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My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Props So Nice They Had To Show Them Twice. Or more.

Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby Miker » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:19 pm

Really enjoyed checking this thread out.
"If anyone gets nosy, just...you know... shoot em"
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:06 pm

From the Wayback Machine

Starting with my Sidkit Mal pistol:

I attached the one side panel to the frame with the set screws.
As I've noted elsewhere, set screws are not for clamping pieces together.
If the threads don't realign perfectly, the set screw acts like a jackscrew and
lifts one piece off the other, instead of clamping them together.
So, I poured JB Weld epoxy between the frame and the side panel to strengthen it.
The plastic bags will contain the JB Weld while it sets (for about 8 hours).
Once the epoxy cures, the bag pieces will peel off.

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In the background is the other Sidkit and the two spare mags with the scrolls glued on.
Once they set, I'll clean up the glue that pushed out of the slot.

To the right is the internal barrel sleeve I made sitting next to the Sidkit barrel face.
The sleeve means you can look down the barrel and see...barrel.

Next step:
Drilled and tapped the shrouds for the set screws to hold the thumbscrews.
I hand drilled the knurled knobs and the frame mounting dimples for a 4-40 X 1/2"L set screws on the first Mal pistol.
Even the QMx knurled knobs are glued on.
Mine came with one detached; I glued it back on.
This lousy picture got worse when it converted to a JPEG
I have the tap size listed as either 3mm (Badger thumbscrews) or 4-40
which is what I drilled the Sidkit thumbscrews.

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The top pistol in the pic below has the Sidkit thumbscrews,
the lower example has the nickel-plated-brass thumbscrews.

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And then on to the barrel:
here is the C-clamp and 12" scale mounting fixture I used.
Most of this is easily done with hand tools.
I'll post better in process pics.
As an example, I "drilled" the hole in the frame halves for the shoulder bolt with a big rat tail file.
The shoulder bolt should be replaced with a 3/8"-16 X 1/2"L SHCS (socket head cap screw).
My Sidkit Mals are bolted and glued wherever possible.

My barrel alignment fixture was made out of 2 C-clamps, a 12" steel scale and a correct height spacer to hold the barrel until the glue set.


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The scale is aligned to the bulged part of the shrouds and
sets a straight line in addition to serving as a holding fixture.
The brass spacer is just something from my hardware collection the happened to be the right size.

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I don't put a lot of glue in at first, in case I have to re-seat the barrel
if it doesn't turn out to be as straight as I thought.
I'll pile more glue in tomorrow.

After I built up the JB Weld around the barrel mounting lug and the frame on the inside,
I glued on the other half of the main body/ receiver.
I did this in a couple of steps to avoid just pouring a bunch of glue in the body.
I packed pieces of sandwich bags around the JB Weld to contain it until it dried, same as before.
I glue the two frame attachment points because my friend's Sidkit showed up bowed inward at the top; a result of how soft the main material is.

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I machined a pair of spair magazines for display. (They don't insert into the pistol.)

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A comparison with the original Sidkit "mag".

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It is my understanding that the original propmakers put a rimmed .38 Spl round in the mag,
which is fine for a quick screen shot, but for a display that can be the object of studied scrutiny,
the rimless .30cal Carbine round makes more sense.

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Next, I'll fill some seams and clean up the outer surface.
Then I'll start attaching the last shroud pieces, the top, front sight, etc.
First, fitting the wood grips

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Front sight.

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I also decided I need a place to store/ display my Mal pistol.

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So I bought an old Colt Dragoon case and changed out the guts of the thing.

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Sorta like this...

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And more like mostly finished.

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I'm not yet satisfied with the weathering,

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but the tools and memorabilia all worked out fine.

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Last edited by pennausamike on Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:21 pm

SOLD

In addition to my Sidkit Mal pistol, I had two phillipes resin Mal's
(cast from screenused)
and one QMx BDM Serenity Mal pistol.

Image

Fortunes rise and fall, and sometimes it is time to move things out of the collection.

Image
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby Miker » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:26 pm

That's amazing and very cool
"If anyone gets nosy, just...you know... shoot em"
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby taimdala » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:40 pm

@0@!!!
"Never, never, never give in ... except to convictions of honor and good sense."
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:18 am

SOLD

One of the first prop replicas I built was Zoe's Mares Leg. I bought a used Denix rifle on eBay and within about ten minutes of receiving it, was cutting it up with a hacksaw.

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I "finished" it, tho' I wasn't happy with it having the wrong lever on it.

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Then I got the Denix Mares leg and played parts mix and match...

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So then I had a loopy lever Firefly version of Zoe's Mare's Leg and and a Serenity version with the little brass scope-y thing and the straight lever. I don't like the Serenity version as well, but the brass scope thing and the mount I machined for it came out well enough.

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After that, I needed Zoe's back-up pistol.

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This is basically a sawed off 1860 Colt, and Denix makes a replica of that, too.

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Some sawing and puttying later and, viola.

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It is ready to reassemble, for which I made a little fixture to hold the internals in place.
And done.

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For display,

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and finished up, only to be sold a couple years later.

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Zoe's Leather Case, The Source Material: In the episode The Train Job, Mal and Zoe pose as a couple riding to Paradiso to seek work. It seemed logical that they would have luggage, and wouldn't Zoe have an old style leather gun case for her two mare's legs and her back up pistol?

The Display Items: The Firefly version mare's leg is an extensively modified Denix replica 1892 Winchester rifle. Modifying this from a rifle made for the most accurate to Firefly buttstock. The BDM Serenity version of the mare's leg is a conversion of the Denix "Dead or Alive" mare's leg, with a less accurate stock but all the BDM greeblies. The back-up pistol is made from a cut down Denix replica 1860 Colt. The subdued color Independents patch was a fan run, the ID and necklace are also fan-made items and the dogtags were ordered from a dogtag company, made to info provided from the Operative screen in a cut scene in the BDM Serenity. The train tickets are modified from yet another fan-done effort.
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:44 am

But of course, seller's remorse set in, and I started a new Zoe display.

(coming soon.................ish.)
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby taimdala » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:42 am

Wow. I am in AWE!!!!!! Practically speechless.

(You've met me, Mike. You know how rare being speechless is for me. But damnnnn! ... I don't know what to say.)
"Never, never, never give in ... except to convictions of honor and good sense."
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby pennausamike » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am

Mal and Zoe, Serenity Valley Survivors, Captain and Loyal Second-In Command
This is typical of what I like to do with my displays.
I like combining replica and paper props to tell the fictional story with tangible items.
If you can touch it, it must be real; right?

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The Story Behind The Display: Whitefall Map of Serenity Valley The Source Material: The Firefly series features characters living in the wake of a huge civil war, around 500 years in the future. The Independents fought to separate themselves from the Union of Allied Planets, and after years of bloody warfare, suffered their crushing defeat at Serenity Valley. Two of the main characters, ship-captain Malcolm Reynolds and his first-officer Zoe (Alleyn) Washburn, served together at Serenity Valley and, like thousands of other “Browncoats”, refused to surrender.

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The Display Items: This display is meant to showcase memorabilia of a war-not-yet-happened. This amazing topographical map of a planet yet to be discovered was designed by a pioneer in the early days of Browncoat prop collector fandom, Ben Mund, aka “Whitefall”. Whitefall’s original design was created utilizing an 1800’s survey map for a template. Ben’s amazing talent in producing graphics, maps and paper props in the ‘verse did not go unnoticed. QMx “put Ben out of business” by putting him to work for them. He modified his original Serenity Valley map with “fancified” wording that created (in my mind) a conflict between the graphic cues of a surveyor’s map and the flowery prose of a tourist poster. I feel the original presentation was nicer and it is certainly more rare.

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This display is meant to showcase memorabilia of a war-not-yet-happened. The largest paper props are discharge papers designed by a pioneer in the early days of Browncoat prop collector fandom, Ben Mund, aka “Whitefall”. Whitefall’s original design was created utilizing the Independents’ triangle superimposed over the (Whitefall variation of the Geoff Mandel designed) worlds-clutching hawk. I didn’t agree with his interpretation that the Alliance would subordinate their emblem as a conciliatory gesture, especially in view of the brutality and cost of the Independents “uprising”. Ben was kind enough to allow me permission to change his design and supplied the unadulterated hawk-on-the-worlds graphic to make the modification. Also, Ben only did a discharge paper for Malcolm Reynolds, so the Zoe discharge paper is my modification of Ben’s boilerplate design. The Routing Tags for the 57th Overlanders is also a Whitefall EU (Extended Universe) paper prop design that I modified. The small Independents’ Guide to Hera is cobbled together from various sources, though once again, primarily from Whitefall’s original work for his Serenity Valley map. The dogtags for Mal and Zoe are made from information seen in the BDM (Big Damn Movie) Serenity. The patches are licensed, embroidered patches like those in the TV series. One of the pins is a basic cloisonné pin; the other is a 2007 CSTS Can’t Stop The Serenity charity pin. The cross is meant to be the one Mal kisses for luck/blessing before battle. The can opener is a U.S. Army P-38 can opener, similar to the larger P-51 can opener Tracy used to open his beans in the episode, “The Message”. Food for body and soul; the display is a metaphor. The final items are four damaged and distorted bullets, meant to represent the kind of “near miss” or “one that got me” souvenirs soldiers are prone to collect. Like much good art, the interpretation is left to the viewer.
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Re: My (new) Firefly/Serenity Collection Thread

Postby Yellowjacket » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:04 am

Your displays and book projects are wonderful. You put a great spin on the showcasing of props, that make them feel like real world trophies and keepsakes.
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