After going to a Thursday night premier of "Star Wars: the Force Awakens" in December of 2015, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron quickly became one of my favorite Star Wars characters. At the beginning of the summer of 2016, a friend of mine messaged me and asked if I would be interested in, and able to, make him a replica of Poe's blaster from the Jakku battle at the beginning of the film. I told him yes, I would love to, and immediately began the preliminary stages of putting it together.
Before I begin, I want to thank my parents, particularly my mom. My parents provided creative input and critique throughout the construction process. My mom especially was encouraging in all the moments I wanted to throw my hands up, trash the gun, and start over.
Let's get started!
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Step 1: Materials
This Instructable requires a surprising amount of materials, both for framing the gun and for detailing it:
1. Four thick sheets of cardboard
2. Black craft foam, and gray craft foam
3. Foam brushes and small paint brushes
4. Black spray paint
5. Black poster paint
6. 12" x 36" prints of the gun (x2) - more info in next step
7. A Sharpie marker
8. An X-Acto craft knife
10. Mod Podge
11. Rubber cement
12. Tacky glue
13. A drill and 1/2" spade bit
14. 1/2" diameter PVC pipe
15. Black pipe cleaner
16. Spray adhesive
17. A ruler or yardstick....or both!
18. Saw to cut through PVC
19. A willing helper (always good to have!)
Step 2: Prints and Framing the Gun
The first step is to gather your two prints of the gun itself. To do this, simply download a picture of the gun off of Google (or whatever search engine you use), and go to your local printing place in order to get it printed in a large format. For mine, I went to Staples and simply had to email the picture to them and tell them how I wanted it printed. This is how I got mine printed: printed in color on regular paper (nothing fancy), on a 12" x 36" sheet of paper. You need to get two prints: one for each side of the gun. Simply ask the printer-person to reverse, or mirror, the image for the second print.
Now that you have two prints, take your scissors and cut just the blaster out, as in the first image. Now spray adhere each of them to a large, thick sheet of cardboard. Cut them out. Then, use one of them as a model for the two interior pieces. Trace one of the exterior pieces and cut out two more gun shaped pieces of cardboard. These are the two interior pieces. To provide space for the scope, cut the scope area off of the two interior pieces. In addition, cut them down so that there is no area of the interior pieces sticking out when the four pieces are sandwiched together.
Once they are all cut and sized properly, carefully glue them all together using a thick coat of the rubber cement in between each piece of cardboard. With the rubber cement dried, you have the frame of the blaster completed.
Step 3: Craft Foam and Details
Even though you have the frame of the blaster all glued together, you have a lot of cardboard still showing on the outside of the blaster. To cover this, apply the craft foam to the entire outside of the blaster. Using your X-Acto knife, cut the black craft foam into strips measuring the width of the blaster, and glue it to the blaster using the Tacky glue. Do this around almost the entire blaster, adjusting the measurements for the area that the scope will be. The only spots that you should not use the black foam are the barrel and the hand grip. For those two areas, use the gray craft foam.
Once the appropriate craft foam colors have been Tacky glued around the entire blaster, touch up any areas where cardboard is still visible using a black Sharpie marker. In addition, use the Sharpie to draw lines on the top and bottom of the barrel area so as to give it somewhat of a "uniform look" on all sides of the barrel.
Step 4: The PVC Scope
For the scope, simply take your 1/2" PVC pipe and cut it down, using your saw or other PVC cutting tool, into a pipe that is roughly 7.25 inches long. Then, spray paint the entire scope black, both outside and, as best as you can, the inside.
After the paint has dried, take the scope and apply Tacky glue to the section of the scope that will be covered by the exterior cardboard. For the best look, have approximately 2.5 inches of the scope sticking out the back, closer to the butt of the rifle. Gently roll the scope into place and let the glue dry.
Step 5: The Barrel Hole
The barrel at the front of the blaster, where the "laser" would come out, requires some extra care in order to get a good look. With the 1/2 spade bit, drill a hole into the front end of the barrel, being extra careful to make the hole as round, even, and centered as possible. Looking down the barrel, you may see the cardboard ripped up, potentially creating a "clogged" look, and not a tunnel down the barrel. To clean this up, simply tilt the blaster down and shake out the cardboard shreds.
To give it a true tunnel look, take the black spray paint and spray directly into the hole, moving the can around a little bit so as to cover all possible areas. Be careful though, because you want the black to be inside the barrel tunnel, and not coming out, so get right up on the hole, and then spray inwards.
Step 6: Trigger and Stock Holes
There was a lot of back and forth on how to cut out the trigger hole, but still have a good trigger. The final decision was to cut out the entire trigger hole, including the trigger, and make something entirely new. So, start by cutting out the trigger area of the blaster, creating a hole for the trigger and finger. This will take some time and effort, considering you will be cutting through four layers of thick cardboard. Once the hole has been cut, line the trigger area with black craft foam, measuring and cutting out pieces accordingly, just like in step 3. Apply the craft foam using Tacky glue. For the top piece, however, cut out a small hole in the craft foam for the trigger, then glue the craft foam to the top of the trigger area.
To make the trigger, take your piece of black pipe cleaner, dip it into the Tacky glue, and push it up as best you can into the cardboard, through the hole you just cut in the top piece of craft foam. Once the Tacky glue has dried, fold the pipe cleaner over three times and estimate a good trigger size. Cut off excess and twist/form pipe cleaner into a good trigger shape and size. See first picture for reference.
For the stock holes, certain modifications were made. The two smallest holes were painted black, and the two oblong holes were sized down for better cutting and for an easier time with the craft foam. See notes in second picture to see what I'm talking about.
With the proper areas painted black, cut out the rest, all the way through so that the stock can be looked through from the side. Once again, measure and cut the black craft foam into appropriately sized pieces, and Tacky glue them into their respective holes, as in the third picture.
For all of these sections, touch up any still-visible patches of cardboard with the Sharpie marker or using a small paint brush with the black paint.
Step 7: Sealing
Now that all the details have been completed, it is time to seal the blaster using the Mod Podge. For each exterior face of the blaster, apply two thick coats of Mod Podge, allowing time for each coat to dry before moving on. For the exterior perimeter of the gun (where all the craft foam is), apply a single, thin coat all the way around the blaster, allowing time for the top to dry before coating the bottom, or vice versa. The trigger and stock holes require a smaller, daintier brush. Thus, apply a very light coat to these areas using one of your small paint brushes.
Step 8: Finished!
Congratulations! With the Mod Podge dry, you are done with the blaster! Take some photos and let me know if you make the blaster of the "best pilot in the Resistance"!