Han Solo ANH Blaster From RIA, Prev on Pawn Stars

DarthWilder

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
NOTE: Any vintage MG81 FHs I have seen have been VERY worn and rusted. But Tony's is perfect... The thin metal didn't rust away in those 40 years like every other vintage MG81 FH...
The Allies took over a lot of German manufacturing plants during/after WWII; so many individual weapon parts remained in new condition, never entering the field to become "relics". Some of these leftover parts were assembled into working firearms after the war, and individual parts have also made their way into the hands of collectors. For example, here's a rust-free original that has not been refinished...

21D973B5-BADD-4F8D-B4A7-A51F4928E071 (1).jpeg
 

Tommy

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Any other info about the PropStore offer?

I wonder if it was offered to Joe Maddalena at Profiles in History.? I'd like to hear comments from PropStore and Joe about this. From the episodes I have seen of PoH, Joe places huge value on barn finds and unrestored items.
scottjua mentioned it briefly earlier in the thread, but he goes into more depth in his latest Prop Talk video:

The reason I raise the point about PropStore relative to the supposed photo is that if it had been shown to them (as would seem logical to me), then I would think someone here would have heard from a PropStore contact about it by now.
 

chubsANDdoggers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
For what it’s worth I’m going to repost this. It’s shows some insight into Watts motivation and his history with this prop. I received this back in 2016 or 17 (prior to Watts going public with what he had) but the said encounter took place 10 years prior. So back in 2006 or 7 Tony found the Mauser itself and for some reason he thought it was Solo’s Mausers. If only he was a true fan of history and props he might have ventured into the RPF himself instead of burying his head in the sand..

“Hello, this is a long story bear with me. About 10 years ago I was an Armourer Sgt with the army collecting prop weapons from Bapty for a museum opening. The amount of different weapons there was amazing (I'm a gun nerd) and I got chatting to the owner Tony Watts. He had old Sterling SMGs and I joked that these were stormtrooper blasters (also a Star Wars nerd) which led him to tell me he had all the Star Wars guns at one stage.

He started work at the BBC in the late 70s first in props and then as an Armourer. When he saw the original Bapty went out of business he wanted to start his own firm, took out loans and stayed up by buying as much of Bapty's stock as hei could. As Bapty had a huge name in the business he simply used their name and carried on where they left off. When looking through one of the containers he found ANH props, mainly E11s and what he called "Han Solo's Pistol".

He struggled in the early years to stay in business so he sold off each blaster over the years. However he said he'd never sell the pistol as it was his "pension piece". It wasn't in the armoury, he kept it in a safe at home. He even turned down 50k for it at one stage. He said when he bought the container it worked out that each piece cost £30. He sold one E11 for 30k! So that's my story, he's called Tony Watts and lives in the Southall area of London.

This also explains why it disappeared, it was buried in a container of a company going out of business and then hidden in a private collection of the guy who found it and knew what it was. Like I say it was 10 years ago now, who knows, he may want to cash in his pension soon and we'll see it at some major auction house! Hope this bit of detective work is as interesting to you as it was to me. All the best.

Glad to tell a fellow fan.”
 

kpax

Sr Member
The Allies took over a lot of German manufacturing plants during/after WWII; so many individual weapon parts remained in new condition, never entering the field to become "relics". Some of these leftover parts were assembled into working firearms after the war, and individual parts have also made their way into the hands of collectors. For example, here's a rust-free original that has not been refinished...
Thanks! Nice seeing your FH. Different type of wrench flats. Is this an earlier version or later? I've seen some with no cone as well.

Sure there are some "new" old stock out there. I have never seen a MG81 FH that looks as good as the fake one on the PS gun. This forum has posted many many "finds" of thrilled members who got their hands on a vintage MG81. They never look that good... and we know it does not match the 2813 HERO.
 

kpax

Sr Member
For what it’s worth I’m going to repost this. It’s shows some insight into Watts motivation and his history with this prop. I received this back in 2016 or 17 (prior to Watts going public with what he had) but the said encounter took place 10 years prior. So back in 2006 or 7 Tony found the Mauser itself and for some reason he thought it was Solo’s Mausers. If only he was a true fan of history and props he might have ventured into the RPF himself instead of burying his head in the sand..

“Hello, this is a long story bear with me. About 10 years ago I was an Armourer Sgt with the army collecting prop weapons from Bapty for a museum opening. The amount of different weapons there was amazing (I'm a gun nerd) and I got chatting to the owner Tony Watts. He had old Sterling SMGs and I joked that these were stormtrooper blasters (also a Star Wars nerd) which led him to tell me he had all the Star Wars guns at one stage.

He started work at the BBC in the late 70s first in props and then as an Armourer. When he saw the original Bapty went out of business he wanted to start his own firm, took out loans and stayed up by buying as much of Bapty's stock as hei could. As Bapty had a huge name in the business he simply used their name and carried on where they left off. When looking through one of the containers he found ANH props, mainly E11s and what he called "Han Solo's Pistol".

He struggled in the early years to stay in business so he sold off each blaster over the years. However he said he'd never sell the pistol as it was his "pension piece". It wasn't in the armoury, he kept it in a safe at home. He even turned down 50k for it at one stage. He said when he bought the container it worked out that each piece cost £30. He sold one E11 for 30k! So that's my story, he's called Tony Watts and lives in the Southall area of London.

This also explains why it disappeared, it was buried in a container of a company going out of business and then hidden in a private collection of the guy who found it and knew what it was. Like I say it was 10 years ago now, who knows, he may want to cash in his pension soon and we'll see it at some major auction house! Hope this bit of detective work is as interesting to you as it was to me. All the best.

Glad to tell a fellow fan.”
Thanks for posting this.

Interesting story but doesn't exactly jive with the letter details.

Kept it in a safe at home. Still had 5 Mausers in stock and the PS was one of them... which is the truth?

All confusing and second or fifth hand info. No interview.

Whatever the story we know what parts are real and not.

I'd love to see the proof photo. Must be a doosey.

I hope Tony gets a ton for his retirement pension. He should share with Carl I think too...
 
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DarthWilder

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks! Nice seeing your FH. Different type of wrench flats. Is this an earlier version or later? I've seen some with no cone as well.

Sure there are some "new" old stock out there. I have never seen a MG81 FH that looks as good as the fake one on the PS gun. This forum has posted many many "finds" of thrilled members who got their hands on a vintage MG81. They never look that good... and we know it does not match the 2813 HERO.

It is a later version, as the wrench flats were added to speed up disassembly when hot and did not require any special tool. The early FH like the hero is much more rare because the issue was identified and corrected. I believe the no-cone versions were plane mounted.

I also have a hero version, but sadly it's like you say, ha! Relic condition but still cool.
 

kpax

Sr Member
It is a later version, as the wrench flats were added to speed up disassembly when hot and did not require any special tool. The early FH like the hero is much more rare because the issue was identified and corrected. I believe the no-cone versions were plane mounted.

I also have a hero version, but sadly it's like you say, ha! Relic condition but still cool.
Very cool.

I guess on a plane you don’t need to hide the flash much! ; )
 

chubsANDdoggers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for posting this.

Interesting story but doesn't exactly jive with the letter details.

Kept it in a safe at home. Still had 5 Mausers in stock and the PS was one of them...

All confusing and second or fifth hand info. No interview.

Whatever the story we know what parts are real and not.

I'd love to see the proof photo. Must be a doosey.

I hope Tony gets a ton for his retirement pension. He should share with Carl I think too...

Ya the story Tony tells with this PS and the one that he told years ago.. clearly shows his own revisionist history is in question. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about so it’s funny that it’s his story the auction house is standing behind for authenticating this “replica”.

So many red flags..

It does have the scope and rings so it’s definitely got value but it’s tarnished by the lies and manipulation behind the rest of it. On some level I feel bad for Tony as I think he really believes his story. I’m sure he’s a little desperate at the moment now that the $ht is hitting the fan..
 

kpax

Sr Member
Really Lucas/Disney should have just bought it for the Scope value, would have made a great attraction, but I don't think they see things the same as collectors. Or Tony wanted too much and was convinced an auction would bring more dollars?
 

chubsANDdoggers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If word got out Disney was interested in buying it the value would skyrocket. If people mistakenly believe it’s fully authentic now just imagine the buzz Disney would create.

Lucas himself should buy it and put it in the museum hes building. Lucas still owns all the props and models from LucasFilm I think I read somewhere. That would make a great display piece. Display it similarly to how ur Hero model was displayed in Chicago I think it was? Only the scope and top rings on a see through plastic display stand in the shape of the Mauser..
 

mgoob

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
chubsANDdoggers

"This props ONLY value is the scope and top rings."

"The inside back lens retainer. The groves are really quite big.. I’ve personally never seen that on a Hensoldt scope before?"

Exactly!
'Nuff said.
 

DarthWilder

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'd say total value equals the intrinsic value of the original screen-used scope & rings + the market value of a refinished C96 + the market value of a vintage MG81 flash hider (assuming this one is real) + the value of assembly/refinishing by the original prop armourer.
 
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deadbolt

Sr Member
As far as I can tell from the photos of the RIA vs. PS Flash Hider, they're the same ones just refinished after the PS filming. But, I'm almost positive it's a replica, there's far too many dependencies machining-wise that show that's it's not a real MG FH, it's simply wrong in too many ways. The possibility certainly does exists that it's a (very) rare real FH, that nobody here as of yet has seen. Then I can see it fetching a pretty penny on it's own.

But when you hear hoof-beats, the average person (us) think horses, not zebras..
That FH is missing so many of the real manufacturing manners of a real one, it's almost ridiculous, It looks kinda like one of those old replicas back in the day (before the bullet-knurl modifications) that was based on the dreaded 'Guy Raz' FH. I just don't see any reason to believe that they can factually say that came from a Bapty 'MG81 droor' of real parts and such. Despite prop fan discussions here in depth, as well as being disgusted about this wannabe prop, it's simply a straight lie and bit of a slap in the faces of people who study these details for fun, not for money.


-Carson
 

robstyle

Master Member
Photographing props is never really a set rule for production. Neither the people/shop that create the physical items nor the production itself (art dept, armorer, production coordinator...) have a set standardized coordinated method for photographic catalogs. Physical paperwork and records which were once well kept have been replaced with phone calls and texts. Where once that paperwork was filed and stored many times it just doesnt exist in any form over the past 20 years and onwards.

In this instance its not too far off to believe one photo of a hero item would be taken with any other matching items simply cataloged on paper. Film VS digital photos was an investment of time and money.


These are issues I would bring up at a shop I used to work at. No items would be photographed for production nor moulds properly cataloged. In the end I learned a lot of shady shate was going down on many levels at the place. Combine that with sheer laziness of some in management, revisionist history as it's been labeled here, is easy to fabricate.


When it comes to serial numbers and castings/moulds it's hit and miss. A mould may exist of an item so a new mould isn't needed. Or many times that item may have a mould made with pulls being used as background items. Terminator Salvation and the M4 rifle is the go to example. Many castings were pulled from the M4 mould with only a few actually being used by Bale/Connor. Even bad pulls were used. Out of the four Bale/Connor M4's there are dozens of people who believe they have one, but it's a background item with a matching serial number, because it's from the same mould, but people want to believe what they have is more than what it is.


End all is every project is unique all around. Even on huge blockbusters. Even when it's a Disney show. That POTC map only matched in two films and those were filmed together...
 

kpax

Sr Member
Thanks for the input and info.

Yes. Laziness and being hurried. The little I did in the field many years ago when there were no cell cameras I did not document at all. Too much trouble. Relied on the film itself. But those were low budget films. SW has a history of BTS images snd making of films and books so we know they did rely on images for continuity.

Castings are one thing and I am sure it would be tough to tell a screen used hero from a background used item if both were cast and finished the same. But those are castings.

This item is an actual Mauser with real and different SNs. The 2813 hero is well documented and the only one we see in images and screen.

Tony would have to have an incredible photo showing his Mauser on set as he claimed. And being on set is not nearly as desirable as screen used to my understanding.

It will be interesting to watch this all go down.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As far as I can tell from the photos of the RIA vs. PS Flash Hider, they're the same ones just refinished after the PS filming. But, I'm almost positive it's a replica, there's far too many dependencies machining-wise that show that's it's not a real MG FH, it's simply wrong in too many ways. The possibility certainly does exists that it's a (very) rare real FH, that nobody here as of yet has seen. Then I can see it fetching a pretty penny on it's own.

But when you hear hoof-beats, the average person (us) think horses, not zebras..
That FH is missing so many of the real manufacturing manners of a real one, it's almost ridiculous, It looks kinda like one of those old replicas back in the day (before the bullet-knurl modifications) that was based on the dreaded 'Guy Raz' FH. I just don't see any reason to believe that they can factually say that came from a Bapty 'MG81 droor' of real parts and such. Despite prop fan discussions here in depth, as well as being disgusted about this wannabe prop, it's simply a straight lie and bit of a slap in the faces of people who study these details for fun, not for money.


-Carson
for those of us that have never used a mill, but think machining is cool, can you explain some of how the originals were made, and how replicas have been done in the past 20 years? It would probably help the discussion anyway, though I'm not asking as a challenge, I'm actually curious and want to learn what to look for
 

deadbolt

Sr Member
No worries, man.. No offense taken at all,

The primary thing to keep in mind is that all parts back then were hand machined, and in a rush too..due to the war and whatnot. So all parts are almost guaranteed to vary...you might get lucky sometimes though..;)

Even the Mauser made immediately after the 2813, on the same machine-line likely had many variances even if being made by the same people, machines, tools etc.. But the modern manufacturing with CNC has cut that variance down to negligible at least these days.

The first thing to note on the PS/RIA FH is the bullet knurls at the rear/bottom of the part. The only ones we have seen here real in-hand or in photos always used a radius cutter for those cuts creating the 'egg' like parabola shape at it's point, not a ball-endmill as per this FH and many other replicas of the past before it became a standard to use a radius cutter or mimic it with a six-axis machine (which these days can produce an almost identical result aside from the swirl by the direction the cutter is spinning).

Also the smaller knurl across the main body of the FH (which still vary quite a bit on real ones) also looks to be CNC as well, rather than an actual knurl tool basing on the count of lines and the overly even, though incorrect, depth, spacing and lack of expansion that a knurl tool would cause. Kurling tools can be designed to 'cut', but they're fairly uncommon in this use. Most just displace existing material rather than actually remove it. Causing somewhat identifiable displacement markings per knurl, most noticeable towards the ends of each knurl line.
The biggest way to see it is by looking at the length and the taper the small knurl's have towards the front large radius before the cone, vs. this and most replicas as this one appears to be.

Also a notable lack of the manufacturing transition to the cone after that primary radius. Note the radius and transition differences between the primary neck radius' and the cone section, they're are not accurate to any known real FHs as of yet as far as what's been seen by the community (as far as I know) pertaining to MG81 FHs. There's a notable amount of tool changing there, possibly a turret lathe to save time, or just machine to machine, but who knows? There's a short flat transition between the cone and the primary radius/body of the FHs that have been seen on most real ones, some more noticeable than others, but the Hero's real MG81 FH clearly shows it pretty well. Even to the point of the flat lathe portion of the transition to the cone being a tad too deep on the Hero's, just a little, but something visible and worth adding to our replicas. Pat added that on his too I believe, as per the Hero's.

The other issues are the cone being very clear of any hand machined marks, very smooth and would take an Etch-A-Sketch master to do by hand back then without leaving some machine marks behind (I don't doubt that a machinist hasn't accomplished that sort of skill though..I'd actually like to see something like that in person to be honest =b), but doubtful and unlikely to be seen on rushed machined FHs for wartime. It's possible, but still unlikely to expect I think..

Basically it's the lack of the radius cuts at the bottom/back of the FH, and the lack of the tell tale signs of hand machining being present, in a rush or not even. I think both knurl types and results are the smoking-guns though as far as authenticity goes for this FH.


-Carson
 
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