View Full Version : Portal Gun Construction

05-15-2011, 02:41 PM
Alright, I was wondering if you guys could help me out a little. This is somewhat urgent. I'm trying to make my own Portal Gun, and I was looking for some advice regarding the white "shells", I suppose.

I don't have the money/time to order any Wonderflex, but I still need to make the the shells, and I was thinking either florist's foam or paper mache or something... But my main question is: what is the best thing to make the body out of, and how can I make it smooth without using Wonderflex? What do you think? I'm looking to do this pretty cheaply. Thanks so much if you can answer this.

Reference pictures:

05-22-2011, 10:12 AM
Nobody. D:

05-22-2011, 11:05 AM
Well you can sand paper mache to smooth it. You could also give it several layers of gloss paint, which would probably help somewhat.

If you use foam, you could try covering it in plastic film (from freezer bags or plastic carrier bags) to get a smooth surface and paint over that.

05-22-2011, 11:32 AM
Wonderflex is not styrene-smooth without a lot of priming work and sanding. It's woven fabric texture on one side and almost foam-texture on the other side, and if you make compound curves you have inevitable darts, wrinkles, and seams.
I assume that if you have the idea of using Wonderflex you've seen Volpin's portal gun walkthrough (http://volpinprops.blogspot.com/2009/01/testing.html). You can substitute paper mache for Wonderflex over the foam, use wood glue for extra strength and work from thick layers of paper (brown paper bag) to thin (phonebook paper). A skim coat of wood filler and some sanding will remove most of the paper texture, but you should still prime the heck out of it with spray primer.

05-22-2011, 12:59 PM
I made mine by melting pvc pipes. You cut them down the middle on one side and stick it in the oven. Then place it on some kind of form. Then carve the shape out with a small saw or dremel. You might want to look up pvc melting, because I'm a bad explainer

05-24-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks guys for replying. :D

Bisected8 - Thanks for your ideas, especially with the gloss paint, but I don't know how well painting over plastic would go. For some reason I feel like it wouldn't adhere very well. Any other thoughts on painting over a plastic bag?

ChilmarkGryphon - Yeah, that's definitely where I got my foam/wonderflex idea from~ I like your idea with the wood glue and paper mache, it seems like it would work really well.

| GLaDOS | - I was going to melt PVC for my makeshift boots for Chell, but I never thought of doing it for the portal gun. Worth a shot, I suppose~