Real Sterling E-11 Blaster | BLASTER MONTH
"The E-11 blaster rifle was a light but powerful blaster rifle manufactured by BlasTech Industries. It served as the standard issue weapon of Imperial Stormtroopers, and was based on the DC-15A blaster used by clone troopers during the Clone Wars."
This is my first scratch build based on original parts (or as close as possible) to make an accurate blaster. The E-11 is built off of a Sterling MK4 L2A3 sub machine gun, and by adding different greeblies turns it into the iconic Stormtrooper blaster. There are many different versions identified in ANH and ESB, and this will be an amalgamation, but based on the ANH A2 model. This incorporates all the parts seen on the 'hero' blaster. All long as mine looks kinda standard issue I don't really mind.
The base of this build is a real, albeit deactivated, Sterling Mk 4 L2A3. It's in good condition with the original crackle finish still on about 90% of it. It has a nice moving bolt action, but will not cock, so it won't dry fire. From what I can see the ejector part of the bolt is cut and welded as is the barrel a few inches down. Overall a pretty good starting point.
This is the scope kit which I bought from the excellent maker Field Marshal, which is a really nice brass M38 tank scope replica. All the bits are machined and fit together really nicely. The weight is excellent and is the next best thing to a real one, which can be pricey. It also has the writing engraved on it which looks awesome.
I managed to acquire a real Hengstler box counter with the Eagle logo, which is accurate to versions used in ANH. This was pricey but you can't beat the real thing.
This is a replica for the 'power cylinders' which go atop the magazine housing, also bought from Field Marshal. They are made from steel and aluminium with vintage resistors. The originals were all sprayed black but the creator left the resistors clean to paint at my discretion. I kinda like them as they are, adds a bit of depth to the look of the blaster.
This is the rail which the scope and counter box are attached to. This one is made from Aluminium, which I hope will be man enough to hold the heavy brass scope and counter box.
The nice thing is all of the parts can be put on so they are non damaging to the gun, so they can be stripped if necessary at a later date for repairs or upgrades. Once all of the parts were gathered it was time to start assembly.
The brass scope was painted in a satin black and then paint was chipped away to simulate wear and weathered with light washes of paint.
Probably the hardest part of the build was drilling and tapping the (real!) Eagle Hengstler counter box. Pretty nerve wracking as it is an expensive item. But you just have to bite the bullet and go and it turned out fine. You just have to line up holes in the plastic case with ones you drill in the metal underneath
The T tracks are pretty easy to put on. The ends of them can be cut into points using a pair of sturdy scissors, but a pair of snips would be better. Using a heat gun these were then heated up and put into the barrel holes.
Cutting down the magazine was also one of the more difficult things to do, although more time consuming than anything else. By rounding over the cut ends it allowed the original end and spring to be reused, although I had to cut down the spring to get it back in.
And the completed blaster! I am really happy with the result and it has a good weight to it, which is what I wanted.