Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

Archive for January, 2007

Kick off 2007 – Build an AK47

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Print the various pieces of the gun to use as templates, download files.

ak_print1ak_print2ak_print3 ak_print4ak_print5ak_print6


Final to scale, wooden AK47, ready to ship!

I remember stepping into the Managua Airport in 1980 or 81 and being surprised and intimidated by the number of Sandinista soldiers holding AK47s. I was about nine years old, it was my first time back in Nicaragua following the 1978-79 popular uprising and final push of a long lasting struggle against the Somoza dynasty. At the time, I had never been in an airport so heavily monitored and in arms-distance of fatigued soldiers holding automatic weapons (supplied generously by the Soviet Union).

Through the Cold War, the AK47 became the most ubiquitous automatic fire arm in the world. A weapon that at once signifies revolution – struggle, turmoil, passion and oppression. In the late 80s, during my teens, I got to fire an AK47 and feel it’s rush of power.

Based on these memories, I decided to fabricate a wooden AK47 as part of a piece for an exhibition in St. Petersburg. I did so by creating an illustration of the gun to use as a template to draw the various pieces onto thick wood panel and then with a jigsaw cut them out, round the pieces as necessary and dowel them together to assemble a handcrafted toy gun. Download and print the Illustrator files to create your own AK47. You will need approximately 2″ thick wood panel, 1.5″ and .25″ thick dowel, a jigsaw or scroll saw, drill, sander, sandpaper and a stain of choice.

In the zipped folder, you will find three Illustrator files: “illustration.ai” is the entire to scale outline; “illustration2.ai” are the various sections separated into layers ready to print onto 8.5″x11″ pager; and “illustration3.ai” is a final section of the gun to be printed out on legal size paper.  Download files.

Written by ricardo

January 1st, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Posted in war_technology