Why: the basic priciple behind the foosh gun was that it was a chemical laser and the flame was the waste material from the chemical reaction being expelled.
Where: the now defunct Applied Effects LLC. (www.appliedfx.com)
They were also responsable for the guns in Van Helsing and props for minority report as well as firefly. and yes it is the same riffle in firefly because the same company provided the props. I wouldnt bother contacting them because they are no longer in business and even if they were they do not sell props or copies of props due to there leagal obligation to the studios.
How: Both guns were designed in Solidworks and grown on a 3d wax printer. The wax castings were then sent to a foundry and investment cast from aluminum and bronze.
Once the parts were returned to the shop they were cleaned up and hand assembled. As far as the foosh effect, its the same basic principle of the sandman guns from logans run.
Sealed chamber with a small amount of calcium carbide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_carbide) and water. the reaction creates acetylene gas.
The toggle switch near the trigger activates the ignighter (like a small spark plug) and pulling the trigger releases the gas. You had between 1-3 shots per load depending on how long you held the trigger. It was really fun to fire.
Word of caution. These weapons were fabricated by someone with 25 years of special effects expierence and who is also a gun specialist. Do not attempt to replicate these items unless you know what you are doing. If you have any dought DONT DO IT. Im olny saying this because I have been in the film industry for 19 years and I have seen many people hurt because they dont know what they are doing. In addition, If you own or intend to own any of the orginal working guns, please dont try to use them. You dont know what condition they are in. You dont know what the proper load capacity is, nor how to mantain them. Just put them in a nice case and enjoy them.
As far as the stunt copies the same basic process was done, grown, molded, and then cast, only out of flexible or rigid urethane. In addition the orginal guns went to vancover without slides and they had a working light in the small viewing screen. A sort of digital scope. The rifle was the same
There were only 2 rifles made I believe so those are extremely rare. There were alot more pistols, stunt and hero. If the pistols has foss harvester on one side and serial # on the other they are originals.
You can tell because they were grown in the part and not engraved after, there are no milling marks. They did present Arnold with a working pistol at the end of the show. He was apparently thrilled and yes he did light a cigar with it.
There’s a small amount of damage on the piece and the top slide (made in resin and added when it was sent to Canada) was damaged on set when dropped by Arnold but it’s rare to have so much background information on a prop and also to know where a majority of those props are.
One is owned by Arnold, one working example is owned in the UK and is on yourprops and one is decommissioned and this one apparently is missing parts to make it function and was also sold to the UK. This is the most recent one, owned by a high up crew member who kindly sold it to me.
The slide thing is interesting. Right now my gun resembles the gun before it as sent to Canada. The Cobb design was made this was way specifically to resemble a non gun and more of a tool. It was in Canada the design was changed and holes drilled in the aluminum to affix the resin slide.