This is a simple and on a budget way to make a Battlestar Galatactia, or BSG as most fans would call it, sidearm (handgun) prop. I fell in love with this re-imagined version of the late 70s sci-fi series of the same title. After watching it I wanted to cosplay a regular off duty Colonial Fleet officer (image below worn by Kara “Starbuck” Thrace).
Basically it is the uniform worn by most crew under their respective main uniforms. This consists of a gray sleeveless shirt under a brown/olive greenish tank top worn with green fatigue pants. Combat boots and Colonial dog stags can be added and then the sidearm.
There are different versions of the gun throughout the series but I really wanted to use the first version (image below) from the miniseries and then slightly modified and was used for season 1. It was later replaced by the Five-seveN which also houses a mini grenade launcher.
As I have mentioned in my previous tutorial for the robin mask, this may or may not work for you, if not I hope it can give ideas on how you can create your own BSG sidearm using available materials you can buy near your area or even stuff around the house. Here we go.
I. Materials (I’m using local prices here in the Philippines and just making an estimate in USD. The prices may be different in your area or country):
1. Scissors and cutter– Average size but the bigger and sharper the better.
2. Spray Paint (Php 90–120 or $2-3) – select the color that you would want to use. I only used regular black with this. The one with the matt finish is also good but it is more expensive. One can is more than enough for couple of handgun props.
3. Pencil and ruler – for drawing patterns and cut outs. You can use other writing materials but this is better because it leaves a visible mark and you can easily erase it if you make mistakes.
4. Rubber foam/sheet – I’m not sure with the price since I have purchased it in bulk long time ago and just reserved them for future use. Php 50-100 ($1-3 ish) worth of rubber sheet should be more than enough for couple of props in case you make mistakes.
5. Greco/Super glue (Php 50-100 or $1-3) – this works best with rubber foam. It strong and dries quickly.
6. Base toy gun (Php 50-80 or $1-2) – I used a toy gun that is in proportion with you, so this is really up to you. You can work around it freely. I also picked one with a wood style revolver like grip to make the build easier.
1. I was lucky to get a toy gun that can be disassembled into different parts. This makes it easier to modify it. If you would notice the toy has a scope, so I removed that using a cutter and scissors.
Print out a reference pic of the sidearm. I got one from the net and re-sized and printed it out couple of time as soon as it matched the ratio of the toy gun I got. It’s still longer so I added about an inch on the pattern.
2. Since it is a bit long, I cut a bit of the middle part of barrel and kept the nozzle tip, painted the items black, and reattached it to the re-sized barrel after.
3. I made the main body of the gun from rubber foam by making cutout patterns on different parts of the reference pic. Then just repeat the pattern for the other side of the gun. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes just keep tracing parts until they work for you.
4. Test it out by placing the rubber cutout patterns on the base toy gun, good thing the base gun was flat so it was easy to stack them up until they almost match the reference. Once you feel that it is right you can glue them together.
Do the same for the other side of the gun.
Fill out the gaps between the cutouts as needed to close them out.
5. I removed the grip and painted the whole thing black again. I had troubles with the spray here so the pain job sucks. Sorry for the uneven paint
6. You can also add gray or silver touches on the gun to add that weathered scratch effect. You do this by putting paint on a clean dry cloth and apply light handed touches of the paint on the gun as needed. It would be better to apply it on edges to give it emphasis. I think it is like the dry brushing technique.
You are done and you are now a step closer in becoming a Colonial Fleet officer! Let’s kick some frakin toaster a**. So say well all!
III. The sidearm prop In Action:
Photos taken from Ozine Fest last April 2012
It’s not really a replica piece but it’s not that expensive and should work fine with your BSG cosplays and photo shoots. Since it wasn’t fully detailed if you have questions regarding this build just let me know in the comments below. BTW have you seen Blood and Chrome already?
Battlestar Galactica – Toomblog
Kara Thrace – Battlestar wiki
Handgun - Battlestar wiki
Ozine Fest pics by: Drexel Sineneng