Friday, May 13, 2011

Ithaca M37

One of the pinnacle weapons in movies and games is the shotgun.  With so basic a design(stock, trigger, barrel, forend) and so prolific in our culture, it's a wonder it's taken me so long to build one.  Today,  I'm building an Ithaca M37, one of the shotguns used in Resident Evil 5(along with much of the rest of the series), and even more games, like Metal Gear Solid and Call of Duty: Black Ops(It's referred to as the "Stakeout").

Here's Chris Redfield in the game with the M37(sounds like I'm playing Clue):

Here's a real M37:

Pretty simple.  Cardboard grip and body, two 3/4" PVC pipes, and a chunk of larger PVC with grooves for the forend.  Let's get started.

First off, as usual, I get a profile of the shotgun into Photoshop and blow it up to 1:1 scale.  Then I trace it onto cardboard, cut out that chunk, and use it as a stencil.  I believe this thing was 1 3/4" wide.  Here, you can see the new, industrial cardboard my uncle gave me.  It's 3/4" wide, whereas normal cardboard is roughly 1/8" on average.  Saves me pleeeeenty of time.  The only problem is that I eventually need to cover all the edges with heavy paper instead of just hot glue.

 Here's a shot of the gun(see what I did there?) body from the side.

To reinforce the gun, I plan to sink the PVC as far into the body as possible.  That means having to cut in some grooves.  Each groove is 1/2" deep at its lowest point(The outside of the 3/4" PVC brings it up to 1").

Here you can see the PVC sunk into the body.

And then I glue it all together.

Looking pretty sweet.  Now I just have to run some heavy paper around the edges.

Looking at the design, I noticed that the front of the forend looks vaguely bottle-shaped, so I lopped the top off of a bottle of Propel and electrical taped it on.

It's lookin' more and more like the M37.

To add the grippy grooves(I love sayin' that) to the forend, I measured them out to about a 1/4" apart and drew those concentric circles onto the PVC.  Then I started using a Dremel to cut a channel into each of the lines.  Dremeling a straight line is a lot more difficult than you'd think.

Once it's done, I hit it with some sandpaper to take all of the rough edges off and to rough up the shiny finish of the PVC so it holds the paint better.  Speaking of paint, I hit the whole thing with some flat black.

After that, I painted the forend brown and added a bit of wood texture that I achieved by letting the paint get a little bit tacky so it'd create stronger brush strokes(similar to wood grain) when I painted on it.  I also painted in all of the little details, which there weren't too many of.

Here's Nick(the recipient) with the finished product:

And with his Chris Redfield gear:


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