Monday, August 24, 2009

HELL YEAH! It's August 24!

It's August 24! You know what that means! It's National "Build A Grenade Launcher Day!"

I've managed to conveniently time this post a bit too well...

Anyways, I've been working on an upgraded Team Fortress 2 Demoman grenade launcher. Needless to say, I've put myself into a bind now. I'm sure all of you are expecting everything I make to either have moving parts or be somehow awesome in another way. Of course, moving parts are always awesome. (Does that make an awesome thing with moving parts, doubly awesome?) Today's a two-fold post: showing off my new toy and showing what a year of doing this results with.

There's some site with a build it yourself model grenade launcher that is certainly less resource and labor intensive than mine, but Magic: the Gathering has always required a bit of resource and time commitment. Of course, theirs isn't as fun as mine is now.

First off, a comparison of what happened last year on "Build A Grenade Launcher Day" (top) and this year's fruitful efforts (bottom). You may first notice the disparity in scale. The first one was made by rudimentary methods and non-existent standards. I'm not even sure how I made that, actually. I sure half-assed it. With the new "G-43 Standard" in effect, I have the capability to scale any weapon based on several key characteristics. In this case, it's the stock-to-trigger distance.

Now for the juicy parts: the schematics. I've elected to improve on the previous grenade launcher by making this model have moving components, much like the Force-a-Nature has with the break action mechanism. Sadly, after this model, I'll be out of Team Fortress 2 weapons that have complex actions that are buildable on 1:6 scale. At least I think I will be. All the major components can be built from the above schematic. The stock thickness is 5mm, constructed in my case of 16 layers of Magic: the Plywood.

This is the break action mechanism. It uses a small slide lever with a "J" shaped paperclip lever arm to lock the front in place. Moving the switch forwards slides the "J" upwards and into a box shaped recess in the top, locking it into place. Moving the lever back lowers the "J" out of the recess, allowing the front to break open.

Here is the template I used for constructing my grenade launcher stock. I've kept a bit of paper around the part where the pin slides in order to keep track of the part itself. Assuming you're brave enough to build this using my methods and schematics, you'll need to cut off the trapezoidal part and make room for the pin to slide up and down.

Here's the completed model, with obligatory card for scale. Love those ZACCA display boards.

The revolver chamber is removable, and spins freely. A bamboo stick serves as the shaft, and a separate bushing holds the chamber into place. Unfortunately, I have no grenades, and the chamber is not completely hollow, meaning that you can see through all six chambers. For simplicity and the fact that no tool ideally makes 8mm diameter holes easily aside from a drill, I chose to not make them. Interesting note: the barrel is a larger diameter than the grenades, according to the game model, and it is not in line with the revolver chamber.

After a year's worth of developing techniques, I've managed to upgrade from crappy static models made of boxes to solid models machined with tools. The level of progress is quite pleasing, I must say. Of course, now I'm going to be hard pressed to top this level next year. I guess it's time to give in and make something less impressive...

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