A friend of mine recently posted a series of photos showing how he modified a toy gun to become a “steam punk” gun. It seemed like a good compliment to my Space Gun posting, and I wanted to make sure that I kept his photos so that I could refer back to them in the future. So here they are …
This first picture shows what the original toy gun looked like. Notice that there is a trigger handle thing near the back of the gun, and then a second grip near the front. (My lack of gun terminology is showing, but you get the idea.) In this picture, he is tracing around the gun so that when he disassembles it, he can keep track of which screws go where. (Very smart.)
Here you can see that he has followed through on the idea of keeping track of the screws – taping each one down near the location where it was removed. This is particularly important if the screws are of different lengths or sizes.
Next, you can see the gun after it’s been disassembled. Rather than coming apart in two matching pieces, this one comes apart into two PAIRS of main matching pieces – plus some other parts like grips and what not. And this is where the paint job starts to get really interesting.
Rather than just painting the whole gun a brass or bronze color – which would be a typical steam-punk style thing – he’s chosen to paint some of it a bronze color and some of it a dull steel color. This makes the gun MUCH more visually interesting, and adds to the impression that it’s been crafted out of multiple metallic pieces and parts. Also, by having kept the screws carefully identified, he can choose to paint them to match – or to contrast – because he knows where each screw will go.
Next, he’s found some gear or cog like bits from a necklace at a craft store. Again, very smart. I’m wondering if you couldn’t also find buttons, or game pieces, or cardboard cuts outs that would also work.
He then just sort of sprinkles these gears around the gun to make it look … well … more steam punk. Here’s a picture of the completed gun. You can clearly see the two different metallic spray paints and how that makes the gun look more constructed. And the gears have been added onto contrasting colors, so that they stand out clearly.
I really like the look of this weapon. There are some other things that might be interesting to try – metallic paint pens, perhaps, to add the appearance of more parts. Or perhaps tubing of some sort. Or dials / gauges? I’ve never done anything steam-punk before, but this seems like a pretty straightforward strategy for making a pretty authentic-looking steam-punk weapon.
EDIT: Be sure to check out my notes on making my own steam punk guns. I think that they actually look even better than this one!