How to Build a Big F@%king Gun




Posted in PlayOffbeat

Introduction: How to Build a Big F@%king Gun

About: Indy Mogul is the network dedicated to DIY filmmakers and film lovers alike. Our first show, Backyard FX, is a creative and funny 'how-to' guide for making film effects on the cheap. New episode every Monday...
Welcome to Indy Mogul's how to technical blog! In Episode#16 learn how to make a huge furturistic laser and who hasn't ever wanted to build a big laser? Don't forget to send in your BFG videos and you can submit future episode ideas here. And remember to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes!

How to build a big f@%king gun

Shopping List

Plastic CD rack
(This cheap, flimsy thing must have made a horrible CD raft, but it made an awesome frame for our blaster.)

Big and little water bottle.
(Check out the video, all these plastic water bottles have interesting textures and patterns.)

Two old plastic thermoses.
(Again, this very cheap, used piece of plastic has cool textures.)

A thermos cap.
(Or so I think. I saw this orange piece of plastic on the shelf at Urban Ore and thought: "That's the barrel tip of my blaster!")

A slide projector.
(I used this, because it has a big lens on one end, and I thought it would look cool as a high-tech targeting computer.)

The pistol grip from an old camera.
(Another lucky find at Urban Ore.)

Spray paint.
(Silver, black and copper.)

Step 1: The Gun

This was one of the quickest and most satisfying builds. What I should have done first was attach the pistol grip to the end of the CD rack frame. I foolishly saved this for last, which made it much harder. So the first thing you should do is screw the pistol grip (which already had mount holes) to the CD frame.

Step 2: The Inside

Next, remove all the straps and handles off the water bottles and thermoses. Wipe them down, because glue doesn't work well on dirty surfaces. Flipping the CD rack over, start sticking the bottles in place. Then using A LOT of hot glue, secure the bottles to the frame and each other.

Step 3: Paint Job

The paint job is very similar to the Jetpack episode. Start with a base coat of silver. Then do a very light, speckled coat of black. This should create a really nice, textured, weathered-metal look; like a real working weapon, as opposed to a super shiny "Star Wars" type weapon. I also painted one of the water bottles and the projector thing copper, then gave it the same light coat of black.

Step 4: Final Assembly

The last step is gluing the remaining water bottle and the "targeting computer" to the top of the blaster.

conclusion: The bells and whistles...

So as I said in the episode, you're going to need more then a hunk of plastic to make a movie. You're going to need some computer graphics. For muzzles, flares and explosions, check out Detonation Films. For lasers, blasts and other fancy moving graphics you really need a program like Apple Motion, Adobe After Effects or Photoshop. There are lots of ways to make lasers; here are a few links I found with helpful tutorials.

Neat film-strip tutorial on using Photoshop for making lasers

Some good stuff over at Creative Cow

Wow, I couldn't find as many laser tutorials as I thought. I'll keep looking and add them above, but we just might have to buckle down and make a Weekend Extra on Lasers. If you know how to make lasers why not make a video tutorial and send it in. You'll get "mad Indy Mogul cred!"



    • Spotless Contest

      Spotless Contest
    • Slow Cooker Challenge

      Slow Cooker Challenge
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    i was wondering how you can make it that when you fire the laser a huge blast of vaporising light shoots out the back of te gun.

    Try Particle Illusion. I downloaded the free trial and there's tons of premade things (aka really good for a beginner that wants to make cool movies). For more advanced people, look up video copilot. It has action essentials two which has bullets, muzzle flashes, smoke, cracking windows, etc. I haven't used Video Copilot though.

    the guy with the massive laser in the short film looks like keanu reeves :D

    um... hate to ruin it... but spending over $1,299 for some software kinda ruins the "amateur" part.... its a cool vid, and I like that you talk about mac products for special FX, but could you show some more affordable ones to? Thanks.

    2 replies

    create some glow with photoshop and save as a transparent PNG file and plop it onto any non-linear editing software

    what program did you use to make the laser effect? ( the laser blast)

    i like this gun but i would like to see how to make the Gears of War Lancer(chain saw gun).

    nets doses daze cooky nemcak

    how about... a working rail gun, full sized and styled like the game version. You could do it....if you didn't kill someone :D

    4 replies

    you could do it. Just get an airsoft, paintball, or other fake gun. then use a copper wire to wrap around the inside of the barrel. Attach this to two 9V batteries. As a safety mechanism, you could put them in the grip. If you use two batteries, you will have to press both down. BE VERY CAREFUL. I have seen video of these shooting bullets at the speed of an actual gun.

    I'm sorry. I heard you say paintball and airsoft are fake guns. They're not fake. They are PAINTBALL AND AIRSOFT guns. God!

    To that effect, a cheap plastic gun that lights up could be a gun in and of itself.

    not necessarily. airsoft and paintball guns fire projectiles.

    Make one with a tripod, a SniperScope, 3x bigger than this and a big bang to go with it.

    Totally subscribed! Man, you make awesome instructables! Though, I'd like to see instructable on Classic Doom's weapons, such as the Doom's BFG, Plasma Gun and Rocket Launcher. Maybe some Duke Nukem and Quake weapons too! After all, I believe you can do it. (In case you wonder, I saw your chest rip tutorial... Mortal Kombat cosplayers may use that one! XD)

    make a working spud gun that looks like that and I will give you 5/5

    1 reply

    No, he needs to put one of those $2,000 lazers in there that burn through plastic!! :-)

    So, you've made the BFG. Any chance we'll be seeing a railgun soon?