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 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)

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Peregrinus


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I'm working on a Stormtrooper officer garrison uniform elsewhere. I've got a DH-17 in final pre-painting cleanup for combat-zone wear, but the on-base duty sidearm that we see in the movies is something lighter.

In-universe, the story is essentially that BlasTech made the DL-44 hoping for a military contract (as arms manufacturers all want). The Empire took one to Merr-Sonn and said "can you do this cheaper?". The result was Merr-Sonn's "Model 44":





Imperial procurement noted the obvious lack of booster/flash-hider assembly and asked if it was as powerful as BlasTech's version. Merr-Sonn said, essentially, "*shrug* Yeah, pretty much". And were told they were supposed to do better than "pretty much". And the result was the "Power 5" version:





Here's the final "hero" prop for Han's DL-44:





The Merr-Sonn has a different heat-dissipation setup, with the heat sinks along the rail between upper and lower parts of the frame instead of on the front of the magazine box. The bull barrel (what the thicker sleeve slipped over the barrel is called) is longer on the Merr-Sonn, which means the flash hider sits further forward. This also leaves more room for the "iron sights" along the top of the bull barrel. The detailing on the lower frame of the gun is different, too. And, of course, the DL-44 has the big scope and mounting rail, where the Merr-Sonns both have that DIN plug acting as targeting optics.

Real-world stuff... There's a gunmaker in London who makes (or at least made) specialized firearms for various film and TV productions in the UK. These included at least three Mauser C96s modified in similar ways. They went through pieces of them when working out Han's blaster. They were most of the way there when they cast the Imperial blasters, but then used a different lower frame and chopped the bull barrel down further for the final version of Han's blaster. There's also a circular raised detail on the left side of the frame toward the back. That's the remains of one of the scope mounts one particular modded Mauser had. The other is hidden by the Imperial disc greeblie on the magazine.

For the "Model 44" version, the propmakers snapped off the flash hider. You can see the half-inch or so of bull barrel that extends past the end of the iron sights (which are flush with the back end of the flash hider). That's how far into the flash hider the barrel extends before meeting the recoil booster the flash hider sits on. The flash hider assembly was probably cast as a single piece and then glued onto the end of the bull barrel. The undercut into the back end of the flash hider would be too much for many moulds to handle. I said "snapped off" above because the ragged end of the Model 44's barrel implies something was glued to it and then forced off -- the resin snapping before the glue bond did.

Me being me, I'm making a stupidly over-engineered version of both blasters in one. ;) I'm making the Model 44 with a female-threaded muzzle that I can screw the flash hider assembly onto. The only differences in greebling are on the right and lower left sides of the magazine box. You can see the Power 5 has a couple rectangular greeblies on the right side of the magazine box the Model 44 doesn't. Likewise, the Power 5 has faint raised detail on the lower left side of the magazine that's absent on the Model 44. I'm going to go with more-detailed, with the larger rectangular greeblie attached when the flash hider is screwed on. The flatter rectangular greeblie I may do as a flap covering the socket for the larger one.

Those greeblies, the faint detailing on the lower-left side of the magazine, and the specific model of DIN plug are still eluding identification, but I still have plenty to start with...

Someone I know on the RPF had started modifying one of the Spanish-made Denix Mauser replicas when he acquired an old Japanese MGC replica instead, so I got his Denix off of him for less than original price and with a lot of work already done. *happy dance* I've been using my own real Mauser for comparison to grind the contours closer to accurate. Note, my Mauser is a post-War "Bolo" version, with smaller grip and shorter barrel. I cut the Denix's barrel down, anyway. And y'all should just ignore the grip on my Bolo. :P

Real frame:


Denix:


Real receiver:


Denix:


Side by side:


Breech marked where it needs to get ground down:




Getting there...:


Compare the ground and unground sides:


And lined up next to the real one:


That's all the stuff I'm removing. I'll be back in a little while with the stuff I'm adding. :)

--Jonah

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MABEL #008

WIP "clearing house" posts:
Protector-themed v0.5 kit

Plus, guns:
Custom Westar-34
Merr-Sonn

Peregrinus


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Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 10:26 PM »
As promised. :)

Okay, working from front to back...

I got incredibly lucky on barrel stuff. I found out about the RPF/Dark Energy Creations run of kits for modding Mausers (or replicas) into the Hero ANH DL-44. Which was largely fine, as I have no need for the scope or scope mounting frame or heat sink. But I did want the barrel stuff. And as I was going about figuring out how I was going to scratch-build or source the bull barrel, recoil booster, and flash hider myself, DEC e-mailed me out of the blue and said that he'd found a few leftover bits from the run last year that hadn't had the rest of the parts made to turn into kits. So I got the separate bull barrel and recoil booster I needed, and a flash hider with no holes drilled, which was also how I needed it. If you look in the pictures of the Power 5 in the first post, you see some depressions where the holes showed up in the mould, but not all the holes were caught, and none of them were drilled out. So I'm going with a smooth flash hider.

Here they all are --

Bull barrel:




Recoil booster:




Flash hider:






I took a bit of 1" PVC pipe and a male-to-male pipe fitting, some epoxy putty...:


...which, when finished and painted/aged, will be glued into the recoil booster:


I'm working on an inner barrel separately that will run through that piece and poke just a bit past the booster into the flash hider. The built-up booster will sit down inside the flash hider like so:


It'll all have to get blued/anodized/darkened, but that'll be the assembly that screws onto the end of the barrel. That pipe fitting is just the right size for the barrel once I get it threaded.

Back of the flash hider is the iron sight. This was made from the ubiquitous cabinet door T-track that was used on so many things in the Original Trilogy:


The bottom of it got ground away so it's just the vertical part:


That gets glued to the top of the bull barrel just in front of the chamfers where it meets the breech, approximately like so:


A pair of pushrods from a model airplane engine get glued to either side of the fin. I'll be ordering them, the airplane engine cylinder halves that make the heat sinks, and the Imperial disc within the next week.

Moving back, instead of just the raw cut-off post the original prop had, I decided to make that bit functional, and chopped an "adjustment knob" off a cheap plastic scope I got at Goodwill for fifty cents and used it, since it's the same diameter:


And moving down, I decided to skip the regular wood grips, since the prop was just painted solid black. Mauser made several optional-upgrade monogrammed grips out of "guttapercha" (phenolic resin), and I snagged a set of replicas off of eBay:


I like that they're already black, and I like the grip texture. I'm going to grind the flowery "WM" (for Waffenfabrik Mauser) down flat and set an Imperial cog in there. I still have to do a bit of work on the frame to make them fit right, but not too much:




More as it develops... :)

--Jonah

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MABEL #008

WIP "clearing house" posts:
Protector-themed v0.5 kit

Plus, guns:
Custom Westar-34
Merr-Sonn

Cin Vhe'rang


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Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 12:23 AM »
Looking good, vod!  I'll be watching this build with interest... :D

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Kardos Shantiel


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Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 09:19 PM »
Definitely watching!! Looks very interesting! :D

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Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 03:45 PM »
Nice work vod ;)

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Peregrinus


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Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #5 on: Sep 16, 2014, 03:31 PM »
Sorry for the long delay. Ran into issues both expected and un...

First up, the disc. I'm still sorting things out with one or two people in the know, but I initially went with one of Elvistrooper's notched Imperial discs (I have a few for hats and belt buckles), but I discovered that it's too big when on the blaster. Did some photoscaling and the disc on the blaster is about an eighth of an inch smaller in diameter than his.  Yeah, that's not much, but the difference is visible. 7/8" versus ~1". I trust his scaling. Doing work on nice high-res chest-up photos of various Imperial officers in ANH, they come out to as close to an inch as makes no difference. An eighth of an inch would show up.

A working theory I have is that the stunt blasters were moulded and cast in one or more of the higher-quality casting media that don't shrink as they cure, but that when decorating the blasters they used resin castings of the Imperial disc that had shrunk slightly.

At any rate, I had to scratch-build a notched disc of an accurate size to the ones in the photos, so -- some brass tubing and a bit of PVC conduit later -- here is what I have for that:







I have also abandoned my threaded adapter in favor of one that slots in, once I realized that those holes at the end of the bull barrel have set-screws. Here's what I started with:



I am becoming a diva of brass tubing. :P Here's where it went... Muzzle end:



...And the barrel end that fits down in there:



Bull barrel end:



...And the bit that fits down in the end of said barrel:



Plus a beam splitter that will be down inside this end:



Sorry for the blurry. I don't like the focus of this new camera and I'm still figuring out how to get it to do what I tell it to. I'll take some pics of this test-fitted together and in place on the blaster tonight. Plus progress on the "scope" thingie. Further recent findings are that it's not a DIN plug, but some sort of 4-pin female plug similar to what is used for ham and CB radio handsets:



Since an exact model hasn't been tracked down yet, I'm scratch-building that, too.

The thing that took the longest, recently, was anodizing the bull barrel and flash hider. There was a goof at the processing place and they were anodized clear, since the purchase order didn't have a color indicated, even though I'd said black. So I finally picked those up yesterday.















Beauty, eh?

I also have the replica pushrods for the iron sights. The engine cylinder halves will be here soon. Getting all of this stuff finished, plus replicating the details on the magazine housing, are all that's left before painting and assembly. Meantime, here's a mock-up of where it is now (minus random parts for the scope):



--Jonah

« Last Edit: Sep 16, 2014, 03:37 PM by Peregrinus » Logged
MABEL #008

WIP "clearing house" posts:
Protector-themed v0.5 kit

Plus, guns:
Custom Westar-34
Merr-Sonn

Peregrinus


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  • Ven'cuyi o'r ni'havlaam... >_>
Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #6 on: Sep 22, 2014, 01:07 PM »
Took the pictures a couple days ago, but life has kept me running around enough that I only now finally have time to upload them here. Yeesh. Anyhoo, those clearer pictures I promised:

The adapter assembly:






How it fits on the end of the bull barrel:



With the recoil booster fitted over:



While I'm not going to glue it in place, I do intend the whole assembly to be "really" one piece in-universe. Here's how it looks all together (bearing in mind, the next step is blackening the steel and brass):




And a couple beauty shots of how the whole assembly looks from front and back:




--Jonah

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MABEL #008

WIP "clearing house" posts:
Protector-themed v0.5 kit

Plus, guns:
Custom Westar-34
Merr-Sonn

Kardos Shantiel


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  • I don't need gaunts I've got the POWER GLOVE!
Re: 'Nother sidearm -- Merr-Sonn's BlasTech DL-44 copy ;)
« Reply #7 on: Oct 17, 2014, 04:10 PM »
WOW!! That's looking SO good, vod!!

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