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Phoenix Props ANH E-11 Pipe Build

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Nah, I can't get sick over innovations!

 

When I recast the belt from my new parts kit I am pretty sure I will be cleaning up and increasing the center hole in the belt. It will lighten the kit some as well as just providing more space.

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15/16 down the center of the bolt would be perfect Derrek. It would still leave the wall thick enough for working with, and enough space for anyone doing electronics to pull through.

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15/16 down the center of the bolt would be perfect Derrek. It would still leave the wall thick enough for working with, and enough space for anyone doing electronics to pull through.

 

Thanks for the sizing, I'll look into it. I will need to drill out a real bolt, and as this is hardened steel...I might need to have my machinist do it as I don't have really expensive hardened bits for my press.

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Not a lot of progress over the last two days, but that is to be expected. Tomorrow, it is back to work so updates, as mentioned in an earlier post, will be slower to come.

 

First was moving on to the next step for the bolt/nozzle. To help with assembly, once the electronics are done, I installed two stabilizers that run from the front of the bolt, to the back of the nozzle. I used 1mm styrene that was 3/8†wide. They are nice and flexible, but will allow me to achieve the results I want with final assembly.

th_Bolt-5.jpg

Next up is prepping the scope. I am going to use a jewler’s loop (Item#94364) from Harbor Freight. They come out of the main assembly with tiny screws. As you can see in the second picture, the thickest of the two lenses is not more than 0.5mm, so they are nice and thin.

th_Tool-3.jpg

th_Tool-4.jpg

I hollowed out the scope on both ends, making sure I went deep enough from the front for the goal of installing the simulated 3-D sight. I will be using the following scope image (from Trooperbay, bad pic, sorry) as my inspiration for the targeting reticle design.

th_Tool-5.jpg

th_Scope-1.jpg

It turns out that those lenses are very hard poly carb. It took nearly two hours of steady slow grinding to get them to this assembly stage. There are some chips along the edges, but there should be a way for me to clean that up in final assembly. The thick lens will be going in the front, which is not lit.

th_Scope-2.jpg

At this point I cut and assembled my scope rail. The height from the top of the barrel to the bottom of the rail is just under 3/8â€.

th_Scope%20Rail-1.jpg

Here is a test fit of the scope to the barrel itself.  The back part of the scope aligns with the post for the folding tock. The front of the scope is about half way through the mag receiver. I feel good about the placement.

th_Scope%20Rail-3.jpg

Here is my first question. In the end, I would really like to shoot for Centurion with my armor. However; to get the wiring to run from the scope and into the Counter and ultimately into the barrel, I have had to make a non-cannon modification. You can see it here in detail.

th_Scope%20Rail-2.jpg

There is another section of partial straw that will be installed to finish the “run†into the counter itself. The straw goes through the rail and into the bottom of the scope, creating a tunnel for the wiring to be pulled. Will I have an issue with Centurion for this mod? If so, any suggestions on how else to pull the wiring and keep it hidden from sight? I still have time to plug the holes in the scope and rail, but I don’t want to take the next step until I am comfortable with this.

 

Honestly, I like the modification, but I am not the expert that all the vets around here are. I am now leaning on you for direction. Help me FISD, you are my only hope. LOL.

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Here is my first question. In the end, I would really like to shoot for Centurion with my armor. However; to get the wiring to run from the scope and into the Counter and ultimately into the barrel, I have had to make a non-cannon modification. You can see it here in detail.

th_Scope%20Rail-2.jpg

There is another section of partial straw that will be installed to finish the “run†into the counter itself. The straw goes through the rail and into the bottom of the scope, creating a tunnel for the wiring to be pulled. Will I have an issue with Centurion for this mod? If so, any suggestions on how else to pull the wiring and keep it hidden from sight? I still have time to plug the holes in the scope and rail, but I don’t want to take the next step until I am comfortable with this.

 

Honestly, I like the modification, but I am not the expert that all the vets around here are. I am now leaning on you for direction. Help me FISD, you are my only hope. LOL.

 

 

I am pretty sure you will not have any centurion problems with this. As long as the straws you use, or whatever conduit is black it will not be noticeable.

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Since your skills are beyond mine. Is digging a channel in the underside of the aluminum braket an option? That way you can run the wire the length of the braket without seeing it.

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Since your skills are beyond mine. Is digging a channel in the underside of the aluminum braket an option? That way you can run the wire the length of the braket without seeing it.

=======

Thank you for the compliment. Digging is an option, but there are two 24 gauge wires to pull, plus you would still be exposes going to the bottom of the scope for entry. Covering that work would still need to be done. My thought was ditch the channel in favor of the straw method to avoid structural issues.

I appreciate the input!

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Is there not enough material in the scope foot to drill through? So you don't have the stray poking out the bottom?

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Is there not enough material in the scope foot to drill through? So you don't have the stray poking out the bottom?

 

========================

There is, but with a hole for the mounting screw, plus a hole large enough to not damage the wiring, you wind up removing enough material from the scope rail that its integrity could be compromised over time; even when accounting for the thickness of the counter bracket. I don't want to risk that.

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Well it has been some time, hasn’t it? Time for some updates!

When we last left off, I was finishing the scope and not really satisfied with the “straw†solution for wiring the LED I plan to put in there. I set that aside and started work on the façade that will go into the bolt to replicate a spring, without being a spring.

We start with aluminum tubing used for railroad modeling. I used two different types. The 4mm will be the support tubes, while the 3mm will be chopped up into small segments to replicate the spring coils.

th_Tool-6.jpg

The 4mm tubes were glued into holes made into the sidewalls of the bolt assembly. I used 2 part epoxy for this assembly stage.

th_Bolt-6.jpg

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Once that was set up, I cut a channel in the tubes using the dremel cut off wheel. Then I marked a rough estimation of how I wanted the coils to lay out.

th_Bolt-8.jpg

I used two different types of pliers to pinch and shape the small coil cuts from the 3mm tubing. I set them in each spot, checking the fit. At this point I wasn’t concerned about how it looked, just that the pieces fit and that I could get 11 coils in total.

th_Bolt-9.jpg

Now it was time to glue with the 2 part epoxy again. I stopped every three coils to check placement by loading the barrel with the bolt assembly. In the end, this is what I had.

th_Bolt-10.jpg

After filling in the remaining channel gaps with Magic Sculpt, I trimmed off the ends and behold, the springs are a reality! In all this was about 6 hours of work to complete. I took my time to make sure the coils would really look like a spring. I am very happy with the results.

th_Bolt-11.jpg

Going back to the scope, I took another detour and worked out my targeting reticle. I used the scanned image from the trooperbay sticker to get a general idea of how I wanted it to look. Then in Corel Paintshop Pro, a program similar to Photoshop, I broke out the reticle into three pieces. These were then printed onto decal paper and following the manufacturers instructions, I created decals to put onto clear styrene. Here you can see the test set laid out with the reflecter and lens.

th_Scope-3.jpg

I then stacked the pieces onto the LED that will go into the scope on my test board and lit it up for a test run. It is difficult to see the 3-D effect from this picture, but in person the effect was very nice. I believe in the final installation I’ll use some Tamya Clear Green to paint that first layer by the LED to diffuse the light even more.

th_Scope-4.jpg

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Now I could escape it no further, I had to make a call on the straw. After some helpful insight from Gazmozis, it turns out that the straw is just too big and I need another solution. In the end, I decided to modify the suggestion that Sean gave me. Thank you to the both of you for the input.

 I extended the drilled hole in the scope itself to go to the front foot. I removed the straw construction and plugged the holes in both the rail and the scope. Lastly, a larger hole was drilled into the front foot and a channel has now been dug, just wide enough to accommodate two wires, to go from the front foot and into the counter via the bracket. I have a picture, but will call it out later as I go through my steps with the counter. Sean, I was wrong about the instability, the bracket and assembly held up just fine.

So it was time for the counter, which will house the LED Bar Graph, Selected Weapon LED, MP3 Player, Audio Amp, reload switch and all the accompanying wires/resistors. I have my work cut out for me, so it was time to dig in.

First I had to clean up the counter, the details didn’t make it from the pull. So it was time for some magic sculpt.

th_Counter-1.jpg

th_Counter-2.jpg

Once that was all dried, I had to separate the front of the counter from the back of the counter. I broke out my jewelers saw, which is always on my hobby bench, and there was no turning back.

th_Counter-3.jpg

It was time for “eater†and I dug out the interior of the counter that will run the wiring and be the primary support. At the same time, I created a paper template for the breach cover and then broke out my zinc sheet to cut it out. It took some shaping with pliers and the dremel, then I could attach it to the counter. This breach cover is designed to ride just under the bracket and rest against the barrel, hiding all the wiring that is going to go via a hole I will eventually drill there.

th_Counter-4.jpg

th_Counter-5.jpg

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I now attached the counter to the bracket via pins created from the pop rivets I used earlier in the assembly.

th_Counter-7.jpg

Not bad progress, I am happy with how this is coming so far. Here is what it looks like with the rail put into the barrel.

th_Counter-8.jpg

th_Counter-9.jpg

To allow for the servicing of parts, the front of the counter will actually attach via magnets in the back, along with the top and bottom screws, which I will make functional. To accomplish this, the wall of the counter closest to the barrel will be permanently attached. Here are some shots of that. You’ll notice in the first pic listed you can see the channel for the scope wiring that was dug into the bottom of the bracket. The wires do feed successfully into the breach cover I have created.

th_Counter-10.jpg

th_Counter-11.jpg

Now it was time to create the shell for the front that will hold the electronics. This will be the outer side, top and bottom. The first picture is the interior support piece that has zinc sheeting on the back layer. That zinc sheeting hits the magnets I have put into the bracket to hold it in.

th_Counter-12.jpg

With the support glue set, I was able to complete the shell. The only part I am missing is the front plate, which will also have to be custom made. That will be for another day. All of the shell was created out of scrap 2mm ABS that I had on hand.

th_Counter-13.jpg

th_Counter-14.jpg

When glue was drying on the earlier steps, I took the time to create the reset switch by using some scrap ABS. Here is where I am at with that, before adding filler to complete the shape. I have found out my camera really sucks at super close up photos. I need to go back and figure out how to do those shots as I think it is me more than the camera. LOL!

th_Counter-15.jpg

Last part that I finished was creating the window for the LED Bar Graph. To try and get it close to the actual Hengstler 400, I shaped a piece of dowel with my dremel, and then heated up some clear styrene with my heat gun to conform to the shape. This will work out nice, and after some finishing shaping, it fits perfect for what I want to accomplish.

th_Counter-16.jpg

th_Counter-17.jpg

th_Counter-18.jpg

I hope you all had a good Holiday weekend. I hope to have more updates soon.

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Wow- just awesome! Both updates look fantastic.

 

Thank you for the kind words Scott :)

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Hard to believe that another two weeks has flow by. I hope all of you that went to C7 enjoyed your time there, I watched some of the coverage on YouTube and it looked like a grand time.

Time for some updates though, some significant work has been completed, though the overall progress feels like I am moving slower than molasses on a cold winter’s morning. LOL

Here is the finished cover plate and reset button for the counter. I also have my counter box in place for this shot, but it can be removed for working on the electronics.

th_Counter-19.jpg

Now it was time to actually start moving components from my test board and into the counter. First up was the wiring of the LED Graph bar. The first picture shows the back plate where the LED’s are grouped into pairs. In the bottom of the frame you can see the five leads that will go back to the Arduino. The top frame is my ground circuit for what I’m calling the front window.

th_Counter-21.jpg

Here is a side view of that same work; you can see the resistors that are a part of the ground circuit. Yes, only four are readily visible, the fifth is tucked in between the LED Graph and the dome for the blue Selected Weapon LED. That one is very hard to find in the picture here. The two long contacts coming out of the back are the blue LED. The second shot is what the front window looks like with the components completed and glued into place. Nice and clean if you ask me. Too bad the picture is so muddy that it’s hard to see the details. I really need to practice with my camera more and review shots before moving on, my apologies.

th_Counter-20.jpg

 

th_Counter-22.jpg

Now it was time for the reset switch. You’ll notice that I have already painted it flat black, so the painting has begun! I have always felt that a model’s completion was right around the corner when the smell of paint fumes hits my nose. Oh, if that was only the case for me here. The push button switch is in a perfect spot that naturally wedges up against other parts of the structure. It also stays clear of the screws that will be used for final installation. Another small wedge of 2mm ABS is glued on top of the reset button and in front of the switch. Gives it a little more stability and prevents the reset switch from flying out of the front when the gun is turned with the counter window facing the ground.

th_Counter-23.jpg

Test fitting the front window with the switch and reset button. Looking good. Almost like I knew what I was doing, LOL. I remember reading so many stories in the canon of Jedi going into a trance to build their light sabers, almost as if the force was guiding them to which component went next, and where. I feel like I am channeling a lot of that energy here.

th_Counter-24.jpg

A top view of the same test fit.

th_Counter-25.jpg

Time to attach the wiring to the leads that will go back to the Arduino. I found it very helpful to have this little handy tool to hold everything in place as I was soldering it. Blasted camera skills…point and click my rebel #$$!

th_Counter-26.jpg

Ok..got into a serious rhythm with my soldering iron and the components. What you see here are the finished wires from the front window, the MP3 chip and the amp chip. All the power comes in on one wire; there is only one common ground for all the components going back out. That saved me several wires, but there are still 14 of them that have to come back out and work their way into the barrel. That is a lot of work, but after some quick testing, everything still was functioning as intended, so I didn’t burn anything up with my sloppy soldering.

th_Counter-27.jpg

Here is what it looks like ready to be mounted.

th_Counter-28.jpg

I got the counter put together and all the gaps and uneven sides received filler. I’ll get another shot of that prior to paint, but the filler was still drying. Must leave you some suspense!

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Next I moved on to the speakers. After checking space in the barrel I realized that one speaker at the front was not going to fit, so I made an adjustment to my plan on the fly. Both speakers will now be in the rear of the barrel. That is going to cause me some serious fits for getting all the wiring to fit in, but I think I’m up for the challenge. After finishing the counter, I almost feel like I could take on the whole rebellion myself. Heh…

 

First up was cutting a piece of breadboard to fit. Here you see one speaker installed. The two smaller holes in the middle are to allow the speaker wiring to go to my fast clip plates.

th_Elec-1.jpg

Here is the back, wiring and soldering completed. During test fitting the hot glued wires going around the speaker back just didn’t work, the fit was too tight. I removed the hot glue and the wiring now runs directly on top of those speaker backs. You can also see my fast clip plate, which will allow me to complete the wiring and still take the weapon apart for servicing, if needed.

th_Elec-3.jpg

Here is a top view.

th_Elec-2.jpg

Test fitting, you can just make out the clip plate in the barrel. I also put the scope into place as I have to navigate around the nut at the rear sight location.

th_Elec-4.jpg

Here is a view down the barrel. I did have to grind off about 1/32†from both sides of each speaker. This fit is extremely tight, so tight that I might use some wire pulling lubricant when I do the final assembly.

th_Elec-5.jpg

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One major modification to do and then it really is time for what I will consider the “fun†part, the painting. Even though the counter was hard, I saved what I believe will be the hardest part for last, the grip.

I have three key components to install in the grip. First, I have to drill out the trigger assembly screw to allow for the weapon select button to go in. Then in the actual trigger assembly I will need to fit a micro switch for the trigger and a custom made magnetic switch for the “On/Off†function. I am not looking forward to the latter; I have no idea how I’m going to get this finished. I have an idea though….

First up after drilling the hole for the weapon select button was to hollow out the grip for the trigger assembly. A combination of spade bits and “eater†were in order.

th_Grip-1.jpg

Next I built a rough form of the trigger assembly and installed  the trigger mechanics. Here you can see, well sort of see (really need to learn my camera…), the micro switch and the pin that will act as the swing hinge for the trigger itself.

th_Grip-2.jpg

After some brainstorming, I came up with how I can put in the reed switch. Here you can see some breadboard with the reed switch loosely mounted. The other parts are all pieces that will act as the paddle that will move in tandem with the fire selector. I plan to use “S†as off and “R†as on. The paddle is some of the aluminum tubing that was left over from my spring façade. I tapped it for a screw, which is a computer chip mounting screw that I ground the top off of. The half-moon is two pieces of 2mm abs that have been glued together and drilled out for the entire mechanism.

th_Grip-3.jpg

And this weekend was over. Still quite a ways to go on the trigger assembly. I also need to finish the installation of the weapon select button; which will go in the location where the retaining screw goes for an actual trigger assembly. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though. Once the grip is working, I can do the final electronics and then hit the paint. I am hoping that in my next update, which looks like I am on two week cycles, I can have my paint scheme swatches completed and then we can get to the fun part. Final assembly is coming, I hope.

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This is really an incredible build....loving your ingenuity on this!   :salute:

 

Thank you very much. Just inspired by all the others that have done builds prior to mine.

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So today was not a good day. I was done with punching down the primary circuit board and was doing final testing. Everything was good to go when I discovered my LED at the front of the barrel was about an inch short of where it should sit. No problem, just splice some wires in and extend the run. That all went smoothly and when I was covering the run I forgot a key piece. Heat shrink over the smaller connects wasn't melted.

I pulled the main cover over the splices and it moved all the heat shrink underneath. This caused a short in the circuit, that I didn't find until it was way too late.

I fried my Arduino, both RGB LED's (and their driver's). I have no idea if I damaged the components in the counter.

Now, it is off to order more parts, wait a couple weeks for them to arrive and then some how I have to find the courage to do all the electronics again. I'll do my bi-weekly updates on Sunday like normal, but sadly it is going to be a bit before you see any more.

 

Now where is that lightsaber....I must go fall on it.....:6:

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So today was not a good day. I was done with punching down the primary circuit board and was doing final testing. Everything was good to go when I discovered my LED at the front of the barrel was about an inch short of where it should sit. No problem, just splice some wires in and extend the run. That all went smoothly and when I was covering the run I forgot a key piece. Heat shrink over the smaller connects wasn't melted.

I pulled the main cover over the splices and it moved all the heat shrink underneath. This caused a short in the circuit, that I didn't find until it was way too late.

I fried my Arduino, both RGB LED's (and their driver's). I have no idea if I damaged the components in the counter.

Now, it is off to order more parts, wait a couple weeks for them to arrive and then some how I have to find the courage to do all the electronics again. I'll do my bi-weekly updates on Sunday like normal, but sadly it is going to be a bit before you see any more.

 

Now where is that lightsaber....I must go fall on it..... :6:

 

Dang man, bad luck... sorry about that delay!

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Thanks Derrek. I feel pretty silly. Everything was in place and all the electronics were done. Some crazy splicing not done correctly is what brought the whole thing to a halt. /sigh

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Hello everyone, time for another round of updates. When we last left off I was making progress on the concept behind my trigger assembly. Let’s just get right to it, shall we?

Here is the proof of concept. The breadboard segment that is bisecting the assembly has a reed switch on top that has a wire soldered to either end. When the magnets on the switch (upper left corner of the toggle) come within range, the switch will close and allow power to flow through the contacts.

th_Grip-4.jpg

Here is a shot from the other side. The metal plate under the reed switch allows for the other magnets on the toggle (lower right hand side) to stick. This gives the switch a stopping point and will maintain the connection for power to flow through the reed switch.

th_Grip-5.jpg

Here is a close up shot of the toggle switch. The three magnets on the lower right are to hold the switch in position, the upper left hand magnets activate the reed switch; as noted above.

th_Grip-6.jpg

I now installed an additional structural support in the assembly, and the metal plate you see there is for the toggle to be allowed to be held in an “off†position. On the actual grip, the selector switch will line up with the “S†and when I toggle it over to on, it will come very close to the “R†position.

th_Grip-9.jpg

I then dug out a channel on the front side of the assembly for the trigger guard.

th_Grip-10.jpg

Here is what the completed assembly looks like with the top support now in, wiring run into its channels and the inside portion where the trigger will be installed is painted flat black. This is to absorb light and not make the inside of the trigger assembly look odd when final assembly happens.

th_Grip-11.jpg

Now I can install the momentary switch in the retaining screw slot. I bored out a 5/16†hole all the way through the grip. I then fitted a cap for the top of the switch that has since been filled in with Magic Sculpt to level it off. I also sculpted an alley for the screw head that I will be mounting to the switch. This will disguise the switch completely, but still allow me to toggle what weapon I’m using (single fire, rapid fire or stun).

th_Grip-7.jpg

The back side got capped off with some scrap 1mm styrene. I later filled the edging in with Magic Sculpt and added back in a domed bead of sculpt to represent the part that is there on the real sterling grip.

th_Grip-8.jpg

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I am now nearly done with all the pre assembly of the blaster. Before I could start painting though, I needed to finish up the electronics by getting them off of the testing board and into their final home, with all the wiring soldered into place.

First up was coming up with the concept for the circuit. I positioned the molex pin mounts and then picked out a home for the LED drivers.

th_Elec-6.jpg

To get the circuit board to mount into the bolt I had to dig out a channel just big enough to handle a breadboard slice. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.) The channel is right above the sharpie line, but is hard to make out in the picture.

th_Bolt-12.jpg

The test fit looks great.

th_Bolt-13.jpg

With that done I was able to mount all three drivers and after recounting the number of molex pins I needed, I got that issue corrected as well.

th_Elec-7.jpg

Now I took an evening, and while watching a movie I took my breadboard slice and exploded it onto graph paper to come up with a wiring schematic. The x’s are holes in the breadboard that I wanted no wiring soldered down. All other areas were free game in my design.

th_Elec-8.jpg

And with that, I got down to wiring. I really took my time here and made sure that as each wire went down, it would not create too much overlap, wasting precious space. Here is another test fit into the bolt.

th_Elec-9.jpg

Satisfied with that test fit, I really started moving in getting the wiring finished. This took me about seven days to complete, doing what I could here and there when I wasn’t at work. In all, the next series of photos represents approximately ten hours of labor. Yes, I really was taking my time. Those of you more experienced with electronics could do this much, much faster. Forgive the sloppy soldering, I am still trying to get the hang of that too.

th_Elec-10.jpg

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th_Elec-12.jpg

th_Elec-13.jpg

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I didn’t get a final pic of the finished circuit. I will get that for you in my next update. However; once all the wiring was done with the primary circuit, it was time to finish the molex connectors. Here you can see the 6 slot molex that I will be using for some of the wiring coming out of the counter.

th_Elec-18.jpg

The next series of photos shows you how I used the Helping Hands tool to hold the wiring in place to solder in the pins that go inside the molex connectors.

th_Elec-19.jpg

th_Elec-20.jpg

th_Elec-21.jpg

And here is the shot of the finished electronics.

th_Elec-22.jpg

I was so excited. The test run went flawlessly and I was effortlessly toggling weapons, reloading, watching the ammo go down, and powering both off and on with the toggle switch I designed. Giddy just doesn’t explain the feeling at that moment.

Then I put the finished board in the bolt and realized the wires for the front RGB LED had been clipped about an inch too short. Heck, if I could just do a complete wiring on a circuit board, I could easily splice in some wires and extend the run long enough to get it all to fit. Yep, over confidence will ruin your day, every time. :crushcomputer::56pullhair:

I forgot to apply heat to the heat shrink over each wire that I spliced. When I pulled over the main tubing those little pieces of tubing shifted, exposing those splices. When I shrunk down that main tube, it created a series of short circuits that I had no clue were there. When I did the test firing of this run, I managed to fry both RGB LED’s, the associated drivers and at least my Arduino. I still have no clue yet on if I damaged any of the circuity in the counter.

Yes, I am reliving my nightmare here, but I find it important in life to go over your mistakes, understand the root cause (not properly using heat shrink) and then learn from those mistakes.

I have new parts ordered and coming. I have managed to rally from the catastrophe and will continue to push on and finish the build. While those components are in route I will finish the scope and start doing the painting on the components that are ready for it.

See you all again in two weeks.

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Really great progress. It's always a great feeling when things come together. Just bad when it all falls apart because of carelessness, especially when you can't blame anyone else!  :peace:

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Just a mini-update this time around.

While I am waiting on the replacement chips to arrive, I started putting together my palate for the paint scheme.

th_Paint-1.jpg

Pictured from left to right:

  • Rustoleum Flat Black (paint+primer) – part #245198

  • Rustoleum Aged Copper (paint+primer) – part#249132

  • Rustoleum Hammered Black (paint+primer) – part#245217

  • Rustoleum Flat Black – part#7776

  • Tamiya Flat Black – part#XF1

  • Model Master Brass – part#1782

  • Model Master Gunmetal – part#1795

  • Model Master Aluminum – part#1781

  • Model Master Steel – part#4679

  • Model Master Chrome Silver – part#1790

  • Testors Gloss Silver – part#921575

  • Tamiya Clear Green – part#X25

  • Games Workshop Black Ink – part#61-75

  • Testors Dull Cote

  • Pledge Future
     

Here are my test swatches, which was done on a spare piece of styrene.

th_Paint-2.jpg

Techniques and pattern usage are listed here. All parts will be lightly hand sanded with 220 grit sandpaper to remove imperfections, then cleaned with simple green on a microfiber cloth. After cleaning the parts will be hit with two light coats of Flat Black (paint+primer), then sanded lightly with 300 grit sandpaper. Before receiving the top coat of choice, the parts will be buffed with 800 grit wet sandpaper. That final sanding will be done with paper that is just moist, not dripping wet. I find this helps with adhesion of the top coat, but does not take away from the finish.

 

Box#1 – This is the primary pattern and will be used on all the metal based gun parts (barrel, scope rail, counter, magazine, magazine receiver, upper part of grip, folding stock). This pattern is two coats of Hammered Black with a knockdown single coat of Flat Black. The knockdown coat is done from approximately 14 inches away from the subject, so the paint just barely gets there. Weathering was done with stippled aluminum followed by a wash of Gunmetal to fade out the edges.  In my opinion, the best two of the weathering patterns here are on the left, the others look too wonky. The top coat here is 4 parts Dull Cote to 1 part of Future, thinned with 3 parts Windex.

 

Box#2 – This is the pattern for the scope only. It consists of 1 medium coat of Aged Copper that is covered with 2 coats of Hammered Black. A knockdown coat of Flat Black is applied to remain consistent with all other parts. Weathering was attempted with 100 grit sandpaper, but it destroyed the finish, which is why I do these swatch patterns. I then attempted to scratch away the black layers and that was more successful (upper left weathering pattern and bottom right). I then feathered in Brass covered with a Gunmetal wash to fade out the edges. I was happy with those results, but in the final painting I will change techniques and use liquid mask on top of the Copper Layer that can be chipped away easily to expose after the black is applied. Then I can stipple in the Brass and feather out with the gunmetal wash. The top coat here is the same one used in Box#1.

 

Box#3 – This is the pattern for the bolt, honestly my favorite of the swatch patterns. It consists of a thinned layer of Gunmetal that is covered in a series of washes that will run in the same direction the bolt travels. To simulate the raised parts of the bolt, which have more wear due to more contact in the barrel, I glued on a strip of .75mm styrene. The washes on top of the Gunmetal were first done in Aluminum and then in Steel. Both of those washes were thinned with equal parts of brush cleaner and Windex. Once that dried the raised part of the bolt was painted in Chrome Silver. Finally, the Black Ink was applied in thick streaks with a .02 brush that were immediately buffed out with a paper towel. The edges where the raised part meet the bolt got a straight treatment of ink that was blotted and pulled, bringing the ink on top of that edge. These buffed streaks washed out in the top coat, replicating lubrication stains that travel in the same direction of the bolt. The top coat is equal parts Dull Cote to Future, thinned with 2 parts Windex.

 

Box #4 – This is the grip pattern that is not metal. This is two layers of Flat Black spray paint. The top coat is 2 parts Dull Cote to 1 part Future, thinned with 3 parts Windex. I think a little more Future could be used here so that the shine comes up just a bit. I wanted it to be semi-gloss, and that can be seen, but it still looks little too flat. No weathering.

 

Box#5 – This pattern will be used on all the bolts/screws, trigger, trigger Guard, barrel interior, spring, D-Ring and the nozzle interior. It is two coats of Flat Black (like Box#4) but the top coat here is pure Dull Cote. Weathering for these items will vary, but will mostly just be some stippled steel covered with a thin wash of Tamiya Flat Black. The exception to this will be the spring, which will receive washes of brass, gunmetal and black ink in a similar manner to that of the bolt. I want the spring to be mostly black, but have just a few instances of metal showing through to pick out the high lights. The spring will get the same top coat as boxes #1 and #2.

 

A word about Future, this is a floor polish that is acrylic based. It dries as hard as a rock and is a wonderful medium for any type of top coat that you apply. I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember and see no reason to not continue that here. That bottle in the picture above has lasted me going on 10 years now, and I’ve barely dented it. Not only that, but Future can be used on clear parts (like lenses and canopies) to remove any minor surface scratches from blades and errant sanding. I also use it to cover decals to completely seal them.

 

The gloss silver I have not used yet, and will reserve that for potential weathering. I just liked the steel and chrome silver colors better.

 

The Tamiya Clear Green is used in my scope assembly, which I will be discussing in an upcoming update, but I might also use that on the scope to do some fading of the copper/brass washes. Time will tell.

Looking for some feedback here…tell me what you think. I have not applied any of the above swatches to actual parts, they are just concepts that I am happy with at this moment, but could switch it up should my thoughts be leading me astray here.

 

Until next time…

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