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Astyanax's Poor Man DLT-19 Build


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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!



Edited by Astyanax
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so i'm late to the game as well and my eyes are fried reading all this info. i received my BYOB {main body only} from eBay late April for $19+ so it's still possible to get one and it's not too expensive. i was relieved. 

Astyanax [bill], i need to know where to send the case of beer for you because of this spectacular build! Ha! this is amazing!!



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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!



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  • 1 month later...
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!



Edited by Astyanax
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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!


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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 7 months later...

So way late to this but this is awesome work Bill. So anything new or did you finish it?

Sent from my VK815 using Tapatalk

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  • 2 months later...

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.

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Glad to hear you’re still going to post more. I’ve been using this as a guide, though so far mine is nowhere near as nicely done. I’ve also made some major mistakes but it’s all good.
No major mistakes for me, but yeah mine is nowhere near this level of detail. Still working on it though.

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  • 1 month later...

Here’s mine that’s been done pretty much with this thread as the only reference. Not 100% done but I can at least put it together now. It’s made to split in 2 while still remain sturdy when together. Thanks for the thread and all your detail, I’ll keep an eye on it for more additions.



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  • 1 year later...
On 10/6/2018 at 3:38 PM, Stormageddon said:

Here’s mine that’s been done pretty much with this thread as the only reference. Not 100% done but I can at least put it together now. It’s made to split in 2 while still remain sturdy when together. Thanks for the thread and all your detail, I’ll keep an eye on it for more additions.


I just read through this entire thread, and now really want to investigate the possibility of making my own, since I am also on a poor man's budget. This is FANTASTIC WORK, Bill, and I hope that someday you're able to complete the project. I'm sure many of us would love to see the end of all your work, since it's so impressive!


Mark (@Stormageddon) - What methods did you utilize to create a two-part system?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can’t remember the part sizes anymore so you’ll have to measure, though I’m pretty sure all the pipes were the same as in this thread. All I did was dremel the outside of the inner barrel so that it fit inside the orange tip of the body. Then I also dremel’d out the inside of the outer barrel so that it was snug over it. It puts a lot of strain on the orange plastic but it’s tight and evenly distributed. It is also tight enough to stay put without any locking mechanism. I also realize my end block is way too big. I added weight to the butt too and now the whole thing weighs too much. I haven’t trooped with it and probably won’t as it’s pretty unwieldy.





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