Deckard PKD Gun Scratchbuild

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Haystack Hair, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    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

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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)

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

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

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    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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    Thanks for reading, subscribe for more!
     
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  2. mikoyan99

    mikoyan99 Active Member

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    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
     
  3. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love the PKD, too, and this is fascinating stuff to watch.


    -MJ
     
  4. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    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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  5. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Do you have the WorldCon photos to work from?
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    Oooh no I don't! I've been working from dribs and drabs I've been able to find, mostly from Adam's video on Tested
     
  7. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member

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  9. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you, Jack. I figured if anyone know, PropSummit would.
     
  10. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    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
     
  11. Hairyloft

    Hairyloft Well-Known Member

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    Looks like this will be a cool build to watch, one of my fav props!
     
  12. CSMacLaren

    CSMacLaren Sr Member

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    Gosh, sure looks purdy, even as an early-stage mockup!
     
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  13. Rattle Can

    Rattle Can New Member

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

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    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

    [​IMG]PKD 032
     
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  15. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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
     
  16. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    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)
     
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  17. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, you could just pop the plaster mold in the kiln to drive out any moisture, right?
     
  18. brandomack

    brandomack Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If you have any questions regarding aluminum casting, ask member Jamie Staff. http://www.therpf.com/members/jamie-staff/
     
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  19. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    Working on the grips this weekend. I'm going to whack them back into the laser cutter to do the knurling

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  20. RogueTrooper

    RogueTrooper Well-Known Member

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    Excellent work!
     
  21. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Yo Haystack!
    I love this thread, and will be following with interest!
    I also experimented with pewter casting for my Blade runner cop badges for my film. I tried molding with plaster molds. Important thing is that they are completely dry, so I baked them in an oven and also left them to dry in the air. The castings were turning out ok, but the problem was that during demolding the molds ALWAYS broke. So it was the whole process of baking and drying them over and over again for every cast. Which was too time consuming and frustrating.
    In the end I found some random silicone that withheld the temperature without problem. And that was a really crappy silicone so I'm sure the ones you can get should be totally ok.
    Pewter melts at what? 200 - 250 celsius, so it doesn't harm the molds.
    Aluminum on the other hand is a different thing.

    If you want to see my mistakes check out this post from my thread and keep up the great work:
    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=206196&page=11&p=3408008&viewfull=1#post3408008
     
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  22. Strontiumdoguk

    Strontiumdoguk Member

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    Awesome work


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  23. TomVDJ

    TomVDJ Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Some people have way too much talent ;-). I'll be following this thread with great interest too...
     
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  24. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    No photos, but today I did some experiments with pewter and I have discovered that several metal casts can be made in just an ordinary RTV silicone mould with no damage to either.....obviously the rubber won't withstand repeated use, but it should be fine for what Jem and I have in mind
     
  25. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great work so far. Subscribed with much interest in this one!
     
  26. PACKARACK

    PACKARACK New Member

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    Loving this. Can't wait to see more!
     
  27. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very creative! Well done so far. :thumbsup

    Karl
     
  28. freeshrugs

    freeshrugs New Member

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    If you have the capacity to cast with aluminum I'd recommend green sand to make molds.
     
  29. Hirohawa

    Hirohawa Sr Member

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    Amazing work so far.
     
  30. Mrdopey

    Mrdopey New Member

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    Great build, any updates
     
  31. Czar

    Czar New Member

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    Awesome. Trying to build my own - but it's not to this standard! Great stuff.
     

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