HALF-LIFE 2 - Gravity Gun - Realistic Replica - 18.12. - VALVE HIT ME UP!

ThePropBox

Active Member
Hello everyone! :)

May I introduce myself as Mario, a 26-year old hobby artist located in Austria. I’ve been a reader on this amazing forum for almost 4 years but never took the time to actually register or showcase my stuff here; shame on me!
Over the last eight years I have been quite active in the sector of casemodding but I guess now is the time to try something new ;)
Except for some of my casemods my biggest success so far was a hand carved, wooden replica of the infamous Majora’s Mask from The Legend of Zelda -series I guess most of you can relate to :)
The amazing response from fans all over the world really surprised me a lot and made me stick to this amazing form of creativity.
I opened a Facebook-page with a worklog dedicated to the mask in 2013 but now I decided to have it renamed to a more general name considering I’m going to make this my main page for my stuff, not just Zelda-related things. You’re more than welcome to check out the worklog if you want!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PropBox/287740688037646
Deviantart: http://supermariio.deviantart.com

FINISHED:


Compared to the Gravity Gun replica from NECA.










HALF - LIFE 2 - Gravity Gun - LET IT BEGIN! :)

Let’s get on with the project I actually want to present you here: the Gravity Gun from the Half-Life series. I’ve been a fan of this series since its beginning and considering I love replicas from various games I didn’t get warm with the Gravity Gun replica NECA made a couple of years ago.
The lack of the detail is just… argh :X

So let’s begin. My replica is going to be mostly made from aluminum and acrylics. The parts which are going to end up being metal are the ones which keep the internal structure together and prevent the thing from falling apart. The odd shaped main body on the backside is going to be made from acrylics. I’m not THAT big of a fan of using acrylics when it comes to thing like that but it’s just a nice and comfortable material to work with.
Designing the gun was one of the hardest things I ever came across but I eventually figured out a way to make everything detachable and maintenance-friendly without losing stability.

What would a gun be without fancy lighting?
There will be around 150 LEDs used in this gun, 90 alone for the Xen-crystals. It may sound like overkill right now (which maybe it really is haha) but yeah… love those little lighting buddies :p
As all of the LEDs are RGB ones and every single of of them eats up 30-40mA there will be a maximum current of 6A(!). Even though I doubt that it will rise that high since not all LEDs are turned on at a specific moment.

Let’s take a look at some pictures you’re most likely waiting to see if you made it until here :p ;)

Inner barrels...

My good friend Michael offered me to have all the round objects (barrels, caps, etc.) which are needed on the backside of the gun CNC-machined from aluminum.
Considering I was going to create them from MDF and order a bunch of Smooth-On stuff to have them molded and rotocasted… it was a nobrainer to accept his generous offer.
So he spent a lot of his spare time just to hand me over those two babies… THANK YOU MAN! :)






...and outer barrels!

Those two bad boys will not just reside useless at the back of the gun. They are chosen to hold all the electronics which are needed in order to control all the lighting for the Gravity Gun. Each one of them will contain a custom-designed PCB-shield for the two Arduinos which are going to end up there.
Why two you might ask!
Well, the program which runs the effects for the xen-crystals just barely fits on the internal memory of one of the Arduinos so there is no more space left on one device to handle more.






The structure...

And this is how the thing should be held together on the back. An aluminum pipe is the core element where all other machined parts are mounted on.
This pipe is getting cut at an angle and some 1cm thick PVC-inserts (which are left to be machined) are going to get screwed inside the outer ends of the pipe. This will give me a proper surface to mount the outer barrels :)



The bigger pipe represents the main barrel of the gun. It kinda feels a little to big to be honest but if I did my math correct and didn't screw up constructing in in AutoCad completely... I should be fine haha.




Here are the PVC parts I need to machine first...





Unfortunately this is all I have for now but there will be a huge update this week as I’m now waiting for all the laser cut parts to be finished.
Fingers crossed I can pick them up before the weekend! Hope you like it so far although it's not much of a first update... :)

Stay tuned for more! :)

Mario
 
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Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

This is awesome. I'm subscribing. This should hold some great inspiration for the ASHPD I'm currently building. What are you planning for a power supply?
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

Thanks a lot man! :)
I hope there will be so you can give me some hints on that since I'm planning to give it a shot in the future too :)
As a power supply I'm planning to get a 6A one for the 230V socket. Having it unplugged it should switch to an internal array of NiHm-akku cells which should deliver the current it needs. Need to figure out where to put them though...
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

Thanks a lot man! :)
I hope there will be so you can give me some hints on that since I'm planning to give it a shot in the future too :)
As a power supply I'm planning to get a 6A one for the 230V socket. Having it unplugged it should switch to an internal array of NiHm-akku cells which should deliver the current it needs. Need to figure out where to put them though...
My progress is very slow. With a house and a family and full time job I don't get to work on it as much as I would like. I haven't posted here because I don't have a lot to show...yet. I've spent the past year and a half just on the barrel since I want it to be just right. Like you I'm trying to make it maintainable if possible. Always easier said than done. I also slow myself down as I didn't have a solid plan at first and kept changing things. There was about a month or so just sorting the electronics for the thing. Everytime I do something I go back and test everything together just to be safe. This has saved my bacon more than once. The electronics are sorted design wise but I used perforated PCBs and don't like them. im now in the middle of etching custom boards for everything. I've learned a ton though.

Your's is fancier than mine, sounds like it will have to use this setup for it to work at all.
 
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ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

I totally feel you! I could have been the one who wrote your text now ;)
I'm designing the gun for around 4 months now (with shorter interruptions) but if I look back at the first draft I did and compare it to the model I have now... man I am glad I took my time. I sorted out SO many errors and flaws. Since laser cutting is quite expensive though it's kinda pressurizing to have everything exact! :)
But I take my time and like you I did learn a lot throughout the building/construction-progress :)

Can't wait to see yours!
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

I don't have much to share, but maybe I will start a thread.
 

Hoplitespear

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

HALF - LIFE 2 - Gravity Gun - LET IT BEGIN! :)

http://www.majoras-mask.com/gravitygun/blueprint.jpg

Let’s get on with the project I actually want to present you here: the Gravity Gun from the Half-Life series. I’ve been a fan of this series since its beginning and considering I love replicas from various games I didn’t get warm with the Gravity Gun replica NECA made a couple of years ago.
The lack of the detail is just… argh :X

So let’s begin. My replica is going to be mostly made from aluminum and acrylics. The parts which are going to end up being metal are the ones which keep the internal structure together and prevent the thing from falling apart. The odd shaped main body on the backside is going to be made from acrylics. I’m not THAT big of a fan of using acrylics when it comes to thing like that but it’s just a nice and comfortable material to work with.
Designing the gun was one of the hardest things I ever came across but I eventually figured out a way to make everything detachable and maintenance-friendly without losing stability.

What would a gun be without fancy lighting?
There will be around 150 LEDs used in this gun, 90 alone for the Xen-crystals. It may sound like overkill right now (which maybe it really is haha) but yeah… love those little lighting buddies :p
As all of the LEDs are RGB ones and every single of of them eats up 30-40mA there will be a maximum current of 6A(!). Even though I doubt that it will rise that high since not all LEDs are turned on at a specific moment.



Mario
I'm going to follow this one!!!
This looks like its going to be a super detailed build. And as a huge fan of HL i can't wait to see more!!! Been looking around for a prop to carry with my HEV costume and i was doubting for a second to buy the NECA one, but after reading that the detail lacks allot i might just make my own one day. I will just carry a crowbar with my suit for the moment.

Hoping to see more soon, it looks really promising!
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

Awesome, welcome onboard! :)
I can promise you, it definitely will be! Great to see other people being excited as I am!
Really, you did a HEV? Wanna share some pictures?

There will be a huge update this weekend as I got all my laser cut parts today... stay tuned!!
 

The Full Armor

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

Off to a great start! I can't wait to see the finished product! How heavy do you expect it to be?
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica: LAZOR STUFF!

Hey everyone! :)

UPDATE TIME!
I managed to pick everything up from the laser guy and already began to throw everything together.
Feels like I was buying this thing from IKEA looking at all those parts... and this is only for the main body.
It would have been nearly impossible to cut this all by hand considering all this stuff needs to be totally exact when it comes to dimensions. Glad I went with the laser ;)





This is what the main junction which holds everything in place should be looking like in the end.
The two M12-rods will be connecting the main barrel to the rear of the gun and act as additional support beams running through the whole structure.





Tow little temporary mockups :) The barrel is too long though!






On with the progress... after searching all the parts which are needed first I carefully aligned them and started glueing them together! :)





While I was waiting for the glue to cure I started working on the end cap for the main barrel.
The little slots are supposed to be holes to let the cables of all the LEDs come from the barrel to the inside of the gun and connect up with the power sources and Arduinos.
Also you can see the two holes for the M12-bolts.






Et voila! :D The glue cured and I was able to put everything toegether.
The glue which is spreading out shouldn't bother you too much... will be removed in the process :p
Unfortunately the big pipe for the barrel isn't perfectly circular so I had to widen the whole in the front a little bit to have a nice fit.









The next thing is to create the whole casing for the main body. But this will be done in the next update! :D
Hope you're liking it so far guys!

Take care,
Mario

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PropBox/287740688037646
Deviantart: http://supermariio.deviantart.com
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica - UPDATE: Lazor time!

This is great. I could have never gone laser cut for my project. Good on you.
 

Hoplitespear

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

Awesome, welcome onboard! :)
I can promise you, it definitely will be! Great to see other people being excited as I am!
Really, you did a HEV? Wanna share some pictures?

There will be a huge update this weekend as I got all my laser cut parts today... stay tuned!!
I've send you a pm with a link to pics of the suit.

Those lasercut parts look absolutly perfect. Can't wait to see more. This will probably be one of the best looking Gravity guns out there if not 'the' best.
And your pics look like freaking studio photo's. I guess photography is one of your hobbies aswell :p.
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica (CNC stuff!)

This is great. I could have never gone laser cut for my project. Good on you.
Thanks a lot man! I'm glad I found a store which has great prices when it comes to laser-cutting stuff like that.
Searched for an eternity but it totally paid off!

I'm speechless! Great work so far!
THANK YOU!

I've send you a pm with a link to pics of the suit.

Those lasercut parts look absolutly perfect. Can't wait to see more. This will probably be one of the best looking Gravity guns out there if not 'the' best.
And your pics look like freaking studio photo's. I guess photography is one of your hobbies aswell :p.
Oh, I didn't check my messages! Sorry mate, will get back to you asap!
Thanks a lot for the nice words regarding my photos. Yeah I tried to get into people photography a few years ago but the motivation went away. The stuff and "experience" stayed and is now used for documentation purposes :)
 
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msleeper

Sr Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica - UPDATE: Lazor time!

Watch out for this becoming stupidly front-heavy when holding it. Aluminum is a really cool route to go, but unless this is just a shelf display piece, you probably won't be able to hold on to it the way you're "supposed to" with the 2 handles in the back. I don't know how the Neca ones compare to the Gravity Guns that Volpin and I have made in terms of weight, but I know I can't hold mine straight out for very long.

Are you building a specific version? The game model and the world model differ greatly. The Neca gun also takes some interesting liberties with the design (although to be fair, it was designed by Valve).

EDIT
And for what it's worth, the aluminum structure may be overkill. Mine is 100% acrylic and cast resin, and the front half with the barrel bolts onto a 6mm acrylic plate on the back half, and I've never worried about anything breaking. I definitely don't baby mine either, she's a display piece at every event I go to and plenty of people manhandle it.
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica - UPDATE: Lazor time!

Watch out for this becoming stupidly front-heavy when holding it. Aluminum is a really cool route to go, but unless this is just a shelf display piece, you probably won't be able to hold on to it the way you're "supposed to" with the 2 handles in the back. I don't know how the Neca ones compare to the Gravity Guns that Volpin and I have made in terms of weight, but I know I can't hold mine straight out for very long.

Are you building a specific version? The game model and the world model differ greatly. The Neca gun also takes some interesting liberties with the design (although to be fair, it was designed by Valve).

EDIT
And for what it's worth, the aluminum structure may be overkill. Mine is 100% acrylic and cast resin, and the front half with the barrel bolts onto a 6mm acrylic plate on the back half, and I've never worried about anything breaking. I definitely don't baby mine either, she's a display piece at every event I go to and plenty of people manhandle it.
Hey there!
I was looking at your worklog here before I started working on mine! :)
It will mostly be displayed on a stand although I did the math and IF I didn't do it wrong my Gravity Gun should have a perfect balance between the front and the back. Since most of the frontal area consists of just an aluminum tube and some small layers of acrylic the weight will occur mostly on the back where its held. I don't know how much the crystals are going to weigh but that shouldn't influence the whole structure a lot to be honest. I'm quite confident that the whole thing is going to have a perfect balance when it comes to holding it.
It's mostly based on the one of NECA/Valve, but there will be some considerable changes done to tweak this beauty a little bit :)

To your statement regarding the aluminum and overall resistance. I chose aluminum over resin because I really like the feeling of having something sturdy in my builds. I would have chosen aluminum over the acrylics aswell but it's just no fun glueing to be honest ;) Also for making the lathed parts from resin I would have needed the lathe anyway to create the master for the molds. And considering the price for Smooth-On Mold Max and the resin... it was a no-brainer for me to choose what I had available :)


Anyway, here's an little update for you guys!
All the electronics arrived from Adafruit and I cannot wait to get them going! I only had time to align the circular RGB-LED ring in the middle of the tube and drill holes for the cables for powering and controlling it. I will get into details more in the next update!





Since the workshop has been in use today there was no space left for me. So I banned myself infront of Photoshop and created the face of the gauge which will be placed on the left outer cylinder in the back of the gun! :) I think it came out pretty well, altough it isn't finished yet.
This is going to get printed translucent and applied to a special kind of light-reactive acrylic which is going to get lit by some LEDs in the back.
Those LEDs are going to get controlled by an Arduino aswell and will make the whole gauge flicker here and then to achieve the look of a shortage.




Hope you like it, even it's just a shorter one!

Mario
 

msleeper

Sr Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica - UPDATE: Lazor time!

I don't know how much the crystals are going to weigh but that shouldn't influence the whole structure a lot to be honest.
If at all possible, vacuumform them out of clear plastic such as PETG. Mine are cast solid from Smooth Cast Crystal Clear, and I want to say they are around 2-3 pounds just by themselves. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you are hanging that weight 18" out in front of your arm, it adds up really quick.

If you don't have access to a vacuumformer, send me a PM and maybe we can work something out.

Everything else looks great!
 

Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica - 02.06. - Electronics UPDATE!

The electronics are always my favorite part. Really brings life to the piece.
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: Half Life 2 - Gravity Gun Replica - 02.06. - Electronics UPDATE!

If at all possible, vacuumform them out of clear plastic such as PETG. Mine are cast solid from Smooth Cast Crystal Clear, and I want to say they are around 2-3 pounds just by themselves. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you are hanging that weight 18" out in front of your arm, it adds up really quick.

If you don't have access to a vacuumformer, send me a PM and maybe we can work something out.

Everything else looks great!
Thank you so much for your kind offer!
But there are a few restrictions which prevent me from vacuum forming them. The crystals aren't going to look to look that smooth as they are now in everyone's replica.
I want to achieve an effect which makes them look like real, cut crystals :)

The electronics are always my favorite part. Really brings life to the piece.
TOTALLY!
Unfortunately it seems my RGB-strips are broken as I tried to get them running for around three hours :(
 
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