E-11 Project

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T K

Active Member
I am currently working on a project that I feel some of you might be interested in. I spend a lot of time browsing through the various threads here and occasionally comment, but I have not shown any of my projects here. As the thread title states I am working on making an E-11. Now I want you all to know that this will not be perfect and you accuracy hags may have to turn a blind eye here and there, but I am and will be trying my best. This has been posted over at the FISD forums, but I had to share my progress with all of you too and glean what knowledge you might want to share.

My original was goal was to build an E-11 that I can use while trooping with the 501st and provide kits to some friends and others who are interested. This meant that I needed to get original parts, mold them, and cast them to recreate the E-11. I want to make it very clear here that I will never recast anything that has been made by another member or maker. The only items I will mold and cast are either original parts or parts that I will fabricate myself. Let's get to the blaster; I found a demilled sterling to use as a starting point. Here are some pictures:

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Here it is next to my DoopyDoos build.

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So next came the welding the receiver. I have a friend whose father has access to a machinist shop and we planned to go there and get my gun welded together. Now, before this point I had never welded anything in my life, but when we got there he told me that he wanted me to weld it together. So he showed me the basics of welding and I went on my way. Due to this it is not the best job and it is not aligned 100% like I would have hoped, but I did it by myself (kinda
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).

How we achieved the weld—I do not have any pictures of the process—we machined some aluminum parts that would fit inside snugly and then I would weld the parts together and then bang the aluminum parts out and moved to the next section that needed to be welded. After it was welded and the welds ground down we sandblasted the gun. Here are some pictures:

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On a CNC machine, my friends father used it to clean up some of my sloppy welds.

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Notice the holes... they are not perfect and the alignment was a little off, but over all I am pleased with how it came out. I need to go and clean up the holes and make them round again. There are also some pits in the metal, but they are few and they do not bother me.

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T K

Active Member
I was able to score a M38 scope off ebay for a good price. This is the 1943 version of the scope. I still think it is crazy that these were used in tanks.

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I decided that I wanted to practice mold making and casting. I began by cleaning the scope and building a little box for it out of foam core. Then I used my pottery knowledge from middle school.

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It wasn't the smoothest job and I understand that have a de-gassing chamber would be a great benefit when working with silicone and resin.

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The mold itself is not the prettiest, but the detail of the scope was pretty good! One thing that always bugged me about resin copies of scopes is that to make them believable you had to drill and clean the insides out and then add lenses. I have seen others do this wonderfully, but I lacked the patience.
So what I decided to do in this case was to cast in clear resin. This way all you have to do is mask the lenses before painting and then pull them off afterwards. Here is the first cast:

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This is where I learned I needed to cut in some escapes for air and whatnot. But to prove this concept I painted this scope to see how it would look. Note I didn't bother cleaning this casting up much as it was so defective. The rear lens had some vaseline (what I used as a mold release) on the back of it and it reflects it in the casting. I will be making a new mold of this scope. Here are the pictures:

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T K

Active Member
I was able to obtain an original Hengstler counter from Dennis. He has tons of these beauties.

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I also bought some power cylinders from him which are lovely, but I will be fabricating my own down the road. Mine will not be as good as his, that is for sure.

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Here are the parts so far. All original (besides the power cylinders which will not be a part of this build).
 

T K

Active Member
More molding and casting! I am not very good at this, just fyi.

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As seen above I used legos this time to create a mold wall and then I used one of smooth-on's trial kits. After making this and other molds I see that I will need to use a more robust silicone next time. But here are the results:

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Not the best, haha. They are pretty awful, but they got better and better. (You know, it helps if you stir the resin well before pouring?) I still have not painted them yet, but when I do I'll put the pictures up here. Casting is still very new to me and knowing which resin to use and the method to do so is something I need to figure out. I had some extra resin and silicone so I practiced with the bolt lever.

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I still have a long road ahead of me, but I am confident that I will be able to achieve my goal.
 

T K

Active Member
Last post to catch up where I am currently. As I began to do research into this gun and the history about it I could not bring myself to fully convert it to a dedicated E-11. I have decided (for now) that I am going to restore it to the look of it as it was originally, but I can dress it up as an E-11. My castings will be used to make full time E-11s. So the magazine will remain as it is and I may get another to modify it to match what we see in Star Wars. Though we do not see them in the movies I had to get an original sling and a reproduction bayonet.

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So this is where I am now. I need to finish cleaning up the main receiver, fabricate power cylinders (I have some drawings I made up, just not sure if I am going to 3D print or scratch build them), fabricate T-tracks, and then finally make a mold of the components to make more E-11s.

Also, should I blue the metal? Or does it need to be parkerized? Thanks for looking! :)
 

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T K

Active Member
Very nice job, I like the idea of casting the scope in clear resin
Thank you! The effect worked out pretty well.
Looks great! Will you be doing runs? Can this be made into a Rogue One version?
Thank you! Though it is my ultimate goal to share this project with others that is down the road and I can't make any promises now. In regards to a Rogue One version, yes I have thought about that and it is something I am considering. For that version I would need to design different Power Cylinders, get the correct flashlight, and the thicker T-tracks. Time will tell.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nice work on casting! I'm learning 1 part molds now. Very impressed on your work with the scope.
 

T K

Active Member
Nice work on casting! I'm learning 1 part molds now. Very impressed on your work with the scope.
Thank you! It has been a good learning experience for sure. I saw your thread about your foray into mold making and casting. I’m definitely watching to glean knowledge.
The scope did turn out quite well. I have made a couple better casts but I haven’t gotten around to painting yet.
 

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T K

Active Member
All righty, power cylinder time. I have been working on plans for a couple a months now in Illustrator. The work Andy has done has been such a huge help. Go read his research here: E11 Stormtrooper Blaster Power Cylinders Resource: History & Analysis

I wish that we could ID this part that seems to poke it's little head up everywhere in ANH yet we have no exact ID for it.

Here are my drawings:
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And then I used Tinkercad to make the 3D models.
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This is most definitely not the best 3d model out there for power cylinders, but the point of this build is to source original parts or make them myself. Tinkercad worked pretty well, but it is very spartan. I would love a 3d modeling program that ran like Adobe Illustrator. Oh well, a free program is free, so I cannot complain much. I just found out that one of my cousin's recently bought a 3d printer so I'll try to print these files out to see if they actually turn out. I may also scratch-build the power cylinders too from items that I can find at the hardware store. Time will tell.
 

Marv

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow forgotten how much effort Andy put into that work, did a hell of a job on it - the pdf doc.
 

Cantina_Dude

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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T K

Active Member
Blaster looks great. But this
is one of the most terrifying pictures I've ever seen. As someone who's been injured on a lathe more times then is reasonable, I am shouting at my computer. Dear god, don't turn that thing on. You'll kill us all :lol:
Thanks for the concern. Yeah no spinning for sure. What would the point be in that any way? I was not the one operating the machine too, it was my friend who has been a machinist for many many years. I must have miss labelled the machine type in my earlier post. I don’t have any expertise in that department. My friend used the machine to clean up some of my bad welds; this was done by mounting the gun to the machine and moving the head manually with some wheels. I’m not sure how it all worked, but be assured we were safe.
 

BobaFettSlave_1

Sr Member
Yeah, that's just a 3-axis mill with a 4'th axis head thrown on it; Nothing to fear lol! Seen some pretty scary stuff thrown on a lathe in my time though hahahaha

Beautiful build so far!
 
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