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My final E-11 build ("Airsoft" conversion)


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OK, folks, as mentioned in the title this will be my final (OT) E-11 build.  Before I begin, let me give you a little background:

This blaster was gifted to me by a dear friend who actually received it from a fellow trooper who has unfortunately passed on, and it needed some attention.  The person who did the mods obviously had great intentions, but there were some issues which I have done my best to address.  Keep in mind that during the time it was created it was a work of art, but with the advent of detailed screen caps and such I have tried my best to do it justice.


Side note:  I have been working on this for over a year off-and-on.


Is it 100% screen accurate?  Nope.  After receiving it I dove into research on Airsoft E-11s, and found more than a few inconsistencies (mentioned later).  I'm just doing my best to make it as close to screen accurate as I can, so bear with me....   Now, on with the show.


This is how it looked when I started.  Great in it's day, but just so many issues.


1.  Copper tubing power cylinders

2.  Wrong Selector switch

3.  Shroud has a piece of black PVC glued inside.

4.  Wrong muzzle.

5.  Missing pieces on the magazine .



I will have to strip it down to bare parts as best as I can.


The first thing I had to do was remove the black PVC interior in the shroud, which was blocking all the holes.  I drilled them out but it looked terrible.  I ended up using a blow-torch to melt the PVC.  It removed the interior as well as any chance of grass growing in my future patio area, but I am pleased with the results.


W5K4tNU.png     F22TfDT.jpg   5b3BluY.jpg


Here comes the most difficult part.  The previous builder had WELDED some sort of odd muzzle on,  Sort of like an ESB, but not quite, so It's gotta' come off and be replaced.  Ugh.  The end of the shroud was not too pretty either.  I cut off the muzzle and was left with this:


DA4Mud9.jpg   zfBPne9.jpg     RyWRCcw.jpg


To Be Continued!

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A friend with a welding torch managed to get the end of the muzzle removed from the shroud, and I filed down the inside.  I purchased a metal replacement from the Blaster Factory and added a metal tube to simulate the interior barrel.  After more filing and a few choice curse words, it fits!


u98sLpr.jpg     fJQ3qBL.jpg    HcWlObV.jpg


The magazine was missing the arc on the side and the metal post/grub screw.  Some scrap ABS, a piece of an aluminum rod and a replacement screw did the trick.


HX84i39.jpg    VpONzGu.jpg   6VUucmR.jpg  K6Gri6U.jpg   gqINpfi.jpg




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Before we proceed, you will notice that some pics show items that I installed at various times and seem out of order.  The reason being is that I have been working on this over the course of a year, and some items were not photographed until after I had installed them.  :blush:


Missing/replacement parts:


OK, so there were a few pieces missing from the puzzle which I will have to re-create.  Being a pack-rat, I keep all manner of left-over bits and bobs as well as lots of ABS scraps, so it makes life easier when I need something.


The front site interior was missing, so I had to make one.  I cut quite a few ABS scraps to the general size, lightly sanded both sides of each and CA glued them together to get the thickness.  Using needle files I carved out the bottom and gave it the general shape.  After sanding and a little glazing putty I drilled out the holes for the site pin on top and the tiny grub screw on the left side.  The site pin is just a machine screw cut off and the sides of the top filed down.  Yeah, I know I didn't get the groove in the bottom 100% correct, but I needed the strength so it wouldn't snap.


T8TyFFL.png    p3X47CU.jpg    yuJ7i5s.jpg



The inside bit of the rear site was missing, so back to the ABS scraps.  2 layers glued together and filed/sanded to size.  Note the ridges on the back of the arcs (last pic).  I wasn't happy with the shape and they didn't have any ridges (4th pic), so I filed them down to a more rounded shape and added the ridges with a file and added a tiny washer over the hole(s).


              Real Sterling                                    ABS fix                                   Installed/painted

ZFXtWfQ.jpg   tA0pYv7.jpg   lTv5avN.jpg     ThH9qEy.jpg   dgce4EF.jpg


The cocking lever (below right) that came with it was metal but unfortunately was not the correct shape.  I had an old Doopydoos one (below left) made of resin, but since that piece gets scratched a lot I made a silicone mold and cast one in solid black resin (lost the pic, but it will be shown later).  For added strength I drilled out the center and added a screw, leaving half an inch sticking out on the bottom to secure it into the bolt.



Two issues on the end of the shroud:

1.  The front flash guard was not present.

2.  There was an extra hole in the shroud.  Ugh.  If I would have installed the flash guard in the exact shape as the original, it would not have allowed the T-track to fit without leaving the hole open.  I just wasn't up to the filling/sanding to cover the extra hole... sorry. :(

Instead I used more ABS scraps to form a smaller guard with more of an arc.  Some sanding, epoxy glue and paint and I think it turned out OK.  T-tracks in last pic were temporary.


 XJyKJT9.jpg   mQLO8jf.jpg  Q31u4KL.jpg    9yz6pnR.jpg


The safety selector switch (first pic) caused me a boatload of problems.  Not only was it the incorrect shape, but being a functioning item the base was imbedded in the grip area. (Face palm).  To remove it I had to disassemble the entire grip and use a hacksaw to cut it off at the base.  Once I got that done it was a matter of drilling out the remainder of the shaft to accommodate a new switch (pic 3).

Side note-  While I had the grip apart I sanded off the black paint under the interior mechanism below the switch.

Back to sculpting a new switch using ABS.  I make a silicone mold of the sculpt, cast it in black resin and added a screw inside for strength before installing it with epoxy (last pic).


V8pMu8h.jpg   xnkBXEh.jpg  eNeza96.jpg   CKuGtD4.jpg


Next up, the bolt, grip screws and such...


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The bolt that came with it was solid aluminum (pic 1) with no raised ridges or serial #, so I knew that just wasn't gonna' do.

In looking at several real Sterling L2A3 references thing that puzzled me was the rear of the bolt.  I noticed that in some cases the rear had no protrusion (pic 2) and in some cases it did (pic 3).


                           1                                                                2                                                               3

gZcZf40.jpg   rxvIyIr.jpg    fylfzWz.jpg 


I had one 3D printed which had the protrusion so that's the one I went with.  Even after sanding it down/painting the print lines the "serial #" stayed intact.

I started out by spray painting it with bright silver (2 coats).  To get a more realistic metal look, I rubbed it down with charcoal powder, which got into the grooves and serial # and make them "pop".  A coat of clear matte sealer and voila!


S2QuB8K.jpg       wmVfKd0.jpg


This was another puzzler-  


The part that is permanently attached to the bottom of this particular weapon (which has the engraved safety letters that the plastic grip slides onto) was similar to the real sterling (2) but with a different shape (1).  Not the biggest of deals... HOWEVER, in all the Airsoft versions I could find that plate is non-existent (3).  The Airsoft shown in pic 3 has the correct selector switch, but the screw is not recessed and no engraving   Not sure if this was a later model, but most peculiar.

                        1                                                          2                                                          3

 ofGqlvy.jpg   tcqBPpx.jpg EUJllT0.jpg


In looking at the real Airsoft grip (1), it is a lot different than the original Sterling (2).  Sides are flatter, rear curve is different, no recessed screw and more squared off at the rear bottom which leads me to believe it was replaced during the last mod.  Guess I got lucky on this one!


bDxjTzg.jpg    uKOSHwt.jpg


I have done a lot of ANH E-11 builds, but this is another item which vexes me.   In some models the grip has a screw, and in some it has what looks like a ball-bearing.  I normally go with the ball-bearing look, so I inserted a "hat-nut" (some call them acorn nuts) and sealed it in with black Sugru (Yes, it's brass and looks like crap right now, but I will be cleaning up the perimeter and painting it black when I'm done.:)


 c4HY7Ud.jpg   IhLseq1.jpg        0QYfxoS.jpg


The end cap clip was also missing.  Fortunately I happen to have some aluminum U channel strips of the correct size, and I happened to dig out an old 3D printed clip left over from some long ago build.

The first pic shows a dry fitting before sanding/filling, and the finished product is shown in the second one.  Note that I slightly rounded off the corners of the U-channel so that it won't snag as easily.


HINT:  If you are using metal or resin, it helps to sand a groove lengthwise in the bottom of the U-channel.  This will give it more contact with the surface of the body and help with adhesion.  I normally do this by using some 120 grit sandpaper wrapped around the smooth part (top) of the shroud and then moving the channel up and back along it to create the recessed area (pic 3).

Yeah, it takes some time, but well worth it.  Trust me.

                                                                                                  Finished product glued on

qEyGION.jpg     VnA3h5w.jpg    vDB8JLo.jpg


Next up:  Hengstler counter and power cylinders.


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11 hours ago, revlimiter said:

An OTTK airsoft? Very interesting!!! I'm looking forward to this one.


You should build an R1 E-11 also. :Stormtrooper_walk_south:


I have done as much research as I can on the Airsoft E-11, but there are just SO many differences in those and the one I am working on.  The grip, the plate below the selector switch, the switch itself, the muzzle, the bolt, the scope, etc.  I can find zero references similar to it.  


"You should build an R1 E-11 also"   Thanks to a good friend ;) I have the kit, it's just getting the time to do it.

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Not to disparage the Hengstler that came with it (below), as it was an actual Hengstler, but it lacked many of the details I wanted.  I though about having one 3D printed, but since this will be my "swan-song" for this type of build I went with an alternative.


TAPvEkm.jpg  ZTNO5xM.jpg  aUuEU6d.jpg


Back to the Blaster Factory for a replacement!  Their kit (seen below) is crazy accurate and has all the bells and whistles I was looking for.  The kit is pretty easy to put together, and they have a great video to help with assembly.




The only part I wanted to change was the numbers.  When you order one, you choose one of 2 pre-printed selections (one seen below) that fit inside.  BUT... I ended up cannibalizing the old one that came with it for the numbers to get the customized ones I wanted (pic 3).  No surprise I used 10963, lol.  I just glued the loose ones together and it fit perfectly.  I lost the flat counter push button, so I ended up making one out of black ABS, which matches pretty darned good. 


VKP0Yyi.jpg    kSzKBgl.jpg  3zEx1Tx.jpg



I like the fact that the previous builder used metal for the power cylinders and mount (not an easy task to accomplish with store bought materials).  I found them a little too long, though, and the mounting plate was not too accurate.  This is how I received them (they were mounted to the magazine before removal).


eGUYhWr.jpg   tmeJNdR.jpg


Again, the need for accuracy is gonna' cost me, but well worth it in my opinion.  I looked around online and the best ones I found were again from the Blaster Factory.  Fairly easy to build, and they even reproduced the Metalmite capacitors.


There are several styles of mounts available, but I went with the "A".  Not sure why, but I just like the look.




I have built many set-ups like this using resin and 3D prints, but since these were all metal I figured I had better watch their tutorial.  The only part I had a small issue with was mounting the ends of the cylinders to the little wing plates.   They suggest to solder them, but I simply am at a loss on how to do that.  I ended up using JB WELD "SteelStik" moldable epoxy in small amounts in the areas seen in red.  This product is made for bonding metal, dries in less than 10 minutes and has bonded them fantastic.  


After a few coats of flat paint, the capacitors were CA glued in, wires connected and resistors attached.

yYSvaCU.jpg   yNU2LCm.jpg   WaYJV60.jpg   






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Before I move on, no, I do not get any discounts or such from the Blaster Factory, lol.  I have been ordering parts from them for many years for various builds.  Their accuracy is unparalleled, and they are always available for questions/help.  They are not the least expensive source for reproduction parts, but you get what you pay for, and I know I will never have an issue with their products.

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4 hours ago, MaskedVengeance said:

I'm not sure how I feel about the term "swan-song" being applied to anything that you do, Joseph. :)


Not to worry, lol.  


o32be8Q.jpg  ......................................................   JJpS3Fm.png


I have the kit, it's just finding time to dive down that rabbit hole as this one has literally taken me a year.  Also, although I've never been the biggest fan of the ANH Bapty E-11 I am thinking about that one as well just to round out my OT E-11 obsession.  If anyone knows of any accurate 3D files I would appreciate a heads-up.  :D



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The scope:


Again, big props to the original builder for going with a real metal scope.  Not just metal, but an original Sherman!  The natural pitting on the body just adds to the authenticity, but sadly it is an M38-A2 model and this particular one was not used on any of the blasters seen in the film. 




So, another order from the BF for the 1942 M38 version was needed.  Being machined the body didn't have the pitting, but the accuracy and details are phenomenal!  A few coats of paint and the obligatory "lost greeb**" (yellow arrow) glued to the top and this part is DONE! 



** What the heck is that?  Link here to find out.



The T-tracks that were on it had a lot going for them (pic 1).  Although they were a bit wide and covered up the holes in the shroud, they were rubber.  Unfortunately they were glued on with an epoxy that I doubt even Emperor Palpatine could have removed with a light saber and were destroyed while trying to remove them.  Instead of being tucked in to the holes (pic 2), they were cut off as squares (pic 1) due to the fact that the holes in the shroud were sealed closed from the black ABS pipe inside.

I contemplated purchasing new T-tracks, but I ended up making one out of scrap ABS (pic 3), making another silicone mold and casting them in black plastic (I didn't think resin would hold up well when bending the ends).  The ends were trimmed on the sides, cut to length, gently heated up over the burners on my stove and then inserted into the appropriate holes.  I'm pretty danged happy with the result (last pic).


s4HKNhk.jpg     OoZgkSy.jpg       QnNPdN5.jpg     J9VAQBm.jpg


By the way...  As you may have picked up on I sculpt a lot of my own parts for my builds, make silicone molds and then cast them in either resin or plastic.  Many (if not most) of the items I make are available either for free or just my cost for materials.  All I ask is that you pay postage.

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The magazine/clip


Being an Airsoft, the magazine does not have the magazine release button on the top or any stamping underneath.  The first pic shows the top after removing the power cylinder setup.. I had to do some smoothing.  Being an Airsoft, the magazine does not have the magazine release button on the top or any stamping underneath.  Sculpting a new button with all the details is a bit more than I was up for, so I purchased a replica from BF.  Since the magazine is welded to the frame, I'll just have to live with it being plain.  I guess there are worse things in life, lol.  The last pic is an actual Sterling mag I used on my last build (for reference).


Tl8GHmY.jpg   mTKOzZC.jpg    PQAdiHy.jpg


I really lucked out on the clip!  It looks as if the last builder went all out and added a real Sterling clip cut down to length.  BONUS!

Side note:  When I first popped out the clip I noticed the inside, and for a second I thought "Holy cow, this thing is LOADED" but then realized that those are the rollers that push the bullets up.  Duhhh.


niLJk26.jpg    YiPY7Qd.jpg


                                                                                       Reference images

tDwLb4o.jpg    2f0Yx4Q.jpg


Next up..  The folding stock and the finished product

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The bayonet lug was absent and it took a bit of work, as I had to sculpt one out of layered ABS.  An hour or so of carving, filing and sanding and off to be molded.  I cast it in black resin and DONE!




The last thing to do was the folding stock, which brought a welcome surprise... this is yet another part which I believe was replaced with the "real deal" by the last builder.  Let me explain..


While they are very similar and both function, the details are way different in some areas.  These are NOT "bad" things, mind you, only different.





1.  Pivot point is rounded and curves under the front.  

2.  Hinge pin/washer is farther back.

3.  Bottom (and top) of the front is more angular.

4.  No divot to hold the stock in place.

5.  Opening is a slightly different shape.


 This is the one that came with it (after refinishing).  After comparing it with one of my vintage Sterling stocks, I am convinced that this an original.  Like the rest of the metal parts, it had been painted with a really rough finish and had a grainy texture (2).  Since it had to match the rest of the paint, I stripped it down to bare metal, sand and repainted it and oiled the moving parts.


RVKRHOr.jpg    D5WLfSw.jpg


                                    Real Sterling stock


Added the greeblies to the stock, and everything is assembled! 


After countless hours of work and almost one year exactly, I'm pretty proud of the results.  Will I be painting all the parts I replaced?  Well, at least a few of them, but for now I haven't in order to see the details.  I did some weathering on the scope and power cylinders, and will do some on the rest later.  Still a few minor touch-ups, but for now here it is:


                                                                                                                          Weight:  6.75 pounds




                                   oqUcAGQ.jpg   OZaFObz.jpg


                                                                                 Gotta' fix that hole!
                  vlBAzSN.jpg  2LXRIAV.jpg    LgDDj9E.jpg   tyLJhJb.jpg


Shout-out-  I'd like to thank Chris @fieldmarshall for carrying all the parts I needed and allowing me to use product pics from his website.  :D



This prop arrived unexpectedly when I really needed it.  With all that has happened in my life over the last year it gave me something to focus on... a goal.  Yeah, I procrastinated at times, but I wanted to complete it to honor the man who gifted it to me.


My apologies if I missed any details during the build, but I appreciate anyone who has (unwittingly) been a part of my "therapy" (lol) by viewing it.


Last but certainly not least... thank you, Paul.  :smiley-sw013:  I hope I did it justice.







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This is phenomenal (as usual), Joseph! Certainly something I desire to do myself at some point, and I already have one of your folding sticks and those newly found greebs that you provide.

I love, too, that your build came at a perfect time for you personally. Therapeutic E-11 building!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm blown away by the amount of detail that you put into this Joseph. I'm going to go back and read through the thread a second time to ensure I'm getting it all.  Had I known just how much work it would have taken to complete it, I may have been reluctant to send it to you without sending in detailed photos first. I'm relieved that it was able to be a source of distraction during a hardship.  The details you included I think the casual observer may not notice from more than a few feet away, however the mind works in mysterious ways and I believe that the net effect of all these details is something they would pick up on.


It has certainly found a better home than any I could have provided, and am glad that it can be a source of pride and comfort.

It is truly a remarkable re-construction that you have accomplished.

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