I would say this was my favorite prop to design on the show. What a pleasure to experience it hold your design in your hands!
Sadly, it did not make the final theatrical cut, as well as much of the sequences ont eh moon.
round 1 of sketches: My goal here was to start with the function on the rifle, essentially a railgun that fires molten metal jets. The barrel would have to be made of some kind of unobtainium materil that can rapidly dissipate heat wile allowing for the linear acceleration magnetic fields. Supercapacitors would be required to unload the electrical energy for the railgun, loaded like a magazine. To suggest a melting chamber, I designed a swell before the barrel.
While I worked on many variations of version A, director James Gray was intruiged with version B. developing the design further, I illustrated how a large holographic sight would be problematic with a helmet on. Prop master Kris Peck directed me to design the rifle the way an experienced shooter would want it. Front arm straight, eyes on top of the barrel. In this case, a periscopic sight would be required to compensate for the shooter waering a large helmet. To play to the ‘under-designed’ and ‘timeless’ art direction, I thought it would be fun if the rifle was highly modular based on a picatinny rail system.