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RL180-Poor Man Blaster Rifle DLT-19


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This is another poor mans build for a DLT-19 primarily inspired by the work of Allan1313, Astyanax and Ubernostrum and the guides used in their build threads:
However, I noticed so little of the Hasbro Clone Trooper BYOB (Build Your Own Blaster) was actually used that I think I can start with an alternate gun base and provide some alternate solutions to similar problems.  I've seen these Hasbro BYOB going for $150 new in box on eBay, even just parts of it go for a decent price.  
My base gun is a NERF Raider CS-35, that I painted previously for different use.


I have no intention using the internal NERF system.
  • I Already have one from my sons old toy box in the basement.
  • Location for Ejection Port Cover that I think I can use.
  • Rear stock is detachable for transport
  • Butt-stock will need some serious work, I'm thinking rigid foam core with resin cover.
  • Lots of plastic needs to be chopped off
  • Might have to resurface this somehow to get it more flat
  • Lacks the basic silhouette of the DLT-19 which I need to add to it
So lets face it, there is a strong possibility this will go nowhere or yield some odd prop that never gets approved.
Things I plan to do differently:
  • I think I can make it disassemble to 3 to 4 parts for for transport.
  • To reduce weight of PVC barrel, I will use Schedule 26 or 21 thin-wall PVC instead of standard schedule 40.  This weight seems to be noted as a problem with many builds.
  • I plan to use several different PVC parts from the previous builds.
  • Inner barrel will be thin-wall 3/4 inch PVC
  • Outer barrel will be combination of 1.5 inch PVC and 1.25 inch thin-wall PVC.
  • Thanks to existing blue-prints from previous build threads, getting something accurate to scale should be easy.
  • Metallic movable cocking handle - even if not the full motion, some motion to generate the "click-click" metallic sound.  I have some ideas on this.
If I can just kick the can down the road a little and help the next person take it even further than this is all worth the effort.  
Following will be adjusted as build progresses:
  • Kobalt 7.25 inch compound miter saw with Dewalt 60 tooth cutting blade - excellent for plastics likes PVC.
  • Dremel 4000 with various sanding drums and bits.
  • Ryobi Benchtop Belt Sander
  • Ryobi Cordless Drill
  • CMT 0144mm Forstner Bit (537.140.31) - for holes drilled in barrel jacket
  • Wood files
  • Vice
  • A few clamps
  • 3M Medium Professional Multi-Purpose Respirator (deal with fumes from melting plastic, bondo, glues)
  • Gorilla PVC Glue - dries white, almost no smell to it.
  • Gorilla Super Glue
  • Gorilla Glue (expanding foam glue)
  • 3M Blue Painters tape
  • Apoxie Sculpt - two part epoxy - used in-place of Milliput or Greenstuff.
  • Bondo All-Purpose Putty - two part epoxy
  • Various sizes of balsa wood
  • Assorted Sandpaper - 60, 180 and 240 grit.
  • White PVC Foam board/sheet (0.080 x 7.6 x 11 inches)
  • Black Styrene Sheet (0.040 x 6 x 11 inches - (1.0 mm thick))
  • XTC-3D - Liquid 2 part exposy made for smoothing 3D prints (not really needed)
  • Black Spray Paint - Rust-oleum Satin
  • Gray Spray Paint - Rust-oleum Hammered
  • A few cheap small paint brushes
  • 1/4 inch lead wire coil -- used to weight balance the weapon (about 2 lbs)
  • 3/4 Beveled Washer made by Danco, model #35101B
  • Several Acco 5/16 inch (head diameter) Brass Plated fasteners
  • Schedule 40 1.50 inch PVC pipe
  • Schedule 26 1.25 inch PVC pipe
  • Schedule 26 0.75 inch PVC pipe
  • One - 1.5 inch PVC Male Adapter
  • One - 1.25 inch x 1.0 inch reducer coupling
  • Two - 1.25 inch PVC Coupling
  • Two - 1.25 inch x 1 inch reducer bushing (slip x female threaded) 
  • One - 1.25 inch x 0.75 inch reducer bushing (slip x female threaded)
  • One - 1.0 inch male adapter
  • Front Sight
  • Front Locking Lever
  • Front Sight base attachment
  • Middle Sight
  • Plastic cap from ACT mouthwash bottle (Flash Suppressor Cone)
  • Neodymium Super Magnet discs (12mm x 3mm) (used for cocking handle attachment and locking)
  • Defender Security 4 inch surface bolt (10cm) - (used for track of cocking handle attachment)
  • Defiant Aluminum 65 Lumen LED Flashlight (1001 592 742) - (used for cocking handle)
  • 1/4 inch threaded air compressor quick release fitting- (used for cocking handle)
  • 1/4 inch male threaded to compression air compressor adapter - (used in cocking handle attachment point)
  • 1/4 inch female threaded to compression air compressor adapter - (used in cocking handle attachment)
  • A few small #6-32 Oval Head slotted steel screw x 1 inch long (used in cocking handle attachment point)
  • A few small #6-32 Oval Head slotted steel screws x 1/2 inch long (used in front sight attachment point)
  • Several small (0.25 inch) steel coarse thread (#6-32) hex nuts (used in cocking handle attachment point)
NOTE: Items crossed out were removed further in the build construction and replaced with something else.  The items / pictures are left in the thread for reference and ideas to be improved upon.
Edited by rl180
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The first step is to get an idea of what can I do with this gun body to get it more like the MG-34 frame.
Here is the NERF Raider CS-35 with the front chopped off and detachable butt-stock removed.  
I'll do my best to make use of this ability to detach the stock for portability, worse case I can always glue it on, but the attachment works pretty well.  Forward of the trigger is a device of some type -- almost looks like a built in flash-light.  That has to go.
As can be seen there is plenty of room inside the gun body to work with.  Either for adding addition lead weight if needed of additional PVC fittings to help keep the barrel attachment more secure. Speaking of which, it's important to make sure I'll be able to attach the 1.5 inch PVC pipe to this gun body (upper and lower receiver).
Using my Dremel I removed some of the inner framing that was used to hold the internal NERF system in place.



This allowed for a 1.5 inch male adapter PVC fitting to fit nicely inside the body of the gun. 





It's not pretty, but functional at this point.  I'd like the gun barrel jacket to remain detachable here by extending the inner barrel further into the body of the gun so the weight is not focused at this attachment point.   I'll come back to the gun body later on making it more like a MG-34.  For now I need some simple smaller victories and work on some PVC and modding skills to build up confidence to work on the gun body.

Edited by rl180
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It seems most builds focus on the Flash Suppressor, Recoil Booster and Barrel Sleeve which sit forward of the Barrel jacket and Barrel which is this picture used in many of the DLT-19 builds:



This is pretty standard process on most builds and can't really be improved much.  I start by taking a 1.25 inch PVC Coupling and cut it down to 1.75 inches.
Next I make a line 3/8 inch up on the side that was cut.  This is the top line of the divots. Instead of trying to draw a line around it.  I found that a few spot measurements around the fitting and then using some tape to connect them worked well.  For me a line alone smudged to much and I figured it would be hard to see the line with all the grinding dust.
Next step is to grind in the 20 divots using the awesome template located Astyanax build:
Scale the image based on your printer DPI and PVC fitting.  I then used it to mark the grind marks for the divots.
I'm using a Dremel bit that came as part of the kit, a Silicon Carbide grinding stone (green/blue stone).
Here we can see the 20 divots and base of the Flash Suppressor is complete.
The front part of the Flash Suppressor is a 1.25 x 0.75 slip x threaded reducer bushing.
This part just needs the writing sanded off smooth, takes just a few seconds on the belt sander.
And then I cut it down in size a little:
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This is where I break from previous builds which just use another 1.25" coupling and drill some holes in.  To me that didn't look right.  
I'm going to use a 1 inch threaded male adapter, which will be inserted backwards into the 1.25 PVC coupling created above in the FLASH SUPPRESSOR.
  • I remove a little bit of the forward threading as I don't need much of it (more later).
  • I use the same 4 hole template from Astyanax build thread, resize the template for this fitting.




Drilled the 4 holes as needed using the Forstner bit.  I pre-drill a small pilot hole first and then use the Forstner bit.
And after doing some surfing around on gun part web sites, I found a nicer detailed image that closely matches what I came up with:
Here it is just sitting inside a 1.25 inch coupling just for a visual reference, I think that is more realistic match than what other builds have done.
Next I need to adapt the 1 inch threads to the inside of the 1.25 inch coupling.  This is done by using a 1.25 x 1 inch slip x threaded reducer bushing that I cut down as I don't need many threads to make this work - I saved the section that was cut off, as I have a good use for it in the BARREL JACKET assembly.
I then sanded off the "nut" part of the reducer bushing using the belt sander to allow the entire part to insert into the 1.25 inch coupling.
That is pretty much a completed FLASH SUPPRESSOR and RECOIL BOOSTER minus the cone in front.  
Whoever came up with using the ACT mouthwash cap is brilliant, perfect match.  My wife has no idea why I'm using mouth wash 4 times a day now, but doesn't seem to bother her - LOL.   I'll have a cap shortly to start working on.
Edited by rl180
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[Note - this part was redesigned in a post further down].   I left it here just for construction ideas.


The end of the barrel jacket where the recoil booster connects is typically just a 1.25 inch coupling on many builds.  I choose to use a different part.  I'm going to use a 1.25 x 1.5 inch reducer coupling.  It has the general shape of fitting.





Then using a typical wood file, I created a flat area on it.  I went down as far as I could without making the connection weak.  A flat area was created on left and right side as well as the top for where the forward sights get mounted.  Then using the belt sander, the front and back of the fitting was sanded flat to remove any specification letters and logos and the sides were sanded down to remove the SPEARS company logo who makes this PVC part.





I most likely can not make the flat part square as in the original picture.  I think this is reasonably close.


Now the back side I need to get back down to 1.25 inch without a fitting showing.  A reducer bushing sanded down could have worked, but I didn't have one handy.  But I had an extra 1.25 inch coupling.




The 1.25 inch coupling needed some serious sanding to get to fit cleanly into the larger 1.5 inch reducer coupling, just a matter of minutes using the belt sander.  I trimmed the length down a little as well as I don't need much of it.  This shows the coupling sanded down and cut.  A section of 1.25 inch pipe is inserted just as a handle to make the sanding easier.




The inside of the 1.25 inch coupling has a groove in the middle, I cut it down as close as I could without removing the groove.




The female threads cut off from the 1.25 x 1 inch slip x female threaded reducer bushing previously in this thread in the Recoil Booster turns out fits perfectly inside a 1.25 inch coupling, and the center hole where the female threads are perfectly fits a 0.75 inch PVC pipe -- this makes it an ideal fitting to hold the inner barrel in place.


For a visual reference only of what I'm talking about, this image shows a 0.75 inch PVC pipe fitting insider the hole of the 1.25 x 1 inch slip x female threaded reducer bushing:


Edited by rl180
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This is looking great, will be following it as I'd love to build a DLT-19 from PVC pipes, just need to have the space to display it first.




I know what you mean Dan, I'm thinking the same thing... where to place this.  I have a floating glass shelf above my desk with an E11 and eFX bucket on it, just for display - not for 501st use, I'm thinking this might go above that or on the opposite wall 



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[Note - this part was redesigned in a post further down].  This is left just for construction ideas.


This is an exploded parts view of how this will connect together:



A] - is the 1.5 inch part of the 1.25 x 1.5 inch reducer coupling that attaches the Recoil Booster to the Barrel Jacket and the bi-pod would be mounted to the bottom of that.
B] - is the 1.25 inch coupling sanded down to fit inside the 1.5 inch fitting, and cut down enough so the entire thing fits inside the 1.5 inch fitting.
C] - is the female threads cut off from the 1.25 x 1 inch slip x threaded reducer bushing above in the Recoil Booster.  It fits perfectly inside the 1.25 inch coupling -- push it in all the way and the 0.75 inch PVC pipe fits perfectly inside it to keep it centered.
D] - is the Schedule 26 thin wall 0.75 inch PVC pipe that will be used for the barrel.
E] - is the Schedule 26 thin wall 1.25 inch PVC pipe that will be used for the Barrel Jacket and fit into B.
These are closeups of part C being glued inside of part B.
This is parts C+B inserted into part A:
This is just a visual reference of how it all fits together and will hold the 1.25 inch schedule 26 PVC Barrel Jack and 0.75 inch schedule 26 inner barrel pipe:
The two holes were drilled in it carefully using the Forstner bit -- not too close to the outer edge and not to far in.  It needs to be where the PVC pipe will be so you can look inside to see the inner barrel.  If the hole is drilled to far inward towards the reduction then it will destroy Part C (from above) that keeps the barrel centered.
If you look at Post #5 in this thread for the exploded parts image from an actual MG-34 you will see it does not have these holes.  Yet these holes are on the plans and MG-34 referenced in the disassembly pictures (see below) which many builds are based on, so I guess these holes are optional. 
Edited by rl180
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As cool as the part above looks, it's scale is just off too much.  I studied the MG-34 disassembly pictures and this is the best picture I could find of this area. And it confirmed that the 1.25 x 1.5 inch reducer coupling is just too large for this -- not by a lot, but enough.





So I built another one using 1.0 x 1.25 inch PVC reducer coupling which is simpler to construct and a better scale.  I used the same techniques outlined above I just didn't need the complicated parts of reducing back down to 1.25 inch any more.  You can clearly see the size difference between them below.




I still used the female threaded part of a 1.25 x 1.0 inch female threaded reducer bushing inside the coupling which will hold the inner barrel in place as can be seen below.




Now, this means I had to remove the sanded down 1.25 x 1.0 female reducer bushing that was on the threaded part of the Recoil Booster.  Which leaves me with a 1.0 inch male threaded connection to 1.0 inch socket. Bummer.  In the end, I can just glue the two parts together.   I'll deal with that later.

Edited by rl180
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Based on Astyanas' build thread, the next section is 1.25 inch PVC cut to 5.75 inches -- which I found was a little short for my deeper fittings.  I had to increase the length a little bit to 6.25 inches.


I also used the hole template referenced in Astyanas' build thread as well.




This template worked perfectly for me at 100% I did not have to rescale the image.  It's mounted in my vice and pilot holes have already been drilled which keep the Forstner bit right where I need it.




After a bit of sanding to smooth out the edges on the outside, inside and around each hole it looks decent.  Two holes to the front are not on the template but are needed to make sure that the holes in the fitting created previously remain open.




This is a dry fit testing to check how the holes lined up.  Looks pretty good for me!



You can see how thin the Schedule 26 "thin-wall" PVC is and looks much closer to the actual metal used on the MG-34 than the thicker standard schedule 40 PVC does.

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I finally finished up a bottle of ACT mouth wash I had to free up the cap to be used as the Flash Suppressor Cone.  Using my Dremel I gave the inside a sanding to remove the multiple vertical lines it had.




I don't like the ridges on the outside of the cap. However, I don't want to sand it down either and make the plastic too thin.   I'm going to try multiple layers of paint and in-between each coat of paint sand off the high parts of the paint which leaves the low parts.  After a few coats the ridges should start to fill and smooth out.  
I added a hook to the end of the cap just to use as a handle and hang for air drying.  Below shows after the 3rd coat it doesn't seem to be doing much, but I'll keep adding more coats and perhaps putting it on a little heavier.
After 6 Coats of paint I could tell it was starting to work, but the number of hours waiting for it to dry between coats was a waste of time.  By the 9th coat it was looking good enough as I'll still be adding some black on top of this.
If I had to do it over, I would try an epoxy putty around the outside and sand it smooth.  It would stick well within the grooves of the cap.
Using the hole from the hook as a pilot hole for the Forstner bit I cleared out a starting hole in the back of the cone.  Then using the Dremel (with flexible shaft) and sanding drum bit I enlarged the hole to just short of the outside of the hole.  Leaving enough for a gluing surface.  Then sanded the paint off to get a flat clean surface.

Then used plenty of super glue gel to hold it in place.


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Based on the reference pictures of the suppressor cone the base of it is not flat but slightly rounded and the nut part of it should be slightly thicker.



To achieve this I used Apoxie Sculpt - two part epoxy.  Some people may have used a product called "green stuff" a two part epoxy (yellow and blue) which is much too sticky and cures a little soft.  Another epoxy called Milliput is more like Apoxie Sculpt in that it cures hard comes in several colors.  Apoxie Sculpt dries hard as a rock, comes in 12 colors and has a longer cure time. Which is better becomes a religious war thread in many craft hobby forums.  Either are sticky like bubble gum, keeping fingers damp helps with that and then smooths nicely with a wet finger and is easy to sand once cured.  In small quantities like 4 oz. they are priced pretty close to each other around $12. The Apoxie sculpt comes in 64 oz. (4 lbs) which will last a long time for about $33.  Prices of each product varies based on color and purpose, they have finer grained versions for detailed work which I don't is something we need.
This is the smallest version of Apoxie Sculpt I could find which is a 4 oz. (1/4 lb) package.  I also have a 4 lbs tub of it.
Simply take an equal amount from each container and knead together until you have a uniform color.  It will stick to your fingers a bit, keep your fingers damp.
I only needed a small amount of what I mixed, make into a snake shape wrapped it around a few times.  Shaped and smoothed into the look I wanted. 
The cone looks a little shorter now, but I can live with it.   I'll let it cure overnight.
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I wanted to do a paint test on some fittings to see if how I paint it will impact the assembly process.  I know a lot of people just paint it black and are done with it.  I want a little more color variation to the material and some texture to it.  My initial plan is:

* The barrel will be satin black with a light silver wash to it.  So it is black that has been lighten up slightly.
* The barrel jacket and external metal will be hammered metallic gray with a few black wash layers over it to darken it.
What is a wash?
Not sure if this is the right term, but after the base color is applied I'm going to manually paint on the wash color with a small brush doing small sections at a time.  Wait about 30 seconds then wipe it off.  This will darken the color and leave dark highlights in the hard to reach spots where you would expect dirt err... carbon scoring to buildup.  I'm using a small bottle of Satin Acrylic Paint for plastic.
This is two coats of the hammered grey paint.  It does not need a separate primer coat.  I'm using it as a primer to the plastic and to add some texture.
This is black wash coat - simply brush on some black give it a few seconds and lightly wipe it off.  If you were painting a weathered handgun for example you would be done.  But the DLT-19 needs to be much darker, so then with a very dry bush lightly add some more black to get it dark but not pure black.  They gray undertones are visible in person, but the camera doesn't pick it up so well.
It's dark and not perfectly smooth as I wanted.  I think its a good paint test.  Once a few more pieces are painted I'll see if I need to adjust it some more.
Previously, after the Barrel Jacket connection redesign, I was left with a threaded fitting (pictured above) to a socket fitting.  To address that, I used some of the Apoxie Sculpt to fill in the threads to make a snug fitting.   The epoxy itself will adhere to plastic but I added added a few dabs of superglue on the underside of the nut just in case.
I connected it to the Barrel Jacket connector and once cured it is a very solid connection. The barrel jacket itself (pipe with holes) is not glued in yet.  It's just there for visual reference.
Edited by rl180
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Here is the cone complete and painted.   The white plastic is the gluing surface where it will be inserted into the Recoil Booster.  I'm pretty happy with how it came out.





I decided to paint all the parts I had completed using the same techniques I outlined above to get a better visual satisfaction and confirmation I'm on the right course, but I needed a decent picture to show you all!





Since I have a shipping scale on my desk I weighted how much these parts are and my build is currently at 9 oz, slightly more than 1/2 pound.

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Some of the more delicate parts such as the front sight and middle sights, I'm not going to be able to make out of PVC.  If I had a band-saw and some wood working skills they might be within reach.  But I don't have a band saw.  I've been looking at some of the builds which incorporate 3D printed parts which seem like an interesting idea as well... but I don't have a 3D printer.
While there are several forum threads which reference 3D parts, very few of the authors are willing to share the printer files.  This thread has some of the parts broken out as individual parts in a STL format file (see post #1): DLT-19 3D Model Parts. Hopefully the author will continue this project.


The model is stated to be 1:1 inches, to convert to metric scale it up by 25.4 for mm if your software or site needs it.  Because the file provided by the author lays out all the parts, it may not fit on the printing bed of the service you use.  I had that problem, you need to break up the parts into something that fits.  I'm not interesting in downloading and learning 3D printer software (not yet at least).   I found this site http://www.crobics.com/ which offers the ability to cut parts out of the STL file which I'm not interesting in printing (already made out of PVC) and save into new STL file that can be downloaded.




I then used https://www.shapeways.com/  and upload the modified STL file (specified inches), select the material type and order a print of it.  They do a bunch of automated tests and manual tests before the job is sent to be printed.  So far it has passed all the tests.  The image above is a screen shot of the model rendered of the file I uploaded.


I guess the difference between a "poor boy" and "poor man" build is that "poor man build" you can splurge on a few parts.  All of these were printed and shipped for under $30, which I think is reasonable.  To keep the cost down they offered a reduced price if you are not in a rush for it.  These are scheduled to be completed in 3 weeks or so.
It's risky in that I had zero experience with working with STL files prior to reading that thread.  I'm assuming the scale is correct and that I'll be able to make use of these.  I have no way of making a test print or refining them.  While the scale of the external rectangular dimensions look darn close, they offered no tools which would state how large the opening of the middle-sight was to know if it would fit on PVC pipe or PVC fitting.  I hope I'll be able to just use some sand paper to get them into usable shape.  We'll see.
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If you want to check STL files for dimensions there are quite a few free applications that can do it simply.


Netfabb free version has a measuring tool as well as being useful for checking parts are valid and rescaling then if needed, and also for slicing up models into smaller parts.


I also use Google Sketchup as I find it easy to use to create models, and also imports STL files. Exporting to STL is a bit more fiddly, there are plugins which can do it but I tend to have more success with converting through other apps but that can get messy. If you're just using it for checking measurements, and maybe creating tubes of various diameters to check parts fit, it's worth playing with it you have some time.



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If you want to check STL files for dimensions there are quite a few free applications that can do it simply.


Netfabb free version has a measuring tool as well as being useful for checking parts are valid and rescaling then if needed, and also for slicing up models into smaller parts.


I also use Google Sketchup as I find it easy to use to create models, and also imports STL files. Exporting to STL is a bit more fiddly, there are plugins which can do it but I tend to have more success with converting through other apps but that can get messy. If you're just using it for checking measurements, and maybe creating tubes of various diameters to check parts fit, it's worth playing with it you have some time.


Thanks Dan.  One of the reasons I stayed away from local apps is I'm a Linux user.  It's not worth the effort to spin up VMs or dual boot just for this task.   There are some Linux applications for doing this as well... but again I don't plan on making my own models, so I didn't want to spend time trying to figure out which is the best application to use.   Sticking to the web tools worked pretty well for my current needs.  I appreciate the suggestions though, thanks.

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Netfabb is available for Linux too, but you'd have to check if your specific distro is supported or has a makefile. Netfabb is one of the apps used by Shapeways for checking files and repairing them, although the free version has some features disabled. Even though you aren't thinking of creating files it can be handy for checking them and looking at them in depth.



Edited by AgeOfStrife
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