The photo shoot has happened, and the opinion of the participants is that things went very well. Layout and design are underway, and we look forward to the results. While the gears turn on that, more props.
Continuing from last post, more of the stuff we put together for the cover shoot for Yvonne’s first book. The pistol is another leftover from Halloween, which started life as a hard plastic training pistol before being done up with “camoflage” spray paint. The intention had been to go back and detail the grips in the same brown as the knife grip from the last set of photos, but it was a low priority and time got tight getting everything together, so it got put aside. The company (Ring’s Blue Guns) makes their stuff by taking molds directly off real-world firearms, and the sample piece they used for this one was a pre-1936 1911 pistol that had either been customized or arsenal refurbished at some point, as the original long trigger and flat mainspring housing have been replaced with a 1911A1 style short stamped trigger and arched mainspring housing. Like the M3 from the last shoot, weapons like this were still in military inventories when the Cardenas Expedition was gearing up, and could have been purchased as surplus. But enough about that, let’s talk about the hanger.
The hanger is nearly 100% EVA foam in construction, held together by hot glue and spray painted the appropriate colors. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we pretty much took the design from the hangers at Marine Corps Air Station Tustin and used them with few modifications. For the main body, we used a rectangular piece of foam that had been used as a cutting board for making the M3 as the base, then heat-gunned a cleaner section of foam until it would take on the bend needed to make the main body, and then carved a piece of foam into a semi-circle to make an end cap. The preparation for painting, a full heat-blasting to close up the surface level cells of the foam, followed by a heavy saturation of glue to soak into the remaining gaps, did a lot to reinforce the foam, but why settle for less?
Yep. The interior looks like a diamondplate circus. Good thing the interior won’t be on the cover, eh? The hanger didn’t take any hard shots during transport, to it might have been a little redundant. Better to have and not need, at least in my opinion. The doors and the support structure were more layers of foam, cut and stacked to make the needed shapes.
The windows were something of a happy accident. The original plan had been to paint up the entire thing in an “aluminum” color spray paint and darken it up with a light wash of model paint. Aluminum wasn’t chosen for any artistic or creative reason, we picked it because we had it around and thought we could save some money on the project. It didn’t work out very well. Specifically, it didn’t work at all, which we fortunately found out with a piece of scrap foam instead of the model itself. Biting the bullet and shelling out for the needed amount of ultra flat gray spray paint, we made the best out of a bad situation by masking off two stripes of aluminum and then painting on window frames with the model paint. When life gives you lemons, pistol whip life until it gives you a pitcher and some sugar and then go make some lemonade.
If everything goes smooth, the finished cover should be up on Yvonne’s blog in about a week or so, so you can see the final results. In the meantime, we might be able to get up another prop construction post, or other updates. As usual, more info will be posted as it arrives.