Yoko Littner’s anti-tank gauss rifle from the anime Gurren Lagann

Yoko Littner’s anti-tank gauss rifle from the anime Gurren Lagann by Dave Sonnier (androidveins@gmail.com)
The rifle comes dissassembled in 7 pieces and fits into a 38″ x 4″ x 16″ case: the barrel/muzzle assembly, body/pistol grip assembly, bolt lever, the round, magazine box, scope, and the strap. I decided to make it break down and make a case for it for easy transport on the way to a convention in a crowded car. the rifle is 5’10.75″ when assembled which is hard to fit in a sedan.
total weight is about 15-ish lbs. (but that is just a guess)
build time was about 3 months due to this being the first time I made a prop like this and also due to procrastination.

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materials:
PVC pipe, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), poplar, LEDs, wire, tiny plastic traffic cones, 9volt battery, wooden dowels, various wood screws, auto primer, charleston green spraypaint, electrical tape, wire connector plug things, red spraypaint, crappy 99-cent walmart paint, wood filler, tons of epoxy resin, rit dye (red), safety pins, weather stripping, computer paper, foam shets, sheet aluminum, high-density foam, random knobs, odds and ends. I had to order a rifle bipod, tactical rail, rifle strap, and rail mounts for the scope.
tools:
dremmel tool, drill press, belt sander, jigsaw, sand paper, table saw, hand drill, soldering iron, various small hand tools,
bandages, sleep depreavation, patience.
material sourcing:
radio shack, Menards, Home depot, Mills Fleet Farm, Ace Hardware, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, my junk drawer
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notes about the individual sections
barrel/muzzle:
the muzzle was shaped into a hexagonal shape with great difficulty from a block of poplar using a table saw. the barrel was a section of PVC pipe with a screw threads epoxied to one end in order to screw into the rest of the rifle. the two sections were then epoxied together rather crooked but I corrected the issue by holding the pvc over my gas stove to bend it the correct way. I used a lot of low-tech solutions in this project.
body/pistol grip assembly:
I had to make this piece in 3 sections; the PVC body, the bolt which slides back and forth inside the body, and the pistol grip assembly. the barrel screws into the body, the bolt is designed to hold the rifle round and can be moved using the bolt lever once it is screwed into it, the pistol grip was made from two peices of MDF epoxied together. through a long process of sanding and wood filling, I finally got it to look smooth. the trigger was made from a small piece of MDF inserted in the pistol grip. the torsion spring part of 2 safety pins were used for the spring action. the part where the magazine is inserted is where the 9volt battery and is made from MDF. The extruded skull decals on either side of this section is also MDF epoxied to the side. there are 6 magnets inside to keep the magazine snug because the magazine release lever was not enough to keep it from rattling around. the release lever was made much in the same way as the trigger and prevents the magazine from simply being pulled out. I had to drill holes in the bottom of the PVC body in order to screw the pistol grip to it. to do that I had to make a hole in the top so the screwdriver could gain access. this hole was later covered by a different section of PVC pipe which fits around the main body. I made this outer part look like some kind of heat-dispersion grip thing (I really dont know much about guns to be honest) by drilling an array of holes in it. on top of this hole-covering shell/heat-dispersal-looking thing is where the tactical rail is screwed into. the stock of the rifle was made from more MDF epoxied together and then fastened using screws in the same way that the pistol grip assembly was attached. the access hole for the screw driver was covered by sheet aluminum which also makes the MDF part and the PVC part of the stock look more like one cohesive part. the warning bit on the sides were painted with some skillfull taping and spraypainting. the panels were then epoxied to the sides. due to the sharp edges in the stock, I used lots of foam sheets and weather stripping to cover said edges and also to add coushioning when someone holds it up to their shoulder. I cut the heads off of many screws and epoxied them in to add detail and make it look more metallic and mean.
magazine:
the magazine is made from 5 peices of thin MDF. the notches in the side were cut using the table saw. the Dremmel was used to carve out spaces to epoxy magnets into which match up to the magnets in the rifle. a single screw is what the magazine release lever catches to prevent it from being yanked out. the slightly metallic finish was achieved by applying multiple coats of auto primer and sanding it with a fine-grain sandpape. it is possible to carry your keys or convention badge or wallet in the magazine. kinda useful.
rifle round:
I used the dremmel tool to carve little details on the round, which was made from two different diameters of wooden dowel epoxied together and painted with the crappy walmart paint.
scope:
there are 3 LED’s in the front to light up the 3 different scopes and two LED’s were used to light up the view finder. the tapered sections were made from the tiny traffic cones (I really wish I had a lathe). the scope is mounted to the rifle with rifle scope mounts as expected. inside the scope the LED’s are soldered together and ran in series. I had to give myself a crash course in electrical work to determine how many LED’s I could run off of the singe 9volt. this 9volt is located the magazine slot and is hidden when the magazine box is inserted. I decided to separate the power source from the scope because I couldn’t think of a good way to make it accessible from the scope itself. the connection is made when the two wires are plugged into each other using the wire connector plug thingies. the 3 scopes on the end were made from various chea plastic lenses and plastic bottle caps i had laying around. I used a sheet of computer paper to obscure the LED’s but still allow diffused light through. A switch on the top of the scope toggles the lights.
that damn case:
I had the most problems making this simple wooden case surprisingly. the various panels were cut using a jigsaw and then epoxied together. various hinges and a handle were scrwed into the thin sections of wood. I later had to cut off the ends of the screws so they wouldn’t poke anyone’s hands. the edges of the box were originally going to be covered with sheet aluminum to give it a sort of antique box feeling but that proved way too difficult plus I cut my hands waaaay to much. I decided to instead cover the edges with electrical tape but in my opinion doesn’t look very nice and is coming apart. the foam inside for the parts to rest on was dyed red using rit dye in my bathtub. it looked like a murder scene. luckily it did not stain.
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many small details were carved out with the dremmel tool and took way too long in hindsight. I’m just glad my downstairs neighbor was cool with the odd noises from the tools.

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