Stargate Atlantis Aurora Stunner

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Hi all, I picked up an Ancient hand weapon from one of the auctions from propworx, and I'm a little bummed about the handle being made of foam. One of the guys told me at the con there was 1 or 2 with a plastic handle, I want to attempt to use this as my first casting model. I've already disassembled it, pretty simple, now what should I look at getting. I have a vacuum pump (haven't used it in like 6 years so I'm not even sure it still works) but have no vacuum chamber, gonna check with my dad on that one. But in terms of casting, the part of the handle that meets the next piece is flat, so I can use that as an end to my box, however I need the mold to be lengthwise on the foam so I can remove it, so I've been watching videos and such, what kind of clay are people using for the spacing etc? Also is there steps I need to take to attempt to preserve the paint job on this bad boy or is it going to be a lost cause? Once the handle is cast I want to see about modifying it, I like the design sketch that places the button to light the light in the handle, the handle I have has the faux button, but the led is activated by a on/off switch on the side of the casing, not as attactive, and definitely not very functional. I'd also like to redo the dome part of the weapon and make it more like the production sketch as well. The sketch shows it as a hollow dome with a jenga cluster chip inside of it (that's what the sketch says). My dome is one big solid piece.
I just ordered a starter casting kit from smoothon and will begin once it arrives in a few days.

I have a picture of my gun disassembled in my gallery.
here is the propworx page with a nice picture assembled.

and now I've pulled it out and checked it out for a little bit and I'm thinking this. Disassembled this weapon is in 4 pieces. The clear dome, the mid section (includes the flange that goes to the crystal) the other flange to attach to the handle, and the handle itself. They used a small microboard with 5 leds on them, I'm not familiar with the type of leds, very bright and tiny, a hair larger than the 3mm size, but these are the little white chip kind. I can figure that out I'm good with the lighting stuff. But what I'm thinking of doing for ease, would maybe be to attach the flange to the handle, and attach the mid section to the dome and then do only 2 casts, and then I can have a way to attach it all together, and not worry about it. Reason behind my though of this is that the dome and handle attack to the flanges by the use of 4 screws each, which all go through the middle, so if I were to make them hollow, I'm going to have a weakly attached gun. Whereas the mid section attaches to the flange by the use of 8 mini allen screws on the exposed part of the flange, so I could do this with a sinple 8 allen keys. Do you think this could work? I think also to create a gap for the electronics, maybe I can make a plug that will fit in the mold and just spray the heck out of it with release? With the handle it thins out so much after the button it's crazy.

Let me know what you think? I asked on another board and got some great responses that pointed me the right way, so we'll see how this goes.

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Prop Store