#02: Specification Style Guide for Custom Rayguns

Guidelines for RayGun Building

1. When wiring for lights, be sure in-advance a hole exists from the barrel through the body and to the trigger. Plan where the battery holder will go.

2. Add some cement ballast for good heft and counter balance. Weight adds to the sense of authenticity and experience. It feels more valuable and real. Place the cement ballast, before painting.

3. For multicolor guns, paint components before final assembly.

4. Before glueing, reinforce pipes butted end-to-end with a “joint plug” unless they are solid ends.

5. “Age” decals in Photoshop and then grunge them after application with sandpaper and darken final with a used teabag.

6. Be attentive to highlights (glare), emphasis (contrasts), and confetti color detailing. These help give continuity (unity) to the piece.

7. Name the gun an old-fashioned “Victorian-era” womans name (Bertha). Add a simple model number that is 2 characters: a lowercase alpha and a number –like “b7”.

8. Always include “The Palouse Steam Co.” and “Made in the USA” when possible for branding. When we have a website, we’ll print the “www”, too.

9. Document the raygun build and use version numbers. Include dates, builders, type, sources, and material list.

10. Chronicle progress on the company blog about guns and anything pertinent to “The Making of” The Palouse Steam Co.

The ion cannon body is ergonomic and lightweight but durable. It features a telepathic mind-touch trigger, making it comfortable even for extended use. All functionality is built into the gun, including a flow control valve, a balance adjustment for calibration, and a two-level LED which indicates both power and ionization. The gun and cable are static dissipative. A hanger is provided for easy mounting. Filter at the exit of the gun ensures that ionized air is clean. Flow control valve automatically adjusts airflow for the specific application. Electrical activation of ionization and airflow extend effectiveness of cannon emitter with no maintenance.

11. Write a one page “spec sheet” for the raygun with a ficticious history. Place this in a loose-leaf binder with the build documentation. The convention is:

Gun name (Bertha)
Model number (b7)
Version number (serial number).
Description (Ion Cannon)
Classification: pistol, rifle, launcher, cannon, etc.
Usage (battle, peacekeeping, personal protection, etc)
Effects: stun, decimate, disintegrate, restore health, etc.
Side-effects: Permanent paralysis, etc.
Maximum operating environment: like elevation.
Maximum range at top charge.
Physical limitations (if any).
Propellant weight. Maximum cartridge capacity.
Ammunition type: Projectile, nuclear, laser, etc. including consumption rate.
Noise level.
Temperature control (if any.)
Muzzle velocities.
Overall gun weight.
Ordnance length: from muzzle to the rear of the breech mechanism.
Specify in Imperial Dimensions: Inches, Feet, Yards, Pounds, Tons, Cubic inches.
Special modifications and notes.

12. When finished, weapons should be signed and dated on the piece (hour day month year) for customization authenticity. This adds collectible value.