If you don't have a lathe don't despair as you can just as easily make these guns from stuff laying around your house!
Items such as old drink bottles, pvc pipes, post tubes and various otherwise useless bits and pieces can all come together to make a great gun. Imagination is the key : )
In this tutorial I will show you how to create some cool steampunk guns made from scratch using a lathe and cover the basic techniques used in painting with model wash and dry brushing.
These four guns I made cost next to nothing as I already had old leftover paint from past projects. The only thing I had to purchase was a couple of small bottles of acrylic paint ... about $10 all up.
My kids and I had a ball making these during the school holidays and we can recommend this project to anyone!
Step 1: Shaping
This part was a lot of fun for me. I'm only new to the lathe so it was great for spindle practice. I pretty much made up the guns as I went along however for a couple of the guns I got my kids to make a quick sketch of what they would like me to make. You can use the photos above for ideas as well.
As mentioned earlier if you don't have a lathe all is not lost, everyday items laying around the house/shed will work just as well.
Step 2: Attaching Grips
As you can see I also used the lathe to make the grips. To attach I simply drilled a hole into the gun body and grip, then I shaped the top of the grip using a spindle sander so that it fitted flush against the gun body. Finally I used a piece of dowel and glued the two pieces together for a nice clean look.
Step 3: Triggers
Triggers can be many shapes and sizes and these are also attached in much the same way as the grip. I cut this one out using my band saw then shaped with the spindle sander and glued on. Easy!
Step 4: Decorating
In this step I raided my leftover screws, bolts, washers and other useless bits drawer.....everyone has one : )
Using our imaginations and a bit of trial and error we spent the next couple of hours decorating our guns. We just used superglue to attach the parts to the guns. Make sure you do this outside as it can get a bit smelly.
Also as you can see in one of the photos you can get a cool rivet look by using a matchstick and epoxy glue.
Step 5: Primer & Base Coat
I then gave the guns a couple of coats of primer, let it dry for a while then applied a couple of coats of enamel paint. I had silver and gold paint left over from a previous job which worked and looks great.
Step 6: Model Wash & Dry Brushing
Model washing is easy to do as you can just buy the the stuff already diluted to the correct consistency right off the shelf. I think it was about $4 for a bottle which lasts a long time. We used black for this project.
Using a soft brush apply wash all over the gun. Try not to apply it too thick as you you can always add more later if needed. The wash when applied correctly will make its way into the low points giving the gun a deeper and grittier look. Also you can skip this step if you want a clean Sci-Fi look to your gun.
On the first couple of guns we applied a bit too much wash so we had to wipe off the excess which still created a cool effect. .
IMPORTANT - If using an enamel base coat use an acrylic wash to minimize any potential reaction between the different paints.
Dry brushing is also super easy. Using barely any paint at all on your brush highlight the high points of your gun. Once again don't use too much as you can always add more later. We used contrasting colors to help the highlights pop! Bronze and gun metal grey worked well... we purchased these from our local hobby shop.
Step 7: Top Clear Coat
A top clear coat is then used to to seal the gun and stop the acrylic paint from coming off. I used spray polyurethane for this.
Step 8: Final Details
Using more items I found in the parts drawer we then glued them to the guns as highlight/feature items. We decided to add these on last as they look better unpainted. Some of the things we found and used were small light globes, watch parts, nuts, rubber mounts, wire and hose clamps.
Step 9: Completed Guns
Finally they are all complete. Have fun!