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Author Topic: Good places to buy cheap materials?  (Read 4197 times)
Deck Hand
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« on: February 20, 2010, 12:32:32 am »

Right, my first topic, and here goes.

Having accumulated a vast amount of money (in the region of £500-I'm only 15 by the by) and I thought about either making a Bren gun from scratch, or modifying my L96 sniper rifle. Given that modifying would cost less and be easier, along with it being my first steampunk project (being completely new to the whole thing and having nothing save an old pocket watch on lay-away that could be called SP). Given the nature of my project, I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions for places to purchase cheap wood and metal. Being as I am doing Design and Technology for GCSE, I have access to the school's workshop, which should adequately provide for all the crafting to be done, although any hints and tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

If anyone can forward any sites or businesses (preferably situated in the UK) that would be marvellous. At a later point I may decide to make a blog of sorts on here, detailing the process once I've got everything together.

Regards and thanks in advance
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 12:34:22 am by LuckyNinja » Logged
Rogue Ætherlord
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Steampunk Facilitator MVSS

« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 12:40:20 am »

If you are using schools workshop then I would strongly advise you to talk to your Design Tech teacher and the department technicians.  They may well be able to help with the suppliers who handle the school's requirements. Central purchasing organisations are one of the cheapest sources for brass etc.

If you let people know roughly what area you are in they may be able to advise with local suppliers etc.  Materials bought mail order will incur often prohibitively high delivery costs.

Unfortunately making a replica of a Bren Gun (even a totally inert, non firing one but if it looks like a weapon produced after 1870) it must either be painted a hideous flourescent colour to make it clear it is a replica or you are commiting an offence under the violent crime reduction act.   Modifying other modern replica firearms comes under the same law so please be careful. Mind you with the vagueries of British Law your parent/guardian could buy and keep for you a real deactivated Bren for around £300.  Check out companies like Ryton Arms for prices.


Deck Hand
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 01:53:18 am »

Thank you TimeTinker. I've already asked my tech teacher, but he's been as helpful as a bucket of spoons wrapped around a yellow brick coated in frozen stupid.

I shall try looking up a few more local companies.

Oh and regarding the VCRB (may it rot in hell), I do airsofting at a proper site and I (that is to say my dad) hold a UKARA license, so "I" am allowed to purchase RIFs (Replica Imitation Firearms) without being legally obliged to have it painted two-tone.
Otto Von Pifka
Zeppelin Admiral
United States United States

goggles? they're here somewhere.....

« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 10:49:10 am »

are you looking to have it still fire airsoft? that complicates things a bit but not too much.

if you are ambitious enough, why not design something from scratch? use ideas from all your favorites and combine them in one.

as far as materials go, repurposing is the cheapest way to go by far. try to see things as shapes and you can find things laying about and in the dustbin that will yield lots of pieces to fiddle with. depending on how sturdy you want something, you can forgo heavy metal pieces and go plastic and wood with possibly sheet metal skin on certain spots. good paintwork can make things look amazingly real. adding real metal accents to spots that can use the help will seal the deal.
this is made from a 2x12 board and a piece of PVC drainpipe, with some bits of plywood and wire and baseboard trimboard. the stained wood stock and the black receiver are one continuous piece of wood. the front sight is a steel pipe hanging strap. all bits were salvaged. I spent maybe 10 dollars on paint.

I was told that in the movie league of extraordinary gentlemen, the big blocky machine guns the bad guys were using were AK's in clamshell cases. you could start with a fairly cheap base airsoft and remodel the outside completely.

you say you have a good bit of money saved up, but I think you will find the less money you manage to spend on the project, the more satisfaction you will have at the end.
Angus A Fitziron
Zeppelin Overlord
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'

« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 11:44:13 am »

Lucky, your tech teacher may be more helpful if he can see that your project is properly thought through and could form a legitimate project in support of your course work. After all, it is his job to deliver an education, not be a source of material to further extra mural activities - particularly those that he may not understand. As Time Tinker says, your school is probably your best bet for materials at prices we can only dream of!

TimeTinker, whilst I am interested technically and historically in firearms, they don't feature much in my life - but I was intrigued to see in an art gallery in Gosforth, a piece of art (a table lamp, as I recall) made from a presumably decommisioned Bren gun!

Airship Artificer, part-time romantik and amateur Natural Philosopher

"wee all here are much troubled with the loss of poor Thompson & Sutton"
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010, 10:43:38 pm »

By no means do I consider myself a firearms designer other than rough concept sketches and the occasional LARP-RPG prop item but happy to offer a few works-in-progress pieces posted at deviantArt, feel so invited to contact me if you care for other details regarding such.
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