Mass Effect Valkyrie Rifle Build


Sr Member
I was one of the lucky few to pick up one of Volpin's Mass Effect 3 rifles that he made for BioWare. It seems like a pretty mid-level build, but it's a massive piece of work for me since I've never tackled something this complicated.

I didn't take any photos to track the early progress (since sanding and bondoing is pretty boring), so I'll just post one of Volpin's from his for sale thread:


And here's what I have so far:


The craftsmanship of the pieces, as clearly shown in Volpin's threads, is fantastic. The problem is my lack of skill and tools (I've been only sanding with sandpaper by hand since I don't have a dremel o_O), so it's taken me a LOT longer than expected to smooth things down and out. The two barrels required the least amount of work. Just some smoothing and filling of small bubbles.


There's almost no clean up on the sides of the main body. The details are great. It's the seams that needed almost all the work.


I never realized how time consuming it was to use bondo. The sheer amount of time it takes for it to dry before I could sand was killing me. It doesn't help that I'm severely OCD and it made it that much more difficult to keep things moving at a moderately quick pace since I had to rebondo and try to smooth things out perfectly. Especially the circle where the thumb rests :angry


The lower grip was actually the first part I worked on, and dealing with all those ridges was quite time consuming. Luckily, the cast was so good that it wasn't too much of an issue. More difficult was working on the stock...

A pic before any work done

And my stab at it:


It definitely was time consuming. Had to do some major sanding in the ridges to try and even things out before doing even more touching up with the bondo. But everything is pretty smooth and even, and you can't tell that the mold was a little off unless you're really looking at specific areas.

Now, the trigger was probably the biggest pain in the ***** for me...


Yeah, It's looking pretty decent, but it didn't start that way. I kinda wish I took a picture of it before i started working on it. But this is what it kinda looked like:


The trigger was a separate piece, and there was extra resin going out from the trigger to the blue lines. Also, by not having a dremel or other tool to grind it down, I used an X-acto knife and sandpaper to get rid of the excess. That definitely wasn't fun at all. After it was sanded down, there was some space between the trigger and the main body, so I had to bondo the spaces between after it was glued in (you can see the thick line of bondo. I think the other side was much worse :lol)

But I'm pretty close to being satisfied with the work I'm putting into it. I just need to do a little more bondoing and apply some heat to the rear stock to bend it and fit the main body perfectly, but it should be ready for priming and painting soon. :) Further updates will be coming as more stuff happens :cool
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Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Looks good. I've found Mr. Surfacer to be about the best thing you can use for pinholes. It might be hard to find other than online though.
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

I'm in the process of primering right now. Haven't had much time to do anything because it was midterm time. But I'm getting back into working on it.
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

very good start. can't wait to hear more about the painting. Painting is something I very, very little practice at.
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Boring update: Everything is primered. I always feel like I put too many coats of primer and eventually paint on stuff. Maybe it's because I use rattle cans while other guys (who seem to have very thin layers of paint on their props that I own) probably have hardcore airbrushes or something.

But whatever. Everything is pretty much set for painting, though I may or may not sand down one side of the trigger because a patch of bondo is a little lumpy on it. We'll see what my OCD decides...



I guess my hard work with the bondo paid off for the rear stock, because it's pretty smooth and you wouldnt notice that the cast was slightly off. :)

Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Looks incredibly smooth crisp and clean. I find that sometimes whilst a dremel is an easier tool to use, you can go wild with it and sometimes cause yourself more work with filling and sanding. Sometimes hand sanding for me is the best way to go as it gives you a smooth and even finish.

Have to agree with you, with the bondo cure time, that drives me nuts as well, it seems to drag the project out more than necessary waiting for it to harden properly, its really frustrating at times bondoing a piece and then finding yourself with nothing to do but wait!

Great job so far, following with interest!
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Yeah, the same goes with the primering and painting. I'm currently applying paint to the pieces and playing Gears of War 3 while waiting for it to dry enough to reangle and paint more. I wish I had a huge workbench to work on multiple pieces at the same time, but I only have a little corner in the basement that's plastered with newspaper.
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Man, I'm having lots of problems with the paintjobs for some reason. Lots of paint runs that I have to let dry and sand smooth. I have no control over these cans. I eithe rhold them too close or too far. It's really irritating. I even picked up one small piece to move and dropped it into a dusty area, getting grime all over the paint, which I had to sand off and repaint. ughhhh :thumbsdown
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

MooMooEgg, You've done a great job so far I'll be lookin forward ta see this finished .It looks ta be very painstakingly time consuming project but i think you'll do just fine .
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Thanks for the kind words guys. I'm still in the process of applying layers of flat black before masking and doing the other stuff as per Volpin's blog, and I'll have more pictures with the masking and stuff as that progresses.

The thing still slowing me down are the paint runs. It's just annoying to fix. I'm going to blame my use of Krylon satin black paint, as the Duplicolor spray paints I've used in previous paint jobs never game me any problems. The aluminum Dubplicolor paint I used for the rear stock base coat didn't give me any problems whatsoever. I just couldn't find satin black from Duplicolor. :thumbsdown
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build


REALLY... I dont know what happened, but I got some HUGE clumping of paint all over the body of my rifle. I had to wet sand it down and get it smooth again.


So then I reapplied the paint, and IT HAPPENED AGAIN, this time even worse.


So what just happened? Did I accidentally hold the can too close to the rifle? Is it just the crappy-*ss Krylon paint? I have no idea what's going on, and it's pissing me off so bad. I have to wait for it to dry enough so I can fix it, and it's just delaying me so much. I just want to start masking the parts so I can finish up the base paint layers before the decal application and weathering process >_<
Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Jeez, that looks nasty. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on from the pics.

What's the situation where you're painting? Temperature and humidity in the acceptable range? No big changes? You shaking the can for a whole minute?

It doesn't look like the results of holding a can too far away or too close.

... Nice use of the rage face. Don't see too much of that on here. People aren't 'hip' to the 'jive.'

Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

I don't think it's the temperature, because I applied some paint to another piece just before with the same can and it was fine. I also shook it for a long time. I don't know if I slowed down that particular pass and the paint app just was too thick. It's just so frustrating.

And yeah, I love my 4chan memes.
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Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Anyway, just for the record, here's a pic of the parts that have their respective base coats. I used a chrome aluminum for the stock. It's a bit shinier than what Volpin used, but that might bring out the silver a bit more from under the weathering coat. We'll see. I suppose I'll start masking to apply the grip texture to the parts that need it while I'm waiting for the body paint to dry after stuff's been fixed.

Re: My Volpin Mass Effect Rifle Build

Well, besides that one, your parts look real good. Your clean-up work looked very nice, too.


Did you wash that part with something? Might it have has some residue on it, from washing or wet sanding?

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