When used correctly, this small prop can produce some pretty darn awesome effects. Fueled by nitrocellulose, it can shoot a fireball (that can travel for about 2-3 meters), or something like glitter. Besides being super cool to fire test shots, it can easily be concealed for use in a movie.
This special effects shooter can also be used to create magnificent light paintings, such as those found above.
This is the third and final part of a series of instructables. Go check out the other two parts The Reusable and Wireless Ignitor(part 1), and Nitrocellulose(part 2).
Warning: I'm going to keep this short and sweet:
- This is solely designed for special effects in videos or for photography, not as a toy.
- It doesn't affect skin (even when lit), but the fireball should still not be fired at another human being without proper safety measures [safety glasses, fire-proof clothes (if shooting at clothes), fire extinguisher near by, and someone watching]
Step 1: Materials
|RC car glow plug||(Amazon)|
|AA battery||(Most stores)|
|AA battery holder||(Radioshack)|
|1/4" - 32 Nut||(Mouser)|
|1/2" Copper tube||(Home Depot)|
|1/2" Push nut||(Home Depot)|
|Alligator clip||(Sparkfun, Radioshack)|
|Flash Cotton (nitrocellulose)||(Make it yourself , Aliexpress)|
|2 Velcro cable organizer straps||(Amazon)|
- Stranded wire (~22 AWG at the thinnest)
- Soldering iron
- Sanding drill bit or belt sander
- Metal file
- Rubber wristbands
- Epoxy (optional)
Step 2: Setting Up the Pipe and the Cap
Step 3: Wiring It Up
Important note: The glow plug requires so much current that the wires must be pretty thick. This and a dead battery will be important to note when you are trying to find a problem in this project. Even breadboard connections are too thin!
Step 4: Putting It All Together
- Optional: use epoxy to secure everything as shown in the pictures (the epoxy will most likely break, as mine did, but it provides good support)
- Use the two Velcro cable organizers to bundle everything together as shown in the pictures (there are very helpful picture comments)
Step 5: Preparing for Firing
Next, gently roll some nitrocellulose into a small ball (~1cm diameter). This ball will be ignited by the propellant and turn into a fireball. But, this ball can be replaced by anything, such as glitter or small glow-in-the-dark beads for a cool light painting.
Then, cut a 40cm piece of string (or fishing line if you want it to be invisible), and create an adjustable knot (you can use the pictures as a guide).
Finally, secure it to your arm with two rubber bands (or any elastic bracelets).
Step 6: Fire It Up!
- 1st picture: A light painting of me shooting it straight up
- 2nd picture: Yet another light painting
- 3rd picture: A GIF to show how easily it can be concealed
Here is a video of it in use:
A GIF of me doing a kamehameha:
And here I'm am dodging a fireball (example of how it can be used in a movie) (I realize how weird I look XD):
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