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Force Awakens Heavy Gunner cannon build

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Hello friends!


So I've been working on this for a few weeks, but wanted to feel out how likely I would be to finish before posting a build thread. Things are going well so why not?!


This build requires a disclaimer: This is not going to be screen accurate! Why? Because I've been able to track down ONE useful movie promotional shot that uses the gun - everything else is based off of the Sideshow toy photos, which are not as helpful as I'd like but enough to get an accurate looking gun. Basically, consider this an interesting project and not a guide for an accurate Heavy Gunner cannon.


I'll try my best to catch this up to where I'm at today.

Edited by camprandall
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I started with the barrel because that middle and back section scared the heck out of me. I tracked down some electrical conduit adapters at 2 1/2" to go with some 3" ABS for the main barrel. I used a caliper on repeated photos to get roughly close to the difference between the end of the barrel and the body. This seems pretty close. It took about one and a half adapters to get a good length.




For the end cap of the barrel, I used a touch lamp and with a compass, traced out the circumference and then cut with plastic scissors.




Lastly, I bondo'd the seam and evened out the adapters to be more smooth.



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The next step was to figure out the barrel. Like I said, 3" ABS was the best available option for the main barrel and then I cut about 3/4 inch slices off of an adapter part to make the two rings near the trigger area of the barrel. I cut the little indents in the rings by rolling it over the table saw blade.



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For the transition from the barrel to the cone, I had originally intended to try modifying a reducer part, but that was far too extreme of a transition. That's when my build parter, Chris Henning, suggested cutting a plastic cup, which worked perfectly! I'm very pleased with the results and how close we were able to get to the transition more in proportion with the reference. I leaned heavily on the movie promotional shot for this one.







And of course, more bondo...





Edited by camprandall
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I'm only posting as after wiping off the drool on my keyboard and picking up my jaw, this is going to be one helluva thread!  Thanks for posting - this his huge.

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Ok - time for a break. The most daunting part of this whole thing is the back half, which is largely obscured. After doing a ton of drawing and measuring, I realized that building this nasty middle section by hand was just not going to work. I decided it's time I try learning how to do some 3D design so I can print it, which has a much better chance of succeeding.


I used Tinkercad as my tool of choice. I started by designing the individual greeblies, intending to assemble them all after printing, but then realized that it was too hard to know that they all intersected appropriately and were in proportion to each other.




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So as I said, designing small parts is good for a first step, but seeing how they all intersect is the most important so I decided to assemble it all in just a few large pieces so that I don't find out after ordering a print that they just don't fit together or require too much modification. After two weeks of this, this is my final result. The only thing missing in the pic is the little weird triangular piece on top, but I'm using a spare from the Nerf TFA pistol for that since it's pretty close.




And then pulled apart a little bit for printing.




I tried to hollow out what I could to keep the costs down.




And this is the little Nerf piece that I plan on sticking on top.



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Ok, back to the barrel. Drilling the holes had me nervous - and if I had to do it again I would have dry fit and measured so that if I screwed up the holes I could get a new pipe. Well, I didn't. And yes, I screwed up a couple holes and had to use bondo to correct. Oh well, it's done! :)


I first tried with a spade bit and found that it just yanked around the barrel too much even when clamped. I also found that 1 1/4" was too big for what I needed so my very first hole had to be completely corrected.




I then found out about step bits! While they don't cut perfect circles in a tube (because of the rounding - they come out oblong), a little dremel work rounds it out in no time. They cut through the plastic like butter and it's very easy to use the steps to know how far to drill to hit your mark, which in this case for me was a 1" hole.








Now it's time for bondo up and down the whole thing. I did the first passes with regular bondo and then the second passes with glazing putty. That stuff works great for smoothing and is very easy to sand with 220 grit!


You'll notice that I did some bondo in between some of the drilling so these aren't completely chronological.





Edited by camprandall
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Thanks Brian!


Ok, here's some more progress. After a few rounds of cleanup, I finally primered the barrel to see where my remaining issues were. It turns out it was in pretty good shape!





Just a few areas to clean up. One in particular was the grooves I cut at the base of the barrel. They looked a little t0o sharp so I bondo'd them.





Edited by camprandall
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Great progress so far. Cunning craftsmanship!




Radical! Clint, amazing job so far. Lovin this!


Glad to hear it! 


This is the kind of thread that makes me happy to support FISD.  I'm not really interested in making a TFA heavy but I really enjoy watching the build progress. Keep up the great work! :duim:


I really appreciate it. I think sometimes the build thread is as much to give a boost of encouragement to the builder as it is to help someone else. ;) It's more fun to build something if others enjoy it too.


And back to the building...

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Wow, I haven't seen that! Thanks! Yeah, it's a little late for length, but the vertical positioning and stock adjustments can still be done. Cool.

You can thank Billhag and the UKG for that picture. They're a goldmine.

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I did a lot of stammering before finally committing to making the frame and trigger area for this thing. These were very hard to figure out and luckily I didn't finish it off before getting more useful pics from Germain. Thanks again! Anyways, here's where it's at so far. I will adjust the shape a bit and also thicken the stock since it appears to be pretty wide.


The trigger was weird because it tapers from bottom to top AND from front to back! Weird shape. I think I've got a good rough base for it though.



And then the rest of the frame...





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