A client of mine asked me if I could make the grapple gun from "The New Batman Adventures" cartoon series. There were no reference images of this gun to be found on the internet, so I had to find the gun in some of the episodes, and take a screen capture.
With the images I found, I made several plans until the client and I were satisfied with the look of the gun. I printed out the scaled final plan, and adhered it to a sheet of styrene. These pieces were then cut out to form the base template to build on. Acrylic would have made a stronger base, but, I didn't have any, and styrene is far easier to cut. Also, for my guides, I needed something thin and flexible.
To make the base stronger and unable to flex around, I glued faux wood blinds to the styrene template. I did this to both sides making sure that the joints ran opposite of each other. A weak spot would exist if the joint was made in the same spot on both sides of the template. These faux blinds are some of the extras we didn't need with our blinds. I'm not sure what the material is, but it cuts easy.
Once the base was sturdy enough, I added my styrene guides. The gun tappers down a half inch from the center area, so all of these guides had to follow the same tapper. The inner curved areas took a little trial and error to get right.
It's hard to tell in the first picture here, but, I filled the void area in with more of the faux wood blinds material. I then covered that in Bondo body filler.
After the piece was completely full, I made a template in the shape of the curve where the gun and the launch piece meet, and scribed in the joint.
I am not as good as I would like to be with mold making, which is why I don't go into detail with this process. This was the first side prepared for silicone. With my last replica, I started using two sided keys for better registration.
I did not use enough mold release on this mold, and I thought I was going to have to cut it open. Once I got it started though, it came apart. The mold seam line, which I spent a lot of time on, has some spots that require some work on in the castings.
This is what I call the "street" version of the grapple gun. Heavily used, gouged and scratched with paint wearing off, exposing the metal of the gun. I didn't photo document the techniques I used to beat it up or to give it the worn off paint look. The next one of these I make, I'll document the process, so that if you would like to make one yourself similar to this, you'll know what I did to get this look.
lets make it!
If you enjoy the step by step process of how my replicas are built, and/or want to build one yourself, this is the place to see how they came together.