sitting in a box now for years...

Interesting that the Isher guns were flame polished... that would explain the extremely glossy finish that is extremely hard to mimic with just paint, no matter how much you buff and wax it!
 

Krel

Sr Member
This is the model of pistol I believe they might have used. You can also see why I think they added grip panels to the prop, if this is the model they used.
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Looking at the image, I believe that you are correct in it not being silver. I believe it is the grey primer he used on his pistols.
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Also, the trigger guards do look different. Would it be difficult to change it without damaging the pistol?

David.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is the model of pistol I believe they might have used. You can also see why I think they added grip panels to the prop, if this is the model they used.

I actually think that might be the model Coyle said was the base, but if so, I think he must've remembered wrong. (It's been a few years, after all!) The grip and body are completely different to the Deth pistol. Deth's pistol is more angular, and just look at the ridges in the grip... they are much thinner on Deth's, which also has a different buttplate.
 

Riceball

Master Member
I see where you might think it's silver, but I'm still fairly sure that it's brown resin showing through. A glossy polished plastic would easily cast the glints that are reading as "silver" under studio lighting. I've run the clip of this on repeat looking at the way the light interacts with the surface. The Coyle-made guns that were in metal all seem to be made out of rectangular, angled shapes- no curves like on Deth's pistol or his black-cast ray guns.
And those are not panels on the sides of the grips- the ridges/grooves are molded into the plastic.

Look at this:
View attachment 1338145

I brightened up the capture a little and you can clearly see the brown resin wearing through the black paint in several areas of the pistol. A couple months ago, there was a similar situation where I was initially seeing chrome/silver where there in fact was a painted surface.

I don't know, but the backstrap of the grip looks like it's silver to me. I'm seeing black grip scales with possible paint rubbed off in spots and brown at the base, but the backstrap looks definitely silver to me.
 

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JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't know, but the backstrap of the grip looks like it's silver to me. I'm seeing black grip scales with possible paint rubbed off in spots and brown at the base, but the backstrap looks definitely silver to me.
Since different monitors can show different colors, I did a color-value test in Photoshop. The various worn down "brown-looking" areas on the grip, backstrap, barrel end cap and trigger all showed similar values.
 

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