Solo's ANH Hero Blaster (Todd's DL-44 Full Kit) 2017/2018

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zjunlimited

Sr Member
So after almost 2 years since joining the RPF and reading countless threads, I took the plunge and completed my first blaster build. :) So let's get started...but first a quick overview.

Links:
Full Todd's ANH Kit http://www.toddscostumes.com/props-and-accessories/han-solo-dl-44-blaster-complete-gun/
DEC Wood Grips http://darkenergycreations.com/grips-anh.aspx

Purchased the full Todd's kit around March 2017 but didn't get started on this until Nov 9, 2017....finished on Feb 9, 2018
This is what I started with. Its a newer version...without the Denix logo on the left side, and with the "Denix Made in Spain" stamp above the left grip
01 Todd Kit 02.jpg

And ended up with this :) Corresponding video overview here https://youtu.be/3vuxl7y8QAQ
81 Final 01.JPG

==============================
So you all know what the limitations of the Denix are...and I did my best to rectify them to the best of my ability.

Started by stripping the stock finish using first with a dremel wire brush followed by 120grit sanding drum, 120grit flap wheel, 250grit and 500grit sandpaper. Sharpened all lines, removed cast lines, and sanding everything trying to smooth out the finish as best as possible.
22 Sight Mount 09.JPG 50 Stripped 03.JPG 50 Stripped 04.JPG

Then I decided to add the half circle cutouts in front of the sight hinge using a ball-shaped cutting attachment for my dremel. And shaved down the sight hinge nubs, countersunk the hole, and shortened the pin.
22 Sight Mount 08.JPG 22 Sight Mount 13.JPG

Removed the hump on the front of the sight hinge and cleaned up the "V"
21 Sight Hinge 07.JPG

Reshaped the hammer and trigger
29 Hammer 01.JPG 25 Trigger 01.JPG

Cleaned up the sight slider and bolt retainer including filling in the holes with JB weld and sanding smooth.
23 Sight Slider 08.JPG 23 Sight Slider 07.JPG 24 Bolt Retainer 03.JPG

Then ran into my first issue...the firing pin. Is it always this crooked? I was able to bend it so it was more acceptable but still not happy.
27 Firing Pin 01 Before.JPG 27 Firing Pin 03.JPG

So from Spoon06's excellent tutorial here (https://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=257410) I decided to make my own removable firing pin
I found some 1/4" OD aluminum spacers with 8-32 threads already cut and picked up a 8-32 threaded rod and went to town.

Cut 1/4-20 threads on outer of aluminum spacer...then cut down to length. Cut down the threaded rod to match the stock-ish length and removed all but 1/2" of thread.
Cut notch into threaded rod, JB weld the spacer to the rod.
Drilled out bolt hole and cut 1/4-20 threads.
AB everything afterwards.
27 Firing Pin 14.JPG 27 Firing Pin 17.JPG 27 Firing Pin 19.JPG 27 Firing Pin 22.JPG 27 Firing Pin 23.JPG

So.... another issue. Todd uses some type of adhesive to secure the bull barrel to the upper denix. After separating the two (just brute strength, no tools, still amazed it came apart) there was quite a clean up needed. Between acetone and needle files, it still wasn't enough. So after getting 1/2-28 UNEF tap & die set, I was able to clean up the threads. Now it threads on like butter.
70 Tap and Die 03.JPG

- - - Updated - - -
 

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zjunlimited

Sr Member
Switching gears a bit....not happy with the stock grips and hearing everyone rave over DEC's walnut grips....I had to have them.
Simple enough, cut stock grip support frame, shape frame and grips to fit. Carve weathering details. Treat with linseed oil. Voila.

40 DEC Grips 05.JPG 40 DEC Grips 06.JPG 40 DEC Grips 01.jpg 40 DEC Grips 11.JPG
40 DEC Grips 20.JPG

And a comparison stock vs DEC
40 DEC Grips 17 vs Stock.JPG 40 DEC Grips 18 vs Stock.JPG

Next came the task of bluing the Denix or rather applying Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black. Here's the process I used.
1) Heat part up with heat gun. Warm not too hot to handle.
2) Apply AB with cotton swab or 1" foam brush depending on size of part / section. Worked in small sections.
3) Scrub AB into metal with gray 3M ultra fine scour pad...wait 15-20 secs or so
4) Rinse, Dry
5) Heat again
6) Apply AB but this time, no scrubbing...wait 15-20 secs or so
7) Rinse, Dry
8) Apply 3-in-1 oil and gently rub in with clean gray 3M pad. Dry

Here's a look right after step 7 and then after step 8.
60 BC 02.JPG 60 BC 01.JPG 60 BC 04.JPG 60 BC 03.JPG

So then another issue...sticky trigger. I actually noticed this right after unpacking the blaster upon receipt. I actually forgot about this issue until I was reassembling the denix. So not sure how many others have this issue but I think a combo of poor casting, loose tolerances, and design failure by having the 90 degree edge right at the point where the trigger arm can catch is causing this. Anyhow, a few minutes with a needle file and it's all fixed.
70 Tap and Die 04.JPG

Another issue...bull barrel not flush??? WTF? Nothing was out of alignment and the threaded rod in the BB wasn't going anywhere. Whatever. 2 hours later getting cozy with needle files...I was able to shave enough from the STEEL BB that it fits perfect. Sheesh.
54 Bull Barrel 01.JPG 54 Bull Barrel 02.JPG 54 Bull Barrel 03.JPG

I liked what I saw on one of these threads about treating the steel flash hider with heat but for the life of me I can find the thread or who came up with the idea. Sorry.
Here is the FH with the stock finished stripped.
56 FH 01.JPG 56 FH 02.JPG

But using a propane torch for about 5 min, I was able to get this effect....
I suppose to simulate the effect of 1000 rounds...continuously....lol.​
56 FH 03.JPG 56 FH 04.JPG

I knocked it down a bit so it looks like a cross of above and below. You can see it in the final pics. I think it looks unique so I'm keeping it for now.
56 FH 05.JPG 56 FH 06.JPG

I was able to figure out my own weathering template for the scope cross bar. Here's I've combined a few photos together....
Scaled and printed stencil reference, trimmed, taped , and initial cuts with xacto knife made.
59 Scope Bracket 22.JPG

Stencil referece removed, final cuts made, sprayed with Krylon black stain, masking removed. Easy peasy....lol (no seriously....just a bit time consuming)
59 Scope Bracket 23.JPG






40 DEC Grips 01.jpg


40 DEC Grips 05.JPG


40 DEC Grips 06.JPG


40 DEC Grips 11.JPG


40 DEC Grips 17 vs Stock.JPG


40 DEC Grips 18 vs Stock.JPG


40 DEC Grips 20.JPG


60 BC 01.JPG


60 BC 02.JPG


60 BC 03.JPG


60 BC 04.JPG


70 Tap and Die 04.JPG


54 Bull Barrel 01.JPG


54 Bull Barrel 02.JPG


54 Bull Barrel 03.JPG


59 Scope Bracket 22.JPG


59 Scope Bracket 23.JPG


56 FH 01.JPG


56 FH 02.JPG


56 FH 03.JPG


56 FH 04.JPG


56 FH 05.JPG


56 FH 06.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

zjunlimited

Sr Member
And thanks to Troy on the FB Blaster page, he provided me with an extra extractor detail. Saved me a ton of time by not having to fabricate one myself since I don't have access to a mill. Since it was stainless steel, I painted it with Krylon satin black. Attached it with E6000.
26 Extractor 01.JPG 26 Extractor 02.JPG 61 Progress 07.JPG
 

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cjchiu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow. Beautiful job. Your attention to detail is amazing and your documentation of each step was very informative!
 

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