My Type III Phaser Rifle



This article was submitted by one of our forum members here at the Trek Prop Zone.

Please note that photos mentioned in the article are posted to the sides of the article starting top left working to the bottom left side. Then, please go top right working your way to the bottom of the right side.

First, I guess that I should point out that I am no professional Prop builder. I would say that it shows in the work that I am about to describe. However, I enjoy Prop building immensely as I find that I helps me unwind after a long week at work.
For this build, I picked up a Type III Phaser Rifle for around $200.00. from someone that sells on Ebay  The seller that had a good reputation and the price was fair. From the photos in the auction it looked to be a well cast kit and would not need tons of sanding ect... to get it into shape.

In this first photo you can see what the kit looked like fresh out of the box.   It turned out to be a very good casting with the only areas that   needed work being the back sides of the handles ( marked in red in photo) and right behind the "head" of the Rifle.    I started removing most of the casting marks from the handles with a flat file and the head with a hack saw. I finished the areas with sand paper on a flat sanding block.  Then with the heavy sanding done it's time to wash< it really well. There is a mold release, on a kit of this type, that you must get off or when you're trying to apply paint, the paint is going to do some very crazy stuff. I use fine Steel Wool in a water and dish soap solution and it seems to work for me. With the washing done, I could start putting it together! I drilled holes in the 3 main body pieces and cut dowel rod to place in the holes. After making sure that everything was going to align as planned, I mixed up some JB Weld. I placed the JB Weld on the ends, in the dowel rod holes, and pushed it all together.  I did not add the handles at this time because I found a screen cap where Captain Sisko was holding one of these and low and behold it had a trigger! Even better I remembered this "trigger" as a switch from Radio Shack! Off I went and sure enough $1.99 and I have one. I drill a hole in one of the handles and push the base of it in. It needs painted black but it's the same trigger. After letting the body set for 12 hours I drill holes in the bottom for the dowel rod for the handles. I placed the dowel rod in the new holes, slide tape down over the rod, hold the handles where I want them, slide the tape up and onto the handle and then drill my holes where the holes in the tape are. After that JB Weld dries I'm ready to paint.  I drilled a hole in the tip big enough to place a small piece of strong rod in. This way I can support the prop fully in the air and paint a full 360.

After the primer coat using Hot Rod Grey comes a sanding with very fine Steel Wool. The base coat of the kit is PlastiKote 7173. It's a sort of dark silver. After that I painted the areas on the sides of the middle section, the area on the head, front of the grips, and tail that the instructions called for. For this 2nd operation I used PlastiKote 7179. It a very dark Silver / Grey. The last color that goes on is a semi flat Black at the very front around the "Emitter Tip" area. In low light it's hard to really see the difference between the 7179 and the semi flat Black.  Then a nice clean coat of a semi flat clear and it's ready to shoot some Alien Evil bad guys right? You knew somewhere in this there was going to be a problem.

I forgot to mount the site on the top of the body. I thought that when painted it would drop in to the recessed
area on the top of the main body, it did not. I then realized that I had never tested fitted it. Live and learn I guess. I had to back up and get this on without destroying my nice paint job. I recessed a hole screwed it down on the top of the main body with a small amount of JB Weld at the edge all the way around. I spread the JB Weld with a finger were the pieces met. After the JB Weld dried I painted it to match. 80% hard work 20% luck. As I said I should have test fit ALL the parts.  In the end it came out great and I could not be more happy with it.  





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