Hello, my name is Alex. I live in Italy on the Garda lake and for the last 5 years I am ambitiously devoted in creating the perfect Silverballer replica identical in every minimal detail.
Since Hitman Contracts when we were first introduced with the Silverballer I felt in love with it at first sight and I always had the desire to have one or that a company could build some to be bought. But years passed and there were still no Silverballers on the market besides few fan made that resembled it a little. Till one day I had an idea to try just for fun to make one. An idea that immediately became an ambition with in mind to make it perfect like no other ever did.
It all started with the Blackballer. In 2015 IO Interactive released a beta of the upcoming Hitman game. In this beta the iconic Silverballer was swapped with a different weapon that maintained most of the Silverballer’s aspects but adding a more renewed look and a different color. And so us fans named it the Blackballer.
The Blackballer replica
With the introduction of this gun I saw a easy way to make a real life replica and so I started looking online for an airsoft pistol that resembled it. While searching I found out there was more to add to this replica than I tough. Accessories were different compared to the game’s version, shapes also and while doing my research I started to learn about how a pistol is composed, names of the components and their functions, accessories. I spend lots of hours online looking for parts that resembled a little what the Blackballer had and most of the time if not always I couldn’t find a thing. But I did learned a lot in exchange. I decide to buy a airsoft Army R27 because it was unmarked with trademarks leaving the replica blank so I could engrave it. I then took the pistol to an engraving shop to mark it with what it was written on the gun just like in the beta and at the end I decided to put on them a pair of grips that looked like the ones on the Silverballer because I wanted to add a touch of the old style. This replica was not true to the game, similar or even close but it was the start of something bigger.
Silverballer Mark 1
Not some time later I wanted to make a Silverballer replica. I had a good knowledge now about the airsoft industry and so I started my work on a WE1911. This model looked good but there was nothing I could do on it. The material was impossible to engrave, pieces from other brands didn’t match. Eventually I ended up trying to fit them by drilling the gun.
And it was then, by posting my problems that someone from IO suggested 3D printing. It was a whole new world for me and it open up a lot of opportunities and ideas. I started looking a lot into 3D printing and my first project was the medallions for the grips. I hired someone online from Russia specialized in jewelry modeling to make the 3D file. I did this by providing photos and specifications made in paint after that I paid a company in the UK to print them. At that time 3D printing was still something new, the costs were pretty high and not so many metals were available for printing.
And with the success of this first print my friends, opened all the doors for me and the will to do better.
Silverballer Mark 2
Discovering the creative world of 3D printing I strongly grew the idea that if a piece is not to be found then I will create it. I let go on the first Silverballer attempt even because I drilled so many holes it became nonfunctional and moved on a new replica called Cybergun Colt series 70.
I called it Silverballer Mark 2. I suspect the MKII in Hitman 2 was meant to mock me. The idea to call mine Mark 2 came from the Iron Man movies. This replica came with 2 color tones. The sides of the slide were silver polished but the rest was raw grey (top slide, bottom slide and the whole frame). I was very ok with that because it had the same tone the Ballers from Hitman 2 Silent Assassin had. My idea with this project was to make one replica that included bits from every versions starting from Codename 47.
3D Printed accessories
On this new model I learned everything by making lots of mistakes. I found a 3D artist not too far from my area. A girl named Sara that was for hire to make private 3D projects. Without Sara’s help I would had never reached this far. She doesn’t have a studio so we had to meet in bars or restaurants. I came with my laptop and a piece from the gun that I needed to be made in a specific way.Basically what I needed was a accessory to be build following my replica’s internal mechanism but with a different outside shape.
So I let her the pieces from my gun and a USB stick with inside very specific instructions of what I want. And she deliver perfectly. Of course it was never perfect on the first try.
Initially she provided pre images and there I might notice that a bar maybe should be higher, lower, in center, things like this till it reached a point I found to be perfect. And even when the project was done and printed there was something that for me was off and back again to modify it and print it again.
Here I discovered the precision of printing in titanium. Very expensive but worth every cent.
The first thing that catches the eye are for sure the markings on the Silverballer. It has the Hitman insignia and writings describing the pistol “CUSTOM SLIDE” “CALIBER 45” “STAINLESS - MADE IN U.S.A.” and the engravings on my replica are very special.
They are special because with an enormous luck I found my way in a very prestige company specialized in this sector. This company is born in Gardone Val Trompia and is the same birthplace of the arms company Beretta. They make custom work for the Vatican, USA presidents and many VIP from all around the globe and I am very honored to have the most important part of my project done by them.
With this new pistol, the Cybergun Colt 70 came already engraved but with it’s own factory markings. I had the idea that maybe it was possible to sand down the existing trademarks and make the ones I want recreating after the gun’s original metal finish. And Bottega Giovanelli was able to do exactly that exceeding my expectations. Not only they are masters in crafting splendid incisions but they also have a deep field of knowledge about metals and how to handle\modify their surface. A thing that will come later in hand because the 3D printed parts required some tempering on the surface appearance.
With this replica I wanted to truly make it stunning by adding a custom suppressor, the one from the Blackballer. I chose this one because for me personally it is very beautiful. Having this project in mind I found a small company in Czech Republic called BlackPrint CZ. These guys made an amazing and brilliant job and if you are looking too for a custom silencer for your airsoft weapon I suggest them with all my heart.
The unique Silverballer replica
During the creation of the Mark 2 I found out about another 1911 replica made by a very very professional brand. This brand is called INOKATSU a Japanese airsoft company well known to manufacture only the best accurate replicas in the airsoft market and their top jewel in my opinion is the INOKATSU Colt Serie’s 70 defined by everyone the only true replica of a Colt. They made limited editions and I am very excited to tell that I posses one. The same one that will become my biggest pride and an unique replica of the beloved Silverballer.
This gun starting at a price from 900€ to 1.500€ is entirely made from heavy Stainless Steel and is now nowhere to be found unless sold used by a private possesor. While most who bought one decided for sure to keep it for collection or decoration I went beyond that idea and modified it till it took the shape of my greatest ambition. I had to start again everything from scratch including the projects made for the Mark 2 because the pieces weren’t compatible but I didn’t mind that one bit. Actually it was better this way because with the previous experience I manage to realize better and more precise accessories identical at 100% following the wallpapers from Hitman that had the Silverballer in it. During these creations I often noticed other small things that led me again back to the board. At some point I became very obsessed with the details. Even the engravings were off on the Mark 2 but I found a way to make a guide following certain points on the gun to ensure that the writings were in the same position as in the wallpapers. Not all the accessories are 3D printed. Some in fact were bought on the market and are exactly how I wanted them to be. The grips for example required a small modification on the black rubber to make it look identical. This replica is a mix from the Silverballer model in Hitman Contracts and Absolution merged into one pistol. I had to make a few compromises at the end but really just a few minor things.
My replica is not yet complete and with a broken heart I had to stop due to Covid. I used to work as a night porter in Hotels for the past 10 years and now if I’m lucky I sometimes find work here and there because currently the Hotel industry is pretty much dead. So with that saying I need to be very careful on how I spend my money but my Silverballer is at it’s final stage and I can’t wait to finish it.
Please let me present to you The unique Silverballer replica
some pictures are from different time laps while work in progress
The logo is craved in. I first made these medallions blank, like a coin and after is all a processing of engraving the sides of the logo giving a depth effect. Once the logo is realized then black ceramic will be put inside around the symbol till it reaches a certain height staying under the symbol.
Final result is the effect of the insignia emerging from the black ceramic. I had the medallions made with in mind to look just like a jewel.
I hope you enjoyed my post and thank you very much for your time reading it