The “Elysium” story part 4: “Guns, Guns, Guns!”

Clarence from “Robocop” really was right. Its all about the Guns. In “Elysium” all the guns were made by Weta of New Zealand and shipped to Mexico, then Vancouver.

The images you’ll see below are the work of Ben Mauro, Aaron Beck, Christian Pearce and Leri Greer who contributed to the look and feel of the film along with the director Neil Blomkamp.

SMG original art design by Christian Pearce

Here's the SMG in a few colour options. This was a fairly short design process but went through a few changes along the way. Initially I'd imagined it was a fully electric, fully automatic gauss rifle and you can still see a few holdover elements from that old design. There was a request for some animated parts to be added so it got a reciprocating bolt and recoiling barrel that moved on the prop. Definitely added some interest into what would might have been a bit of a dull weapon otherwise.

Here’s the SMG in a few colour options. This was a fairly short design process but went through a few changes along the way. Initially I’d imagined it was a fully electric, fully automatic gauss rifle and you can still see a few holdover elements from that old design. There was a request for some animated parts to be added so it got a reciprocating bolt and recoiling barrel that moved on the prop. Definitely added some interest into what would might have been a bit of a dull weapon otherwise.

Two versions of this gun were made. Sadly the second version never made it to screen with removable ammo pack on the rear and no fore-grip. It was to be replaced with the following grenade launcher incorrectly sold on VIP auctions as a netgun for around $600

smg 1

Removable ammo clip

The original design for the grenade launcher with pull out monitor.

smg monitorAll in all the SMG’s were a succesful part of the film being used by Drake and Crowe and various Droids. Here is the breakdown of the props sold at VIP auctions. I think I may be missing some earlier sales as some have dropped off ebay as of todays date.

Gold “Droid” version: 2 rubber & 2 hard/hollow resin. Rubber sold on average of $750 & one of the resin versions sold for $1500. These prices don’t include shipping, taxes or import duties…which as I found out became a contributing factor to prices in this auction. More of that in another article.

The other versions of SMG’s to sell were black and grey non-droid versions of which some were not well detailed, put together in two pieces and sold for around $400-500. They were described as “Low resolution” versions and used in weapons locker scenes on the wall. How do I know this? Velcro is clearly placed on the reverse side of the gun. They also tended not to be detailed with paint or stickers.

smg low resolutionThe cheapest high resolution with stickers and detailed paint sold in late November for a paltry $555. The highest was around $3555 for the first gold resin gun sold at the beginning of the auction. The highest black version around $1500.

A fully functional version with smoke effects, moving parts and flames sold for $2000 and may well show up in the future at San Diego comic con. Probably. The interesting thing about this one is it is missing its barrel….something I didn’t pick up on until weeks after the auction.

smg workingThe next set of gun variants is the pistol which you can see closely resembles the design of the machine gun.

Variant pistol to have been used by Carlyle but cut from film

Variant pistol to have been used by Carlyle but cut from film

Sadly this beautiful prop never made it into the film. One was sold on ebay for around $1500 with working elements, the second below in rubber for $510.

gold pistolThese pistols made up the large number of guns sold from the film. Every week it seemed we would get 1 or 2 on the block either in resin or rubber with some 10 of them being attributed to Crowe, a fact I found a little unlikely when no other character was named. All three mercs including Kruger did carry it. The cheapest sold for $338, the most expensive early on for $900.

Elysium-Pistol-5Another interesting version of these popped up late in the auction with the original CNC’d first test model that was bundled with a set of weapons parts, This was confirmed with WETA as the first one out of the “mold” so to speak.

pistol cnc

Pistol at San Diego comic con WETA stand. I believe these were made for the exhibit as the props were all at VIP during this time and the piece is far too clean to have been used. The end barrell with red is indicative of the original drawing but these were painted over in the film black.

Pistol at San Diego comic con WETA stand. I believe these were made for the exhibit as the props were all at VIP during this time and the piece is far too clean to have been used. The end barrell with red is indicative of the original drawing but these were painted over in the film black.

Finally all the pistols lined up at WETA for a picture.

Elysium_Pistols_Photos_WetaWorkshopThat’s it for the first part of this article. Part 2 of this look at the weapons coming soon!

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