Tomenosuke 2049 Kit - Sharing some mods and my Blade Runner Blaster journey

Akwalek

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’m Luke from the UK I’ve not posted before so, Hello!

Over the last few years, I’ve been building up a Tomenosuke 2049 kit. During the process I made several mods and I wanted to share them with you guys.
I'm hoping there may still be a few folks yet to build theirs that may find some inspiration or may want to ask questions.
 

Akwalek

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
First I just wanted to share by BR Blaster journey. I’m sure a lot of fellow Blaster obsessives will recognise this tale!

Ever since I saw BR for the first time in the early nineties (aged around 14 or 15 I guess) I was entranced by this mysterious pistol hidden in darkness. Adam Savage has spoken before about freeze framing VCR recordings to try and decipher its form, which I can totally relate to. I think part of its alure is just how different it looks dependent on the angle you’re viewing from. Sometimes slim and elegant, sometimes stocky, blunt and aggressive.

My first go at making my own involved a piece of PVC pipe cut in half and glued to an old beretta BB pistol. Probably not too pretty but I thought it was awesome.

I then discovered an ad in Model & Collectors Mart for one of those massively inaccurate and chunky resin kits. You know the one right? I found this image online for ref. Mine was all resin though, no fancy white metal parts!

Old kit.jpg


I ordered one through a local model shop. Sprayed it in steel auto paint, added a very simple 4x red LED circuit soldered using a HUGE soldering iron I borrowed from my Girlfriend’s Dad. I even found a company that could take a mold off the kit’s grips and cast me some amber replacements. I sold it to a Japanese collector in the end and am gutted I don't have any pics.

Next I discovered Rick Ross’s PKD although unfortunately via a 3rd party prop maker in The States that said they’d brought the molds from Rick and offered full builds (I cannot recall the name, maybe someone can help with that). I placed an order but never received a blaster OR a refund.

During one of many Blaster internet searches I discovered Richard Coyle and Phil Steinschneider’s amazing research work. I remember printing out the pages from their site documenting their work and reading it on my commute. Before long I’d ordered the latest iteration of their C&S Blaster. It was the V4, mostly ABS but so much more accurate than anything before and I finally had a decent blaster in my hands.

DSC_0004.JPG


At the time it was painted black and a bright silver as this was before 2006 and Karl Tate’s images from Worldcon.

Once I’d studied those images though, I set about making my C&S as accurate as I could. I got an EE-8 Field Radio for the binding post. Made an on off switch for the LEDs. Reshaped the butt plate, cut a slot in the front trigger and the hole in the grip frame. Cut the gap in the side cover under the bolt handle. Repainted in Alclad steel, aluminium and a gloss black. I also replaced all the screws to better match the real thing. I remember obsessing over the slotted screw on the cylinder release latch for a LONG time trying to find something that looked right.

I was still learning back then so it was a bit rough around the edges and I did make a few errors. Mainly removing the original paint by sanding which took the sharpness off the edges. Should have used a paint stripper!!!

Here are some pics, although it looks like I'd not done the switch yet here.

IMG_3581.JPG
IMG_3585.JPG
IMG_3589.JPG
IMG_3591.JPG
IMG_3644.JPG


Rather sadly this blaster took a tumble a few years back and split in half. But that also led to me looking for a replacement and that is where the Tomenosuke came in.
 

Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
When I first discovered the Tomenosuke blaster I really couldn't afford one and wasn't even really sure how to go about getting one from Japan. They'd all sold out anyway so I'd put the idea aside and modded my C&S instead.

Then a few years back I was looking at Prop Summit and came across Mune. I reached out to see if any kits were available, as I could now just about afford one, and there was, so I got one! And I'm really glad I did because it is a beautiful thing.

This was going to be the one so it had to be spot on and unfortunately there were a few things that were not quite right. For me anyway, maybe yours is fine but mine had some issues.

The biggest issue for me was the grip frame. In my kit it seemed to sit too low when assembled so there was a big gap between the right side grip and cylinder cover. You can see it in this pic:

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Right Side grip gap - Akwalek RPF


I contacted Tomen via Mune about this, they did send me a new grip but it didn't help. Potentially there was something up with the grip frame but they couldn't send a new one of those. I needed to sort this myself.

The other issue with the Tomen is that there is a big gap between the outer and inner grip frames.

So here's what I did... The red area I've marked below was ground away with a rotary tool to a depth of about 1.5mm. This allows the inner bulldog grip frame to sit lower. The white areas are styrene sheet I epoxied in to pack out the gaps and push the grips into the right position. This needed a lot of test fitting and adjustment to get right. Eventually though the amber grip and side cover finally met.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF


The pic below shows two thin strips added at the top part of the frame to fill the gap but also allow a bit of room for the bulldog grip when installed. If it was all filled then getting the outer grip frame on and off was not very easy. I've also sanded everything flush here.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF


Another view

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF


The next pic shows the grip frame once painted and installed. It looks so much better now there is no longer light coming through the gap between the frames.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF
 
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Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Next up was the wobble in the grip itself. Once everything was assembled there was some movement from left to right in the whole grip assembly. Not a problem if the prop is solely for display, but come on, I want to pick the blaster up every now and again, and the wobble was really ruining that experience!

I could see there were a couple of areas causing the problem.
The pin marked below goes through the main body of the bulldog (not sure what that is called) through a hole in the bulldog grip frame. The hole in the grip frame was bigger than the pin resulting in some movement.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame wiggle mod - Akwalek RPF


I ended up drilling and tapping the hole through both parts to be slightly bigger. I believe it was M2.5. I then cut the threaded part off of an M2.5 x 30mm machine screw and put a slit in the end so I could screw it in like a grub screw. It was then cut to size and blackened.
The end result was much more sturdy.

IMG_20200712_145732.jpg


There was also some movement due to a small gap between the bulldog grip frame and the trigger guard. To fix this I made a small shim from a scrap piece of a photoetch fret. It was folded over to double the thickness, then pushed into the gap and the two ends folded back to hold it in place. A bit like a butterfly clip. You can see this below.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame wiggle mod - Akwalek RPF
Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame wiggle mod - Akwalek RPF


The inner grip frame was now super rigid with no wobble I could detect.
 
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Akwalek

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Now the inner frame was more sturdy I made sure the outer frame was too by adding additional screws to the base of the outer frame. These go through the outer frame and then into tapped holes in the bottom of the bulldog grip frame. I used M2.5 x 16mm and 25mm machine screws

This makes the whole assembly much more sturdy. The extra screw heads are completely hidden when the blaster is fully assembled as they are covered by the butt plate.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF
Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF


It was pretty tight trying to fit two screws. There are the two butt plate holes and the lower grip hole all in the same area, but I felt that two was essential to avoid any twist in the handle. The new hole I added on the left does interfere slightly with the amber grip screw but is easily fixed with slightly shorter screws.
The countersink holes for the screw heads were just cut with a handheld rotary tool milling bit.

The image below shows everything installed.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame mod - Akwalek RPF
 
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Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So the next mod was unfortunately needed to fix an issue that I created rather than a problem with the Tomenosuke.
I stripped the thread for the small 8/32 [EDIT - 4/40 not 8/32] screw that goes into the back of the grip frame to hold the inner and outer frames together. The one just above the large hole on the back strap of the frame.

My first thought was just to re-tap for a larger thread but it can't really accommodate a larger screw. So I ended up creating a sort of bracket on the inside of the grip frame, tapped to take the 4/40, that would pull the outer frame against the inner frame.

First step was to drill out the stripped thread. I went for a hole about 5mm diameter.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame Stripped thread - Akwalek RPF.jpg


Next I formed the bracket from 5mm square mild steel bar using my handheld rotary tool and a grinding disk. It was finished up with hand files, then drilled and tapped for the 4/40 screw. The second image shows a test fit of the piece.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame Stripped thread - Akwalek RPF.jpg
Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame Stripped thread - Akwalek RPF.jpg


Below is the finished piece installed. I painted it black so it is not visible through the amber grips. It works great and is much less likely to fail than the threads that were in the relatively soft metal of the bulldog grip frame.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Grip frame Stripped thread - Akwalek RPF.jpg
 
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Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great transfos and tuto mate(y)It appears that this gun will be solid and steady! Eager to see your next update:cool:
Thanks joberg! That's a name I've seen a lot on the forums over my lurking years. A big thanks to you for all the shared knowledge.
I've still got a little to share, so hope to get a quiet moment to post later.
 

Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Whilst building the Tomenosuke kit there was a very specific look I wanted to end up with. I wanted mine to look the way it does on screen.
The scene below always stood out for me as it's one of the few where you actually get a pretty good look at the Blaster.

Screencap1.jpeg


One thing I always noticed from this shot is that the front cap seems to protrude from under the Steyr receiver further than it does on the Tomen. Although it is quite a minor difference I feel it makes quite an impact on the overall character of the Blaster. So I wanted to make this mod to mine.

For ref, this is the position before doing any mods.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


As far as I could see I would need to do two things to achieve this. One would be easy and one not so easy.

I got the easy bit out of the way first so I could ponder the second bit for a while longer. This was to put a steel plate behind the end cap to push it out by the desired amount. I first put the cap in loose and positioned it where I wanted it to end up. Then measured the gap behind the cap on the underside of the receiver.
 
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Akwalek

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Woops, I accidentally hit 'post reply' there. Continuing on from the above post then....

I worked out I wanted the cap to stick out a little under 1.5mm more than it's stock position. I know, it seems like such a tiny amount but it just wasn't right to me.

I ordered a piece of 1.2mm thick mild steel plate. To trace the shape I put masking tape onto the back of the end cap, cut it to the edges, peeled it off, stuck it to the steel plate and then cut that out. Refined the shape with a file and job done.

Here you can see the steel shim installed between the end cap and the inside of the Steyr receiver.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg
 
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Akwalek

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RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Onto the tricky bit then, repositioning the threaded hole for the big button head screw that holds the end cap in place.
When I say tricky, I mean from the view of my experience and available tools. I'd be really interested to hear about alternative ways to tackle this.

Here you can see the problem awaiting a solution.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


Now I've moved the cap forward I've got to move the hole back, but not to a totally fresh spot - which would have been way easier - it overlaps the existing hole. It was clear I'd need to fill the hole, then re-drill and tap.

I ended up using Milliput to fill as I know you can drill and tap it. BUT.... spoilers, it didn't really work out quite as smoothly as it did in my head.

So here is the easy bit, filling the hole with Milliput and leaving it a few days to go ROCK hard - It's millitary grade right, so LITERALLY bullet proof... right...

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


I knew it was imperative that the hole was drilled in precisely the right spot and perfectly vertical. So ideally I'd use a pillar drill, but I don't have one of those. What I do have is a drill stand for my rotary tool, so good enough for accuracy. Problem is the rotary tool can only take a max dia shank of 3mm, and I need to drill a 3.5mm hole for the 8/32 tap.

I ended up using a milling bit to get the hole to 3mm and then using the 3.5mm drill bit chucked into a combi drill to take the hole to final diameter.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg
Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


I did get to imagine I was a 'proper' machinist there for a moment. I channeled This Old Tony as best as I could.
The tapping didn't work out too great though, I was expecting a little too much of that tiny crescent of Milliput to be fair.
As you can probably imagine the new hole wasn't able to support the tap and it just angled towards the path of least resistance, that being the putty which was promptly shredded.

Things went a little hazy after that, a few choice words were uttered and unfortunately I didn't take any more WIP pics.

I did manage to get some threads into the hole and then had a go at installing the cap, and you know what, somehow it still worked out. I ended up just leaving it at that but may have another go at doing it properly. If anyone can help with any tips on how to do this sort of repositioning job more successfully it would be much appreciated.

Here's a shot of the new position for the end cap.
Feels totally right to me now!

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Front Barrel Cap fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg
 
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userd1402

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Your dedication to accuracy, attention to detail and patient care show us all how it should be done.
I hope I can be as good in my next build.
 

Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Another issue with the Tomenosuke Blaster's is a loose bolt handle.
I say issue but I know that the real prop has a loose bolt so potentially this is intentional. Anyway, it's not really a feature that I wanted to replicate.

I'm pretty sure that the changes I made are common mods but I'll detail them here anyway.
First up is to shave a little off the stepped bushing at the back end of the bolt assembly. It's circled in the image below.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Loose Bolt Assembly fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


I filed a little off the inner face of this (circled in red below) which results in everything this end fitting a bit tighter. You've got to be careful though as too much off will have the opposite effect.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Loose Bolt Assembly fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


It was still a little loose for me so to add bit of extra friction I cut little spacers out of an old black nitrile glove. This material is great for this sort of task as it's super thin so doesn't cause fit issues.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Loose Bolt Assembly fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


A couple of these were then put between the back part of the Steyr receiver and the bolt end where the bushing screw comes through. You can just about make them out in the image below. This is the back end of the Steyr receiver assembly viewed from below.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Loose Bolt Assembly fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


As well as this I made an alteration at the front end to the pin that protrudes through the front cap of the receiver assembly.
I saw someone else do this on this or another forum, so if that was you then thanks for sharing.
First up I mounted the pin by the threaded end into the chuck of my rotary tool. I then spun the pin whilst holding a file against it to cut a channel into its shaft. Next I made a rubber O ring from a piece of old bicycle inner tube and slid it down into the channel.
It just needs to be slightly wider than the pin so it has a bit of grip in the hole it rides through in the front cap.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Loose Bolt Assembly fix - Akwalek RPF.jpg


These mods combined result in a really smooth action for the bolt assembly and most importantly, everything stays put when the bolt handle is closed up!
 
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Akwalek

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here's a few changes I made to the Stey magazine.

First up, it rattles a bit. This is an easy fix with a bit of adhesive backed foam.
In the image below you can see some strips of 2mm thick foam that I've placed in key spots to pad out the magazine well.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Loose Magazine fix - Akwalek RPF.


Next up was a couple of cosmetic fixes to a seam line on either side of the magazine housing. I couldn't see these in any of Karl Tate's images of the original so I sanded them away. I started with a 400 grit to remove the seam line and then progressively higher grits and a bit of plastic polish to blend everything back together again.

I also spotted some sort of ejection pin mark in the left side groove at the front of the magazine housing. It was very difficult to get to but I rounded it off as best I could with a thin file.

I've marked the ejection pin mark below in yellow and the seam line locations in red.

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Magazine seam lines fix - Akwalek RPF

Tomenosuke Blade Runner Blaster - Magazine seam lines fix - Akwalek RPF


You may notice as well in the above pictures that the Steyr mag housing has a patina of wear and scratches over it's surface. In person the piece has a really convincing look of a genuinely used and worn with age object.
I came up with a new (to me, maybe not you) and totally non-destructive way of getting this look which worked out great. All I did was brush a thin layer of Future/Klear floor polish over the surface. I brushed it in random directions to get the look of scratches, just kept moving it around until I got a finish I was happy with. The benefit of this is I can just wipe it off with a bit of isopropyl if I want it to look a bit fresher in future.
 
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