Introduction: Laser Cut MDF Cosplay Pistols

About: Hobbyist prop maker churning out geeky stuff for myself and others!
Several years ago, I was commissioned by a cosplayer to build replicas of Dante's twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory, from the Devil May Cry video game series. I was still new to prop-building so I cut the body of each gun out of 3/4" MDF and glued on bits of plastic to make them look like their game counterparts.

They turned out pretty good and the client was happy, but they were never perfect enough for my tastes. It's difficult to get the machined look with hand tools and almost impossible to engrave graphics which is a distinctive feature of these guns.

Step 1: Laser Cutting

For the new version, I refined the detail in Adobe Illustrator and planned out the parts so they could be built using layers of laser-cut MDF. This would allow for maximum accuracy as well as the engraving on the barrels.

The body of each gun was cut from 3 pieces of 1/4" MDF, with a gap in the middle section for a trigger and hammer, which were also cut from 1/4" MDF. I also left a gap in the middle section for a faux barrel. Raised areas like the side of the slides were cut from 1/8" MDF.

Step 2: Modification

Since the laser only cuts perpendicularly to the wood, I had to bevel and round certain bits with sandpaper, files and the Dremel. Other pieces, like sights and slide locks, had to be built by layering the MDF and adding detail.

Step 3: Scratch Building

Other parts were just easier to cobble together from scratch with available materials.

Step 4: Assembly

Now that you have everything built, you can start to assemble the guns. I needed multiple copies, so I made silicone molds of all the parts to make plastic resin pieces. Paint all the parts before assembly. Use 2-part epoxy to glue the gun halves together and attach all the little parts.

Step 5: Finished

Laser cutting not only saves a ton of time cutting out parts but its precision also lends itself to making replica guns. To replicate the look of machined parts by hand takes time, effort, and skill. Laser cutting, like any tool, makes it easier and faster to get cleaner results.

If I was fortunate to win the Epilog Zing 16 laser, it would be a major time saver. With the type of custom fabrication I do, a large part of my day is cutting and cleaning up parts. What might take me an hour could be cut by laser in minutes! Time is the only resource you can't get more of!

If you'd like to build your own Devil May Cry pistols, you can download my plans and laser files HERE.
Epilog Challenge V

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge V