5.29.2010

I can't think of a specific title here (I'm blogging too much)

0 Comments
Finalized the design. Rubber doesn't jam anymore and I added a little pin to activate it by direct triggering without gears and such. Getting hit hurts pretty much... Need to reduce the general length of it. Now a new gun! Since I want a breechloader and not a side loader I'll have to make more complex snap mechanics.

The beast

0 Comments
Here is my new bullet design:


It basically consists of a rubber band, a pusher/bullet/snap combo piece and the other half of the snapper (the snap mechanic). It works great even without a second rubber band. I don't think this is a design for bullets without rubber like I build before since inserting the bullet is somewhat more complicated than with a simple pump mechation. To prepare the bullet you just need to insert the projectile into it's hull - watch out that the rubbers a placed on the back of it's black part. Push it as much as you can and fold the snapper to ensure the projectile is locked. It should look like this:


Done! The only thing I still need to create is a reliable trigger mechanic for it. I thought about using gears and quickly sorted out how prone to wrong alignment a gear is. Inserting bullets could become a pain this way. Therefore a direct, gear-less trigger mechanic is the way to go.

And again, let's see what happens.

Holy shit

0 Comments
I did it. And it's AWESOME. I'll post some pictures next morning. The best bullet design EVER is also the most simplistic one: Bullet pusher and bullet combined into one thing. It shoot FAR, it shoots FAST and does make no click/snap sound. All of my prototype based on the concept of stopping the bullet pusher at some point which usually results in a very load SNAP sound and weapon vibrations. This one here has almost NO sound at all and most importantly no snap vibrations. What did Kalashnikov once said? Simple designs are the most efficient ones. Well, he was right! The only disadvantage is that I can't just use any bullet. I have to use a special projectile combining projectile and pusher into one object. That's somehow sad because I always wanted to implement buck shot like bullets. Well, I guess I have to find another way. I'm really surprised how well this simple mechanic works. And it' so effective! Doesn't fall off the hull, the longer it is the farther it shoots... Just plainly perfect for what I want to do! Now it's time to build another doublebarreled, breech-loading gun. I really have to say that I always wanted to build such a LEGO gun. I don't know why, somehow I feel like I'm becoming a real fan of weapon mechanics. I'm afraid that some people will think bad about me. Ok, it's the internet and anonymity and such but I'm thinking more about the people I know in person. I don't like to admit that I'm creating LEGO guns because a lot of people often think that it's a bad thing to create such things. I always say it's only bad to use them against living objects and to destroy things which shouldn't be destroyed. I don't know. I really don't know. I feel like a nuclear scientists developing rockets and such while beeing aware of how bad it is to use them.

Oh well, my conscience is playing with me. I think I'll have to watch out a bit more what I'm saying to which people. Some comments on TIGSource made me really think about it. I do atleast know that most geek like LEGO guns. Man, that's something. I really need to get some sleep now.

Edit: 6 Bullets! The maximum I can build when using the current design. Oh man, that more than I thought I used this design. It so simple and doesn't really use hypercomplicated LEGO parts. I guess I could millions of them with just choosing the parts.

The big one

0 Comments
4x4 seems promising so far. Found an interesting 4x4-only mechanic of how release the snap mechanic and the bullet lock (the part of the bullet responsible for holding the projectile fixed in it's hull) almost at the same time. So I think I just need to strip some unnecessary parts and integrate a rubber. I never was the one for making miscrospic details in LEGO.
Hm. Time to go to bed...

5.28.2010

Drop that tiny shit bullet

0 Comments
Time for another elementary precept. 1x1 bullets sucks. Seriously! There IS a possibility to create 3x3 hull with rubber and such, but... Well. The snapping doesn't work. It's just too small and reliable system can't be with sucks big LEGO parts I need for my snap mechanics. I would say it's a shame but that's not really true. Cause, another reason why I don't like them is that they just have the power. They may fly longer and faster, but won't be able to something my target that well. Yeah, I build a target. It's lights go on if it got hit. Sooo, a 1x1 bullet doesn't have enough force behind you activate it. I used a normal LEGO Power Functions switch as activating axis, so I definitely need something more powerful if I want to keep this design. I could also buy something like Mindstorms and contact sensors which would cost a lot more money I just don't want to throw away tis way. I don't need Mindstorms atm, all I need is what I have! That's it, baby.

So, I'm looking forward to a bigger bullet design. 2x2 is fine to me, even if it requires more parts and more shooting power.

Edit: Wait, I'll build one 1x1 caliber weapon. Remember my bullet prototype? A ready-to-go gun prototype I say. I'll probably slaughter it some day.

5.26.2010

5.24.2010

Huge gun bump

0 Comments
This blog isn't remotely up-to-date! I did a lot of progress the last days. At first, as I promissed, I'll showcase my new gun here:


It is a double-barreled, muzzle-loaded pumpgun even with some kind of iron sight. If used properly, it's extremely accurated under 2,5 meters but unusuable for 3,5 meters and farther. I designed the iron sight to be used at around 2 meters, but I'm glad it works with 3 meters, too. As may recognized, I put a lot of effort into this gun. It uses a shitload of my recently bought LEGOs and sometimes I feel the need to strip some parts here and there... just to have more red pieces. However, this gun feels really good. Though it's heavy (two-handed operation required) the pumping works great with problems. And that's somehow interesting: The more mass I have to pump with, the easier the pumping is! Some day I'll remodel it to feature real pump-action mechanic with tube magazine, bullet holder and such. Did I love pumpgun designs? In videogames I always prefer pumpguns/shotguns over automatic weapons. I don't know why, probably because I like how you can see the mechanic behind. It's like a water pistol, only that you need to pump every shot (and with less time).

Ok, let's get to the technical background of my model. It has two seperate pump and trigger mechanics. Similar to two welded guns, like the doublebarreled/doubletriggered shotguns some hunters use. The iron sight part close to the stock is foldable to 2 meter/1 meter/sightless use. Aiming is a big more complicated than before: Both iron sight parts must be at the same height (they foldable part is pretty high due to the gun's short range/bullet path). Then choose a barrel and aim with the little black pins (at the end of each barrel). And if the barrel itself is also aligned right, you'll probably hit your target depending on size of the foldable part (the higher this element the higher is the angle of your weapon when shooting). I guess it would be easier to just use the black pins and the foldable part. Good thing is, you just need to follow each step and the shoot will hit probably hit your target. There are still some ricochets with low range but less than before. A major factor could be the longer barrel. Best of all is that I found a way to reduce all rubber-related jammings! Best solutions are the easy ones. It really was a very specific and silly problem I don't want to explain further.

I also tried to make the boring grey parts a bit more interesting by adding more red/dark grey elements. I love these big red pump grips, as I like the grip, too. Yeah, the grip really had a good design this time. I tried to recreate some gun grips I found on sporting weapons, they really work better than normal designs. That's it. I put a lot of effort in it and I'm lucky and proud that I build this one!

Additionally, I created an awesome bullet box:


Note: The bullets in this photo are placed wrong. You need to rotate 90° vertically to make the box close nicely.

It holds up to 10 2x2x2 bullets, does feature a bullet type seperator (more due to some part's non-even length), has a rotationsafe closing mechanic and snaps to 90° when opened. Unfortunately, I had to use an enormous amount of (now because of this box) rare LEGO parts, so I may change it later. But well, it looks delicious! If I only had more brown/beige parts, I would make it look like a real gem! Of course, using normal LEGO pieces would be easier and more customizable and such but I still don't want to use them. Everbody's using them! I'm not everybody. Did you see the round bullets on the right side? I'm testing round, normal LEGO parts and my first tests say they don't that different from my LEGO Technic bullets. Let's see what happens.

At last I made a huge success in terms of bullet/energy/accuracy/length. Making bullets will get much more complicated from now. Yes! I'm talking about my try to put the bullet pusher/rubber inside the bullet itself. Yesterday I went to the cinema (Prince of Persia to be specific, excellent movie by the way!) and had to wait some minutes before my friend arrived. On the way to cinema I wrote down notes about how my snap mechanic could work in a minimal, tiny system and I really did some great progress. Waiting for my friend also brought me an idea to archieve a gun without muzzleloading but magazine use. However, since this desing resembles more a crossbow, I refined the bullet design together with my friend. Back at home I created a bullet prototype with a size of 3x4x13 that can shoot 1x1 projectiles. Yo need to use a ramrod or something like that to power it. The projectile can be muzzleloaded then. It is really is a rather tiny mechanic and requires almost no force to shoot (just push the little pin down at the end of it). Due to it's smaller bullet size and thus less required energy (opposing to eight-times bigger 2x2 bullets) it shoots extremely far compared to my previous guns. It shoots about 8 meters with a more or less stable path. That may sound impressive but as you may recognise, the 3x4x13 size of the projectile hull is just too big for my taste. I needed to add a brick to the top of it to preserve accidental projectile ejection. I'm not sure how to solve this problem without having several other problems. My first approach was to use flat brick parts to also reduce width and height to 2x2. Was a bad idea because I did just not work. The second one was to keep the bullet half-open so that the top brick of it is a part of the weapon itself. Pro is the reduced size, con is that you can't rotate the bullet without ejection the projectile. So I tried to keep the 3x4 size. It's a very problematic size cause there is a difference of two bricks between top and center. You can't aim properly this way - necessary for such accurate projectiles! A 3x3 size work be great. I'm thinking about more specialized bullet pusher is the key to success, cause at the moment it's 2 bricks high... And it probably won't get better. I can't put the bullet pusher into 1x1 due to the rubber. The rubber is thick and a major reason for jamming inside the barrel. And I don't have smaller parts than 1x1 which also means that every barrel I create has to be 1x1 or higher! Damnit, that's sucks so fucking much. A 4x4 bullet could work, I once created a 4x4 magazine-like thingy using an interesting construction to guerantee relatively smooth bullet pushing.

Since I have to muzzleload the projectile, there is still the problem of horizontal rotation: accidental bullet ejection when aiming towards the ground. It still is a huge problem. But well, I'm working in bullets. I don't need to mimic older a muzzleloader mechanic. All I need is a way to shoot something into a specific direction (in safe case or cage or whatever of course). A minimal setup is always better. Not easy, not easy.

Well, the size is already small but I really need to get a better one working. I need a one-brick-difference between center and top brick, that's all. I also need concider a better way to keep the bullet inside the magazine. There three ways to archieve that: a) Make a smooth bullet and build a weapon-specific case around it, b) create holes round the bullet teeth inside the weapon's bullet case, and c) teeth on the bullets, holes in the weapon. I prefer version b. Version a isn't elegant and does waste a lot of space. Version c sucks, too. I want SMALLER bullets, not bigger ones.

Sooo, It's still a huge progress. One step closer to a revolver. I guess I'll have problems when it comes to the cylinder. I need to a perfect bullet chamber integration AND a multichambered, non-90°-aligned cylinder. That means unique rotations/alignments and thus more complicated designs. Well, I could try to drop the whole bullet design thing and start to use multiple small bullet pusher/snap mechanics for each chamber. This can be applied to every kind of LEGO gun using LEGO parts as projectiles. I'm close to something more efficient, I can feel it! Close to small as possible bullets for more sophisticated and interesting gun designs. Success, here I come!

Oh and this is how the bullet looks at the moment:


Quite nice, I have to say. Still too fat.

5.23.2010

It still works!

0 Comments
Yep, it still works. My new gun is quite accurate due to a stronger shot and longer barrel but it's hard to aim with it. See, I have two huge pump elements to charge the rubbers efficiently, so it's not possible to use the barrel as aiming spot. I'll try to create a globe sight or atleast some kind of ring/crosshair combination and adjust to fit different distances. If I get a tiny flashlight/laser pointer working, I won't need a sight. But well, a normal sight will do it, too, I guess. Before I post the final model here, I'll add more comfortable features like an obligatory bullet holder. I'm also thinking about different ammunition designs since I want to automatize insertion a bit (like these circles for revolver where you place bullets on and insert them with one move). Normal LEGO pieces could help me. Let's see what happens in my "lab".

YES

0 Comments
Oh my god it fucking works. IT JUST FUCKING WORKS. Now I have a doublebarreled pump-charge muzzle loader! I can even shoot through the whole room. Yay for longer barrels!

5.22.2010

Another try

0 Comments
Ok, let's start with LEGOs again. Don't wonder about my seemingly inconsistent motivation, I need some time to boot up my inner mechanics, it usually starts working around 12:00 am/1:00 pm.

What I want to say is, that I looked at my little LEGO pistol and realized that I don't really want to create so complicated weapons. As I mentioned, before they shouldn't resemble real weapons. What I always liked are old muzzleloaders, huge decorated rifles and such. I don't like all these automatic weapons! No, since it's a hobby and I love creating modular systems where you can stick acessories for whatevernot occasion, I don't think I'll be happy this way. Yesterday I even had no interest in LEGOs! Instant loss of interest is usually a result of just too complicated tasks. Yes, it was just too complex to archieve. It isn't impossible, but not in the way I want to archieve it. There are so many ways to create guns and mechanics to shoot things around - my variant is to load every single bullet somehow manually. It's not the automation I like - it's a usage. Look at games like Stalker and you'll see a actually low variety of gun types. What do we have there? Automatic weapons (assault rifles, MPs) are always the same. Push the trigger til it's empty, then change the magazin and use the lever. That's it, there is no variance except when using the MG (which has has an ammunition belt). Then we have pistol. Their usage similar, there are even automatic ones. Now we listed 90% of all weapons in Stalker games. Not much, eh? The rest consist of two pumpguns with nothing more than a difference in where to put the ammunition in, a rocket launcher, a revolver-like grenade launcher and a two-round shotgun plus a sawn-off variant. If I remember correctly. What I'm interest in is a) the revolver mechanic and b) the two-round per trigger thing (which is probably similar to a modified revolver mechanic). I don't like how everything is simplified in games. You know, shooting in games is always the same and will never change. That's ok but from a "hobby gunsmith" point of view it's just too complicated and boring to make. I like making small designs, compact mechanics and different, interesting ways to operate a shooting device.

I'm not in the army, I don't want to massacre millions of people. Automatic/semi-automatic weapons are only useful for fighting. Nobody needs killer guns in reallife. And thus I don't need to think about it. I also noticed my preference for simple, older weapons in videogames... Interesting. I should take account of that in my roguelike. I love gadgets like laser pointers, bullet holders, iron sights and such but I'm not interested in super-high fire rates and bullet rains. It's good that I noted this for me cause it's now one of my game design precepts. So many games use so many boring weapon mechanics, some don't even have more than two types of operations! It's important for me that every item is different to use. No matter if it's a weapon, a map, a health potion or a watering can.

Maybe

0 Comments
Indie Game: The Movie is a great project. I thought about putting in some sentimental lines about how the part Edmund touched me but I'll just leave it as it is. This little movie also made me thought about the fact why I want to make a number of video games. Technical interest and atmosphere on one side, there is always something behind that I don't really get. I not sure but this is the reason I guess. Maybe I'll find out what it is but probably not. It's so vague that I don't know what it could be.

However, I want to make music for personal inspiration. Music resembling the ideas of feelings I have in my head.

Also, I should reduce the time I spend building LEGO guns. I don't have any good ideas at the moment so I'll just wait for ideas.

5.21.2010

Oh man

0 Comments
I got the rotated barrel/rubber/whatever working properly but now I'm running out of rubbers! That fricking hilarious. Depending one rubber and barrel length you'll have more or less durability problems. I also tried to create some kind of bullet hole close to the trigger but it didn't work because the pump element was in the way. So I tried to integrate a magazine into each pump element which sometimes worked but of the time not... Damnit! Isn't there an easy way to get this working? It would be easier to build these weapons without LEGOs. If I had better rubbers (and most importantly: more of them!) and smaller gear elements I think it would work somehow. I often look at other LEGO guns and how they work but most of the time they seem to use rubber and/or LEGO pieces as bullets and another rubber in the magazine. I know how to create them but I don't think they in the way I would build them. My problem in general is a rubber problem. I only have pile of old (actually VERY old) LEGO rubber bands with are extremely short and extremely porose. I tried to replace all of them with a brand new LEGO motor but it's just to slow to replace a rubber. I can use the motor to pull the rubber but not to fire a stone. That's so sad... All I wanted was to create simple mechanic... *sigh* I will never get it working this way. I only have one Idea left how to create a rubber-powered magazine and I definitely want to have rubber before trying it. If it doesn't work, I'll try to create bullets with a rubber inside. I now really hate LEGO somehow. LEGO is only great if you know what you want to do. Otherwise it's just a bunch of plastic blocks you can combine somehow.

Oh how I hate this day. I need to get some better rubbers.

5.20.2010

Nuts

0 Comments
Did I say the 7 gears per trigger do work? Not when attaching a rubber to it. There is just not enough energy within these very small gears. Worst what happened so far was that the gears just didn't move. I need a direct two-gear component. I'm now trying another working, not rotated snap mechanic but rotated barrel. I really need such direct mechanic. And somehow glad it is like that.

Progress

0 Comments
Ok, I got the whole 90°-rotated snap system working but it just sucks in terms of LEGO usage. In order to get it working I almost abused LEGOs gear system. I had to use 7 gears for EACH trigger! Man, that's somewhat wasteful for just a small trigger mechanic. For example, a simple two-gear mechanic is enough for every singlebarreled weapon with normal barrel rotation. But, here we have TWO barrels with 90/270 degree rotation. I need more space inside the trigger which I don't have without blowing it up. *sigh* Well, a second revision will probably help a lot. Most of the time I spend changing the barrel layout to get the right holes in the right places. I should start converting the barrel to a more gear-friendly part from where the snap mechanic begins. I'm sure I'll need it for later models.

5.19.2010

Mindabsorbing LEGO sphere

0 Comments
I finally got more LEGOs! Yay, that's means I'm finally able to realize what I had in mind before. Unfortunately, I discovered a huge weakness in my twinbarrelled pump-action design and I gotta say it's fucking annoying. There are just a few ways to archieve an actually working pump-action mechanic in LEGO. It's even easier to build an MG in LEGO than creating a two-step operated gun. But well, there are alway steps between. Thus I'm taking smaller steps. Good thing is, I won't have any problems with too few pieces anymore. Maybe I should use another snap system like a toothed weel with rubber, rotating a fixed amount of degrees every shot/triggering. Yeah, some new techs would work much better. Beside new ideas I'm trying to get a 90° rotated barrel working. My next model is doublebarreled (doubletriggered, too) and has two of them. No more muzzle-loading from now, I have a few ideas how create a one-way bullet insertion (like used in the Chaser pumpgun etc) but I'm not sure if it works the way I want. There's always something challenging in new models. Most of the time it's free space and energy.

However, if it works I'll have a good one-way mechanic for inserting bullets savely without jamming if the bullet pusher has been fired. I can also think of a system where each bullet is stored inside the pump element or atleast below the firing barrel itself. Another idea is to have a bi-barreled weapon with two pump elements. Pump lement A charges energy for the non-charged barrel A and operates the mechanic for inserting a bullet into the charged barrel B. Pump element B does it the same but just in the opposite way: charge B and load A. This would require atleast one charged barrel two shoot properly. Well, you could atleast have double magazine size and alternating ammunition. Yeah, I know - that's a weird feature. But exactly this is what I find interesting - trying out new models til I reached modern mechanics. I guess I'll never reach them cause I don't a have good way of storing energy inside bullets. Charged bullets would consist of a 4x4/3x3 size, a rubber and a 2x2/1x1 projectile. Yeah, that's something I could try out... However, it's a huge caliber... plus that I need to eject it some way. Yep, that's a possiblity. Breechloaders! I love the simplicity of their mechanic.

Also, I can't think of something more interesting at the moment. I never thought I could get into gun mechanics that deep.

5.16.2010

I can't waaaaaaiiiit

1 Comments
Gaaaaah, I can't anymore til monday. I even create a huge pile bullets to hopelessly shoot things so far away that aiming resembles more rocket-launching that handgunning. Oh noes, this must end. Need. More. LEGOs.

Bullet holder

0 Comments
Holding bullets is annoying. Therefore I created a well-placed bullet holder for my latest gun. You can know rotate the gun in whatever direction you want and the 5 bullets inside the holder will always stay where they are:

It can be removed and replaced with a fresh holder. If there's no other holder it's easy to put new bullets in. To take out or put in bullets, just open the black flap and it won't wobble around. In closed state bullets won't drop.

I'm glad that doesn't hinder one from shooting comfortably. Too bad about the just 4 bullets. If I just had more LEGOs... Muahahaha, just one more day and I'll get more of them! And a motor! Yay. Unfortunately I'll have to a big set. And that means a lot of money and such. I hope there are white LEGO Technic pieces out! I wish I could create such cool designs with black pieces for the technical components and white pieces for it's shell. That would look fabulously futuristic! I must say I'm pretty inspired by how Borderlands randomzies it's guns. Especially from a technical parts cause they use all kinds of magazins, barrels and decorations etc to make them flexible and diverse. Good stuff. There once was a game called "They" where you could customize your weapon to no end including own textures drawn wih ingame editor! A shame that they canceled it.

5.15.2010

Pumppistol

0 Comments
This is a revision of my first muzzle loader. It still fires 2x2 bullets but has better range and slightly better accuracy. I also included a better sight design which almost perfectly fits the guns spread. The major goal was a more compact lock design and more stability.


Additional to it's now rectangular format I filled empty parts to give it more weight and stability. Holding it feels much better and you can even throw it away without doing any harm to it. I really need more blue LEGO connector sticks. It looks fabulous! Black and blue, much better than black and grey...

As you can also see, there's a huge frame around the muzzle. This thing is the reason why I call it "Pumppistol". It's a pump-action mechanic to charge the rubber. You can also use it as a grip for better aiming and such - works excellent!

Finally I also made changes to the ammunition. Tests resulted in less ricochets and more stable trajectory. I'm thinking changing the ammunition and barrel for my next gun... 1x1 ammunition has a much better aerodynamics and doesn't require so many parts. These two factors work together since more pieces means more edges, more holes and thus worse air flow. But well, this also means more design specialisation like create a "basket" inside the bullet pusher to keep the bullet on it's path (it's not possible to create a rubberpowered 1x1 bullet pusher using LEGOs). Yeah, that's it. I build some targets, too. Hitting works finde under 2 meters, everything beyond needs some more work with the iron sight. I think a better variant of it should support more knobs on the barrel to adjust the aiming stick thing depending on distance (gotta need some more research for desribing it properly).

I guess this model is almost finished. Some cosmetic changes here and there, a longer barrel for better pump-action grip and only one rubber for the bullet pusher. I just got an idea of how to create a magazine-based model using two barrels: one for pulling back the rubber and one for shooting the bullet. Pulling snaps it to the lower barrel and shooting to the upper. Will probably feature pump-action, too (it's just a great and comfortable way of charging energy - plainly genius for purely rubber-powered guns). I'm not sure about the magazine. The main advantage of using two stacked barrels in a rubber-powered gun is that you can insert bullets from left and right without having that annoying rubber band in your way. What's bad about this concept is that you need to adjust the sight to work with bullets not coming directly from the barrel below the sight. They come from one barrel lower which may result in an even better aiming with low-velocity bullet like the ones I use.

However, gun type one is almost finished. Good job everyone!

Wrong

0 Comments
I was wrong when I said I'll only build three weapons (just think about the awful lot of prototypes I'll need). I'll only build three types of guns: a muzzle-loaded one, a lever/pump/bolt-action one with automatic reloading and a machine gun. Today I improved my muzzle-loaded version and replaced the ramrod with a pump-action component. If I make the barrel longer and get more pieces I think I'll have a quite good version of it. Works quite good so far. It also shoots 40% more far and much harder than before. For my next I need to replace the 2x2 caliber. I found out that it's just two heavy and has the wrong format for flying properly. I tried a iron ball and it worked great, not to say much better! Another problem is barrel with needs to be open for the rubber and such. The MG won't need a rubber, but the the others ones need. I also need to switch from two rubbers for the bullet pusher to just one, cause I noticed some ricochets every 10th shot. One rubber tends to have power from time to time which really is annoying and doesnt make testing/aiming better. However, the new muzzle-loaded variant is much more far-shooting and accurate than the previous one. Featuring a more solid ammo and a grip plus pump-action it's also more comfortable.

Designing guns is somehow fun. I don't like why they are made and used, but if it comes to just building them for aiming and shooting at still-standing and inanimate objects it's totally ok. I mean shooting is also really fun if it doesn't harm other lifeforms. I thought about sharing the instructions of my final models, but well... I don't always think so. I don't want to be responsible for the things some bad guy could do to other others with my guns. I'm still thinking and unless I get an idea how to make it better I'll keep quite about how to exactly build them and how they work in detail etc.

Well, I'll try to improve the pump mechanic a bit, conceptually. I don't have enough parts so I'll wait til Monday (when I finally get MORE PARTS and a MOTOR) and integrate them into the next model. I'm not sure but I guess I'll build the MG first. I have a rather simple constructions in mind and hope it will work flawless. I'll probably not be able to build an ammunition belt but that's ok. Also, the smaller caliber will make it easier to create a simple, rubber-powered magazine with longer bullets and MORE room for whatever stuff I want to shoot. I have a lot of small parts I can use for it, so guess that's the way to go for now.

5.13.2010

Why I need plastic gunpowder

0 Comments
I build a second gun! This time completely with lever to charge rubber energy and magazine containung three bullets. But well, it was a bad concept. The point is... My first gun was the most simplistic you can build in LEGO and the most reliable one: shot energy and bullet insertion by hand. It has many design advantages: you dont need energy inside your bullet (for e.g. gunpowder) and you don't need to cope with unreliable reloading mechanisms.

Storing energy inside every bullet is a little annoying since you need to prepare and build them. It would need atleast one rubber in it which creates a pulse intense enough to fire the whole projectile through the barrel. Another variant could be a shell, a rubber and a projectile where the shell is really just a placeholder for the previous firing mechanic. You somehow release the rubber and it flies of the shell. After it shell and rubber and be ejected via some kind of level-based reloading mechanic. Well, that must be a huge shell and very small projectile I guess. An advantage of this is definitely that you dont need to build a barrel with empty brick lines for the rubber and such. You can create an accurate one, even replacable if you really want! Yep, thats great but resembles too much a modern gun (which I really don't want). Also, I love putting a lot of different into the barrel just to test if it works. I was even able to put very small lego parts (like the very old LEGO gold tokens) into my first guns barrel and it worked well. This new gun concept would be rather useless this way... I want a better mechanic.

The other advantage of my first gun was reliable reloading and fast left/right aiming. The second gun was prone to jamming because there was no way to stop bullets from rolling into the barrel (independent from where the bullet pusher was). It is possible to work around this but I'm really not interested in sitting down more than 1 day for a concept. My philosophy it that a hobby like LEGO guns shouldn't take more than two days for one model. Otherwise it would be like programming and making complicated concepts which I really want to avoid. Mechanics are like programs this way: the less compex, the more stable. I only want to keep working ones instead of interesting concepts.

Another, better way of removing all these jamming problems would be to design a better bullet pusher and a solid barrel without holes and such. It would need some kind of pumpgun-style frame around the barrel the store it energy. Main advantage: You can put in ANYTHING you want which fits into the barrel! Including multiple smaller projectiles (like pellets used in shotguns) and whatever not interesting concepts. I'll design some alternatives to existing LEGO guns and find out what's possible to without extremely complex designs. I'm not sure about storing energy inside bullets. The main advantage of LEGO guns is that you can create bullets in a very easy way without included energy. I don't want to mimic how guns do in reallife. I'll find another way. Step by step I say. Jumping too many key frames never is good.

Next monday I'll buy some new LEGOs and a set of motor parts! After I finding a way to make a gun with magazine I'll create a fully automatic LEGO gun with ammunition belt. And that will require some more concepts. However, I'll only create these two guns after my first one. Three guns in a whole are enough to explore what's possible and interesing with LEGO. I'm not a gun freak, I don't need to create millions of variants of just one mechanic. That's just silly. And not necessary.

5.09.2010

So I build a gun

0 Comments
Yep, I build a gun. A LEGO gun! I had one working prototype, two partially finished ones and another concept was unable to make. At last its a very simple muzzleloader with extend rubber durability. Here, look at this:


It uses a studless 2x2 "brick caliber" with variable bullet length from 2 t0 13 bumps/holes. Completely created using LEGO Technic pieces, it's not as a robust as other LEGO guns but lightweight and accurate. Due to it's heavy and bulky ammo the shot wont get very far (around 1,5 meters when shooting from 1,6 meters above the ground without aiming up). However, it isn't meant to shoot farther.

I'm satisfied with the result and can't believe that it works that well. My biggest concern was the tradeoff between the rubber band used for firing and the trigger/lock mechanic. I got several ideas how to get it working but always stopped after failing. The final result is similar to how the snap mechanism of primitive child guns work (a spring, two pairs of teeth and a projectile). It's by far the best way of storing energy without sacrifizing smooth triggering. I also created some kind of magazine where you can take single bullets from one point and it always pushes new ones to the place where you took the previous one from. I now, it's not in the puicture - for one reason: wasn't that reliable. Sometimes it just smashes all bullet out cause I could'nt find a good way of making the bullet extractable AND reloadable. It's an unreliable bidirectional thing, I will this magazine for my next gun instead. It will be a Reapeater with long barrel for high accuracy and fire power. Yep, thats the next step (historically, too!). And I relly need more LEGOs...

How to shoot:
  • use the ramrod and push it in the barrel til it snaps
  • insert a bullet (or two, who knows!)
  • aim
  • pull the trigger

5.03.2010

LEGO guns

0 Comments
There are things out in the world I can't just ignore. Like LEGO guns. I once build a gun in KNEX and a huge catapult in LEGO. But since my mind wasn't affected by all the modern weaponary we can see nowadays, it absolutely satisfied my boyish needs for "bad things". Today this has changed I say you. I googled for "LEGO guns" and found extremely awesome things you can build with LEGO. And well, this is sowhat geeky! I just need to build one too (or more!).

Check this out:
As you will clearly see, they all work! Some use bricks as ammo but most keep shooting rubber gums (although they may shoot their own parts when manufactured badly). I'll definitely create an improved version of the catapult I create 10 years ago or so. And I need to get a motor.