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RL180-Poor Man Blaster Rifle DLT-19


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NOTE: Some of these pictures I took a while ago, just haven't posted anything about the pistol grip yet.


Since the gun is not based on the MG-34 style, the pistol grip needs a lot work to get it closer to what it should look like.  Again, screen accurate is not a consideration here but it needs to be much closer.  The first step was to sand off bumps on the forward side of the grip which created finger grips.




The next issues I need to deal with is the size of the finger guard, it is much too thick as can be seen below.  The finger guard on the MG-34 is around 1/2 inch.




I marked off where the lines should have extended upward and cut off the extra plastic that was not needed.  This area has since been packed with epoxy to make it solid.




I used the standard MG-34 pistol grip template and made something out of wood just to get a visual idea how far off the angles and dimensions are from the standard MG-34 and as you can see my grip angle is off and much wider. 



It's going to need some serious work...



I chopped off the bottom a little to give it an upward angle. 



The gap was filled with Apoxie Sculpt - two part epoxy and rounded over a little.  Still doesn't look right.


So I could alter the standard MG-34 pistol grip template to fit my grip while keeping all the main features of the traditional grip.  I didn't think it would be too much work, but I tried over and over. Everything just looked too ugly.  Another option is that I could alter the handle to better match the template.  What I eventually decided on was a little of bit of both.  I have to modify the existing template and the handle and meet somewhere in the middle.  This is what I came up with..



I think it is a pretty good compromise.

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PISTOL GRIP - Continued

The back side of the pistol grip has been chopped off to match the template I came up with.  I eye-balled it with my chop saw and sanded it down some more with a dremel.




I packed this large hole in the handle with a few applications of Bondo, after an hour or so it was ready to sanding.




After a little bit of sanding I was pretty happy with the resulting profile of the grip.




After drilling in two 1/4 inch holes about 5 inches deep, 1/4 inch lead coil wire was inserted to add to center mass to the gun.  This is to help offset the weight of the long front gun barrel.  I also added some inside the receiver and the rear receiver attachment.  About 1 pound of weight was added in total.




Placed some 3M painters tape on Black Styrene Sheet 0.040 inch (1 mm) thick and then outlined the the template for the pistol grip.  Then used the Dremel sanding bit to get the shape I needed.




Rough fit of the cut out black styrene sheet.  I put some pencil lines where I think the pistol grip marks will be placed.


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PISTOL GRIP - Continued

The new black styrene sheet outlines for the pistol grip are glued in place.  The original finger grips which were previously sanded down still stuck out too far and were completely sanded off.




The back side of the handle, it will be a bit thicker than the old handle.  Bit nervous on how this is going to turn out.




The handle gaps have been filled in with a layer of Apoxie Sculpt - two part epoxy.  I choose Apoxie Sculpt over Bondo for this as Apoxie Sculpt is easy to smooth with your fingers and a light squirt from a water bottle works wonders.  It will take overnight to cure but will require less sanding than Bondo will.


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PISTOL GRIP - Continued


First off I'm not thrilled with how the handle grips turned out.  But it's not too far off from some of the reference photos I have seen.  I think it could look alright once painted.  Added the raised area to the top of the pistol grip and added the various screws and conical washer.  I used a 3/4 Beveled Washer made by Danco, model #35101B.  These are getting pretty hard to find but you can find just about anything on Amazon.  I have a bunch of them now.



The Phillips screw heads have been filled with epoxy to make them look like rivet heads.  I also added a layer of PVC board to finish squaring off this side.   I will add Black Styrene Sheet in two sections later to give me the proper horizontal seam.
The other side of the gun body, I added the various screw and epoxy to screw heads to make more like rivet heads. 
I have not added any more PVC foam board to this side yet as I think I need to adjust the size of the door opening to make a little bit longer towards the back.
The slotted screws on the bottom , I drilled out the center to open them up a little bit.  Then put a little ball of epoxy in it.  Then lightly poked a hole in the epoxy.  Once the epoxy cures I'll round out the hole a little better with a small drill bit.


You can also see the attachment ring for the strap has been added.

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I built the selector switch based on a piece of plastic that came inside the flashlight I cut up as part of the cocking handle.  The plastic part was used in the ON/OFF push button of the flashlight.  It is held it in place on some scrap metal with a screw and a nut.  I added a second screw that would be the pivot point and sanded down the screw head as much as possible to allow it to be hidden.




The scrap metal plate was cut down to size and the screw holding the button was cut and sanded flush.  Not pictured - the metal plate was sanded to remove the corners.  The cut end is now a gentle curve.




The screw head inside the button was covered over with a little epoxy.  The metal plate was covered with a little bit of PVC board and again rounded.  This was flush to the top of the pivot screw.  To mount the selector switch I drilled a small hole in the gun body and then crazy glued on a nut which remains hidden.  Using a small screw driver the pivot screw was threaded to the nut and then capped with a small strip of PVC foam board.




The selector switch can be moved to either position.  A Neodymium Super Magnet was hidden behind each selector position to keep the switch in place should the screw/nut itself lose friction. 



And I gave the entire pistol grip a light covering in black paint.  I find it's easier to see where some spot sanding is needed once painted.  I'm feeling a little better about how the pistol grip turned out.

Edited by rl180
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  • 1 month later...

Hope everyone had a good holiday, I haven't had much time to work on my DLT-19 lately.  But a few small things have been done.  


The rear receiver had a bit of an air gap which I stuffed with 1/4 inch lead coil wire, about 1/2 pound of weight.
The connection between the receiver and butt-stock was build out sightly on both sides to get flush with the rest of the body and a sliding switch to detach the butt-stock from the receiver was included -- this is totally not accurate to a DLT-19, but it is where an existing lever was. I want to keep it functional but not stand out.
In addition, the upper receiver was sanded downward a bit to help get the silhouette better by creating an upward angle.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Added some details to the rear receiver just behind the pistol grip. Not sure what this part is called.  These are the two reference pictures I decided to use for this section:
I used the standard DLT19 paper template for this to make it out of white PVC foam board creating the frame and enforced it with some MDF board to hold it in place.  The scale of this was increased slightly to match the slightly over-sized pistol grip I have compared to a MG-34.


I thought about making this section out of wood, but epoxy and plastic is more consistent with the rest of my build so I used Apoxie Sculpt, two part epoxy to fill it in which cures very hard.  Added non-functional slotted screw which was close match to the reference picture.


NOTE:  I did recess the screw a bit more than is pictured as done in the reference picture.


To make the larger bulbous parts I found these miscellaneous parts in my junk bin.  I'm not even sure what they are from but I figured I could sand them down into the shapes I needed.




The parts were sanded down, cut the wood in half extending slightly on both sides and then used Apoxie Sculpt to round it off a little bit.




If you look carefully at the reference pictures, one side used a standard slotted screw head, but the other side is different.  A circular ring with a split screw/pin of some type.  I figure I could make that using these two parts:




Simply cut the plastic down to size, sand down the screw head to fit and extended the screw slot downwards a bit to be deeper.




Gave all of the parts a coating in silver paint for now, they will be painted over in black later on and then scuffed up to bring out some of the metallic highlights if needed.


Edited by rl180
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Thanks for the pictures.  The pin is what I envisioned it to be.


That side shot is great.  The flat top and tapper I currently have is darn close to that. Not worth mucking with.


I have bigger issues with getting the flat side to look right where the round PVC connects.  I have too much of a height difference between the two surfaces.  And my horizontal lines between round underside and flat side surfaces and lines of the upper and lower receiver are in the wrong spot.  

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In trying to deal with some of my alignment issues, I experimented with building a flat underside where the switch and lever would go.  I felt it made things worse and had to chip it off and do some sanding. Messed up the PVC a little, needs some more sanding.


Using a coping saw I added a grove for one of the segments before where the butt stock will connect.




Next to start extending the flat surface backward and adding some of the stepped details used some PVC foam board.  The horizontal pencil line is where I'm projecting the horizontal lines between upper and lower receiver will be.




Then I clad the side in 1mm thin black styrene sheet.  This is so any scratches will not reveal white PVC board and it will provide the clean horizontal lines between the upper and lower receiver.  The edge of the styrene was sanded at an angle to make sure the seam will standout later.  It will still be painted black later to match.




The air gap between the flat side and rounded PVC was filled in with Apoxie Sculpt, two part epoxy.  This was the least ugly solution I could come up with and seems to work good -- it's not obvious from the side.  Once painted black I don't think it will be very noticeable.  Part of the butt stock release lever was also added, I'll add the rest of it when I work on the other side.



A notched mark was added to the last segment near the butt stock.  Popped in the ejection port cover, snug smooth fit with styrene side.


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  • 4 weeks later...



When I flipped my gun over to start working on the styrene covering, I was not happy with how the existing metal slider and cocking handle was sitting.  There was just too much wobble and the handle limped downward most of the time from the extra play the slider had in its track.  So I removed it all, and decided to try something else.
Unfortunately, with Spring around the corner, the "Honey Due List" was also handed down from my wife which greatly reduced the time I have to spend on this.  


So the basis of my new slider and cocking handle idea were around these 3 parts.  A platform for the slider is based on PVC foam board.  The base of the cocking handle is a flat plastic part of a drywall anchor and a screw that goes with it.
I added a little bit of black styrene for the channel of the slider.  This will prevent any white of the PVC board from showing through from friction and scratches.  I also cut down the drywall plastic anchor to be just the base part.
Then the metal handle (flashlight body) attachment ring was cut in half to reduce how much it sticks out beyond the body of the DLT-19.  The plastic part shown was from the flashlight originally, I think it was from the push button assembly at the back of the handle.  I'm going to re-purpose it for part of the attachment base.
The track was then built up slightly for a snug fit.  The rectangular shape of the base should keep it in the track and not spin or rotate in place.
The other side of the track was added, it slides back and forth with enough friction to keep it in place and the glue bond of the PVC is strong enough that I can't get the part to pop out.  This likely won't survive a drop on the floor, but I think it would be pretty easy to fix if that happens.  One end is open as the DLT-19 body itself will block that side and that side is where the existing Neodymium Super Magnet discs is which will help hold the metal handle in place as well.
The plastic button cap was trimmed down a little and a small hole drilled into it to allow the screw to tap itself in the plastic.  It was then inserted into the metal base ring that was cut in half from flashlight handle.  The wall anchor screw length was cut down to fit.  Then simply thread in the screw to hold it all together.  This is what will remain on the DLT-19.
The handle simply screws on and off as needed for storage.  The base ring can be turned by hand to adjust how close to the track slider it will be.  I expect this white PVC board to be covered by black styrene as well to stop any white scratches from showing due to friction of the handle.
Now to figure out how to mount it securely into the existing location of the old metal sliding track....
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  • 2 weeks later...


I was able to install the newly created cocking handle track and slider.   This shows the cocking handle unscrewed and removed.  Just the base of the cocking handle remains.




I like this a lot better than my previous track.  If I would have thought about this sooner, I would have tried to install it inside the gun body and make it out of something a little more durable than PVC board. A metal track would have been better.




I've slid it back and forth a hundreds times, no issues, still slides and is not jamming.



Now that this is out of the way, I can get back to putting black styrene covering to get smooth flat side covering.
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  • 2 weeks later...


In continuing to square off the rear receiver and putting a black styrene covering on it, the other lower side and top covering have been added.  Gaps have been filled in with Apoxie Sculpt-two part epoxy.  The side coverings are being put on in two parts to give the horizontal seam of the upper and lower receiver parts laying on top of each other.




The top trim of the upper receiver has been added, the edges along the top filled in with Apoxie Sculpt and rounded over smooth.  All the Apoxie Sculpt has been painted over in silver.



The rear receiver has it's initial painting and little bit of scuff to the black to reveal the underlying metallic color.  Mounted to the main gun body for a test fitting to make sure it still tight and identify any unwanted gaps.



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To complete the rear receiver I need to create this locking latch slider thing.  I assume this is what keeps the upper and lower receiver closed. Loosen the large screw, slide the plate forward and the upper receiver / feed plate can be lifted up.




The first issue to tackle is how to come up with a knurled look, the metallic cross-hatching to give grip on the side of the slider.  There are special tools you can buy that do this.  Being a poor mans build I'm not going to buy a special purpose tool for this.   I saw the amazing work that Tig70 did in his build thread by manually creating every line with a triangular file... that is beyond my patience and skill set.  That was appropriate for his build since its woodwork.


My build is plastic, PVC and epoxy so I get to cheat and take an easy way out making an impression with Apoxie Sculpt.  Simply mix a little Apoxie Sculpt up, squish flat and roll over it the knurled handle of a near by tool.  The water on Apoxie Sculpt makes it less sticky and prevents it from just sticking to the tool and the underlying plastic plate.



I know this is actually the opposite of what is really needed, this will produce raised raised lines with diamond shape depressions.  It's a negative, you would then use this to make another print to get the positive.  I'm not going to worry about that... it has the knurled look.


The Apoxie Sculpt was rough cut while wet over-sized and will be trimmed down to size once curred.



To make the top part of the latch, used PVC foam board with a little bump from a US quarter.   Cut it out with a sharp blade and then sand all the edges smooth to give it a worn down look.



Parts are mounted in place using Gorilla Glue gel. A little more Apoxie Sculpt will be used to make the rounded over edge and sanded smooth.



To make the screw head and two little bumps, I rummaged through my junk draws and wife's hobby stuff and found brass colored button and 2 small tacks.  I probably should have asked before taking them. LOL.  



I filled in the button holes with some more Apoxie Sculpt and sanded flat.  Then used a thin bladed coping saw to make the slit on top and used my typical dry brushing between silver and black.



Side profile.

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  • 2 weeks later...


A while back I built a small shelf for the feed tray.  However I estimated the height of the feed tray to low, so I needed to build a new shelf a little higher.  I had to make it in a way that could fit inside the existing opening as well.  Remember that my design  has the inner gun barrel going all the way though the body for support (I don't want the outer gun barrel attachment as a weak point).   So the shelf is just a little stub.  Just enough so something can be seen through the opening.




It was tacked in place with some crazy glue, then used Gorilla foam glue for a good mechnical bond on the inside to attach it to the body and preexisting shelf.  Once the shelf was in place, a section of black styrene covering was added to complete the lower horizonal line of the lower receiver.  Not going to call this section fully completed as some additional details need to be added later.


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The upper receiver hasn't had any attention for a while, but now it is the area to focus on as it is so important to the silhouette and visual detail of the DLT-19.   I started by sanding down rear part of the upper receiver to extend the forward slope further. Doing so did some damage but nothing that can't be fixed.




A new surface was added to the upper receiver for a clean working surface.   It does not go to the edge as they will be filled in with epoxy later on for a rounded edge.  In hind sight it was a waste to extend the black styrene covering so far forward as most if it will get covered with additional layers.




The top has the roundish cap with a few bumps on it.  I'm going to make this out of a few layers of PVC foam board.




This is a pretty good first cut, I'll need a few more layers to build up the height.




This is now 3 layers deep, two layers with an oval cutout and the lower bottom plate.




For the hinged, I decided to make that out of some wood.  I have no such wood working skills, so this came out pretty decent for me.  Obviously the hinge will not be functional but will still need a metal pin and such.




Here it is glued in place.  A small wedge was added under the rear part to give it a slight upward angle.  The underside gap is filled expanding foam glue, waiting for it to cure.  Apoxie Sculpt was used to smooth out the edges of the oval and will be added later to fill in the lower part once the glue cures.


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The black styrene covering has been completed on the upper receiver and Apoxie Sculpt has been applied to all the edges to smooth things over.  Three Acco 5/16 inch (head diameter) brass platted fasteners were added to the front.  They are a little flatter than I would like, and perhaps a little to wide but reasonably close enough.




To make the larger bump towards the back... I tired several things.  What I determined to work best for my needs was a 1/8 inch (625ml) teaspoon with a little bit of plastic wrap to keep the Apoxie Sculpt from sticking to the metal.




Some examples of the little bumps I created.  They were sanded smooth and bottom sanded flat, and simply picked the one which turned out best.




The bump was attached with excessive Gorilla crazy glue to help fill in the gap around the base of it.  A few more layers of paint will be applied and some more sanding to smooth it down a little, but overall the shape of the upper receiver came out pretty good. 




It's starting to feel pretty good in the hand and looking like a MG-34.




Still have to work on the forward hinge.  I haven't been able to curl PVC foam board that much without breaking it.  Need to keep working on other ideas.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Not sure what this is called, but it is the next thing I wanted to make. It's part of the Upper Receiver and the ejector port cover is wedged below it.




Figured it was another opportunity to make it out of PVC Foam Board.   The exact shape and dimensions are all just eye-balled and I think mine is slightly long, as my ejector port cover is a bit long.  Looking at pictures I estimated the originals to be about 80cm and I made mine 90cm. So the plan is to have the center slightly elongated but keep the ends as correct as possible.




I drew lines on where I expected to make cuts.  Again goal was to keep the left and right symmetrical.




Glued the parts together and some lines cut in and I removed the center.  The left and right ends and hollow inside parts I packed with Apoxie Sculpt for strength and tried to fill in the top seam.




Tossed on some paint and added a little dark blue it parts of it... just because I wanted to.   With several of the MG-34 reference pictures these parts were a different darker color.  This is zoomed in with camera flash on which makes it brighter than it really is.




Another view of the top profile with the new gadget just resting on top of the ejector port.  I won't mount it until it until later.



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  • 1 month later...



Next I wanted to add the front grip (two bulbous metal protrusions) on the feed cover.   I wasted a week or two trying to come up with an idea on how to make them and keep them fairly symmetrical.  If I had a 3D printer, I probably would have just done that and be done with it.... but I don't.  I tried looking at bottle of soda bottles to see if the curved plastic could be used as a mold.  I even looked at melting plastic to make my own molds.


Then I had an idea... don't laugh.  LEGO bricks.



I crazy glued the parts together and started sanding them down with my Dremel to start getting the basic shape in place.  Turns out LEGO bricks sand down pretty well.



Then I filled in the remaining holes with Apoxie Sculpt and kept working on sanding the shape.



To glue these onto the feed cover, I used a combination of crazy glue gel on the high parts which make direct contact and Gorilla Glue (expanding foam glue) for the low spots.  The expanding foam filled in nicely and makes a strong bond.  Then some more Apoxie Sculpt was used to fill in the gap between the LEGO bricks and feed cover.  After that a few coats of silver and black paint to match.


The longer right side front grip completed.



The shorter left side front grip against the ejector port cover.



The two of them together add to the overall silhouette of the DLT-19.


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