Sniper Rifle Tutorial

If you wish to recreate Zam's sniper rifle as seen in Attack of the Clones, then you will first need to purchase a Kentucky Flintlock replica. You can try your hand at making the butt stock yourself, but due to the fact you will require all the hardware as well it really seems like a whole lot of work to get very far in the project.

I suggest purchasing a replica made by Denix Replicas as this is the closest I've seen to actual scaled size. It also has very accurate hardware. This is a picture of the replica…

They can be found on ebay for about $100.00, however if you really want to take a chance and be real frugal, a lot of suppliers may have defective rifles that they will sell cheap. I bought a second rifle from for only $15.00 because it was unsellable. I purchased the second rifle for the needed fore stock addition I'll discusss later.

The following is a list of supplies you will need to make the sniper rifle as I made mine;

  • 1. (1) Denix Kentucky Flintlock Replica Rifle
  • 2. (1) 5' chome plated pipe for the barrel
  • 3. (2) inexpensive flashlights
  • 4. 1/2” PVC Pipe
  • 5. Sheet metal (thin and able to be cut with tin snips)
  • 6. (1) 5/16th” X 48” wooden dowel
  • 7. (2) blocks of 2×4 wood, each piece 2” X 3”
  • 8. brass coathanger
  • 9. PC-7 Epoxy
  • 10. Plastic weld
  • 11. package of (20) #9 O-Rings (5/8” OD 7/16” ID 3/32 wall)

The above list will cover most needed items to get this completed. I did not include a materials list for the side mount because you will have to hunt down what works best for you. I will describe how i made mine but i can not give an accurate material list as i pieced a lot of micellanious parts together to make it.

First thing you will need to do is disassemble the denix rifle into all it's parts. Save everything for now.

Once you have it disassembled, paint the stock with rustolium flat black paint. Some people suggest that you use a wire brush and sand down the brass parts. You can if you want. I started to and realized how difficult it was and quickly changed my mind. Each metal piece needed ( the two side plates near the trigger, ramrod receiver, tigger guard and front stock brass end) should be at the very least roughly sanded prior to painting with a gun metal grey color. After the gun metal I then used rub and buff silver on the parts and rubbed them until some of the gun metal showed through to give it a weathered look. once those are painted you can reattached the side plates and the trigger guard.

side mount

For the side mount piece I did a lot of digging for parts that would work for the assembly. Here is a picture of what I initially came up with;

In addition to this kit you will need some small black wire, coathanger(brass colored), 1/2” wooden dowel (about 5 inches long), one nail, hotglue and some electrical tape. I also later substituted a few parts that worked better than the ones shown in the above picture. Instead of the red hose washers, I picked up some nylon washers about the same size as well as a couple smaller sized washers. I also substituted the nickle washers for some machine spacers of the same general size as they were much thinner and looked better in the end.

First you will have to drill out the nylon washers to the correct size hole. It is very important to make these fit as tight as possible over the wooden dowel. I used a dremel tool with a sanding bit. Once you get all your washers drilled out then you simply slide them over the wooden dowel in the proper order as seen here;

Keep in mind even though the picture shows the old rubber hose washers and the old nickle washers, the assembly is the same with the new substituted materials. This picture also shows the order of the additional PVC parts as well as the rubber beveled washers at the end.

Once you get this assembly, you will have to cover the first PVC piece with epoxy and let harded over night so you can get the correct beveled shape. The second PVC piece shown in the picture as a silver piece towards the right side was detailed with a dremel tool and a lot of patience.

The last part is the beveled washers, which are stacked and then held onto the end of the dowel by the nail.

Other than sanding, detailing and painting the piece this is the basic set up. Here is the finished version;

You can also see the small greeblie to the inside of the side mount. This is where the two wires originate from that connect to the side of the side mount. This was made by using a #8 1/4-20 machine screw, a hex nut, aluminum spacer and a hex bolt end cap. The raise area in the center is just layered electrical tape as is the spacer inbetween the aluminum spacer and the hex nut on the end. I sacrificed an old pair of headphones for the wires. Cut it at the area where the two are joined and hot glued that to the back of the greeblie, then cut the two tails to the length needed to come around and be hot glued to the side mount.

Here is a break down of parts and where they go for the sidemount greeblie and scope;

  • 1. machine spacers with 1/2”ID
  • 2. Nylon washers
  • 3. various size cut 1/2” PVC pipe
  • 4. 1/2” Pvc pipe coupling filled with PC-7 epoxy
  • 5. another PVC 1/2” coupling detailed with dremel
  • 6. rubber beveled washers stacked and nailed onto dowel
  • 7. eyepiece from toy binoculars
  • 8. two canabalized tops of cheap walmart flashlights
  • 9. area where PC-7 epoxy was used to create bevel
  • 10. 1/2” PVC pipe
  • 11. O-rings

This is the small “electrode” greeblie that sits next to the side mount and its identified parts;

  • 1. canabalized end to headphone speaker wires
  • 2. 1/4-20 hex nut for size #8 machine screw(screw is also used to hold everthing)
  • 3&4. electrical tape wraped to desired thickness
  • 5. aluminum spacer
  • 6. rounded 1/4-20 hex cap
  • 7. nylon thumb screw dremeled to size

Once you have the side mount made you can secure it to the rifle by drilling through the existing hole in the plate and attaching with a small screw.

The next area needed to address is the sheet metal end caps on each section of stock.

the labels as seen in this picture are showing the different parts i had to cut out for the endcaps. Number one indicates a split that is actually seen on the real rifle as displayed at an exhibition. I added the split for authenticity but it's not needed. The split goes around the other side as well. Number two indicated part one of the end caps. Cut a strip of sheet metal anout 3/4” wide and use the stock to form it. Once you have the desired size trim it so it just folds over the top. Be sure it doesnt go into the channel to deep as it will interfere with the barrel seating properly. You will then have to cut the face plate of the endcap(#3) and secure it in place with epoxy. I cleaned up the joints with a hotglue weld and then covered everything first with rub and buff and then repainted over that with testors silver paint. I used the same size o rings as for the scope here(#4) but doubled them up for a wider band. Each stock end, with the exception of the final outside end cap is done this way. You will use the stock endcap from the denix for the final end piece.

Here is a better shot of the split joint. The ramrod is made from the 48” 5/16th dowel in the material list, covered with silver leaf rub and buff;

This is the basic process to make the clips;

First wrap the stock with the sheet metal strip

Then cut out the face plate and trim to fit. It's easy to trim if you leave a slight overhang when putting on the first strip. Use either goop or epoxy to hold the face plate down on the front of the stock piece.

Then use hot clue to fill the crack and smooth it out with the tip of the hot glue gun.

Once you have it smooth, file everything down and clean the excess glue off with either a sanding bit on a dremel or a razor blade. cover with silver rub and buff and then paint over that with silver testors model paint. You should end up with this;

Once all your end caps are done you need to assemble the stock and barrel. You will first need to attach the scope. You should have your scope mounts ready and assembled before you finish assembly(see scope construction). All you need to do is drill through the barrel and into the mounts and secure it with two sheet rock screws. to attach the rest of the stock and barrel, you will have to sand out the butt stock barrel end area for the chome handle to fit inside as the handle is a tad bigger than the original barrel. Once youve got the barrel fitted you can secure it with a sheet rock screw (trimmed with dremel to about 3/8th inch) be sure to countersink the heads but do so carefully as there is very little room for error as the stock is very thin. You will be drilling in the ramrod area of the stock into the barrel.

The first added stock piece comes after a 6 inch gap that remains empty with nothing but the barrel and ramrod showing. This is attached the same way as you did the first screw into the butt stock to hold the barrel in place. Once you have the second stock piece attached, slide the ranroad into place and check for proper alignment. Use the ramrod to use as a guide for the last piece of stock. If you did not purchase a seperate Denix you will have to either make a stock piece of your own or you could also try casting a replica piece from the one that came with your Denix before you secure it to your rifle.

After you have all your stock in place, attach the end cap to the last piece of stock, slide the ramrod through all encaps and hotglue or epoxy the endcap of the ramroad in place. You may need to take a final height measurment by having the future zam hold the weapon butt down on the floor. It should just come over the headline. It should also be noted that the barrel extends from the end of the last stock piece about 4 inches. The ramroad extends about 2.

As an added detail, I filled the end of the barrel with epoxy and sanded it flush. I then drilled a 3/8ths inch hole in the center of that and used rub and buff and silver paint to cover it. I did this to make the barrel end appear more relaistic rather than having a huge opening like this;

Here is what the barrel looks like after filling with PC-7 epoxy, sanding, drilling out the center and using rub and buff silver;

scope assembly

When making the scope you will need to dremel off the ends of two cheap plastic flashlights. I then cleaned out all the lightbulbs and added flashcones inside. I hotglued the lense back in place in one top, after drawing crosshairs on it with a sharpie marker. Place the side you drew the cross hairs on face up inside so it looks more like they were fused onto the glass from the outside. I then canabalized a toy binocular that i got from walmart. I hotglued the eyepiece on the other flashlight top (this is not canon, but i thought it looked cool, plus it made a slight magnification when looking into the scope) You will then have to make sure you tackle the mount issue. I drilled 7/8ths holes into my blocks of wood, one close to the top and the second about 7/16th of an inch below the first one. You will then cut the block of wood directly through the center of the second hole as that will be the area that sits on the barrel. In this picture you can see where I cut the tops off the flashlights and also see a first draft of my mounts to get an idea. I used the dremel sanding attachment to shape the mounts after gettign the size close with a box cut saw. If you have access to a ban saw then it should be easier making the mounts, I did not.

You will also need to make the mounts with a tapered bottom as i did in the second version here;

You can also see how the bevel is made with the PC-7 epoxy. Just use a straight edge and apply excess amounts of the epoxy, then drag it around the piece. I also used hotglue to hold it straight and in place prior to putting on the epoxy. Once the epoxy starts to harden (about 2 hours) you can then use your finger to tap it and get it as smooth as possible to eliminate any sanding issues once it is fully cured. You can also at this time use a razor knife to cut the end so you have a squared end for the o ring to sit against.

DO NOT forget to slide your mounts onto your scope before doing the second end. After you have everything attached and sanded, I used testors silver and flat black paint to detail the scope. Here is a shot of the finished and attached scope for reference;

Feel free to email me with any questions.

JD 2007/05/11 12:51

costuming/rifle.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/18 20:42 (external edit)