Turning a Beta Project Sterling into an E-11 build thread

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New Member

To begin with, any thoughts, advice, comments and constructive critsism are appreciated-

I have gone full bore on prop projetcs lately, bought 2 Wand Co. Phasers, a Beta Project Sterling, an M712, and a couple of blaster toys for my son to play with.

I know the Beta is not screen accurate, but I really like props that work, more or less. I have been collecting parts to make this into something as close as affordabe to what I would have killed for when I was seven...

So far I have an M77C scope, a later version Hengstler, and some T-track on the way. I am thinking about gutting the hengstler and adding some sort of electronics tied into the airsoft piston with a microswitch or similar.


I got started tonight with the magazine, Shortening it to the correct length (I found 4.25" on one of the Stormtrooper forums). I want to keep this functional so I shortened the airsoft mag inside as well. Disassembly is simple, push out the rollpin and the airsoft parts slide out the top. The inner mag is held together by screws. Only bit you have to be careful not to lose is the little spring that tensions the BB stop at the top of the mag. This I promply lost.

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Cutting to length is simple, the metal is soft and cuts and files like butter. I follwed the instruction for shortening a real mag, but with this soft metal it was a bit overcomplicated. Just cut about 1/8" or less below your final length and file or sand to finish. I ended up bending out the bottom 1/16" just a bit to hold the end cap on a little tighter.


I split the inside airsoft mag so the top and bottom had about 2" each. Marked the parts and cut. I glued the top and bottom halves together with superglue and that was it. I made a replacement spring for the one I lost and then screwed the two halves of the inner mag together. The tension spring for the bb's had to be shortened so I made a guestimate based on how it felt with the spring in the mag and partially compressed.

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Loaded it up and tried it out. Shot about 39 BB's out of the mag before the old battery I was using died. Probably around 35 is where it is happiest. The whole thing took me about an hour and a half, and at least 15 of that was spent looking for the spring...

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More to come as I receive more parts-
Thank You

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New Member
Parts collection is growing- I have a nice selection of metal eagle Hengstlers. Does anyone have any thoughts on a sound package that would fit inside the counter box? The ones I have seen on the forums are too large to shoehorn in. I need something about the size of what is in the Wand Phaser P1.

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New Member
Love to see a good blaster build. I am not sure what level of accuracy you are going for, but the M77 scopes were never used on the originals. M-19 or M-38

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New Member
I was able to get an M77 for a price I could afford. I figure since the Beta is not 100% accurate to begin with I have a lot of leeway...



New Member

I found the important parts from an old "build your own" Clone Trooper blaster and will have no trouble fitting the circuit board and speaker inside a Hengstler. It's a pretty decent set up with multiple sounds to choose from, mag connections, LED connections, etc. all on one small board. I will end up with only 4 or 5 wires running off the board and the rest will go.The speaker is junk and I would like to upgrade but I don't know where to start with that. I am going to poke around in an electronics surplus store tomorrow and see what I find. There are no numbers on the speaker I can use for a cross reference. Anyone have any suggestions?

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I also have my M47A1 scope- not correct I know but I got it cheap. I am working on the best way to illuminate it so the low light sights are visable.

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New Member
The sounds are going to be run off of a microswitch triggered by the action of the piston. I decided that the way to do this was to connect the fake bolt to the piston and add a microswitch on the end. The fake bolt on the sterling is heavy aluminum so the added mass flying back and forth will add to the fun factor. I also like the old school jury rigged feel.

This is definately not something I would do if I used airsoft for skirmishing or anything serious as it will drastically shorten the life of the bolt and probably the gearbox. That's not an issue for me as it will spend 90 percent of it's time on a shelf looking nice. If anything breaks, no big deal.

To start here's the exploded drawing for refrence. This thing is a bear to get apart:


Everything goes out the back of the gun. To start with you remove the periferals, grips, gearbox covers and the bb feed chute inside the mag well. You are the left with this:

The gearbox is held in place with a rollpin on the back of the piston housing. Take it out and the front half unclips and slides out.
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Now remove the piston housing end cover and fake bolt (at the back end of the bolt housing). I ended up discarding the small metal rod on mine. With the mod I made the fake bolt is connected to the piston and does not need a guide.


Now unscrew the small countersunk allen head screw holding the hop up unit and outer barrel (replaced with a stronger panhead screw on mine). Slide the entire assembly back and remove the screw connecting the hop up unit to the piston housing.

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There is a problem with getting the piston housing out- the nozzle actuation lever sticks down too far to easily slide through. You have to force it over and down to get it out. After that everything else slides out.

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To make this a fake blow back gun I cut a slot in the piston housing and a matching hole in the piston itself and the fake bolt. There is a countersunk screw holding a small tube nut that slides in to the piston. Unfortunately I made the countersink too deep as I was originally going to use a larger screw. Nothing that affects the function but it is ugly and bugs me. I am going to refinish the bolt and clean it all up, but it seems to work pretty well. The sound is horrible in the video but this thing is loud and bounces around. EVERYTHING is going to have to be lock tighted- I already shook the front sight out of the mount just from testing.



Sr Member
I also have my M47A1 scope- not correct I know but I got it cheap.

The M47 is essentially the same scope as the '43 M38. It has the same body as the '43 M38. I believe the difference was that it (M47) was used in a capacity other than with the Sherman Tank. I could be wrong about that, but shape wise the two look identical.


New Member
Most of my time has been spent playing around with the PCB from the clone trooper blaster. I took a break and mounted the scope and added the T-Track to the front. I purchased some rubber track on e-bay figuring it would be easier on my hands. It looks good, but they will need to be removed and re-glued at some point. The peel and stick adhesive they come with is not the best.

My original plan was to have the bolt move back with the piston and hit a micro switch to activate the blaster sound (I like to keep the 70's industrial feel, but that is not going to work out). Unfortunately I have not been able to find a switch small enough to fit in front of the battery (about 3/8" max) and robust enough to handle the stress. The fake bolt is aluminum so a prox switch would not work, no room to mount one anyway. I would need to reduce the 7.5V battery down to about 4.5-5V for the PCB, but again there is no room to do that. I will have to either use watch batteries or figure out a way to hide batteries in the cylinders.The clone trooper blaster only shoots 20 rounds continuous before making a godawful explosion sound. After that you have to insert a new mag and start over. I think I may get a burst wizard (http://aegwizard.com/Order_Burst_Wizard.html) to control rate of fire and magazine qty to avoid this, so maybe I could figure out a trigger for the sound off of that. Anyone have any thoughts?

Technically I could call it done now, but I have a couple of large eagle aluminum Hengstlers and REALLY want the blaster sound.

Here's some pics and a quick movie of the bolt moving. Not the best for replicating then open bolt action, but it adds some visual interest.

BTW this blaster weighs almost 8 lbs so far. Mad props to our brave Imperial Troops for lugging these things around the galaxy...


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And the Movie:


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Master Member
Very cool update. Instead of using rubber t-tracks why not getting some plastic ones, there are 2-3 sellers here.


New Member
Wow, over a year since I started and still not done... I keep taking it apart and adding more bits. Here's the latest mod- I sanded down the airsoft grips into something much closer to the correct shape. The plastic is pretty thick and I was able to take most all the squareness out:

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