Step 15: Details - Steel Buckles and Acid

The buckles are just one more detail piece that needs to be handled.  It is getting its own step, because of the unique situation required to make them look right.  There are 3 of these steel buckles on the gun.  The two smaller ones go on either side of the clip, and the larger buckle goes on the top of the gun just above the handle.  I picked these up from the local Army Surplus store.  They should work really well- with one exception.  They are WAY to shiny and new looking, picture 1.  This is a problem as they really need to be rusty and old looking.  So I did a little research online and came across this link.  He talks about how he artificially rusts and ages steel.  A word of caution: as this step uses strong acids that WILL cause serious burns if used improperly, please be careful and use all the proper safety equipment!  I would also recommend doing plenty of research into working with acids before attempting this, purely so you know what you're getting yourself into and be as safe as possible about it.

For the most part I just followed the process outlined in the link above.  I started out by picking up a bottle of Muriatic Acid, picture 2, which is available at most hardware stores.  You shouldn't have too much trouble finding it as it is used to clean concrete driveways and pools.  Just so you know, Muriatic acid Is hydrochloric acid so it is dangerous.  I started out by pouring about an inch of the acid into the plastic container and adding the copper wire to it, any copper will do, even pennies.  I put the bucket into a safe place outside with plenty of ventilation where people and animals wouldn't be able to access.  It is important NOT to put on the lid completely, as the acid eating away at the copper generates gas, and if the lid is on tight the bucket could explode.  I left the solution for about a day giving plenty of time for the copper to dissolve.  You'll notice in picture 3 that the normally clear acid has now turned green.

You can now remove the copper wire from the acid.  As a first step to help eat away the coating on the steel buckles, I put the steel straight into the acid for about 2 days.  The result is what you see in picture 4.  The shiny coating is completely gone and the bare steel is now exposed.  Now we are ready for the magic to happen.  Since I'm not a chemist, I'm not sure why this next step works as well as it does, but this is what seems to work really well for MetalGeek in the link above.  Watering down the acid solution will create a much better effect, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20/1 to 100/1 of water to acid/copper solution should work well.  I dipped the buckles into this new solution and let them sit overnight.  MetalGeek seems to get results within about a half an hour.  I left them over night as I wanted a really strong effect.  You can see in picture 5 that the buckles are now nice and rusty.  Perfect to match the rest of the Digger Launcher. 

Again I can't stress enough how important it is to use all the proper safety gear when working with acids.  The risk of losing your vision if it splashes in your eye or burning your skin just isn't worth it.  Be safe.

Materials Used for This Section
Steel Buckles
Copper Wire
Muriatic Acid

Tools Used for This Section
Rubber Gloves
Protective Eyeware
Mask - the fumes are awful
Acid save plastic bucket
<p>WOW!!! Amazing</p>
<p>How did you sand the weathered metal paint job without going all the way through the paint? I tried that with a nerf gun. And would always get to the plastic under the paint.</p>
cool but are you gonna make anymore weapons from gears of war 3?
<p>Unlikely. Though new stuff is in the works!</p>
If you made me one I would pay you $750 or more
Sorry I'm not making any more of these.
inspiring. wife's going to kill me.
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can&rsquo;t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
Wow! Incredible great job! <br>How many hours do you have in this great project! <br> <br>If they come out with a movie, I hope your on the prop list!
This looks great! Ive played all three of the gears games and now i feel like making a replica after seeing your instructable. Who did you contact to get your 3D model?
Another great one =) Lovely
you should make and sell these<br>
Thanks for the compliments everyone. It's amazing to see such positive reactions to this project!
Brilliant item, if only the page would stop bugging i could actualy vote:(
Thanks, and please Keep trying!
Managed to do it by loading this website in Chrome, then going to the comp main page, at least i finaly got my vote in, Good Luck with it man, you deserve it=)
Wow, I've never played any of the Gears series, but this is awesome and stands on it's own!
You two did an amazing job. People at the office (EPIC) really seemed to love it! ;D
I never played Gears of War, but I can appreciate your amazing result! It looks real, not like most replicas, the photo of step 20 is better then an excellent 3d render!
Thats one of the coolest things i've ever seen. And i truly would like to work with you peeps from the game dev industry. Such a shame that Brazil sucks when it comes to games. And i hate soccer.<br><br>Yeah, very impressive prop, thats what i meant!
Amazing work, Very fine detail. The extra steps taken to get those fine details shows the pride you take in your work. Very Nice Job !!!!!!!!!!!!!
AWESOME! (but will it shoot? :) )
I saw your work on Epic's website and on Facebook. You did an amazing job. Just as good, if not better than the GoW replicas made by Triforce. You definatly put a lot of work into making this and I love how detailed it is. I hope you win the contest; you definatly have my vote.
Welp, umm... damn. <br><br>Best gun model ever pretty much. Keep up the good work, etc.
wow!!! excelent work, I want one for me
exelent work, finest details and gorgeous style, very very awesome, this gun reflects the hard hours of work, (Y)
The reason there are no comments is because everyone is speechless about your work! This is a truly amazing project and major credit to you!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a 28 year old Nerd working as an animator in the game industry in Los Angeles. When I'm not in front of ... More »
More by CitizenSnips:Gears of War 3 - Hyper Realistic Digger Launcher Replica Building a Portal Turret with motion controlled audio and lighting 
Add instructable to: