Cyber/Steampunk Futuresque Sci-Fi Hand Gun




I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making a...
This is a project I've been working on for a few weeks now. I basically wanted a cool hand gun. I didn't fancy any replica movie props, and the law makes it hard to buy normal replica guns. so i made my own.

Vote if you like it!

Thanks to Gothic-Valentine, an instructables member whom wanted to recreate my plasma rifle, and encouraged/helped me with this one. And also to all the commenter on my time machine.

The aims of the project were to create something with a mechanical action, a good amount of heft(weight) and also a nice finish, that looks like a movie prop.

I will try my best to instruct, but its a complicated one this, with a bit of rocky road to get to the final thing.

Materials needed

- 1 x 180 degree door hinge
- A couple of long metal brackets
- Dense cardboard/thick mount card
- Normal thickness mount card
- Lots of pva
- lots of super glue
- some scraps of leather
- black spray paint
- silver paint / silver marker
- some odd screws.
- lots of metal bits, and electronics scraps for decor.
- A couple of sections for creating the main bulk.
- a simple led circuit

Tools Needed

- Stanley/ husky/ carpet knife
- Cutting surface
- Drill
- Paint brush

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Cutting the Main Shape

Ok, first step is to choose what shape you want the handgun to be.

Picture 1
- I created a simple paper template of the shape i was aiming for, and traced this onto card, to one side you can see the first template i made, which i was not happy with.

Picture 2
- Cut out 2 shapes out of the dense card/thick mount board
- Cut out a 3rd shape from corrugated card board

Picture 3
- Once your happy with the thickness, glue all three layers together using PVA glue
- Go all around the edge and force PVA glue into the holes in the corrugated card
- Wait for it to dry, normally over night

Picture 4
- I decided my handle was too up-right so i cut the shape for the barrel at the angle that suited best.
- as you will see later, i scrapped the card barrel you see in these pictures.

Step 2: Adding the Hinge

Right, the main part of this gun is based around this hinge, i got it from my local wickes, its used to hold a door onto a cabinet, and has a wide opening angle, im sure this type of hinge can be found in many places. The brand name on the hinge is Lama.

Picture 1
- Line up the hinge with where you want on the card section
- Draw around the outside, then trim away

Pictures 2&3
- Tape the hinge in place.
- Cut and attach some sections of card around the outside on the hinge (this will vary from hinge to hinge)
- you should now have like a hole with the end of the hinge seated on it.
- Fill the hole with PVA, making sure to fill the gaps
- let it dry, there will no doubt be gaps in the PVA from where it has soaked into the corrugated board, so top it up, and let it dry again

Pictures 4,5 & 6 show the hinge in place (ignore the metal rod, another failed attempt at a barrel)

Step 3: Adding the Top of the Gun

The top of the gun was made using two long metal brackets, these were taken out an old scsi External hdd,

Pictures 1&2
- I basically placed this as far forwards as the holes would let me
- Drill two holes straight through the handgun
- i then used two small bolts to hold it in place - Use what ever you have laying around.

Picture 3&4
- i then attached the two sides together using a couple of screw holes on top
- Towards the back i attached a small metal hinged, which luckly had the holes in the rite place.
- At the front i just glued a piece of card in place using super glue.

Don't attach this permanently yet, as you will need to remove it for painting later.

Step 4: Building the Connector

Ok, now we need to build the front of the gun, this is the section that connects the hinge parts, to the rail parts.
Its mainly constructed from the dense card that was used earlier.

Pictures 1,2 &3
- I cut out two custom shapes for the sides, This was made to match up with the rails ontop
- Cut out a front, and a top for this section
- PVA the hole lot together and wait to dry

Picture 4
- I glued and extra metal section to the top of the rails
- here you can see the two sections butting up against each other.

Picture 5, 6 &7
- Then added a further magnetic metal piece, which i then created a matching shape for the two section to lock together.
- I then drilled several holes into the top of the connector, and glued magnets into these holes thus holding the two sections closed and together. (see tags if unsure of magnet placement)

Step 5: Creating the Ammo/Liquid Pod

Ok, so the whole idea of the gun opening up is cool, but it needs like and ammo shot.

Picture 1
- I took a small slither of dense cardboard, i then glued a couple of sections of metal (out of a floppy drive)

Picture 2
- I then took a small glass tube, this is one that medication come in, so an old ball point pen, or something could easily do the same job
- i sealed the small end using PVA, then a layer of superglue to make sure.

Picture 3
- Mix food colouring with water, until you get a colour that you like, i went for orange, so used yellow and red.

Picture 4
- Seal the other end of the tube with something, i used a rubber bung that came out the tube in the first place.

Picture 5
- Either glue the tube straight onto the slither, or use a couple of metal sections to act as clips
- The clips i used came from an old universal plug adapter.

Picture 6
- I then rigged up magnetic rail, this was made by fitting magnets to the underneath of the card slither.
- then glue some magnetic metal to the gun, i used a couple of 2 pence pieces.

Step 6: Add the Glow

Ok so ive not soldered for like ages, so this bit took me a short while

Pictures 1&2
- i put together a simple small circuit using a switch, and led and two 3v button batteries
- I made two metal contacts from an old floppy disk

Pictures 3&4
- Cut out a channel from the gun, this runs from the front of the gun to the bottom of the handle
- Also cut out a slit in the back of the handle to store the batteries
Its up to you where u put the switch and batteries, i just put them where they would sit nicely without compromising the strength.

As you can probably tell, i originally planned to have the ammo in the handle, so my switch is at the bottom, cos i already had a hole there.

Step 7: Bulk, Glue, Leather the Handle

Ok, next step is to build up the handle.

Pictures 1&2
- Cut out two shapes of card, these need to be about 5-7mm smaller than the handle, so trace around, then cut it out a bit smaller
- Glue these sections to either side of the handle, i held mine in place with tape as i let it dry.

Pictures 3&4
- Once dry, i then attached a single pieces of thick leather to the top of the handle, this curves around the back and onto the other side, i glued this using PVA glue
- Further down the handle i then glued two sections of thinner leather to the inside, and outside of the handle, make sure to leave a hole for any switches/batteries. Super glue was used here, as the leather gets stretched slightly around the handle.

Picture 5
- cut out some sections of card to fill in the gap between the leather sections.
- i then added a cardboard section the the bottom where the switch is.

Step 8: Adding the Junk

Ok, most of the bulk is done now. all you need to do is add those few extras

Picture 1
- Adding a barrel by sticking on a couple of bits of junk, i then drilled out holes in the middle aswell

Picture 2
- This shows a couple of old mouse buttons that i added to the side (they got put on very early in the -ible, but now would be the best time to add them really)

Picture 3
- Play around with a few other bits, just to fill in any gaps.

Picture 4
- all over the gun i added extra small screws, this helps make the card look like metal sections, put them wherever you think looks good, its up to you really.

Picture 5
- Add a small trigger, i used an old laptop hinge, with a few screws.

Step 9: PAINT JOB!

ok, so now we need to paint it. this is relatively easy - just take your time.

Picture 1
- Mask off everything you want to remain the same, for me this was the handle, and the most of the hinge and metal top.

Picture 2
- Spray paint black, LOTS OF THIN EVEN COATS if you just coat it, it will run and look rubbish.

Picture 3
- Using some silver craft paint, or and old silver marker pen, lightly dry brush all over the black sections, focus on the edges, as these get worn the most.

Step 10: Finished

Ok, there we are, all done,

Final thoughts
- personally i think this came out very well, and i'm very proud of it
- I would have liked to of fitted more leds, but soldering ain't my strong point
- I whipped a quick stand out of a single rod of metal, this slots into a hole on the front bottom, and supports the weight happily.

Please leave any comments, be nice, stay relevant, and don't be afraid to suggest new ideas/ways of doing things.

Let It Glow!

Finalist in the
Let It Glow!

The Instructables Book Contest

First Prize in the
The Instructables Book Contest



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    332 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Imagine this gun actually shooting a short distance...Best. Prop. Ever!!!!


    11 years ago on Step 9

    Nice job! I really admire the action for loading/unloading the pistol. Two small critiques come to mind. First, have you considered weathering the parts of the grip that would be exposed to human skin? I see some very new-looking wood and leather there that almost clashes with the rest of the look of the gun. Second, in whatever setting this gun is meant for, what does it _do_? I'm not asking how glowing red liquid is meant to injure someone, but how is this gun meant to be used? Is it like a standard personal-defense weapon? Is it a hunting weapon? It is for law enforcement? Does it push the limits of technology in its setting? Is it vastly overpowered for its job? Function is strongly coupled to form in production firearms, so knowing _what_ your gun is would have a very strong affect on how it appears. Fortunately, there are tons of examples out there from the real world to compare things to. I can go into more detail as to how one evaluates a prop weapon in light of its intended use if you like, but I'm betting you get the idea.

    6 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, thanx for the comment, nice to get some in-depth feedback - Yes the handle could do with being 'distressed' I figured it wouldn't take long for mucky hands to do that for me, and i didn't know how easy it would be to do. Secondly, the pistol, along with my plasma rifle would be used in conjunction with my time machine, basically, a weapon to use when fighting battles through-out time. Hence, its future technology, but not really that futuristic looking. Most the time, the technology would be in its own league even in future settings. On max setting the gun would be able to melt a hole 4ft wide in the side of a car. And each cartridge would give about 1000 shots.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 9

    Ha! nerdy details.... this coming from a dude with a PAC-MAN for an avatar. I think this gun is really awesome. I am going to build a similar piece right now...


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, that is a PAC-MAN-GRENADE! Get it right, jesus-h... WTF is wrong with people? lol jk...


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    haha, I'm sorry, When i first looked at your avatar, i thought it was Pac-Man with a mullet. Only when you said grenade did I finally realize it:P


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Seen this instructable in '09, JUST saw the Mchinae Supremacy album in pic 1... Theyve been my favorite band for four years, lol, im actually listening to them as i type this message.
    Overworld used to be my favorite album, but im starting to like Deus Ex Machinae better. :P


    8 years ago on Step 2

    That's great! I know those hinges...but when I saw the video, all I saw was a cool-looking mechanical part that totally looked designed for the gun. That's always wonderful when a found object integrates so well it no longer looks like a found object.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

    Where are these hinges? I have looked at Home Depot, Lowes, Online at Lamas web sight and on Wickes website. It's the elusive yet ever so necessary hinge.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    In the US, you can find it at
    I am gathering you would have to go the store itself to get them or find someone that lives by one to send you one.