Steampunk Dystopian Sniper Rifle (Mercury Bow)




About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...

Ok, i decided to pull out the big guns with this one (no pun intended).

Ive made a mercury bow, which is described as

"Unlike its low-tech namesakes, this "bow" fires a compressed sliver of frozen mercury at ultrahigh velocity. Damage comes both from the initial trauma of impact and subsequent mercury poisoning. It kills all but the strongest enemies with one shot."
the idea is taken from the game "oni"

I decided to make it recognizably steampunk, while staying true to my own style.

Ive used alot of metal, and alot of card. and alot of other stuff, so much infact that there is no point me creating a list of items. The main barrel is made from metal, and the handle and stock is mostly card, dense card with a layer of corrigated.

Ok, this is about 5 weeks of work, off and on, i will try my best to explain, but its pretty length, so im gonna try and keep it short and sweet.

Thanks to bumpus on this one, he help in the chatroom has made the difference, also thanks to all the other chatroom rats out there.

There are more final pictures in the final step.

If you like it, please vote for it in the book contest.

Step 1: The Main Base,

Ok, The main base is made up of three main sections,

The cardboard stock and handle, this is made in my usual style, with two layers of dense card sandwiching corrigated card, and stuck together with PVA.

The Metal barrel, this was made from two metal rods, which were jammed inside of two brass shelf brackets.

The Brass hand grip, although this section was added part wat through the project, it is a key feature of the design.

I started by laying out the metal 'barrel' peices, and the Stock shoulder pad, and basically drawing the shape i wanted.

Then after cutting out the three cardboard layers, and assembling the metal 'shelf' sections, i glued it all into place.

Step 2: Further Modelling

Ok next,

• Pictures 1-4 show the building up of the barrel end, It was made from built up cardboard, and a couple of 90 degree brackets, These were superglued, then PVAed into place.

• Pictures 5-9 show the building up of the Stock, This was done by creating a series of small 'bridges' down either side. I then made two 'cover' sections, which had score marks in them to allow them to bend. I then just glued it all into place with PVA, and superglued to padding section on.

Once these two sections are done, it best to leave it over night to dry.

Step 3: Building Up the Shape.

Ok, more modelling here

• Pictures 1,2 +3 show adding bulk to the handle, and also to the side of the gun, basically add an extra layer to where you would like the depth to be a bit more.

• Picture 4-8 show where i decided to remove a brass 'shelf' section, and add my newly found round brass barrel. There was a metal rod running straight through this, so i built up card around either end, and glued it all in place with PVA - Remember pva sets solid like plastic, so it will hold up very well.

• Picture 9 shows the adding of the trigger, and trigger guard - the trigger was glued into a hole i made in the gun, and the guard is just a slip of card that i glued into place with the help of some paper.

• Picture 10 shows some small molding of the general shape, including the shape of the grip, and the stock.

hold all these sections in place with tape as they dry.

Step 4: Adding the Scope.

Ok, next we add the scope.

This was made from a couple of lenses, and a cardboard tube.

• Pictures 1-4 show how i curved out a section on either side, and filled it in with card, The smaller end also had an extra ring of card added to make it fit the width of the tube.

• Picture 5+6 show the addition of some 'focusing cogs' to the scope.

• Picture 7 shows the system i used to fasten the scope onto the gun, the main weight is taken on the two hinge like sections, and the tiny slab of card toward the front.

Again, let all this dry over night. Using tape to hold things in place.

Step 5: The Cryo Chamber

At the back you will notice the cryo chamber, this is where the mercury bow gets it mercury from.

This was a section that i already had left over from the scope, quite simply, i traced around it, cut a massive hole in the stock, then glued it in place.

See pics for reference, Essentially, you would have to find your own unique peice to insert in here. i very nearly inserted a 'glass capsule'.

Step 6: Adding Decoration.

Ok, now, to my usual style, we need to decorate the gun, to give it more substance, i added cogs, chips, and all sorts, Look through the pics, and see what items you have that are similar,

Also note that throughout i drilled small holes, and added left over screws to give it a bolted together metal look.

Step 7: Handle, Mask and Paint

Ok, i decided to cover the handle first, as it saved trying to glue ontop of paint.

• Picture 1 shows a simple denim cover to the handle. i used black denim, which actually worked really well, a couple of strips of cardboard underneath added a ribbed effect.

• Picture 2 shows the gun masked then painted - mask off any section you want to remain exposed, for me, this was the lenses, and all the brass. but non of the silver metal work.

I than gave it a coat of black spray paint - using my favorate, direct to metal spray paint.

as always, LOTS OF THIN LAYERS, dont just cake it in paint. Take your time, and the results will be better.

Step 8: The Final Step.

Ok finally, now we have this nice black coat, we want to 'dry brush' it with a gold or copper paint,

Make sure you get a really dry brush, dab a bit of paint, then little kinda brush it onto the gun. Repeat depending on the strength and coverage.

I finally added a couple of bits of silver foil tape to the stock, to add a bit more.

And thats it, find the final shots below.

Let me know what you think.


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    486 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Just Becareful to dont kill anyone with it :D


    2 years ago

    It's amazing how you made it out of cardboard. Amazing work!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I am hoping to make a crossbow version. The idea is that it would store magnetized cesium in a glass "ammo" cylinder, which would be kept warm to keep the cesium in a liquid state. It would inject the cesium into the barrel where it would cool into a hard projectile. When fired, it would fly through the air into the target, where the water in his/her body would start a violent chemical reaction producing (lots of) heat and hydrogen gas. This would explode (violently)! Of course it wouldn't actually do this, but that is the idea. What is the name of the card you used?

    17 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    w0uldnt w0rk well 0n h0t days/in h0t enviroments unless the cr0ssb0w features a superc00ler 0f sum s0rt


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You also realize that Francium is so volatile that contact with the air could make it explode?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Try francium. It is the strongest alkali metal, I think. And it is also radioactive. that introduces another problem to your opponent's survival...


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, ive had that suggested by lots of people also, but I'm going to stick with cesium because Francium is so rare. Thanks for the suggestion, and great idea!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    but that's the point! because francium is so rare, nobody will expect someone to use it as a weapon! because, really, who would put so much effort in a francium bullet, if a lead one is easily attainable? two words: 'perfect' and 'murder'...


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That is so incredibly devious, I might have to try it! Also, because francium explodes like so: When it comes into contact with water, a violent reaction is induced, producing large quantities of hydrogen gas. The heat ignites the gas, creating the visible explosion. I was thinking that as the bullet travels through the air, the small amount of moisture would produce some hydrogen, but not in a reaction violent enough to ignite. The shot would then be accompanied by a hiss, and a trail of gas that would look pretty wicked.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Exactly, the bullet would wizz through the air, leaving a hissing trail of hydrogen, hit the target, and BOOM!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    there is not much friction, a bullet is pretty aerodynamical, the main cause of a bullet stopping is gravity.

     Actually, Francium is so sensitive that it reacts with the vapor in the air, You'd explode unless you set up an exploding shell containing the Francium.