Well this one’s been a long time in the making.
A couple of months ago our friends at Frontier Airsoft asked me to convert an airsoft gun into Dredd’s Lawgiver. The plan is to make these so that people can buy them from Frontier – so that meant the builds needed to be durable and repeatable.
Designing the Lawgiver
Because a bunch of people have done this type of thing before, and generally modern films are fairly well visually documented too, this was a really easy one to research and I was able to get many, many reference photos of both the actual props and replicas built by other people. The first problem was actually sifting through them and finding the ones that would be most useful as reference material.
The next issue was that the film gun used as the basis for the lawgiver was a Glock, and the guys at Frontier wanted me to build this version around a Jericho. Surprisingly the handle and trigger guards of both of these guns are actually very similar (I guess there’s only so many minor variations you can make on these bits since hands are pretty much hands). The whole upper sections are very different, but all that bit would be hidden anyway. The issues presented were that the Lawgiver was built around the structural shape of the Glock, and some of those shapes didn’t exist in the Jericho. Nothing terribly insurmountable as it happens!
The hardest part of the process (And the bit that took three times longer than anything else) wasn’t making it look right from the outside, it was putting it together in a way that was possible to print and still make it look right on the outside and make it so that it was relatively straight-forward to put together. It took me about three attempts and several redesigns to get everything together in a way that I felt would work. When you’re doing this type of thing you need to consider the stress points and make sure you’re not putting a seam or thin bit somewhere that’s going to take a lot of punishment.
Building the Prototype
After the print I was left with essentially a model kit of parts to assemble. I actually remembered to take photos during the assembly this time (forgot on another build I’ve just done :(). This was straight-forward for the most part, and it showed up several areas that I need to fix or improve for the production versions – which is why we always do these prototype builds!
The finish on the prototype is very poor, it was printed on the fastest settings with practically no calibration just so I could get it built and tested. I already know I can get some really nice finished with ABS, this was just about the fitting. The front mag is just a block on this one too, the next version will have a more film-accurate version with visible bullets etc.
I gave it to Bill at Frontier to test out for a bit. After that I’ll take it apart and make changes to the designs and then it’s onto the first production version.
They will be sold via Frontier Airsoft exclusively, but I’m going to put together a non-firing version for Dredd cosplay purposes that will be sold in my shop. Keeps your eyes on our Facebook page for details on availability.