So it's finally done. After 5 months of work, the world finally has its first plasma rifle. I know this post is a little late and by this point most people have already seen the finished product on Flickr. So I thought I'd make this a quick post and wrap this project up. This project was quite the learning experience. I tried a lot of new techniques that I haven't done before. Molding and casting, Detailed electronics work, back lit panels, the list goes on. Mistakes were made along the way and lessons were learned. I really look forward to applying this new knowledge to future projects going forward.
Unfortunately I had a camera malfunction and lost the last set of progress photos so the final steps will have to remain a mystery. The back lit panel was made by printing out the black pattern I created on transparency film. This was then sandwiched between a thin piece of clear plastic and a thicker piece of fogged plastic. I placed a few orange LED's behind this to provide the light. It came out exactly how I wanted with no hot spots. Just a nice even orange glow.
The thing that really sold this rifle was the paint job and it came out absolutely perfect. I really wish I could take credit for this but it has to go to my wife who is a painter. She is incredibly good at layering different colors and patterns to create the perfect look of grime and ware. In my opinion, this is what made the final product of this gun so amazing. The dirt and grime is all acrylic paint layered on over the course of a few days. The paint went on thick and after it was completely dry, it was rubbed back with a rag. After the weathering was finished, the paint was sealed with a thin coat of matte spray fix to knock back the shine.
The last thing to do was to make a nice mahogany stand to display it on. After a few quick cuts, a quick run through the router, and a few coats of stain, it was done.
If anyone has any specific questions about the final stages of the project, send me a message and I'll try to answer as best I can. Thanks again everyone for all the humbling comments.
At this point I have had a lot of people pointing out that A3-21 is the android and not the name of the rifle. Naming this rifle the A3-21 was a conscious decision I made. I wanted to give it a model number similar to the AER9 Laser Rifle and since it doesn't officially have one in the game, I decided to go with A3-21 in honor of the android. While I know this is not "technically" correct, it is what I decided to go with much like working from the concept sketch rather then the in game model.