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Scratchbuilding a Star Wars-inspired Heavy Blaster Pistol (Finished)

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I was asked last week to build a blaster prop for a friend. He's off to Secret Cinema's showing of Empire Strikes Back this weekend, and has been told he has to dress as a 'mercenary' - basically a Han Solo-type. He's got enough clothing to pull of the general look, but doesn't want to spend silly money on a prop on Etsy or eBay.

"Pete, can you finish it in 10 days?" he asked me.

Challenge accepted. A DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol. Not screen accurate, but more 'look and feel'.

First job - I told him to order a toy Mauser from eBay. £4.99 and quick delivery It arrived last weekend, so I only got it Monday.

Han Solo's gun came from a Mauser C96, and is quite distinctive.


This thing makes a clicky noise when you pull the trigger. Cheap, plasticky rubbish.

Let me give you a quick rundown of my schedule. 10 day turnaround was a pipedream. By the time this arrived, it was already 5 days after the initial conversation. He's going Sunday. I work from home on Fridays, which meant bringing in a finished prop on Thursday. Which means finishing it Wednesday.

3 day turnaround.

First job on Monday night. Assemble the gun.

On my way out of the office, I asked the IT department if they had a PC graveyard I could defile. I got a couple of heatsinks and a knackered GPU filled with capacitors and microchips. Win.

I also found a toy sniper scope - my stepson broke the scope off his toy rifle, and it had been sitting around for 6 months. He said I could have it


The batteries are flat, but I think there's a laser pointer (red light) in there.

Next - shave the unnecessary bits off the pistol


Glue the scope in place. JB Weld is strong, but takes a long time to set. Gaffa tape will help, and hide unwanted gaps. It's a prop, not a showpiece. 3 days, people - gimme some slack. I know, I know - gaffa tape.

Add some capacitors and other greeblies to hide the tape, and give some visual interest, and we're nearly there.


I even got some Warhammer on it.


The problem was the muzzle - although not a replica/facsimile of Solo's weapon, I wanted it to look as part of the same custom-built family. There are at least 5 different versions used in the films - some of the early production photos don't even have a scope! What they all have in common, though, is the flared muzzle-end - a drilled

I found the answer in the supermarket. A bottle of mouthwash had the perfect shape lid. Worth 65p, I think.


I drilled the muzzle holes and found a couple of other bottle lids to glue it to, cut the main barrel and attached. This was Tuesday night. I ran out of JB Weld as well, so Araldite was found in the garage recesses.

I gave it 24hrs to cure, and then set about painting. Mixed materials on the gun, so Alclad II lacquer primer and gloss black, and metals, and acrylic brown for the handle.





A few touchups here and there where the silver oversprayed, and it's done. 1am tidy up, but 3 days from start to finish.

Fun little build. Next one will be tidier, I reckon.

I'll post a photo of this one in use after Sunday's event (if he send me one)

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