I took a little time and revisited the idea of creating fictional infantry weapons based on mixing different historical weapons together. Originally I was going to do something much more elaborate, but other factors intervened. Hopefully this is still of some entertainment value, if not use.
Like my designs from a few years ago, I wanted to create an ecosystem of small arms like you might see in the 1943-1952 time period, which would mean a mixture of of machined and stamped components with furniture of wood and Bakelite. Optics would be basic. Here are some notes on the individual guns:
Machine Pistol- This was originally a doodle of what it might look like if the features of an MG 42 were put on a bolt gun. To try and make the very short barrel make a little more sense I added some elements from the Manchester SMG and one of those vertical foregrips everybody thought was cool a couple years ago. (Yes, your groupings would probably be about the size of a bus.) The magazine is a quad-stack affair.
Automatic Carbine- VG1-5 plus bits from the FAL and that odd peep sight from the first version of FG 42.
20mm Anti Tank Right- Solothurn, Type 97, and the Boys all mixed up. Also a sort of shaped charge rifle grenade based on the Stielgranate 41.
Light Machine Gun- Rhinemetall did some interesting prototypes after the war based on the MG 45. I've mixed these with the reversible feed direction of the MG 34 and some experimental FG bits while adding the odd drum from the MG 13. I've added back in the barrel change capability of the MG 42, though in the LMG role that might not be necessary.
Autoloading Revolver- Mateba + Webley = Party all night.
Anti Tank Projector- I'm not sure that there are any anti tank rocket weapons that *don't* have a piece or two in there. A note about the warhead: The lugs on the side are my attempt to visualize some sort of mechanism to tilt the hollow charge warhead to convert glancing hits to solid ones- plus it makes it look meaner.
I've used guns as an example here to show how you can use existing elements to get something that looks novel while still seeming familiar. The same process can also work well with architecture, vehicles, or equipment. Originality is a tricky question when designing things like these. Of course you don't want to rip somebody else off, but you also want to your designs to do what they need to do for the project you're working on. A gun that hints at the time period and nationality of the soldier wielding it makes it so that exposition is less needed elsewhere. When you're designing things you're telling part of the story. Oftentimes the best way to do that is to give the audience some familiar elements they can latch on to and use that to draw them into what's different.
It seems like there's a lot of retro designs out there, but fortunately there's a lot of interesting historical designs draw upon and mix up.