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Techne

My Resin Doopy's E-11 Build and the Mistakes I Made Along the Way

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I'm making my blaster while my armor is on order, same as most folks. I've been doing a lot of the mods I've seen on other build threads here, so I want to say thanks to all the people whose ideas I relentlessly ripped off borrowed in homage. I think I've done a decent job so far, and I've been enjoying it a lot, but I've also screwed up a fair number of things along the way and thought I'd document those as well, since a lot of times it's easier to learn from other people have done wrong than by what they've done right! (I fixed most of the mistakes eventually.)

 

First is the good ol' "pieces right out of the box" picture:

 

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My basic approach was to do all the cutting, drilling, screwing, etc. I could first, then glue everything on, then make the scope rail.

 

I started by cutting the heads off some bolts, then I drilled out the resin bolts in the handle and the front tip of the blaster. Then I glued in the real cut-off bolt heads.

 

This was my first time using a dremel to cut metal; I've done some wood carving using them before, but I was a little skittish about the metal, not wanting cut my fingers off or anything! But it went fine. Anyway, my skittishness led to a not-so-amazing job of cutting the first one (top), but I got the process down fine for the second one (bottom) and the third one (not shown).

 

I have a decent amount of tools at home, but one thing I don't have is a vice, so I've had to improvise and use multiple clamps, as you can see! (I also don't have a drill press, which has led to any number of off-center screws, as you'll see throughout the thread.)

 

The pics of the installed bolts come from a bit later in the process, and show a bit of the Bondo work that I did to fix the resin where I chipped it during the drilling process.

 

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I drilled the hole in the bottom of the back endcap, and glued on the D-ring. I've been using epoxy for all my gluing, which has been working very well. The paint job on the D-ring looked like that when I got it in the mail from Doopy's. It's a little annoying. I was consider stripping it all off, but didn't out of laziness, which I expect I will pay for later. I may still try to strip off the rest of the white before I paint the whole gun. Painting that ring seems like it's going to be hard no matter what though...seems to me that it will be difficult to get both sides painted evenly now that it's attached to the gun.

 

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Then I made the front sight. I started by getting a flat-head drill bit that looked like it would be about the right size, and cut it down. However, once I put it up against the actual resin sight, it looked too large. Looking through some of the build threads on here again, it was obvious I needed something a lot smaller. I know they don't make any drill bits the size I wanted, but I was loath to cut up a real screwdriver and ruin a tool. But as I looked through my screwdrivers I saw that I had some duplicate small ones, so I went ahead and cut one up. This was a much better size, both in terms of fitting the sight mount, and in terms of matching the originals, from I can tell from the research in threads like dm101's. You can compare the two sizes that I made in the first picture, and the second picture shows the smaller one installed later on.

 

I also dremeled out the rest of the resin sight, which was some nice practice with the dremel. I had to buy some extra fine tips to really get in there and hollow out those crevices.

 

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Having screwed up in my bolt-cutting and sight-making, I still forged ahead into more experimental realms.

 

I wanted to make a working firing-selection switch, like MisterFubar did. Basing my approach on his, I hollowed out a bit of the inside of the switch--just enought to fit the head of a cap bolt. I drilled a hole in the handle of the gun so the bolt would fit in tightly and not fall out, but it would still be able to turn. Then I glued the bolt into the switch.

 

However, it did not occur to me that because part of the grip is raised above the rest of the handle, I wouldn't be able to screw the switch/bolt combo all the way down to the surface of the gun--the switch would hit the grip before it got all the way down! Now I was screwed.

 

The only thing I could think of was to drill the hole a little wider, then wrap a single thickness of electrical tape around the shaft of the bolt, so that it was about as thick as the hole, but squishy. The I pushed the bolt straight down (no screwing). It fit really tightly, and stayed in there without any danger of falling out, but still swiveled! I was almost 100% sure this was not going to work, so I didn't take a picture of the tape on the bolt. So I did it completely incorrectly, but I lucked out and it worked. Don't do what I did though, I can't promise it will work a second time!

 

The top pictures show the way I glued the bolt into the switch, and the bottom pics show it as it is currently installed.

 

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I'll continue with my build in the next post.

Edited by Techne

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Looking good! I chipped the end of my barrel when drilling out the hex head holes too. Resin is very brittle. It didn't chip too bad, so I'm leaving it as "weathered".

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Looking good! I chipped the end of my barrel when drilling out the hex head holes too. Resin is very brittle. It didn't chip too bad, so I'm leaving it as "weathered".

Thanks. Yeah, it seesm particularly susceptible to drills, as opposed to the dremel.

 

I just found out I can't upload more than a few pictures directly to the site, so I'm off to make a Flickr account. More of my build to come later tonight, hopefully.

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Looking nice there, keep up the good work :duim:

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Next, I wanted to make a working trigger, as seen in MisterFubar and OsotheBear's threads. This was the hardest thing to do.

 

The hardest part to figure out was where exactly the trigger's hinge would go--where would it go on the trigger, and where would it go on the gun's grip. I tried to think through a few different placements, and came up with a spot (which is a bit different from where MisterFubar and Oso put theirs, so I was kind of nervous).

 

I drilled out a small tunnel behind the trigger for a spring (top picture), and carved the back of the trigger a bit so there was a little nub for the spring to hold onto. I used a basic small spring from Ace. The placement of this tunnel was also not totally clear to me; I wasn't sure if it was going to apply force in the right direction. I decided to just do the same as Oso and Fubar did, at least as far as I could tell, and go back at an angle. Then I used a bit of wire to hold the trigger in place.

 

Shockingly, it all worked. I originally made the tunnel too long, and filled it in a little. The trigger moves in and out fairly well. Not a huge amount of movement, as it is blocked by the trigger guard, which is fine. You can't see the spring. The bottom left picture shows it all installed.

 

The biggest problem is that the trigger wiggles back and forth sideways a bit. This is partly because there's space to the left and right of the trigger where it's housed in the grip, but also because the interior of the trigger guard is kind of angled left-to-right (not because of how I installed it, but in the mold itself). So the trigger doesn't move to the left much, but it can slip outside of the trigger guard on the right side if pushed. I originally tried putting a little spackle on the sides of the top of the trigger, but that wore away.

 

Speaking of spackle, I knew it would be crappy, but originally tried it anyway--not just here but also in other places as a gap-filler. Sometimes it can dry pretty hard, but it was still too soft everywhere I used it, and eventually I just sanded it all off and got some Bondo and used that instead. I know the spackle was a dumb move, but I wanted to avoid buying new materials unless I had to. Anyway, I had already glued the trigger and trigger guard in place before I got the Bondo, so I couldn't put any Bondo on the sides of the top of the trigger. So what I did instead was to put some Bondo on the inside of the trigger guard, to even it out. Basically I built up the right side of the inside of the guard (bottom right picture). This seemed to work a little, and now the trigger is still a little wobbly but not much.

 

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Once this was taken care of, I went back to some easier stuff. I drilled out the resin screws on the top and side of the Hengstler, and put in brass screws. I drilled holes for the wires in the tips of the Hengster and the power cylinders, and glued the cylinders and clip parts all together.

 

Of course, once I drilled holes in all three of the Hengstler posts, I realized that only two of them have wires sticking out of them. So I filled the center one back in. (There will be pictures of the Hengstler's holes later on, probably in my next post.)

 

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Then I epoxyed all the random bits on to the blaster: the grip onto the barrel, the front and rear sights, the muzzle and ejecter guards, the bayonet piece, the little deal in the back on the bottom. This all went fairly well, except the rear sight is a bit tilted to one side, I fear. Nothing I can do about that now, though.

 

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I drilled the extra hole in the bottom of the barrel, although honestly once I put my stock on, it completely covered it up, so I don't know if that was really necessary to do.

 

I glued together the two parts of the stock and then glued them on the blaster. I filled in the gaps with Bondo, sanded it down, then drilled the extra circles in the bottom of the stock. I couldn't find any 7/16ths Forstner bits, so I went with one size larger, 1/2 inch. I filled in the small holes that the Forstner made at the bottom of the circles and sanded them smooth.

 

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The next thing was one of my favorite parts, but also one of the more difficult things to get done right.

 

I know the original guns had an "OFF" with an arrow, engraved upside-down on the end of the clip. I wanted to put that on, but writing it in "High Galactic" (aka English) kind of bothered me. I know there are Latin letters all over the rest of the blaster (the letters near the firing switch, for instance), but I didn't want to add any more. I'm an alphabet nerd (even beyond the Star Wars universe), so I wrote them in Aurebesh. The difficulty in doing this is that the "F"s are basically horizontal, so it takes up more space than it would using Latin letters, and it was really hard to squeeze them all in there--there's a minimum stroke width that makes it hard to fit them all in legibly. The first time I did it (top picture), I didn't have the right dremel bit, and it looked all scratchy. I Bondoed over it. I tried it again with a new round-headed bit, and I liked its line quality, but the bit's head was still too wide (not pictured). Finally I did it a third time using a third bit and I'm reasonably happy with the results. (Although I still had to go over it a few times--the second picture is the first try with the third bit, and the bottom picture is the final version.)

 

I also cut off the corners of the clip.

 

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Of course, this is an alternate version of the text and I suppose, even though it's more authentic in my mind, it's perhaps less screen- accurate. Hopefully it won't get in the way of my future EIB/Centurion attempts, but if so, I suppose I can always just put my armor up for the tests by itself. Anyway, it's a nice personal touch for me.

 

More coming later!

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Great pics, thanks for the play by play of your build. Very helpful. For those preparing for their first time.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Looking nice there, keep up the good work :duim:

Great pics, thanks for the play by play of your build. Very helpful. For those preparing for their first time.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Looking good!

Thanks guys!

 

Moving on with the build, next I epoxied on the clip. These pics show the blaster from all angles. They were also taken at the point where I was still trying out the spackle, so there are white splotches all over. Those spots have all been Bondoed since then, so now they are all pink splotches! (These pics were taken earlier than the "OFF" pics in the previous post, so they show the old version of the inscription.)

 

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One thing I noticed after I glued the clip on is that the power cylinders are at an angle to the direction of the blaster's barrel (third picture from the top, above). This struck me immediately as a mistake. I hadn't really intended them to be at an angle, I just glued them on parallel to the end of the clip, not really thinking about the fact that they wouldn't be parallel to the barrel.

 

But when I looked around, I saw that some other people have put their cylinders at the same angle that I did. Now, maybe they all just made the same mistake I did, or maybe they are actually supposed to be that way. I did see one carefully drawn diagram that showed them at an angle. On the other hand, I've also seen many blasters with the cylinder on straight (parallel to the barrel). Plus, on at least one diagram I saw, it described the cylinders as targeting sensors, and if that's the case it would certainly make sense for them to point in the same direction as the barrel.

 

Can anyone offer any insight on this matter? Is there a correct way to do it, or is it variable, in the same way that the movies' blasters sometimes did and sometimes didn't have wires or Hengstlers? Not that I can change it now, they're glued on there permanantly. But it would be nice to know.

 

Next I made the bolt. I made the spring by wrapping some wire around a wood dowel. I just happened to have the dowel. It fit inside the barrel with room to spare, and I could tell that there was just enough room that I could wrap the wire around it and it would all still fit inside, so I knew the spring would be the right width when it was done. I was worried about making the spring, because I didn't think it would be possible to make the spring's curves look regular enough just by curving it around by hand. But somehow that turned out fine.

 

Then I got another, larger dowel to act as the bolt. This one fit almost perfectly inside the barrel: it is loose enough to move forwards and backwards, but tight enough so it doesn't rattle. I'll eventually paint it some kind of metallic color. I cut it down so that when one end is up against the front of the gun, the other end is visible in the charging slot, terminating right before the end of the stock, which seems to be the right spot based on other people's pictures. I looked at a few other threads' versions of bolts. I liked Aosen and swmand4's metal/PVC tube approach, but couldn't find any tubing that fit the way I wanted, and ultimately I'm pretty happy with the wood, as long as I sand it smooth and paint it.

 

I used a thin nail, which I cut the head off of, to act as a small peg for the charging handle to attach to. I drilled a hole in the charging handle so it can slip on the peg, and will glue it onto the peg after I paint it all. Right now I can pull the peg in and out of the bolt, so I can slip the bolt in and out of the blaster.

 

I epoxied the spring on to the end of the bolt, although it occurs to me that it doesn't really need to be attached, since it will rest up against the end of the bolt no matter what. I'll cut the spring down after I make the final fit.

 

I am somewhat considering cutting the bolt down so it just goes a few inches forward into the barrel. I know in a real gun, it would end there as a way to charge the bullets, but in a blaster that's not so relevant. I like the idea of an inner barrel that fills up the main barrel, which keeps it so you can't see all the way through the holes, since the holes seem somewhat inappropriate on an energy weapon. Anyone have any opinions on this?

 

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I finally ended up making the scope rail and Hengstler bracket, which I had been a little nervous about, since I hadn't done much metal work before. But, as with other things I had been worried about, it wasn't that hard. A little cutting with the dremel and it was mostly all set.

 

I used 1/16" thick, 3/4" wide aluminum for the rail, and 1/16" angled aluminum for the bracket, so I wouldn't have to bend the metal for the bracket. I looked at all the diagrams people have made for both pieces, but in the end I just ended up measuring everything directly against the blaster to make sure it all fit. When it came to making the bends for the scope rail, it was remarkably easy. I made the first bend almost entirely with my hands (it was held in a clamp though), and finished off the final few degrees by pressing on it with the hammer--I didn't even need to hit it. Then I made the second bend using pliers to make sure it was bent at the exact right spot.

 

Looking at other threads, I wasn't sure at first where to screw it in at the tail end. At least one person cut off the center vertical part of the rear sight and screwed the rail on through the center of the back of the sight. Others have screwed it to the front of the rear sight. It does seem logical to screw it in through the rear of the rear sight, since there's an existing hole there. But I ultimately decided to screw it in the front of the rear sight.

 

I went back and forth forever deciding on what kind of screw to use. I liked the idea of using the same kind of bolt that I used on the front of the blaster, and on the bottom of the handle, but that would block the sight and (even more importantly), I seem to only have one metal-drilling drill bit. For whatever reason, it's the only bit I have that works on metal. Maybe I picked it up to do a special job at some point in the past and forgot about it.

 

Anyway, that drill bit meant that only certain screws were going to fit, and eventually I found a nice cap screw that worked, and looked good. But, despite me having talked about this for several sentences, I forgot to take a picture of it!

 

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After I made the scope rail, I noticed that the feet of the scope are too wide for the rail--the rail is 3/4" wide, and the feet of the scope clearly hang out on both sides. Again, I was sure this was a mistake on my part--I must have used a rail that was too thin. But I looked around, and it looks to me like the feet hang over the side of most people's rails. Also, when I lined up the scope on the rail, I noticed that the feet hung off irregularly--the rear foot was lined up exactly on the right, but hung over on the left, while it hung over on both sides on the front foot. So even if the rail was wider, it wouldn't line up correctly.

 

This irregularity really bothered me, so I sanded down the overhang on both feet. Now the front and back feet are flush with the scope rail on both sides. The top picture shows the scope with lines drawn on the feet where they overhang the rail, and the bottom picture shows the scope after I sanded down the legs.

 

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I made the Hengstler bracket out of angled aluminum, as I said. I had the same "only one size of metal-drill bit" problems, but again found some screws I liked. Although you can't see them whatsoever once it's all attached to the blaster, so it doesn't really matter.

 

The big question for me here was the placement of the Hengstler. From what I've read and seen, it seems like the top of the Hengstler should sit halfway up the scope, when looked at from the side. It's a little less clear where it should sit, in terms of towards the front or back of the blaster. My impression, and I could be wrong, is that the forward tips of the Hengstler should be close to, or slightly over, the clip/cylinders. There also seemed to be some variation as to where the back of the Hengstler lined up, in relation to the scope. I ended up lining up the back of the Hengster with the back of the back foot of the scope.

 

Also, I've noticed that most people seem to attach the bracket to the Hengstler in the front half of the side of the Hengster--where the raised patterning is--but one or two have attached it to the rear half. Purely from an aesthetic point of view, I thought it made more sense to attach it to the smooth part in the rear half, as you can see in the bottom pic.

 

You can also see here that I replaced the resin screws in the front of the scope with real screws, as others have done. You can just barely see the holes I drilled in the front prongs of the Henglster, and the Bondo where I re-filled up the center prong after I realized that only the outer two prongs get wires.

 

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The last picture shows the blaster as it exists right now--with most of the modifications done, and most things attached.

 

While at times it's seemed like a comedy of errors, I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so far. The working trigger, bolt, and selector switch all work fine, I like all the real bolts and screws I put in, and overall in terms of craft/aesthetics I'm happy.

 

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I am still planning on modding the counter on the Hengstler by gluing on a set of printed-out numbers and covering it with a strip of plexi, as seen in SIMpixels and dm101's threads. (Plus adding a button.) I've already sanded down the face of the Hengstler, as can be seen in the pics of the Hengstler bracket a little earlier.

 

I'm also going to drill out the ends of the scope a bit and add in some printed-out targeting images, and cover them with plexi circles, as others have done as well. I'm a little curious how well the plexi cutting is going to go, since it's easy to chip. But I haven't tried with a dremel before. I don't want to have to buy real lenses, so if the plexi cutting doesn't go well, I'll have to figure something else out.

 

Once I do those two mods, then it's time to paint!

 

I'll be working on the next steps over the next week or so, and will update this thread then. Thanks for reading!

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OK, I've moved along a little bit.

 

First I dug into the scope's front and back lense area by about an eighth of an inch or so. I don't have a 3/8 or 7/8 bit that would work there, so I used the dremel. I've actually gotten to a point where I feel fairly confident in using it to clean out a space and give it a flat bottom, equal to the effect a drill would have.

 

I also dug out a rectangle on the Hengstler where the counter sits, as well as a smaller rectangle for the counter button.

 

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I asked SIMpixels for a copy of his counter graphic, as featured on his build thread, using my own number. He graciously agreed and I printed it out. It looks great. I also printed out a copy of the scope pictures that are floating around the site. I don't know exactly whose they are but they seem to be more or less in the public domain here, so to speak. I hope I haven't stepped on any toes by using them. I cut out the center of one of the scope pictures to use for the front lens, and used another for the rear. I found that the image was a little too large for the hole I had carved out, so I shrank the image to fit.

 

Then I got some plexi and shaped it to the size of the two lenses and the counter graphic. This was a challenge, because making a perfect circle out of anything is tough, and plexi is not my favorite material in the world. But I was quite happy with the results after doing a few versions, improving them each time.

 

I also did a couple glue tests, to see what kind of glue could bond the image to the lens without fogging it up or washing out the image. Superglue was OK, but Mod Podge worked best: it had good binding power and was clear and smooth. It's what I used on the square of plexi on the right, below. That's what I'll use when I finally glue it in.

 

Last, I made a Hengstler button out of Bondo. I just made a blob of Bondo, then slowly shaped and sanded it down to size.

 

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I cut the basic shape out of the plexi with a dremel cutting wheel, then used one of the sanding cylinders to create the final shape. I have become quite fond of the two dremel heads below. One is the sanding drum I used on the plexi, and the other is the drilling/shaping bit I used to make the rectangles in the Hengster and the holes in the lense areas. I also used both while making the Hengstler button. I'm impressed with the level of quality results you can get out of them.

 

The one thing I may do (I haven't decided yet) is partially round the edges of the rectangular plexi on the Hengstler. I intentionally made it protrude from the face a bit (see below), and it might be nice if the sides are rounded a bit. SIMpixels did a really nice job doing a fully-rounded piece of plexi, but my experiments with it haven't resulted in quite such a clear finish. But I might be able to do just a bit of a bevel around the sides. We'll see.

 

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FInally, here are some pictures of the graphics and lenses, plus the button, in the scope and Hengstler. They're not glued in yet, this is just to check for their size. I think I will paint it first, then glue them in.

 

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And I believe painting is the next step, so I am now off to do some reseach on exactly what paint colors and treatments to use.

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Great job so far Chris!

 

I won't lie, polishing up my piece of clear acrylic after filing the curved edges was a real time consumer. From needle file, to sandpaper, to 240 grit sanding pad, to t-cut and then buffing it for an hour with a soft cloth. It really is a labour of love. :)

 

Depending upon what sort of plastic you use may cause your results to differ. Even leaving the window flat is an option. The only person who it'll really matter to is you.

 

Keep having fun with it, that's the main thing. :jc_doublethumbup:

 

Si.

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Great thread!

Thanks--sorry I missed saying so earlier, I guess you commented while I was in the process of writing up my long post last week so I missed it.

 

Great job so far Chris!

 

I won't lie, polishing up my piece of clear acrylic after filing the curved edges was a real time consumer. From needle file, to sandpaper, to 240 grit sanding pad, to t-cut and then buffing it for an hour with a soft cloth. It really is a labour of love. :)

 

Depending upon what sort of plastic you use may cause your results to differ. Even leaving the window flat is an option. The only person who it'll really matter to is you.

 

Keep having fun with it, that's the main thing. :jc_doublethumbup:

 

Si.

Yeah, smoothly rounding off the plexi is clearly a real endeavor. I got some decent test results though a mixture of sanding and using my dremel's polishing bit. It wasn't perfect, but I'm going to get some finer-grain sandpaper and do some more tests. I don't think I want to go for the full rounded look like you did, because that clearly involves a lot less room for imperfection, but if I just round off the edges it's alright if they stay a teeny bit scuffed. Thanks for your comments; your thread (along with some others) really set the bar for me when I tackled this project. And yes, if it's not fun, why bother :)

 

Looking good, nice work there :duim:

This is one of the more impressive blaster builds I've ever seen.

 

Thanks...and if it's any good, it's only because I've been stealing ideas left and right from everyone else!

 

 

 

I'm curious if anyone has any input on two questions I brought up last week: is there a right way to point the power cylinders--should they go straight ahead, or angled towards the barrel? And do you think of the bolt as a mechanism that should end soon after it enters the barrel, so that it can do something akin to loading up a bullet, or does it do something completely different given that this is an energy weapon? I'm just trying to decide whether I want to keep it going all the way down the barrel so it functions as a sort of interior barrel.

 

Also, one other question about paint: I understand that the grip is glossy because it was plastic. And I understand that the t-tracks were also plastic, and they don't get painted in the same way as the barrel of the blaster. But are the t-tracks glossy, the same as the grip? And how about the scope/Hengstler/rail?

 

Looking at other people's blasters, I am thinking glossy grip and t-tracks, flat black scope/Hengstler/rail, and hammered-finish barrel. But 3 types of black might be too much. So maybe just glossy grip/t-tracks, and flat black everywhere else.

 

Any opinions?

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OK, I'm finally done with my blaster. Very exciting to be finished!

 

The first thing I did was to burnish the edges of my plexi for the Hengstler counter window, giving them a smooth curve. I used sandpaper to do the main curve, then the burnishing tip of my dremel to smooth it out. This worked fine. I didn't take pics of the plexi by itself, but you can see it in place at the end of this post.

 

Then I painted everything. First I spray painted it all with a grey primer. My plan for weathering, after looking at all the approaches other people had done, was to give it a metallic undercoat, cover it with black, then sand the black off at the weathered spots to reveal the metallic paint. This worked so-so and I don't know if I'd do it that way again--more about this later.

 

So after the primer I sprayed it all with a "brushed nickel" coat, except for the scope which was "classic bronze." Then I painted everything with flat black (except, obviously the bolt and spring). I have to say if I did it all over again, I might paint it before gluing the major pieces together, because it was a pain to get inside the fork of the stock, for instance.

 

I should have taped off the fake bolt window on the barrel, because that was supposed to stay metallic, but I forgot, so I had to repaint it later.

 

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Then I did my weathering. I tested it on some other surfaces first, then did it to the blaster. I used a variety of grits of sandpaper, from very fine to very coarse. I tried to wear away the black so you could see the metallic underneath. In some spots, especially the scope, this worked very well, but in others it just went right through to the resin. That still looked kind of interesting in some spots actually, and I left some chips of resin showing through on purpose. In other parts where it didn't look so good, I smudged in some black paint again, to cover it up. In general, I'm not super happy with the overall weathering effects; it's OK rather than good. The places it looks best are on the edges and corners of things, as opposed to flat surfaces. If I was going to do it again, I probably would either coat certain areas of the nickel with a resist before putting on the black, then lift off the resist to reveal the nickel underneath, or I would have just dry-brushed the nickel on top of the black.

 

Then I taped off the t-tracks and grip and the fake bolt window on the barrel, and painted it with a clear matte (top picture,below).

 

This was the only part that really gave me trouble. I don't know why, but my clear matte paint was really problematic. When I tested it on a board to see what it looked like, it crackled the paint underneath and lifted it off the board. But in other test spots, it did not. I was worried but did ultimately spray it on the blaster, and for the most part it worked fine. But in a few spots it lifted off the black paint, and I had to fix those spots). I am still not at all confident that the coating is really protecting it. I have no idea why it acted this way, according to the can it should have been fine. Anyway, I used Krylon Matte Finish 1311, and I would not recommend it.

 

Then I masked off everything except the fake bolt window, and painted it metallic again, then covered it with clear matte. Frustratingly, when I took the tape off, it pulled the ejector guard off the barrel, breaking the epoxy. I was surprised, because I didn't pull hard on the tape and I thought the epoxy seal would be much stronger. Anyway I was able to glue it back on without much trouble.

 

Then I painted the trigger. I had taped it off from the beginning, because I was worried that with four coats of paint, it would get stuck in place. In retrospect, I don't think that would have been a problem, and I could have painted it along with everything else. There was also a little spot on the trigger guard, where the trigger rests against it, that still needed paint. So I taped everything off but the trigger and guard, and coated them with primer, black, and clear matte (although really I should have skipped the clear matte, since they would get clear gloss along with the rest of the grip in the next step). This was another point where the clear matte was really annoying. I had a little spot on the trigger where, even after spraying it, I still needed to do a touch-up. So I used a q-tip to paint in this spot with black. But weirdly, when I tried to meet up the new black with the already-painted sections, it actually lifted off the dry primer and black and clear matte and mixed them all together as a dark grey. Somehow the clear matte made the black and primer less adhesive to the resin than they would normally be. Ultimately I got it all painted in, but that clear matte was very frustrating.

 

Finally I taped off everything except for the t-tracks and grip, and painted the t-tracks and grip with clear gloss. (This worked fine, as opposed to the matte.) I forgot to take a picture of this. The matte vs glossy surface isn't super-obvious in any of my final pictures, but it comes across nicely in real life.

 

To sum up the paint job, the bolt and spring are brushed nickel. Everything else is flat back, with a coat of brushed nickel underneath, except the scope, which has classic bronze underneath. The grip and t-tracks are coated with with a clear gloss, and everything else is coated with clear matte.

 

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Around this time I started thinking about the bolt I was using. I had made it out of a dowel, and it was a perfect fit, but even when it was painted, you could still see the wood grain, and I didn't like that. (In the pictures below, the top pic is the wood dowel getting painted and the middle pic is the wood dowel inside the barrel, where I was testing to see what it looked like.) Eventually I decided to get rid of it and use a metal bolt. I happened to have a metal tube hanging around that was just the right diameter, so I used that and painted it with the brushed nickel. (Bottom pic below.) I ended up just wedging the end of the spring inside it; I didn't have to glue the metal tube to the spring.

 

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Once I was done painting, I had some final gluing to do. I put in the bolt, cut off the excess spring, and glued on the endcap. Then I tried to glue on the charging handle, but it didn't work. I was using a pretty thin nail as a pin to hold it on to the bolt (I drilled a hole in the new bolt for the pin), but it didn't quite match the hole size so it was wobbly, and for whatever reason the epoxy didn't really hold. The spring is pretty stiff, so you really have to put a fair amount of pressure on the charging handle in order to pull it back. It was too much force, and the handle popped off. So I tried it again with Liquid Nails, and also glued in the wires with the Liquid Nails too. But that really didn't dry well at all, and I eventually had to pull both the charging handle and the wires out and clean them off.

 

I replaced the thin nail I was using as a pin for the charging handle with a much thicker one, and redrilled the hole in the bolt (which was itself now permanantly inside the barrel, since I had already glued on the endcap, so it was a delicate drilling job). I went back to using the epoxy, and this time it worked: the charging handle stuck in place and could withstand the pressure necessary to pull it back against the spring.

 

I also epoxied the wires in place. I used 14-gauge electrical wire. I had to strip off the rubber coating at the end of the wires where they attach to the Hengstler's prongs in order for the wires to fit in; the Hengstler prongs are so thin that I couldn't make the holes any wider. I was able to make wider holes in the ends of the power cylinders however, and I fit the whole wire in there without having to strip off the rubber from that end of the wire. You can't tell that the one end is stripped from the outside; they both look like they just go inside the holes of their respective gadgets. To make the coils, I just wrapped them around a pen, then compressed them a bit tighter by hand.

 

I also glued the target images into the scope, and the Hengster counter number, plus their plexi covers, using Mod Podge for all of that. And I glued the Hengstler button on with super glue.

 

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The pics below show the metal bolt inside the barrel, as seen through the circles on the underside of the barrel, which I think looks cool, plus a close-up of the wires and a close-up of the screw I used to hold the scope rail in place (which I talked about in a previous post but didn't have a picture of).

 

 

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Oh yeah...so when I was testing the charging handle, which necessitated holding on to the front of the barrel with my other hand, I actually pulled the front of the folding stock right off the barrel! The stock wasn't broken, the epoxy just came apart. I couldn't believe it, I thought epoxy was much stronger than this. Anyway, I just glued it back on.

 

And then I was done. All in all, it is a really cool object to have, and I am very excited. I had a lot of issues along the way, but managed to overcome most of them. It's nice, because I feel like it's a personal accomplishment and the result of my own work, but it also clearly wouldn't have happened without the FISD community, from everyone else's build threads for the basic instructions, to the particular threads that gave me ideas about more specific mods, to the graphics that other people designed.

 

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The only thing I may continue to tinker with a bit is the paint job, getting the weathering to look a little more the way I want. I did notice, when I brought it up out of the basement into better lighting, that I have an enormous thumbprint right on top of the scope. :P The brass screws look good against the black paint. I should point out that I just took them out during the paint job instead of masking them off. I also really like the target images in the scope, which I believe were designed by Synaptyx, and the counter number on the Hengster, which came from SIMpixels.

 

I'm psyched about the various features I added, most of which are based on the work of other people on this site, like the working trigger, selector switch, and charging handle, which are all pictured below, as well as my Aurebesh "OFF." (It's hard to take a picture of the movement of the charging handle because you really need two hands to do it properly, and I need one hand to work the camera! It moves back about an inch.)

 

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Well, that's it, folks! Now I'm just waiting on my armor. Thanks for reading. :)

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Great post. You really earned that blaster with sweat and toil. Looks very nice. Thanks for the in depth description of your process.

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Great post. You really earned that blaster with sweat and toil. Looks very nice. Thanks for the in depth description of your process.

Good job Chris, definitely worth all the effort for such rewarding results. Looks great!

Very nice.

Good job, Chris. I really love your attention to detail.

FANTASTIC!!!!!

Thanks for all the kind words folks. It was fun to do and now it's fun to see how it holds up in the eyes of others.

 

VERY nice job.I hope mine turns out half this good in a month or so.

I'm sure yours will be great, Rob. Really almost everything I did was fairly easy in practice; it was just figuring out how to do it that took a while.

Edited by Techne

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LOOKS GREAT :jc_doublethumbup:

Thanks Craig, yours is certainly one I studied a lot in preparation for mine!

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