Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tutorial - Custom Lasgun Sniper Rifle

Some time back I made a set of Imperial Guard snipers with custom lasgun sniper rifles and ghillie suits.  I thought it about time to breakdown how I put those guys together.  I'll start today with a tutorial on how to make your own sniper rifles from standard Imperial Guard lasguns and some styrene tubing.

The Tools

The tools you will need are pictured above.  I recommend plastic weld over superglue.  It will provide a permanent bond but doesn't bond instantly, or to you, so you have a bit more leeway than you get with superglue.  The razor saw and miter box are not required but highly recommended.  If you plan on making frequent conversions or scratch builds you will need them eventually.  A drill and hobby knife are a must as well as a good set of various sized drill bits.  A pair of good tweezers will come in handy when placing small parts.


You're going to need some styrene tubing.  Each of the sizes shown here will be used to complete this project.
You will also need one, or more, Games Workshop Imperial Guard lasguns.  I like this version because we will be using the bayonet lug on the underside of the frame.

The Barrel

Start by removing the stock barrel from the front of the lasgun with your hobby knife.  Be careful not to remove the bayonet lug at the bottom of the frame.
After removing the barrel, drill out the former location of the barrel with a 1/16" bit.  You don't have to go very deep, just enough for the styrene tube to hold still later.
It was at this point that I also removed the small round protrusion that was just under the barrel. 
We will be using the 1/16" for the barrel and the 3/32" for the muzzle break and the heat shield.
The 3/32" tube is hollow but will need to be drilled out with a 1/16" bit to allow us to slip the muzzle break and heat shield onto the barrel.
To make the barrel, cut a section of 1/16" rod to the length of your choosing.  Remember, this is a sniper rifle so it should be relatively long in relation to the total length of the finished rifle.
The muzzle break is created by cutting a small section of the 3/32" tube off at a 45 degree angle.  For added detail, cut vents into the sides of the muzzle break.  This is easier to do with the razor saw as it is wide enough to create a groove with a single cut. When done, slip it onto the end of the 1/16" rod and glue in place.
With the main portion of the barrel complete, it needs some more detail.  Cut a section of 3/32" tube a bit short enough that when it is slipped over the barrel there will be a small section of 1/16" rod protruding from the rear, and visible between the end of the heat shield and muzzle break.
Using a 3/64" bit I drilled ventilation holes down the sides, top, and bottom of the 3/32" tube.  Make sure that the side holes are offset from the top and bottom ones so that they are placed halfway in between each other.
Slip the heat shield over the barrel and glue in place.  Now that the barrel is complete you can set it into the front of the lasgun and glue into place.It looks good, but needs more, don't you think?


What sniper rifle is complete without a scope?  Here I used a small piece of 1/16" rod for the body of the scope.  I cut that to the overall length I wanted for the scope.  I used 3/32" tube for the front and rear scope rings as well as a centerpiece for the dials.  The rear scope ring was cut at a 45 degree angle for aesthetics.

The front scope hood was made with a small piece of 1/8" tube which had been drilled out to a 3/32" diameter and cut at a 45 degree angle.  You could make this longer if you wished, or even add another step up with a piece of 3/16" tube.
The adjustment dials are small discs cut off the end of 3/36" rod.

This looks great as is, but it's still missing something don't you think?


I grabbed a small scrap piece of .5mm styrene sheet and used my hobby knife to cut out a bipod.  This part was pretty simple.  You could make one longer or collapsed if you wish.  The only part of this which was measured was the notch at the top.  That was cut to fit the bayonet lug on the bottom of the lasgun.


There it is. All done. Using these simple materials and tools there are many different possible variations all at your fingertips.


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