Often concept art doesn't make it into the games or films they are designed for. Borderlands, while proudly baring its loose and comic book-esque style, still has to dumb-down certain parts of their designs for them to fit into a restrictive game engine. For this reason, I decided to base my prop directly from the concept art which the standard in-game Dahl assault rifle was from. Doing this gave me some artistic freedom too, since the reference pictures I could scavenge were far from all-encompassing and I prefer to tweak my creations according to the things I can recycle.

This project turned out really well and was a thoroughly enjoyable build. In total I spent somewhere in the region of 300 hours on the build, although if I had made fewer mistakes and done certain parts more efficiently, this time could be reduced to under 100 hours. The cost for me was around £120, the main expense being the paint followed by the sight. Bearing in mind I work in such a way so as to favour using things I already have rather than buying new things, someone who has less materials or tools than me could spend well over £250.

I don't expect anyone to read this instructable from beginning to end, but I hope that people interested in prop-making or similar will find some of my methods resourceful.

Step 1: Shopping List

Most of this stuff I already had, and assuming you've done similar projects before (Or just have a well-stocked shed) you are likely to have it lying around too. In total I didn't spend a great deal on this project, but buying all the materials could set you back around £250 or more. I also used very few electric tools for this build. Also, not working with a mask on when sanding, spraying or using MDF does not make you tough, it makes you get ill and have black earwax (Speaking from experience). Also, its important to wear eye protection particularly if you using a Dremel, because if you use a cheap one like me the attachments have a habit of exploding in your face.


• MDF/Plywood relatively thin, around 3cm thick, and an even thinner one at about 1cm
• Flexible plastic sheeting - I'm not sure of the exact material I used but it cut well with a knife and was slightly flexible, you could just use even thinner MDF though
• Acrylic sheet
• Plenty of filler
• Whatever nuts, bolts and fittings you can salvage
• Super Glue
• Panel pins
• Sculpting putty
• Various bits and bobs for detail
• Something for the barrel - I used handlebars from a micro-scooter but you could use PVC tubing or anything else that will do the job
• PVA glue

  • Araldite
  • Carving wood
  • Picatinny rail - This stuff is cheap on Ebay


• Jig-saw and/or Scroll-saw
• Drill
• Various Files - Flat and rounded
• Lots of sandpaper in various grades
• Stanley knife - With spare blades, because its going to get blunt
• Ruler
• Surform - Not essential, but useful
• Clamps
• Small hammer
• Dremel - Not totally essential but you should probably have one anyway, they are incredibly useful
ANY tool that makes sanding less painful - I had an old orbital sander, but I would really have liked to use a belt sander

Safety stuff:

• Breathing mask
• Eye protection
• Old clothes - No matter how careful you think you are, filler will ruin anything within a 2-metre radius of itself


  • Spraypaint
    • Matt Black
    • High build primer
    • Camouflage brown
    • Textured paint
  • Airbrush
  • Silver Sharpie Pen
  • Acrylics for weathering/detailing
  • Plastic Adhesion Promoter
<p>Wow! The end result is fantastic, Great 'ible! </p>
<p>Thanks for sharing the mistakes made, not every one is brave enough to let people to know that one is simply human. Lovely end result! A nice adition to the cosplay costume!</p>
<p>really nice piece wish i had the patience</p>
<p>Could you please do a template design for the shapes? Thanks.</p>
I'd be happy to, but honestly I didn't really plan much and most of the sections were done by eye. You can use my blueprint in step two - for the initial shape I cut around the whole thing, then made two more cutouts from thinner wood leavin out the parts I wanted to stay relatively thin (i.e. handle, stock).
<p>Really nice work. I like the awesome amount of details. The last part of your instructable &ndash; the lessons learned &ndash; is a nice way to close the case &ndash; I got to use that in future instructables... Btw. here is one of my latest props...</p>
<p>Could you please put a link for this instructable. If not could you please make an instructable?</p>
I didn't make a instructable on that one yet, but you can find all the principles in this instructable:<br> <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-HK-MP5K-out-of-wood/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-HK-MP5K-out-of-wood/</a>
<p>Cheers! I love that railgun, is it made of MDF?</p>
Plywood and paint &ndash; in the same way I did my other guns (as shown in my instructables...) But I never thought of using padding and acrylic too as you did &ndash; nice idea!
<p>Nicely done. Very nice. It looks Film set ready. </p><p>I also found your walk thru entertaining as well as informative. </p><p>Thank you for sharing this </p>
<p>amazing I would love to have one of these in my colection.</p>
<p>Wow! I like it!</p>
<p>Dude! Boss! Great prop and a great Instructable. Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>AMAZING!</p><p>Video please</p>
<p>I have to know how you did the sight.</p>
<p>I explain in step 10 - I actually cheated and bought a real one!</p>
<p>not sure what this picture is supposed to be: <a href="https://cdn.instructables.com/F7C/CIW7/HYVDQ71K/F7CCIW7HYVDQ71K.LARGE.jpg" rel="nofollow">https://cdn.instructables.com/F7C/CIW7/HYVDQ71K/F7C...</a></p>
<p>That's the main handle which has been masked off and sprayed with a coat of textured paint before I put the coat of matt black over it. </p>
<p>That's a really good instructable. Lots of good pictures, easy to follow, very detailed.</p><p>The prop is looking excellent, very detailed and really cool looking.</p><p>I now officially hate you :p</p><p>You got my vote!</p>
<p>I think thats pretty cool, only scrolled through alot of it and didnt have enough time to indepth read, but what I did see is that potentially alot of it could be made out of MDF and wood in one block, maybe requiring less sanding. I guess it depends on your tooling. I love the idea (the fact borderlands has 29 million guns) be nice to make several as a wall display! Alas I have other projects to finish first!</p>
<p>Super job, my congratulations!</p>
OMG I WANT IT JUST I dont want to make it
this would look great as a paintball gun. Very gnarly
<p>Awesome project! I'm a huge Borderlands fan too. where did you find the concept art of the gun?</p>
excellent details, especially good photo quality/angles. <br><br>One thought... include a snapsot of the gun from the game, or perhaps from an official rendering/wallpaper
<p>do you think you could turn the gun into a casing and actual place a gun inside</p>
Great work!
<p>Wow. Just wow!</p>
<p>In addition to being unusually large, it's also pointed, which is something you definitely don't want in the part that transfers recoil to your shoulder. Video game logic, am I right?</p>
Epic build. Point blank. Great work!
<p>Looks great!</p><p>Definitely a one of a kind creation, but detailed enough to let anyone make their own version. And good call on the yellow, really pops!</p>
<p>Very nice, I love all the details. Thanks for sharing!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: The name "Ikkalebob" was invented by my cat when she ran across the keyboard. I attempt all manner of projects, from home engineering to prop ... More »
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