Noobs MA37 Assault Rifle from cardboard (pic heavy)

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  1. #1

    Noobs MA37 Assault Rifle from cardboard (pic heavy)

    Hi guys,

    I've posted this here because it's really the first time I've posted any type of construction work. I've made lots of props for various things before, but I thought some of you might be interested in this one.

    A friend asked me to build the rifle to complete his Halo suit. I decided to make the entire thing out of cardboard, reinforced internally and with each layer coated in PVA to offer some basic weather protection.

    Stage one, a 20mm sandwich of card, I assembled a set of templates to make this.

    The side elements were cut from dense card, the barrel assembly was made from bits of plastic pipe, card and a bottle top. The grip is a piece of pipe lagging.

    The side pods use a ladder frame construction clad in card.

    The ammo counter (which will be LED backlit was made from two sheets of acrylic and two printed papers. The rear printed paper was scalpel cut to allow more light through in those areas.

    The grip and mag were built up from layers of card and foamies. I will use some spackle paste to fill out the grip.

    The shoulder stock is a three card and two foam tile laminate. carved with a Dremel. the back plate is foamies again.

    Additional foamies were used to create the grip textures, starting to take shape now.

    Test lit counter

    Scope front / battery box built and test fitted

    Scope centre / switch box assembled.

    All the main elements assembled and wired up. With a few additional details and some cleaning up it will be ready for paint.

    I'll post more pics of the finished weapon if anyone might be interested.


  2. #2
    O: this is the work of no noob! A+ job!

  3. #3
    Wow this is shaping up to be elite forum material for sure. Looks amazing! Way to join the forums with a bang, enjoy your stay.

    Can't wait for the next update.

  4. #4
    amazing scratch build. love the ammo counter.

  5. #5
    Your Reach AR looks great!

  6. #6
    holy mother of crap is that awesome!! very well done

  7. #7
    Hi Si, tis I, Vince :-)

    Nice to see you here and a wonderful build.

    Worthy of elite status I think (I may be a bit bias) but a cracking job anyway!

  8. #8
    Wow this is major. Very cool indeed.You will make eliet in no time. I look forward to seeing more of this

  9. #9
    Wow, this should be stickied as an example for a good first post.
    (Although you forgot to introduce yourself. Shame on you! :-D)

  10. #10
    Oh I think we'll be interested . Very nice work on this.


  11. #11
    Looking very good. Love the amount of detail you're putting into it. Keep us posted.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrider9 View Post
    Wow this is shaping up to be elite forum material for sure. Looks amazing!
    I second that!

    This is a fantastic build man! You have some serious talent. Keep it up!


  13. #13
    Here's an update .....

    Construction phase is now completed. I've cleared the bench, cleaned my tools and waiting for the glue to set properly before painting can commence. Probably 3 to 4 hours yet.

    I've deliberately left out one or two details, but overall I'm happy with the results at this stage.

    I'll keep updating as the paint goes on.


  14. #14
    This looks the biz! Awesome job man, can't wait to see it painted!

  15. #15
    Wow... that is awesome...



    I mean... um... completely wrong...

    You should give it to me for proper disposal.


  16. #16
    Great rifle! Can't wait to see it with paint!

  17. #17
    DAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is amazing!!!! fantastic work man =D

  18. #18
    I have to admit, I wasn't too impressed with the first few photos, but towards the end, I was blown away! Incredible work, probably the most detailed AR I've seen without CNC-ing one (and even then, it might be better). Considering how well constructed this it, I'm confident you'll do it justice with a equally awesome paint job, and I can't wait to see it.

    Welcome to the 405th!

  19. #19
    Been following your progress on deviantart. Impressive stuff.

    Anyway to get the ammo counter fully illuminated? I'd suggest EL sheet, but it may not be bright enough for you.

  20. #20
    Great job man! This is simply AMAZING!

  21. #21
    that is absolutely awesome! great work :P

  22. #22
    Another update ......

    I've started the painting stage now, but instead of just posting a few pics I thought I would describe what I'm doing and more importantly why I'm doing it.

    I use a few different painting systems dependant on materials used, outcome required and level of detail required. The materials used in this build have advantages (cheap, easy to work and readily available), as well as a number of disadvantages (not waterproof, not super strong, differing surface finishes).
    In order to over come the disadvantages I use a base / primer coat of matt automotive spray paint. this will help the materials to be a little more water resistant. The difference in surface finishes of the materials is quite striking. Dry glue is very shiny, printed card surfaces are also shiny. Unprinted card has a satin finish and foamies are very matt.
    A single coat of paint will show all these deviations which is not desirable. i want a nice unified finish so that subsequent layers can be judged in advance.

    Since this weapon is basically dark grey I decided to use three light(ish) coats of matt black auto spray for the base. Here in the UK I have settled upon Halfords own brand (it's an auto parts store), because it's pretty cheap and give a finished patina that I really like. I used half a can on the MA37 to do the three coats so it works out at about 3.50 GBP or around $5 USD.

    here's the first coat of paint. I have masked off the battery pack, the switch and the ammo counter window. You can see the different surface finishes showing through the paint.

    Here's the final coat having just been sprayed. you can see the battery box cover in front of the rifle.

    The left side of the gun after three coats have dried. You can see the battery holder hanging near the barrel and the battery box cover on the bench.

    and finally the right side of the fully assembled gun after the three base coats. Hopefully you can see that the patina overall is now much more uniform and because the entire gun has been painted it should be a little more water resistant.
    From here on in it will be brush, dry-brush, air-brush and sponge to lighten, add shading and detail. the base coat has taken all day to produce due to drying times etc.

    more to follow.
    Last edited by marshon; May 24, 2011 at 6:05 PM.

  23. #23
    *slowly claps*

    love it!

  24. #24
    Cant speak... Jaw on floor...

  25. #25
    I've almost finished the rifle now so there should only be one more update after this.

    Once the base coat had dried for 24 hours I started to lighten the panels. I did this by airbrushing some dark grey into each of the general body panels. Don't panic if you don't have an airbrush, you can get a similar effect by cutting a really cheap bath sponge into 8 pieces, dab it into the paint then dab nearly all of off onto a bit of scrap card and then dab the model with the sponge.

    I then went back over with a lighter grey.

    Next I began a first subtle dry-brush to start to raise the details.

    I dry-brushed the barrel with gunmetal, silver and a touch of bronze to 'metalise' it

    Next, another all over dry-brushing with light grey to bring out the panel edges.

    Next I added some dry-brushed metallic colours to the receiver sides. I also masked and sprayed to band round the scope. Client requested a white band to match his magnum.

    Next I started to add some shadow detail with matt black.

    More shadow details and some slight dry brushing on bits I thought needed it. Apart from some lettering panels and some final weathering and wear marks the gun is virtually completed.

    I'll post the last update once the weapon is completed.

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