DIY Shotgun Cartridges (For Cosplay)


Introduction: DIY Shotgun Cartridges (For Cosplay)

I decided to turn this mini-subsection of my Mjolnir armour into an instructable for anyone wanting to add shotgun shells to their costumes. Used shotgun shells should be fairly easy to come across if you live near a farm, or clay pigeon shooting range, but if you dont, or if your area has strict rules on carrying actual ammunition (Even used shells), then this tutorial may be of help!

If you make them in a small batch of say, 12 cartridges, you can cut the time down to about 15-20 minutes per shell (3-4 hours total), depending on how much detail you want to put into them.

Step 1: Making the Tube

I hadn't taken photos to begin with, so here's what the photos don't show:

1. Find some 20mm diameter PVC tube, and cut it into 70mm long sections. If you can get the right colour tube that you want, great! If not, get it in white, and obtain spray paints of the correct colour.

2. Use either a craft knife, or stepped drill bit to bevel the edges and remove any rough edges (Picture 1). It's also a good idea to sand the ends down.

3. (Skip if you already have the right colour tube). Spray paint the tube sections. I hung all mine from a piece of sting between 2 chairs. make sure to spray inside the "opening", although the other side doesn't matter (See 2nd image).

Step 2: The Metal Caps

Cut a strip of thin card (Like that from a cereal box) with dimensions of around 15x70mm, wrap it around the end of the tube, and trim it accordingly (Mine ended up being 15x66mm). You can make it as close as you feel is necessary, although, any overlap will prevent the edges sticking down properly. If you're only going to see 1 side, you may as well make it about 1-2mm too short.

Next, draw around the end to prodce a circle on the card. the circle you draw will be about 1mm wider than the diameter of the tube, but this will be negated by the thickness of the card. To create a metal "lip", make sure that when you cut out the circle, the scissors stay about 0.5-1mm outside the pencil mark (Which I forgot to do). You'll get an idea of the necessary width after making your first circle.

Step 3: Add Aluminium Foil

wrapthe entire of one side of the card rectangle and circle in foil, and fold over the edges. Before doing so, spread a thin layer of glue on the side of the card the foil is to adhere to.

Step 4: Attaching the Cap to the Tube

Add more glue to the non-foil side of the rectangle (Coat all of it in a thin layer), then wrap it around the less neat end of the tube. The bend radius should be sufficient to stop the foil splitting, but doing it when the first gluing is still damp may help avoid this even better. Use a rubber band to hold it in place, and push it down onto a flat surface to make sure the tube and card/foil are aligned.

Apply more glue to the rim of the tube, add the foil/card circle to it, and apply some weight to the top end

Note: Your choice of glue may dissolve the paint, or leave a residue on the plastic. If it's that sort of glue, use as little as possible, and clean it off your fingers where possible.

Step 5: Usage / Extra Details

You can leave them like this, or you canadd finer details like a stencilled logo onto the plastic. You could hammer a small panel pin into the foil circle to look like the firing pin! I didn't bother with these ideas, since I'll probably get some actual used ones eventually.

My use for these is to complete the Collar/Breacher parts on the torso and wrist attachments of my Halo Reach armour.

Hope you enjoyed this instructable!

Step 6: [Updated] Actual Cartridges

A family friend was able to sort me out with a load of used cartridges, so now I've fitted the suit out with those instead.

The most iconic part of real cartridges is the detailing on the metal caps, so if your only option is to make them yourself, it's well worth engraving a few letters into the foil. The grooves down the plastic also add realism.



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    just to note: the firing pin is part of the gun, not the cartridge. the part you're referring to is the primer. cool instructable, though. Nice work!

    I was going to carve the molds out of foam insulation. And I was planning to make the armor hinged and use some foam, I'm just not going to make it like fully out if foam

    Yea I mainly chose to do vacuum forming because I don't have the patience to do all the pepakura.

    I did make a suit (not the legs) out of foam and it just ended out horrible, so I wanted to do something that is easier for me to work with (I'm horrible at using foam) but still works.

    1 reply

    What are you using as the molds for the vacuum forming?

    Well, the best single piece of advice I can offer for hard armour is that you should make parts flexible/hinged wherever possible, and use a foam sections wherever your limb joints are.

    To be more specific, I should have hinged the top of the torso to make it easier to slip on and off. Only after painting it did I realise the belt would be very uncomfortable, so I cut it into 8 sections and re attached them with small strips of webbing. The black sections that encircle the shoulders on the torso would be much better made from foam, as would the black bits on the inner-thigh sections.

    Haven't worn the foot pieces yet, but they look much harder to walk in than the Halo 4 shoes.

    That's cool armor. I'm just not sure wether to do an O.D.S.T or a Spartan, and if I were to do a Spartan which game to base it on 2, 3, Reach, or 4. Any suggestions?

    1 reply

    Well, It's mainly down to personal preference. I don't really like many of the Halo 4 designs since they just look like generic futuristic armour (Unless you did Chief's armour).

    The worst thing about the Reach armour is the fit of the torso; it's like a massive shell that has too much space between the front half and your stomach, unlike the Halo 3 torso which seems to be made from adjoining plates. Bear in mind you can heat it up and bend it, or make it from foam for a better, more comfortable fit.

    You can make the Halo 2 armour from the Halo Reach parts if you wanted a sort of medernised look to it.

    The ODST armour is far quicker. Mine's taken well over 200 hours so far, so if you're only just getting interested in armour making, you may want to start off with something simple. ODST suits are mainly combat style clothing with easily detachable plating covering some of the suit. If you wanted to upgrade it to a spartan suit later (Eg, Halo 3's multiplayer ODST armour) you could carry the helmet over.

    I also don't want to do something that a million other people have done live EVA or any variation of Master Chief's armor (so i guess no Halo 2)

    True, I'm thinking of making armor but with the vacuum forming method. And what did you use for/where did you get the visor

    1 reply

    I cut out the shape of the visor from 3mm acrylic, leaving (approx) a 10mm buffer around the edge.

    I used a paint stripper to heat it up just enough to let me bend it, then fixed it in place with hot glue and filled the gaps with Isopon. This is one of the only few visors you can use this method on. If it's "domed" like the EVA helmets, you'll have to vacuum form it, or cut it from an existing motorcysle visor.

    Another benefit to curver rather than domed visors is that it lets you use reflevtive foil as the colour method. I suppose you could still add this on before vacuum forming it, but it may not agree with the heat.

    There's a couple of pictures on the bottom of my imgur album if you want to see the foil:

    160gsm card, polyester resin and fibreglass.
    Might make an instructable for it, but pepakura armour already has dozens of tutorials.