Saturday, November 08, 2008

This Week's Project: Re-engineering the Minigun out of cardstock

Following up on a project long abandoned since September, I've decided to try redoing Sasha, the Heavy's minigun. Not quite papercraft, this paper model is properly scaled to the best of my ability this time to be 1:6. Unfortunately, I did not document this model step by step. I however have an archive of sketches and drawings of what was used to get this going. These will be filed away unless people here request them.

First, the reference image used to do this project, taken from VALVe's store.
I'd like to point out a few issues with this image. First, it's really small. Scaling it up to a 1:6 model causes a lot of pixelation problems, thereby making accurate measurements hard. Second, the lower silhouettes are WRONG. The gun is pictured larger than it is relative to the Heavy, thereby causing the 1:5 scale on the first attempt.

Now, with the reference image established, here's a near completion progress image of what has been going on in the past week.

As always, it helps to have some perspective to the size of this thing. Just the job for Hotaru to handle.

Always a sucker for big guns. Now, for some details behind the model itself. The gun is largely 90% 110lb cardstock with Magic: the Gathering cards for the ejection port cover. The barrel also rotates like the predecessor, but has been radically redesigned in construction. How? Let's look at the barrel.
The barrel has been partially separated to reveal the 6mm tube "core" and the 8mm diameter sleeves and array discs. Why use a compound tube system when a single 8mm tube would have been sufficient and lighter, you ask. The answer lies in the ability to align the array discs uniformly and to add structural rigidity to the assembly, as there are more surfaces to contact with glue. Also, the design relied on uniform hole sizes. Rather than make 8mm holes by cutting manually, I made use of a 6.35mm (0.25 in) hole punch. Simpler and uniform results.

Here are the main components for the minigun. The handle was made from laminating 16-20 layers of 110lb cardstock and mitering them to fit at angles. It's a solid piece that weighs as much as a plastic 1:6 scale rifle. The washer element holds the barrel assembly into place, and allows it to rotate. The ammo drum assembly/ barrel housing is largely tubes and little else.

Aside from two box objects made of Magic cards, it's almost all 110lb cardstock tubes. The large drum has a diameter of 64mm. There's a few structural cardboard elements inside to prevent it from collapsing upon improper handling.


underwaterboy said...

I'm really impressed by what you have done. What type of glue have you used??

JNORAD said...

@Underwaterboy: I used Elmer's Glue to assemble the individual parts. Elmer's and some Loc-tite adhesive was used to put the gun together.