IDW's Ghostbusters: Ghost Smasher's Zapper


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For those not familiar, this prop replicates a bit of equipment used by the Ghost Smashers, a rival operation to the Ghostbusters in IDW's ongoing Ghostbusters comic series. The equipment is far sleeker and cleaner in design to the equipment used by the Ghostbusters, and series artist Dan Schoening has drawn inspiration from a collection of real-world gadgets for his inspiration.

Whilst it's my intention to eventually build the backpack that accompanies the Ghost Smashers' hand-held blaster, which I'll be referring from this point on as "The Zapper", for the time being I'll be concentrating on the Zapper itself:

The base for the Zapper in the comic, and inspiration for the name is a Nintendo Zapper light gun, most commonly associated with the Duck Hunt game.

Due to the surplus of Zappers I was able to pick up two of them pretty cheap, I selected one of each colour so I could take some of the parts from one and add them to the other, primarily the black trigger piece from the red gun and the dark grey casing for the second gun... my reasoning for this will become apparent later.

To add a bit of functionality, I bought a cheap ray gun at a bargain shop which will be donating its electronics to the project. The gun features flashing LEDs in the two uppermost plastic domes as well as a speaker for sound effects.

For the repainting, I'll be using my preferred materials from the Halfords range:
Halfords Grey Primer, Appliance Gloss White and Clear Lacquer to protect the paint finish.

I've also gathered a few additional bits with the view to replacing one of the LEDs in the electronics (it flashes blue and red, and isn't appropriate for the colour of the stream the Zapper emits). I've also gotten some lengths of wire to give me the option of having the power supply run out of the gun, saving me the hassle of having to dismantle it each time to replace the batteries:

Dismantling the two guns was easy, fortunately non of the screws had seized.

I then proceeded to mask off the grip sections of the dark grey gun, cutting around the grip gently with a Stanley blade in order to not damage the plastic finish.

With the masking finished, it was time to prime and paint the four separate pieces of the Zapper:

A full day after the gloss white paint had been applied, the masking tape was removed from the plastic, revealing the exposed dark grey. I'd decided to go with the original colour of the plastic rather than paint the grips in order to give them better durability. With the masking tape removed, the parts were then treated to a course of clear lacquer.

The paint job isn't 100% perfect, and I'd realised after painting it that I'd forgotten to drill the Zapper so that a button could be fitted onto the side... but despite these, I'm extremely happy with how it's turned out thus far.

A quick reassemble later, fitting the black trigger piece into position, and the overall effect is there:

The next stage will be to take the lights and sounds from this:

-and install them in the Zapper.