I’ve been working quite hard on the LAW rocket launcher this month so far, with lots of plastic work!
I had the fortune to find two pieces of pipe which had corresponding inside and outside diameters, allowing one piece to slide snugly inside the other. My client had a model of an earlier type of LAW and had sent me the trigger mechanism housing from it (in green below) to work from.
I created a wooden mould from photographs of the A7 in order to be able to form this complex shape. My initial idea was to build a vacuum former but before going to the expense of doing that I thought I’d have a go at forming with a heat gun…
Pushing the plastic into the former.
My second attempt, getting the sharp edge in front of the trigger is pretty well impossible with this technique without splitting the plastic or creating a crease so it looks like I’ll have to build a vacuum former after all!
I also ran some tests on nerf balls to see how they performed ballistically. When put in the end of the 50mm bore tube I was planning on using for the barrel it barely fell out the end when the grenade was actuated. I then tried a smaller bore pipe which sat just around the end of the nerf ball. This produced a much better effect, shooting it maybe 10 yards.
I decided that a slightly different approach was needed. I have been playing with the idea of expanding foam rockets as an inexpensive, disposable missile system. I made a mould up from some plastic tubing…
The three components: the body tube (top), nosecone former (bottom right) and the backcap (left). I have inserted the tail fins into slots at the top. I am yet to make a rocket from it yet however! I think that this will produce a more ballistically viable rocket that will also be cheap to reproduce if lost.