Mass Effect M-8 Avenger Assault Rifle Build

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I’ve had a LOT of free time lately and, after scouring Pinterest a bit too much, decided to do something productive and give making foam props a try! What can I say, making my own costumes is giving me a whole bunch of new skills (and injuries, but more on that soon). While I’m waiting for the finishing touches for Moxxi and Supergirl, I decided to make a prop for another costume on my wishlist – the M-8 Avenger Assault Rifle. First off let me say that I REALLY underestimated how much detail went into this gun (seriously if I hear the word “bevelling” after this, I might snap) – so let’s give a big round of applause to the modelling team over at Bioware!

So here’s my first-ever foam crafted weapon so far!!! (Drumroll please…)

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Ain’t she Shiny?!

I’ve actually done quite a bit more work on it since this point: I’ve finished adding the details to the handle itself (out of lovely coloured foam), I’ve managed to score most of the detail into the sides and round the shapes off a little bit more, and (most importantly) the gun actually has a TRIGGER and BARRELS!!! WAHOO!!!

I carved it out of a piece of housing insulation foam (scrap – don’t worry, I didn’t take apart my house for this or anything…) and then spent an excruciatingly long time shaping it with sanding paper. To get the correct thickness for the base shape I actually cut it out twice and glued it together – this is something I will definitely change with my next project, because getting the two layers completely level has been a real pain! The details were all etched in by a combination of sand-paper, craft knives and metal files, and I used extra foam pieces to add anything that extruded from the base model! The vents were added with foam and are glued into place – I thought this was easier than trying to carve the by hand, considering how precise they are!

Oh something I should add at this point actually: the entire thing was done by hand, no tools!! (Something I’m actually proud of, considering I REALLY disliked Design & Technology back in school…) True, it means that the edges aren’t precise like a tool might create, and it’s caused more problems than probably necessary, but I happen to enjoy using 10 fingers and have a distrust of tools.

Ok, let’s have some progress shots!!!

It’s not perfect, I agree with you there. And it’s obviously nowhere near finished yet! Currently it’s sitting on my freezer drying with it’s first coat of Mod Podge (also the first time I’ve ever used this, but so far it hasn’t impressed me…) My next task is to try and sand everything level, straight and into the right shapes ready for a few sealing coats and then (eventually) painting!!

It’s not perfect, which kind of irritates me, but I’m pretty impressed with how it’s turned out! (If you don’t believe me just check my social media profiles, which have been flooded with progress pics – sorry friends!) Here’s to progress!!! So what do you think? Anyone have any experience with making foam props…?

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