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pandatrooper

How to: T-21 Blaster scratch build

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Hello, sandy brothers and sisters! Just started posting this on FISD yesterday and thought I would share this here as well. Enjoy!

Here’s my T-21 blaster tutorial. There hasn’t really been many clear T-21 tutorials, so I thought I would document my build and share it with the Empire!

Keep in mind that this is not a “millimeter” exact replica, it’s the best I could make using many reference photos of actual Lewis guns, screenshots from ANH, and scaling all of the photos in Photoshop to create a template. I preferred not to use photos of T-21’s since most are interpretations, or cast copies of a real Lewis anyways. For any given part, I would gather at least 3 images, and then scale them in Photoshop to the same scale, and take the measurements from inside the software.

Don’t worry about getting every measurement and detail exact. The fact is, only real enthusiasts will know you’re “an eighth of an inch off here”, the average person will know it’s a BFG blaster, so just get on with it. That being said, if you want to go all the way and add every wire and greeblie, go for it. Interpret this template and tutorial as you wish and modify your build to suit your needs. Enjoy the build!

I had to make substitutions for many materials, since not everything is available locally. Always look around the house and see what you can find. The fact is, if we all had machine shops with lathes and CNC machines, making props would be much easier. But part of the fun is sourcing “found” parts and supplies you can use, that’s the SW tradition!

I feel that this is a fairly accurate trooping blaster. If anyone has any more detailed measurements, please feel free to share them so that we can develop a more detailed resource for the T-21 blaster.

With that out of the way, let’s get started! First off is a materials list.

Materials

3/4 “ inch thick wood (I used pine shelving)for the main body / receiver

3/8” inch thick wood for the stock (I couldn’t find any, so I used ¼”)

3.5” diameter PVC pipe for the main barrel (I used 3” “Cell core” ABS pipe, which has an outer diameter of approx 3.5”)

3.5” connector (you will cut rings from this)

2.5” diameter PVC pipe for the barrel tip (I couldn’t find any locally, so I took some 3” PVC and cut it down to 2 7/8” diameter)

4” corrugated drain tubing for the barrel (you can use D profile adhesive rubber trim for car doors for more accuracy)

Sheet styrene for details (I used 2mm and 1.5mm a lot)

1.25” piping (small section for the sight)

2” PVC piping (for the chamber or whatever you call it that holds the bullets in the main body / receiver )

Tools

Jig saw / scroll saw

Saw for cutting large sections / straight lines

Dremel

Files

Sandpaper

Clamps (spring clamps like you used for armor)

Rivet gun / rivets (1/8”)

Craft / exacto knife

Adhesives, etc.

E-6000

Wood glue

Plastic weld (styrene glue)

Bondo

Various screws / bolts (use what you have around the house)

Krylon primer

Krylon satin black

Dark brown for the stock

Gold or silver for the cooling vents

Any other paints you want to weather the blaster (silver, gunmetal, bronze, etc..)

To start, you can use this T-21 template I've created here:

http://forum.mepd.net/index.php?showtopic=6376

Print it out full size (spread them over several sheets if you need to).

My first issue was creating the front part of the barrel tip. Based on some measurements, it's approx 2.75" to 2 and 7/8" in diameter. i couldn't find anything, so I took some 3" PVC, cut about and inch from the length, and glued it back together.

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I've glued, clamped and even rivetted the pipe along the seam to hold the right shape. The rivets are countersunk so bondo will hide them.

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Here, I've transferred the template drawing to my 3/4" thick wood

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20 mins later with a jig saw yielded this

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I cut the wood to proper inner diameter to fit snug inside the ABS barrel pipe

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Rough layout of the current parts, use the measurements from the template to cut the drain tube and barrel to size

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Cutting the 2 sides for the butt stock from the 3/8" or 1/4" wood

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see how they line up, if it's not right - trim them

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Glue and clamp the stock halves to the main wood piece

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Transfer the template to the wood for the feed plate thing (top part - sorry, I'm not a gunsmith so I don't know the names)

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This extra layer stacks on top of the first piece

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This last part stacks on top of the previous 2. The rear sight will mount to this

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Use some good old wood glue and clamp it shut

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Here, I've transferred the feed plate details to sheet styrene. these will be cut out and glued on top

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Test it. the part I'm pointing to (curved flipping thing) will be painted separately and glued later

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The middle post thing is what the ammo drum sits on. I've just used a PVC end cap

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Glueing the styrene to the wood with E6000

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I've used 2" PVC for the main receiver section where the chamber is.

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I've drawn some parallel lines down the length of the 2" pipe. I'll glue the sides of the pipe onto the receiver so that it looks like the chamber is really "part" of the wood.

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To draw the lines, simply lay the pipe on a flat surface and hold it up against a piece of wood to draw the lines

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Discard the scraps

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This is where the pipe will be glued. You can see that the pipe meets the surface of the stock almost perfectly.

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I've cut a small section of the pipe at the front so that it will be easier to assemble the cooling fins

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I've cut out the ejection port. I simply glued a section of pipe inside the port, and elevated it slightly with scrap plastic. I'll paint this silver later.

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Here's the cooling fin section, I've drawn a circle using the barrel profile. Cut it out and glue it to the pipe section

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I've cut out 10 cooling fins from sheet styrene, 5 fins per side. Glue them in place with Plastic weld

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Just a dry mockup (not glued / screwed in place yet)

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I forgot to cut out the trigger hole, so a little jig saw action and Dremel action will clean it up

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I started rounding the edges of the stock. I didn't have any fancy tools so I used... a knife. Seriously, I just whittled the edges to get the rough shape, used a file to clean it up, Dremeled a bit, then sanded it smooth.

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Here's a pic of the sanded stock, as well as some greeblies. This will work for the tube that's inside the real stock which is some kind of container and screw top brush which i assume is for gun oil or something. I used some sprinkler tuning parts, a short threaded tube and a couple end caps.

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One area I didn't get quite right was the area just behind the rear sight. It should extend from the stock to just below the sight. I just glue a small block of wood here and bondo it later

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I created the receiver detail by transferring the template drawings to sheet styrene of various thicknesses.

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Adding more detail. Gluing with Plastic Weld

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Finished receiver details. I glued them to the wood using E6000

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I've notched the back where the "curvy" details are. Just used a cone shaped bit on the Dremel to carve it out

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I cut panels of styene to glue to both sides of this half circle part. One side has a flat knob / dial, the other is a screw / rivet

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Glued in place using E6000

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Added rivet detail and Dremeled the contours

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I glued inner shims inside the main barrel, which allows the smaller barrel tip to fit snugly inside and centered

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For the taper from the main barrel to the barrel tip, I found lots of solutions. Bubble tea cups, slurpee cups, flower pots, funnels, etc.. Just use what you can find. I convinced my wife to sacrifice a plastic picnic glass - for the greater good of the Empire! :)

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Marking the line indicating where to cut the cup in half by placing the smaller barrel tip inside the main barrel.

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I glued a ring part way down the smaller barrel so that the taper will stay concentric. I ran a bead of construction adhesive around the barrel so that when the taper is pressed into place, it will remain secure

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Test fit of the smaller barrel inside the main barrel with taper in place

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This step is for later (electronics) but I wanted to feed the wires through the chamber pipes before they were glued in place

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Chamber pipes glued in place

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This outer connector for the 3" ABS pipe will be cut to create flanges for the main barrel

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Feed plate is screwed and glued in place. I used screws in "visible" locations, and areas where people wouldn't see them (inside the drum post, under the rear sight, etc.) I also applied glue to both surfaces before assembling

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Feed plate assembled

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Simple ring cut from PVC for the smaller barrel tip

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I cut some grip panels from wood, sanded the edges. I won't glue them in place until after the blaster is painted, to make them brown.

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Rear sight supports cut from sheet styrene

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Glued and clamped. The H shaped frame next to the supports is the sight itself, made from square styrene tubing

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The adjustment dial is made from a long 3/16" rivet, a washer and 3 Canadian dimes glued together. :)

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Dry fit

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Glued into place. You can make it permanent or movable. Mine pivots on a long chicago bolt

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Rear sight cover cut from a section of black ABS

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Cut the notch, drilled a center hold, sanded the surface

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Insert glued under the cover (will paint it silver inside later)

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Front and side profiles glued into place

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Cut some brackets from a flat aluminum bar. I'll hot glue these inside.

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Filled the inside to make it more solid

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Dry fit of rear sight cover

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Front sight detail. I just drew this by eyeballing reference images.

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Cut it out

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Screwed and glued into place. I added a "bolt" detail using a rivet, I slotted it with a Dremel. Didn't want to use a real screw in case I split the wood

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Lining things up. Who likes Spam? :)

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Back to that round detail, added the knob using a strip of wood and a screw

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I'll fill the hole with Bondo later

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Opposite side is a screw, also bondoed later

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The rear stock lube container area needed the holes enlarged, so I used a drill with a Uni-bit

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Test fit with sprinkler parts

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I created "knurled" grip marks with a file, just eyeballed the cross hatching

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Starting to bondo various gaps, etc

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I created seams with a flat chisel

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Bondo the transition for the barrel

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Starting to primer parts. Before painting, I'll sand the parts and wash the parts to remove oils, and if I can't submerse the part in water, I at least wipe it with alcohol, let it dry and use a tack cloth to remove dust before painting.

Barrel primered

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Satin black Krylon

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While the paint was drying, I assembled the ribbed section using the drain pipe, cut to the same diameter as the main barrel. I used 14" zip ties to attach the drain pipe

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Oh yeah...

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Main barrel locks onto the receiver via a retention bolt

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Rear sight assembled using a chicago bolt. the sight will "lock" into place using a small magnet

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The sight stops on the little block of wood I added, I will blend it in with Bondo

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Primering parts

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Primer is good a revealing imperfections. Decided to fix a few spots with bondo before another coat of primer

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Silver. I will weather these later

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Primered the grips and sprayed them dark brown

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Painted the cooling fins gold

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Test fit

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I used a 3" to 2" taper to create an inner bezel for the barrel tip. Some Dremel-fu created the shape I needed

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Internal view of the electronic for the trigger

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After painting the black, i decided to dust on a few light coats of gunmetal metallic

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Masked off the stock and painted it brown

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Aker amp disassembled so that I can configure the speaker and board to fit inside

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Trigger half finished. You can see the internal wires threaded through the receiver. You can also see the paint detail

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This is amazing!!!

I would really like to start a project like this. It looks great! But I am intimidated by all the little details and hard work. Im very clumsy when working with tools.

Maybe Ill try someting like this, since it is probably the only way I will ever have a realistic looking T21 since gun control here is very very strict (Not even toy guns for kids can be sold if they look realistic).

GREAT work bro!

Big Congrats from here!

Saludos.

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Thanks Juan, glad you like it and hope you find it helpful! Remember, you don't have to do all this in one shot. This project took a couple months so far, just a few hours here and there.

At the minimum, make the following for trooping, and add the details later

- receiver / body

- main barrel

- corrugated drain tube / rubber door seal for ribbed section

- taper

- smaller barrel

- stock

- receiver chamber piping

- top feed plate

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Unbelievable! I'm with Juan, though, looks like a handful even if you break it down.

Nice work though!!

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You've got some serious skills there Terry! That thing looks KILLER!!!! I'm pretty good at building stuff, but I'm not sure mine would turn out as nice as this one is looking!

Great job! :duim:

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Sssayy whatTT :blink: freaking cool, the best fan made T-21 i have ever seen!!!

Your talent and skills are fantastic, looks spot on accurate.

Congrats buddy, a big fat A+ from here ;)

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