BR85/BR85N Foam build

PillarofAutumn

Jr Member
I've found a few reference photos for each of these online. What sort of foam would be best to use to build from? I've really only ever used puzzle mat EVA and craft foam; could those work, perhaps with a topcoat of some sort to provide rigidity? If so, what top coat?

Also, are there any decals for the ammo counter and scope displays? Part of me would love to try and rig LEDs into the gun to light them up, but I don't have a program that I can use to design a decal myself.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I've found a few reference photos for each of these online. What sort of foam would be best to use to build from? I've really only ever used puzzle mat EVA and craft foam; could those work, perhaps with a topcoat of some sort to provide rigidity? If so, what top coat?

Also, are there any decals for the ammo counter and scope displays? Part of me would love to try and rig LEDs into the gun to light them up, but I don't have a program that I can use to design a decal myself.
Basically you can build using any material that you like or are comfortable with, all have their pros and cons and that's up to you to weigh and figure out what works best in your situation. I like going the EVA route and then adding embedded stiffeners to reduce flop, you could add a coating such as Smooth-On Epsilon Pro to add rigidity but that's rather expensive and difficult to get in some places. Another option is XPS insulation foam (C-#00 in Canada at hardware stores) which is naturally more rigid but brittle, add a dowel/PVC/ABS/PEX pipe barrel for strength and then an acrylic gesso top coat.
 

PillarofAutumn

Jr Member
Basically you can build using any material that you like or are comfortable with, all have their pros and cons and that's up to you to weigh and figure out what works best in your situation. I like going the EVA route and then adding embedded stiffeners to reduce flop, you could add a coating such as Smooth-On Epsilon Pro to add rigidity but that's rather expensive and difficult to get in some places. Another option is XPS insulation foam (C-#00 in Canada at hardware stores) which is naturally more rigid but brittle, add a dowel/PVC/ABS/PEX pipe barrel for strength and then an acrylic gesso top coat.
Would a fiberglass driveway reflector pole make a good embedded stiffener, or should I use something else instead? I know I can get those cheap from Home Depot.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Would a fiberglass driveway reflector pole make a good embedded stiffener, or should I use something else instead? I know I can get those cheap from Home Depot.
I mean, it's worth a shot if the price is right. Worst case is you've burned a couple of bucks and learned something new because of it, best case is that it works perfectly and we now have a new thing that the 405th knows is awesome.
 

PillarofAutumn

Jr Member
They're under $3 for 48", if I'm remembering right. Only thing then would be how to integrate LEDs for ammo and scope; I've never worked with them before
 

Beemo8bit

Jr Member
I’ve successfully built a rail gun with puzzle foam; additional layers of detailing helped give it rigidity, including some foam board which is pretty stiff. The ends of the barrel wobble a tiny bit, so I’ll probably add a small wire or strip of clear plastic at the end to keep them aligned. You should be fine with other weapon shapes!
 

PillarofAutumn

Jr Member
I’ve successfully built a rail gun with puzzle foam; additional layers of detailing helped give it rigidity, including some foam board which is pretty stiff. The ends of the barrel wobble a tiny bit, so I’ll probably add a small wire or strip of clear plastic at the end to keep them aligned. You should be fine with other weapon shapes!
Any tips on patterning?
 

PillarofAutumn

Jr Member
Would the Andrew DFT pattern be a good one to follow here, bearing in mind that I'd be using puzzle mat foam and craft foam for detailing instead of the foam he uses?
 
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