My Tomenosuke Blade Runner 2049 build

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nusilver

Jr Member
Hi, all! I've been updating this post gradually over the past week-and-a-half as I learn more about the process and make further progress. My intention for this thread has been to further explain some of the steps that I was hesitant to try because, as good as the information out there is, I just wasn't quite understanding a lot of it without having actually done it. That said, I learn best by doing, and I love how my blaster has turned out, so I encourage anyone who wants to take on this process for themselves to dive in and be fearless!

I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing when I decided last Friday that I was going to mod my brand new blaster (which I received on Wednesday!), but I learned *so much* from the various tips and builds threads here -- thank you especially to Bash, veektohr, Buch, and everyone else who posted their builds for leading the way, as well as to Carter Hopkins on the Facebook Blade Runner Blaster Addicts Support Group page and Mikael Cazzato, Joe Medlock, and Steven Aromlooi at the Facebook Propsummit group.

My process was adapted from the instructions found in various threads here, but it's evolved as I've learned more about the way various materials react to the many chemicals and tools I've acquired for this project. I'm actually a writer and editor (of words), so not used to this type of work at all... and I've been having a great time with it. Hope this proves useful to someone out there!

VINEGAR BATH

1) I soaked all metal parts in a vinegar bath for an hour. You can place them all in the bath together; some, like the screws, will lose their flat black finish sooner than others. Some, like the receiver, will not lose the finish at all from the bath itself, but it *will* help loosen the finish, so once you start sanding, the job becomes much easier.

SANDING

2) I sanded first with 400 grit, then with 600 grit wet/dry. Don't be alarmed with the 400 grit leaves scratches all over your receiver... you will take care of a lot of that with the 600 grit (even better if you use 800 or higher, but my local store only had up to 600) and the 0000 steel wool mentioned in step 3 below. Experiment with wet (in warm water with some dish soap) or dry to see how it each affects the process differently. For instance, dry 400 did a great job getting the vinegar-loosened paint off, which wet 600 helmed remove the minute traces of black paint that were still embedded in the steel. Dry also made it easier to see what I was doing when working on edges; it's quite easy to file down sharp lines and smooth contours by sanding too aggressively with the lower grit stuff, so make sure if you're sanding a flat area that you use a flat object to shape the sandpaper, and if you're sanding something rounded, use your hands shaped in the same way as the object you're sanding (hope that all makes sense... I said I'm a writer and editor, but I'm trying to update this quickly on a short break from work.)

3) After sanding, I polished everything I just sanded with Liberon-brand quadruple-aught (0000) steel wool for a smooth finish, leaving a few nicks here and there for character. Afterwards, I scrubbed all parts with acetone to remove the trace wool fibers left on the parts, to avoid future problems with rust caused by the oils in the steel wool. For what it's worth: I don't know if Liberon is the only acceptable brand of steel wool to use for this; for this part of the process, I didn't want to experiment with something cheaper. If you are so inclined, just make sure you're using 0000. Also, as an aside: you might notice some traces of rust in the heads of my screws or other small parts of the weapon. This is because of an incident where I accidentally got vinegar on a part that had just been scrubbed with steel wool, and left it out to come back to later. When I came back, rust had appeared. I didn't make this mistake again, but it is something I'm going to keep in mind as I may want to re-create the effect later! Maybe someone else can explain how the vinegar and oil from the wool combined to create rust. The whole process up to this point, from vinegar soaking to steel wool, took me around 4 hours.

BLUING

4) Now onto the bluing stage, but first, an important question: do you want your blaster to be gray or blue-gray? The steps in the bluing process will be the same regardless, but the oiling and waxing step will be different, so skip ahead to "SEAL IT WITH OIL AND WAX!" if you'd like that info now. I applied Birchwood Casey Perma Blue using cotton pads/cotton rounds (from my wife's makeup bag, naturally) for the base coat, then wiped down with dry paper towels to help even out the finish. The fluid will cause a reaction right away and it can be difficult to remove splotches/dark patches if you try to cover too much ground at once, so you can either touch up those spots by applying more fluid and then immediately wiping it off with the paper towels, or you can finish bluing unevenly and use steel wool afterwards to blend the finish. If I had figured this latter point out sooner, I probably would *not* have used an entire 90ml bottle of Perma Blue on a single project. Anyway: when you first start, your finish will take on a rainbow hue (like when you see a patch of motor oil on the ground.) Don't worry; this is normal. Applying 5-7 coats should get you to an acceptable color.

**Pro-tip I discovered when trying to smooth out rough spots: if you skip the cotton rounds and add your bluing fluid to a paper towel, it's easier to work out the smudges as you don't have to frantically find a clean spot to put down your cotton pad and then try to grab a clean paper towel before the chemical reaction is complete. Using a wet (with bluing fluid) paper towel also helps add a bit of an aged look, as while you're rubbing the parts with the wet part of the paper towel, you're also rubbing it with bits of the dry part at the same time. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this correctly, but give it a try if you want; you may find you like what you see.**

5) Once I'd finished bluing, I used more 0000 steel wool to gently rub out any remaining uneven patches/dark spots. Tread very, very lightly here as the wool will undue your hard work (which is a huge pain to fix!) if you apply anything more than the lightest of touches for this task. Just glide your wool ever so lightly (almost like you're dabbing away a tear from your eye with a handkerchief; what I'm saying is to be delicate, like Roy Batty is with words) over the uneven spots and everything will come together very, very nicely.

BULLDOG FRAME AND BARREL

7) For the bulldog frame and barrel, it's possible to get a more screen-accurate look without replacing the included Zamak parts, or even acquiring any other tools than what I've used so far. All I've done so far is to scrub them vigorously with 0000 steel wool. This removed the matte black finish and helped surface the zinc, giving a nice, shiny silver/gray. It's obviously not as effective as doing the steel barrel replacement, but again, it looks great for those who aren't interested in the added expense (or sawing) involved with the steel option.

SEAL IT WITH OIL AND WAX!

8) To seal the finish, you'll want to first decide whether you're after a gray (more screen-authentic) color, or a blue-gray color. For gray only (my preference), skip the oil and go straight to the wax, which is what I've done since originally writing this guide (after stripping the bluing and starting over.)

Otherwise: I started with an even coat of Birchwood Casey Barricade Rust Preventive oil, which comes in an aerosol can. This stuff smells like bug spray, so please use it outside and away from food (or children!) Coat all of your metal pieces evenly, then leave them somewhere to dry where they won't be disturbed (and where your loved ones won't be abused by the scent.) This will give the pieces a deep, smooth, and shockingly sexy blue-black finish... but you will need to dry it off eventually, so don't get too attached. Make sure to soak up any excess oil that might be hanging off the sharp edges of your parts. If the oil is drying unevenly (or if you get smudges or fingerprints while moving your parts to dry), it's okay to spray a little on a paper towel and rub over the uneven spots.

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I left this on for 2-3 hours (I know some folks let it sit for days... it's your blaster, so it's your call!), and while doing so, I watched a video starring an older gent with a shotgun, explaining that while both oil (and wax are great for protecting the finish of your gun, the two of them together are godlike. So, after wiping the oil off with a sock, I took my Johnson's Floor Wax and started to apply it over each part, rubbing in little circles. You don't need a ton—just enough to cover every surface you want sealed. Let it dry for 5-10 minutes, then take a non-abrasive cloth (like the kind you use to clean glasses) and buff the wax away in firm, straight lines, leaving a smooth finish that should last for many, many months... probably even longer if you don't handle the blaster regularly. Note if you skipped the oiling phase because you wanted your finish to be gray instead of blue-gray, the gun won't be protected as well... but since you're likely going to have this on display somewhere inside rather than leaving it out in the rain, it's not going to matter all that much. Choose whichever you prefer, and don't be afraid to start over and re-do it if you want to try a different look!

END RESULTS

"Final" results can be found below the 3/28 update at the bottom of this post. For some reason, I'm having trouble embedding more images into this post and can't figure out how to remove old ones properly (perhaps there's a max number of images per post?), so you'll just have to click on the links at the bottom of this post. I have a stand on the way so I'll be able to stop balancing my blaster on a whiskey tumbler soon! After that, I'm hoping to add the white scope wires... I'll do some digging to figure out how to accomplish that, but in the mean time, if anyone has tips about where to source the wires and what needs to be done in order to solder them to the scope, I'm all ears!

WIRES

Coming soon... with your help!



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UPDATE 3/22/18: some post-cleanup shots, experimenting with different lighting to see how the blued steel would absorb different types of light.

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Updated 3/26/18:

More progress! A few days ago, I scrubbed most of the blueing off the trigger guard to get a mostly silver/dirty look that matches what's seen in the movie. Then today, I rubbed the included bulldog frame and barrel down to a deep gray shine using 0000 steel wool. I haven't blued the frame and barrel yet but already it's looking gorgeous (though it really makes the blue in the Perma Blue on the receiver stand out.) I also sanded down the frame handle underneath the grips so you can see the silver underneath. I did a rough job at this just to see how it'd look once I re-installed the grips, but will need to do some aggressive sanding to clear out some black pits in the metal. Not a priority... at all. Once I get the blued parts sealed, I might add some wires next. Have to get 'em first, though!

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UPDATE 3/28:

Oiled and waxed!

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aeonpulse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ooooh! The 1997 Westwood Studios PC adventure game! Absolutely loved that, criminally underappreciated.

Amazing blaster too! ;) Fantastic work!
 

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nusilver

Jr Member
Ooooh! The 1997 Westwood Studios PC adventure game! Absolutely loved that, criminally underappreciated.

Amazing blaster too! ;) Fantastic work!
Thanks for the compliment, and good eye (although I wasn't trying to hide it or anything!) Yeah, it's a classic and it's a shame the source files are lost so it can't ever be re-released on modern platforms. The game was a Christmas present from my wife... I have this sort of overstuffed combination Blade Runner/cyberpunk gaming shelf going on. Eventually I'll probably just fill it with BR props and paraphernalia.
 

aeonpulse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yeah, it's a classic and it's a shame the source files are lost so it can't ever be re-released on modern platforms.
Oh wow, I had no idea that was the case. Was always a bit baffled as to why it hadn't hit any digital platforms or gog.com or anything like that. I was recently able to get my copy running on Windows 7 with the help of some fan-made patches, but I can't ever get past the segment where you have to outrun the building explosion. Something about the timing utilizing your processor's clock speed, and modern-day processors are of course just too damn fast.

I don't mean to derail your thread regarding your incredible gun though. Again, great work!
 

nusilver

Jr Member
Oh wow, I had no idea that was the case. Was always a bit baffled as to why it hadn't hit any digital platforms or gog.com or anything like that. I was recently able to get my copy running on Windows 7 with the help of some fan-made patches, but I can't ever get past the segment where you have to outrun the building explosion. Something about the timing utilizing your processor's clock speed, and modern-day processors are of course just too damn fast.

I don't mean to derail your thread regarding your incredible gun though. Again, great work!
Quite alright! I'm running it the same way (with patches/hacked intaller) on a Bootcamp partition on my Mac, but have only gotten as far as Chapter 3 (after McCoy wakes up in the apartment tied to a chair.) Didn't realize there was an issue actually finishing it! I guess I have that to look forward to.

In any case... yeah, glad to chat about the game, and happy people are liking what I've done to the blaster! I couldn't have done any of this without this community.
 

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stussy

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Didn't you just get your blaster? If you want to do it, go for it! I wasn't going to mod mine... until I did :)
yes mate,got mine last week and love it.gonna leave it as is for a while.your's looks good though:thumbsup
 

nusilver

Jr Member
are you planning on a steel barrel and cylinder next?
I don't know *when*, but eventually, yes. I'm a little hesitant to do the barrel replacement since it'll require tools I don't have and I'm not eager to start slicing things up...
 

stussy

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't know *when*, but eventually, yes. I'm a little hesitant to do the barrel replacement since it'll require tools I don't have and I'm not eager to start slicing things up...
thats what i thought about the barrel but the cylinder is suppose to be easy swap.
 

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RoyDeckard

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking good man! If you soak the gun it will strip everything pretty immediately. If you want to just redo sections I would try just hitting the section with 0000 steel wool and going at it again. Check out my thread of what happened when I put the reciever into the vinegar for like 10 minutes to "age" the bluing ;)
 

nusilver

Jr Member
Looking good man! If you soak the gun it will strip everything pretty immediately. If you want to just redo sections I would try just hitting the section with 0000 steel wool and going at it again. Check out my thread of what happened when I put the reciever into the vinegar for like 10 minutes to "age" the bluing ;)
Great tips! And yeah, I started the process last night of fixing up some of the problem spots and discovered exactly what you’re describing (although I didn’t soak it in vinegar—I just “pressed” a little onto the receiver and watched the bluing magically run away.) I did try this morning instead to just use 0000 steel wool but figured I’d still need to use some acetone to clean the fibers out before bluing again, to maintain a consistent shine and prevent rusting. Either way, I’ll probably hit those spots again tonight after we finish the first part of Return of the King (annual marathon time... my birthday is the day the ring was destroyed, so we usually time the movies to end that day.) But yeah! I’m expecting good results tonight with everything I’ve learned. Thanks again! Your blaster looks great, by the way.
 

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