Mal gun identified - Painting tips?


Master Member
I picked up this Mal Reynolds gun in the junkyard a couple months back and the previous owner didn't remember where he got it. I'm hoping somebody can help me figure out which type it is/who made it.


It's resin, one solid piece, no separate grips, and the barrel is drilled/hollow for 2 inches. I'm late to the game, so I don't know anything about the different types made back in the day. Does it look familiar?
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Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

Yes. I believe it's a finished version of the raw casting I offered several years ago.

Those units were first-generation castings that came out of the molds taken off a hero in the shop that produced them for the TV show. I brokered them for that shop (they’re no longer in business).

Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

Very cool. I had heard yours was the best resin version around, so I'm pretty happy. Unfortunately, it wasn't finished very well. It really needs to be cleaned up and repainted. Anybody have tips on paint methods? I've got a pretty good idea how to do the wood grips right, but getting that aged brass look isn't something I've ever tried before.
Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

Check the Mal pistol threads at • Index page
A few different methods so you can pick the one that best suits you.

For nearly all my dummy gun building, I use Dupli-Color DAP 1698 Black Primer followed by
Dupli-Color DA 1603 Semi-Gloss Black.

On some of my WWII non-weapons, I like to use JB Weld to assemble torched receiver pieces on plugs
to make compliant non-weapons.
Obviously the JB Weld can't be blued.
I find that when blued components are assembled on Dupli-Color DA 1603 Semi-Gloss Black painted receivers,
they look really authentic.
I'm sure there are better ways to achieve nicer finishes,
but this works for me.

I then use antique gold Rub-N-Buff and a clear coat.

Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

That looks nice. How did you apply the rub n buff? I've tried several different methods and none of them worked worth a damn. Also, what type of clear coat do you use? I'd like to use two different types, a shiny coat for the "metal" and a dull coat for the grips. But I've never found a satin or matte clear that wasn't shiny and I've never found a clear coat that went on without wrinkling.
Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

pennausamike - you do a semi-gloss paint BEFORE the Rub and Buff?? That's NEVER worked for me. The RnB just sorta' smears - is it something about the Duplicolor finish that makes it work...?
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Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

That looks nice. How did you apply the rub n buff?

My Rubb and Buff projects come out perfectly when I take a TUBE SOCK, turn it INSIDE OUT, squeeze a little blob of RnB onto a piece of clean bristol/cardboard, dab the sock onto the blob - then RUB THE CRAP OUT OF THE PAPER UNTIL ALMOST NO RnB IS LEFT ON THE SOCK. Rub and Buff is best when applied incrementally.
Re: Which Firefly gun do I have?

Wow, I just gave that a shot with some silver rub n buff I had laying around, it looks incredible! I can't wait to try it out with the antique gold. It's too bad the thumb bit is broken off and it needs some cleanup, or I'd just put the RnB on and drybrush the grips. So all that's left is to figure out what kind of clear coat will work for me.
OK, I'm going to pick up those two colors of duplicolor paints and the antique gold RnB today, it would be really great if somebody can advise me on what type of clear coat to buy ASAP so I can get everything I need in one trip.
Sorry I didn't check back on this thread.

Yes, semi-gloss black first, like the 1st photo.
Then the RnB.
Then the clear coat, but I'm not sure of the brand.
I THINK it was Testor's Model Master gloss, but I'm not sure.
I'll be doing my sidkit this summer.
I'm going to try dry brushing gold or brass on the highlights and see if that works better than the RnB.
The RnB WILL wear off if not covered in the clear.
My hope is that the drybrushed gold paint will eliminate the need for the clear, better preserving the semi-gloss sheen.
But I haven't tried that yet, and I know the RnB plus clear looks pretty sharp.
Good luck with your projects, and you should post them at • Index page, as well.
I'm sure they'll be appreciated!

I wasn't able to find Duplicolor paint anywhere. I know the stuff used to be all over, but I couldn't track any down now. In searching, I did find out Krylon makes both black primer AND semi-gloss black, I didn't know they did either, so I was pretty surprised. I'm generally a pretty faithful Krylon customer, so I picked some up, hoping for good results. I also got the rub n buff and some easy-off oven cleaner. I've got to strip all the old paint off, make a new "safety" and do some major cleanup because the seams on this thing look terrible.

I've sort of been hijacking somebody else's thread for my costume build and I shouldn't be, so pretty soon I'm going to start my own build thread in the costume section that will include the gun. I might sign up to fireflyprops and cross post it.
I buy the duplicolor paints at Pep Boys Auto stores.
Maybe that's an east coast thing.

Brake fluid makes an excellent paint stripper.
Never tried Easy-Off.

If you post at fireflyprops, the thread won't get "lost" as deep as here at the RPF.
Busiest prop forum also means small projects go multiple pages deep very quickly.

Good Luck,
Duplicolor is an Automotive Acrylic Lacquer found at automotive supply chains most easily, here on the east coast for me too. You can have reactions with paints like enamel and lacquer used together, but generally lacquers get along and enamels get along. You should be able to use any lacquer clear coat on this once you've painted it, we don't mind the Valspar sprays sold at Lowes, that's what we've used exclusively on the Portal bots we're building. They offer a clear flat, satin, and gloss, as well as a glass frosting spray which we've replaced sanding items to give them translucent diffusive properties with.

My advice to you is to do a quick test on some cardboard or styrene, and don't get too anal, it inhibits creativity ;)
Do you think the Valspar would work with the Krylon, too? I've got a can of Krylon satin clear and that stuff turned some gold chrome paint I used brown. Definitely don't want a repeat of that, so I'll be avoiding the Krylon clear.
The screen used Mal's pistol doesn't have a hammer shown. I think you may have seen a Wilco model Mal. Wilco added a visible hammer to his model.

You never really see the hammer on screen, but it was there.
You can see it in these pictures of the BDM Serenity Mal pistol:

If you look at the photo sets on this page:
Index of /Firefly/guns
they are pretty much the ultimate resource for the movie Mal, Jayne and River pistols.

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