Ok, it’s time to pick this project back up from where I left off, and that is right at the beginning. I started a thread for this build on TheRPF six months ago, but had other priorities. Let me give a quick run down of the parts and their sources.
- Brass cast Webley – Handschaub
- Original Model 7 4×20 scope – the real deal
- Aluminum Barrel assembly – Dave the Bookie
- T-Tracks – Todd’s Costumes
- Wood Stock – Woodman
- 3d printed stock greeblie – Shapeways
- Triple Ejector Rack – F4E Phantom model kit
- Front stock greeblie – Visible V8 model kit
I’m going to have to fabricate the scope mount blocks from wood or Delrin, I’m leaning toward Delrin right now. I’m also going to make a mold, and cast the model kit parts, I don’t want to use the original parts. There is a small gap where the Webley joins with the stock, this is caused because the Webley is a cast so it has slightly shrunk. I’ve got to shim it to make it fit nice and snug, there are no gaps there on the real thing.
The ROTJ EE3 is ugly
This picture above makes it look decent, but there are closer pictures that show how bad this paint job actually is. I think that the prop reads correctly on screen and from a distance but it doesn’t hold up when you view it up close, and that’s a problem for me. Because of this I’m not going to make the finish of the gun accurate, I’m going to go for more of an idealized version. Think the of the finish of the ESB version, but for the ROTJ EE3. I have a hard time swallowing the pill that Boba Fett; a notorious bounty hunter is running around with a beat up gun.
To kick it off I’m going to work on correcting the stock gap. I bought a sheet of walnut veneer, and cut a strip that is a little taller than the groove. It’s not flexible enough to just bend and fit in, I broke a bit trying, so I had to soak it in water for a while to make it more bendy. Thin wood doesn’t take long to soak, maybe 30 minutes. I was able to fit it in, then I used the Webley to hold it in place and clamped it together. I let it dry like that for a couple hours so it would hold its shape. After I pulled the clamp I could see the shaping worked perfectly, I applied glue and fit it back in and clamped it again. Now I wait for the glue to dry and trim it up. I’ll probably have to add a couple more small shims to get rid of some gaps that near the handle. One step at a time.
After the glue set up I popped the clamp and trimmed off the excess veneer with a razor blade until it was flush. There were a hairline gaps between the veneer and the stock that I filled in with a mixture of wood glue and walnut saw dust. One spot in particular was significantly dented and required somewhat more to fill it but I didn’t put enough on and as the glue and sawdust mixture dried it shrank back into the hole a bit. No big deal I applied a thicker coating to that spot after I sanded down the stock. It dried up and I re-sanded the whole stock again, but this time I wet the wood to clean it, but more importantly it raised the grain of the wood allowing me to sand it even smoother. It was so much sanding, but I’m happy with the results. The gap is nearly non-existent now.
On to making the next part that I’m missing for this project which is the scope mount blocks. With some photoshop trickery and measurements of of my scope feet claws I was able to determine that the length is 25mm for the barrel block and 24mm for the Webley block, but I’m just going to make them both 25mm. The height for both is 13mm. The width is not something that I could really figure out, but it looked about the same as the height. There isn’t a really good reference photo that has a part that I can measure at the same angle to compare to. So I’m going with 13mm for the width as well. I grabbed a scrap of wood and cut it down in to two 25mm x 13mm x13mm pieces.
Molding and Casting Greeblies
I don’t know why but when ever I come to molding and casting for any project it has made me cringe even though I’ve never done it before. It’s the reason that I’ve never moved forward with my Jedi training remote project that I’ve had all the original kits and parts just sitting on my shelf. Well I finally get over the hurdle.
And the results! Cleaning up the casts is pretty easy and I get the painted up. My irrational hesitation for making a mold now seems silly, it really isn’t that hard. Maybe it comes from not having good clear instructions, it seems like every time I try to find a tutorial on molding and casting I wind up with more questions.
What I used
Sanding the barrel
There is a texture on the surface that bothers me a bit, so I need it sanded off. Sanding the entire barrel isn’t something I want or need to do, just the parts that are going to be exposed. Sanding isn’t fun to do or watch someone do, so I bought some large flap wheel bits to speed things up. The size of these flap wheel shanks are huge, but it does still fit into the 6mm hand tool for the flex shaft, something I couldn’t have fit into the Dremel. I’d say using the flap wheels were effective at removing the texture, there was some bouncing and spots that were missed but it did get the majority of the work done. I will have to go back and hand sand some spots.
I started off by shortening the t-tracks to the length of the barrel. There is an area in the middle of the barrel where there isn’t t-tracks, the smooth barrel underneath is exposed that I need to sand. I took measurements from a photo, but did a poor job labeling my measurements, so I found myself looking at the reference photos again trying to make sense of my notes. That’s when I noticed that the t-tracks are very tightly packed on to the barrel, not loose with gaps like I had. I will say again that the real prop is sloppy in how it was built, some of the t-tracks hastily cut and uneven. My OCD nature isn’t going to be ok with that and besides I’m building an “idealized” version. The t-tracks that I have already are from Todd’s Costumes and I know that the t-tracks from Wannawanga are slightly wider, and if my math is correct they should reduce the 9.7mm gap to about 4mm. Here are the calipers I used for measuring So further work on getting the t-tracks cut and fit is on hold until the new ones arrive. JUST TO BE CLEAR, Todd’s Costumes makes perfectly fine t-tracks, and I will be using them for other projects.
I don’t know if you you all have watched the Mandalorian episode 6 yet but I have so here is a small spoiler.
The droid “Zero” uses a very similar gun to this EE3. There are a few differences that can be spotted but it appears that they were trying to make this gun.