I decided to make a prop from Rick and Morty after it very quickly became my favorite on-going tv show. In case you don't know, Rick and Morty is a great science fiction animated show. It follows Rick, the show's resident super-genius, and Morty, who is Rick's less-than-brilliant grandson/sidekick/decoy. Rick's interdimensional portal gun allows them to travel pretty much anywhere the shows ridiculous plot needs them to be. It's a fun show and owning a portal gun is a fun way to celebrate the show as well.
Step 1: Getting Started
I believe gathering reference photos and building a rough mock up based on those pics to be a rather important step in any project. To help me figure out the proportions and to get an overall complete idea of it I gathered lots of screen caps of the gun. Being animated though, the show has the gun being variously sized. This is why I first built a crude cardboard mock up to finalize the size I wanted. I settled on the flatish rectangular upper body on being 15.5cm in length, 10.5cm in width, and 3.5 cm height( about 6 1/8 x 4 1/8 x1 3/8 inches) and the handle being 15.cm long
Step 2: Supplies and Tools
After settling on the final size, I used pretty much what I had laying around so you might use something different at different parts.
For the body one needs:
- Foam core board
- Foam insulation or other styrofoam type material
- a razor blade or Exacto knife to cut the foamcore
- a hot foam cutter or a knife to cut the sytrofoam
- Wood glue(PVA) to coat the styrofoam
- Grey paint
- a hot glue gun
- a momentary switch
- a 9volt battery
For the front panel one needs:
- Foamcore board
- a button in the shape of the emitter thing you want
- Silicone to mold that button
- Hot glue
- a green crayon
- 3 white leds
For the crystal one needs:
- a round object to mold from, I used a crystal sun-catcher
- Silicon and green food coloring
- 3 white leds
- a green plastic travel shampoo bottle or other similar bottle
For the display one needs:
- a Print out with C-137 printed on it
- Tin foil
- Red transparent plastic (I used a red lid off of a disposable Tupperware type thing)
- Clear transparent plastic(i used a cd case)
- a razor blade
Step 3: The Body
I made the flat rectangular part of the gun out of foamcore board and the handle out of blue styrofoam insulation board. Any foam that can be carved probably works for the handle. Using a hot foam cutter(that i made much like this one), i cut out the basic shape of the angled handle. This left me with square sides. To fix that I knocked off the edges with a razor and then I took sandpaper to it till it was all nice and round and smooth. After that I cut a small notch out for the switch to be installed. Next up, I coated it with 3 layers of slightly watered down wood glue. This gives it a nice hard durable coating, and more importantly, prevents the spray paint from eating at the styrofoam. I decided to make the entire rectangular part of the body out of one piece of foamcore board so that I would have nice rounded edges. To do that, I cut “v” shaped notches on the inside of the board and folded it over. I think this looks nice and also prevents the spray paint from hurting the inner foam. At the exposed edges, like in the front and near the display, I left a little over-hang of paper from the outer edge and then folded that down to protect the foam. After I hot glued it all together I spray painted it with rust-oleums Dull Aluminum.
Step 4: The Front Emitter Panel
I would really quite have liked to just have used 3 10mm diffused green leds here but I didn't have any which caused me to do it the hard way. This entailed finding a similarly sized object, in my case the upper part of a push button switch and using silicone oogoo(the handy instructable for that is here) to make a mold of it. After that, I melted hot glue along with part of a green crayon for coloring in a small tin and poured it in. These were then glued to a piece of foamcore and then the 3 white 5mm leds were inserted into the foamcore to illuminate them from behind.
Step 5: The Crystal
I made the crystal from first molding a round sun-catcher in oogoo, though a golf ball or any round thing will probably work. I completely surrounded it in oogoo and then cut a zig-zag pattern around it to help line up the mold later. I actually used oogoo colored with green food dye to make the crystal. I used regular vegetable oil, like what you would use for cooking, as a mold release, which worked out nicely in preventing the silicone sticking to the mold(silicone will normally stick to itself). It's probably not the best practice, but it worked. I wired up 3 leds in series and ran the wires up a transparent plastic tube that I reclaimed from a pen. This was all put in an upside down green plastic travel container for shampoo or whatnot, which was then hotglued to the body of the gun. To form the collar of the bottle, I cut a hot glue stick into quarters lengthwise and wrapped that around the bottle were it goes through the foamcore board and then painted it.
Step 6: The Display
I made my display read out “C-137”, which is the dimension that Rick and Morty come from. I printed out “C-137” and glued tin foil to the back of the paper. Then I cut out the text which left me with a light proof stencil/mask. I used a couple pieces of red plastic from a disposable tupperware food container to give it it's red color. The red plastic was transparent so i used a piece of paper to diffuse the light going through the mask. I also cut out a piece of hard transparent plastic from a cd case to use as a stiff upper and lower layer. The whole thing was illuminated with 3 white leds in series.
Step 7: The Switch and Other Electronics
The big round button on the handle is actually just a small momentary tact switch with a bottle cap glued on top. The switch is wired in between the front emitter circuit and the batter. The whole circuit is just 3 parallel sets of 3 leds in series wired to a 9 volt battery. Its basic but works.
Step 8: Potential Improvements
While I am happy with how the portal gun turned out, there are some ways it could be improved upon. First of all, I would definitely use some jumbo 10mm diffused green leds for the front emitter panel. That would certainly look just as good, be brighter, and take way less time than molding the emitters and then casting them with my own mixture of green hot glue. If I were making another one I might also look for a programmable led display, I have seen some for name tags and I think they are small enough to be used.
Anyways, I enjoyed crafting the portal gun. I know I used lots of random materials that I had laying around but hopefully a couple of the techniques in this instructable will help others make one of their own.