1st DL44 Build Thread! Share your first DL44 build here!

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Jonflake88

Active Member
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Build update:

We have some heat blued parts! Pretty entertaining watching it change. My first time trying it and I’m pretty happy with the result. The sight leaf was blued, and then sanded back to bright. Gives the numbers any awesome contrast, and you can JUST see the blue in them in person. It’s a brilliant detail I really like.
 

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Jonflake88

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Quick full assembly to get a look at how it’s shaping up. Still to come: grip finishing, weathering of the body, lubrication of the moving parts especially the trigger mechanism (little clunky right now). Still need to add in a few of the scratches etc to the body as well. It’s shaping up nicely I think!
 

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Jonflake88

Active Member
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Build Update:

In terms of the outside, it’s more or less finished! I decided to go with an “idealized” barrel/sight greeblie. As I understand one fell of before filming on actual hero. Grip finishing and weathering detailed a bit below. Tried to mimic the scratches as best as possible using an exacto knife. If anyone has ideas how to make them “pop” a little more I’d love to hear it. I feel like they are a bit more visible on the reference material. That may be due to the fact I’m using a bit darker wood though...

Got the trigger mechanism moving nice and smooth now. So satisfying!

Now to start the electronics. I’m likely going to use an extra proffie board I have, and a single cree LED in the barrel. I’m getting a local machine shop to drill a small pass through into the barrel. Any and all tips on the electronics is appreciated!

So far I’m really happy with it!

PS: anyone know of some good display ideas?
 

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Jonflake88

Active Member
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Build Update:

Exploring electronics set up possibilities. Currently what I’m going to try is a single cree LED with a proffie board (unless the blaster core v5 mystically pops up somewhere) following a lot of what megtooth sith did with his EE3 build. Was able to modify the LED to fit clean inside the flash hider. I’m getting a local machine shop to drill a small pass through into the barrel. Next is a test wiring of the micro switches, board and LED. There isn’t really a passage for wires to pass under trigger mechanism and into the grip (that I’m aware of), so I don’t think mounting speaker there is an option. If anyone has experience with speaker in the body, any ideas are appreciated!
 

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Jonflake88

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Build Update:

Decided I wasn’t happy with the base paint job. I used the acrylic based flat black I had at home. Had a bit of beading here and there, and a kind of tacky feel to the finish. SO, I stripped the base down. I actually like what the sanding down process did to the base, weathered it a bit more and softened some of the sharper machined lines.

Decided to test out the archive x paints I just got recently. If you’re not familiar with them, they are enamel paints that painstakingly recreate the colors of the original floquil used by ILM. Now I have absolutely no idea if floquil was used to paint the base of the DL44 BUT it felt some what fitting to go with it. (Side note I didn’t have enough super blue left to re-blue the base before painting so will just spot blue the weathered areas haha).

Was finally able to get a hold of the blaster core 5, if anyone is looking they are in stock again at the custom saber shop. Now I’m just trying to figure out space in the clip area. Feels like I’m just a few millimeters short on width to fit 7.4v battery and the sound board. So may need to file out a bit of space inside or finds a slightly slimmer battery pack. Also filing out a channel for speaker wires into the grip.

Originally I went with cocobolo wood grips, but decided go with walnut grips for a bit more accuracy. Also felt like I could recreate the scratches better. Will probably save the other grips for a ROTJ DL44 build later, I feel like the grips are darker on that version.

All in all, this is becoming an OCD build haha as I learn more, I feel like I can make small aspects and details better. Genuinely enjoy the challenge of it at the moment.
 

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Jonflake88

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Build Update:

I’m calling it finished! Very happy with how it turned out, especially for my first full metal replica. I tried archive X engine black for the lower but it ended up being too matte of a finish. So sanded back down down one more time, and went with a basic rustoleum flat black enamel. I went back for another round of blueing to darken the upper a bit more. I really wanted that differentiation between the upper and flash hider. I also switched from the cocobolo grips to walnut for a more accuracy. Originally I had planned to install electronics but it just doesn’t seem like the juice is going to be worth the squeeze, especially with no milling equipment to create pass throughs in the barrel and grip for wires. All in all I’m very happy and really enjoyed the process! If anyone has any display stand recommendations I’d love to hear them!
 

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Jonflake88

Active Member
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Looks great! Anything specific you found useful for scratching the grips?
Yea actually, first I marked out the scratches in pencil from reference photos. For the deeper more distinct scratches I used an Olfa craft knife. It’s essentially an exacto knife but just a bit sharper so it cuts into the wood easily. Then I weathered the grips up with dust, dirt, and grime from my tires (credit scottjua on that one) before coating in tru oil. Made sure to get the oil/dirt in the scratches so it made them pop a little more.
 

soundmtn

New Member
Yea actually, first I marked out the scratches in pencil from reference photos. For the deeper more distinct scratches I used an Olfa craft knife. It’s essentially an exacto knife but just a bit sharper so it cuts into the wood easily. Then I weathered the grips up with dust, dirt, and grime from my tires (credit scottjua on that one) before coating in tru oil. Made sure to get the oil/dirt in the scratches so it made them pop a little more.
Very, very interesting! I'll definitely give that a try, thanks! My compliments again on the great work!
 

ID10T

Well-Known Member
That came out nice!

I'm hoping to assemble one in the future myself, so I'm always checking these threads.

For the wood damage, I suggest the scratches happen after the finish is applied to the wood. The scratches "pop" because the raw walnut is lighter than the oil-soaked top finish of the walnut, which gets much darker. Based on real vintage walnut grips (both clear gloss coated and oiled).
 

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Jonflake88

Active Member
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That came out nice!

I'm hoping to assemble one in the future myself, so I'm always checking these threads.

For the wood damage, I suggest the scratches happen after the finish is applied to the wood. The scratches "pop" because the raw walnut is lighter than the oil-soaked top finish of the walnut, which gets much darker. Based on real vintage walnut grips (both clear gloss coated and oiled).
Thanks! You should do it, it's a really enjoyable process. The weight and feel of the final product is very satisfying.

Yea that makes sense as well for the wood scratches. Especially if you want a more sheen on the grips. I was going for a dirtier more weathered look, so in my mind the dirt would get in the scratches over time.
 

UndeadMike

New Member
SORRY - MY MISTAKE.

Thought this was a generic 1st build thread, not just for Jon. I should have made a new post. Maybe the mods can move or delete this post?

Again, Sorry!


Hello everyone,

Long time reader and first time post for me. Got a 3D printer for Christmas and decided to build a DL44 (is there really any other good reason for a 3D printer?). Knowing the limitations of PLA plastic I didn't set my sights on anything that in quality would rival a metal built, converted or from scratch. So I decided I would go the route of most realism from a practical side I could come up with. The idea was to create a copy of the function of the original C96 with the movie attachments. The current, first attempt, result is this:

20210406222151.jpg
20210406222159.jpg



I wanted to make the blaster as close to the real thing in terms of function as I can, so I mimicked the trigger system of the original C96, and made the flash hider removable (it has a screw, after all...), so that you can field strip the blaster like you would a real C96.

20210406222414.jpg


The beauty of the engineering of the original C96 is that it contains only one screw (the one that holds the grips on) and no tension or spring pins that hold parts together. It is truly a marvel of machining for its time (1896). So I created the lock block and trigger mechanism in a very similar way (don't have photos of that yet). Hammer, safety, sear, sear arm, trigger spring and lock lever all come apart without any screws or pins that would need to be punched out (that would be difficult to do in plastic anyway).

The result was that I was able to make a trigger mechanism that functions just like the original (including a functioning safety).

20210406223829.jpg



It also come apart just like the original live fire DL44 probably did. Remove the flash hider, cock the hammer and move the lock lever up, pull lock block and slide off the frame towards the back.


I also made the bolt work just like the original did, with the "firing pin" doubling as the main spring rod. On my DL44 (and a original C96), you take a small screwdriver or pocket knife, push the firing pin in a couple of millimeters and turn it clockwise 45 degrees. Then the pin will slide out the back of the bolt. Next you remove the bolt stop to the right and you can pull the bolt out the back.

Lastly, the back sight has a spring loaded sight leaf and a movable sight slide with functioning sight button. Which, by the way on the DL44 is difficult to do because the scope is a bit in the way.

I am currently looking to improve the scope. Right now it only has transparent foil as the back and front lens (with the original scope crosshairs of the real scope printed on the back lens), but that doesn't work too well. Maybe I will use glass or acrylic disks, not sure yet.

The paint job actually looks better in person than on the pictures. HDR is a bit unforgiving to print lines.

Lastly, I made the scope detachable. Two screws are attached to the frame and the thumbscrews work. So you can remove the scope mount and scope from the side of the blaster.

So this is my first attempt. Quite a few limitations compared to a metal DL44 in terms of finish, but a lot of fun to build and more functional than your average DL44 from Etsy.
 
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Jonflake88

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
SORRY - MY MISTAKE.

Thought this was a generic 1st build thread, not just for Jon. I should have made a new post. Maybe the mods can move or delete this post?

Again, Sorry!



Hello everyone,

Long time reader and first time post for me. Got a 3D printer for Christmas and decided to build a DL44 (is there really any other good reason for a 3D printer?). Knowing the limitations of PLA plastic I didn't set my sights on anything that in quality would rival a metal built, converted or from scratch. So I decided I would go the route of most realism from a practical side I could come up with. The idea was to create a copy of the function of the original C96 with the movie attachments. The current, first attempt, result is this:

View attachment 1444404 View attachment 1444405

I wanted to make the blaster as close to the real thing in terms of function as I can, so I mimicked the trigger system of the original C96, and made the flash hider removable (it has a screw, after all...), so that you can field strip the blaster like you would a real C96.

View attachment 1444406

The beauty of the engineering of the original C96 is that it contains only one screw (the one that holds the grips on) and no tension or spring pins that hold parts together. It is truly a marvel of machining for its time (1896). So I created the lock block and trigger mechanism in a very similar way (don't have photos of that yet). Hammer, safety, sear, sear arm, trigger spring and lock lever all come apart without any screws or pins that would need to be punched out (that would be difficult to do in plastic anyway).

The result was that I was able to make a trigger mechanism that functions just like the original (including a functioning safety).

View attachment 1444409

It also come apart just like the original live fire DL44 probably did. Remove the flash hider, cock the hammer and move the lock lever up, pull lock block and slide off the frame towards the back.

I also made the bolt work just like the original did, with the "firing pin" doubling as the main spring rod. On my DL44 (and a original C96), you take a small screwdriver or pocket knife, push the firing pin in a couple of millimeters and turn it clockwise 45 degrees. Then the pin will slide out the back of the bolt. Next you remove the bolt stop to the right and you can pull the bolt out the back.

Lastly, the back sight has a spring loaded sight leaf and a movable sight slide with functioning sight button. Which, by the way on the DL44 is difficult to do because the scope is a bit in the way.

I am currently looking to improve the scope. Right now it only has transparent foil as the back and front lens (with the original scope crosshairs of the real scope printed on the back lens), but that doesn't work too well. Maybe I will use glass or acrylic disks, not sure yet.

The paint job actually looks better in person than on the pictures. HDR is a bit unforgiving to print lines.

Lastly, I made the scope detachable. Two screws are attached to the frame and the thumbscrews work. So you can remove the scope mount and scope from the side of the blaster.

So this is my first attempt. Quite a few limitations compared to a metal DL44 in terms of finish, but a lot of fun to build and more functional than your average DL44 from Etsy.
Not a problem! You're more than welcome to leave it here, I'm totally fine with this thread transitioning into a generic first DL44 build thread! I wasn't planning on making any updates anyway, this is all about community and sharing anyway. Nice work with your build. In terms of functionality yours is the best 3D printed version I've seen by a wide margin. If you do another I would say look into smoothing lines with resin, much less time consuming than endless sanding, and a little easier to control than bondo. there are multiple videos out there on the process.
 

UndeadMike

New Member
Not a problem! You're more than welcome to leave it here, I'm totally fine with this thread transitioning into a generic first DL44 build thread! I wasn't planning on making any updates anyway, this is all about community and sharing anyway. Nice work with your build. In terms of functionality yours is the best 3D printed version I've seen by a wide margin. If you do another I would say look into smoothing lines with resin, much less time consuming than endless sanding, and a little easier to control than bondo. there are multiple videos out there on the process.
Hi Jon,

Thank you!

I will try the resin route. The DL44 doesn't actually look bad in real life, but I take any alternative over excessive sanding.
 
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tennantlim

Well-Known Member
Beautiful work Jonflake88 ! Having built the same kit myself, I can concur it's a fun and tremendously rewarding build.

Here's my first DL-44 build for a friend out of a MGC Mauser replica and genuine Hensoldt Wetzlar Ziel Dialyt scope.
20180510-DL-44 build_Vincent-002.jpg

20180510-DL-44 build_Vincent-001.jpg

If you're interested, here's my build thread for this prop and I included a second build for myself out of the Fieldmarshal steel kit.
 
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AJTaliesen

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not the first DL-44 to pass through my hands, but just finished assembly this week. I decided to do something different. It feels a bit lazy, I know, and it's definitely not something everyone would want...but while I was painting it, I ended up deciding NOT to do any weathering or distressing. I just liked how it looked clean so much that I thought it might be fun to keep it clean. At least for a while.

edit: I didn't notice until I posted it...something about the lighting in these pictures actually makes the paint look a little worn in spots...I guess it just WANTS me to distress it. I looks clean in person.
 

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Jonflake88

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Beautiful work Jonflake88 ! Having built the same kit myself, I can concur it's a fun and tremendously rewarding build.

Here's my first DL-44 build for a friend out of a MGC Mauser replica and genuine Hensoldt Wetzlar Ziel Dialyt scope.
View attachment 1444585
View attachment 1444586
If you're interested, here's my build thread for this prop and I included a second build for myself out of the Fieldmarshal steel kit.
This is a fantastic build. Well done on your photos, really great quality. I’m especially a fan of your accuracy on the heat sink. If I were to go back and make modifications to mine, improving the heat sink accuracy would be top of the list for me.
 

Jonflake88

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not the first DL-44 to pass through my hands, but just finished assembly this week. I decided to do something different. It feels a bit lazy, I know, and it's definitely not something everyone would want...but while I was painting it, I ended up deciding NOT to do any weathering or distressing. I just liked how it looked clean so much that I thought it might be fun to keep it clean. At least for a while.

edit: I didn't notice until I posted it...something about the lighting in these pictures actually makes the paint look a little worn in spots...I guess it just WANTS me to distress it. I looks clean in person.
Looks great clean. I want to do a ROTJ version at some point, and keep in on the cleaner side. I feel like I’m kinda hooked now. So I may end up making ANH, Empire and ROTJ versions haha
 

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