PPG (Phased Plasma Gun) Pistol Prop

(as seen in the Babylon 5 TV series)

I had been chasing a decent copy of this prop for a long time and had seen quite a few resin kits of varying quality for sale on places like Ebay and other sites, but nothing really looked good enough. I'd heard mention of a couple of good machined aluminium props and hoped that one would come up for sale.

Since I joined the Replica Prop Forum a new world of talented people lay before me and I was lucky enough to find someone who had a machined aluminium kit for sale. While it was quite expensive, the quality of this piece is unmatched. It was copied from a screen used prop so all of the details are there and all of the dimensions are correct.

To call this a kit is really a bit of an exaggeration. All it needs to be complete is to sand the individual pieces to a finish that I am happy with, fit the switch and wiring inside and add a set of Pachmayr S&W pistol grips. The grips did not come as part of the kit. Sounds simple enough except for the last part. Living in a country with very strict import laws regarding guns and gun parts, can make it difficult to acquire some things. Even finding a company in the USofA that will ship these grips to Australia has proven to be a problem. Anyway as it turned out am RPF member was able to accept them at his address and then send them to me. I also needed a very small screw to hold the microswitch behind the trigger in place. Tiny imperial screws that small are very hard to in a country where we use metric everything. I ended up retapping it and using a tiny metric screw.

Here is everything test fitted to make sure it all lined up properly. Because it is machined aluminium, the camera flash has obcscured some of the detail so two shots without the flash are included.
These are the Pachmayr grips.
Pachmayr grips

I now have to disassemble everything and get the finish I want using various grades of fine wet and dry sandpaper, then wax it to protect the finish. I don't want it to look like chrome but I also don't want a totally matt finish either.
I've added a small bright red LED to the clear barrel insert to light up the barrel when the trigger is pressed. It is powered by a CR1620 3V button cell battery fitted inside the handle.

To finish the whole thing off I plan to make a stand from 10mm clear acrylic (perspex) sheet to hold the PPG upright and it will also have a small laser etched plaque.

Future plans for this involve making a couple of new energy caps for it which are hollowed out to accept a 12V lighter/remote battery. This way replacing the energy cap actually gives it a fresh charge. Also I'd like it to make the correct sound as heard in the show when the trigger is pressed.

Thanks to Nicksdad from the Replica Prop Forum (RPF) for the fantastic work he did with this PPG kit and for having one he was willing to sell. Also many thanks to Harada357.

Nicksdad is about to start work on the Crusade (B5 sequel) version of this PPG soon. I look forward to receiving that one when it's finished.

Last modified: 17th November 2010