Using vintage buttons to make a Ray-gun mod.

There are tons of vintage and salvaged parts you can use to mod weapons as well as in other altered art projects. One of my favourites are buttons. While using them is pretty common in vintage/antique collages, they don't have to be limited to those. While a standard, flat 2 or 4 hole is always clearly a button, there are so many styles that can give you other effects. The ones I like using the most are all sorts of the dome or shanked styles. (although I usually cut off the shanks before using the tops) They can have great details that give a pop of texture, and real metal finish, to a gun. In other cases, they get painted over. When I'm modding a gun, I'll often end up cutting off areas or parts that don't go with the finished design I want. While it's possible to use various sculpting compounds to create covers for these spots, it's often much faster and easier to use a button.

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In this example, I used buttons in 3 different ways on the same gun. One pair of textured metal buttons were added as accents to the sides. The circular spots originally had the logo of the base plastic gun. While I was able to most remove it, the centre was still rough and read as strangely empty due to the raised edges. A pair of buttons solved both problems and their authentic aged, metal finish helps sell the gilded and painted “metals” on the rest of it. The bottom of the grip had had a pair of small, uninteresting domes on either side and they were cut off. I covered the holes with a couple of flashing fibre-optic buttons in black and grey. Finally, the back end of the top had a small open slot, where you used to be able to load the plastic disks it fired. This was both blocked and decorated by a very modern looking button in silver and matte black.

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You never know where you'll need a little bit of fill so I just stash all the interesting buttons that cross my path!