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Astyanax

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About Astyanax

  • Rank
    Major
  • Birthday 05/09/1974

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Oceanside, CA
  • Interests
    Movies, aquaria, sushi, Star Wars!

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  • Name
    Bill

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  1. You may be late, but somehow, I'm still here. I didn't finish it beyond the steps posted in this thread, but I plan to get back to it, because it's such a beautiful weapon, and I've learned some new skills in the last couple years! Thanks again all for the really kind words. It truly must be a labor of love.
  2. Hey guys, not trying to resurrect an old thread (yesiamsorry), but my younger son got the same costume handed down from big brother, and won one of this year's costume contests at the Star Wars Days at LegoLand California! Video here: Very exciting, because he beat a kid-sized vacu-formed version! I think the judges liked the scratch-build aspect. :-) My favorite part is that when he was called up, it was necessary for him to do the very same "shuffle" that the original ANH troopers had to do when running, because of costume constraints. :-) A fitting retirement for this costume, as my younger son is also outgrowing it. But it went out on a high note! Bill
  3. They should be sized correctly if you print them at 100%. The reticle is 1" wide (480 ppi), and the counter is 1/2" wide (404 ppi).
  4. These blasters are back at Wal-Mart! I picked up a couple for $12 each, just so I could tinker guilt-free! Bill
  5. Only twelve bucks in the Halloween section, thank you Rogue One. They're a really great way to cut your teeth on some finishing and weathering, and perfectly entry-level troopable once they're finished! Just sayin'. Check my sig to see what I did with mine. My kids borrow it all the time, because it's "heavy". Bill
  6. 22. HAND GRIP This turned out to be a very short, simple step, as I did not make lots of changes here. The BYOB comes very close to the actual thing in shape, so my contribution was just a little bit of detail. First, some reference pics: On the right side, I only added a single brad head to the back end of the grip. The four molded bolt heads I left as-is, because they look pretty nice already: For the left side, there is an upper plate that attaches to the upper end of the grip. Taking my cues from Allan1313's build, I fashioned my plate out of a piece of 1/4" thick balsa, first cutting with an x-acto knife and then shaping with 400-grit sandpaper, very slowly. For that rear curve, I just wrapped a piece of sandpaper around a 1" PVC pipe, and rubbed the balsa on it slowly and gently until it was shaped. After aligning the plate just right a few times, I marked the position of the screw, and ran a drill bit through it by hand only, turning slowly as I went. Luckily, the screw head does not need to come all of the way out of the plate, so my hole is just wide enough to get a screwdriver into. Next, I superglued the balsa plate onto the grip, being very careful to glue onto the removable battery cover ONLY. Once the glue cured, I removed the battery plate and reinforced the attachment with more superglue from underneath, letting it seep into the cracks between balsa and plastic. Once this was done I coated the balsa with 4 coats of white glue and let it harden fully. For the conical disc, I used a 1" rubber beveled washer (thanks Allan!) and some low-profile velcro to attach it to the balsa block. You can see here I colored part of the sticky side with a black Sharpie, so that you wouldn't see white through the hole. I also had to rough-up the underside of the disc with some low-grit sandpaper so that the stick-on velcro would adhere better. The idea here is that when I need to change batteries, I can remove the disc by hand and then unscrew the plate through the balsa block. The finishing touches were two more brad heads and a small screw. All done! Sure, it's not perfect, but it communicates the look of the DLT-19 to my satisfaction. Next up, it's time for me to take on the front and rear sights. I don't work much with hard wood, so I'll keep my fingers crossed as I try to work through these mostly with balsa. I still haven't decided if the sights will be functional, but I'm leaning toward not functional, since we've never seen a stormtrooper flip them up anyway. Thanks for reading! Bill
  7. 21. RECEIVER & FEEDER (right side) This side was quite a bit more straightforward. While I didn't match the shape perfectly (limitation of the BYOB), I feel it's come quite close and I can move on. This was my primary reference pic: The first thing to do was to add a plastic strip, similar to the left side. This piece is 5-3/4" long by 3/4" wide. It was glued so that the back end lines up with the rear of the blaster (similar to the other side), and the front goes as far as it can up to the edge of the black recess plate. Then, I ground off the two large "tabs" protruding from the black recess plate and sanded them smooth. Next, I needed to make a couple corrections. I moved the balsa side grip down until it was flush with the plastic strip, and then I carefully pried off the silver brad on the base of the rear sight. All of these changes are visible here: The next step was to cut a piece of styrene to cover the black recess plate entirely. This piece is 4-1/8" x 1-7/16", and was glued on with superglue. Yes, there's a gap all around, where on the actual prop it should be smooth. I chose to allow for some seams rather than grind off that entire black recess plate (too risky). But I smoothed them significantly using Bondo spot putty: And then sanded it lightly with 400-grit, being careful not to disrupt anything else: After this, I had to figure out how to make this weird lower plate that sort of wraps itself around to the base of the rear sight. After some trial and error with paper cutouts, I came up with this pattern: I traced it onto self-stick craft foam: Then, I stuck it on, starting at the top of the sight and working my way down. Two pieces of 3" x 1/2" styrene, glued back-to-back with superglue and glued on with same, completed the upper plate. For the two "tabs" in the recess, I carefully shaped a piece of balsa for the larger central one, and cut a little square of styrene for the smaller one. They were glued on with superglue. Finally, after gluing the silver brad back onto the base of the sight, I coated all the foam and balsa parts with several coats of white glue, to protect them and smooth over imperfections. Finished! Yep, the plates don't all line up perfectly, but I'm happy with the overall look this achieves. I'm thinking that when I paint, I will make sure the inside of this recess is painted with flat black and that no weathering paint makes its way inside. This should make it look "deeper." Not too bad, I think. Next step I hope to finish both sides of the grip. Thanks for reading! Bill
  8. Still here, will get back to it soon. Taking a break. Bill
  9. Heh, thanks for all the kind words! I'm really happy with how it's coming along. I've had to travel a bit these last two weeks for work, so it'll be a bit more time before I get the right side done, but I have full confidence this build will be worth it. The whole trick has been to take it slow and not to rush each step. And to leverage individual skills, such as Allan's extensive woodworking skills to speed things along. I'm not that good with wood, so I've had to use other techniques. Good luck! Bill
  10. No, I had no problems. I recommend lots of pressure and the larges driver you can fit in there.
  11. 20. RECEIVER & FEEDER (left side) Smaller update this time, as this section covers the "feed cover box" (or whatever you call it) that was added to the MG34 by the Lucasfilm SFX crew to make it a DLT-19. Also covered here are a few of the details on the main body (receiver) of the blaster. First, some requisite reference pics: The first thing I did was cut a strip of 3/4" wide Plastruct (styrene) to a length of 6-5/16". I glued it on the side panel of the receiver with E6000. As I began to plan for the feed cover box, I realized that the side grips for the top feed cover (the little balsa bumps on each side of the blaster) were mounted too high! Big bummer, I had to cut them off, clean up the surface, and make new ones. They were positioned about 1/8" or so lower than previously. Additionally, I had to slice off about 1/4" of the left-side grip, so that it could be flush against the cover box. 3 coats of white glue and I was ready to make the box. I built the box out of Plastruct. The overall dimensions are 3-3/4" long by x 1-1/8" wide by 1-1/8" high. I made sure to cut the smallest front and rear panels 1/8" shorter in height to allow for the wall thickness. So the construction process is as follows: 1. Front and rear panels (1"H x 1-1/8"W). 2. Top and bottom panels(3-3/4"L x 1-1/8"H) mounted over the front and rear panels. 3. Left side panel (3-3/4"L x 1-1/8"H) mounted over all four panels. The pieces were superglued very slowly and carefully, and I did my best to hold the sides square and press down on any surfaces that appeared to be bowing while the glue cured. Any overhang of any of the panels was easily smoothed out with 220-grit sandpaper, followed by 400-grit to make it smooth. The superglue filled the seams well enough that I think there won't be any seams visible when it's painted! I also cut a 3/4" (or so) notch out of the lower right front corner, about 1-16" deep, using a coping saw. This was necessary (I discovered after test-fitting) to ensure the box fits flush and solid on the BYOB. It was all smoothed very carefully with the 400-grit sandpaper and superglued to the BYOB. In the next pictures you can see that there was a bit of a gap in front. I filled this with some Bondo spot putty, using a disposable plastic knife. The sanding was done by wrapping 400-grit sandpaper around another plastic knife. This helped the appearance quite a bit. For the feeder plate that goes on top of the cover box, I white-glued two pieces of 1/4" balsa together (I didn't have 1/2" available) and clamped them together overnight. To shape the plate, I first cut the now 1/2" balsa block to a length of 3-3/8" and a width of 3/4". Both of those dimensions lost a sixteenth or so, as I had to sand a fair bit to even out the shape of the block and make sure it was square on all edges. I then cut a piece of Plastruct to a width of 1/2" and a length that matches of the long side of the balsa block (3-5/16" by now). Next, I drew the plate seam patterns I wanted to use with a pencil, and cut them out of the Plastruct carefully, using an x-acto knife. NOTE: I cut an extra 1/16" off the larger squarish leftmost and rightmost pieces, so they would be short enough for me to leave gaps to show seams. Then, I superglued the styrene parts onto the balsa block, leaving a tiny (1/32") space between each, creating the illusion of plate seams. To shape the sides of the block, I wrapped a piece of 400-grit sandpaper around a 1" dowel, and carefully sanded the curvature. A little freehand sanding completed the straight edges. Since there should be a small space between the top of the feed cover box and the bottom of this feeder plate, I superglued a 1/4" wide strip of styrene to the bottom rear surface of the plate. It'll be nearly invisible, and will elevate the plate just the right amount. After coating all the balsa surfaces with 3 coats of white glue, I superglued the plate onto the feed cover box. Looking at the top view, I could see that there was a bigger gap between the plate and the BYOB, so I jammed a toothpick in there to take up the space. It won't be noticeable when it's painted. Also, I see that the plate doesn't align perfectly with the box, but it's not noticeable unless you look for it. I think it works just fine. For the finishing details on the rear of the receiver, I applied the following: 1. A large brad head for the button on the side. 2. A small screw jammed into the hole that's already there. (It'll disappear when it's painted.) 3. A small trapezoidal piece of balsa to simulate a release button. The final bit of work involved grinding off the fake "disc" on the side of the receiver with a dremel and smoothing it with Bondo spot putty: Done with the left side! It's really starting to look like a real DLT! Next post I will tackle the right side. Which will require some heavy dremel action. Thanks for reading! Bill
  12. 19. FEED COVER This update was a long time coming, but it turned out to be a lot larger project than I expected. So if you're still reading, settle in for a bit, because I think this is the biggest update yet! Beware of many pics! First off, some original pics for inspiration: The feed cover is one of the most distinctive looking parts of the whole build. It is fundamental in giving the DLT-19 its characteristic "hump back" and therefore its unique silhouette. This is where the BYOB really falls short. The toy gun tries to simulate that hump by having a "wave" shape on the sides, but doesn't really have anything on top. No silhouette. As a result, I had to build up a lot of material on the sides and top to make it all work, but it came out looking quite nice. Break out the balsa! I started by using a piece of paper to trace the area above wave shape on the side into a template, and then cut a piece of 1/4" balsa accordingly. I then carefully sanded it with 400-grit sandpaper. The sanding process goes quite fast on balsa. It took several test fits followed by gentle sanding to get the shapes just right. I then glued the balsa pieces on the sides using E6000, clamping tightly. After this, I used 400-grit sanding paper on a sanding block to carefully sand the tops and sides so it was all flush to the plastic. Next, it was time to build the "hump" on top. This is a somewhat complex shape, but I was able to make it happen using balsa, styrene, and Bondo spot putty. I started with a 6" or so length of 2" wide by 3/8" thick balsa: The idea here was to cut a gentle slope into the balsa, creating about a 3-inch "ramp". I did this by wedging the 6" piece into my mitre box at an approximate good angle, and sawing down with a very fine-toothed saw. The balsa moved around a little, but I did sort of get a decent ramp out of it. I KEPT THE UNUSED PIECE FOR A STEP BELOW! I then further shaped it using the 400-grit sanding block, and then cut it short to 3" in length: The trick is to be patient and take it slow! I then cut another 3" piece of the same 2" x 3/8" balsa for positioning it behind the ramp. Then, I glued the two pieces onto the top of the blaster using E6000, clamping them down nice and tight: After some gentle, slow sanding of the sides, the top pieces became nice and flush to the side balsa pieces. Notice the gap in front behind the plastic sight. This is intentional, leaving me space to build my hinge next. For the hinge, I first needed to build up around the BYOB's plastic sight. I cut two cubes of balsa at 5/8" x 1/2" x 1/4", and superglued them to the sides of the sight, tucking them in behind the balsa sides. Next, I cut two cubes of 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/2" balsa, and glued them so that they sit more or less flush with the previous blocks, resting on the balsa sides that I started with. I then sanded it all smooth with the 400-grit sanding block. Then, I cut a 1-3/4" piece of wood dowel, and then carefully split it down the middle with a saw. After gluing it on top of my cubes with E6000 (and a clamp), I sanded the dowel to bring it flush with the sides. After this, I did my best to fill all the seams I could find with Bondo spot putty. This took 2-3 applications of putty, with sanding between every application. It's getting there! By this point, all that sanding is causing the sides to angle slightly inward near the top, but it's not really noticeable, and it's starting to look pretty nice! There is a round-ended, elongated extension on the top, projecting back from the ramp. I started this by taking a piece of Plastruct (styrene), first cutting a 1-3/8" x 4-3/8" rectangle. I then carefully used a 1" forstner drill bit to cut two 1" holes, 1" apart on-center, with the center of the first one about 1-3/8" from the front of the rectangle. I sketched on the rectangle the rounded curve. To cut the curve, I first cut some straight edges around it using an x-acto knife, and then sanded the rest. I also cut the bits between the circles with the x-acto knife, and sanded those edges smooth. This extension piece has a ramp of its own, upside down so that it can lay flush against the ramp of the top of the blaster. To accomplish this, I didn't have to cut a new ramp; instead, I used the extra piece left over from cutting off the original ramp above, ensuring the pieces will mate together. After sanding and shaping the smaller ramp, I superglued it to the underside of my styrene piece, just forward of the circle holes. I then went through several stages of cutting and sanding to get the shape you can see in this picture: The Bondo spot putty (above) was used to hide the seam and allow me to do some additional shaping. It took several test fits on the blaster to get it just right, but when I was done, this is what it looked like: I then used the Bondo spot putty as a sort of a "caulk", smoothing the edges in the hole and around the curved edge, with my finger. This should look much smoother when it's painted. A little light sanding to smooth the transition of the putty and I was ready to work on the hinge some more. For the hinge, I took a piece of thin craft foam, and cut it to a length of 2-1/8" x 1-11/16" wide. I cut a hole 9/16" wide by 7/16" long, with the back edge about 7/8" in from the back of the piece. I also sliced off the back material from the hole, leaving me a rectangle 7/8" long x 9/16" wide. The curve was hand-drawn and cut with scissors, and dips into the rectangle no more than 1/8". (The craft foam I'm using now is self-adhesive on one side, and this is helping speed things along.) I then attached/glued the foam over the hinge pieces I cut previously, with the rectangle attached on the back side, tucked into the gap behind the sight to leave an intentional gap in the hinge.. I filled more seams with the spot putty, including a little "caulking" where the back of the hinge meets the top styrene piece. A little more light sanding followed this, to ease the transitions of the putty. For the rear of the feed cover, I cut a block of 3/8" balsa, at 1-3/4" wide by about 1-1/2" long. The two notches in the front are about 1/4" long by 3/16" wide. I superglued it in and then sanded it flush. To cover this block, I cut a piece of self-adhesive craft foam, about 1-1/2" long and about 2-1/2" wide. I traced a coin (quarter) for the curve beyond the 1-1/2" length. After a few test fits and a couple more cuts, I superglued this piece over the rear block, wrapping it over the top and sides: For the front grips, I cut two 1-1/2" x 3/8" pieces of 3/8" thick balsa, and then sliced and sanded them into these shapes: I then superglued the grips to the side pieces, right along the upper ramp seam (actually 1/8"+ below the seam), and just behind where the receiver cover box will go. This was done on both sides. EDIT: I attached these pieces too high on the blaster! It was necessary to remove them and place them 1/8" or so lower than what you see in the below pics, in order to line up with the left side feed cover box. If you're following along, position them 1/4" below the seam! Next came a couple important days of coating all of these wood-and-putty pieces with several coats of white glue. Using a paintbrush, I painted everything over thoroughly, making sure to leave a minimum of two hours between coats. This not only protects the balsa and putty (which can flake off), but also helps smooth the surfaces further. I can't recommend this step enough! To simulate the screws and assorted bumps, I used the following: - screw covers (Home Depot) - thumbtacks (anywhere) - decorative brads (Michaels) After cutting off the "tails" of the brads with a wire clipper, I superglued everything onto the top in this configuration: (Notice that notch in the craft foam over the rear block? Yep, I forgot to cut that previously, and had to cut of off both sides after mounting. ) The screw slot was carved into the rear screw cover using the same technique as for the bipod in a previous step: lots of x-acto knife carving and some filing. I will be able to make that slot stand out more during the weathering phase. I also added two brads to the sides of the hinge: Feed cover is done! Whew, that was a lot! But I'm very pleased with the look of what I consider to be a fairly crucial component of this build. Next post (hopefully 1-2 weeks), I will be working on the left panel and the receiver box, which is not a part of the MG34, but unique to the DLT-19. Thanks for following! Bill
  13. I used a 1-1/4" ID PVC pipe as my main blaster barrel diameter, and 1-1/2" at the base to make it closer to proper scale at that point. The template prints floating around are not perfect, no. They will probably have to be tweaked/scaled to match properly. You can have a look at my BYOB build thread for updated templates: http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/32933-astyanaxs-poor-man-dlt-19-build/ Bill
  14. Here's mine: http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/31669-rubies-yet-again-astyanaxs-e11-conversion/ It's a great blaster, if you can still get it for a good price. Bill
  15. Thanks guys. I haven't dropped this thread, just taken a break. New job and all. Will update next week. Bill
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