Introduction: Star Wars Jawa Ion Blaster Replica
This instructable will show how I constructed a Star Wars Jawa Ion Blaster out of an old BB gun and miscellaneous parts, to go with my son's Jawa costume for Halloween. This gun was used by the one of the Jawas to incapacitate R2D2 by shooting a blueish ion stream.
The gun noted in this Instructable has a trigger operated blue LED light inside the barrel. It shoots like a blue flashlight about 40 yards in the dark.
I did not photograph the process as I was constructing the gun, so I will try to recreate the steps in order to provide a clear instruction, the best I can. The basic gun and power pack took me abut 1 weekend. The holster took a few hours on another day.
As with most projects using found or old/recycle objects, you will find that you have access to slightly different materials. Adaptation, innovation and creativity are the keys to successfully completing the project with different materials.
Step 1: What You Will Need
The basic parts I used were:
Old BB gun - this was a 30 year old Daisy pump-action BB gun. This gun had the bb barrel over top of a pump section of the barrel. The top barrel was removed and just the pump portion used. Any single barrel gun should work as well. The barrel on my gun was about 3/4" outside diameter.
Old propane tank for barrel end- this is the type of propane tank used for soldering plumbing pipes, camp stoves, etc. There are similar sized tanks for mapp gas, etc. The tank was about 3" diameter x about 10" high. There is a 1" threaded top to attach the torch or other appliance
Sheet metal for reflector inside barrel end - I used left over aluminum flashing that was natural aluminum on one side and kind of gold on the other. I used the shiny aluminum side for the reflectors inside the barrel end.
Blue LED light, battery pack and some wire for the blue ion stream light
Plumbing fitting - 3/4" slip on to 1" threaded for connecting the barrel end to the gun barrel
Black rubber/plastic hose/tubing - I used 1/2" plastic tubing for connecting the gun to the powerpack
Wood for fabricating powerpack - 4" x 8" x 1 1/2" thick
Leather for the powerpack strap and holster (optional) - I got lucky and found a guy on craigslist selling a brown piece of leather left over from a motorcycle seat project.
Miscellaneous wood, hardware, fittings, etc. to be discussed later in the details
Below is a picture the original movie prop (I think) or replica that I found online. I understand the original was made from an Lee Enfield rifle (ala Call of Duty). Anyway, that is the prop I was trying to duplicate.
Step 2: Gun Barrel
The first step was to cut the spent propane torch rank and modify existing BB gun.
I cut the propane torch tank to make the barrel end.
Cutting the propane torch was a little iffy in my mind. I made sure the tank was spent as much as possible, but was still unsure about cutting into it. I ended up setting it up on my drill press and attaching a rope to the handle, so I could stand outside the garage when I drilled into it. Better safe than sorry. Please take care in this step, make sure the tank is totally spent. If someone else has a better idea on this, post a comment and I will modify the text.
I then went to cutting off the bottom of the torch tank with a hacksaw to the desired length. I ended up trimming a bit more off later, since the initial cut was a guess. Better cut too little initially, than too much.
Lastly, I drilled out the center of the threaded end with a +/- 1/2" bit, to allow the wiring to go through to the barrel.
I sawed off the barrel of the BB gun to the desired length, based on the propane tank length. You can gauge for yourself what works for your available materials.
The new barrel end was attached to the shortened BB gun barrel with a copper plumbing fitting. Since the barrel was about 3/4" outside diameter and the propane tank had about a 1" thread, the fitting was a 1" thread to 3/4" sweat reducer, or something like that. Take the parts to the Depot and find out what works for you. The sweat fitting was attached to the gun barrel with JB weld, but epoxy should work just as well.
In addition, I added a thin steel strap and a knurled head screw for "effect". This was secured with JB Weld.
Everything was spray painted matte black. I roughed up some of the paint along the edges for a worn, used look.
Please note that I did not secure all the parts until all the fabrication was completed.
Step 3: Gun Stock
Next I sawed off the butt of the stock and rounded the edges with a file and sandpaper, then stained the cut wood to match the rest of the stock. The staining is not that important if you want to give the gun a rustic Tatouine look.
Next I drilled a hole in the bottom of the stock, just below the grip to accept a piece of wood dowel. The dowel was sized to match the inside diameter of the plastic tubing that connects to this location.
I also cut off the piece of a gate latch to act as a bolt lever on the barrel. I drilled a small diameter hole into the barrel as well as the end of the gate latch arm, inserted a cut piece of screw and epoxied it in place. I finished off the area around this connection with some plumbers putty (epoxy putty). This is able to be filed and sanded.
Step 4: More Stuff Added On
On the left side of the gun I added another piece of metal, from a curtain rod holder or something, bent over the top of the gun.
I then secured this with a small brass cupboard knob screwed into the stock.
In the front of the stock is the battery compartment (magazine) secured with Velcro. Note the wire coming out the back of the magazine and drilled into the trigger mechanism.
The magazine and metal parts were painted flat black. The metal parts had portions of the paint rubbed off for the rustic look.
Step 5: Battery Compartment/Magazine
I constructed the battery compartment/magazine out of thin wood stock (about 3/16 or 1/4" or so).
First you need to get the plastic battery case so you know how large the interior of the battery compartment needs to be.
This one was picked up from Radio Shack (I think it holds 2 AA batteries) and is sized appropriately for the blue LED light I also picked up from RS. The RS guy helped me get the right stuff, along with some thin wire.
I hollowed out the bottom of the stock to run the wiring. This was also the location that the barrel bolted to the stock. I drilled a hole up into the barrel to feed the wiring into the torch tank barrel end.
Velcro strips were trimmed down and run around the perimeter to hold the magazine in place.
I don't have a photo of the wired trigger mechanism, but will try to explain the process the best I can.
I drilled and epoxied small screws with the wires wrapped around them into the actual trigger hammer and another piece within the mechanism. Basically, I just aligned where the two screws met. The biggest problem here is that the hammer is made of specially hardened steel and was VERY difficult to drill. Other than that, it was just a matter of drilling space to run the wires.
Step 6: Barrel End Blue Light
I cut a round piece of silver aluminum flashing into a circle slightly larger than the interior diameter f the barrel end. A small hold was sized to match the LED.
4 cuts were made at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions to facilitate the curvature of the primary light reflector
I also lined the interior of the barrel end (torch tank) with a piece of flashing to act as a reflecting barrel.
Step 7: Power Pack
The power pack is carved from a single block of wood (4" x 8" x 1 1/2" thick). The wood was cut to a slight curve and the ends rounded with a file an sandpaper.
The pattern was drawn on and carved with a Dremel tool. I copied the best I could from the internet photos, however, you could make up your own design as well. Who will now?
Like the bottom of the stock grip, I drilled and glued a dowel to connect the tubing.
I cut a strap from the leather I purchased, but you could use a long belt or other strap. The leather strap was secured to the brass D-ring with copper rivets (True Value hardware store) and the D-ring was connected to a brass eyehook screwed int the side of the wood.
The wood was finished with dark brown stain and then I spray a copper colored paint, let it patially dry and rubbed it down to get a kind of worn metallic look.
Step 8: Holster
The holster was fabricated from leather, as I mentioned before.
I first made a few posterboard mockups in order to get the size correct for the particular dimensions of this blaster.
I used some copper rivets and laced connections to join the various pieces together and a large belt buckle from a thrift store belt to make the shoulder strap adjustable.
I roughed up some areas to make it look old and worn.
There are some excellent instructions out there on how to construct the costume and the furry mask with light-up eyes.
Hope this is posted with plenty of time to complete your costume and replica ion blaster before Halloween.