Saturday, August 11, 2018

Laser turret from cleaning fluid bottle (fun and pretty easy terrain hack!)

Hi everyone,

We had a thought while carrying our the recycling trash to the curb a couple of weeks ago.  "Wonder if the top piece of plastic on that 409 bottle would be good for gaming terrain?"

And, going in, we should make an admission that of late, what with ocean plastic concerns, we have had a bit of an agenda to see if we can make good use of direct-plastic-recycling-for-gaming (maybe that's DPRFG for short?).  Here's a link to our blog post where we turned beach-trash plastic from vacation into miniature bases:  Cleaning up the beach - miniature bases

Here is the official and specific model of Formula 409 which we got thinking about in the recycling....

So, we set aside the bottom of the bottle.  Sadly, we haven't thought of a cool way to use that yet.  But, studying the top, we with a little bit of work, we did figure out how to get that outer "cowling" piece off.  And, wow - the mechanism underneath looked very cool!

We haven't figured out a use for the bottle yet.  So, this was recycled.

What we found inside struck us as looking very much like a laser turret.  Mind you, there was an odd white and red tube protruding downward.  But, for those of us with snippers, xacto knives or pretty much anything for cutting things, this didn't create a permanent set-back.  We snipped it off!

We also figured out how to pull away the square nozzle and the hand-trigger mechanism.  (That white plastic is pretty soft and easily pried away.)

Here are the pieces of the spray assembly -- with the outer white cowling removed.  In this photo we have already snipped the draw tube portion (the white and red tube) away from the main assembly.

And, after snipping off that tube, we got to thinking how much cooler our concept would look if that tube was fixed to the lower tubular structure on the whole nozzle-trigger assembly.

Here's where we wanted to fix that red and white draw tube.  Pointing forward - maybe like it's for a ranging system for the main laser cannon.

Next, we used some epoxy putty in two places.  1) Fixing that little white and red tube to the lower cylinder; and 2) Creating some weight at the rear of the unit sot that it would not flip over forward.  We probably could have used straight epoxy (which we like for a use like this where fracture toughness matters).  Or, super glue (which we are just not as good at).  But, epoxy putty was nice for location (1) because it allowed us to fuss with the angle of the little tube to make it exactly match the angle of the upper main firing tube.

Here's a link to our comparison of Epoxy vs. Super Glue - where we get into fracture toughness.

Looking down the barrel -- you can see where we stuffed epoxy putty into the lower portion - and then pressed our red and white tube inside there.

Here's a quick peak at the rear under portion where we added a little bit of epoxy putty to the inner walls.  This shifted the center of mass so that it wouldn't tip over.

We haven't done a lot of work yet on painting it.  Just did some black and grey priming.  Already, though you can see that it comes together pretty well as a laser turret!  Fun that there is even a downward pointing arrow cast into the 409 bottle's plastic right in the front.  And, the little beams and bars of the whole spraying assembly end up creating quite a sci-fi appearance.

Here is a look at our finished turret.  Going to have to think about how we want to paint it beyond this priming.

We haven't used the turret very much yet.  Just carried it around to check out next to other minis.  Going to have to start looking for more of these in the recycling!

On the playing table, turns out to look pretty cool!  It looks just about right next to this rebel soldier!

And, who knows, maybe there are other types of bottles with spraying mechanisms which are even cooler!

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