Deckard PKD Gun Scratchbuild

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Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Okay so I'd like to preface this by saying that we are not trying to create a 100% 'accurate to the measure' gun here, there will be differences in its construction and shapes in areas that only the most seasoned PKD experts would notice. This is for fun and as a challenge to ourselves

Recently Blade Runner the Final Cut was showing at the Duke of York's cinema down in Brighton, where my good friend Jem works. We both went to see it with a small group of freinds (yes, it was an incredible experience) and both of us got all fired up about making a pair of Deckard's beautiful PKD, one for each of us. Our plans started off without massive ambition, but in the end we reckoned....go hard.....or go home.....

THUS, here is our work so far. It's been a steep learning curve already despite my modest experience in metalwork, but a very valuable learning curve.

Several years ago I had small plans to start a PKD however I shelved the idea until a few weeks ago. I'd already drawn up a blueprint based on a conglomeration of the original, Adam Savage's collection, and the Tomenesuke blaster. I can't even remember where I got the measurements from though



At any rate, after a pretty avid discussion with Jem I decided to mock up an MDF gun to get an idea of size and shapes



I decided how the gun should be broken down, as we both want this to be a glue-free prop as much as possible, nice and dismantle-able. From that, I laser cut a 2 part MDF mould which I would pour pewter into. I coated all the important parts in graphite to ease cast releasing.







However by the time I actually had the time to do the casting, I had been doing research on various metal casting techniques and metals.....my old secondary school workshop where John (yes I mean John, I'm not just misspelling Jem [they are two very separate people]) and I regularly go to use has a massive stack of aluminium ingots, as you can probably guess, John and I get on really well with our old teachers so they said it was fine for us to cut off a block and melt it down. It took 15 minutes, with two propane canister torches to melt down the aluminium, but it cooled so quickly that even during the pour it was hardening.







Then the MDF mould started billowing smoke and we had to rapidly break the mould apart and water cool the cast metal down. It was all very exciting, the teachers and the class were fully distracted in the best possible sense ;)

Jem and I decided to try sandcasting in aluminium the next day, so I laser cut a 'stamp' and also the handle grips which Jem is going to sculpt with Milliput and patience.
Anyway sand casting didn't work either, the SAND set alight and we ended up with a blob mess.





Pewter seemed the best bet, so I designed a new 4-part MDF mould, graphite and aluminium tape coated for release and heat protection (I forgot to take photos of it with the foil until afterwards)





First cast had issues........mould was slightly damaged as the glue melted under the heat



Second cast? Much better, but the mould was decimated! NICE









As you can see here, our MDF mockup was about 20% too small (I have very small hands). Anyway, thankfully we can make another set of moulds and get on with casting the second frame next week





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mikoyan99

Active Member
Excellent work - I dodn't know MDF could take that sort of temperature - I'd have thought it'd just burn to nothing. I may give this a go I think.
-Matt
 

Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Well I realised much to my irritation that after all that work, the MDF mockup was in fact the correct size all along and the cast was 116% too big. :facepalm

So I'm going back to the drawing board and making a thorough layer-by-layer redesign for each component so that we can build as much as possible to fit perfectly first time round

 

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Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Shame on you ;)

They provide pretty comprehensive coverage of the whole gun, in it's current state.

Pretty sure the top of the Steyr receiver is parallel to the Bulldog barrel, not tapering as you have it on your drawing.
 

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Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Shame on you ;)

They provide pretty comprehensive coverage of the whole gun, in it's current state.

Pretty sure the top of the Steyr receiver is parallel to the Bulldog barrel, not tapering as you have it on your drawing.
The taper is just perspective from the gun I traced over don't worry, thanks for the photos though guys! Very useful stuff. Obviously Jem and I have decided to change the framework in the handle compared to the original prop, should save on weight and materials
 

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Rattle Can

New Member
This is definitely one to follow. Your wooden moulds make me wonder about other applications. Like, what about resin casting without silicone moulds?
 

Haystack Hair

Sr Member
Well today at last Jem and I got the correctly sized parts.....our college laser cutter is so cranky and battered but better than nothing I guess!

Cut in 5mm clear acrylic because that was what I had in my materials stash, the frame will be glued to form a 10mm thick master copy that we'll then cast in pewter; with the handles being layered and then sculpted into shape with milliput and a lot of sanding

PKD 032
 

Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So, why are you making a positive master to take a cast from (for the frame) this time, instead of making a negative mold (like last time)? Are you gonna make a mold out of silicone this time?


-MJ
 

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Haystack Hair

Sr Member
So, why are you making a positive master to take a cast from (for the frame) this time, instead of making a negative mold (like last time)? Are you gonna make a mold out of silicone this time?


-MJ
We're going to make a plaster mould in the college ceramics workshop; I planned it out with the technician in there and seeing as pewter has a relatively low melting point, there should be no issues casting it in the plaster. (casting aluminium in ordinary plaster would go terribly as any residual water would turn to steam in a flash and the whole thing would be a disaster)
 

Mike J.

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, you could just pop the plaster mold in the kiln to drive out any moisture, right?
 

brandomack

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
We're going to make a plaster mould in the college ceramics workshop; I planned it out with the technician in there and seeing as pewter has a relatively low melting point, there should be no issues casting it in the plaster. (casting aluminium in ordinary plaster would go terribly as any residual water would turn to steam in a flash and the whole thing would be a disaster)
If you have any questions regarding aluminum casting, ask member Jamie Staff. http://www.therpf.com/members/jamie-staff/
 

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