I wanted to build this replica to be as accurate as possible. When I say that my research is extensive, I more accurately mean that is was all encompassing. There was very little information available publicly regarding the history and construction of this weapon. So if you are a Sci Fi geek or a Joss Whedon fan, then I highlighly recommend reading through the first few pages of my build. Anything that you would ever want to know about this gun is in there.
If you are more interested on the build methods, you will find those in great detail as well. Before this build I had never programmed before (excluding some basic copy/paste-ing of html code). Since I wanted this prop to have a WOW effect and really appear as if it were working I decided to include an array of LED lights placed strategically (since not featured in the original) to add a cool visual effect to the weapon. I downloaded the arduino programming IDE and borrowed a C+ book of my grandfather's, and was able to teach myself enough programming over to pull of this build.
I would like to mention and thank my grandfather Jeff Clark who worked on this project with me in his workshop. Although the project was my idea, my grandfather is responsible for a lot of the hard and often tedious work. I love working on projects and learning from him, and being able to experiement and build things with him has inspired me to pursue a future in a STEM field. I hope to create many more projects even better than this one in the future.