Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Your Very Own Portal Gun

The Halloween dance our Halloween club throws every near Halloween (HALLOWEEN!) was this past weekend.

My husband went as a splicer from Bioshock. This was mostly due to the amazingly disturbing bunny mask we found which I painted up and covered in blood.
The latex appliances (that's Haunter talk for stuff you glue to your face to make it look creepy) I actually made the day of. Some tissue, some latex, a heat gun and then paint. Pretty damn easy really.

But we're here to talk about my Chell costume. I already had an Aperture Science tank top, so all I needed were some orange pants. Rather than get a "cheap" orange jumpsuit I scored a pair of white scrub pants for $5 and dyed them. The outfit part was easy, the gun however...
I also added bruises because I had the injury stack out and figured why the hell not.

I could have dropped someone from $100-$400 and purchased a realistic looking portal gun but I decided to try one on my own. Some of it turned out great. Others...
 Let's start with the basics, the aperture part of the gun. I printed off a picture of said portal gun and whisked off to Menards where I then lost a morning wandering around the PVC section jamming plumbing parts together until suddenly I had a camera head. All it needed was a coat or twelve of black spray paint.

The clear tube in the middle was a moment of perfection courtesy of the Dollar Tree. They had a whole bunch of bubble tubes that were nearly the perfect size to fit inside my PVC bits.

I tried hot glue at first, but she doesn't stick to PVC pipe, so I switched to a heavier craft glue. One of the ones laying around from my Tardis snow globe. 

I also wanted to anchor the back a bit more, thanks to the build up of PVC joints, it was incredibly front heavy. So I picked up a few more of the excess pieces and attached them to the end just for weight.

Now comes the part I put off for months. I had no idea how to fake the casing proper. In fact I put it off so much I gave myself about two weeks to finish before the dance. Big mistake.

From a craft store I got a foam ball, one of those you're supposed to stick flowers in or something, and using the hot wire I shaped it into both the back and front pieces of the casing. They are by no means perfect, somewhere in the passable range, but it was all I had time for.
In retrospect, since I went the foam way, if I'd had enough joint compound, I would have coated both the foam pieces in it to give a less porous surface. C'est la vie. 

Once the foam is carved, coat it with latex paint. Don't try to spray paint it, or glue it, or anything with a spray acrylic. That shit will eat right through the foam. It is a menace really.

After the thick layers of latex are dry, you can finally take the white spray paint to it.

For the final touches of paint, I printed off the aperture logo and cut out the bits to make a stencil.
The final touches were the spikes, or triple pokey bits on the end. I made those out of balsa wood, shaping it with a dremel and stinking of burnt wood.

It took four pieces; the first arm, the second was of two -- one piece half the size and sanded down to pinch together the first arm, the last the pokey bit to stab GLaDOS upon.

For the wires, I got some garden wire that I at first painted black with spray paint. When that refused to dry after a day or so I tried my acrylics and low and behold she worked.

The final pieces were just gluing it all together.
To make it light up I found the perfect answer at Target in their $1 section. Some glow stick foam. They even had Blue and Orange, until the night of I go to break the glow stick and learn their idea of blue is really green, and orange more of a red.
But with the foam in place, I can insert proper blue glow sticks the next time I feel the need to break out the Portal gun.

And that's how I did it. There's a lot I need to fix, better secure, and scream at for a while, but that's the curse of letting time get away from me.

But for a costume dance prop where most people had no idea what I was, I think it turned out pretty good.

1 comment:

Dawood Naveed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.