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MastahBlastah

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
After tweaking and tinkering with this build for the past year, I decided it's time to finally post some progress pictures of this thing! I picked up this beautiful steel Mauser from Field Marshall almost a year ago (right after the pandemic started) and I've really enjoyed savoring the build process, slowly tweaking and weathering it on an almost daily basis. One might say it's my "Holy Grail Prop".

My first build years ago was a Greedo Killer on a souped-up Denix, but I always intended to use that build (and others) to build up a skill set to properly tackle this prop. I read along on the ANH Hero thread like many of us here for years, slwoly making up my mind about how I'd one day do it, waiting for an MGC, never being able to afford one, then eventually just committing to save up for one of these mythical "replica steel mausers" the day the interest thread went up.

There have been many iterations of this build over the past year (multiple attempts at the scope, multiple mounts, multiple grips) but it's currently in a state that I'd call about 90% finished. I'm excited to share it now, though, especially considering that Chris is turning out his second round of these kits. I've read that he's now included the serial number stampings, which is awesome! I had my stampings done by scottjua who also provided a lot of expertise via his cherished videos.

Typically I try to take more progress/process photos and post updates as I go, but the posting got away from me on this one and I didn't really take many photos either. I'll get into the build details in another post soon, but first .... some shots of the blaster in its current state:

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As I said, it's about 90% finished. After a year of regular handling and some intentional weathering I was super happy with the state of the paint on the lower, but unfortunately I was never happy with how my mystery disk had turned out. I failed to sand back the bluing enough before painting to give it that signature bright steel look. I've since fixed the mystery disk (pictured above) but had to re-paint the lower, so I'm back to square one on weathering the paint. Here are a few detail photos showing how far I had let it go previously, for reference of what I'm aiming for:

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WHAT'S LEFT:

- I'm not quite happy with the grill. I went a bit too idealized and flattened out the front too much ... I don't need it to be totally wonky like the real deal, but I'd like to get that signature angle in the front. Luckily, I still have some spare vintage tomtit cylinders so I'll probably be giving it another go soon, splitting the difference a bit more between idealized and screen accurate.

- I still need to finish weathering the scope. I've stripped and blued it numerous times and have given it some first-stage weathering, but it still needs the gouges and prominent scratches seen in post-production photos. I'm looking forward to this, as I've really come to love weathering on this build, as that's most of what's going on here, isn't it?

- The grips will always be a work in progress. I plan on continuing to handle and very lightly these until they are dark dark, like the real deal. I spent a lot of time experimenting with the grips trying to obtain the proper hue/sheen, but they should only get better with age.

- I've always regretted not knocking back the machine lines on the flash hider's cone section a bit more, It's possible that I may tackle that one of these days.

- I'd love to figure out a solution to make the trigger sit a bit tighter. I have everything greased inside and the action if great, but the trigger itself flops around a good bit when waving it about as one does.

- I may re-do the sight greeblie, leaving the push rod's stems just a bit longer.

- I need to weather the small side surfaces of the crossbar. I know there is solid reference for at least the front, not sure about the back.

There were a lot of small mods and decisions to make along the way, but I'll be posting the little bit of process material that I have shortly. Thanks for looking!
 
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MastahBlastah

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's not definitive but many believe the lower was painted, not the upper. It's certainly true that neither were painted in some pre-pro photos, and I know that some folks believe neither were painted, some say both were painted ... just kinda one of those things. If you're considering a build, I'd recommend reading as much of this thread as you can handle, beforehand. It's a great read:

www.therpf.com/forums/threads/anh-hero-dl-44-discussion-three-anh-greeblies-found.118186/
 

NathanM

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've gone through that thread so often my head spins after each session, lol. It is indeed great. I like the look of blued then painted so I may follow suit. What kind of paint did you use?
 

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ID10T

Well-Known Member
This is THE blaster. Forget Denix, forget MGC (for the hero).

I want one of these so bad but I have other projects going and I have to wait. It’s close to “sell a real gun to buy a fake one” status.

And you did a great job building and weathering. I like the pre-production look myself but you really are doing a fine job.

You may want to look into oil impregnated plastic washers to take the slop out of the trigger, if I understand the problem.
 

MastahBlastah

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've gone through that thread so often my head spins after each session, lol. It is indeed great. I like the look of blued then painted so I may follow suit. What kind of paint did you use?

Just some Rustoleum flat black from the hardware store. I let the paint cure in the oven for a bit, then give it some very gradual wear with various cloths, paper towels, even just the oil and texture from my fingers. I also used grease on the internal mechanisms and oil on all of the blued surfaces, so those fluids inevitably make it onto the paint surface and do some work of their own to changing the look of the paint, especially after a bit of buffing.

This is THE blaster. Forget Denix, forget MGC (for the hero).

I want one of these so bad but I have other projects going and I have to wait. It’s close to “sell a real gun to buy a fake one” status.

And you did a great job building and weathering. I like the pre-production look myself but you really are doing a fine job.

You may want to look into oil impregnated plastic washers to take the slop out of the trigger, if I understand the problem.

It truly is THE blaster kit. After all of the work is done it really looks, feels and smells like the real deal ... can't say enough about the kit. Thanks for the kind words! I love the pre-pro look as well. I left the whole thing unpainted, just blued for quite a while before taking the plunge and painting it. I've come to really love the look now, but I DO miss the milling marks in the recesses in the lower. There's a hint of them remaining, but they're mostly lost to the paint. I'll take a look at those washers as well. Sounds like they could do the trick. I improvised a plastic washer to take the slack out of the safety, but I like the sound of "oil impregnated". Another member informed me that this slack is actually pretty common to even real Mausers, but I still like the idea of tightening it up just a bit. It's rather floppy, and I'm OK with non-aesthetic compromises to accuracy like that.
 

MastahBlastah

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Some process photos from the build. Keep in mind, a lot of these pictures show parts that I later ended up re-finishing, improving, replacing, etc. Prepare for photo dump ...

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Since I purchased this back before Chris included the accurate serial number stampings, I sent it to Scott to have him do them on his setup. They turned out great!

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There was some surface rust on the steel pieces when it first arrived. No big deal, but this was sanded away carefully so as to not lose any detail

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Off the bat there's some de-burring that needs to be done (see mag well details below for example) but it's a very finely machined piece of kit:

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It's hard to tell from these photos, but I hit most of the sharp edges with needle files to mimic the hand-finished look of a real Mauser. I also did some careful sanding to remove most of the CNC machine lines from the flat surfaces of the steel, to further sell the hand-machined look. There are also some subtle lines to be blended on the trigger guard, mag well, etc. but I failed to photograph such small details:

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Super dark after a few treatments with Perma Blue and sealed with Barricade:

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Fire bluing the appropriate parts (I've ended up re-doing a few of these that got taken too far on the first attempt):

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Using Scott's stencil to weather the crossbar. This photo shows Field Marshall's cast steel mount. I've since moved on to Dark Energy Creations' machined steel mount but I used Scott's stencil for that as well, following the same procedure: weather crossbar, apply stencil, paint, cure in oven, weather paint. At some point I even had the Todd's Costumes steel mount on this thing. They all have their perks, but ultimately I settled on the DEC mount because of its overall sharpness and build quality, being machined. It is possible however that I'll still go back to the Field Marshall mount, as it features the accurate offset and center knob, but only if I find time to take care of those casting marks.

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Cutting some all-thread for the mount:

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After paint:

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I had initially painted the scope cradle as well, but when I switched from the FM to the DEC mount I decided to leave it blued. It's rtough to tell from reference, but to me it seems to be deep blued, like the scope.

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I replaced the stock grips with some of Field Marshall's walnut grips. It took three attempts to get these where I want them, but for me the winning combination seemed to be just a small bit of (heavily diluted) walnut stain, with many (thin!) coats of tru oil. I also very carefully sanded the grips beforehand to take away some of the CNC machine lines, take away a hint of sharpness, etc. There are many pitfalls to look out for when doing these if you want to achieve a nice finish. My advice ... don't apply too much stain or oil at a time or the wood can start to swell. Also, when you're sanding the raw wood, sand with the grain and don't use steel wool or anything that may change the color of the wood. The walnut is rather porous and will darken with steel wool dust, etc. Also, don't just glob the oil on ... apply sparingly and wipe most of it away, or you'll likely end up with a super glossy finish that doesn't look quite right. It should be built up slowly with time to soak in between coats. Otherwise, it all dries on the surface and you get an overly-glossy finish that lacks that intangible quality we're looking for.

I opted to purchase an extra screw and escutcheon set from Dave at DEC, because I believe that his are a bit more accurate to a real Mauser. His escutcheons are knurled, which I like, and a bit thicker as well. Because of this I had to do some careful counter-sinking and tedious pressure-fitting to get them to work:

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Also, his screws come un-blued, which I like, because I was able to achieve a nice worn look. They're also a bit longer, allowing me to trim them to accurate length for an ANH Hero (protruding a bit from the escutcheon):

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Weathered the screw and excutcheons with perma blue and brass black, respsectively:

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Here's an earlier set of grips where I got over-zealous with the counter-sinking for the escutcheons.This is actually pretty faithful to how these grips wear in actuality, but not quite right for an ANH so I gave them a third try (pictured in initial post).

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Masking lower to sand for mystery disk/paint:

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Greeblies!

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The sight greeblie was made with some vintage tomtit pushrods and some spare t track from roygilsing at WannaWanga. As I mentioned in my first post, I'll likely be re-doing both of these as they aren't quite to my liking yet. I originally made the sight greeblie magnetic (inspiration from Scott) but it flopped around too much for my liking, so it's just epoxied on now:

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Cutting up some vintage tomtit cylinders to make the grill (finished product in initial post). I'll likely be taking another stab at this in an attempt to better match post-production photos of the blaster.

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Scopes! I believe that I ended up building out 3 different Field Marshall kits before landing where I am with the scope. First I finished up one of his standard scopes, then decided to upgrade to the "Elite" scope with threaded lens assemblies, engraved serial number, and accurate small machine screws along the body. I ultimately sold that one, then built out another from scratch after learning some new weathering techniques. Other than bluing and pre-weathering the scopes, It was really just a matter of weathering and painting the brass parts, finding the proper magnifying lenses, etc. I don't have many photos from my "scope journey".

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That's about all of the photos that I have from the process thus far, as I said this build has just been so engrossing that I haven't documented it very well. I plan to post progress though, as I tie up all of the little loose end and finish this one up.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Jonflake88

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is such a great build. Really well done. If I were to go back and tweak mine, I would replace the heat sink greeblie for something more accurate, mine is just painted aluminum at the moment, its pretty good but would love for it to be plastic, I feel like the slightly different black color gives it another layer of dimension. I think I would do another set of grips as well, not unhappy with mine, but could be better. Would love to put electronics in mine like scott, but I simply don't have the tools to create the pass throughs in the steel. Ive thought about trying to purchase just the upper from field marshal and have him drill a pass through the barrell for me, thats the biggest hurdle. What are your thoughts on the cross bar weathering? I haven't seen much on how much of the paint remains on the areas aside from where scotts stencil goes.
 

MastahBlastah

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Can you breakdown the container and materials and process you used for the fire bluing?

The container is just a solid brass 3" pipe fitting filled with some scrap brass (mostly stripped out screws, etc.) The idea is to use something that won't leach heat away from the piece as you're bluing it. A bit over-engineered probably, as one could probably do well enough with just a brick or something. The screws do help by making many tiny points of contact vs. just a cold flat surface that would draw a lot of heat from one side of the work. I just heated them strategically with a small butane torch. There are a bunch of videos on youtube that could help with some of the finer techinques, or if you want a video specific to these Mauser parts, Scott has a great instructional video on his Patreon page. My main advice is that (like with most things) it's super easy to over-do it and take it too far.

This is such a great build. Really well done. If I were to go back and tweak mine, I would replace the heat sink greeblie for something more accurate, mine is just painted aluminum at the moment, its pretty good but would love for it to be plastic, I feel like the slightly different black color gives it another layer of dimension. I think I would do another set of grips as well, not unhappy with mine, but could be better. Would love to put electronics in mine like scott, but I simply don't have the tools to create the pass throughs in the steel. Ive thought about trying to purchase just the upper from field marshal and have him drill a pass through the barrell for me, thats the biggest hurdle. What are your thoughts on the cross bar weathering? I haven't seen much on how much of the paint remains on the areas aside from where scotts stencil goes.

Thanks for the encouragement! As I mentioned I'm still not quite happy with the shape/orientation of my grill as well, but I'm definitely sticking with the tomtit cylinders. I too like the contrasting surfaces, and any opportunity to use vintage parts that don't cost an arm and a leg is very welcome. I'd say that if you're set on having FX then having Chris do the pass through would be well-worth it, if he'd take it on. Perhaps he'll start offering the service off the bat one of these days! As far as the remaining crossbar weathering goes, I know there's reference of one of those sides but not sure about the other. I'll dig into this tonight. As far as the top and bottom go, I doubt those were heavily weathered. They aren't exposed to many dings or anything once mounted on the blaster. I've just lightly weathered the edges/corners a bit in those areas.
 

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NathanM

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The container is just a solid brass 3" pipe fitting filled with some scrap brass (mostly stripped out screws, etc.) The idea is to use something that won't leach heat away from the piece as you're bluing it. A bit over-engineered probably, as one could probably do well enough with just a brick or something. The screws do help by making many tiny points of contact vs. just a cold flat surface that would draw a lot of heat from one side of the work. I just heated them strategically with a small butane torch. There are a bunch of videos on youtube that could help with some of the finer techinques, or if you want a video specific to these Mauser parts, Scott has a great instructional video on his Patreon page. My main advice is that (like with most things) it's super easy to over-do it and take it too far.
Thanks! I was going to forego attempting it, but it seems real easy so I'm definitely gonna give it a shot.
 

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