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Steampunk Gun Modding 301

Updated on August 1, 2013

The third in my series of steampunk prop making lessons

So by now I hope that you have read the first two in this series, Steampunk Gun Modding 101 & 201 so you have an understanding of my technique.

In this article I am going to talk about "Big Baby", my aetheric discombobulator. She began as a weapon for my husband because all the props I had made so far were too dainty for him. I wanted something larger that he could carry. By the time I finished her however, I had fallen in love with her. I still owe him a prop.

I am torn as to whether "Big Baby" can be called scratchbuilt or kitbashed. While the main body is technically a squirt gun, she has so many component parts that she almost qualifies as a scratchbuild. Either way, she is definitely another example of serendipity at work. It took a very long time to complete her because I didn't have all the right parts at the start.

Step One

I found the body, a "stink blaster" at a thrift store. The picture is of one new in the package. Mine was missing parts, but it has such potential. With all it's rivets and dents, it already looks very steampunk.

Step Two

Here's what mine looked like when I got it home. I did the usual sanding off logos and cleaning it thoroughly to prep it for painting.

Step Three

I gave it a primer coat of Krylon Fusion black, the kind that doesn't require sanding to stick.

Step Four

Next I used a very uneven coat of Krylon Fusion copper to give it a metallic but very worn look.

Step Five

For the power pack, I found a broken projector. I did the prerequisite cleaning, and then gave it a base primer coat as well.

Step Six

I used the Krylon Fusion copper and then went over the edges with black acrylic to enhance the edges. I also used some copper acrylic paint to make it look even rustier in spots.

Step Seven

The project sat for months while I debated how to make her look more interesting. Then one day I happened upon a very broken Astro Orbiter, a scale model toy from Disneyland. It was missing a lot of parts, so I took it apart to figure out something to do with it. I noticed one day that the base exactly fit the back end of the stink blaster. So I decided to turn it around and used it as the barrel of Big Baby.

Step Eight

I painted the barrel in the same manner as the rest of the weapon. I used some copper and silver to accent certain spots and then glued in on to the base.

Step Nine

Now I had a really hard section to tackle. How was I going to affix the power pack onto the weapon? I got a lot of weird looks while wandering around the hardware store with my odd looking plastic bits. I did eventually find a vacuum seal for a toilet that fit into one end, some hosing and another plumbing piece that fit into the other. I prepped painted and glued them and voila! Big Baby. One of the best things about my solution is that I can disassemble her into three parts for travel. She's a bit unwieldy to carry around, but she is definitely eye catching.

My recommendations for equipment

Below I have added some links to the tools and paint I like to use.

I hope that you have gotten something out of this little lesson. Please let me know what you think.

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Halloween time coming up...where do you find all the broken items? Do thrift stores sell that kind of stuff? Garage sales? Go to the dump?

    • Diana Vick profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Vick 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      @clampro: Make sure you use Krylon "Fusion". It's made to adhere to plastic without sanding. Another tip is to let it dry much longer that the can recommends. Depending on how much use it gets, you may still have to do touch ups.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really nice! Simple for a beginner and aesthetically pleasing. Can I ask something? How does the paint hold when handling the gun? I do not know if Krylon paints are any different from normal spray paints.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Wow. I bet you don't have a licence for all these guns;-)

    • agoofyidea profile image


      8 years ago

      It looks like you are having too much fun. Great lens. I'd be making steampunk guns all day long. Your's look so cool.

    • auxpwr lm profile image

      auxpwr lm 

      8 years ago

      The bigger the better the gun

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hey do you know anybody looking for one of the stinkblaster cannons. I have one I am getting rid of and would like to see it go to good use.


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