Blastech EE-3 Carbine rifle (ESB version)

Having just completed my revamped Return of the Jedi version, I decided to model the version of Boba Fett’s EE-3 Carbine rifle from The Empire Strikes Back.

It was a little bit more difficult to model this version of the prop because many of the parts added to it by the prop builders are unidentified.

Starting with the Webley & Scott No. 1 MKI flare pistol from the ROTJ model, I began by working on the barrel rings to which the scope rings and scope are mounted. What these parts are, isn’t exactly known on the prop were but the best guess are pool pump tubing clips combined with metal pipe clamps. The rear one has a metal clamp with a tightening screw at the bottom and the front one is more or less a curved strip of metal that fits inside the tubing clamp. The front ring is attached to the MPP Microflash flashgun body (that the prop maker slipped inside the barrel of the flare pistol) by two short bolts that poke through the inside of it through the holes of the rings. Nothing secured the bolts other than what appears to be some wire wrapped around the two bolts. I realized I forgot to add the wire detail to the model but I will fix that soon. The modeling was the simple part, finding good reference photos was the challenge.

The MPP Microflash flashgun, which was also the basis of Darth Vader’s lightsaber from the original Star Wars Trilogy, was used to extend the barrel of the weapon. Only the body of it was used with the rest of the parts discarded. The modeling was not too difficult but I took care to clean up the edges of the holes “punched” through the tube so the surface of the flashgun remained smooth.

On top of both barrel rings is yet another mystery part that serves as a rail to clamp on the scope rings. Simple stuff.

I mounted the riflescope from my Return of the Jedi version of the prop in reverse according to how it appeared in the movie. That must be the reason Boba Fett missed when firing at Luke in the Cloud City. Thankfully, the prop builder had the foresight to sabotage Fett otherwise Obi-Wan would have had to send Leia to Dagobah as well.

Mounted to each side of the barrel rings are Tyco Electronics 6-pin MATE-N-LOK female connector housings model #1-163035-0. Almost everyone online, in context with this blaster, seems to refer to them as Molex connectors or Molex style connectors.

With the scope attached to the gun barrel, the model looked mostly complete. The only parts left to add were the “greeblies” on either side of the flare gun’s breach and stock. The breach greeblies consist of a connecting rod from the Revell Visible V-8 Engine model kit and yet another mystery or misery part. The connecting rod was simple to model but it turned out to be impossible to find out what the other part was.

After much research and reading forum after forum post, I decided it was best to replicate the mystery part from the best close-up photos of the actual prop I could find. Many people use another part from the V-8 engine model but it is neither big enough nor does it resemble the part in the reference photos. Some think it was yet another part from the V-8 engine model and its diameter is very close but in order for it to match the reference photos, the prop builder would have had to fill in most of the holes in the part, the gaps in the gear teeth, and sand it all perfectly smooth. If they used that part, there would have been no reason to modify it and it would have just been painted and glued on.

The greeblies on the gunstock are once again a known part and a mystery part. The known part is the Hirschmann LMK/AM Aerial/Earth Connector housing for which there are three total: two on the right side and one on the left. The mystery part is of unknown origin but I was able to model it based on somebody’s interpretation of the part from the photos of the prop. Somewhere along the way, I read that, it was part of button from an old commercial lathe but I see no logical reason for the shapes it contains in the middle. Perhaps those little details were just leftover scraps of material the prop maker molded into the part.

Because of the way I modeled the gunstock, there were no flat areas to attach the stock greeblies. I considered redoing the stock but instead “shaved” off part of the stock on either side to give the impression it had been sanded smooth to allow the greeblies to be glued to it.

The final steps were finalizing the colors used in the model.

So now, I have modeled both versions of Boba Fett’s signature weapon. I think I will start something new next time.

Blastech EE-3 Carbine rifle (ROTJ version) 2.0

After recently reviewing my old 3D model of Boba Fett’s blaster, I discovered quite a few discrepancies in details and dimensions from the actual prop. I was initially concerned with bracket for the stock because, remembering from when I first modeled it, it was not quite right. In fact, the bracket was way off in its appearance. Then as I started working on the bracket and I discovered even more incorrectly dimensioned parts. Therefore, the best course of action was to start over from scratch. I could go over all the problems with the first model but there would be too many to list.

The Blastech EE-3 Carbine rifle prop used by Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi, like the one in The Empire Strikes Back, started with a WWI Era Webley & Scott No. 1 MKI flare pistol. Various found parts were added onto it including a 4×20 riflescope. The ROTJ version of the prop is significantly different from the one in The Empire Strikes Back and most notably in the design of the gun barrel. The prop was much more refined as it was in several close-ups shots.

This version of the prop actually used a resin copy of the Webley flare pistol to make it lightweight for the on-screen performance. My model would reflect an idealized version that retains all the detail that would have been lost during the casting process.

The first thing for me to model was the Webley pistol itself. Because the bracket for the gunstock on the first model stuck out like a sore thumb, I modeled that first. As I was doing that, I realized the reason it looked so wrong before was that I failed to notice the gun barrel angles upward at about 4.5 degrees instead of being parallel with the bracket. Failure to notice the difference in angles skewed all of the measurements I took from the reference photos I found.

Next, I moved on to the grip because it follows the contours of the stock bracket. Before, the grip I modeled had very little contouring and far from accurate. I was going to include the crosshatching on the grip but decided to, once again, omit that detail due to the complexity.

I moved onto the gun receiver and got pretty far into it when I stumbled upon some highly accurate schematic drawings for the Webley. This was a great benefit to me because it eliminated the guesswork in many of the details and dimensions that doomed my first version of the blaster model. There just are not many photos of this flare gun to find on the Internet to provide enough clues for an accurate 3D model. Ideally, you would want to have access to the actual object you are modeling and measure it with calipers but that option is not available to me. I did well enough on the receiver of the gun that I only had to make a few changes for it to match the schematic drawings.

I moved on to the stock itself and modeled it according to the contours in the schematic drawing and I was able to get it done rather quickly. Comparing my work to photos of the actual part, I was pleased with how it looked.

Next, I moved onto the latching mechanism that secures the gun barrel to the receiver once you insert the cartridge into the firing chamber. After that was done, I worked on the barrel and discovered discrepancies in the schematic drawings I had found. When that happened, I had to adjust the dimensions of the receiver and the latching mechanism to make things fit correctly while looking correct. Thankfully, I had enough photos to figure out what was wrong.

Next, I modeled the trigger, trigger guard and the hammer. There are a lot more parts for the pistol than I actually modeled but because they are only inside the pistol and not visible on the outside. The Webley was now pretty much done with exception to the fasteners. I decided to save to fasteners for the end of the modeling.

Now I was able to work on the fun part, which is making it look like the EE-3 from the movie. I started by creating the added details for the gunstock. These parts came from a variety of sources and many times from plastic model kits. George Lucas coined the term “greeblie” to describe these parts and that’s what I refer to them as in the model. These parts were accurate in the first model except for being scaled slightly wrong and not detailed as finely as I would prefer today so I knocked them out fast. One thing I found is that they do not fit flush against the stock so I created fillers to fill in the gaps instead of flattening the sides of the stock. This could be accomplished on an actually prop by filling the gaps with bondo.

Next, I moved onto the barrel of the blaster, which in reality was probably a PVC pipe slid over the Webley barrel. The funny thing is that the Webley barrel doesn’t fit inside a PVC pipe of the apparent sized used. If you want to build this as a physical prop, you will have to cut off most of the Webley barrel to make the PVC pipe fit which would be a tragic thing to do to an authentic antique weapon. Find a reproduction Webley instead. The ridges on the barrel are what really stand out on the prop to me so I wanted them to look right. The ridges are pieces of plastic T-tracks that were probably used in some type of cabinetry. No one knows exactly what they were but their profile is very close to what they were on my model. My previous version of the model only had 12 ridges around the barrel but there were actually 13 on the prop (oops!).

The most crucial part added to the prop was the 4×20 riflescope added to the top of the barrel. This is another part that is in dispute. There are many different manufacturers that created scopes based on the same specifications of the one used in the film. At first glance, second glance and even at third glance, (if there is such a thing) you may not be able to spot the difference. I found a great forum post of the subtleties in the different versions and they person whom wrote the post was able to create the best guess of which was used in the prop. Therefore, that is the one presented in my model. This is the one part I thought I would reuse from the previous model but I am glad I didn’t because it is not as good as I thought it was.

Just a small note on the scope in my first model of the blaster: I somehow got the impression that the knobs on the scope were crosshatched instead of just knurled. They are knurled and I cannot even find evidence of any that were crosshatched on the Internet. It’s just odd that I determined to make them crosshatched when now I cannot find evidence that could possibly suggest that.

Next, I added the greeblies for the sides of firing chamber. These looked awful on the other model but this time around, I took my time and used some modeling techniques I have recently learned to make them look right. I am pleased with the way they look now.

Finally, I modeled all the fasteners and screws for the Webley and the add-on parts. Now that the modeling was complete, I finalized the material colors and their names to be compatible with the simple 3D rendering software I used for the image at the top of this post.

The finished model includes many scenes to show off the details in SketchUp including one scene that shows the Webley & Scott No. 1 MKI flare pistol by itself.

Soon, I plan to make The Empire Strikes Back version of the prop, which thankfully I will not need to model the Webley again.

Blastech T-21 Light Repeating Blaster

Blastech T 21 Light Repeating Blaster

I had a lot of fun creating the DL-44 blaster model so I thought I would do another. This time it was the Blastech T-21 Light Repeating Blaster from Star Wars: A New Hope. The Sandtrooper squad leader used it tracking the droids they were “looking for”. They used it in a only few scenes and not much is known about it except for that it was a WWI Era Lewis Machine Gun with some parts added to it.

Most of the work was modeling the Lewis Gun and that is 95% of what comprises the blaster. If you simply take away the wires and connectors that I modeled and add the field mount, you have a fairly accurate model of a Lewis Gun. I use the word “fairly” because my modeling is based what I could measure from the few good photos and some old schematics I found on the web.

One difficult aspect of modeling this blaster is knowing exactly what was added to the prop to make it uniquely Star Wars. Some people have built their own replicas of these blasters but because the only source material is from screen captures, our eyes have to try to make out blurred details. The original prop simply does not exist anymore because it went back to the armorer it was rented from so there are no detailed photos of what was actually done. In addition, to complicate things even further, people have built versions of this prop based off an inaccurate version done by someone else.

One part commonly added to the top of the barrel is some half-cylinder shaped item but from the screen captures I have examined in Photoshop, the real part is a short length of coiled wire connected the barrel in some fashion. I have taken a simple approach by attaching the coiled wire with simple wire contacts and screws.

Another point of contention is the detail to the outside of the barrel. Some people see a corrugated plastic drainpipe slid over the barrel but I see a thick cord wrapped around the barrel. It looks cool either way but I am certain it is a wrapped cord.

This was another fun model to create and I plan to do more.

Blastech T-21 Light Repeating BlasterRight SideLeft SideMuzzle
ButtstockBlaster BodyBarrel DetailCoiled Wire

Han Solo’s ESB Bespin DL-44 Blaster

ESB Bespin DL-44After my last starship project was finished, I thought I would do some small and I decided on modeling a version of Han Solo’s DL-44 blaster. There were quite a few versions of the prop used in the original Star Wars Trilogy but all were German Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” semi-automatic pistol based.

I decided that I would model the version used by Han in the Bespin scenes of The Empire Strikes Back. While not as iconic as the “Greedo killer” version Han Solo uses in the Cantina scene in A New Hope; rather it is the one that he fired at Darth Vader before being disarmed. I plan to model the other versions in the future and thankfully the tough part (the Mauser) only needs modeling once because it will not change.

The parts that turn the Mauser C96 pistol into The Empire Strikes Back Bespin version are a WWII era US Army M19 Tank/Artillery gun sight, a machined bracket for the sight, a knurled nut, a custom milled flash hider and various parts from the Revell 1:4 Visual V-8 engine model kit in addition to various screws.

Right SideLeft Side ALeft Side B
MuzzleGrip EndGrip

P230-4 Inquisitor-Class Frigate image galleries posted

galleryThe image galleries for the exterior and interior of my Outer Rim Industries P230-4 Inquisitor-Class Frigate are now posted to this site and can be found on the description page for the completed model. I have also updated the image gallery for the Outer Rim Industries 210CR Fortified Blockade Runner to match the design of the new galleries.

It’s all in the name — P230-4 Inquisitor-Class Frigate

My ship is done but it has not been named —until now… I have chosen to call it:

The Outer Rim Industries P230-4 Inquisitor-Class Frigate

I am continuing with the fictional manufacturer name, Outer Rim Industries, that I used for my blockade runner. The model number, P230-4, is a reference to Psalms 23:4 which indicates that the ship is used for good and shall protect it’s passengers from evil. The class-name, Inquisitor, says it is used to gather intelligence as it’s primary role. And finally, it is a frigate because, at 265 meters, it is bigger than a corvette (blockade runner), yet smaller than a cruiser.

I will be adding the ship to the starships page shortly. It will include the spec sheet and an image gallery for the interior and exterior.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 25 – Modeling is completed!

The ship is now complete (yay!) and I am now working on a map of the interior. I have been working on this project on and off for over 4 years and I finally have a complete ship. The ship still needs a name so hopefully I come up with one. This update outlines the final work done on the model.

Here is what I have added or finished since the last update:

  • Added more escape pods
  • Created Gunner Stations
  • Finished the Torpedo Launch Room
    • Modeled the Proton Torpedoes
    • Designed the Torpedo Launchers
    • Designed a special droid to load the torpedoes
  • Somewhere along the way, I created Secondary Cargo Holds
  • Added some more detail to the exterior of the ship
  • Designed a space for the Hyperdrive Generator
    • Designed the Hyperdrive Generator
  • Created a lab for droids to operate from
    • Created an airlock and tunnel system for Astromech Droids
    • Added droid power alcoves
    • Created a worktable with robotic arms
    • Added storage rooms and workbenches
  • Created a room for auxiliary backup power storage
  • Made force fields for the landing bay doors
  • Added miscellaneous details to the hull of the ship
  • Added Refreshers
  • Overhauled the naming of components to create consistency
  • Corrected errors and stray edges

Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 24

Now that the Crew Bunk Rooms were finished I could move on to the rest of the crew quarters. I ended up creating just three types of State Rooms: One for the most senior officers (8), one for officers (8) and the last one for general crew members of the ship (64). I did one thing to the Mess Hall and the Galley that I had forgotten to do before starting on the rooms.

I discovered that a forgot to make something for collection of the dirty food trays in the Mess hall so I worked on making that first. Basically I created a wall panel with three slots that go through the wall of the Mess Hall and into a cabinet inside the Galley. There are three receptacles inside the cabinet that remove when full of dirty trays. I didn’t make anything for cleaning them but I guess there would be a droid for that. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 23

After finishing the Mess Hall and the Galley I started working on the Crew Bunk Rooms.  These rooms are intended for the flight and engineering crew but not for other personnel and senior officers who will have state rooms. There are four of these rooms for housing 48 crewmembers. The layout of the rooms had already been established and the design for the bunk pods was already done but now was time to put the rest of the design together.

Starting with what I had done already, I applied materials to the existing components including the bunk pods. I then added the standard ceiling details to the room as well as adding the floor. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Detour: Dynamic Components

detour1Halfway through working on the Mess Hall and Galley for my starship, I was given the opportunity to work with the Pro version of SketchUp for a period of time so I decided to spend it creating dynamic components for my starship project.

I had never worked on creating dynamic components before so it was a tough go at first. I didn’t seek out to do anything too fancy, just to automate doors for opening and closing with the interact tool, aim weapons, position seating, raise and lower platforms and in one case, I made one of the holoprojectors “functional”. I didn’t know what to do at first so I studied examples of basic animations and the code behind them from example models and models in the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. Continue reading