Auspex Scanner Prop Build Part 2 – Warhammer 40,000 Cosplay

by | Jun 15, 2017 | Science Fiction Props, Tutorial, Warhammer 40k Props, Workshop Blog | 0 comments

Part 1 of the Auspex Scanner prop build concluded with the completion of the main body of the scanner as well as some of the detail parts. If you want to read a nice fluffy intro about why I decided to build this fugly brick of a prop, skip back to part 1. However, if you’re here for the gratuitous naked MDF photos, keep reading.

Building the Auspex Scanner Prop

Auspex scanner prop - 3D printed parts make up the surface detail for the front panel.

I made the front case details (buttons, knob and screen surround) on my new 3D printer. This was a test case exercise for me, mainly because I’ve not had much experience doing this sort of work until recently. The screen surround and the LED meter worked really well, and were much easier to produce in 3D than using traditional methods, however, the buttons were no easier if I’m honest. If you want to build your own Auspex scanner prop, here are the .STL files, feel free to use them however you like.

Auspex scanner prop fascia

Here you can see all of the pieces dry fit to make sure everything would fit together correctly.

  1. As I mentioned in Part 1 of the build, I added 2 pins to the battery cover to keep things nice and secure while I’m doing my Space Marine interpretive dance routine. Corresponding holes were drilled into the body of the scanner. I found that the neodymium magnets alone would allow the cover to shift a small amount.
  1. The observant amongst you will have noticed the appearance of rivets. Yes, in the grim darkness of the far future they’ve forgotten how to weld, and thus everything is held together by rivets. But hey, the buildings all look like they are from 12th Century France, so it’s probably best not to start pulling at that thread. I use furniture tacks to replicate domed rivets. Simply drill a hole and use CA glue to secure them.

The next job on the list was to give the Auspex scanner prop an antenna. I used a short section of electrical conduit and plugged the end with a round piece of EVA Foam.

I filled much of the surface with car body filler and then got down to fine detail sanding. MDF needs a hard surface, otherwise it will absorb lots of paint and can swell up and distort. I was experimenting with filler for this job. Honestly, it worked better than I expected and produced a silky smooth finish. However, I’d still recommend Shellac as the best method for sealing MDF.

  1. After more reciprocal sanding action than is healthy for a grown man I moved onto paint. The Auspex scanner prop was primed with Vallejo black surface primer though my airbrush, which is my preferred method these days. However, a rattle can prime will work just as well.
Auspex Scanner Prop painting

he next stage involves dry brushing. If you’re not familiar with the process, there is a great guide here. Essentially you are using a very small amount of paint to pick out the raised details of a model. In this case, I drybrushed gunmetal onto the surface of the model to make it look like the paint at the edges had worn back to bare metal. At this point I sealed the paintwork with first gloss, then matt polyurethane varnish. This provides a very hard wearing finish. Matt clearcoat from a rattle can does a pretty good job as well.

Weathering the auspex scanner prop with an airbrush

I broke out the airbrush again to begin weathering the Auspex scanner prop. As this is tool of the Emperors finest Space Marines, I wanted the scanner to look like it was in good condition but battleworn. For me, this meant no rust, but accumulated dust/dirt. Using the airbrush I applied sand and coffee brown paint to where I thought the grime would collect. This effect can be achieved with brushes, but has to be done with a light touch.

I painted the buttons in garish primary colours. Don’t blame me, I didn’t invent the Warhammer 40,000 visual language. I gave the buttons and other controls a drybrush of light grey to give them a slightly worn look. Finally, the buttons were given a couple of coats of gloss varnish to make them look nice and plasticy!

The screen was cut from a piece of plastic packaging. You can see that I have not cut the ends of the furniture tacks that I used for rivets. This allowed me to place the front panel onto the Auspex scanner prop without having to use glue. This was very useful when it came to wiring it all up!

Completed Space Marine Auspex Scanner prop for Warhammer 40,000 Cosplay

After adding the LEDs and gluing the front panel down, the Auspex scanner prop was complete. I am writing a separate article about the wiring process for those that are interested, until then, Big Papa Google has probably got your back!

The Auspex scanner was a fun build of a prop that I’ve not really seen before. Most importantly, Charlotte seemed to be happy that I wasn’t working on another gun prop. That being said I’ve just started working on a 3D model of an Inferno Pistol… and then there’s the lasgun that I started working on a while ago… and I’ve always fancied a multimelta. Probably best stop this line of thought.

Until next time dearest imaginary reader.

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Dogless - Prop Up Shop

Prop Builder, 2x winner of Britain’s least convincing Milla Jovovich Impersonator of the year award.

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.