Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fallout 3 AER9 Laser Rifle

EDIT: I'm currently working on a bit of a redesign here. Apologies of the site looks like crap for a little while.

A commission came to me very, very last minute for a good friend of mine. He was planning on doing a Vault Dweller costume from Fallout 3, and needed a weapon in a month. Unfortunately I had other commissions, deadlines, and large projects to finish in that span of time. I looked at my schedule, decided I could shave off some sleep, and promised him 30 hours of build time. What follows is the result of that hurried errand.


First, as always, I put together some blueprints. These are fairly low-detail, but work well for the scope of what I'm doing with this build. After this build was about 80% finished, I was pointed in the direction of currently-existing and much better and more accurate blueprints, but thats a story for when I take on this project again in the future and give it the proper time it deserves.


In order to save time, my friend came over and traced my blueprints onto MDF. I taught him how to use a bandsaw (nothing like a crash course in something that can leave you fingerless!) and he went to town rough-cutting the shapes I'd refine later into the gun. Here's where we started:



Impressive, right? I had a sick idea of just scotch-taping all these together, painting the whole thing silver, and handing it to him the day of the convention... but I'm not that mean. Ignore the lighter pieces near the bottom - those are part of another build.

After cleaning up the cuts on a belt sander, I began the assembly of the main body in the 2 most prominent parts - the square "barrel" and the rear stock. These are both made from 1/2" MDF. The barrel has a few sections cut out for the microfusion cell...


...and a space for the rear stock and lower receiver to mount


I used a table router to re-shape the holes in the stock and bevel the edges. This was also a low-budget build, so I didn't have the liberty of going out and buying fancy new holesaws.


The lower support rod was made out of varying sized of pine dowel, threaded over a 1/4" aluminum bar.


The front grip was made from 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF, screwed together and shaped on a belt sander. Styrene will eventually make up the grip texture.


The microfusion cell was pieced together from some pre-existing elements. I had a small dome mold that I'm using on another project that happened to be pretty close. I pulled two of these and epoxied them around some 2" PVC pipe. MDF discs were affixed to the main body to make the housing around the cell.



At this point, it started to resemble the final product! This is about 6 hours into the build (Yes, I'm using "build" as a noun! Colloquial English; take that grammar sticklers!)



Styrene was added to the lower grip, as well as the cell eject lever and front barrel area for the raised textures




The upper barrel pipe was made out of 3/8" steel pipe. This terminates into a lathed pine dowel glued to the barrel corner


If you're wondering why some of these shots are so dark, recall that the "extra time" I found to build this came when I should have been sleeping. The bulk of this project was done between 10pm and 1am on most days...

After a coat of primer and some sanding, I started scribing panel lines with a dremel tool, and adding screw recesses around the front of the barrel.


Other details were added in MDF around the cell loading chamber, and the rear part of this area was faired down into the barrel of the gun with apoxie sculpt. I also added the raised pucks on the grip and stock.


Recessed areas were drilled into the gun and filled with countersunk phillips screws


More styrene and MDF pieces were added to the barrel and rear area of the gun to build up the details in these areas. The shapes of these were largely improvised, as by this point I only had 4 days left until my deadline with many other projects that needed completing.



After this, the whole gun received a coat of gray primer to seal the remaining exposed wood.



The first coat of paint went on shortly after the above finished drying. I used Krylon hammered silver, followed by a coat of Testor's Olive Drab on the main barrel.



Fortunately for me, these guns are supposed to be 200+ years old in the Fallout 3 universe. That means its time for my favorite thing of all... heavy weathering!

The basecoat of weathering was done with acrylic paints and matte gel medium. I did an initial coat of black, followed by browns and greens to simulate dirt and corrosion.



After this dried, I gave the whole piece drybrush silver accents to simulate wear and tear from the wastelands. chipping away at the paint and caked-on dirt. The finished piece has a nice shimmer to the metallic silver drybrush, which simulates metal rather well.


Finally, some more shots of the finished product from a few different angles. I'm still looking for a good way to transfer my vector decals to the gun. I tried water-slide as with my Portal gun build, but yellow ink on top of dark green showed up very poorly. There are a lot of details missing from the final product, so I want to return to this prop someday and build it without such an insane time restriction!

I really wish I could have given this project a bit more time and been more dedicated to the intricate detail this gun has, but for a 4 day build this turned out better than I could have hoped.

Happy Super Mutant Hunting!




Wait.

...you know... I had this whole thing written out, and then I went to preview the blog entry, and something just didn't look right. The rifle was weathered, but it still looked too clean on that white background. The graphics of the Fallout games do a good job of making the weapons look blackened, but I felt like this needed a bit more.

I went back after thinking about it, and decided to add some rust to the AER9. The shots above is how the gun was delivered and shown at the convention. Here's how it sits now:




And, just for the hell of it, a modified version of one shot in the "Fallout 3" graphic style:

(Higher res pic HERE, and more high-res shots of the build process available on my flickr page)

Ok, NOW we're done!

56 comments:

Erik Call said...

Oh. God. If you made multiple replicas. I'd be the first to buy one.

Calvin said...

Are you doing commissions for these? This is one of my favorite weapons from fallout.

Craig said...

A laser pointer in the barrel would be awesome.

Andrew Williams said...

Wow, your version of the AER9 looks better than the offical full size models they had of the BoS in power armour. Wow!

K!M said...

just wanted to say i've been following your blog for a while, and your work is absolutely amazing. fallout3 is one of my favorite games, and this replica is insane. always looking forward to your blog posts!

Pamela said...

H.Krix....you'r a gifted artist. I love how you re-create that weapon. It is a twin version of the real pic you chose to post. I must add, w/giggle, I'm female, old,know nothing of the game Fallout3, but your so gifted with your artistic talents I hope you have a successful career of your choosing.

Hedwerx said...

Impressive. I only make small scale models.
I Wish I had the room to make and store this sort of stuff..

Forlan said...

great pistol

Nabeel said...

very very impressive. I'd love to have this on my office desk, I am a big gamer, but ahh, it'll just scare the unwary.

Roach said...

Where did you learn your techniques and materials?

I'm going to CSU right now for construction of properties, and everything you know is exactly what i'm looking to learn.

Anything you could help me with, or just giving me a good way to contact you if i have any questions would be great!

bloggingforliving said...

wow what a talented artist! you really did a good job! cool!

Daniel said...

Don't know if you remember me but we meet at Dragon Con 2K9 on Saturday night while you had your Daft Punk helmet on and your lady friend out with her portal gun. Hella' awesome work here. I to so want a laser rifle so bad, but like you am busy working on other things.

Trying to get a Fallout Base costume forum going for all who are interested. I will be linking to some of your work, if that is okay. If you want to join us you and your friends are more than welcome. I know you are busy and we are all glad to hear it in this crazy economy.

Again thanks for the post and all your hard work. Look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Absolutely amazing blog - you are sooo talented. My little blog will never get to "celebrity status". I just waffle on about random nothingness. Congrats to you tho on winning blogs of note!

spookyzmb said...

This is magnificent. You have quite the talent!

DDL97 said...

Good work why you don't make another with an airsoft system inside using a dismantled spring-operated handgun?

Brook said...

This post was my introduction to your amazing blog. That laser rifle is just ridiculously cool. I can't wait to dig around your site and see what else you've done.

cmanrocks1313 said...

Now you need to make a full set of Power Armor. The T-45d Power Armor, the one on the cover. Then you will be a god. A Fat Man wouldn't look half bad with it too.

Marineboy2 said...

Amazing work!! Truely inspiring!
2 questions..
What do you use as the expanding foam for carving? Off the shelf canned insulation foam?

Why did you leave off the little arrows on the side of the rifle? Were they only in the photo shown? Or just by choice?

Katoke said...

This is amazing man, keep up the great work. Also, I love the Red Stripe in one of the pictures. Hahah.

Adi said...

Saw a link to your website from Kotaku.

Brilliant work dude...thats as good a video game replica as I've ever seen.

Relkin109 said...

very nice work, how did it feel? the grip/trigger area looks like it can be awkward to hold.

unknown said...

WOW this is an awesome make, i'm wondering if you make scale blue prints of the parts and assembly(kinda like model plane blue prints) i'd really like to have a go making something like this

Mikael said...

I kind of wish you'd do replicas of some of the original Fallout weapons, like the SIG-Sauer 14mm Pistol or Glock 86 Plasma Pistol.

Damn fine work nonetheless.

mitchell931993 said...

hahah my favourite weapon is the .32 hunting rifle, but i suppose you dont need to make a replica because they already have .32 hunting rifles. you have quite a talent on your hands. i saw you thing from bioshock. very excellent. what are you plans for the future.

sincearly mitchell

p.s. ignoreall those people that are talking about afdding laser lights and airsxoft mechanics. its perfect the way it is.

Snapplebee's said...

Do you still have the blueprints? If you do, you should put them up on your site so other people could use them. I'm sure that everyone who sees this would jump at the opportunity to make one for themselves. As for myself, I would like to make a laser pistol, which is essentially an extended version of the rifle.

Jetfighter664 said...

Make multible
Sale on eBay
Make a huge profit

plus that'd be perfect for me cause I'm making a Fallout based short film

Eddie Jay said...

Wait, let me just find my jaw...

Right then. That is pretty damn amazing. As in pretty damn perfect.

Love it. Want it. May have to steal it. No. Stealing is wrong.

Dusan said...

right... I am starting a new game with a female character. Then with sex appeal perk I may be able to persuade you to give me this rifle. Otherwise, i go for V.A.T.S:head!

Amazing job!

Boomka said...

Wow. So amazing. The commitment to the process and the intricacy of the work is so impressive. As well as your refusal to deliver anything but a perfect final product. I find that to be the highest credit to yourself. Amazing work. Can't wait to see what you are able to replicate, fabricate, create, next.

Insane Thoughts said...

My my ... this Riffle looks awesome. I just have to congratulate you on your talents. The AER9 was my favorite weapon on FO3 ... I'd do anything to get this gun!

Joshua said...

http://hacknmod.com/hack/make-diy-fallout-3-laser-rifle/
???
Doesn't mention Volpin Props anywhere.

Dave said...

Hey good sir, awesome build, Fantastic!

Would i be able to get a hold of HD Blueprints? By any chance? If thats alright i would be eternally greatful!

(dwilson_at_home@hotmail.com)

Cheers, Dave.

James said...

I would pay anything to get one of those. the laser rifle is my favourite weapon in the game.

Pierre said...

Very impressive!

You sure these things are not for sale?

krusher29 said...

you should make a tri beam laser rifle that would be awesome

Gamers Abyss said...

This is the best replica i've seen of the Fallout 3 AER9 Laser Rifle Keep up the good work Harrison.

adam said...

III FUCKING LOVE FALL OUT 3 YAHHHH!!!!!!!!

LegacyTech said...

Hey, I just finished reviewing this, and I must say, very well done job. Is there any chance I could get the blueprints and dimensions you used? I'm having a rather rough time trying to scale mine to the right size.

hawk101190 said...

the main part is 1/2" mdf and the grip is 2 3/4" parts glues together but what about all the added squares and parts you cut out and have a picture of? are those 1/2" also or 1/4"? How thick is the Styrene you use? .o3" or .o2" or something?

Owndapw said...

So.. Uhm...
About how much for the Marksmans Carbine from New Vegas?

Ivan said...

I'm constantly astounded by your work.

Brian said...

Excellent build! I do a lot of weathering on my props and would love to get a chance to work on something of this quality! Let me know if there's ever a chance to work with you guys!

Brian Johnson
JohnsonArms.wordpress.com

Mario Salcido said...

Your work is inspiring my friend. Good job!

0176626c-0f0e-11e1-88d2-000bcdcb8a73 said...

im thinking of replicating this, or atleast trying, can you email me the lengths and stuff at jacklongden57@aol.com ?? please?

Marcin K. said...

You're a genious dude! Amazing work!

fatgai said...

Any chance of sending the dimensions to me at bndvs513@gmail.com?

great work on this!
loved the final product.

chazz4450@gmail.com said...

Dude that's so awesome

Make me one!!!!!!!! Or please send dimensions

NukaColaOvrseer said...

Hey if you are giving the dimensions out, send me them please. Thanks. napoleon3368@gmail.com

in Japan said...

I'd love to buy one of these! How much??

jmbucks said...

Dude this is probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Please email me your dimensions and blueprints and stuff. Jmbucks12@gmail.com

Christopher Wolforth said...

Hey. This is exactly the prop im looking for. Do you do commissions? because i would love one of these or even an instructables guide so i could try build one myself. If you do do commissions please email me at Rolfcore@hotmail.com

Saltrok said...

Hey man love your work, i was thinking of building one myself as a christmas present for a friend of mine and i was wondering what kind of wood you used? Also, if its not to much of a problem, could you send me your blueprints tristan.davison@hotmail.com

Kyle D said...

Hey, I'm a fan of your work, and really enjoy seeing all the stuff you create, your fallout 3 AER9 laser rifle really stuck out to me, very good job! I have attempted to make one of my own but can't get it right. Could i get those dimensions and blueprints from you? I would really appreciate it, just send it to kdkdoratt@gmail.com Thanks!

Cory Smith said...

I just got to say wow I love the work put in to this AER9.

Unknown said...

now THAT is some awesome work! I'd really appreciate if you could share your blueprints with a random stranger who happens to want to make one of those...
my email is Tomásurenda@gmail.com
thanks in advance and keep making awesome things!

Kyle Mardis said...

As quite a few people above have asked... Anyway to get a copy of the blueprints?
tk0938@gmail.com

Post a Comment