Jump to content
usaeatt2

Resin cast Sterling barrel and bolt spring cup

Recommended Posts

Hello Troopers,

 

The customary "shop music" posting for this thread - I've been enjoying this band for a few weeks now!!!

Elder - Spirit at Aphelion

Clean two minute intro, then big fuzzy guitars and a complete changeup just after six minutes...recommended volume @ 2 minutes: 11. 

https://youtu.be/S3VBODnYw0Q

 

For quite awhile, I've been wanting to cast a few functional Sterling parts, but didn't have the skills or the tools.

Soooooo, I invested and built a vacuum chamber and a pressure chamber.

Now begins a steep learning curve into molding and casting.

I'll post updates here and may eventually sell parts if I can manage to pull decent castings.

My goal is to offer an accurate, cost effective alternative to various pipes, tubes and cut up markers for E-11 internals.

 

Here's what I've done so far:

 

Homemade vacuum chamber built from a 10 gauge aluminum cooking pot, 3/4" acrylic sheet, refrigeration hose, brass fittings and a Harbor Freight vacuum pump.

All parts obtained locally!!!

5D0EF089-0E0A-40D3-B8E4-8E2F0B8E6241_zps

 

After making a few molds and castings, it became obvious I was going to need a pressure chamber to help eliminate air bubbles from undercuts.  This tool was a little easier to "build" since the Harbor Freight pressure paint tank only needs a few modifications to become a pressure chamber.  SERIOUS damage can occur if this modification is not done properly.  DO NOT defeat the safety release.  This pot comes equipped with METRIC fittings.

3B88A5ED-452E-4CEF-BDC5-C8E68F8AF15C_zps

 

Next came molding a real Sterling barrel.  This is the second barrel mold I've made.  From the first mold, I learned a lot about pour spout and vent placement.  The new mold is a complete revision with a better pour spout, better vents and built in recesses for resin bullets.

55850DFA-BA65-418D-965F-8B29E702C418_zps

 

A real Sterling barrel weighs 290 grams (0.64 pounds).  The resin barrel is featherweight by comparison at 54 grams (0.118 pounds).  Real barrel at the top, resin barrel at the bottom.

4F7C44B7-A932-49BB-833D-48FD95AE9BEB_zps

 

Chamber detail.  Real barrel on the left, resin barrel with air bubble imperfections on the right.  This prompted the pressure chamber investment...

B4070CDA-BFF0-46D8-BA86-CBED4A974815_zps

 

I cast resin bullets in fluorescent orange (they supposedly glow under black light - for trooping at the local dance clubs!) and using a metal casting powder which comes close to looking like real brass - still experimenting with different processes here.  My idea is to install an orange bullet using a couple of small neodymium magnets in the front of the barrel to meet "orange tip" requirements for public events.  A metal cast bullet can be "chambered" in the rear of the barrel using the same method.  With magnets, the bullets can be removed or replaced any time.  The color is mixed into the resin, so if the bullets are cut or sanded, the color remains.  A real 9mm bullet weighs 14 grams, while each resin bullet weighs 2 grams.

DD2A03C0-371A-433A-9C24-E59501CA528B_zps

 

I'm presently working on an improved bullet mold and I've got blue pearl and silver metal powders to mix with the black onyx resin.  I'm hoping the proper mix will give each barrel a SUBTLE metallic iridescence.

B557D36A-5B7B-4E55-A2EF-261AE20FDAD6_zps

 

And finally, I've seen way too many variations of the bolt spring cup or "inner barrel".  This part will be cast gun metal grey from a "premium performance urethane resin formulated for very high impact strength, even when cast in thin-wall sections".  The hope is to provide an accurate part that will withstand real spring pressure.

CB4BFE52-C481-4F3E-A30F-7A95ABAAD363_zps

 

More to follow - stay tuned!!!

 

Aaron  :)

Edited by usaeatt2
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The barrel looks very nice, if you ever decide on selling a cast, count me in!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jaw-dropping results. Awesome work Aaron! You certainly have Jedi Master skills to tackle any project. Sorry I should say Dark Force skills!  

That bolt spring cup will be a game changer!

 

If there ever becomes a list to sign up to buy your Imperial contraband, I'm on it!   :jc_doublethumbup:

Edited by Bulldog44

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The barrel came out really well!

 

It will be interesting to see what you make of the bullets and the cup.

 

I was talking with T-Jay about adding a cup to my kits and building it in a way that it can be added to my previously sold kits as a small upgrade. This part is whats missing from all resin kits at this point and is a welcome addition!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sterling reference page is top-notch, but it can't show everything. Those without our own guns to study rely on projects like this to improve our builds, so THANK YOU! Can't wait to see how it all comes out :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Far too easy, Aaron. The thing we really need is a FULL kit in this quality. ;) Just kiddin'

 

These parts would be nice additions to Derrek's blasters. Like he already mentioned, we had talked about adding the spring cup and an inner barrel. This would be so cool...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HOLY COW!  You guys humble me with your kind words!

 

I just finished up an E-11 magazine request and started 15 consecutive 12 hour shifts at work.

I try to pour resin each day before I go to bed, so I'm starting to accumulate a pile of barrels and parts.

Mostly, I'm worried about getting through the resin before it starts going bad.

I've also been experimenting with colors and metal powders...which makes for some subtly cool, if not unique barrels.

 

I'll start putting together a list based on the order requests were posted.

And I should probably check the rules about selling stuff...

 

Aaron  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What type of resin are you using? I would love to see if you can make a magazine clip somewhat hollowed out. <br>

Have you looked into slush casting?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HOLY COW!  You guys humble me with your kind words!

 

I just finished up an E-11 magazine request and started 15 consecutive 12 hour shifts at work.

I try to pour resin each day before I go to bed, so I'm starting to accumulate a pile of barrels and parts.

Mostly, I'm worried about getting through the resin before it starts going bad.

I've also been experimenting with colors and metal powders...which makes for some subtly cool, if not unique barrels.

 

I'll start putting together a list based on the order requests were posted.

And I should probably check the rules about selling stuff...

 

Aaron  :)

Aaron, as long as you close the resin containers after pouring and so on, it should last a few months. If you leave it open for an hour at a time, the life is dramatically lowered.

 

 

 

What type of resin are you using? I would love to see if you can make a magazine clip somewhat hollowed out. <br>

Have you looked into slush casting?

 

Slush casting such a small part might be a real pain in the tail. It would probably be easier to make it a 2 part mold with the top half being a silicone insert that will displace the resin and create the hole in the middle. Interesting.. interesting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Derrek for the casting advice. That sounds like a better idea using the two part mold. Sorry Aaron, topic hijacked. <br><br><br>

Back to your topic Aaron.......... Best of luck with the work shifts. Sounds rough. Looking forward to seeing the different castings with the colors and metal mixtures.<br><br><br>

The stock would be another area I would love to see In a kit form. Casting that in parts would be difficult I guess but just for detail alone it would be great.

Edited by Bulldog44

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What type of resin are you using? I would love to see if you can make a magazine clip somewhat hollowed out. <br>

Have you looked into slush casting?

 

I've used 3 different types of resin for the spring cup:  Smooth-Cast 300, Smooth-Cast 326 and Task 15.

No need for slush casting with a two part mold.  I felt like a two part mold would make a more accurate part and allows space for an inner spring.

 

Aaron, as long as you close the resin containers after pouring and so on, it should last a few months. If you leave it open for an hour at a time, the life is dramatically lowered.

 

Awesome, thanks Derrek.  Those containers are only open long enough to pour the resin out, then they get sealed tightly.

 

Slush casting such a small part might be a real pain in the tail. It would probably be easier to make it a 2 part mold with the top half being a silicone insert that will displace the resin and create the hole in the middle. Interesting.. interesting...

 

Already done.  See below!  Thanks again for all your advice and casting tips.  I know it takes time to type that stuff, but it sure did help a newbie.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so here is my spring cup mold (pretty much exactly as Derrek described)!

 

E3BABF57-CD38-4FE3-9F46-CB99657D28E7_zps

 

And here's the first casting out of the mold (sorry if the pictures are bad - I've got like 3 minutes to do this...)

Real spring cup on the left, resin spring cup on the right.

 

35A0F101-E7EF-48CF-9508-12EE7BFB8FF0_zps

 

And from a different angle:

 

44168F88-B90A-453F-AC44-807466E65620_zps

 

This mold works REALLY well, so now the fun begins with different effects powders and colors!!!

 

Aaron  :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll definitely be interested if I build another blaster.

 

You WILL build another blaster... :obiwan:    ( ;))

Edited by T-Jay
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok... This just into a "shut up  and take my money" posting...... I'm in for a barrel and a cup if you start a sign up roster.... Your work is superb in appearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another update.

 

Please bear with me guys; I'm learning as I go and I'm not a professional caster like gazmosis or Dday...

I'll keep a running interest list in the first posting and send PM's when parts are ready to go.

I made lots of "junk" barrels with pin hole air bubbles before I started developing a process with my pressure chamber, so...

 

Rather than trash them, I figure I'll include a junk barrel with each barrel order so you can experiment with drilling, tapping, etc.

Once you're happy with your process, then you can proceed on the good barrel.

I figure that sort of reduces the pressure of ruining a perfectly good part...

 

After the barrel is installed in an E-11, you can really only "see" the chamber area.

The rest of the barrel is mostly obscured, so I know a few pin holes really aren't a big deal, but that's NOT how my OCD rolls.

Recent castings are coming out MUCH improved thanks to installing stacks on the pour spouts and vent holes.

I fill the stacks, then pressurize the mold and there's plenty of resin to FEED any remaining air pockets.

The end result will be a much better product for the waiting.

I would also like to cast an original, unmodified muzzle to include WITH the barrel.

This will allow you to tap threads into the pieces and ACTUALLY bolt the barrel into the receiver, just like a real Sterling.

 

In the meantime, here's a picture of an experiment with a pearl metalizer powder carefully brushed into the spring cup mold before pouring.

Keep in mind, this is NOT paint.  The effect is BONDED to the resin.  I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I may be able to apply a "clear" pearl metalizer to the barrel for a similar effect without the addition of color.

Some may not like this and prefer straight black or gunmetal grey, but at least it demonstrates a possibility.

Since this type of blue is a favorite color of mine, I may use this when I cast my own helmet interior pieces.

 

More to come!

Aaron   :)

 

27A6D6C1-F03C-4E37-B82C-987C076B5FC4_zps

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...