Princess Leia Blaster Repaint – From Rubies Toy to Prop

by | Feb 21, 2017 | Science Fiction Props, Star Wars Props, Uncategorized, Workshop Blog | 0 comments

My Princess Leia blaster repaint, along with a number of other projects have been on hold of late as the weather in the UK has been pretty grim. But last weekend saw temperatures approaching double digits. Brushing off the suggestion that this was “beach weather”, I deceided to get out the rattle cans and start priming.

I wrote a blog back at the beginning of the year discussing the merits of the Rubies Princess Leia blaster. Despite the toy like paint job and cheap as chips moulding, it does an impressive job of looking like the blaster Leia uses in Star Wars: A New Hope. If you’re the sort of radical thinker that likes to start a story from the beginning, you can read about my observations on the Rubies Princess Leia blaster here.

Before I get into the how and why of my Princess Leia blaster repaint, take a look at a couple of photos of the finished article. The observant among you may note that in the film there is no scorching on the end of Leia’s flash suppressor, however I applied the “it’s my toy and I’ll do what I want with it” principal. The truth of the matter is that the film used prop is very one dimensional colour wise, so I applied a little artistic licence in this aspect.

Rubies Princes Leia Blaster Repaint: A Guide

For many of you the following may seem obvious, but for those that are new to this sort of thing, here’s how I did it.

This is what you get straight out of the packet. A paint job that’s been applied with the sort of delicate care you would imagine of a 17th Century Navy Surgeon. Also of note, the seam lines (known as flash for some reason) give away the cheap nature of this toy. The first step in the process is to give it a good clean in soap and warm water, to get rid of any accumulated grease on the surface.

I used a cheap rotary tool and some sanding sponges to do away with the seam lines. Use a sanding or grinding bit to get rid of the worst of it, then work through the grades of sanding sponges until you get a nice smooth finish.

In some spots, I was left with recessed areas that could not be easily sanded away. These were filled with modelling putty. Squadron putty is great for this, but most products that are plastic safe will work).

The putty was left to cure for about an hour. While my putty said you could sand within 30 minutes, I wasn’t confident – putty often lies to you, it has no honour.

Painting The Blaster

Now we have a nice, smooth surface that is ready for primer we can finally get on with the Princess Leia blaster repaint. I forgot to take a picture of my primer coat – but since I was using black primer, it would look just like this anyway. There are plenty of great tutorials on the internet about spray painting with rattle cans, if you’re new to this, go and find one. I gradually build up my primer coat a little at a time using Halfords spray primer. Later I applied the top coat using Rustoleum Matt Black. Normally I would advise sticking to the same brand of paint, but through experimentation I know this combination has no adverse interactions.

Once the black was cured I hand painted a couple of recessed details that the spray paint couldn’t reach. I prefer to work with acrylic paints when hand painting. In this instance, I used Vallejo Black. I then dry brushed Vallejo Gun Metal over all of the metal details. If you’re new to drybrushing, check out this tutorial.

I then applied a small amount of bronze drybrushing in areas that I thought would be affected by heat. Once I was pretty happy with the paint job, I sealed the surface with a matt spray varnish.

That’s All folks!

There you have it. The Rubies Princess Leia blaster repaint is a nice simple weekend project, and produces a good representation of the screen used prop. As well as the repaint, I chose to drill a hole in the magazine area and fill my blaster with polyurethane resin. This both increases the weight of the blaster and make it less hollow sounding. Like any project, I can see a few areas that I’d like to go back and tweak – a makers work is never finished. Until next time, pew! pew! pew!

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Dogless - Prop Up Shop

Prop Builder, cutting mat enthusiast and part time Douglas Fir.

I’ve been making things since I was old enough to pronounce Lego. Consequently my maker life has been spent constructing, kit-bashing and scratch-building anything and everything that has taken my fancy. After dedicating my time to Wargaming, Model  Armour & Railways, I stumbled across what has now become an obsession – Prop building.