This is my Boomstick (1/6 scale Ash’s Shotgun from Evil Dead 2 )

This is my Boomstick (1/6 scale Ash’s Shotgun from Evil Dead 2 )

…Groovy.

This small project (pun intended!) is a simple conversion job from a 1/6th scale double barrel shotgun to a different style of 1/6th scale double barrel shotgun. This involves a little sculpting and some painting and took a total of about 2-3 hours all told.

Get reference images, make a template

I gathered a few reference images of Ash’s shotgun – now as usual with anything on film he’s used a few different ones. the one in Army of Darkness for example is very different to the one in Evil Dead 2, since the shotgun I was converting has barrels that are cut off just after the wooden hangrip part I opted to go with the Evil Dead 2 version. I then drew around the shotgun’s handle and sketched on the extended stock. This forms the template.

It’s important to use a template for something like this because when you’re sculpting something it’s pretty easy to get off track, or to concentrate on getting one part just right and accidentally pushing everything else out of alignment, or to think “this looks too big/small” and make adjustments, only to find out when it’s too late that you shouldn’t have done that. So I used this basic template to continually refer back to to make sure I was getting the shape and size how I wanted it.

Sculpting the Stock

 

For this bit I used aluminium armature wire to create a simple framework. My original plan was to drill into the handle using a pin drill and insert the armature into the hole and glue it. That didn’t work out exactly right since the stuff the shotgun was made from was actually fairly rubbery so drilling accurately wasn’t that easy. I ended up drilling a shallow hole and gluing the aluminium in place with superglue. I was worried it might not hold, but actually it held up fine.

This is where the template comes in handy because when I was making the armature I would have probably made it the wrong shape. When you look at it in isolation (without comparing it to anything), it looks totally wrong, holding it up to the template you can see it’s the right shape.

You want to make the armature smaller than the total stock since the green stuff will cover it entirely. It’s there as a support, nothing more. Instead of aluminium you can use anything at all as the core. There’s no reason you can’t shape a bit of popsicle stick or plastic or anything you have on hand. The only requirements are that it needs to be solid enough to support the sculpting you’ll be doing later, and that you can attach it to the handle without too much effort.

Green Stuff!

 

When I first did miniature modelling in the creaking days or yore I used Green Stuff because that’s what all the cool people used. I tend to always keep some on hand because it’s really cheap, lasts forever and is pretty easy to work with. There’s downsides to it, but like many materials just get used to what it can and can’t do and you’ll always find a use for it. For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s a two part epoxy putty (yellow and blue) that typically comes on a roll. You just snip off a strip, knead it together in your fingers until it’s a uniform green and then you’ve got something like half an hour before it starts to set, as it does so it gets harder, but in my experience it never sets brittle solid, it’s more like a semi rigid plastic, you can bend it a little bit before it breaks. You can mix more yellow in if you want it softer and more malleable, and more blue if you want it more solid. It’s slightly sticky, but not too much.

I used this for the stock because I had some to hand. I would have preferred polymer clay but that needs to be fired and that wasn’t possible in this case. Another great alternative would be milliput or anything similar.

So to model this I fist made an inner shape around the armature wire that was pretty rough. Green stuff is very bendy and wobbly until it’s set fully so I find it’s best to give it good support. This is where using something solid would have saved a bit of time. After the inner core was mostly dry I added another outer later and started roughing in the shape. Since I knew I would be sanding it later I wasn’t too obsessive about getting it totally smooth and the perfect shape, I just needed to to be close enough that a little light sanding would get me there.

You can see in the last picture it’s getting close, from there I added some more to the end to finish it off and let it all dry.

Always with the sanding

When you’ve done the basic shape of the stock, you need to get out your sandpaper and start smoothing it off and giving it the final shape. Make sure your modelling materiel is totally set and you know what type of sandpaper to use with it to get the best result.

I started off with a fairly rough 600 grit paper and went over the stock pretty lightly to give it a first rough shape and smooth. This got rid of many of the bumps and lumps and allowed me to quickly move quite a lot of material. After that I went to an 800 and did some more smoothing and shaping. Then a 1200 to do most of the polishing and shaping.

I used some needle files on the trickier bits around the handgrip to give them then right curve, and I also used a large file’s rounded side to help put the slight curve in the butt-plate of the stock. I happened to have these tools to hand but there’s no reason you can’t use sandpaper the whole time.

Remember the #1 rule with sandpaper – change it often. There’s very little point rubbing away at something for ages with paper that’s clogged, yes you will ultimately sand it down, and yes you’re saving a little bit of money by using your sandpaper until it wears through, but you’re trading that off for your time which is way more valuable.

I left in a bunch of smaller marks and I added a few extra marks when I was sanding because Ash’s shotgun is beaten up and abused quite terribly, so I wanted the miniature to feel similar.

Painting and finishing

 

Next it’s painting! I sprayed the whole thing white as a primer. This was mainly so that I could check the stock looked right with the rest of the gun and that nothing needed fixing. I find lighter colours make this easier.

After that, I sprayed it all black since the barrel is a dark silver grey and the stock is dark wood. Then it’s the annoyingly fiddly job of masking off the ‘metal’ parts so I could work on the wood bits. I used tape for this, I’ve no idea if that was the best way, it was annoying and fiddly – did I mention that? tweezers helped. I contemplated masking fluid, toothpaste, anything, but I wasn’t entirely sure I could mask the lines precisely without using tape. I suggest you use whatever you’re most comfortable with!

The wood parts I sprayed in three shades of brown, I wanted some variation in the base colour but in the photos (and in the real thing) you can barely tell, after I did the woodgrain effect I may as well have done the whole thing in one base colour. Overall it was quite a dark brown, Ash’s shogun is a dark wood, plus it’s covered in dirt and stuff too by the end.

Woodgrain

For the woodgrain, since this is so small, I opted for something simple and a bit unrealistic but quite visually effective. I did two effects overlaid.

For the first one I used a pin to scratch through the paint in swooshes , you can see this on the pic above. Then I used a dark wash to go over that and wiped off the excess with a cloth. This will leave you with very small dark lines (impossible to see in the photo, and to be honest, almost unnecessary after you’ve done the next bit).

Once the darker basecoat was totally dry I dabbed a very small amount of light brown in an area where I wanted the grain, then used a fairly small but ratty old brush to literally swoosh it around a bit. If you get it right it looks pretty organic and using an old beaten up brush helps to make it look better by not being perfect. You can do this with a couple of different shades to get a more natural effect, but don’t go too mad or it’ll look like some sort of wood rainbow.

When all that was dry I went over it once more with a thin dark wash to take off the brighter areas.

 

Finishing the rest

 

After the wood is done, simply unmask the metal parts, paint them silver and then wash them with black to take off the shine. I also sponged some black over the top of that in places to add a little bit of darker grime.

Then when it’s all dry, spray with your choice of topcoat to protect it all. I used a matt clearcoat spray. You can also brush on the topcoat, whatever works for you.

Hail to the King

That’s it. enjoy making your own conversions and things, don’t be afraid to experiment and most importantly, kill deadites wherever you find them.

Tom

 

1 Comment

  1. Johnny Webb 3 months ago

    This is freaking AMAZING work! I cant believe noone commented on this!! I found this while looking for art ideas, and BAM! Here I am!! Freakin sweet!! You detailed it perfectly!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Please complete this captcha question (proves you're not a 'droid). *