I decided to turn this mini-subsection of my Mjolnir armour into an instructable for anyone wanting to add shotgun shells to their costumes. Used shotgun shells should be fairly easy to come across if you live near a farm, or clay pigeon shooting range, but if you dont, or if your area has strict rules on carrying actual ammunition (Even used shells), then this tutorial may be of help!
If you make them in a small batch of say, 12 cartridges, you can cut the time down to about 15-20 minutes per shell (3-4 hours total), depending on how much detail you want to put into them.
Step 1: Making the Tube
I hadn't taken photos to begin with, so here's what the photos don't show:
1. Find some 20mm diameter PVC tube, and cut it into 70mm long sections. If you can get the right colour tube that you want, great! If not, get it in white, and obtain spray paints of the correct colour.
2. Use either a craft knife, or stepped drill bit to bevel the edges and remove any rough edges (Picture 1). It's also a good idea to sand the ends down.
3. (Skip if you already have the right colour tube). Spray paint the tube sections. I hung all mine from a piece of sting between 2 chairs. make sure to spray inside the "opening", although the other side doesn't matter (See 2nd image).
Step 2: The Metal Caps
Cut a strip of thin card (Like that from a cereal box) with dimensions of around 15x70mm, wrap it around the end of the tube, and trim it accordingly (Mine ended up being 15x66mm). You can make it as close as you feel is necessary, although, any overlap will prevent the edges sticking down properly. If you're only going to see 1 side, you may as well make it about 1-2mm too short.
Next, draw around the end to prodce a circle on the card. the circle you draw will be about 1mm wider than the diameter of the tube, but this will be negated by the thickness of the card. To create a metal "lip", make sure that when you cut out the circle, the scissors stay about 0.5-1mm outside the pencil mark (Which I forgot to do). You'll get an idea of the necessary width after making your first circle.
Step 3: Add Aluminium Foil
wrapthe entire of one side of the card rectangle and circle in foil, and fold over the edges. Before doing so, spread a thin layer of glue on the side of the card the foil is to adhere to.
Step 4: Attaching the Cap to the Tube
Add more glue to the non-foil side of the rectangle (Coat all of it in a thin layer), then wrap it around the less neat end of the tube. The bend radius should be sufficient to stop the foil splitting, but doing it when the first gluing is still damp may help avoid this even better. Use a rubber band to hold it in place, and push it down onto a flat surface to make sure the tube and card/foil are aligned.
Apply more glue to the rim of the tube, add the foil/card circle to it, and apply some weight to the top end
Note: Your choice of glue may dissolve the paint, or leave a residue on the plastic. If it's that sort of glue, use as little as possible, and clean it off your fingers where possible.
Step 5: Usage / Extra Details
You can leave them like this, or you canadd finer details like a stencilled logo onto the plastic. You could hammer a small panel pin into the foil circle to look like the firing pin! I didn't bother with these ideas, since I'll probably get some actual used ones eventually.
My use for these is to complete the Collar/Breacher parts on the torso and wrist attachments of my Halo Reach armour.
Hope you enjoyed this instructable!
Step 6: [Updated] Actual Cartridges
A family friend was able to sort me out with a load of used cartridges, so now I've fitted the suit out with those instead.
The most iconic part of real cartridges is the detailing on the metal caps, so if your only option is to make them yourself, it's well worth engraving a few letters into the foil. The grooves down the plastic also add realism.