AT Commander's

AT Video Camera

At a recent Club meeting, I picked up a pretty groovy video camera in someone's junk bin. This was apparently a WWF camera for some other scale figure. It was close to 1/6 scale, and it obviously had some usefulness for the Adventure Team. In these pics, you can see that I have already replaced the (short) vinyl strap with an elastic and buckle (from 21st Century). I made the links holding it to the tape deck with #20 or #22 wire with the insulation stripped off. Easy and quick!

Next came the problem of making this fit a 12" action figure without looking out of scale. For this, an old bazooka from the junk box was called to duty. This particular Hasbro bazooka is about the worst representation of a bazooka I've ever seen, so making it a "donor" didn't hurt our collection much at all. This bazooka was a 2-piece version. The relevant part for us was, of course, the one with the pistol-grip and shoulder brace. You can see in the pic at right that it disassembles in a great spot - just ahead of the grip! This became the "shoulder stock" on our AT video camera. Using a dremel tool, an emery board, and an X-acto knife, we trimmed it down to the bare minimum to create a flat base upon which to mount the camera.

Here's the shoulder stock after modification. You can see where the bazooka was cut away making a flat plane to mount the cradle, with a step at the rear to match the contour of the camera. On this flat plane we used sheet plastic to make a base, then added some textured sheet plastic for detailing (which is unfortunately lost in these photos). We built up the front and rear to exactly match the camera, then painted it all glossy black. To this we added a pair of magazine pouches from 21st Century. These pouches are the ones with the fragile hooks on back that break (before then, they'd fall off web belts if you even looked at 'em funny, so they were pretty useless anyhow). Glued back-to-back, they make great spare battery containers.

This pic shows the camera mounted on the shoulder stock. It snaps into place by virtue of the snug fit between the shoulder stock and the camera contours. This was built up, you remember, with sheet plastic, so I could be pretty precise when gluing it together.

At right and below you can see the camera in use. Thanks to the shoulder stock, it now fits Joe perfectly! (That Joe is a TC fuzzhead on a SA KFG body, by the way... he makes a pretty cool Man of Action.) We left the bazooka sights on the shoulder stock, just for fun. The sight is a little too low to be "useful" or "realistic," but it still looks cool. Although not visible in the photos, I added a "shutter release" trigger to the front grip.

Here's the shoulder stock again. You'll note that the tape deck itself hasn't been modified with a new shoulder strap yet in this pic. See how small the original was? It was cheesy and looked horrible anyway... even if it HAD been the right size it still would've needed replacement.

Now the Adventure Team can undertake dangerous missions like capturing a video of the Feral Housecat or the Wild Kitten that roam as predators through their domestic domain. Joe could even use this for dangerous photographic missions to capture footage of exotic animals in faraway lands, like the neighbor's weiner dogs in their back yard. The camera could even be used to document AT activities like capturing white tigers, pygmy gorillas, or swamp alligators. We just finished this project this afternoon, so it has yet to be field tested. So far, however, the durability testers (my kids) seem duly impressed.

LMK what you think of this project, or any other stuff you stumble across on my website!

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