Dethaniel's Borderlands Prop Series

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dethaniel

New Member
Hello everyone,

If you couldn't tell from the title, I am a huge Borderlands fan since the first release. It is the one game in my collection that that has helped me keep ties with my friends, and I just like the overall design of the characters and guns most.

With that, I wanted to make all of my favorite items from the game. So, this thread will incorporate the usual progress pics of every item I make from the borderlands series and hope to find like-minded people who are interested or who have been already working on borderlands props. I would also be more than happy to answer anyone's questions, as well would it be nice to receive some advice/tips/constructive criticism on the progression.

Finished:
Bee Shield
Torgue Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold
Turret Pod
Longbow Fire Bee Grenade
Axton's Backpack
Axton's boots

In progress:
Tediore Hefty Plasmacaster
Vladof Infinity Pistol
Hyperion Bitch
Axton Legendary Soldier Classmod



Tediore Plasmacaster:

Most of the progress can be seen here: http://www.therpf.com/f9/dethaniels-3d-printable-plasma-caster-borderlands-2-a-199700/

In earliest progress, I have been working on painting the thing. One of my biggest struggles in replica building is painting. I have always used spray-paints and had difficulty with the process. Recently, I was lent an airbrush and some acrylic paints and stumbled upon Adam Savage's Cosmonaut model one day build video, this was a big help in envisioning my process for painting; as painting is the most crucial step in making these things look good (a good paint job can make a poorly built prop look phenomenal, while a poor paint job can make a greatly built replica look displeasing).

The other process that I have always struggled with most is smoothing and finishing surfaces. I've primarily used Bondo and Spot putty for my earlier builds, but lately I have gotten my hands on Smooth-On's XTC-3D. This product has helped me tremendously with surface finishing. It is not perfect, but it has done the job for me thus far.

I chose this Plasmacaster as it was the gun that got me through my entire first playthrough of the game. As for the build process, I started with my 3D model in SolidWorks. Using screenshots from the item viewer, I was able to compile the model, which was then broken down into manageable parts. Typically trying to figure out each individual part of the gun and how it is assembled. From there, I used my Robo3D printer for fabrication, and Cura/reprap for building and slicing softwares. When I started this project, I was relatively new to additive manufacturing and tuning the printer, resulting in some parts coming out warped, but that was quickly fixed.


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Then the guy went under a lot of smoothing with bondo and spot putty as this predated the XTC-3D, then a few coats of Primer and filler (watchout for humid weather)
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After this is when I started the electronics to drive the diffusor panels and LEDs. Just a simple program on an arduino using the Motor shield.
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This is when I had to take a break due to school and nowhere to paint or work at my apartment.
Over the past few days is when I was able to start painting. Most of the work is done with an airbrush. My favorite part was trying to get the blue-ish carbon fiber style. For this, I used the placemat grip sheets that commonly have a staggered square profile. So I put down the flat black, then placed the sheet on top and sprayed on a blue and silver concoction on top. Then I gave amist over with black for blend, then a clear coat. everything was then given a black wash.
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Update:



- - - Updated - - -

Vladof Infinity Pistol

This project started as a test so see detailing the my printer could handle as it will be printed as one piece, but then a friend form another prop group asked for one, which lead to me fleshing out the model a little more. once of my favorite attributes in a good prop is the use of hardware, this pushed my to disassemble the model into its individual components and research look-alike fastening hardware on McMaster Carr.

Design like so, except Vladof grips:
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This was the first print I made. top side looks great but the underside was awful due to support material.

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The model was additionally sliced in half to preserve quality on both sides.

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Updates:

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dethaniel

New Member
Torgue Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold


This gun is one of my favorites and was of course heavily used in my early Axton builds. It was another request build by a friend which I turned out to go full out on.

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This was one that I wanted to make fully functional in terms of trigger and hammer use, and of course light up.
Harold exploded.pngIMG_20150121_205919_919.jpg

Then there was the typical smoothing, and I heavily focused on the painting as it was the first of the group I attempted to paint with the airbrush. Difficulties: didn't have any grey or white.
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The only things left to finish in this is the get the hardware in, install the electronics, and paint the star on the barrel.

Updates:

3/10/15
The hardware finally came in for this guy. So, I was able to fasten everything up. The final assembly was actually very difficult due to wire locations and some extra screws I had to put onto those side profile light thingamabobs. Which, in the end, a wire broke loose somewhere and disconnected the whole circuit, I have to try and fix that in the near future. But otherwise, I think the thing is about done!

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I also apologize for being a horrible photographer. I'll try to produce better pictures in the near future.
 
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dethaniel

New Member
Hyperion Bitch

This is my most heavily used weapon used in the game.

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As for now, all I have done is the base model. Have not had the chance to fill in some seams due to warpage and have had the chance to apply some XTC-3D.
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There are some movable parts and a separate magazine. As I sometimes do like to add triggers to some of these props to take aware the feeling of danger from other people, so the only functionality of this gun will be the lights
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​Updates:

3/10/15
Like I said before, I really started to get into the painting recently. Which, I am pretty happy with the paint job here. Let me know what colors and accents you would have used! Its a really fun and basic piece.

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I gave the whole piece a winter gray base coat, tapped off all of the gray parts that I could, then went over with a banner red which I thought was the closest stylistically. then used a brush for the yellow compliments, this part did not layer on well and should have been sprayed on. Then after a semi-gloss coat, I sprayed metallic spray paint into a cup, dabbed the brush in it, followed by drying the brush off, then started making quick light strokes back and forth down hard edges that stuck out most. last part was to mix black acrylic paint with water 1:5 ratio and brush it on and make sure to get it in the seams and wiping as much excess off as possible.

Still not a good photographer. I'll try to take better pictures later. last things to do are to print the LED diffusors and string some LEDs through the body.

Now, I hope some of you fans noticed the missing detail on the body of the gun and what it actually is. I hope to go to a con sometime and get those added on by any amount of the developer team.
 
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dethaniel

New Member
Bee Shield

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This part is was a very early print of mine, which iswhy there aren't any movable partsor translucent pieces for where I would have liked toinstall LED's. This will have to be a part where I will have to focus on the painting for effect. There is also a loop for a belt on the back.
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Updates:

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Longbow Fire Bee Grenade
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Simple build, smoothing and painting will come soon.
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Updates:

Axton Legendary SoldierClassmod
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This part has a lot of my concerns as I would like a functionality aspect behind it such as a projector or camera or something.
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Updates:

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Axton's Backpack

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This was a fun build thus far as I have not printed any components for it yet. It started as a pepakura build which then used styrene sheets for paneling. Then formed acrylic for backing and cut a little hatch out for it. Then I made a pattern and sewed the padding together and stuffed it with a foam slab, followed by epoxying it to the sanded surface of the acrylic. I had originally painted the pack yellow as I was aiming for the "Man with the Golden Pun" skin, but as I had these green pants that were perfect for the look, I had to go with the original and paint it a light grey, followed by a lot of severe weathering (black, green, and red dirt washing, and using an exacto to cut it up around the edges).
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Updates:

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5/17/2015

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BRDencklau

Well-Known Member
Right on, @dethaniel! Amazing amount of translating there. Do you model from ripped files or is there some conversion software applied?

About that Herald, dope. I have been contemplating a scratch build of that exact model since the game dropped it in my lap. Well done!

Edit: I just went back and reread the intro. Questions answered.
 

dethaniel

New Member
That is some serious Solidwork(s)! Very high quality prop making.
Thank you very much! I'm using these projects as practice to build up my SolidWorks experience.

Right on, @dethaniel! Amazing amount of translating there. Do you model from ripped files or is there some conversion software applied?

About that Herald, dope. I have been contemplating a scratch build of that exact model since the game dropped it in my lap. Well done!

Edit: I just went back and reread the intro. Questions answered.
I cannot wait to see you get started on that, I've followed a lot of your work and has been some of my inspiration to keep going with borderlands replicas.


As of recently, I have been working on Axtons back pack and detailing that goes into it, putting the Tediore logo on the Plasmacaster, make the LED diffusors for the PC, model and print Axton's tomahawk, and developed a new model to start printing.

turret casing.JPG
Works as a great carrier and potential lunch box. I might substitute Axton's back pouch with this piece.

Update:

3/18/15

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dethaniel

New Member
Digitizer Pack!

The next part to be made is the digistruct pack on Axton's leg. This was a quick sketch, open housing for components, channel to fit an LED strip, should be a quick one. Only thing I really ned to focus on is how I am going to mount a gun to it, specifically the Harold. Magnets won't do, probably will have to put on some sort of hangar, but I'm afraid that will easily break off when walking around. I'll think of something.

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Update:

3/18/15

All I need is to order the neopixel LED strip as I can power it with a lipo battery while the old LED strip I had required 12 volts which is ridiculous to keep portable,

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3/23/15

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5/17/2015

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Trinket and neopixel LED strips have been installed! (FYI, there is a fading effect going on)
 
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dethaniel

New Member
Axton's Boots:


This is the really fun portion of the Axton project. I converted my old kinect into a 3d scanner and using skanect, I scanned my boot and exported a low poly model to save on memory and processing.
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Then the usual, model based off reference pictures and print the test piece.
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Updates:

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one boot down, 1 more to go. In any pictures you see there is a plate that runs down the shin and curves to the top of the foot, but that would impede some movement, so ill be replacing it with a leather piece. I believe its a lace cover anyway.

3/27/15
And there we are, got the right boot put together, All I need now is that leather cover and black spats to cover up some of the boot.
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Also got an elbow pad done while I was at it.
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5/17/2015

I have never really sewn before, but I was able to put these spats together!

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dethaniel

New Member
Big updates and new stuff!!!

Dahl turret pod to replace the back pouch. Left boot is almost done, right is in progress. Having such a wonderful time soldering all the RGB LEDs for the plasma caster... Then just wrapping paracord around the hilt of Axton's hatchet.
 

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dethaniel

New Member
Fantastic work here. I can't wait to see what comes next!
Thanks fabrik! not sure what other borderlands props I want to make, I always take suggestions. For now, I just want to finish the backpack and jacket, as well as finish the electronics for the rest of the guns.
 

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dethaniel

New Member
You use the in-game weapons viewer for reference, correct?
That is correct. Its a very common technique in replication modeling. by setting up a build box with the desired dimensions of the replica. then just add the planar faces and images onto those faces. However, I still have to make estimations on some of the dimensions as the views wont perfectly lineup because the reference shots are taken from a viewers perspective and the object rotates on a fixed origin, resulting in a panning depth effect (fish eye).
 
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BRDencklau

Well-Known Member
Yeah, mad fish-eye in the weapons viewer at scale. There is a way to pull orthographic versions of the weapons from the code but it's beyond me. I have some Eastern European bros working out the fiddly bits for me.
 

dethaniel

New Member
Yup, thats the word I was looking for haha. Also beyond me, don't feel its completely necessary though since its my 3d modeling designs (add some practical feel to it). Im sure the orthographic view would be much more handy for you and your master hand craftsmanship.
 

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