Coming off of the T-21 Light Reapeating Blaster build, I was anxious to get started on my next scratch build. Because I’m working on a Tusken Raider costume, I chose to build the Tusken sniper rifle. I began researching the weapon and found 2 builds that interested me. The first cycler that I bookmarked was from Dave Syczylo. I really like the scope on this build, and used most of Dave’s ideas when constructing this component.
I also referred to a build by Plastic Fury on the Krayt Clan forums. I particularly liked how he secured the barrel and ramrod by using a carved out a piece of aluminum, supplemented with copper wire wrapping. The copper added a splash of color and made it look “scrappy”. I also liked the cabling he used between the stock and scope. These are a few of the ideas that I borrowed from his build.
Like many Tuskens before me, I used the stock template from Studio Creations. I purchased some 1 inch (3/4″ actual) x 12″ x 8′ wood from Lowes, glued it together, and let it sit overnight.
I cut the stock with a jigsaw and sanded the edges down with a mouse sander. I used a cheap 1/4″ trim router with a core box bit from Harbor Freight to channel out some space for the 1/2″ EMT conduit barrel.
I secured the barrel to the stock by drilling 2 holes in the 1/2″ EMT conduit and placing 2 wood screws through the pipe into the wood. I covered the tops of the screws with 1/2″ EMT 2 hole straps. I shaved off the “ears” with a dremel & metal cutting bit. The straps have little knobs inside and “snap” on top of the EMT conduit. If I need to disassemble the rifle, I can easily unsnap these 2 straps and then unscrew the barrel.
With the stock & barrel taking shape, it was time to begin on the scope. Dave Syczylo’s site showed some pics, but didn’t list the parts. I could see from a photo that one of the parts was a Rain Bird 32SA sprinkler. I first checked Home Depot, they didn’t have the sprinkler. I couldn’t ID any of the other parts. I went to Lowe’s and they had this sprinkler for 9 bucks. I really lucked out and found the other parts in the same section.
– Rain Bird 32SA sprinkler
– Orbit Shrub Sprinkler Head
– 1/2″ x 10″ PVC Schedule 80 nipple
– 1/2″ Steel Compression Coupling
– 1″ PVC Coupling
– 1″ x 1/2″ bushing (pic in the link is different, was able to find a round edge at Lowe’s)
– 2″ coupling (I ended up not using this piece, was originally going to be the fat shroud covering one end of the sprinkler)
I roughed the parts up with 400 grit sandpaper to help with primer/paint adhesion. I disassembled the sprinkler and took the spring out so that the top can pop-up freely. This gave me a little more surface area so that I can glue it inside of the 1″ PVC coupling:
When drilling holes in the stock for the scope rods, use caution. I made a drill jig guide by cutting a block of wood at a 45 degree angle. I placed the block of wood on the rifle stock and drilled the 3 points. The jig gave me a somewhat accurate angle/hole. I also recommend drilling a pilot hole and tape over the drilling area because it will splinter at that angle. Sorry, no pic 🙁
Finishing up the scope, I primed it with gray primer, let it dry thoroughly, then hit it with flat black spray paint. After letting it dry, I lightly buffed the scope with 0000 steel wool to gently scuff the surface. I then generously brushed on General’s Graphite Powder with a large brush. I slopped it on and then rubbed it in with the brush. I sealed it with Krylon Satin finish clear spray. I went over some of the edges with good ol’ Testors silver enamel using the dry-brush technique.
Things are finally starting to come together. With the scope done, its time to add the finishing touches to the stock. I sanded the stock down to a smooth finish with 220 grit sandpaper and applied some Varathane ‘Provincial’ stain. I only needed one coat. Put it on with a sponge craft brush, waited about 3-4 minutes, then wiped it off with a paper towel. I then applied 3 coats of Varathane Satin Polyurethane (waiting the recommended times between coats). For the 2 plates on the butt of the stock, I used Varathane ‘American Walnut’ and again followed it up with a few coats of satin clear. Here are the finishing products I used for the stock and scope:
As I previously mentioned, I liked Plastic Fury’s cabling on his rifle. I found a SATA cable at work and rescued it from our e-recycling bin. It will now be re-purposed
I cut the cable to length and stripped the covering, revealing the braided cable underneath. I painted the connector heads black and applied the same gunmetal technique that I used on the scope, using graphite powder. I left the screws silver to give it a little contrast. I ran the cable into the rear of the PVC elbow covering the rear of the barrel. Was working on my Tusken boots at the same time.
Other items not mentioned:
– the rear stock plates are adorned with pop rivet shells (glued in)
– a turnbuckle near the trigger
– the 3 “bolts” with a rod running through the center at the middle of the stock are 1/2″ pex plugs drilled through the center with an aluminum rod passing through
– the “ramrod” is a zinc rod, the end cap on the “ramrod” is also a 1/2″ pex plug
– the muzzle endcap is a 1/2″ set screw connector
– the trigger guard is 3/4″ x 1/8″ aluminum flat bar