Building a Sentry!
The real world isn’t like the cel-shaded fragorama that you see in Team Fortress 2
, obviously. In real life it’s never as simple as swinging a wrench a few times to upgrade or build an automated machine gun.
In real life, building such things usually start out as incredibly mundane – a pile of raw materials that are yet to be transformed into awesomeness.
In this case, that’s exactly what you see here. I used some simple 10ft long tubes of PVC and a 12” ABS to start the Gatling gun. The 10ft long tubes were each cut into twelve chunks, making six for each turret. The ABS meanwhile was cut down to size and re-purposed as the main body for the gun.
While the first part of my project, The Dispenser
, focused a lot on reusing old materials, such as desks, that isn't always possible. Nearly everyone has an old desk or slab of unused wood lying around in a garage or shed somewhere, but not everyone keeps huge tubes of PVC on hand.
A planet-friendly mod is always good if you can do it, but sometimes you just have to splurge on some fresh materials.
Of course, the tubes aren’t just going to stay in the right position by sheer force of will, though that would be impressive, I suppose. Instead, each barrel needed something to hold it in position.
To create the barrel holders, I used various pieces of wood and MDF, cutting each into its respective size. The colour of the discs isn’t all that important at this stage though – the painting comes much, much later.
matter is the fit; these discs will have to fit together well. They shouldn’t wiggle or rattle and they must hold the PVC tubes firmly. To get the size just right, I drilled them all at once after mounting them on a drill press and sanding them smooth.
This method means that all the barrel holders come out at the same size and shape, as well as having the same degree of smoothness. That’ll be important later when I get round to putting the barrels together and painting them to give them that authentic ‘Blue Team’ look.
In the picture below you can see a close-up of one of the discs, drilled with a spade drill bit so that the holes exactly match the width of the PVC tubing. The discs will later be smoothed out some more before being painted and assembled.
These barrel holders will need their own support though, and the entire frame of the twin Gatling guns will need to be mounted on a sturdy body which will sit atop a tripod. Flip the page to how I built the main body of the machine guns from a combination of plexiglass and wood.