How To Make Halo Weapons ⊕
Halo 3 Replica Shotgun Prop
This lens is all about how to make replica Halo weapons using the sliced foam procedure. It has no moving parts, so is very durable and simple to construct. For our featured Halo prop gun we will be making the shotgun as seen in Halo 3. If you've made a Master Chief costume or a Halo Reach suit you will need a weapon prop to go with it. A Halo weapon makes a great accessory for photoshoots, however, if it is a larger weapon it can get very heavy while posing, particularly when holding an extended arm pose, and that's the main reason we suggest using this sliced foam method to make your replica Halo prop.
October 21, 2012
Foam Shotgun Version 1 Outdoor Photoshoot - Featuring Spartan Intimidator, Photos by Longshot-xClick thumbnail to view full-size
Halo 3 Replica Weapon Props
The shotgun challenge
Are you ready to make your own Halo gun similar to the shotgun on this page? You will need to follow a few simple steps and have access to the correct materials and tools.
First step: is to make or buy the patterns and then print and cut out the shapes.
Second step: is to cut the paper shapes from 10mm foam mats or 3mm crafting foam using a hotknife. Each pattern shape will have 10mm or 3mm marked in pink.
Third step: is to detail and shape parts using a heatgun and hotknife as well as the burning iron and then glue them together with a hotglue gun. During the crafting process you will also be burning your details in to the foam with a wood-burning tool and installing optional LED lights.
Fourth and last step: is to spraybomb Plasti-dip or Krylon Latex coating and then paint it to your desired colors.
Note on our shotgun versions: Our first shotgun is a construction tester, we call it version 1. Version 1 has a flashlight but no other LED's and after handling it, comparing it to in-game Halo 3 reference pictures and taking it to a few conventions we worked out any problem areas, tweaked the patterns and made our shotgun version 2. For version 2 we strove for game accurate size and details, as well as blue LED's in the 2 sight panels. The patterns for sale are for building version 2.
Halo Shotgun Crafting Stage 1 - Prepare and print your patterns
This is a sample of our patterns for the Halo 3 Shotgun Version 2, there are 8 pages in total.
Pink text - foam thickness
Red/orange line/circles - burn lines and 7mm diameter branding circle
Green circles - 6mm diameter branding circle
Blue line - outside 45 degree angle
Black line - shape outline
Yellow crescent - rounded shape area
Thick dotted blue lines - multi-page shape guidelines
Green arrows - point to a finish (exposed) edge, be sure to sand smooth
Triple grey line - 5mm V shape cut lines for barrel grip
One shape is marked "burn detail", you do not cut this shape from foam, instead use the shape as an overlay to burn in the detail lines and for proper placement of the small detail disks.
Foam Shotgun Version 2 Indoor Photoshoot - Featuring Spartan Longshot-X, photos by DaveClick thumbnail to view full-size
Materials List - For Halo weapon crafting
Here is a list of all the materials that can be purchased online via Amazon.
You only need 1 tile to make the shotgun, however, I am sure you can find uses for the rest. I like to stand on one while working, less stress on the bones.
A couple of these sheets will do for the detail work. Save the remainder for future projects
One can of the hammered black will give you a couple coats for your color base
You will need support rods to prevent flexing. A dremel or bolt cutters are needed for this material
These are for the smaller glue gun, 25 will do for this project
Seal the foam with heat - A veterans tip
Before I work with a piece of foam I seal it using the heatgun on high temperature. This has 2 nice advantages for the small amount of time invested.
1) When you cut heatsealed foam with a high temperature hotknife you get less shriviling and/or melting and are able to achieve crisp lines for a nicer finished product.
2) Heatsealed foam uses far less plasti dip paint to rubberize, saving you $$$ in the long run
The Heatgun - A powerful tool in your foam crafting arsenal
You can craft foam without a heatgun by scoring the back of the foam, glueing and re-scoring until you have your desired shape... or you can use a heatgun and pwn that foam in mere minutes. The heatgun also allows you to heatseal the smooth side of the foam making it easier to cut and shape later.
I've worked with power tools for over 20 years now and I prefer to buy quality and durability over cheap. For power tools I choose Black & Decker, Mastercraft, Dewalt or Makita when possible.
Halo Shotgun Crafting Stage 2
If you are using our patterns you will need to tape the multi-page shapes together prior to cutting the foam. Use the thick blue dotted lines for a guide. Outside lines are black, cut out the basic shapes from the correct thickness of foam as indicated on the patterns. The overall length does not fit on a 24" foam mat, you will need to glue the edges marked "special" together after cutting the shapes. Don't worry about doing a nice glue job on the the seam, it gets covered later. That was easy.
In these tutorial videos I cover cutting 45 degree angles for the grip detail and burning details with the wood burning tips. I also show how to hollow out the sights for a diffuser panel and LED.
Hotknife cuts and burn details
Hollow sights for LED placement
#1 Tool for Foam Hobby Crafts
The multi purpose versa tool kit is by far the tool I use the most and I have tested a few. This is the exact item I use for foam crafting and not only is it durable, it gets very hot and comes with all the goodies you will need. With the hotknife attachment you can cut out shapes and make precision cuts. With the branding irons you can burn in details, rivet holes or even add battle damage. This kit even has a soldering tip and a small spool of solder for any custom LED work you do. Buy this tool for foam crafting satisfaction, I did.
Tools you will need - For your Halo weapon project
The main tools I use for foam crafting are the hot glue gun, the heatgun, the hotknife, the dremel and the wood-burning kit. Scalpels and xacto blades will work, however, a hotknife makes the work so much easier and with a much nicer finish. The dremel works great for sanding seams and to keep your hotknife sharp. The heatgun is optional, but again, using one will produce a nicer finish for your project. If you absolutely just can't tolerate working with hotglue and you just can't seem to find your way around that, then use crazy glue.
The little hobby crafting glue guns will work, however, if you plan on doing many projects get yourself a larger professional grade glue gun. Dual temp works great as you can use high temp for gluing the foam and low temp for smoothing over seams.
With a heatgun you can get a nice shape to your rounded areas, such as the front grip.
This is the single most used tool for working with foam, it has the coveted hotknife attachment as well as the branding tips.
With a dremel you can hide seams, grind down angles and router out areas. Very handy.
No heat, no power, but still has some very useful blades for detailed or tricky areas.
This is my personal utility knife of choice. With the ratchet lock you can set your cutting depth for accurate mountain or valley cuts.
If you use a hotknife you will need a metal ruler.
Alternative to hotglue.
The yardstick can be bulky for smaller cuts, try a 12-incher on for size.
Halo Shotgun Crafting Stage 3
Assemble and detail your weapon
Now that you have your patterns and basic shapes cut out you will need to assemble the shotgun. Start by glueing the main shaft and grip part to the barrel end on the edge marked "special". Then cut channels and add your metal rods and glue the 2 main sides together, this gives your basic outline. Shape your front grip in a U shape and attach using the guidelines on the pattern. Cut the grooves for the front grip wrap before you shape it with the heatgun, and then attach it to the front grip. Add the 3mm foam details to the butt, grip, stock and lower barrel and attach both barrels. Attach the trigger and finger guard. Add the 10mm detail to the end of the butt. Lastly wrap the cardboard tube in the 3mm detail, attach the sights and glue it to the top of the barrel. That was easy.
Sandwich metal rods between the 2 main parts
Cut trenches for the rods at a depth of their radius in both layers. Glue the rods securely in one layer and allow to set, then glue the second trench and compress the two together. Make sure all the edges line up nice then place a large board on top and let the glue set before glueing the edges.
Top Front Barrel Wrap
To stabalize the top barrel there is a shape on page4 marked "top front barrel wrap" cut from 3mm foamie. Wrap it around the barrel and glue it to the center and end of the top area. After you add the top barrel you can finish the front detail by adding the small half-oval shapes from 10mm foamie found on page8. Cut 2 and use 1 for each side, you can even carve them down a little with your hotknife to make them appear more rounded, and thus more game accurate.
Attach the foam detail to the cardboard tube
Finished Shotgun Reference Pictures - After Hammered Black primer appliedClick thumbnail to view full-size
Halo Shotgun Crafting Stage 4 - Seal and paint your shotgun
To finalize your masterpiece you will apply a latex or rubber sealer first, we recommend Plasti-dip for best results and Krylon latex spray-paint as an alternative. We spray 2 light coats for maximum seal with minimum drip and then let it fully dry for 24 hours. Next step is to prime your shotgun with a base coat of black. We used hammered black metal for our shotguns, 2 light coats. Once primed and dry you are ready to add your own custom details. We painted the butt and both grips flat black, along with the small ovals along the top of the gun and any 3mm "cliff" edges. We used hammered copper in a few areas along with some subtle dry-brushing. The sharp edges received metallic silver trim and silver dry-brushing was applied to high wear zones. Lastly a little bit of red for contrast. Very nice, kudos to Longshot for the fantastic paint job. That was easy.
Painting Supplies - Some goodies you may need
Foam Shotgun Version 2 Indoor Photoshoot - Featuring Spartan Intimidator, pictures by Longshot-xClick thumbnail to view full-size
Halo Weapons on Amazon
Are you taking the shotgun challenge? Have a question about the patterns? Feel free to ask here.