Poe Dameron Blaster build

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ID10T

Sr Member
As promised (threatened?) I have begun the Poe Dameron blaster build. I will document it here.

Background: I like the TFA outfit. The waxed cotton jacket with the rebellion patch on the sleeve, and the nod to Han with the low-slung, fast-draw blaster. I see him as bridging the gap between the “bad boy” Han and “good boy” Luke of ANH.

Anyway, the jacket started it. Then I started looking into the rest of the outfit. It is deceptively simple appearing. But we’ll leave that for later. Let’s talk about that blaster eh?

Word on the street is it’s based on the Sig Sauer 226 semi-auto pistol. I have one. Every other firearm owner probably does. Fantastic weapon, with a very ergonomic grip angle and control layout (if you shoot right handed). I know it well. And that certainly looks like it to me.

So I got this idea to use an Airsoft lower with a printed upper. I’m not yet sure if a “live fire” version of this is possible. (Bore alignment) But all the printed blasters, and the nerf, all show a blade trigger like a 1911-ish type, rather than a pivoted trigger like the stock 226. I thought I might have to mod the trigger, but I confirmed for myself that the stock trigger was retained:

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Another detail is the lanyard hook, on the back of the grip. I don’t think my Airsoft has this detail:

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Grip screws look to have been changed as well. Mine is older, but it has black slotted screws for the grips. The Airsoft actually has silver hex button heads, so maybe the newer 226 does as well. Screen used seems to have button heads.

So, first I need to tear down the Airsoft and see what i have to work with.

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Looks ok but the construction is not like the real deal. You have to split the slide to get it off, but it’s not hard...

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The hammer is cast into the lower and does not move. But that doesn’t matter because it is not seen in the blaster, unlike earlier Mauser based blasters.

Before I took this down, I laid it on top of the Nerf blaster. The grip size is about perfect but the “beaver tail” is a bit different. I didn’t get a picture of this but it’s on the lower so the “Sig” beaver tail will be used. I want to lay the Airsoft over my real 226 and see where we’re at. But I think the “bigness” of the Nerf comes from the upper, which is longer and much wider than the 226 upper.

I have some theories as to how the original prop was constructed and I will be looking at that as I dig deeper on this build.
 

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ID10T

Sr Member
OK! Back at this with some new information.

I found a (full) print file on Thingverse, but I had no idea how accurate it was (in detail or scale), but now I think I can (loosely) confirm it is scaled properly. The grip is not as wide as the real weapon, or the cheap Airsoft I have.

I received basic volume dimensions of the grip of the print, which I compared to the Airsoft grip. Also, today, I compared the airsoft grip directly with a fully functional Sig 226. Note the 226 I compared to does not have grip screws at all any longer- it is now molded into the frame or something (cannot be changed), but the basic contours and surface finish are very similar. And, the lanyard hook point, at the rear base of the grip is not the same as the Movie prop either. Therefore, I am concluding one of two possible scenarios:

1) the movie used a 226 newer than mine, but older than current(?) production, with the molded grip
2) the movie used an airsoft as well.

Before the gun store, I stopped at the Army/Navy store and grabbed a belt pouch for three bucks as well as a German or Dutch maybe hat that I like. It has a ground crew feel to it for sure. They did not have any 226 Airsoft pistols there today. But the really convincing one I handled was there- working decocking lever, slide release lever and take down lever. But, since none of that is really visible on the prop, I think this cheap model will work just fine, keeping cost of construction down.

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I had the airsoft grip and the pistol in my hand and the "feel" is the same. There may be variance in width, but it is not perceptible. That's a good thing!
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This last image is not very good, but I believe the "square" above the top grip screw is used to hide the slide release of the 226. I don't have a picture of the left side, but the location makes sense.
IMG_E1196.JPG
 

ID10T

Sr Member
And since it’s silver base color, I did a little experiment before I tore into the Nerf. I wanted to see how the pot metal would look after bead blasting the black paint off. So, I blasted the slide clean after masking off a few bits.
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My plan is to sell off the slide and internal bits to offset my costs somewhat. I don’t expect to get much for it, but someone may like the silver slide look, or just need repair parts. This is unfired.
 

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ID10T

Sr Member
Well, I found that a sharp chisel is about the best way to open up the print. Of course I discovered this after several other methods failed, or took too long...

I am at a point where the airsoft is married to the print. I found a much better image (of Finn's blaster*, but it's the same model) that I will use as a guide for painting, and I used as a guide for the fitment of the lower to the print. I had seen the lower trigger guard completely inside the angled forward bit of the print, but the actual prop is not made this way. I also discovered another detail that is different, but I can't do anything about it.

*I think that Finn carried the one "real" prop, and all the other blasters of this type were cast from that model. The detail on the blaster Poe carries is not as sharp, as far as I can tell. Or it's another "hero"/"Stunt" scenario.

I had to hack down the lower, because the wall thickness of the print where the "magazine" is, interferes with the lower being fully inserted into the print. Again, if I was working with a real lower, it wouldn't be cut for one thing, but the real print is in separate pieces- the magazine is separate for sure, as you can see in the photo reference. More options.

So, this is "good enough" grade and well beyond the Nerf and a full print version. I need to figure out how to add the Nerf noise and light maker-happener stuff. I want to have the batteries inside the detachable magazine, so they can be dropped out and replaced easily. I'd like to use contacts, so the mag can be completely removed easily, but that may not be easy enough for me. The other stuff may well be come "permanent residents" like 3-PO on Hoth...
Finns blaster.jpg


A couple things I notice, looking at the prop:

First, the scale of this model seems to be just about perfect. maybe 2% error, if that. (lower is 1:1 scale with real lower)
The bottom of the trigger guard is not flush with the bottom of the angled bit in front of it. It sits higher.
The lower appears to be "deeper" (more upward) in the upper. I think this accounts for the first point.
Forward lower "point" of trigger guard is exposed, not connected.
Darker colored "magazine" is clearly a separate part.
The round "barrel" detail over the magazine seems fully round, but with no gap underneath. (I'll have to fill that with a chunk of styrene or something)
The forward-most "top vent" is not a rectangle; it's an "open letter 'A'" shape.
You can see the gen magazine is still in the grip. It has a flat sheet metal base to it, not the contoured plastic of the airsoft (or models)
Decocking lever has been removed (it "swings" in that curved area on the top forward bit of the grip) Mine looks different here.
Two types of hardware on the grip- top slotted head appears factory Sig; lower one is a button head
Other hardware is all button head hex; neither Philips nor Torx as seen on other models.
The "square" bit, above the grip, does perfectly coincide with the slide release catch, which has been removed. (not sure how well mine is aligned)

Progress photos:

IMG_1862.JPG

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I'll put some more up later with the lower fully seated in position.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
More progress today.

I opened up the magazine to find: a chunk of steel rod about the size of a AA battery... How. About. That.

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Some soldering, epoxy, colorful metaphors and clamps:
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Added a larger piece of self-adhesive foam rubber and that’s about done.
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I just need to extend the black wire to whatever connection I settle on.

I also did a bit of surgery on the light and noise maker-happerer. The Nerf uses glow darts which get charged by UV LEDs in the barrel. I don’t have use of those so I cut them out. I also cut out the switch that turns them on when you cock the Nerf.

This made the board much thinner (I also trimmed some leads left long on the board so they don’t short on the metal lower) and the width fits perfectly in the lower, just ahead of the fire control.

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This is good because the button is right on the board. I plan to epoxy/screw/ hope&pray a piece of spring steel on the trigger assembly, which will press the switch when you squeeze the trigger. The spring steel will (hopefully) “give” a bit so I don’t squish the switch.

the speaker will go into the “magazine” ahead of the trigger. I have some very fine stainless mesh; I’ve cut a piece and sprayed it flat black. I plan to clean out the large rectangles in the “magazine” and insert this mesh on both sides. Speaker inside somewhere/somehow. If you look at the prop, you can see they used mesh in here too. That worked out.

0C9AAC5D-17ED-427B-B523-F11DA7C5B184.jpeg


I removed the square from the upper, because it’s too far rearward. I’ll glue something on later. Maybe somehow use it to secure the upper to the lower, because I haven’t solved that yet. Maybe make it part of the grips, so you take the grips off to release the two

Drilled out the plastic screws and tapped the holes for button heads (10-32 is what I had handy). I have to order smaller ones for other details on the upper.

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You can see the smaller screw completely missing from the print at the corner- I need to estimate the head diameter and get a box of them for these. There’s some on the front of the magazine too.

I drilled the “muzzle” deeper, and cross drilled from the rear so I can set the LED in the muzzle and feed the wires back to the board. I’ll give it (and the speaker) lots of slack and a connector so you can take it apart without desoldering anything. Maybe I’ll get a big gnarly retina-scorcher to replace the “doesn’t give you cancer in California” LED from the Nerf...

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The “real” magazine needs some sort of connector for the battery. I sorted out the mount and connections for the battery, but I need a way to get power from the magazine to the upper. I’ll figure that out Thursday. That Cabels and Connectors store will have something perfect I’m sure. Cuz I want to be able to dump the mag and not worry about wires

I threw a coat of primer on the upper so I can see how bad it is. Need to get some filler because my 25-year old squadron green putty is solidified for some reason...

That’s it for today, but it’s coming together pretty well I think.
 

ID10T

Sr Member
Back at it:

I grabbed a mini Tamia connector for the battery and did some engineering on that bad boy. Cut off the lock clip and eased the corners so it can mate Easier.

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Then I commenced with the hacking of the speaker area:

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That’s it for today. I forgot to grab the connectors for the LED and speaker, and also check the LED selection for brighter ones...

But I did pick up my generic Rebel jacket and it came out great. I’m debating weather to otter wax it or not...
 

ID10T

Sr Member
I haven’t updated here in a while, but I have made more progress. Did some painting and other reworking, and it looks like I will achieve my vision on this.

Battery in the drop magazine
Speaker in the faux magazine with mesh for max volume
LED in the barrel. A bigger one.
Light and sound activated by the trigger

a bunch of progress photos:
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I’ve got the 4-40 screws installed on the sides and the speaker is in there. I painted it flat black too and it all but disappeared in there.

I re-shaped the left grip. It had the texture going up higher than the reference, so I masked it off and smoothed it with CA and baking soda. Good enough.

Also replaced the top button heads on the grips with slotted screws as shown in the reference.

And that chrome paint! Sick! But it doesn’t like to be taped over, so I have to re-do the barrel. The top thingie is good enough to keep.

Paints are mostly rattle can. High heat silver for the main body; chrome for the barrel and thingie. Semi gloss black for the faux magazine. Flat black inside, the speaker and stainless mesh. Flat black Testors hand painted in the slots and details. Black panel line detailer to bring out the details (need more if that). I haven’t tried the clear on the chrome bits... I guess I’ll leave them as-sprayed. Brown panel line detailer will go last.

Also mini connectors for the speaker and light are in, so the parts can be separated. I may just glue this thing together anyway.

Final fab will be the squares at the top of the grip (which cover the decocking lever on the real lower). They were in the wrong place on the print and I have to remake them. My theory is these hold the upper and lower together on the real prop.
 
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