Got a lot of catching up to do. It feels good. All aboard the Destiny hype train!
Here comes another big post, 365 days late. Back in June 2014 I wanted to make something from Destiny, which had not come out yet. At this point, the Thorn was still just a mysterious weapon that looked super bad ass, which is good enough reason for me to make something. I commissioned Vrogy, who had been doing a bit of designing for me, to model the Thorn as the concept art portrayed it. Walter Marlin of Stony Props was generous enough to print out the parts on his Makerbot, and a week later this pile showed up at the door.
At this point, nobody had a clue how large the Thorn was actually going to be. We settled for around 12" since it seemed like a reasonable size for a sidearm. Turns out that the Thorn is 22" long. Go figure.
First step was to assemble all the parts. I used some good ol' cyanoacrylate to glue the pieces together and filled the seams with apoxie sculpt while watching TV. Water was good enough for smoothing out the seams.
Here's how it looked once assembled.
The prototype was printed in PLA and needed a lot of body work before it was ready for molding. All the little printing striations needed to be filled in with spot putty and sanded down before it was smooth to the touch. Since the Thorn has so many complex little shapes, body work was a headache.
In between layers of spot putty I sprayed coats of filler primer to help level the surface. It also helped fill in tiny imperfections. A solid 12+ hours went into filling, sanding, priming, and repeating.
Filling the gears was particularly annoying since the grooves are so tiny yet deep, but at long last the master was ready for molding. After a few extra hours of wet sanding, it looked like this.
I had a traumatic experience using Mold Star 15 Slow a couple months earlier, so before molding the Thorn with Mold Star 15 Fast I performed some small scale tests to see if the excessive amount of primer would inhibit the curing process at all. It didn't. It's still a good idea to run tests whenever I'm molding, but I'm just too hasty and lazy.
I made some mold boxes out of legos, plasteline, and foam core and went ham. Mold Star 16 Fast was a nice change from Rebound since it cures so fast, but it probably wasn't the best choice for a shape with so many potential air bubbles. I can't recall if I brushed it on or not, but in any case, it turned out alright.
Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of the finished molds since I was rushing to get these done before RTX in Austin, but the first cast turned out alright. A few air bubbles since I didn't dust it with anything, but it served its purpose. I had to perform some extensive "mold surgery" with an exacto to ease up the demolding process since there are so many undercuts in this gun. Also, I think I was going through a phase of taking photos with colorful backdrops at that time. I blame Martin Wong.
I flew over to Brad's place in Fort Worth, TX, and we poured a few good casts and painted them up using automotive spray paint.
These were a pretty big hit at RTX, and a couple guys from Bungie were stoked to see 'em too.
Yet I still wasn't satisfied with the way they turned out. The paint we used wasn't really nice, and the faux leather grip didn't feel right. I wanted to retry the finished Thorn, and do it right this time.
When I got back from Texas, I got my hands on an airbrush (many thanks to Jeremie Sloan for hooking me up) and the Thorn was my first test subject. I went all out with this one by cold casting the parts and polishing the shit out of them. This made the weathering process extremely easy because there was now a believable metallic undercoat beneath the black paint. There's also something about the level of detail in airbrushing that just cannot be achieved with spray paints.
Also, real leather.
The result was something I could finally be satisfied with.
That's about it! Thanks for reading about one of our most popular projects. Now there's more catching up to do.