Saturday, 16 February 2013

Steampunk Firepower–More Prototyping

Today I bought some water based multipurpose filler … Agnew’s Water Filler. This is a great filler and works on lots of different materials, but, importantly, it works on polystyrene.

The filler mixes 3 parts powder to 1 part water to make a thick paste. I made a mix of 1 to 1 to make a thin slurry of the putty and applied it directly to the polystyrene with an artist paintbrush. So far, I have applied 3 layers and it takes about 10 minutes for the putty to dry sufficiently to apply another layer. So that’s about 30 minutes to get about 2.5mm thick coverage over the polystyrene.

The putty can be sawn, sanded, drilled and carved, so I’m pretty pleased with the scope for the putty as a modelling medium.


I needed to extend the grip on the gun as it was about a finger too short. To do this, I used a hacksaw to cut the end of the original handle off and then carved a 1” polystyrene block and glued it on to the end. The putty slurry was then painted on to the stock to start building it up and blending it in. I also painted the slurry on to the new barrel of the gun and started to smooth out some of the lumpy bits.

Now I’m waiting for the putty to cure entirely so that I can start to sand and smooth the surface. The putty is still very thin on the gun, so I’ll probably need to give the surface some protection. I will use a clear matt finish acrylic paint to achieve that.


Soon, I’ll be able to start carving the detail into the surface.


I have an old urchin shell on the veranda, I’m going to fill the interior with some plaster to make the shell less fragile and then I’m going to cover the outer surface with some silicone moulding medium. The shell has such a fantastic texture, and I reckon that, if I flatten it out, the texture will look awesome as a surface on the gun … maybe on the grip.

When the prototype is all surfaced and carved, I’ll need to cut the gun in half along it’s length so that I can remove the polystyrene from the middle. I will also need to make the shell a bit thicker by adding more filler on the inside of the shell. When I’ve done that, I can start making the transparent sections of the gun. Oh well, that’s probably a long time into the future yet … how many chickens do I have now?

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