Intro: Make a Predator Shoulder Canon
Having completed the Bio helmet, it was time to start work on some other props for the body painting. I wanted to make the shoulder plasma canon, so I started with a Pepakura PDO file I found on the net.
I spent an evening cutting and assembling the Pep, but I soon abandoned it. It was HUGE and didn't seem in proportion either. I reasoned that once covered in resin and filler it would be too big and not the correct shape.
So I needed to build one from scratch.
Step 1: Basic Construction
The weapon essentially consists of two cylinders at right angles to each other. I used two sections of pipe lagging sponge and cut one for the barrel and one for the generator. The exact dimensions were not that important since it seems from the films that each predator has their own personalised canon.
I cut one section about 10" (26 cms) long from 1 1/2" (38 mm) diameter lagging and one section 2" long from some 2 1/2" (65 mm) lagging. I carved a curve in one end of the smaller diameter to mate up the the larger using a sharp knife, then using cocktail sticks to strengthen the joint I glued them together. This gives the basic general shape and already looked better proportioned than the PEP.
I then added a flat section, a piece of a barrel and then gave the entire thing a coat of resin. Once cured I filled some of the gaps and sanded it back. This leaves a thin hard shell over a lightweight foam core.
Step 2: Building Up the Body
The next step is to start to build up the general shapes and bulk of the body. I did this using card, sponge and filler along with some old parts from the scrap box.
I slowly built up the layers until I had a good idea of the general shapes.
The rods along the sides were added using some green split garden cane, along with plastic strip and rod.
Once all the basic shaping elements were completed I left it to fully dry overnight.
Step 3: Detailing
Various small details and panels were added using plastic card, card, rod and sponge. I also added various bits of scrapped out electronic components for a bit of interest.
Use whatever you can find that looks good.
I used hot melt, super-glue and plastic weld to fix all of these bits.
The support bracket from card and plastic will be added later.
Step 4: Painting and Weathering
Since the canon needs a metallic look I will start with a base coat of matt black. It's best if this is sprayed on if possible. If not take care using a brush that small details are not knocked off.
I'm using hobby acrylic paint for this. You could give it a spray coat of matt grey or red oxide primer first if you need to really seal it all up. If using this outdoors I would certainly recommend this.
Once the black base coat is on, leave it to dry then check it all over for any tiny bits you might have missed. Go back and spot them out with a brush, everything needs to be painted.
I next started with a dry brush coat of 'gunmetal' or natural steel, a sort of dark metallic silver colour. You can mix it up using black and silver instead.
Once the first dry brush coat has set, I then gave it a second coat of plain silver to bring up the highlights.
Some initial weathering was done using a little bronze and brown.
Step 5: Finishing Off
To finish off I gave the canon a light dusting of bronze and black. It probably needs some additional weathering with some pastels and artists oil to 'dirty' it a bit.
However, for now it's completed.