It’s that time again! The 7th Vigil novella, The Dawn Principle, written by my friend Arvin Loudermilk, has just been released. Obviously, I designed the cover, or I probably wouldn’t be talking about this here!

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The search is on. Association Chairman Rupert Michaels has gone missing amid allegations he’d conspired with the enemy. But not everyone in the UVA is so sure Michaels is capable of such duplicity. Grace Kimble, the organization’s new security director, has no doubts about his guilt whatsoever, and will do everything it takes to bring the no-good, backstabbing traitor to justice.

Forgoing teen romance and gothic supernaturalism, Vigil is part hard-boiled thriller and part crime procedural—mixed with a dash of stark urban horror. This is a vampire tale with a real bite.

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The Dawn Principle e-book is available now from Amazon.com, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and the Kobo bookstore for $1.99. It is also available as a trade paperback.

Of course, the first Vigil e-book, The Blood Detail is still FREE on Kindle, iBooks and Kobo so it’s easy to jump in on the action!

For more information on the series, check out Arvin’s site.

OK, now on to the prop stuff!

To make my Stormtrooper E-11 blaster more accurate, I purchased a kit containing accurate screws, bolts and miscellaneous hardware. The cast bolts of the muzzle were drilled out to make room for the new ones.

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The new bolts in place.

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I did the same thing for the base of the pistol grip.

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And the screw in the side of the grips.

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To secure the magazine well to the barrel, I used JB Weld and two long screws.

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For some reason, this WWII submachine gun has a lug (tab) to secure a bayonet. I wonder if it was ever used? Anyway, to secure this small piece, I cut a pin from 1/8 steel rod and glued it in place.

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The lug in place.

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I cut an aluminum tube to fit in the folding stock. On the original gun, this piece is secured with a pin on the right side and swings out to support the shoulder plate. Mine will be purely cosmetic.

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To build up the end, I added Bondo.

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The sides were sanded flat and a hole was drilled in the end.

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This is how it fits.

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During the molding process, most of the detail was filled in for easier casting. I Dremeled out the undercuts and used styrene to restore some details.

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To secure the folding stock to the barrel, I cut off one of the cast bolt heads and drilled through the barrel’s mounting point and into the ends of the stock arms. A steel pin will attach the arms and the resin bolt head will be glued back into place to hide the pin.

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A test fit.

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The end cap has a D-ring attached with a bracket. To keep the ring centered, I cut a section out of the center of the ring and placed a styrene tab into the bracket to keep the ring from moving off center.

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A test fit.

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It was finally time to finish the painting on the Ninja Turtle’s skin. All the body parts have a base coat of green.

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I cut some stencils with my Cameo cutter and added the mottled skin texture/

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Next came the spots, also sprayed on using paper stencils.

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I also painted the side shell color to the side of the body.

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More stuff next week!

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