In stage and film projects, it is often too dangerous to use real guns in a scene. The solution is to cast a prop gun out of a mold, allowing the appearance of a real weapon with none of the danger. Two-piece gun molds are available at many special effects stores and websites. These molds can be filled with the casting material of your choice to create as many prop guns as you require.
Things You'll Need
- Mold release
- Brush (optional)
- Paper towel
- Straps, clamps or bolts
- Casting material
- Mixing bucket and stick
- Pigment (optional)
- Razor blade
- Paint (optional)
- Protective gloves
Consider what the prop gun will be used for before beginning. If it is to be worn, held and used as a prop, plastic resin is an ideal material for casting. If it is to be used for stunts, silicone rubber or flexible urethane should be used for safety.
Apply a mold release to both halves of the mold to ensure that the prop gun can be removed easily. The release used will depend on the material you are casting the gun out of, and it will be available at the same store or website where you purchase your materials. These releases are often in spray form, but some must be brushed into the mold.
Allow the mold release to dry, and buff out any excess with a clean paper towel.
Strap, clamp or bolt the two halves of the gun mold together.
Lay a piece of cardboard onto your work surface. This will protect the surface against any accidental leaks or spills.
Set the mold on the cardboard with its pour spout facing up. If the mold is in danger of falling over, prop it up with cans, wooden blocks or similar objects.
Mix the casting material according to its instructions. Add a small amount of black or gray pigment if desired.
Slowly pour the casting material into the mold's pour spout.
Continue pouring until the casing material flows out of all of the mold's air release holes. This will ensure that there are no trapped air bubbles. You also can have a friend tap the sides of the mold as you pour to free any trapped bubbles.
Allow the casting material to completely cure, following the wait time provided in the instructions.
Remove the prop gun from the mold. Use a sharp razor blade to cut off the sprues left behind by the pour spout and air vents, as well as any seam lines around the gun where the two halves of the mold met.
Paint the gun if desired, using paints designed for the casting material.
Tips & Warnings
- Many casting agents take several hours to cure. Work in an out-of-the-way location.
- Wear protective gloves when mixing and pouring your casting agent.
- Mold Making: How to Make a Two-Part Rubber Mold of a Complicated Object - Part 5
- "The Prop Builder's Molding & Casting Handbook"; Thurston James; 1989
- Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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