With Celebration set to start in a matter of hours, I want to get things caught up as much as possible. First up are the muzzles.
The plan is to have them light up right as their barrel “fires,” for about a half a second, going out before the barrel finishes its travel. I started with the idea of LEDs, but the prop guy mentioned that when they had gotten a bunch of airsoft assault weapons for a show, the guns came with laser sights. He thought (and the idea caught on very quickly), “it is a quad LASER gun.”
Trying out the laser on the ABS solid front muzzle version. It was ok. I didn’t get a shot of how well it dispersed from the front.
The third version of the muzzle print- with some paper, I think, as a diffusion in the front. You can see the chunks of PVC that were the planned method of putting the two halves together. The light effect was great- nice and bright, though a bit uneven.
The setup with the lasers, version 1. I bought a couple of clear acrylic hemishepres and roughed them up to be a diffusion ans well as a “focus crystal” of some sort (Hey, it works in lightsabers, right?) A little hot glue as strain relief on the wires..
They work pretty well, but they have that intensity issue. Also, with the aluminum housing there, they make the muzzle way too heavy. The barrel dips too much
You can see how much it droops relative to the track behind it.
The next step was to eliminate all the aluminum of the housing and cut back on some of the material in the casting.
The shell on the left after a dremel had been taken to it. The other three in their original form
Unfortunateley, the intensity issue kept giving me issues. The prevailing theory was that I damaged the little circuit attached to the laser when soldering. Even bringing in a guest solderer, the effect ended up less than acceptable. The picture there is the BEST of the four.
So the plan shifted back to LEDs. I was also fretting about assembling the two halves of the shell. The print had peeled up from the print bed, and that was naturally reflected in the cast, so the emitter end was giving me sleepless nights. I finally decided to change the prints.
Instead of splitting longitudianlly, I sliced it in pieces the other way, with the back half sleeving in to the front end. The hemispheres went in..
I made small tubes for color on one end and the LEDs on the other,
Built some spacers
And glued them in to the nose piece.
Instead of casts, which were heavier (and I couldn’t figure out the best way to make a mold of these without getting a lot more silicone rubber), I printed all four muzzles. A little black spray paint inside the back piece, and then they went together
They are also about an ounce and a half lighter than their predecessors.