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September 28, 2013
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Alt 1948 Infantry Weapons by MikeDoscher Alt 1948 Infantry Weapons by MikeDoscher
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. =P

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.
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Emerald-Wolf13 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
My understanding is that Mauser did build an autoloading revolver, or at least a prototype.  I believe it was far too complicated to be practical compared to a double action revolver. (It was gas operated IIRC)

It's kinda funny how you mention the novel/familiar aspect.  A friend of mine said she didn't like the last Indiana Jones movie because the weapons seemed "too new"  I had to explain to her that many of the weapons that we take for granted in action movies were far older than she thought and hadn't changed much in many years (i.e. the 1911 Colt or the AK-47)
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
I would not be surprised, though I am relatively ignorant of pistol designs. Both the novel means of operation and excessive parts count sound like a 1920s German design.

It's odd how old many of these designs are, and how often a weapon outlives the nation that created it.
Alceister Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
In regards to the anti-tank projector, you may need to consider adding some face protection: the fore-end is way too short and will likely end up scorching someone's face off.
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
This would be true if it was of the sort that ignited the rocket in the tube, but I figure this to be like an RPG-7, in that the rocket motor doesn't engage until it's been kicked out of the tube some distance by a black powder charge. I was intrigued be reading of the difficulties panzerschreck crews had with the blast shields breaking the nose of the operator. There were experiments with having the operator wear their gas mask for protection instead, but none of this was ideal.
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I'll be. At this very moment, I am working on pretty much the same thing, fictional weapons from a world with roughly the late 40s technology level, for use in a graphic novel.
Because I am using the same sources of inspiration I ended up with roughly similar results, but luckily they are also different enough that I can use them without fear of them being considered rip-offs of either your or somebody else's work (as far as I've seen, anyway. The net is one big place...).
However, it's amusing to see we liked about the same bits of the ...ahem..."donor" weapons, like, for example, the sight from the Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 or the oversized rivets from the Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr. And like your AT rifle, mine is also an "almost quote" of an existing design, in my case the Croatian RT-20. 

I must commend you on the understanding of how guns, materials and manufacturing processes work - these are not a blind mix and match, but rather a careful choice of elements fitted together to create sound mechanical constructions that "could have been". The barrel change mechanism on the LMG is just one of several such nice touches.

If you ask me, the lugs on the hollow charge warhead are a bit superfluous, since a shaped charge doesn't have to be oriented at precisely 90 degrees to the armour to be effective - once it detonates, the jet will go through anyway, no matter the orientation. True, at an angle it will have a longer way to go through armour, but since the jet will keep going at least two meters before dispersing enough to "lose punch", I don't think that's a problem. It's true it looks meaner though.

Also, I agree with you about the need for good fictional design to include "handles" rooted in the familiar for audiences to grapple them. A very pertinent recent example from Hollywood was Pacific Rim, where a lot of elements of the Jaeger design were deeply rooted in their respective backgrounds, such as the helmets of the Russian crew resembling the Soviet tanker helmets.
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Mostly I did this as a technical exercise, so if you see anything you like feel free to snag it. I probably won't be developing these ideas further, myself. Thank you for your thoughts on this.

The lugs are almost certainly silly, but from doing game art I've become aware of having things both work in terms of the logic of the world you're creating as well as telegraphing function to the audience. If you can have an item that conveys function with appearance you can cut out some exposition. It's tricky, because it can break immersion if pushed too far.

If you get a chance, you might take a look at a website called Forgotten Weapons: They have some interesting and obscure designs.
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, but I have my own designs ready so I will just use those. I'm just happy they are similar but not identical, because I'm the type of person that is very OCD about that - all the designs must be my own and if they were too similar I would have felt compelled to change them.
In fact I will be posting them on DA soon enough (after the 31st, because I have to finish an urgent project until then so i don't have time to colour them -they're at the lineart stage now) and I'll give you the link so you can judge for yourself.

Yes, your background in game design certainly shows, and I certainly understand how the rules you set for the world affect the design choices. What I thought was a minor adjustment, removing all sources of natural rubber from my world, proved to have profound consequences on all technological branches, but also provided me with a truly interesting design challenge, something I don't regret.

Of course I know it, that is one of my main sources of inspiration, along with this other site, which offers really interesting bits of long-past technology, from unusual locomotives to steam powered airplanes and acoustic radar...
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
I respect that. I'm much the same way. Thank you for the link, that looks interesting. I look forward to seeing your designs, as well.
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome. For some reason it appears our concepts of what constitutes beautiful technology are pretty similar, so rest assured I will be keeping an eye on your designs as well.
tomsymonds Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Professional Artist
niice. i want all of them.
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