I apologize for the lack of updates. I know some of you were excited to see how the dagger came out. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to work on it and I am not sure when I will get the chance to finish it simply because life has gotten busier for me, which is good. Sadly that means it will be a while before the dagger is finished because I still have a lot of work to do on it. I might not post for a while but the site will always be here. In the future, if you remember, check back and maybe some new stuff will be up. Stay inspired and never stop creating.
So, I am still working on the Skyrim Steel Dagger. Its been slow because of the holidays, my new big boy job, and people visiting but it will get done soon. I have all the parts made, it just needs to be assembled, patched with some bondo, sanded and primed. Then of course make a mold and cast the final product. Its going to be a while longer but for those of you who have been looking forward to it, just keep checking back and I will start doing some build progress updates since I’m moving slower than usual.
If you recognize this thing, you probably play Skyrim to much. This is a weapon rack that can be found in most interior locations in the video game, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. This was sort of a side project I decided to do because I am waiting on a shipment of materials to make a steel dagger from Skyrim with. I thought to myself, when the dagger is built it would be cool to display it. What better way to display a Skyrim dagger than with a wall mounted weapon rack from the actual game?
By now, if you are a die hard Skyrim player, you have probably realized that this rack is not to scale. Correct, I didn’t want to make a giant, heavy, expensive one that could hold a great sword. However, if you wanted to, you totally could.
This is self hardening clay that you don’t need to bake. The plan was to shape it, let it dry and since it is black clay I could just paint it with acrylic silver to get the metal affect. A horrible plan indeed.
Unfortunately this clay’s package lied when it said minimal shrinkage. It shrank severely and cracked into a few pieces as well. Another thing about clay is that it is heavy and dirty, so I decided to use the pieces to make a mold and cast plastic from (also a first for me).
The stuff below is Smooth-On OOMOO 30. It is a medium grade silicone mold compound. Its an equal parts mix with a 6 hour cure time.
Now the only reason I actually knew how to do this is by taking a class on casting and molding and watching tutorials online. If you want to do this you should study up because it is expensive and very easy to screw up if you don’t know the basics. A good source of info is www.smooth-on.com. They have tons of tutorials on various products that are extremely helpful.
I have the silicone so I needed the plastic. I chose Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 305 because it was simply in stock at the store. Also an equal parts mix, Its light weight, durable, and cures in 30 minutes. The down side is that it turns bright white but paint can fix that. Next I needed a mold box.
There is a billion ways to make a mold box but a cheap, one time way is this. I traced a box around the broken pieces onto some foam board and glued foam board walls around it. In order to make sure no silicone escapes you have to really hot glue the hell out of it. I used tape around it just for some reinforcement. Next I glued the pieces to the base of the box,mixed and poured the silicone.
By some miracle the silicone stayed in but I hit a bit of a snag. I did not have enough silicone to cover the pieces and you need at least a half inch layer over the top. The store ran out of OOMOO 30 so I took and gamble and used 25 which is a weaker silicone but it was a one time mold so I wasn’t worrying about tearing it.
This is what I got. You can see two colors because OOMOO 30 is purple and 25 is teal blue. It is dirty because I did not spray sealer on the clay. Since clay is porous it will stick to the silicone. Not a huge deal it just needed cleaning.
There you have it. Come back in a couple of weeks or so for an update on the Skyrim steel dagger. As always, questions and comments are welcome. Use the contact page or comment form. As always… shut up nerds!
I’m jokingly calling this device the Pipboy 1000 because it seems like an earlier model of the Pipboy 3000 from the Fallout 3 video game. I have always wanted to do make a Pipboy 3000 but it has been done so many times and I just felt like doing something with my own spin on it.
This probably one of the more in depth builds that I have done. Everything is nearly from scratch and if you are interested in it, the entire build process is further down after the final product photos.
I took the liberty of posting a video of the bracer so you can see and hear the display.
For the video graphic, rather than try and make one myself which would be a disaster or ask my VFX buddy to take time out of his busy day to make one for me, I just bought some that looked “Fallout-ish”. You can get the exact ones here and here from pond5.com for a fairly decent price. From there I just edited them together with some distortion and sound effects from Soundtrack Pro and made a 5 minute looping video.
So I guess we will start with the internals. I didn’t want to use an iPod or my phone for the screen like a lot of people do. So I went cheap mp3 player with a touch screen shopping and came up with this.
I got this cheap piece of garbage on Amazon for about 40 bucks. The touchscreen is extremely finicky but it does the job. Next is the speaker and cable.
The speaker is just a cheap battery operated portable one from radio shack. To connect the two I needed a female to male adapter cable. I ended up needing a different one than the one in the photo, do to a space issue on the bracer. Basically, it was the same cable but with a right angle male head.
So now that I had what I was installing, I needed to figure out how I was going to install it. For this particular project I wanted to use everything as is and keep them in tact so I could still access batteries and memory cards and what not.
So I traced out the dimensions of the player onto some card stock and glued them together to make the cover for the screen and the speaker. Once they were glued together I coated them in resin (the stuff below).
This kind of resin is a great because it doesn’t have a strong smell or vapor that will stink up your house or suffocate you to death. Its equal parts filler and hardener and it dries almost clear with a yellow hue. For those of you who do not know what resin is, its basically glue that turns into hard plastic. So coating the card stock with it turns the card stock into a nice, hard shell casing for the screen. Once painted it looked like this.
Lets talk about paint real quick. If you have seen my work before you probably know that I mostly hand paint with acrylic and then seal it with a clear coat spray. I particularly like to hand paint things I want to look metal because the brush strokes create a warn, scratched, or “brushed steel” look. To get an old, beat up, metallic look I usually have a black base and then brush with the metallic color. You don’t want to completely cover the black coat. You want to have just enough showing through that it gives it that older, forged metal look. To get the rust effect I mix the two paints below and lightly stipple the areas I want to looks rusted. In this case the rivets and welded looking spots.
To cover the cable I used some of this stuff. This is 1/2 inch split loom tubing for covering electrical wire. Like anything awesome, this can be found here on amazon and you can get 100 feet for 13 bucks.
Half way through the project I decided that it would be badass to have a giant bayonet style blade sticking out of the side of the bracer.
I didn’t have any fancy PVC foam board so I used regular 1/2 inch Elmer’s Foam board that you make science projects with. Unfortunately when you go the cheap route it is harder to work with but it can be done.
I then brushed it with resin. I also added a bit of black paint to the resin so I could have a durable dark base since the blade will probably take some damage, if it gets scuffed you wont get a white scratch. However, if you don’t have the proper resin color it jeopardizes the integrity of the resin so I just added another coat and I was good. Btw, if you ever use resin in a project, stock up on cheap brushed because they can only be used once.
I basically built a box out of quarter inch foam board around the blades connector piece and left one end open so the blade could slide in.
Mini Cross Bow:
Halfway through making the blade I thought to myself, there should be a cross bow you can put on this. Why not? I found this little cross bow toy at a board game store at the mall for 7 bucks.
I shot some darts with it at my window. It is surprisingly powerful and accurate.
Anyway, I added some paint and hot glued another bayonet connector to it. The bow also came with a blue string so I tried to dye it black and failed miserably. I ended up replacing it with a black hair tie I got at walgreens.
So what does a cross bow that is suppose to look real need? You said it! Real looking arrows which we can make out of aluminum sheets and tubing like so.
I was able to cut the arrows out with some heavy duty scissors. I then took my Dremel and ground out a slit in the tops of the tubes so the arrow head could slide in. Then I lightly hammered where the tube meets the arrow head to clamp it shut and super glued it. If you are wondering if I tried shooting one of these out of the bow you would be correct. However, they just kind of fall out and almost stab peoples feet.
So as you can see, the behind the scenes of the bracer is pretty ugly so I covered it up with some left over brown fabric. This is also a good idea so you don’t have all that jagged stuff stabbing your arm.
I attached the arrows with antique brass rapid rivets. to do this you would need rivets, a rivet setter, a plastic/wood hammer and preferably a leather hole punch . For all of my leather needs I use Tandy Leather Factory.
The little metal disk on the right is a decorative concho. It looked like a vent or some sort of sensor so I thought it would be a nice touch of detail.
Now that I had everything built I needed to figure out how to strap it to my arm. I didn’t want to use snaps or Velcro so I just did it old school with 3 straps, strap slides, and button studs. To fasten the straps to the bracer I used regular rivets from the hardware store because they are durable and much easier to use.
Now that it looks all fancy I decided to knock it down a notch by stippling black shoe polish all over it with a brush. This gives it a nice, dirty, wasteland final touch.
Just to touch on some things I missed if people are interested. The metal screen covering the speaker is another piece of aluminum sheet that I sanded and drilled holes in. I also took leather lace and glued it around where the leather bracer meets the covers for a beveled and more layered look.
Well that is it. Any questions or comments just email or comment below. I hoped you enjoyed this absurdly long build and if you didn’t, well, shut up nerds.
Just wanted to give an update. Christmas has slowed down production a bit but I am working on a Fallout Pipboy inspired arm bracer device. I say “inspired” because the Pipboy has been done a billion times but I love the idea of it and wanted to create an original, from scratch (well nearly) take on it. So check back hopefully in a week or so for some cool pics and a nice break down of the build.
I was at Toys R Us because I am a giant child and I can’t help but check out the Nerf guns when I saw the Nerf Barrel Break.
I thought to myself, I haven’t modded a Nerf gun in a while and a futuristic double barreled shotgun just seemed to cool pass up.
I reinstalled the bullet rack on the side because I wanted to put the compressor on the tac rail.
I made six brass buckshot type bullets and two “explosive” amber liquid bullets just for fun.
The brass bullets are made out of an old brass clocks legs and hardware. The liquid bullets are vinyl tubing capped at both ends with 3/8 brass flare nuts. The liquid is actually watered down, Tangerine Orange Mio water flavor.
You can find all of the compressor pieces in the plumbing section of any hardware store. Its made with 1inch copper pipe cut to the length of the rail, 1inch caps, 3/8inch copper Tee fixed to the back, a soft copper coil running from the Tee to the steam gauge and the gun, copper pipe hangers connecting it to the tac rail hardware, and a brass valve handle screwed into the front.
Lets talk about steam gauges. I searched high and low for a vintage steam gauge or any sort of steam gauge looking object I could make look like one and I came up empty. Then I found this build to help me out. Basically the build is about taking a brass closet door handle thing below.
You find a picture of the style indicator dial you want online or use the guys in the other build and print it out. I wanted to use a real indicator needle so I just decided to make my own dial as well. I am providing a plain one and the one I used in my project down below if you feel like using mine.
After I got all of the parts together I got to work.
I actually used the plastic from the package for the glass cover. After I added the paper dial, gear, and clock hand, I glued the plastic to the front. Since the package comes with two of those brass door things, I cut the brass ring off of the front of the other one with a Dremel and glued it on front if the plastic to have a nice beveled edge around the plastic cover. From there I just wrapped the outside, under the edge in some leather to give the finished dial a beefier look.
For the final touch I cut out a leather grip for the handle instead of just wrapping the handle in leather lace or something like that.
That concludes my barrel break build. I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions or would like more details, comment or shoot me an email. Otherwise, shut up nerds.
This is a prop I made for a short film called Tracked that will be coming out in a few months. The story required a homemade bullet shield plate that gets shot with a large caliber bullet.
I took some cardboard from some boxes I had around and cut out how I wanted the plate to look. I did some layering to make it look like someone had made it out of scraps since the movie is in the post apocalyptic future.
I cut out a bullet hole with an exacto knife. Then I painted it with fiberglass resin from Autozone. The resin basically turns the cardboard into hard plastic. After that I covered it in Bondo body patching mold also from Autozone which gives it that tan sculpture look. From there it was just sanding and painting. I used black matte acrylic paint for the base and then silver acrylic paint for the metal sheen.
These are some tables I modified for a Tron fan film that was not able to be completed. I didn’t want them to go to complete waste so I figured I would share them with you guys.