Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke (Finished on page 7)

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NormanF

Master Member
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For my first prop I thought I would do something relatively simple: the mini-nuke from Fallout 3. Too bad it's not as simple as I thought it would be. Also, this keeps getting stuck in my head.

I am doing this in such a way that I can make at least two copies: one for me and one for my brother. If there is enough interest I will probably do a run and sell some in the Junkyard. The plan is to use floral foam as the core. Over this will go a layer of fiberglass resin so I don't put my fingers through it during the later steps. Even with the resin I put some holes in it. On top of that would go a layer or two of body filler, then primer and paint. Then I will use brush on rubber and plasti-paste to make a mold.

After doing some comparisons with screen shots, a pepakura model, and the butt stock from my CETME rifle (pretty close to the assault rifle in the game) I came up with a plan for the body. I also figured that the Nuka Cola bottle must be about 1 liter.


Next step was to make the core of the body. My first (hint) attempt was with foam core and floral foam. Unfortunately, I did not center the two foam core parts together so after shaping the foam it was lopsided. Then there is the whole thing about fiberglass resin attacking the EPS in the foam core.

The picture of the foam core below is upside down. The cutout was originally where I planned to pour in the casting resin and then insert some sort of primer that I never knew about until I was taking screenshots.






At this point I went and made some more forms, this time out of thin cardboard like you find on the back of notepads and then went through the process of shaping again. I changed the design so there will be just a shallow cutout on the bottom for the primer and a larger cutout on the top for pouring the resin and then inserting the nosecone. This way if I get really ambitious I can put some sort of sound system in it to play the explosion sound if you press on the nose cone. After I got a rough shape I decided it would be easier with a lathe so I forced myself to go to Harbor Freight and pick one up. Much better results!




I did something similar for the nose cone. This is it with one layer of filler.


Here is the body with a layer of filler on it.




Now, here I need a suggestion. If you look you can see there are some shallow holes on the main body. At first I was just going to fill them in and sand them flush. But then I thought, "Hmm, that looks like some pretty good aging right there. Maybe I should leave it and continue on with the rest of it." So, what does everyone think: Should I leave the holes or should I make this perfect and then use my non-existent paint skills to age resin copies?
 
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Volpin

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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

I think its always more convincing to make a piece "perfect" then age it after its been built correctly. When I weather a piece, I try to consider how it would have aged naturally. Right now you may have some interesting marks but they might not be in proper locations.

Rust will show up more often around screw holes and seam lines, where the paint and primer on actual metal would have scratched away. Dents and dings wouldn't be present around the backside of the casing, as the fin assembly would keep this from happening like a protective cage.

These are just a few examples, but I think you'll be better off with more purposeful weathering instead of going with whats on there now.
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Ok, the master has spoken. I was leaning that way myself but better to get advice from someone with experience to be sure.
 

PepMaster

Sr Member
Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

It looks excellent so far, too bad you already have a good start on it I've had this for a while. I actually have all the Fallout 3 Weapon 3D Models.


Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

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NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

It is a REAL PITA to sand a foam and bondo (I didn't use Bondo) football smooth and round. I started doing some painting while some last minute filler cures on the body.

Nose cone with first coat of primer:


Not sure why it looks brownish, maybe the light bouncing off the cardboard.

Second coat of primer:


At this point it was night so the only light was from the fluorescent in my garage so shadows stood out more and I noticed some high and low spots. Not bad, but noticeable in the right light. I still haven't decide whether to leave it or deal with them.

From the top:


A few weeks ago I started work on the fin ring. Ideally, I would just use several inches of 5 inch schedule 10 pvc pipe. Nobody around here has it. So I used a large tube of oatmeal instead.


I do not show it in that picture, but I then put a layer of card stock on both sides to bulk it out some and to hopefully give it a bit more strength so it doesn't flop around while I work on it. I then put a layer of resin on and now I have some gnarly looking filler on it.

I also made a fin out of Super Sculpey. Unfortunately, I took the measurements from a pepakura model which do not totally agree with my later measurements/estimates from screenshots. That includes needing to cut a big chunk of that top off. Other than that it just needs some sanding and maybe some filler to take care of any holes. There are also two small bubbles that need to be dealt with. This is from before I cooked it:
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

No real updates, there was a death in the family at the beginning of January and then it got cold. Once you lose momentum it's hard to get back up to speed. I did mark some low spots on the main body that need to be raised, but that's been it. I plan to get back to work on things this weekend. Raise the low spots and fix some issues with the nose cone.

And then I see someone beat me to it. Nice to see they agree on the size, but I think theirs might be a bit bigger. I notice they really beefed up the range and yield too.
 

NormanF

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Not much of an updated, but I did mark out some low spots I need to fix on the main body.





The nose section needs some filling too, which sucks because I already primed it. Oh well, no reason to half-*ss it.
 

Jm419

Sr Member
Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Hey, looks darn smooth to me. Sorry to hear about your loss.
 

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Wes R

Legendary Member
Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Sorry to hear about the death. Yeah getting the momentum back is a massive pain. Looks good so far, this is like the ultimate item on my fallout list. Even though I'm mostly doing F1 and 2 you can't pass up something this cool.
 

JamesM

New Member
Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Fantastic! The singer's outfit in that video wouldn't look out of place in the Fallout world, btw...
 

Dainbramage546

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Looks awesome so far!

It's going to look beastly sitting on a shelf or a coffee table.
That'd make a good conversation starter :D "Is that a nuke...?"
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Looks awesome so far!

It's going to look beastly sitting on a shelf or a coffee table.
That'd make a good conversation starter :D "Is that a nuke...?"
Almost as good as when I go into work:
Co-worker - "Hey,Norman, do anything over the weekend?"
Me - "Naw, just some work on my bomb."
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

So, like a reboot of Batman, I put the gloves and [respirator] mask back on and got back to work.. It is upside down in these pictures. At some point I will need to cut a shallow circle into it so I can inlay what I keep calling the "firing pin" detail.


Low spots be gone!




I guess right now it looks more like an egg from Alien. I'll take some sand paper to it tomorrow. And I realized I left off the seam detail where the two parts of the body are attached together. I might try doing it with Apoxie sculpt instead of body filler.
 

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NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

So about two weeks ago I started sanding down the filler I used to build up the low spots. At this point I find out I did not use enough hardener. After I got the rough spots knocked down I started hitting soft spots. A coworker who turned me onto this website suggested I heat it up to get it to cure. I broke out the heat gun and had at it. Not only did it not cause the filler to cure, it caused some of the foam and resin under the filler to melt. Now it has a soft spot. At this point I decided I could either scrape off all the uncured filler and patch the hole or I could make a new core and fix some other things I had missed. So now I am on to core #3. One of the things I have "improved" is to use a 1x1 inch core of balsa wood so I can keep putting this thing back in a lathe. Without it the foam crushes a little more every time I put it in and sometimes it does other damage to the foam making it near impossible to re-center. I also switched to a spray adhesive to put it together and it is working wonders. Assuming it hasn't fallen apart when I get home. I should be able to do some lathe work on it today after work.

Pictures at 11:00.
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Pictures as threatened.
Attaching the first block of foam to the balsa core.




Attaching the second block





Attaching the last block. I did not line this one up very well, but everything seems to be holding together.




After take it for a spin



The next step is to make a template so I can get it down to the correct football shape. It would be easier with wood because I can't get anywhere near it with calipers to measure it without gouging the foam.
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Ok, I finished taking the new core for a spin in the lathe. The groove is so I can put slightly thicker body filler or maybe apoxy sculpt to support some details. If you look at a large picture like this then you can see there is a seam about 1/3 of the way down where the two parts of the nuke go together. Just below that are some screws. Right now I am thinking of using largish, slightly recessed screws so it looks more like real military hardware, but I might stick with smaller countersunk screws so it is more screen accurate. You can also see the template I was using to get the foam to the right shape.



The line down the middle is the glue





Saturday or Sunday I'll slap a coat of resin on it so I don't damage the foam from just handling it. It's not the ultra soft foam, but it's not EPS either.
 

NormanF

Master Member
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Re: Fallout 3: Mini-Nuke WIP

Now with a crunchy shell. But not a chocolate one.

 

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