"Ninja" from Chappie. Trying for screen accurate and fully functional.


New Member
Hey guys! New reader and poster on this forum, but I was recommended to share my work here, and look build-support and help from you guys as well, and well.. Who am I to complain!? ^_^

The first post here will be a little incoherent since this is just copy/paste from the swedish forum so I'll do a short recap to get you up to speed.
The forum is Nordic Legions, it's the Nordic countries part of 501st Legion. If anyone haven't heard of them (really!?) then the short short version is that it's fans dressing up in screen accurate Star Wars clothing and doing charity work, so called "Trooping". However, there are some of the members that also build screen accurate non-SW clothing/cosplay and started another small niche called "Nordic Reel Icons" (look for it on Facebook) where they collect the members having correct costumes relating to movies OTHER than Star Wars. And basically, there is where this post all starts "for real" with me sharing my progress.

Okay, now that I have a couple of minutes of spare time as a parent, I.E. the kids are asleep, lets try and show you guys some in-depth about my build, and thoughts regarding it. I'll keep it in English from here on to accomodate all the Non-swedish readers.

It all started with me watching the unbelievably good movie (IMO) called Chappie. The characters, the effects, the storyline and lastly, the music just.. struck a nerve. And as I'm a airsofter since many years back I instantly saw the potential in Ninja. And the full kit I want to copy is this specific get-up..

So first I just wanted to do a fully functional airsoft-playable cosplay of Ninja to use at my local field, and the gun part was easy.. which basically was true, from a certain point of view. To add to the story, I'm a huge Star Wars nerd and insanely jealous of all you guys and gals in NL and 501st that get to build and troop. I know for a fact that I'll never have the combination of time and money to actually buy, build and troop until much later in my life (or in other words, when the kids move out... just 18 years-ish to go..) so suddenly I got the words of Nordic Reel Icons and I thought "Hey.. this is actually a build I COULD pull off, and I can "troop" too, for charity! heck yeah!" And so the madness begins of screen accurate build.. Well, I don't need to preach for you guys about that feeling. ^_^

In this post I'll try and cover the weapons, and my progress of that.

First of all, just starting by googling I struck a veritable gold mine of refpics on the yellow gun itself. Actual, screen used, prop weapons and detailed pictures of it!

So, being a gun enthusiast/airsofter, all the identification of the parts was almost easy.

It was easy to find the right version of airsoftgun (most versions called M4 cqb) and start painting it yellow. Checking the front RAS and verifyng the correct lenght of it by counting the holes on the upper and lower half, and just checking that its the correct sliding stock. The M4 in itself is virtually never different in any other modification, although that the R4 name in the ebay link indicates that it should be the Canadian version of M4, but checking visually on mine versus the stunt cast I have not found any differences (yet).

So just to kick things off I got *a* peq-box (the box thing on the front, in real life it houses lasers and flashlight), *a* flashlight to mount on it and finally started to build a very ugly proxy sight to have on the body itself, although on this very first game with it, it's still the carrying handle instead of any sight. And I had to fully build my own suppressor (or as some say, "silencer", the round tube at the front).

Here's a newer picture of it, with the ugly proxy sight. Still wrong flashlight, but correct peq-box.

I've learned that there are a surprising amount of versions av PEQ-boxes! But the version used is a ANPEQ16B and I've bought a airsoft copy of it. Right now in pieces to gut it, modify it and put my guns battery in it, as I'm intending to use it in game, as I said.

Now, to the "my-god-that's-annoying"-part of the build which I guess most of you have experienced in one form or another. I'm a parent to two small kids. That means, I dont frikking have tons of money to pour into this build. My thought with this gun was that everything will be easy to buy from China as cheap knock offs, every attachment of this gun has an actual, real counterpart and everyting is copied in China.. So there's where the Gods started laughing in my face. The peq-box wasn't of one of those versions that is copied by the hundreds. Nah, that one is kinda rare to find and always costs about 500SEK. Not 50-100 as any other copy.
And then there's the flashlight.. Nope, yet again not one of the common flashlights that have tons of copies and is cheap as dirt. Oh no no. Yet again it's a special version that even the copies start at 500SEK. And to top it of... the sight. The frikking sight is a ELCAN SPECTER. Even the copies start at 1000SEK. And the second hand markets of the copies starts at around 500SEK if I'm lucky. And the suppressor doesn't even exist. That had to be scratch built taking measurements using ref pics and known dimensions. I got pretty pleased with it though in the first version.

So, here's how the gun looks today.

"But wait!" I hear you thinking quietly to yourself.. "That's not yellow anymore! And does your suppressor have a pipe sticking out of it?" Yeah. I had everyting up to spec, I got the correct peqbox, I found the correct flashlight, I got the suppressor correct, it was JUST missing the sight to actually be finished. And then I got the opportunity to have a BETTER airsoft gun as the base of it all. In metal instead of creaky plastic, and of a better manufacturer so it performes better when using it. As I said, this will be used in games, not just as a prop. Damn myself, I have to make it hard.

And I just couldnt let that go. So I tore everything apart, which meant fiddling a bit with parts that wasnt made for eachother and easily transferred to another gun, such as the complete front and the sliding stock. Different airsoft manufacturers have different, minute, changes in millimeters here and there. And again, I don't think I need to tell you guys that millimeters count! But, with force, ingenuity and tools I got what counts over to the new, metal body. But it of course had a longer barrell in it, so now the suppressor no longer fit.

So, I had to drill out the center of it to have the suppressor accommodate the longer barrel, basically just sliding it over the barrel that's hiding inside. And finally that also fit on my "new" gun.

And then I dropped the gun.

Dropped it "ON ITS NOSE", i.e the suppressor took the full brunt of the drop and cracked. It was filled with expanding foam with a finishing layer of epoxy plaster and that broke off. So, with the forced opportunity of remaking the suppressor I emptied it fully so I just hade the tube and the screws to fasten it on the gun.

I rummaged around in my spare airsoft junk and found a outer barrel that I put in it as a protecting tube for the inner barrel when mounting it on the gun, also fixating it in the correct straight angle. I stuffed it full with normal packing foam instead of expanding foam solely due to the fact that I didn't have any when I got the itch to rebuild it. And then locked it into place with loads and loads of melting glue.

I will then fill the last centimeter with epoxy plaster, cut of the protruding barrell and sand everything smooth and give it the correct finish.

And that's how far it is as we speak. The gun itself is just awaiting paint. It's a fully functioning airsoft gun ready to do its business. I've changed the sliding stock to one that fits this gun better than the first, that's why that as well is black right now. And the Peq-box as I said is torn down to be rebuilt with battery inside it. And I have some leads on the sight itself, but haven't bought that yet. But when that is procurred, the gun itself is actually.. done.

Here is the current, complete proxy of what I can use from my stash. The only thing correct so far is the gun, vest and gloves. The arm protectors are wrong, the pants are wrong, and I have the wrong boots (not in pic). I'm missing the helmet, but that has been identified and verified by the manufacturer itself that its the correct version. (Shark Drak) Guess what. No china knock offs on that one either.

I will post later with the rest of the gear and point out what differences I have right now from screen accurate and what parts of gear I'm having difficutly identifying.

And now, as Chappie says, "YOU SLEEP NOW".

And just now, I posted this post covering some of the gear.
The three (four) biggest issues right now is the arm/leg protectors, the boots.. and the Die Antwoord-logo on Ninjas chest. Not the logo itself, but the pouch it's on.

I havent really investigated the leg protectors yet, so acutally they MIGHT be a easy find, but I havent looked for those yet.

The armprotecters are proving to be a real problem for me.

For me, it looks like leg protectors that Ninja wear on the arms instead. The problem is that I can't find that model. I find several models that have the correct bottom part, ventilation holes and everything, but then its the incorrect top part. And since I'm pretty sure everything Ninja is wearing is off the shelf and not specifically built for this movie, it annoys me that I cant find the model. But, I'm still looking. Last ditch resort will be a build of it.

The boots. From what I can see and have a gut feeling about them in the movie, it's canvas boots, not leather. I haven't done a in-depth search of Ebay, but Aliexpress doesn't have this version of boots. It's ten-hole-laced with basic design.

And lastly, the biggest issue for me at the moment, in the shopping phase.
The pouch on Ninjas chest. I cannot find a matching pouch. I'm leaning more and more towards this being the only real purpose-made item on him. I might just have to sew it myself.

I find several large pouches, but not flat. And if I find them flat, they're not the right size. Still looking, of course.

And as a bonus. The helmet. Verified by Shark helmets that it's one of theirs. Not bought yet.