Monday, February 22, 2010

The Legend Lives On In 1:6 Scale

After a whopping four playthroughs of Borderlands, I've net me one weapon that I'd actually bother glorifying as a 1:6 scale weapon. So much for a game with a bajillion guns. They failed to mention that 4/5 of the guns are ones you'd never want to use ever. I originally shied away from shotguns since they were rather inferior to 70% of the game's enemies (and I still do, as they are still inferior to 70% of the game's enemies) but one shotgun in particular stood out.

Predictably, it's Sledge's Shotgun: the most ridiculous/interesting/fun shotgun added into the game. It's always sitting in your backpack since you get it so early and it is very underpowered until your 2nd playthrough, but you keep it around because the knockback effect is completely hilarious. The gun's blatantly a close range weapon, and the +150% melee bonus is just rubbing it in. In addition to the fun I had with this weapon, I chose it because it's one of few guns in the game that never changes its appearance no matter how many times you get one, thus making it a very consistent build.

Like all projects, I started off with a side profile trace of the weapon from a screenshot. This allowed me to determine what monstrosity I was going to deal with. It's a simple, yet complex shotgun with lots of unnecessary details on it. (A pump action break action revolver shotgun? Yes, your character does indeed pump the shotgun when you take it out, despite it being decorative.)

This gun pretty much is a project with prerequisites, requiring some prior experience to tackle successfully. For instance, this shotgun involves:
Granted, the break action mechanism is nothing hard. Just a hinge and pin. However, like the Grenade Launcher, there's no visible mechanism, just a latch and MAGIC! Naturally, I have to fight fire with fire and bust out my Magic. I had to cheat with the Grenade Launcher by adding some extra elements to lock the mechanism, much like I'll have to do here.

Behold, the most simple-ass mechanism ever. It's just a slider pin that slides into the revolver chamber axis. The two shot "cylinder" is built from two 5mm OD 3.175mm ID x15mm long tubes stacked around a 1mm diameter paper clip functioning as the cylinder axis of rotation. However, I left a 1mm diameter through hole between the two chambers and halfway filled it with a paperclip. This left me with a ~7mm hole to insert another paperclip rod into, or in this case, my locking mechanism!

The rest of the construction is nothing new to you readers. Stack Magic cards, Dremel the crap out of them, and stack some tubes. A miracle occurs, and you get a shotgun. This gun has a lot of varying thicknesses, so I'm taking advantage of the various thicknesses of printer paper, 110lb cardstock and Magic cards to flesh out the varying layers. You probably could care less about how that works, since you're likely not ever going to build 1:6 scale guns out of cards. So onto the semi-finished product!

Here is the un-primed Sledge's Shotgun, with almost all the details completed. It's a fairly long model, spanning 15cm.

There's annoyingly a rail on the top of the gun, which was completed by a layer of 3mmx3mm squares from an X-Men TCG card. The odd sight on the far back of the rail sits close to the break action lever. Unpainted, the mechanism is camouflaged with the rest of the gun. This gun also has no hammer mechanism, for you sharp eyed ones out there.

Interestingly about this model, the way it's designed, the revolver chamber needs to rotate 90 degrees in order to allow the gun to break open. This is the result of a small stub near the hinge that acts as a hard stop for the front of the gun when it swings back into place. This also provides a point of interference with the chamber when it swings open. GREAT DESIGN!

Once you get past the horror of video game weapon design, rotate the chamber and pull the lever back, you get the joy of being able to load in your two shells! Finally! Mine sit fairly loose in the chamber so they sometimes fling out when I fiddle with this gun. All the more joy of not having to manually extract the shells with my fingernails.

This gun was perhaps one of the most enjoyable models to make so far, due to the features, overall looks, and sheer easiness of the mechanism. Far simpler than the Force-a-Nature, which involved a special locking groove that translated rotation in one axis into a partial impedance on another axis of rotation. This one's just poke and pull.

I have since painted the model, and I must say, it looks actually better unfinished and unpainted. It looks much more interesting as a prototype model than a poorly painted mess with terrible colors. Once I figure out how to properly present it, I'll showcase the completed shotgun.


Dennis Cornetta said...

Your work looks great. I'm curious though, how do you sculpt your figures/weapons? Is it all traditional sculpting or do you use any sort of digital programs to aid in your sculpt work. I'd be very interested in chatting with you on your process.


JNORAD said...

Dennis: All work is done by manual calculation. I use no 3d modeling programs or viewers at all. Feel free to bug me on my deviantart account about anything. (easiest way to contact me without spambots harvesting my e-mail address)