I'm proud to say that my first build-from-request and prop (not functional firearm) futuristic space revolver is complete. This also my first build that required a custom electrical set up. Although that part took much longer than I expected, I learned a ton, am happy with how it turned out, and look forward to doing more electrical work on future projects.
Enjoy the pictures and videos of Infinity System's Laser Hand Cannon below. I've also included some background on the story elements behind the components on the revolver. A big thanks for Infinity System creator Jonathan Yanez for giving me lots of range to make a prop that fits within and adds to the world he's created.
Below is the initial design sketch for the project, you can read about the initial vision here. As usual, a full build list is at the end of this post.
The core built on function of the build is the round counter. It consists of a roller switch on/off switch resting against the front of the cylinder and an electronic pulse counter powered by a backup power pack. The video at the end of the post shows it working. The summary is that when the cylinder on the Colt SAA rotates, it turns the switch "on" for a brief second sending a pulse to the electronic counter that adds +1 to the count.
The story behind the gun and the round counter is that a bandit gunsmith in the Infinity System converted a Colt Single Action to fire energy pulses from cores that fit in the revolver's cylinder. These cores eventually run out of energy so the gunsmith pieced together a counting mechanism to let the user know how close the cells are to being depleted. It's an imperfect design - sometimes the counter registers a double shot, but its better than nothing.
In the image above, you can also see a rough wolf head carved into the grip. I added this to personalize the hand cannon in the story. It reminds the audience that the hero lifted it from a bandit who belonged to the "Pack" gang who'd started the carving to kill time.
The gunsmith also quickly attached a pen light to improve the weapons usability at night and a set of oversized iron sights. The energy pulse the converted revolver fires is imprecise to say the least, but the gunsmith saw fit to include something to help the user aim.
In addition to this being my first prop build, it's also the first time I've done a build that is intended to look beat up and scraped together. There were many points along the way where I had to remind myself of how this laser revolver fits into the Infinity System story, which often meant doing a sub-standard (from my view) job on cuts, finishes, and even ways of attach components. For example, there is no way that I'd use a zip tie on one of my typical builds. However, a zip tie is a great way to semi-permanently secure things if you're in a hurry or have limited materials and tools to work with.
So, I had to make myself build it "rough."
Once built, I also had to age the whole thing. You can see a close up of the aging below. I did it with a combination of spray paint, Aluma-hyde, metal shavings from the built, dirt, and sandpaper. I did most of the aging while the built was completely assembled, taping off certain areas along the way so there would be randomness and variety to the combination of aging techniques across the revolver. I aged the pen light on its own becuase I wanted it to look like it had been used before being added to this gun by the gunsmith. You can see a bit of its aging process in Build Post IV.
It was critical for both real-life function and story fit that the energy cores can be removed from the cylinder. On the Colt Single Action, this is done by opening a gate at the rear and removing a spent cartridge (or energy core in this case). Below you can see how the handguard stops just short of the gate so the energy cores can slide out the back once used up.
The picture above shows an up close shot of the roller switch resting on the cylinder and the revolver's wiring. Below is a video of the same view. It shows the cylinder rotating, toggling the switch and increasing the round count. The specifics of the wiring set up are also in Build Post IV.
Full Build List
Base Prop Gun: Colt Single Action Army Peace Maker Air Pistol
Grips: Colt Single Action Army Hogue Walnut Grips
Thanks to Jonathan Yanez for the invitation to work on this project for Infinity System. Those who've been following along, know that this build had many "firsts" for me - including electronics, aging, and a scraped-together look. Thinking through how various components and design ideas for the build would tie into the story was another "first" that I really enjoyed.
Thanks also to the Uncle Fudd community who continue to support these projects. Let me know in the comments below what you think I should do for the next build.