Another DEC DL-44 Hero Build?!

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by 2keepandbear, May 20, 2015.

  1. 2keepandbear

    2keepandbear Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Welp, after sitting on this for a little bit and having a small break in between semester, I am finally picking up my DL-44 hero cast kit and getting to work on it. This is my first build here on the RPF and my first NON Ghostbusters prop build. What drew me to this build was two fold:

    1) I am a huge firearms enthusiast and appreciate the intricacies and the detail many prop builders use to make such awesome movie guns (see PKD and M41-a) and this will certainly continue into many more firearm related prop builds.
    2) I needed to move away from strictly Ghostbuster builds. Proton Packs are awesomely awesome, but they are big, super expensive, and really heavy (and with all that fiberglass dust, and paint fumes filling the house makes for a really grumpy wife)

    SO... I had been a member of the RPF for a while but more a lurker picking up info on proton packs and when I decided I wanted to delve into other props, my first though was a M41-A pulse rifle. Well... again, big(er) than I had room for currently and more expensive than my funds permitted, especially since I wanted a hero-style rifle, plus I knew Matt was really backed up so I didn't want to wait. A friend of mine suggested a lightsaber. PERFECT! Wait... there are different variations for each characters depending on the movie I watch? So, if we talk Vader and Luke, thats six sabers between then and that does include Obi-Wan and the V2 Shared stunt :wacko My head is spinning at this point, not to mention Gaflex prices and obscurity and the fact you can't find an MPP Microflash to save your life.

    Finally, I just so happened to stumble upon the DL-44 build from Tested and watched Adam Savage (big fan, btw) and Norm build this DL-44 blaster. I just about fell over and knew what my next project was. So I started hunting and cam across the 130 page DL-44 thread and was blown away by all the info. Not only that, but saddened to know that the original kits that Adam and Norm used were no longer available. :( After asking around, I did discover that Dark Energy Creations were still creating a cast hero kit that has aluminum and pewter parts instead of some of the steel parts from before. PERFECT!!! ...except I missed the last one by about 8 hours.

    Thanks to the WTB section of the thread, a feller member graciously sold me his kit and it has been sitting in my gun locker for almost 2 months now. What really got me going again was Boba Debts ESB Blaster build that I am apart of. Knowing the differences in the blasters from ANH, ESB, and ROTJ I now know I need all three! (* you RPF for draining my bank account)

    So here is where we stand. The kit has been unboxed and all my parts are laid out on my table for another inspection and I really couldn't be happier with how everything arrived.

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    All of the parts and astounding. The pewter casts are almost perfect.

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    I was slightly saddened to see that the top knob (above) is a solid cast piece and not moveable but realistically... when am I ever going to do that?!

    I grabbed my jewelers screwdriver kit and got to dry-fitting the pieces. So far, everything fit with little to no work.

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    So that is it for now. I lost the M5 screw that holds the Flash Hider to the Bull barrel assembly. Need to get myself some wet/dry sandpaper and go to town on the pewter casts and make sure everything is as smoother as absolutely possible before adding any kind finish. The instructions included in the kit say the Mount, Caps, Grill, Track, and Scope Knob are all pewter and the rest are aluminum (Scope, Flash Hider, Bull Barrel, Sights) So I'll be picking up wither some Pewter Black or Super Blue for the pewter parts and some Aluminum Black for everything else. I don't have my Mauser yet as I am waiting for Boba Debts run of accursed Mauser's. This is probably going to be a very slow process, but I am more than excited to get it going. Any insight from those who have built these or any general knowledge that I might find useful is MORE than appreciated!!

    Eric
     
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  2. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can't wait to see this build finished. Best of luck. Those really are killer pieces from DEC.
     
  3. 2keepandbear

    2keepandbear Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Alright, hd some extra time today to work on the blaster parts and I must say... I hate working with Aluminum Black.

    My goal for today was to at least get the bull barrel and flash hider blackened, if I got to any of the other parts then great but the Flash hider and bull barrel were a must. So First I had to de-burr the holes on the inside of the flash hider. Used a simple file and then some sand paper.

    Before:

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    After:

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    Then I gathered my supplies. The back of the Aluminum Black bottle says to clean with Denatured Alcohol and then water... so I grabbed a smaller thing of water and some denatured alcohol and got to work.

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    I have blued gun parts before and always used the wipe on method: Using a rag or dipper into the bluing solution and rubbing it onto hot metal. That didn't work very well with the blackening solution so I went with the tried and true zip-lock wash method. Here is something worth mentioning: Either wear a mask or do it outside. The blackening solution greatest a gas that will burn the inside of your nose and throat... nothing BAD, the same kind of uncomfortable burn if you accidentally snort some pool water... oh and the part gets warm during the process. After 3 or 4 dips in the bath and using steel wool to buff it a bit, I was very happy with my results:

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    I rubbed off more of the surface color on the barrel than I did the flash hider, but I like the way they look.

    Bull Barrel:

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    Flash Hider:

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    As I was sitting at my table starting to work on the scope mount, I kept looking at the flash hider and noticing it was starting to rust! Grabbed my steel wool and carted off the rust and it hit me I forgot to oil/wax the parts so this doesn't happen. Well, I didn't have any WD-40 on me but I DID have a can of boiled Linseed Oil. Done and Done.

    I got the scope mount and rings sanded down with 400 grit sandpaper and again, cleaned them up with denatured alcohol. I used Birchwood Casey Super Blue for this process, again going with the zip-lock bag wash technique.

    Blued vs. polished:

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    The super blue worked like a charm! I freaked out a bit initially because when I first pulled the scope ring out, it was totally brown and rusted, but after a dip in water, a paper town took the surface rust off to reveal a nice black underneath. This process was much cleaner and easier than the aluminum black process. I am very very very happy with the results!!

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  4. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The blueing looks great. I keep hearing about this oiling to avoid rusting. This is pretty common knowledge, I guess? Is it just on steel, or all types of metal or what?
     
  5. 2keepandbear

    2keepandbear Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Any metal really. Blueing is literally controlled rusting, the color comes from the actual rusting process. When you get the color you like you need to neutralize the process, usually with an oil or wax. The aluminum parts rusted within a few seconds of the blackening process. Any good gun oil will do the trick, I just happen to have some boiled linseed oil left over from a rifle project. The nice thing about the linseed oil is it keeps a very think protective coating over the metal if I apply enough.

    Speaking of which... I pretty much finished all the parts today. One thing I kept reading was that the scope needed to be blued, that it wouldn't take to the aluminum black... well I had just the opposite happen. The blueing wouldn't do a thing, but the Aluminum Black did exactly what it was suppose to do. I only did two baths in the aluminum black to get the color I did, then used some steel wool very lightly and finished with the boiled linseed oil. Got a really nice matte black finish that will weather REALLY nicely. I also went ahead and painted the front grill, sight greeblies, mounting bracket and knobs for the bracket with Rustoleum Satin Black. Very happy with the results:

    All the parts laid out

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    Flash hider and barrel screwed together. I am REALLY happy with the finish on the flash hider. Its nice a weathered.

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    The painted front grill

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    Sight Greeblies

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    And a few shots of the scope and mount

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    We are getting there. I still need to paint and weather the brass rings and the adjustment knob on top of the stop and add the lenses. Once I get the mauser this bat bad can be finished and played in its display.
     
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  6. Jinyo

    Jinyo Active Member

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    Great info! I love the details, and the bluing tips. I've never blued a gun before, so I appreciate the info!
     
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  7. KramStaar

    KramStaar Sr Member

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    Always great to see Dl-44 builds and yours is looking great.

    Thanks for sharing

    Regards
    MARK
     
  8. Pete Tuff

    Pete Tuff New Member

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    Great info. I actually recently ordered a kit from Dark Energy Creations as well and was already looking into how to weather the aluminum pieces. I can't wait to get started on my build.

    Best,
    Kevin
     

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