Thurnham artist Nick Veasey X-rays cinema's most iconic guns in project to 'deglamorise' guns after tragedy of Gad's Hill schoolboy Charlie Booth
Artist Nick Veasey in his Maidstone studio
A Maidstone-based artist has X-rayed some of cinema's most iconic weapons in a bid to "deglamorise" guns.
Nick Veasey spent three months on the project - partially motivated by the gun death of a 16-year-old schoolboy, who was the son of a family friend.
Charlie Booth, formerly of Watling Street in Cobham, shot himself in the head in March just hours after police officers spoke to him about texts he had been sending to a girl.
Mr Veasey, 51, hopes his work will help deglamorise the weapons by reducing them to the scientific X-rays and the tragic death of the Gad's Hill schoolboy will not be repeated.
"My personal opinion is if that weapon wasn't available he would still be with us today," he said. "That is one of the things that inspired me to do this project.
"The youth of today are under quite a lot of pressure from their peers, especially in inner city environments, to stand out and be counted.
"They're glamorised in films and computer games, but this shows them as machines for killing, which is essentially what they are.
"If you take away the associated glamour of them and look at what they do they fire bullets and kill people."
X-ray of a magnum, like the one Clint Eastwood wielded in the Dirty Harry films
An AK-47, otherwise known as the Kalashnikov
A Derringer handgun - the model used to assassinate Abraham Lincoln
An M60 was used by Sylvester Stallone while acting as Rambo in First Blood
The guns were all X-rayed at his studio at the top of Cold Blow Lane, a former Ministry of Defence base.
Many of them have gained iconic status, both through history and the film industry.
James Bond's Walther PPK is one the guns featured - the same weapon used by Hitler to commit suicide in the Fuhrerbunker.
Other models X-rayed include the Derringer used to assassinate Abraham Lincoln in 1865, Dirty Harry's Magnum and the M60 wielded by John Rambo in 1982 blockbuster First Blood.
An M16, Tony Montana's "little friend" in Scarface
The Spas12 was used by rangers in Jurassic Park
In order to carry out the work, many obstacles had to be overcome.
The weapons had to be delivered in an armored van, with a specially designed security cabinet inside.
Mr Veasey - whose studio is in a former Cold War bunker in Thurnham - was not able to handle the guns in daylight.
Instead, the two delivery drivers with special licences had to carry them into his studio.
Tragic teenager Charlie Booth shot himself dead
Many of the props had been decommissioned and had to be digitally modified to make them look like working models.
Mr Veasey said: "The most difficult part of the project was finding the weapons.
"Once we found them then the skill is getting the pictures to be as sharp and detailed as possible.
"I try to make it as authentic as possible. That included the weapon that we've used being the exact same model as used by actors in films."
He added: "But I can't assure you that it is the exact same gun that has been handled by Sean Connery or Daniel Craig but it is definitely the same type of gun.
"They're made to look like they're fully operational in Photoshop by taking away the things they use to deactivate the weapon – like the welding in the barrel.
“We've taken that out so the barrel looks hollow, which would allow the bullets to pass through it."
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