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.

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