So here is a short Pic-torial on how I made the Elephant’s awesome antique gun!
How I Made the Elephant’s Gun!
I started by creating a sturdy armature to sculpt over. I used a dowel-rod, then kind of created the basic gun shape over the dowel using aluminum foil & tape. I wasn’t too interested in how the understructure looked cause it was just going to get covered. I used layers of folded aluminum foil to create bulk & then taped it all in place!
I used “Magic-Sculpt” to do all of the sculpting. Magic-Sculpt is pretty awesome, it’s a sculptable resin that when dry, is as tough as anything! I’ve used it in my scenic sculpting day-job for projects that are left out in the elements, so it definitely has lasting power!
All you have to do to use it correctly is to mix equal parts of the resin & hardener together. I usually measure out a little ball of one, then pull out an equally sized ball of the other.
MIX WELL!!! Twist & knead & pull & fold. You can’t over mix it, but you can under mix it! Keep a little bowl of water on the table to moisten you fingers if it gets too sticky! It takes about a day to completely set up & dry.
Next I covered the whole gun-shaped understructure with about 1/8″ coat of the Magic-Sculpt. This is just to get everything really strong & covered. Not too worried about making it “perfect”, but just getting an even coat on.
You can start to build out any basic detail areas, but don’t get too caught up with the fine details… Just going to cover it all up again anyways!
Now we get to have FUN!
I always pull out way too many tools, but whatever. Here’s a selection of the sculpting tools that I used to do the detail on the gun. Basic clay tools, some small metal detail tools, and some rubber-tipped modeling tools.
Always keep your tools wet with water! This will help keep the Magic-Sculpt from sticking to your tools. It’s the WORST to ruin a tool by letting material dry on the tip!!
Here is the basic sculpting on the wood handle. I smoothed on a thin coat of the Magic-Sculpt, then started to model the wood grain.
Wood grain is pretty simple (I’ve done a whole lot of it)! The basic technique is to take a RAKE TOOL (the little one with what looks like teeth) & pull it down in the direction of the grain. This will give you a basis for where to put some lines. Then take a more detailed rounded tool & just push in some random lines to emphasize the grain.
The more imperfect you are, the better! Let the grain wave around a little then add a couple rounded knots with the grain flowing around it & your done!
I sculpted some little roundish metal pieces for the gun’s hardware.
Just put a blob of Magic-Sculpt on some aluminum foil & model it into the shape. When it dries, just peel it off & you have a nice flat-backed detail piece! Might be good for making custom buttons or something.
Then I just super-glued the pieces all together.
*I did put some tape over the pieces while the glue dried to keep them in place.
Finally I just did some painting!
I used a combo of browns for the wood grain, then went in with a fine detail brush & some black paint to POP some of the cracks. I sanded the finish a little to get it even more aged.
Then I painted with hardware with a base coat of goldish paint & then used a little “Rub-N-Buff” (a wax-based, metallic finish. People use it alot on picture frames & such. It’s a little messy, but has a really nice antiqued-gold finish!)
Clear Coat & DONE!!
Thanks for reading this surprisingly long Pic-torial!