Working ZAT Guns!

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by SgtFang, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Let's figure this out. :thumbsup

    My kid has a "Bionicle" toy whose neck does exactly what the ZAT does- I'm pretty sure the idea could be scaled up to make a ZAT operate.

    Has anyone outside the studio ever made a working one before? How'd they do it?

    Trot out your ideas here. :)

    -Sarge
     
  2. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm for it. :D

    Here's my on hand stash of grabs, plus pix I've found online of what are "supposed" to be screenused props. Note the subtle sculpting differences between working and static props, mostl in the joints. There's also an "early" more phallic looking version, before they added the crest on top.

    As to how they work, I've heard that it was an air-pressure mechanism, and that the prop could EITHER snap open or snap closed on a single charge, but not both. Also that there were two props for the two functions. I also seem to recall having seen the prop snap open AND closed in one continuous shot on at least one occasion, so I don't know how reliable that info is.


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    These are pix of a replica built by Dean Dymerski.

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    - k
     
  3. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Wow... Karl, have I told you you ROCK lately?

    Those pics will come in IMMENSELY handy (I didn't even know the nose popped open like that.)

    THANKS

    -Sarge
     
  4. docholl

    docholl Well-Known Member

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    To date, there have not been any successful fan made "working" Zats. But I'm sure that someone out there is still working on it. The early working Zats where made from aluminum and had a pressurized cylinder in them. These Zats could open and close. Later working models replaced the air cylinder with springs. These may have only been capable of opening, then need to be manually closed.
     
  5. WookieeGunner

    WookieeGunner Well-Known Member

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    Stupid idea. Would it be possible to open and close using gears attached to a door lock motor? I am specifically thinking of the old style that pop the pull stick at the base of the window up and down.
     
  6. Bobster

    Bobster Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(WookieGunner @ Jul 7 2006, 01:19 PM) [snapback]1276062[/snapback]</div>
    I like that idea. Many new car lock motors work the same way as the old ones in many cases. If you use something like tennis racket line on each side of the hinge the Zat could be pulled open from one side and pulled closed from the other. Are there any drawings of the Zat around?

    Bobby
     
  7. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(WookieGunner @ Jul 7 2006, 02:19 PM) [snapback]1276062[/snapback]</div>

    I have no idea what it is you're referring to, but the Zat has to "pop" open and closed... it has three main sections (two pivot joints), and the top two sections rise up with a sudden "kachink" movement. (and as noted, the halves of the pointed tip snap open and forward as well). Likewise they "kachink" closed.

    Study of clips from the TV show is in order... it's a complicated little gadget.

    - k
     
  8. WookieeGunner

    WookieeGunner Well-Known Member

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    I understand about the pop open and close. Next time you are in a car with automatic door locks what the part that tells you if the door is locked or unlocked. Press the button to lock the doors and it "pops" in one direction. Press the button to unlock the doors and it "pops" in the other direction. That is a 12V DC motor causing that so my thought was that you could use the motor ran off batteries as the engine for the popping and then gears to transmit the quick motion of the motor into the correct direction to cause the thing to open or close. You could also potentially use a selenoid.
     
  9. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh I see... Hmm. Interesting. :D



    <div class='quotetop'>(WookieGunner @ Jul 7 2006, 06:47 PM) [snapback]1276284[/snapback]</div>
     
  10. Bobster

    Bobster Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(WookieGunner @ Jul 7 2006, 05:47 PM) [snapback]1276284[/snapback]</div>
    Unless you spring load it most solenoids that are small will not move a large object like the Zat. I picked up some solenoids from a pinball machine that would do it, but they weight pounds each. Getting the gearing at each joint will be the problem. What about a small toothed belt like what is used in an ink jet printer? The gears are small. The belt is very flexible and tough. Most are about 1/4" wide. You can get the old ones for free most of the time. Use the linier motion of the door lock to move a section of the belt. The belt would absorb any opening and closing shock that might break small gears.

    Bobby
     
  11. Thrawn

    Thrawn Well-Known Member

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    Another cockamamey idea: Magnets. I dont know the physics of electromagnets, but it you put ones with poles that push against each other rather than attract, you could, at the flip of a switch, make them turn on and push all the movable areas away from each other, flick off, and its own weight would make it collapse back together. Probably a stupid idea, but it just kind of popped into my head, and its late at night, so anything seems like a good idea :)
     
  12. JP05

    JP05 Well-Known Member

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    Not all of those ZATS pictured are screen used. One is just fans sculpt of how it looks open.
     
  13. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Which one is the fan sculpt? I'll remove it. :confused
     
  14. Noeland

    Noeland Sr Member

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    OK, my sick mind got the best of me on this one. How phallic and "money shot" is this picture?

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    Seriously. I've watched this show a million times, never noticed that before. :unsure

    Also curious about the fan sculpt.

    Just as a brain storm, would it be possible to load some sort of blue or white laser in there, or maybe a very bright LED?
     
  15. JP05

    JP05 Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Noeland @ Jul 8 2006, 08:28 PM) [snapback]1276933[/snapback]</div>

    Dean Dymerski built the one in the pics on the metal stand. Those are my pics that I took of my Zat. He took a Zat, cut it apart, and then built what you see there. I believe the head was totally built from scratch.

    Steve
     
  16. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Gotcha, thanks Steve. I separated out your pix, I can take them down if you prefer, just let me know.

    So basically that's a non-working replica you have? Or can you open and close it manually?



    Replicas of the dummy "open" zat prop are fairly rare, and most seem to be resculpts of castings of the closed prop. I have this one, I'm not sure if it's a cast of the prop they use on the show or if it's such a fan resculpt.

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    - k
     
  17. Reactor drone

    Reactor drone Well-Known Member

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    I did an opening one a few years back,before they were selling replicas,so it was a scratchbuilt sculpt.It's basically a lever on a ramp that drives the pieces apart but it's not pushbutton operated,it was just when you push the bottom and middle apart it operates the rest and then spring closes.

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  18. docholl

    docholl Well-Known Member

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    There is a manually opening version being made overseas and sold through various model distributors (MIM, being one). It's unlicensed, BTW.
     
  19. JP05

    JP05 Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(phase pistol @ Jul 9 2006, 09:14 AM) [snapback]1277153[/snapback]</div>

    Its a static piece. The dummy you have was done the same way Dean did his, I just think Dean's is more accurate. I don't recall seeing all those "spacers" in between the different sections of the Zat as it opened.
     
  20. Dymerski

    Dymerski Well-Known Member

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    Yup...no spacers
    Dean
     
  21. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No, not that mine is a casting of a working prop in the open position, I mean that there must be a lightweight "fixed-open" dummy Zat prop with no moving parts... for scenes where an open Zat is carried but you don't have to see it actually popping open or closing

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    I don't seem to have a good shot of this prop, but I'm pretty sure it exists.

    Of course mine could always be a fan resculpt of a closed-dummy in the open position.

    Thoughts?

    - k

    BTW I see that the official licensee, stargateprops.com, is now offering a fixed-closed dummy zat for $250.

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    http://www.stargateprops.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=20020

    - k
     
  22. SurferGeek

    SurferGeek Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks like they went with a new sculpt of the Zat. Quite a bit different in the top pivot area and even the lower pivot. It's shape is much more movie like than the TV version but has the crest.
     
  23. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They didn't have Zats in the movie, did they?

    They had the staff weapons... and a version of the Ribbon Device (hand device)... but the zat'nik'tel was introduced in the second season of the TV show I believe.

    BTW here's a Lightspeed closed Zat for comparison with the stargateprops version.

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    - k

    BTW this is intriguing... Wikipedia says

    An intriguing alternative possibility is that the name [zat'nik'tel] is based on the Nahuatl (Aztec) word "Xiucoatl", which is the name of the weapon carried by the Aztec war god Huitzilopochtli. "Xiucoatl" means "fire serpent", fired lightning at its targets, and the distinctive rearing coiled shape of the Xiucoatl in Huitzilopochtli's hand is very similar to the appearance of the Zat gun.


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    :D
     
  24. docholl

    docholl Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(SurferGeek @ Jul 9 2006, 06:15 PM) [snapback]1277565[/snapback]</div>
    I believe that Legends cast a "working' Zat. The Lightspeed version and most fan casts are of a "static" closed Zat which differs slightly in some details from the "working" ones.
     
  25. Reaper57

    Reaper57 Well-Known Member

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    just keeping with the thread , i find it hard to believe a working one can be made without an external air source.

    i do have a set of strong mini cylinders used in retracting landing gears on rc airplanes, check them out in rc stuff, mine are my RhomAir . they use air pumped into a small onboard tank to operate fast .

    perhaps they would work if you uses a small co2 cylinder.

    here is an open zat i am working on made from a closed unit.

    john :cool
     
  26. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Something like this then....


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  27. SG-RB

    SG-RB Well-Known Member

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    The Zat that I handled at the studio was one of the newest versions at the time (2003). They had replaced the air operated Zats with a battery operated version. It would open and close at the push of a button repeatedly.
    It was pretty trick. Unfortunately the prop master would not go into detail about the inner workings. He did say whatever mechanical parts that had been developed using a lot of trial and error were very dependable. More so that any of the air versions.

    Randy in San Diego
     
  28. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    <div class='quotetop'>(phase pistol @ Jul 9 2006, 10:25 PM) [snapback]1277660[/snapback]</div>

    :eek :eek :eek :eek

    I am SO going to need that drawing when the boba helmets settle down...

    THANKS...

    -Sarge
     
  29. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Are the Boba helmets jumping up and down and running around the house generally causing mayhem? :D

    Naughty little boba helmets... go to your room. :lol

    Anyway, yeah more analysis is called for on the Zat action... obviously the Body segment (in the middle) simply rotates up from the Grip segment, but the Head segment seems to rock back and up.
     
  30. SgtFang

    SgtFang Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    My kid found that Bionicle toy I mentioned in the first post last night. I spent about a half hour just fiddling with it, and studying the mechanism, and I'm convinced it will work almsot exactly as it is, I'll just need to extend the two arms that act like a desk lamp arm about a half inch to do it. It'll compromise accuracy slightly to include a small slide lever, but it's the simplest way I can figure so far.

    That will cover the main movement, but that opening snout thing still has me stymied- maybe some kind of pushrod that engages as the head nears the top it it's arc?

    Thoughts?

    -Sarge
     
  31. Reaper57

    Reaper57 Well-Known Member

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  32. SD Studios

    SD Studios Well-Known Member

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    If all goes according to plan, QMx will be releasing a working Zat gun early next year with lights, sounds, and working (pop-open, push closed) mechanism. We spent a week in Vancouver working with the special effects people and we have hundreds of photos of the working props, detailed analysis of the mechanisms they used, and a "pretty good" idea how to do (albeit with a simpler mechanism) in production.

    Each original working Zat looked like it was several thousand dollars of machined metal, servos, pistons, etc. They were a nightmare. VERY impressive.

    So, YES there will be another prop licensee for Stargate, but we are trying to not overlap what the other companies have done.

    Updates will be on the website as they become available.

    (Hopefully the site will be up this week.)
     
  33. tain669

    tain669 Sr Member

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    Zats a nice one. Bad joke sorry. :cheers :thumbsup
     
  34. stricky345

    stricky345 New Member

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    Wee thats more than great to hear :D..

    I can't wait. I just hope that the Zats don't end up being too expensive :(..
     
  35. docholl

    docholl Well-Known Member

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    You can bet the pricing won't be on the lower end of the scale, given the engineering and manufacturing costs involved in making a quality working Zat.
     

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