Many productions like to use prop firearms to maximize their production value. Our team has several licensed professional armorers that provide firearms and weapons of all types to productions with budgets both large and small. Our armorers pull prop weapons from various sources to get you exactly the types of weapons that you need.
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Yet for some productions, for a variety of reasons (i.e. budget, legal reasons, access, etc.), they decide to use plastic prop firearms (usually airsoft) for their shoots. The problem is that the prop firearms are noticeably fake. Boom! There goes your production value.
Well we’re going to share with you how to make cheap plastic prop firearms look real. This info will be greatly appreciated by your art department. Make sure to read the article in its entirety first before you get started so you know exactly what you need and how to do it.
Take a look at the real firearms below:
Notice how they look weathered and have scratches on them? That’s because this is what they look like once they’ve been used. So you have to make your firearms look the same way.
Take your plastic prop firearm and paint it with flat black spray paint. Make sure you do NOT use gloss paint. This is not what you want. Firearms are NOT GLOSSY! So get flat black paint and paint them all over. Let them dry.
Once it dries, you’re going to apply the scratches and wear. You’ll need a nylon mesh covered sponge, a paper plate and Metallic Aluminum Spray paint.
Spray a little of the paint on the paper plate and then dip the sponge in it.
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With the sponge, lightly swipe small spots on the prop wherever wear and tear would build up on the firearm (usually at the tip of the barrel, called the muzzle, the triggerguard, on the barrel, on the receiver, the dust cover, even the magazines). You can use the picture below as a guide.
(Notice how this plastic prop gun now looks like it’s made out of metal!)
Then simply let them dry and touch up any areas that you feel need it. Now you have prop guns that look like the real thing! Even cheap plastic guns can now have a metallic look to them all for pennies on the dollar, some expert advice and a little elbow grease.
Have some questions? Contact us today, for a FREE ‘Movie Guns & Armorer Strategy Session’!