This section will deal with the making of my boltgun.
I seem to have misplaced the photos of the actual construction of the bolter, but here are the basics. I took measurements from the bolter with my 150mm Marine, and scaled them up. From there, I just cut foamcore and taped it together with masking tape. Once it was built, I made a plaster mold of each half. I should add, however, this master was destroyed in the making of the molds, and one of the molds was ruined in the fiberglassing process, so I am remaking a bolter, one that is stronger, and lacks all the tape marks.
This is the clip I made for the bolter. It is made from foamcore layered in plastic-card. The shells are 3/4" PVC pipe. This clip is actually 1/4" wider, front to back, than I wanted, so having to remake the bolter is a blessing in disguise, as I would rather rebuild the bolter than the clip.
To start, I measured the clip that came with my 150mm Marine, scaled it, and found out the dimensions I should use. The top of the clip is simply a pair of parallel lines, and the curve is from the bottom of a bucket. I simply boxed in the front, back, and bottom of the clip, bending the foamcore where needed. A peice of 3/4" foam was roughly cut to the shape of the front and rear sides, and was glued in the center of the clip. This holds the shells against the sides of the boltgun clip.
With this completed, the rest is pretty straight-forward. I clad the entire thing in thin plastic after building up the bottom with foamcore. Smaller details were added with plasticard, and the whole thing was painted, to get a good look at the finished boltgun clip. Red was what I had on hand. As I said before, the shells are nothing more than 3/4" PVC pipe cut into sections. This replicates the fact that boltguns are .75 caliber. It's a little off-scale compared to the rest of the armor, but no one should notice. If they do, then they can build their own.
So yeah, I had to make a new boltgun master, so I decided to construct it like a box fuselage, meaning sides, font, back, top, and bottom, all built around ribs and formers. Yes, it's overkill, but I don't want to destroy this boltgun like I did to the first one. To start, I cut out ribs that define the shape of the boltgun at key points, such as the front grip, clip area, and rear sections. These ribs slipped into stringers that helped to line everything up properly. This stringer can be seen in the second photo. From here, the construction is pretty straight-foward. One side was assembled, and the top of the boltgun was glued on, taking care to use a square to keep the top and side, well, square. The stringer was then lined up and glued onto the side.
The grip assembly is over-engineered, but it allowed me to just use one shape repeatedly. The front clip former was glued onto the back of a grip former, and the entire thing was assembled, using spacers, and allowed to dry. The white peice of foamcore on the bottom of the grip will be cut away later, but was left as a solid peice to aid in keeping the assembly from warping. From here, the grip assembly and remaining formers were glued inside the side and top, and oodles of quilter's pins held everything together. Once this was done, the other stringer was installed into the formers and the other side was glued in place, using more pins. I'm glad I bought the 450 pack.
From this point, I had to add the paneling to the boltgun. In the first master I made, I used a combination of foamcore and card to add panel details. I had two issues though. The gaps between the foamcore panels were too small, so the plaster mold broke in those locations, and the card looked ok, but I don't think it would show in a fiberglass bolter, atleast after finishing. So, for this boltgun, I made the three main panels out of foamcore, and spaced them out a little farther than before, about 1/4". When I bondo/plaster this boltgun, I am going to add fillets to the channels between the panels. I cut away the excess foamcore on the grip "teeth," and wrapped the remainder of the "teeth" in foamcore. This was done twice to obtain the needed thickness. I also glued a filler peice into the clip receiver, as I am making a mold of this boltgun.
After finishing the master, I was ready to pour my molds. I built a foamcore fence around the master, leaving 1/2" around the edges. I used 1/2" strips along the centerline of the master to locate where the wo halves will occur. Each half used just over half a gallon to make a mold. I found out the hard way that you should mix your RTV as much as possible before pouring it. One of my halves is extremely soft, and will need to be redone. I suggest pouring the thicker RTV component into the thinner component. Below, you can see the RTV after pouring and curing.
Below, you can see The fiberglass halves. I would strongly suggest buying a high-quality aerosol releasing agent, such as Poly-Ease. This was my first serious venture into fiberglassing, and I learned alot.
Well, I finally finished this boltgun. It took ALOT of bondo and sanding to fix some of the mistakes I made, most notably is the left side, which was cast in a bad mold. I attached all the other parts, like the sight, the barrel, slide grips, rivets, greeblies around the barrel, and card details. The grip in these photos is not going to be the final grip, but is there temporarily. I had to do a fair bit of work on the clip receiver to get it square, using a true frame of plasticard as a guide. I plan on remolding the master I used originally, and with improved fiberglassing skills, plan to make more of these.