The Sunstar Pistol - Remodeling a Masterpiece

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...
One of my original triumphs was my Original Handgun It was a good project, and despite many further attempts, i never replicated that nice unique design.

The new version i have dubbed 'The Sunstar' it fires a live flare of fusion material from the small star at its core. The star itself is held in a Tri-directional gravity field, keeping the gun light and accurate.

Most things that come into contact with the blast will melt, including most metals.

If needs be the gun opens to fire a pulse of sun matter, which can take out a small army (read a few hundred)

The original was not very well thought up, so i decided to 'Mod' it, using these various fine materials.

  • Some nice upholstery leather
  • Some fancy wood veneer
  • Some lenses
  • A variety of small cogs
  • A few new nozzle sections

Obviously if you want to recreate this, you will have to use a bit of common sense to merge this Instructable with the Original Handgun.

Step 1: Reworking the Opening Section.

I decided on a slightly different mechanism for it to open, give an optional 'sun blast' mode.

Firstly i removed all the the section where the 'vial was before' (see first picture)

Next i replaced this with various parts to give more of an 'internal barrel' feel, it took a bit of playing around, and these items were held in places using both epoxy resin and superglue.

Next to work on the top. The bottom hinge would open just as before, but the top needed to open upward. First i had to file the gap to allow for a more heavy duty bolt, this through the back hole then made my hinge. The original magnets hold it closed perfectly.

I then used an old motor from a CD drive on one side, an old clock provided me with some small plastic cogs. These were all glued in place using epoxy resin.

Finally, an old perf wheel from work fitted perfectly as the barrel.

Step 2: The Handle. (part One)

Ok, i decided the first thing to go would be the handle.

It HAD to be done. I wanted to keep the shape, but did not want the old scrap leather and exposed card.

So, i ripped it off.

I had decided the power for the gun was going to be a star or sun, so i needed to fit this into the handle. I started by taking the bare handle, marking a rough centre then drilling out a hole at the top, it only needed to be deep enough to sink my lense into, so i didn't go all the way through.

I then made a simple paper template, and used this to cut out both sides.

I then glued these two sections onto either side. A simple rig used a vice and some floppy discs held it all in place while it dried.

Step 3: The Handle. (part Two)

Next i need to add the lens and the leather.

Once the Veneer is dry, i re-drilled the gap for the lens, you may need to use a Dremel to make it a bit large, and it also helps to smooth it off.

I got a small lens left out of a camera, the lens still had its metal surround, using these i google some pictures of the sun, found one i liked, and printed it out onto some glossy paper. I cut this out and stuck it in the hole.

Place the lens in place, and hold it stuck with a few blobs of epoxy resin or super glue.

Finally cut few strips of leather, and carefully glue them over the exposed sections of the handle, i find that if you spread PVA glue onto the leather it make it slightly wet which allows it to 'mould' around the handle better, Cut the leather where needed, and fold around the bottom of the handle.

At this stage i also slid an extra slip of metal onto the trigger.

Step 4: Finishing Touches.

I need to redo the paint job, the original wasn't as dark I had hoped, and was done using a silver marker instead of proper metallic paint. Mask off the sections you want to remain 'virgin'. Give a nice even spray using black 'direct to metal' spray paint. As always, many coats, patience, and long dry times are the key.

Once this was dry, i then dry brushed the metallic paint on, a light coating all over on this one.

Remove the masking.

I needed the wood on the handle darker so, i go myself some wood varnish.
Re-mask the gun ready to varnish the veneer. Give the varnish a good stir, and apply to the handle, i gave mine two coats, which worked great.

Leave it to dry, and remove the masking tape.

Last thing to do, was to drill a few small hole in the handle, and put some little screws in.

Step 5: Completion

So there we are, finished, share any comments, and all that jazz.

- gmjhowe



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    72 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This thing is epic! I am thinking of making something like this myself. I'm lucky because I have these hinges on my cupboards so I have extras.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the inspiration:


    7 years ago on Step 5

    gmjhowe, I think this is brilliant!

    Just a thought in case you make a future model (or in case I decide to do something similar for that matter :P ).
    For the sun, it should be possible to get one or two little screens (from an old cellphone store) and put in a rechargeable battery to run a video of a living star. The gun would suddenly look even more believable, and if you were to pull it out to show someone, they would do the biggest double take in history!

    Either way, amazing, amazing project!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What kind of hinge did you use? Ive been trying to find one my self, they're so cool?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like it, but something about the handle looks blocky to me.  Isit just my imagination or is that thing kind of awkward to hold?

    Other then that I really like it, good show!

    4 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I am the owner of this gun now I bought it. and to be honest I like the feel of the handle. It fits comfortably in my hand. I feel like Captain Melcom from firefly when I pull it out of my holster


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     I agree, at first the handle felt ok, but over time I realised it was not quite the right angle, something that I have taken to fixing with more recent projects!

    Thanks for the comment.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Well that's a shame, at least it looks incredibly awesome.  I hope to see your improvements at some future date.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 1

    I sold this exact model for £160 thats $254 of your USD. For $20 dollars, your best looking at some of the mass produced steampunk stuff, Nemisis Now do some very affordable models!


    8 years ago on Step 3

    If you had a lot of money and wanted to add that extra touch, it would be awesome to put a small screen in there that played a video of the sun so it looked like a star was really churning. Just an idea...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    this looks just amazing you really could picture it ina film


    9 years ago on Introduction

     Hello Gmjhowe its me TheMaker888 form youtube and i must thank you for suggesting this sight to me and i hope to make some of my own Steampunk
    guns and Goggles soon..
    Btw where do you get your Materials ?
    like Brass and Mechanical parts?

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Step 5

     Hey i noticed you used a CD motor... you know what you could have done, is you could have made it Spin and then when you pull the trigger the ammo falls on top of the Spinning Spindle and is flung from the Gun, or if you had two then one on top and one on bottom, or Right side and Left side, them when the trigger is pulled the two spindles pinch the ammo
    ( a spear like projectile ) 
    gets thrown from the Gun...
    have you ever seen a Hot wheels track?
    you know those Track Boosters?
    well this is Generally the same Basic Idea
    *Fling one Object from One Point to another*
    Let Me Know If You Are Interested...
    Then I Will Draw A Digram For You Ok ?