Han ANH hero - site and antenna

moffeaton

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Some say the Hero had the T-track and antenna (liek the MerrSonn) and some say it didn't. Here's a low res crop of an unpublished photo that sure makes it look like it did:



So help me out - what am I looking at here (besides T-Track and antennas, lol.)
 

moffeaton

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here's one more that shows the two other Mauser-based builds used for production - they all share these parts...

 

Lordsandy

Well-Known Member
No doubt in my mind.

They should have moved the Q tips up so they fit in the notches of the booster.

Jim
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Ok, debunking time...

Let's first look at this photo: if there were "antennae," the rounded switches should have been visible just to the left of the scope:



To be fair, there does appear to be something jammed in between the suppressor and the bull barrel in some post-production shots, but as the attached photo analysis files will show, there are wide feature and image quality discrepancies between the various photos, and there is no conclusive evidence that the antennae interpretation for the Han ANH hero blaster is even remotely correct.

Bottom line, in pre-production photos and publicity stills, the MG81 suppressor is centered around the bull barrel, most likely using the booster-cone inside, which had a slip-fit over the bull barrel. Here's a real MG-81 booster/flash hider with cone:







At some point before principal filming, the Han blaster was disassembled (or even before it was assembled) and cast to create the 2 or more Merr-Sonn variants (with and without the suppressor). Greeblies were then added to the castings, including the T-tracks and "antennae" on top of the bull barrel, after which the castings were sprayed black. When the Han blaster was reassembled for filming and later for the post-production publicity stills, the booster cone (or whatever was holding the suppressor concentric to the bull barrel) went missing, thus accounting for the off-center suppressor and upward slant. "Something" - could very well have been a T-track and one Merr-Sonn "antennae" - was used to minimize or obscure the suppressor deviation in SOME of the post-production stills. In yet others, the image has CLEARLY been manipulated with sloppy copy-pastes that are misaligned, out of scale, and mismatched for brightness, sharpness, and resolution. There are too many details to try and explain textually, so I'll let these photos do it for me:



I've been proven wrong before, so by all means please try and convince me that's the case :D

- Gabe
 

moffeaton

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's a nutty process sifting through 30 years of photos and retouched posters and negatives, that's for sure. But the pic I posted wasn't photoshopped - it was scanned from a negative. You think there was a negative made from a photoshop job of a picture not even slated for promotional use? I guess it's possible....

I think that the scope is obscuring the t track and antennas in that first shot of yours - I have 8 shots from that photo session - and the only one that shows the area clearly is the one I cropped/posted. The other seven are from the same day/shoot (the neatives have identifying marks that back this up, besides hair and costume tells) but as crap luck would have it - they all obscure the t-track area.



A lot of Chronicles photos were silhouetted from their backgrounds (I have the source files, pre-silhouette) - that's why the switch/t-track look truncated. Sloppy graphic artistry is to blame on that one :(

Here's something interesting - same shoot - but should we see an antenna? Maybe you're right - who knows :p

 

DL 44 Blaster

Sr Member
While I believe the MG81 was centered doesn't that still mean the antennae could be applied to the barrel up to the point of the suppressor...even the T-Track for that matter.....

Steve
 

moffeaton

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Why would they photoshop that area for one picture? I don't see what they were trying to do. I have a few instances where in a negative, you see something, and then everywhere else, it's gone - but nothing has ever been "rubber stamped" for what looks like the sheer hell of it, hehe.

Case in point. Original on the left, public consumption on the right:

 

mgoob

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I believe that the T-track is there.

I believe that the antennae things are switches, and should be called as such.

Chris T. has a photo of a switch that looks very much like the thing on the Merr-Sonn and the Solo.

I won't repost the photo until he chimes in.

Probably obscured in the photos above.


As for mounting the MG81 surpressor, don't forget that the so called "bull barrel" (or long rifle barrel adapter, as I call it) was screwed into the adapter.
The adapter has 2 triangular protrustions (horizontally) on either side.
Sinatra pushes these things in to snap the rifle barrel in place after he screws it in (hotel scene).

THEREFORE, I propse that the surpressor was pushed onto the barrel adapter, and the 2 triangular pieces clicked in place against the inside threading of the flash surpressor.

It now can tilt up or down, but not lateraly (sp)

The screw on the bottom of the surpressor pushed it up, but since there was no screw from the top, it was sometimes tilted down, using the triangles on the barrel adapter as a pivot point.
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by moffeaton@Jan 4 2006, 01:05 PM
the pic I posted wasn't photoshopped - it was scanned from a negative. You think there was a negative made from a photoshop job of a picture not even slated for promotional use? I guess it's possible....
Jason, I do indeed believe that an edited photo could and would have been re-shot to create a new negative. Back in 1977, how else could they have published the modified image? Photo reproductions were done that way all the time... Photoshop was a good 2 decades away... ;) Plus there's just no arguing away the fact that that particular shot of the suppressor & bull barrel area in your first post was heavily manipulaed.

I think that the scope is obscuring the t track and antennas in that first shot of yours - I have 8 shots from that photo session - and the only one that shows the area clearly is the one I cropped/posted. The other seven are from the same day/shoot (the neatives have identifying marks that back this up, besides hair and costume tells) but as crap luck would have it - they all obscure the t-track area.
I strongly disagree. In all the examples of Merr-Sonns and Han heros with "something" apparently jammed up against the suppressor, that detail is either tangent to the suppressor or it blatantly protrudes above it, like in this shot:



Magnified 200%:



Magnified 400%:



Now look at the Chronicles shot below - you can clearly see one switch to the left of a t-track fragment:



As you know, Tom M. put forth an intriguing new theory today at T4 that some or all of the post-production shots used the screen-used scope, bracket, and suppressor, but used a cast resin Mauser w/bull barrel - possibly one of the the Merr-Sonns - as a baseline, because Bapty may have by then taken back its firing Mauser and reused it for other film productions. That could also very well explain the chipped front grill near the magazine floor plate, the dirty transition from the grill to the magazine near the mystery disc, the mystery disc itself, and of course the difficult to interpret fragments on top of the bull barrel, as the shot above shows. I'm amazed how all these years we simply assumed that that blaster was based on the firing Mauser... Now that I pour over all the photos, it looks too black to be real in the promotional stills and Chronicles, compared to the pre-production RHS and LHS of the hero buildup. :confused



Of course, not knowing the chronology of promotional stills (pre vs. post production) leaves some unanswered questions. For instance, in the manipulated photo in your first post, the Mauser baseline is clearly a real gun, since you can see the trigger and the hammer is cocked back:



Here we still see the mystery disc and the chipped & dirty grill. So Tom, if you're reading this, at least this particular photo seems to be poking a hole in your theory... :unsure

I'll put together a 3D CAD assembly file of the suppressor and bull barrel with a t-track and one switch on the right hand side to show you that it would be plainly visible above the scope. Hopefully I can get someone to overlay the two. :)

By the way - where is Chris Trevas? The antennae on the Han ANH hero was is pet theory. I'd like to see him defend it. :D

- Gabe
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by mgoob@Jan 4 2006, 02:07 PM
As for mounting the MG81 surpressor, don't forget that the so called "bull barrel" (or long rifle barrel adapter, as I call it) was screwed into the adapter.
The adapter has 2 triangular protrustions (horizontally) on either side.
Sinatra pushes these things in to snap the rifle barrel in place after he screws it in (hotel scene).

THEREFORE, I propse that the surpressor was pushed onto the barrel adapter, and the 2 triangular pieces clicked in place against the inside threading of the flash surpressor.

It now can tilt up or down, but not lateraly (sp)

The screw on the bottom of the surpressor pushed it up, but since there was no screw from the top, it was sometimes tilted down, using the triangles on the barrel adapter as a pivot point.
[snapback]1150773[/snapback]​
mgoob, you may be correct in principle, but the threads end halfway into the suppressor, and then the inside diameter decreases a bit:



The bull barrel/adapter tabs don't protrude out far enough that they'd come into contact with the threads, but perhaps they do come into contact with the inside wall of the booster or booster cone, since we can see the edge of one or the other through the upper vent hole in these photos:





But in order for them to make contact, the suppressor would have to be lowered, , i.e., pushed down by the socket cap screw on the bottom, because from end to end, the tabs don't quite reach the full inner wall diameter. that would certainly explain both the off-center suppressor and its wobble in some of the promotional shots. In photos where the suppressor and bull barrel ARE concentric (centered), either additional mechanical means or the original booster cone were used, and borrowing Tom's theory again, if a casting of the Mauser was used, those bull barrel end tabs may have not have even been there.

For those who are unclear about what's being discussed:





And before anyone says anything, the lower receiver of the Naked Runner Mauser is NOT the same one used in ANH, so don't go thinking that the scope bracket thumbwheels are what left the mystery disc residue, because there are no holes on the LHS of the ANH blaster:



Thanks for the Naked Runner pics, Tom, and thanks to Whacky for hosting. :)

- Gabe
 

Anakin Starkiller

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Gabe, do you think that the cocked hammer in this image



might possibly be a result of photo editing.

The reason I 'm asking is because
1. You have already shown that image itself has been tampered with to make the flash suppressor appear centered.

2. The hammer does not look right to me, it looks like it is placed too far back to actually be attached to the mauser where it is supposed to be.

Dan Stokes
DDStokes@aol.com

Edit-- Aditional thoughts

Looking at this picture some more, I wonder whether the tirgger area might be editied a bit. When I look at this pic, I can bearly see a trigger, just Harison's finger and then blue. Is it possible that the blue might be air brushed in to make the gun look more real? The reason this idea occurs to me is thta, if this is a resin stunt, then the trigger area would probably be filled in like it is on the Merr son. But in this picture it is not, but this might be because the photo finifher air brushed some blue behind Harison's finger.
If you look at this pic


It appear that we are seeing the same gun. Now I know the quality is not the best, but it looks like the area behind the trigger is filled in, which would indicate to me that the gun is based on a resin stunt similar to the Merr Son.

What are everyone's thoughts on this?

Dan Stokes
 

Anakin Starkiller

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One more thought. In other publicity photo's Harison is shown carrying an E-11. The reason I bring this up is because he does not use a real gun, but instead carries one of the cast aluminum stunts that the sandtroopers used in the Tuinisia shoot.

Also, in Carrie Fisher's publicity shoots, she carries a merr son stunt.

I'm wondering if having a real fireing mauser to carry in the photo shoot might have just presented a logistic pain in the ass. What sort of paperwork would you need to bring a firing mauser pistol into a photo studio in England in the 70's. I know that now, fireing guns are a pain in the ass to own and carry in England.

For filming a fireing gun might have been needed to create the fx shots with flash and smoke, but for a post production publicity shot, wouldn't it just have been easier to bring a resin stunt?

my .02

Dan Stokes
DDStokes@aol.com
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Both good points about the hammer, Dan: its front edge does look extremely fuzzy and the neck WAY too long... I'd post a photo of my Denix hammer pulled back, but could someone provide one showing a cocked MGC or real Mauser in the same orientation?

Since there was no Photoshop or any kind of digital photo editing back in 1977, the cut & paste job had to have been done with an X-ACTO knife and jiggling a piece of paper between the enlarger lens and the photo paper during the development cycle.

As for the reasoning behind the editing: the suppressor was off-center, tilted, and had some piece of junk jammed into the top to try and compensate, and Lucas deemed that unacceptable. So the photo jocks tried to re-piece & reposition the suppressor so that it looked centered, and made a frakkin' mess of it. :p

And as Dan correctly points out again, we must consider that there was more than one Han Blaster on the set. Usually there are dummies to be worn in the holster and to be drawn out when a shot is not to be fired. On the days were you need a shot fired, the production has to have a licensed armorer from the gun supply company, in this case Bapty, providing on set supervision. The rest of the time you don't want to pay someone to be there when a live weapon is being worn in a holster, so no live weapons are worn in costume holsters, usually.... Add to that the fact that the firing prop would unlikely have anything glued to the barrel that could fly off under pressure & vibration, and there's no way that the t-track and switch greeblies were attached other than with glue.

Bottom line, you never see any antennae greeblies on the blaster EVEN ONCE during the film, so why even try to make it ugly based on a few Merr-Sonn castings, silhouettes, deep shadows, and poorly manipulated images... :confused

- Gabe
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
NEWSFLASH:

The hammer and safety in the edited photo are CLEARLY hanging OUTSIDE the rear of the mauser. The problem is the retraction of the hammer doesn't extend that far back from the upper receiver of the gun. Also, the shark-fin shaped feature on the safety lever between the hammer and the block should not be visible on an assembled Mauser. Conclusion: the hammer/locking group in that picture was not in the gun when it was photographed

So what we've got is not just a stunt resin Mauser for the promo-shoot buildup, but also a pasted-in hammer/locking group from a real Mauser so that the photo would truly look like Han is in an "action pose," ready to fire. Furthermore, that area has been totally blackened by the retouch artist. Invert that picture in photoshop and it's quite evident. :eek



I've also been told that the Mauser in the photo appears too long - I'm expecting a photo of a real cocked Mauser by tomorrow that hopefully one of you can superimpose it on the photo, because I can't.

Mgoob - surely you can confirm this since you own a Mauser or two... ;)

Thanks to Tom for his priceless insight and multiple epiphanies today. :thumbsup

- Gabe
 
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Anakin Starkiller

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If that is a resin blaster, then I am going to say that what we are seeing behind the flash hider is indeed the t-track and antenna found on the merr son, But it looks like it has been cut down or sanded down so that the flash hider will fit on it. It is possible that these items were molded onto the stunt blaster, or were cast in resin and then added, but on this version, they decided to chop the piece down a bit so that it would fit better.

At least that's what I'm seeing.

Dan Stokes

DDStokes@aol.com
 

SFPROPS

Well-Known Member
The mauser in the above photo looks like it was painted, and the "mystery" disk is an area where there was once something but it fell off leaving the raw nature finish of the mauser exposed. The "gunk" chould be gloppy paint. That happens sometimes when you paint something oily.
 

wuher da brewer

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One of the inset pics of the Merr-Sonn on Moffeaton's post (post #2) lends a lot of credence to the metal T-track theory as you can see the edge of the track and it looks like bent thin-walled metal.
 

mgoob

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here's some photos of the "clips" at the end of the barrel adapter:
[attachmentid=5815]

These are the 2 things that would keep the surpressor on the pistol, and allow it to pivot up & down.

This is from the comic book "Tales of Star Wars" (probably the photo as posted above):

[attachmentid=5816]


Here's a photo of the Broomhandle from a Naked Runner behind the scenes publicity still (Sinatra is holding it, BTW):

[attachmentid=5817]

Using this as a basis of camparison to my C-96 (SN = 312401), I'd guesstimate the length of the barrel adapter to be 2 9/16"

GABE: if my length is close, how far into the MG81 surpressor does that put the end of it?
Does it line up w/ your guess from the above photo (seen thru hole)?



I'll borrow a camera tomorrow & take a photo of my C-96 w/ the hammer cöcked in firing position.


BTW The pistol was used next in the 1972 Hammer Film The Satanic Rites of Dracula:
[attachmentid=5818]
 
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