March 14, 2016

Black Bullet Rentarou Satomi's gun

Hello cosplayers!

As some of you might remember I've mentioned cosplaying Rentarou Satomi from Black Bullet for a while ago. The thing is that I actually already have the whole outfit completed and my original plans was to debut him already last summer but yeah, I chose not to debut him back then because I was missing the gun. The gun is such an important part that I didn't feel okay going without it and well, I'm horrible at coming up with poses to do without a prop anyway. xD And besides, the series is not called Black Bullet for no reason – aka going without his trusty weapon felt pretty much the same as going without pants, lol.

Rentarou reference.
Rentarou Satomi uses a Springfield Armory XD as his primary gun and in the series he says that it's just "a normal gun". Well, it might not be completely normal in the series either but I tell you that it's a fucking nightmare to find one for cosplay purposes!! I've spent over half a year, on and off, searching for something suitable and oh lord is it stupidly hard to come by. I've plowed through eBay multiple times with no results, I've checked all airsoft online shops that I know of (within Europe) and I've even checked toy stores for toy guns both online and in real life. 

My original plan was to buy an airsoft replica of a close-enough gun, but the more I thought about it the more I didn't feel like spending 1500 SEK on a prop, for a cosplay that I likely won't use all that much just not worth it. It would have been different if I had been an airsoft player too but sadly I'm not, although I do have an interest in trying it at least. Oh and for those curious the guns I were eyeing for Rentarou were either this one or this; I know that they are not 100% accurate but they were the closest I could find. (note: Swedish store. Those were the only Springfield Armory guns they carried)

Rentarou's gun reference.
After deciding that even though an airsoft replica would have been the most ideal choice it was by far out of what I was willing to pay for a single prop. My next choice was to check for a similar toy gun online and oh lord I won't even tell how many online stores I went through without finding anything even remotely similar; at some point I thought that it would be okay if I could at least find a damn glock but even that was seemingly too much to ask for. I don't know what's up with the miniscule amount of toy guns (you pretty much only find revolvers, cowboy guns and some smaller-than-real-deal pistols or shot guns, if lucky) currently on the market but I guess it has something to do with the heated debates about if it's morally right for children to play with toy guns. I do have my opinions about that but I won't open up my wordy chest about it here because that's not the purpose of this post and yeah, I could easily do a whole blog post about it. xD 
Feel free to skip until the next block of text but yeah, for those really curious I can say that I support kids playing with toy guns and that's mainly because I see nothing wrong with it – kids don't think about death etc the same way adults do. I remember as a kid I'd play war with my best childhood friend during school breaks and we made pretend guns with our fingers and yeah, when we shot each other we just pretended to fall down, counted to 10 and then we could continue playing again. It was never violent or unfair in any way, just fun and a way to up our reaction speeds and imagination. So yeah, even though I played that kind of games as a kid I grew up to be a normal adult who knows what's wrong and right. Playing with toy guns doesn't make you a murderer or whatever and especially not if you otherwise had a good upbringing; I'm sure parenting and environment plays a bigger role than what toys you had when young. That's all for this quickie opinion. :)

Because I couldn't find any toy guns neither online or in physical toy stores I gave up on finding a gun for a while and just put this costume on ice. I even tried to find some damaged second-hand or otherwise non-functional airsoft guns on auction sites that I could use because yeah, I just needed it for looks and not for use; I found some reparation project guns but none had the general shape I was looking for.
I even tried to look for those brightly colored plastic practice guns but yeah, couldn't find those either on eBay in the right models...

Anime screenshot of Rentarou pointing his gun.
I've noticed that Rentarou's gun isn't consistent in the anime either so yeah, at some point I just decided "screw perfect accuracy" and decided on just finding whatever fake gun that I could that was as cheap as possible and that I could modify to fit, if necessary. I thought that most people would probably not even pay as much attention to it than I would – as long as I had a damn gun that would be better than none at all, lol. What you mean I got sick of hours upon hours of fruitless searches? :DD

I also checked online for an actual character prop gun for cosplay purposes but the only store that showed up seemed so fishy and the photos looked stolen anyway so yeah, I wasn't too keen on buying from them. Finding cosplay props for that masked guy from Black Bullet was easy but for some reason finding a gun for Rentarou, who's the goddamn main character, is impossible. What the heck?? ლ( `Д’ ლ)

Okay so, it was pretty clear that a toy gun would be the cheapest and still easiest to find. I had plowed through all local toy shops and even checked the multiple second-hand stores several times (that's where I got lucky for my last gun project!). I was annoyed because I found toy guns that would have been suitable if only they had been in the right scale. All good ones were always smaller than their true size!! (I guess so that it would be even more obvious that they were toys)

Official artwork.
I suddenly remembered that those annual outdoor markets in my town used to have toy sellers that carried a nice variety of toy guns! Luckily this came to my mind just a few weeks before one of the markets came to town and so, of course, I headed there with my bro, Frozen Angel. It was on 10th March and the market stands were all closing so only 3 of them were still open when we arrived – but much to my joy two of the still open ones were indeed the toy sellers! I instantly saw that they had an interesting sortiment of toy guns for rather affordable prices. I stood there for probably close to 10 minutes wondering which pistol I should take and when the Finnish guy, who was the seller, came and asked me what I was looking for I even said that I needed a toy gun to finish my costume. He was a really funny guy who joked around and seemed to really like selling toys; he gave me some recommendations and I walked home with a 6 € cheapo police gun set.

I know it's not super accurate or anything but yeah, fuck that. :) The size was good, it was the most square-ish pistol the seller had and it was the cheapest too. I also noticed that the "secret mission" text was thankfully just a sticker so I could easily peel it off and have an anonymous toy gun, lol. The other ones all had the name of the gun type molded into the plastic itself so yeah, no easy way to get rid of it.
I obviously had no use for the police badge nor the rubber ammunitions (although they were hella nostalgic) so when I noticed that the gun didn't actually even work, aka shoot off the ammos, I wasn't even disappointed lol. I planned to modify it unusable anyway, just to be on the safe side because yeah, you never know with con rules.

The first thing I did once the gun was out of the package was that I peeled off the sticker, no problemas! After that I shortened the pipe; there surely would have been easier and neater ways to do it but I went ghetto savage and just cut it off with a motherfucking ordinary food knife, ou yeah!

It works but it takes some patience. xD I proceeded to sand the rough edges with 120 grit sand paper, it worked just fine and the shortened pipe was quickly nice again.
I want to mention though that please don't be rough when cutting off the pipe; I accidentally was and noticed afterwards that the plastic next to the gun's mouth had cracked at the seams. It might not be that much of a big deal since it's easy to just glue in place but yeah, it might still ruin your prop. The plastic is thin and because it's hollow inside it doesn't have much support so yeah, if you hold it down too roughly when cutting then it will crack, sooner or later.

Just showing the crack.
Next up I figured that I'd need to open the whole thing to get rid of that protruding launcher thing in the back I really didn't want it there because it was ugly and inaccurate as fuck. But much to my annoyment I realized that the only screw driver I had was way too big to even fit into the tiny holes so yeah, off we go to visit mom and stepdad and borrow some of his tools. It's so convenient because he pretty much has all the tools I'll ever need for my cosplay prop projects, lololol.
I got to borrow a set of mini-size screw drivers and on the same go I picked up the hot glue gun too. When I got home I screwed up all the tiny little screws and opened up the whole shebang.

Opened toy gun. All parts still intact.
It's... very empty inside. Then again, that's pretty much what I expected.
I first took out the pipe part and then I noticed that I had to break the launcher's triangular tip to get off the trigger from the rod; it took some violence and a knife but I managed to get it off. I removed the spring and the transparent rubbery presser thingy (not visible above) next which, by the way, had some yucky grease on it. Some of the same grease was on the rod too. I guess that's what you should expect when it's a really cheap China-produced toy...

The parts, which are mentioned above, removed.
Even after removing the triangular tip the rod still protruded from the back of the gun so yeah, I just decided to scrap it all together. Luckily the trigger didn't need the rod to stay in place; there was a hole for it where it was locked in place once both halves of the gun were on. I noticed that, once the rod was gone, the trigger lost all its tension and just rattled around when I shaked the gun (when re-assembled). I thought that I could just as well set it in place so I took the hot glue gun and filled the hole with glue and pressed the trigger's matching hole into the hole on the gun's body and waited for it to dry. So many holes. The trigger stuck nicely and now it won't move anymore, which is for the better because no silly rattling sounds anymore and now even the con security guys will be able to try it, if they are suspicious, and notice that you can't even press down the trigger, hah!

Rod completely removed and the trigger glued in place.
Next up I painted the pipe black. I thought it would be easier to paint it before I screwed the whole thing closed again. I used some black gloss spray paint that works on many kinds of surfaces.

Painted pipe. I used the rod as a holder, yay usefulness!
After the pipe had dried I put it back in place and then I re-assembled and closed the gun. After that I took my hot glue gun and filled in the screw holes they bothered me. With the holes filled I just painted the whole thing with the same black glossy spray paint and left it to dry. Once it was dry I finished it off on the next day with a coating of gloss varnish. I left it to dry one last time.

I hung it to dry in the shower by some rope.
Finished modified toy gun. (ignore my hand, it looks retarded)
Now my gun is done! It's not all that accurate (wrong model and all) but oh well, it's not the end of the world; as long as I have a damn prop it's fine and hey, it was cheap! :'D I could of course have built on top of it to change the shape but honestly, I'm lazy and don't want to waste my worbla on this lol. I'd rather save it for some cosplays I'm more likely to wear a lot and for a long time. *coughmonsterhunterarmorscough* 

But yeah, maybe one day I'll improve it into a more accurate one, if I ever happen to come by an inexpensive Springfield Armory airsoft gun, that is. One can always dream...

Thanks for reading! See you!


Aki Ame Ōkami said...

I think I am going to be watching Black Bullet very soon... that character is adorable.
For some reason I just couldn't stop laughing at the picture of the gun hanging in the shower.
Wonderful job with it. It look very nice!

Sipsinekku said...

Rentarooo!! Tykkäsin Black Bulletista, ois kyl kiva cossata siitä jotakuta, Enjuu tai sit mietin sitä yhtä pimuu joka kuoli :'D

Shiro Samurai said...

Do iiiiiiit. 8D
En oikeest ole nähnyt muita Black Bullet cossaajia joten olis kyllä aika munkki jos cossaat! Voitais ehkä tehä ryhmäki johonki coniin, jos kiinostaa. :)