Budget Boba Fett ESB sidearm scratch build

Azrok

Active Hunter
Here is my budget Boba Fett ESB sidearm build. I'm posting it on TheDentedHelmet.com and TheRPF.com, so apologies if anyone has to suffer through it twice.

So earlier this summer, I had been geeking out pretty hard on Boba Fett's sidearm blaster, as barely seen in The Empire Strikes Back, as well as some sweet-looking fanmade replicas on TDH that are based on found items. I'd really like to buy either one of those, but neither version is currently in my budget.

One day, I was at a thrift store, and saw a watergun with handgrip kind of sort of somewhat similar to the one on the sidearm/found item. I got the wacky idea that it would be fun to try and build a budget homemade Boba Fett ESB sidearm from the watergun. So, I invested the 99 cents into the gun.
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I cannot measure, draw, cut, sand, or paint in a straight line to save my life. But I try a lot. I absolutely know that if I touch a project, I am going to screw it up by over-doing one of the above actions, or something else. That's just how it goes. Despite knowing that each time, I begin each new project certain that it will be the first one that goes right, the gates of Heaven will open with trumpets blaring and The Knowledge of Building will be given to me with the touch of a heavenly finger on my forehead or something. It's crazy. ("Oh, I'll just bend this hard-to-find key component a little and it will fit perfectly..." *breaks* "Noooooo! Not again!!!")

So, with my new 99-cent Goodwill watergun, I decided to set the rules of a build challenge for myself. Basically: In addition to the watergun, to use only materials that I already had, don't buy anything else. I knew I had a fair amount of odds and ends from various other projects that could work, and could figure the rest out along the way. I printed a small couple of reference photos from TDH threads and reference library, eBay listings, and Google - all either real found items or fanmade replicas. I believe the fanmade ones were MojoFett and Spideyfett's (man, both of theirs were sweeeet!!).

Okay, let's get started. First step, cut the grip off of watergun:
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Next, cut a piece of PVC pipe for the back half
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Then cut out the open area. I didn't know how to measure this, so I winged it and made the cuts on a bandsaw by eyeballing it. I think I nicked a corner, which was so disappointing, but will fit in with that Star Wars "used universe" beat-up weathering I love so much.
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Here's the direction it's headed, slide a smaller piece of PVC pipe cut to guessed barrel length inside the larger-diameter cutout piece.
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And placed inside to see how it will look. Because things that look like guns are cool. Fezzes are cool, too.
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Thought the barrel was a little bit too long, so cut it down just a bit
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Needed a thick round end cap for the butt end of the cut-out piece. Stood the PVC cut-out piece on a old thick plastic tray I'd bought at the thrift store a long time ago as a flat surface to make molds on or something. Traced a circle around the cut-out piece.
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I cut out a piece much larger and rougher than what I traced around the PVC. I think it was almost square, actually. Then I just shaped it by holding it and running it over the belt sander until I got a decent circle shape along the traced marker line.
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Repeated the process for the front end of the smaller PVC piece, which will make up the main barrel.
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Glued them on with E6000
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Another test fit just for fun
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Hmmm, what did I have around that could make the smaller tip which comes out of the main barrel? Decided to nip a piece of an aluminum tube that was destined for a Tusken Rifle, along with a smaller dowel rod.
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Here I'm just holding the pieces stacked on top of each other, to see what a profile view would look like. The little green piece is cut from the scope thingy that I cut off of the watergun. I got a big kick out of being able to use another piece of the 99-cent watergun in the build.
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more to come, breaking up the posts...
 

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Azrok

Active Hunter
...and, we're back.

Drilled a hole in the primary barrel's cap, then widened the hole
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The dowel will insert through the green ring (now drilled out as well), and into the barrel.
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Cut a piece off of the aluminum tube
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Here we go
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and sanded here and there for a fit and glued together
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At this point, my build was disrupted when a Mynock flew into my garage. Well, at least it was as big as one, and it flew about as straight as a drunken one-eyed kamikaze pilot on fire. If my neighbors tell you they heard crashes and girlish yelps coming from my garage that night, pay no mind to their outlandish, fanciful stories.
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Eventually, only one of us was left standing, and it wasn't the Mynock. On with the build.

I drilled holes through the top of the back end of the inner barrel (smaller PVC piece), and the dowel rod, for holding the dowel rod in place at the back end.
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On the front end of the dowel, drilled a few holes in more or less a line
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...

...until I could work a file in there and smooth it out
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Put all the barrel assembly together
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Now needed to add the final barrel tip pieces. I used a hairspray cap (the clear piece), and a drink cap (a Diet Mountain Dew, ughh!. I had tried for a while to switch to the unleaded fuel, didn't work out.) Drilled hole in the bottle cap, widened it, slide the hairspray cap through it.
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Finally got around to actually gluing the watergun handgrip to the larger PVC piece
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Here's how it looks as of this post, hope to get to it some more this weekend.
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RafalFett

Well-Known Hunter
What an awesome build... so far! All the parts for the sidearm have been chosen intelligently and the assembly is easy and self explanatory! Excellent!
 

Fett 4 Real

Sr Hunter
So before I make my comment I make a disclaimer Im a stickler and am pretty blunt but I only aim to help....




With that being said, very cool build idea there and look forward to seeing it done. The barrel on the Pulce is an Oval I was thinking you MIGHT want to try and heat the PVC to get the shape and cool it off when its oval to keep the shape? Just an idea.
 

thebeans

Hunter
I'm liking this a lot , it's just what i had in mind for a scratch build sidearm, very nice work.
looking forward to seeing this finished.
 

Azrok

Active Hunter
...The barrel on the Pulce is an Oval I was thinking you MIGHT want to try and heat the PVC to get the shape and cool it off when its oval to keep the shape? Just an idea.

Thanks for the constructive tip, I never knew that about the shape of the Pulce barrel. I either couldn't tell in the reference photos I've been using (most of the ones I printed were simple left-right or right-left profile shots), or I missed it. Other than the profile shots, I was mostly looking at the back section that is cut-out and has the grip attached, for trying to figure out the shape to cut out.

I have also strongly suspected that on the real Technisubs, the section I replicated by drilling/filing a slot through the dowel was different as well, but again was going the broadside photos and don't recall other angles.

That's cool, thanks again for sharing. I get a big kick out of still being able to learn something new about the original Star Wars films & props after all this time.
 

NoahFett

Jr Hunter
Awesome! And I lol'd when I read your Mynock story:D Makes me want to work harder on my Fett. Also, not to sound corny, but this seems like the epitome of TDH.
 

Azrok

Active Hunter
Awesome! And I lol'd when I read your Mynock story:D Makes me want to work harder on my Fett. Also, not to sound corny, but this seems like the epitome of TDH.

Thank you NoahFett and everyone for the kind words and tips, they're all sincerely appreciated and very motivating. TDH to me is all about sharing and learning!
 
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