Sr Member
To anyone that's been involved in the main ANH DL-44 thread over the last couple years, you've probably noticed me slowly tinkering away at one of Field Marshall's steel ANH kits. To me the ANH Hero is one of my biggest 'unicorn' props, and the majority of my tenure on theRPF has been almost entirely centered around obsessively studying it.

Having gone through everything from Denixes to MGCs and even a MR Elite Edition, none of the base Mausers ever quite satisfied that raw sense of rightness that comes with something like a real C96, so when the accurate 1:1 Mauser Project was finally announced it was to me, like many others, a culmination of years' worth of efforts and a crowning moment of prop builder passion.

This particular build was done on one of the very first run of accurate Steel C96s, which came with both its own benefits and hurdles. All of the stamping and numbers were lacking and the contact point for the bull barrel was a bit further back than it should have been, but the machining sharpness was exceptionally clean and made for an exceptional foundation to only refine more and more.

After many months' of slowly refining the base Mauser, sanding out imperfections, reshaping minor pieces, modifying a few of the internal parts and even adding entirely customized sections, I finally had arrived at the point where I knew there was only one thing left to do:

Send the whole enchilada off to Scott for final assembly and finishing, of course!

What I had finally arrived at was a somewhat odd amalgamation of parts; while Chris' steel C96 remained the primary base, I had tried and swapped out everything from real parts to different flash hiders, and even the MR Elite Edition Scope mount. Even now I still have numerous leftover parts from this build, and I could comfortably make a second or even a third ANH hero with all of the bits and bobs that I still have. Ultimately, what emerged from the settling dust was a Field Marshall steel C96 with a GREAT many modifications and parts:

• Customized Todd's Costumes screw-in bull barrel

• Todd's Costumes steel flash hider

• Customized Field Marshall steel scope mount

• Customized Field Marshall elite Hensoldt Wetzlar scope with aftermarket brass rings and magnifying lenses, hand stamped scope knob

• Real Mauser C96 hammer

• Reshaped and modified the Field Marshall trigger/trigger assembly system

• Modified the rails/hammer sear assembly to have the upper rest further forward and the hammer sit upright



While much more than this was done, these to me represent the greatest parts of the modifications I made to better distinguish my build and get at least that much closer to the original prop. The upper and lower were both hot blued and slightly rusted to give the faint appearance of pitting, which was crucial to help the entire C96 feel more beaten and weathered. The original sleeve barrel assembly was discarded outright, and after chopping the barrel off completely I hand-tapped and drilled the upper to accept a Todd's Costumes screw-in bull barrel (something which PoopaPapaPalps was quite helpful with; as he was only one of two other people here I know of who have done the same).


The scope mount was probably the one single piece that I spent the most time refining, as the sand cast mount comes rather rough from Field Marshall. But many hours worth of filing and grinding all paid off, and while I might eventually refinish the mount I'm currently happy enough with how smooth and crisp is ultimately came out (Note; I am aware of conflicting opinions of the finish of the original Hero's scope mount, but at least to me I am of the opinion that it was originally deep blued, and not painted). That being said, if the opportunity to ever acquire one of DEC's crisp machined steel/aluminium scope mounts ever presented itself, then I would take it in a heartbeat!



The rest of the build was more or less just fit and finish. Chris' elite scope was polished up to 2000 grit to take all of its machining grooves out before it was blued and then subsequently weathered by Scott, who also painted the knob and provided further ancillary weathering. He had also added the much-needed Mauser stampings and serial numbers to the C96, as well as an entirely different serial number for the lockframe and lower! At least to me I really wanted the whole thing not to perfectly match, as it that little bit more got closer to the sense of 'cobbled-togetherness' that the original surely must have had.





In its current physical incarnation, I would say that it is roughly ~95% complete. Some of the parts like the bolt, sight ramp and lock frame are all a bit too shiny for my current taste, so I am currently darkening them all a bit with diluted bluing compounds. I might try and encourage a bit of rust on those parts and them clean them back off a few times to get a bit of surface imperfections, if only so they look appropriately beaten as well. The screws in the scope mount's top caps also need to be darkened.

The paint on the lower is also a work in progress, as I am continuing to slowly chip away at the paint until I arrive at a result that is satisfactorily worn enough. I may also experiment with rusting the Todd's flash hider a bit too, as the pre-production image of the as-issued Bapty version of the prop seems to show it with a slightly rusty hue to me.

Thanks for reading; and a HUGE shoutout to all the awesome members of this community that've helped along the way!

The journey continues...


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A few more tweaks:

The scope mount screws were hit with a torch until they were red hot and then quenched in oil to appropriately darkened. I also hit the scope mount with some high grit sandpaper and reblued parts of it with Blue Wonder, and I'm a LOT happier with the results.


(Note: this is my special 'flaw finder' light, as I unfortunately don't have great natural lighting given the time right now. In-person the whole thing very much looks much more blue/black/grey than brown!)


One tweak I also made was a mod to the crossbar to allow the center thumbnut, when fully tightened, to rest proudly from the face of the scope mount, like the original assembly was!


blaster front.jpg

The way I did this was by cutting a small notch into a piece threaded rod I cut to length, which I added into the back of the crossbar with a screwdriver.


Adding this little screw gives the thumbnut some much needed clearance from the face of the mount, which looks a lot better in profile to me!

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Modified the rails/hammer sear assembly to have the upper rest further forward and the hammer sit upright

Would you be able to explain this process and how you did it?
I am nearly at the stage of putting all mine together at the moment, just have to seat and if needed sand the Grips. Then my build is ready to put everything back together. So if I am going to move the upper forward, I need to decide now.
Would you be able to explain this process and how you did it?
I am nearly at the stage of putting all mine together at the moment, just have to seat and if needed sand the Grips. Then my build is ready to put everything back together. So if I am going to move the upper forward, I need to decide now.

Sure; I can try and explain. If you're still fiddling with your own blaster, one trick that helps to sell the look of a real C96 is actually to shift the upper forward a few mm. Field Marshal's C96, like the denix, actually has the upper sit a bit further back then it should be, which is why the hammer is forced to lean backwards at a noticeable angle.


Modifying that helps correct the placement, and also lets the hammer rest more upright as it should in a real C96 (old photo where the lower hasn't been painted yet). I also modified the trigger system a bit so it doesn't sit so awkwardly too, but that's something I probably wouldn't try attempting again. Moving the upper forward can be accomplished by grinding a small amount of material off of the back of the lower's rails.


Material also needs to be taken off of the underside of the plastic breech insert that goes into the upper, as the front of it is squared off instead of rounded. It being squared-off prevents the upper from shifting forward enough, as the inside of the magazine chamber is round (it is like trying to force a square block into a round hole, if that makes sense).

Finally, grinding a bit on the underside of the hammer gives it some clearance to angle vertically instead of leaning backwards, as the first photo shows.
Thanks so much, that is very helpful.
I will take a look this weekend and see if how that would all go on mine.
(Im working with a Denix)
Totally agree that accurizing a Denix needs different work than what I did to FM's steel C96 replica.

Also I have another improvement I made that I'll share shortly.
After doing some shopping around I was able to find a matching set of real C96 wooden grips (at what I consider a fair price), so I quickly snatched them up and added them to my blaster! They may not have all the signature scratches and wear of the Hero prop's, but something about 100+ years of German palm sweat and built-up muck is hard to argue with, and even harder to replicate!



Just for fun you can see Field Marshall's excellent walnut wood grips next to the actual C96's ;)
Denix is a different ball game all together. Ull need to slid the whole top forward to make it more like a c96 (among other mods & substitutions) :)

Yeah, once i took a look at it, i decided not to move it any further forward. Once i grind down the pin, the hammer will stand straight up.

just come up against another problem, the bolt/screw thing at the front of my sight support, is a tiny bit too far forward, and the front grill piece (Field marshall aluminium one) presses against it. I am going to have to grind out a scooch from the grill. :(

my fault for not testing that before i drilled the support hole in the main body.
Oh well, i am still enjoying the journey....
Going to try and modify the safety next, as you can see from one of chubsANDdoggers' 3D print replica DL-44s the safety in its upright position should rest a bit more vertically than it can in the FM steel C96.

Just finish reading this great thread, and the build is out of this world you have captured the look and feel just right. I have not been on the rpf for long and I am loving all these builds that are out there.

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