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Themaninthesuitcase F-11D Standard build


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I printed a full F-11D kit using @The5thHorseman files probably around when TLJ came out.  I'm finally beginning to do something with it.

 

I started with a full inventory and assessment of what I have. 

 

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I have come a fair way in printing and also now have a resin printer which changes things a bit also. I am going to be reprinting most of the smaller parts again on the resin printer to give better detail for less prep work.

 

I did start this 2 days ago but a silly mistake ruined a full plate of parts, so that's currently back on the printer.  I'll post pictures once I have some.

 

I also want to add some basic electronics to the weapon.  I want to have the red LEDs in the magazine and Hengstler, and also the front torch.  I am struggling to source the one listed in the build guide PDF.  Instead I have found the smallest one I could on eBay and will see if I can make it work, modifying the parts as needed.

 

The rough plan is to run all of this off a single battery and 2 switches.  I have modified the magazine file to add a place for a switch and hollowed out the Hengstler as a possible battery location.  I have also added some wire paths to some files, but on others I will drill the prints out and then fill the exposed infill.

 

giPiMwC.jpg

 

The modified magazine file.  Once I prove these work, and any other modded files, I'll make them available to anyone who wants them.

 

For the front torch I want to be able to choose when it's on or not for photos/effect in darker rooms.  I am hoping I'll be able to gut it and run some wires down the barrel to the battery and switches. 

 

I have bought some 12mm tactile switches which as luck would have it are almost perfect for the blaster trigger.

 

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They are meant to be PCB mount so I have modded one slightly to fit in and still have somewhere for the wires to go.  Mine are 6mm height, so a 7mm would probably be even better.

 

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I'll solder on some wires and then glue the switch to the trigger, and a thin EVA sheet to the other side as a bit of filler/padding.  

 

I will be reprinting the handle for better quality so will run some tests on the old parts to check it works.

 

Biggest issue with this project is fitting it around the armour build so I can get parts sanded and primed for paint once the world reopens.

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Very nice, I also use the momentary switches, can fit them in lots of confined places, great for small blasters.

 

Looking forward to the progress

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Here are yesterday's batch of resin parts, less the scope mount which was a complete disaster.

 

v5mSGMB.jpg

 

I reprinted the scope mount and a number of other parts and they came out well for the most part.  Slowly getting the hang of the resin printing. Requires a fair amount of thought at the slicing stage.

 

You can also get unlucky and stuff will warp:

 

Dv7fMiT.jpg

 

I also got a few deliveries.  

 

I now have a full set of hardware (should be enough for 2 blasters, more for most screws) and what I hope will work for the torch.

 

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They are a fair bit bigger than the spec item but they are pretty bright and I think I can make something work.  I've cored out the middle of the mount to accommodate it but the biggest issue is length.  It's too long, but as I plan on making it work using the trigger I'll be gutting it anyway and possibly sawing it down.  If I can saw one down I'll be able to solder on some wires and run it off the core battery.

 

Also these have a focus zoom, I can choose from a spot to reasonably wide.  I'm tempted to go for the spot option so if I am ever in the dark I can really use it to nice effect.

 

I'll probably run off a new mount and ring and see how they fit tomorrow evening after the days armour print run.

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Looks like you're getting a handle on the resin printer, they look nice and clean.

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And lo there was much sanding.

 

vwOkaMY.jpg

 

I found the 120 I was using was actually too much and blunting too fast.  I swapped to a 3M Sandblaster 150 paper and it was both faster and gave a better finish for less hard work.  It actually managed to save a few parts I was going to reprint

 

Next step is to get all the modified parts printed out so I can test for wire routing before I start messing about with any primer.  Doing a quick holding things together I found 1 or 2 more parts I need to modify before reprinting. For some parts I'm just going to take a drill to them.

 

I also printed my modified torch ring and mounts.  Pro: they fitted perfectly.  Con: the torch is too long (but I'll saw it off anyway to get to the wiring) and well, there wasn't much meat left:

 

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So it broke into many pieces as I wasn't very careful removing it from the bed.  I've redesigned the part adding in as much meat as I can, I don't need access to the torch now so I no longer need to leave space for access.

 

Finally I was digging through the reference and discovered the TLJ F-11Ds all have a pica tinny rail on them.  

 

 

I couldn't find an accurate enough one on amazon/eBay and so modelled one up from the specs on Wikipedia and the reference images.

 

r0mXIkx.jpg

 

I might tweak the end angles but looks close enough for government work to me.  I'm going to print this in resin and possibly try add a light texture to it to break up a solid mass of satin black.  Maybe use a different brand of paint too to give a slightly different hue and again break up a solid mass.

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The new torch holder worked much better.  Filled up as much space as I could with part and it seems far more solid.  Also added a notch for the wiring.

 

67N1AdH.jpg

 

Also ran a quick test of the picatinny rail and it looks like it should be great.

 

jcD0D05.jpg

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Okay some more progress on the torch which is totally worth all this effort I am sure..... At least it's a distraction from breaking the 3D printer.

 

So I ordered 2 of these torches from ebay that looked small enough.

 

JcL32BF.jpg

 

In practice they are too long and only just about fit down the available space, after a big mod to Germain's file to make it.

 

First job was to cut one open and see what I had to work with.  I measured down the inside of the barrel to see where I could cut.   Once inside I could pull the inner section out of the outer metal barrel and found it's just a 5mm LED in a holder that runs off 3 1.5 LR44 batteries.  Sadly the leads on the LED are too short to solder to with out melting the holder but a standard 5mm LED fits the holes just fine.

 

M1WExoM.jpg

 

The first torch I destroyed modified I cut very short, and a bit sloppy.  These have a zoom function where pushed in is wide angle and pulled out is focused.  The location of the cut was perfect for the LED mount but left no options for the focus.  With that in mind I cut the second a fair amount longer, about 25mm from the chromed ring.  This seems to be about perfect.  I cut the inner down to the minimum for easy access when soldering.

 

I also sourced some VERY bright LEDs, so bright that to run off a 9V I should be using a 1 watt resistor (I didn't but it was short bursts) and it projected a spot on the wall across the room.  The cool thing about them is they are 3.2-4.5V so I can run one right off the 3.7V LiPo without any resistors.  They also are projecting LEDs as I think they are meant to make torches with.

 

I have a stash of JST RCY connectors that are nice and easy to connect.  They may be a bit big for some of the other connections but here I think it will be perfect, Though I have some smaller ones too if that doesn't work.  The plan is to solder a short connector direct to the LED with heat shrink to prevent shorts.  This will then connect to another wire in the under barrel which will run down the length, through a hole into the main barrel and then through to the core of the blaster where I can wire in the switch and the power as required.

 

Z51Fh73.jpg

 

I'll probably wait until I get the soldering iron out to weld the next armour sections before I do this work.

 

8mV28eF.png

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You could rig up a switch under the front grip so when it folds down the light turns on.

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/14/2020 at 5:31 AM, themaninthesuitcase said:

I wonder if I could fit a normally closed Microswitch in the hinge block or something.

how about a limit switch so the light is off when its folded?  I am in the process of putting together my F11 now and want to add electronics, this post has been helpful.

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I tried to fit a switch behind the light but there just wasn't enough room for me, so I ended up with a small push switch under the blaster in front of the trigger, can't be seen there.

 

No way I was going to copy the working mechanism

JnfbsLH.jpgpcjytdF.jpg

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  • 7 months later...

Seems I'm overdue an update.  I've spent some time working on my blasters in the last week as I had some time off work.

 

Since my last update I reprinted a number of parts on my Elegoo Mars resin printer which gives a far cleaner finish.  Some of these are just better versions of the previously FDM printed parts, others have been modified to better suit my specific build.  I still have a few bits to print, mainly the detailed hand grips, but they failed on previous attempts and I have yet to re-try now I am better at setting up resin prints.

 

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So first up is the Hengstler box.  This was modded to make it fully hollow, as I did intend to put the battery here, and a hole was added for the wiring between the screws.  I also had to modify the mounting bracket as well.

 

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Next up the other side of the rifle for the magazine.  This has been modified to add a slide switch.  This will be the on off switch for the lighting.  It's subtle easy to access and I believe reasonably accurately placed.  This was a bit of a pain to mod, and I was only able to get 1 screw in.  

 

DUlgb0G.jpg

 

I have also finished up the basic wiring for the torch at the front, this also has a resin printed ring.  To get the torch to fit I had to hollow out a lot of the mount and add some reinforcement on what was left.  The wiring is a basic connection commonly used in RC I think.  It clips in nicely and will mean I can remove/replace the torch if needed with out having to cut things.

 

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As the bore is larger I also had to Dremel out some meat in the main blaster section too.

 

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End result should look pretty nice I hope

 

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As I now believe I have all the needed holes for the wiring in place I have started sub assembly so I can start looking towards final paint.  Basically all parts that need to be glued in place have been.  So the hengsteler connector, front hand grip mount, side mount, barrel rails, flash suppressors etc.

 

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It was also time to check the fit of the barrel tip.  I have 2 of these, one FDM one resin.  I drilled the holes to 1/4" as I don't have a 6mm and a little clearance isn't a bad thing.  I like to have through holes be clearance holes where I can as then there's no mucking about trying to line up threads later which can cause them to get stripped, which I did on my 3D printer.

 

yDo54s6.jpg

 

Finally I have started figuring out the power situation for the blaster.  Based on a design from the BlastFX community I came up with my own version.

 

 I am using a 650mAh LiPo battery as they are small and powerful. To charge it I am using a TP4056 board.  This gives USB micro charging with over charging protection.  This updated version has separate connections for the battery and the output which I believe means it protects against over discharge.  You hook the battery to the B+/B- connections and the circuit to the OUT connections go out to the circuit.

 

The original idea was to put the battery in the hengstler where it would be easy to remove.  I didn't like the long power lines from the charger this would mean though.

 

So based on the other design I have created a mount that fits in the end of the barrel.  This has a slot for the board to slide into, which is then secured by an M3 screw which keeps things simple.  A small hole next to the USB socket lets me see the status LED of the charging board. 

 

7PJ3gYA.jpg

 

Still a bit loose. I need to adjust the design in a few places, this was a first test.

 

Above the USB socket is a 2nd DPDT slide switch. This will allow me to completely disconnect the battery from the charging board for storage and transport.  It does mean I'll have to remember to turn it on to charge the battery.

 

qDBDEza.jpg

 

The extra length is intended to be a place to mount the LiPo battery.  I am not exactly sure how I will do this yet, maybe cable ties or some adhesive foam tape?  I need it to have a small amount of movement as I don't want to crush the battery with a clamp.

 

08wSj3Y.jpg

 

The 2 holes top and bottom are for neodymium magnets, 4x2mm at the moment.  There will be a matching plate in the end cap that will have magnets in too to allow it to clip in place but still allow access to the charger and main power.  I am yet to work out how I'll attach the inner section as I would like to avoid glue to allow access to the battery when needed.  Grub screws may be an option if they can be hidden but I'm not sure the wall is thick enough.

 

Other than the last few parts I am almost ready for paint.  I'm hoping to try go to Halfords and get some matt black and Appliance white soon now that shops are opening up again.  All parts are sanded to 320 which should be good enough for the colour coat.   My primer is quite coarse so if I've missed any spots I'll need to go back after the first coats and fix those.

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I've figured out a way to mount the battery now, and it all just about fits.  

 

GfwYhCw.jpg

 

The final item is a bit different from the images below as I've added a rear foot to help keep the mount level in the blaster as it was tipping due to the batteries weight.  I am considering changing the foot design again to make it easier to print with less support.

 

 

The battery will be attached to the sled with high strength double sided tape, either a VHB or some gorilla tape I have.

 

FpcFVrU.jpg

 

Note: no rear foot yet!

 

The sled also has a slotted hole for the screw so it actually ends up clamping the charge board in place as well.

 

The end cap will be mounted via magnets to a plate that will be glued inside.  There is a small cut out for the screw that holds the silver bit on, and a recess for the on/off switch to sit in.

 

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Today I was looking at a photo of a rank of TLJ F-11Ds from production to replicate the piccatiny rail and mount and noticed 2 extra holes.

 

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So clearly I needed these on my blaster.  I started out by measuring and marking out based on the images.

 

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I measured the existing holes to be 12mm so predrilled with a 3mm pilot drill.

 

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Next up was a 12mm forstner bit,  so I was about to either have a nice hole or a ruined blaster.  Ominous forbidding....

 

12mm was too big, it looked HUGE compared to the standard holes.

 

I swapped to 10mm wood spur drill for the front, then stepped up to 11mm with a step drill and looked pretty much spot on.

 

ibnM0RQ.jpg

 

To fix this was a hassle.  

 

First I cut a small piece of 1mm styrene, bent it slightly and then super glued this behind the hole.  

 

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This was then filled with a 2 part filler in 2 passes. I used some masking tape to minimise the area this affected, and removed it whilst the filler was still soft.

 

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To sand down the filler I used a sanding stick to ensure that I kept the filler level to the barrel and no big gouges or lumps where left.  I then re-marked the hole and re drilled with the 10mm wood drill.  The step drill was too long for the rear hole, the front had an opening on the other side, so it only cut about half way through.  To finish I used a small round file and a pen wrapped with sand paper to clean it up.

 

hAq0Q5F.jpg

 

To finish the repair I sprayed on a couple of coats of filler primer.  Again to minimise the impact I masked off most of the barrel so that I only sprayed the repair area.  Once this has dried I will sand out the area again to smooth out the lip left from the tape.

 

b0a3j13.jpg

 

There's a small mark visible up close but the end result is pretty good and won't be visible unless you're looking up close.

 

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