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Machine's T21 - An Alternate Build

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Hi Folks,

As a soon to be 'New Recruit', I thought i'd build a T21 while i'm waiting for my armour to arrive.

I've been blown away by all of the amazing T21 builds you guys have produced, and it gave me all of the inspiration I needed to get going !

I spent some time thinking about the main structure of my Blaster, knowing that i'd want to pack it full of electronic goodies at some point. So I decided to go a slightly different route from the conventional wooden backbone.... So mine has a 3/4" Alloy square section backbone and the barrel was made entirely from aluminium tubing.

​Now before I begin, this isn't a 'How To' thread, there's plenty of those already... It's more an overview of the approach I took which was different from the conventional builds.

Here we go.....

I found a company that makes a vaccu-form replica kit of the Lewis.

To be honest, it's more trouble than it's worth.

I've basically had to modify everything. And modifying something that's hollow is a pain in the smiley-talk034.gif . Should have made it out of wood sad.png . Anyway, here it is all bonded together and filled with expanded foam urethane.

They never look like much until you start adding details.... and I'm using what I have around me, like left over copper pipe and A4 sheets of 2mm ABS.

Notice the Trigger ?

I robbed a hair trigger assembly for a on AirSoft Gun and wired that to a microswitch inside the receiver housing. The wire runs up to the barrell.


There were many parts I didn't like from this kit, so I threw most away and just kept the basic receiver. Even that wasn't the best detail....

The rear sight mount was wrong and I wasn't happy with the detail on the clock spring dial detail either. So lot's of work 'remodelling' the form.....


So I refined the receiver details, drilled, screwed and glued all the pieces that could 'break off', and I made my distance sight again. Only this time I made it out of brass and solder grin.gif .

I wasn't happy with the ABS and Super Glue version. It was too flimsy.

Here's a pic of it... (Appologies for the rotation of some of these pics, they were taken on my smartphone).


Made with a couple of 5 Pence Piece's (No dimes here in the UK) :thumbsup:

Then I started on the cooling fins....


Notice the Pipe End Cap at the start of the barrel ? That will hold the barrel snug when it's slid over the top (More on that later). Added more Rivet's and Greeblies....

Then I started some heavy weathering. I want to give it a really well used feel, not a fresh out the box feel...



You'll notice the dial on the winding mechanism looks a bit odd... That's because I've taken off the old featureless one, and replaced it with a HotPoint Cooker knob and 2 position switch. This was wired to the effects board.


Then it was onto the grip plates...

I bought myself a nice slab of Walnut, and stated carving until we ended up with these...


Walnut is not easy to work with.

It cuts and sands well, but is quite a dry wood and has very little flex, so tends to snap if it's too thin. Which I found out a lot !

Overall, I was quite pleased with the result. So they had a few coats of dark wood stain, then a clear varnish, then I'll kick them around the garden to rough them up.

So onto the barrel and sourcing the barrel details... So I removed the mockup barrel and starting on the fabrication of the new one. As I said, It's made from 3" Aluminium Induction Pipe.

Seemed a shame to paint it icon_lol.gif


I decided to add a cool voltage meter in the barrel opening. This is hidden behind a piece of smoked acrylic and only comes on when the system is switched on.


Lots of room inside the barrel for electronic goodies and lights.


I couldn't wait to make a mess, so I took the lump of Mahogany and started working on the stock.

Here it is roughly jigsawed into shape. It's so thick, my Jigsaw nearly didn't cut right through !


And here it is after 4 hours of trial fitting, sanding, checking back with the reference photo's and hollowing the end where the receiver fits into it. You'll notice the cutout that I made with the Dremel for the brass penny washer.


Here it is, before staining and weathering, inserted onto the receiver with lots of 'No Nails' Glue icon_shh.gif (You can see the recesses for the tangs on each side too). It's dead on 10 inches.


Here she is stained, weathered and furnished with some cross head screws (Until the right screws arrived).


Here you can see how the barrel slides over the 2 pipe end caps to meet the receiver.

It's nice and tight, so it won't work loose. All of my electronic goodies fit within the space between the pipe end caps.



Very, very nearly done !

I've used some Cupro-Nikel brake line for the extended part of the coil, countersunk into the sides of the rubber coil cover. This was painted with the barrel, then buffed back to exposed the colour. This will dull down when it's weathered.

Then I made and fitted the Gas Regulator Key, the Mid Section and Fore Sight.


You'll notice the coiled connecting cable from the initial barrel ring to the Focussing Coil. This was made from a single Blue Wire, wrapped by a coiled black wire.

I also used a slice of Silicone Hose for the end of the barrel, just in case I knock it (which I'm bound to at some point).

Then it was on to final assembly and weathering grin.gif



Here's a close up of some of the dry brushing to simulate a worn metal appearance on the rubber and PVC pipe...


And here's the final build, hanging in the Office at home :woot:


And one more of me guarding the BBQ :thumbsup: .... Even Sandy's need a day off !!


All told, I think it took 3 weeks (every night and weekends) to build from scratch.

I had great fun building this and I learned a great deal about model making, weathering, wood working, first aid and swearing in languages I didn't even know I was capable of !!!! ... :yes:

But she's strong as an Ox and ready for trooping.

I hope you guys like it, let me know what you think !


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That's awesome. Looks 1000% better than the original kit. All that detailing and hard work are really really putting the extra and was worth the time invested and multi language swearing.

Big congrats.


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WOW, that thing is sick !!!!!! Great work bro. :thumbsup: If the blaster is this good, i cant wait to see your armor build. Thanx for postin Lee.

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Ok, so I have shot a little video in the 5 minutes I have available :yes:

Now that the electronics are installed, I don't want to keep sliding the barrel off to change the battery pack, so I've extended the DC charging plug out underneath the barrel. I just plug the T21 in to charge it.

It's also worth mentioning that the Hyperdyne board also comes with a tactile feedback motor, with adds a nice little vibration into the mix !

I used the Hyperyne DLT Heavy Blaster Sound and Light Kit. Although I used my own Speakers and lights as mine are better and brighter.

Link is here > http://www.hyperdynelabs.com/products_elec_mg34Blaster.php

Here's a close up of the underneath, showing the DC charging connector. You can't really see this when you are holding it.


The video was shot on my iPhone, so don't expect much !!!

But I have added the actual sounds used for the blaster.

From what I can see / hear, you don't actually get to hear the blaster in ANH, so i've taken a bit of artistic license to come up with a WAV file that suits the T21. It's a bit deeper and more metallic than an E11.

I used my favourite WAV file app (Sound Studio) and threw together a number of sounds to create the blaster firing sound. I used a bit of Boba Fett's blaster, an M16 firing sound and a bit of classic E11 all put together, then heavily processed.

For the boot up sound, I needed it to sound like the Focussing coil was charging, so I played around with the Proton Pack sound from GhostBusters to give me that.

And this is what we ended up with ..... (Can't seem to embed the video, so here's the link).


I've attached the files if you wanted to download them.

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Great job, bro - sounds amazing. Btw, are you the guy with the ISD shop on FB?

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It's nice to look at. :yes:

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Decided to have a go at 3D printing the Barrel Greeblies for my T21.

Heres a nice set of Top and Bottom Greeblies with "MACHINE" engraved into them :yes:


Not canon I know, but as I'm making them for myself I might as well add a personal touch to my BFG.

Here's a new front sight;


And finally, a new Gas Reg Key. (This one I designed specifically to fit the bolt I have now).


And I can just about fit them all on to a single printing base :thumbsup:


Once they have printed, I'll finish them up and mold them. This way I can make copies from acrylic resin and sand them / work with them for a better finish.

A way to go yet, but getting there ;)

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Hey bro.

Those look great!

I am currently modifying my T21 too and I'm need of some Greeblies.

Was wondering if you would be willing to print a set for me and have them shipped to Mexico City.

Let me know how you feel about that.

Thx a lot.


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Hi Juan,

Thanks for the confidence :)

This is my first time 3D Printing anything, so it could be a complete disaster !

I'll post up progress as I go ;)


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Some progress today while I was "Working from home" :)

We have revised the models and changed the size slightly.....


They're a bit 'orange' but that's the filament we have.

When I get some more time this weekend, I'll fill them, sand them and mold them to make some acrylic masters :)

Then I'll drill, sand and finish those and mold them to make a master cast.

So far so good !

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Well.... I found out the limits of my molding skills (and patience) this weekend :6:

So it's back to Plan A and use the actual 3D printed masters on the T21, and I must say, they don't look half bad :yes:


So I've made a few changes;

  • Added the Top and Bottom 3D printed Greeblies
  • Added the 3D Printed Gas Key
  • Made 2 rings from Copper Wire and soldered the joints around the barrel
  • Remade the extending part of the Energy Coil out of Brake Line for a better finish
  • Added the Blue Wire and fashioned it similar to the screenshot
  • Repainted the entire barrel and lightly weathered

I'm much happier with the result now, and apart from some very minor missing details, we should have a pretty good T21 for trooping :woot:

So she's back on the wall until the rest of the ensemble is finished :td:


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Thanks Buddy.

I forgot to mention that I also weathered both straps and coloured one of them darker to give the two tone appearance from the reference ;)


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