Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where's the Kaboom?

Fun fact for today: I love squirt guns.  Super soakers especially.  I still have all of mine, as it happens.  My parents didn't approve of weapony toys that got pointed at other people so I had to buy them myself.  I spent good money on my super soakers and there's no way I would get rid of them until and unless they ceased to be functional.  Maybe not even then; they'd make great props.  My favorites are the XP 150 and the CPS 2700.  The XP 150 does a great job in a water fight.  It's got a good sized water chamber and isn't cumbersome so you can manage it and one or two others which really helps when it comes to not running out of ammo.  My CPS 2700 is the really impressive one, though.  It holds something like 2.5 liters of water and has variable nozzles so that you can shoot a stream of water ridiculously far (30-40 feet depending on the angle and prevailing winds) or just spray it like a hose and several steps in between.  It's big enough that it has a shoulder strap so I could have it and the XP 150 on me at the same time.  Those plus a few water pistols and you're pretty unstoppable.  I wish I had a yard big enough to host an all out water battle, it's been far too long. 

Believe it or not my love of water guns is relevant for my first prop post of the year (signs don't count as props).  Typically, I dredge the interwebs for prop inspiration and it's pretty hit or miss. Not so of late.  I've found few things that are as helpful as Wikipedia's list of fictional elements when it comes to giving me ideas.  What's more, the list often brings up fond memories of childhood (capsidium, anyone?).  After spending several hours image searching various things from said list I was puttering about in my garage.  I had gone out to grab some bits for my signage when I noticed something on the ground that I had to avoid stepping on.  It was a squirt gun that had come in an Easter basket that I had gotten a few years back.  Inspiration hit me like an anvil and I snatched up the squirt gun and took it directly inside to the craft zone to start fixing it up.

I peeled off the sticker bits, covered the pretty green section, and slapped a layer of paint on for a primer.  The next day I was all set to do the detail work.  It took a few hours to do, all told, but I am so happy with how it turned out.

Hard to believe that started life as a water gun.  It makes a great illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator, don't you think?  I did run into one very tiny problem.  The paint added some thickness to everything so I wasn't able to screw the water bulb back on without scratching off the paint.  Because of that, the bulb is just stuck back in but with the extra thickness it stays just fine.  I haven't decided if I want to age it up a bit or maybe spray glue some dirt to it to give it that "buried down a rabbit hole" look.  I'm also considering making some props to have been 'found' in the same area, which might be helpful for anyone who hasn't figured out where the prop idea came from in the first place.  (Just for giggles, I'm not going to tell you.  I've already given you a bunch of clues so you should be able to figure it out.)

Given my love of all things water gun you might be wondering why I was OK propifying this one.  Firstly, it should be mentioned that the propified gun still works.  I didn't do anything to it except decorate it so nothing was rendered non-functional.  Secondly, it is an absolutely terrible water gun.  It holds less than a cup of water, which isn't uncommon for the water pistol family to which it belongs, but it also gets really bad distance and is very awkwardly shaped for a back up weapon.   The front grip makes it impossible to tuck it into a waistband so you're left holding it.  It doesn't even need that front grip; it's a trigger pump action water gun and all the front grip does is unbalance it (you don't need it to work the gun) and give it unnecessary weight.  Plus the tubing and nozzle are too small to load anything but water.  I had tried to use it to splatter fake blood for last year's decorations for which it was completely useless and was a pain to clean up.  The only thing going for it is that the water chamber is a detachable bulb which makes filling it easy.  So really, the best thing I could do with it was make it into a prop.

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