Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mare's Leg, Part 1

Part of Akira's Zoe costume is her signature Mare's Leg gun, which we have been working on for the past couple weeks.  Not having to worry about Ilo Milo means a lot more work has gone into it.

Lots of progress pictures after the jump.

A few months ago, Akira found a website that sells replicas of toy guns from the mid century.  The seller has molds for making the parts, and happened to have a Mare's Leg.  The catch is he only had the plastic parts, and the full toy gun had some metal pieces.  Over the past couple weeks, we've worked on making a full prop gun out of these pieces.

At first we wanted to have some moving parts, but in the interest of time (and reliability) ultimately decided to make it a single solid plastic piece.

First, we had to make the missing pieces:  we traced photos of Zoe's prop onto thin wood planks, then cut them out and smoothed them to look like the metal pieces.  We filled the inside of the toy gun with modeling clay, and used that to attach the wooden pieces.
Trigger and loading mechanism
1 hour later...
Once this was dry, we had to clean off all the extra clay... After lots of cleaning, the master was ready to become a mold.  We used foam board and more of the clay to make the bottom half of the mold and stuck the gun half-way in (all that cleaning for nothing!).

Glorious foam board mold box
To pour the silicone for the mold, it took the two of us constantly mixing the two halves of the rubber and pouring.  Even though it says there is a ~10 minute pot life for the silicone, it seemed to start to harden much faster, so we ended up with some irregularities in the mold.  I'm not sure what to do about this next time -- we tried mixing more at once, but even that started to harden before we were done pouring it.

The next step was to remove the clay and clean the master again...  Then more pouring of silicone.
Another hour of cleaning.  That pile of clay was inside the mold box.
Second half curing
We had the same problem of silicone hardening too soon with the second half, as you can see in the picture.
Big mess
Finished mold
If you're familiar with mold making, you may notice we didn't leave any holes for pouring resin...  That was my mistake, but it worked out well.  Instead, we cut out channels in one of the mold halves.

Continues in Part 2...


  1. What website did you buy this from?
    I am cosplaying as Zoe too and have been looking for a decent gun.

    1. Dear Belle,
      We got them from the website below. Be sure to make the metal pieces and add them to the gun to make it complete! Hope it works well for you!

  2. Would you be willing to sell unpainted units?

  3. Dear Harvey,
    Unfortunately, we aren't producing these for sale. Hopefully, one day we will have the capabilities to take on commissions, but for now, we are only documenting our process. Look at the above link for the website where we purchased the hollow parts.