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The Rebel Blaster, DH-17 observations and options
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JimE2 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: The Rebel Blaster, DH-17 observations and options Reply with quote

Not trying to get in the middle of another discussion regarding the availability of the DH17 blasters, I thought it would be interesting to study the variations between the Hasbro Nerf DH17 and a '1:1' screen accurate Master Replicas version.

As it turns out, Studio Creations did a side by comparison, here is their result:



And after some Photoshop decomposition, it appears there are many modifications required to turn a Hasbro blaster into an actual 1:1 replica.

You can see how much needs to be changed, and that image does not even address the trigger guard. It is way out of place, too high, and the trigger is the wrong shape, and the removal of the cocking handle.

Now, if one were to recreate a resin/rubber version of this prop, it just seems like the proper thing to do is to make these modifications BEFORE making molds and casting. OR am I missing something?

This is not an interest thread, or even a possible future project for me, I'm just curious, thats all.
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JimE2 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a q&d photoshop job on the Studiocreations Hasbro vs MR blasters:



Looks like it is too short to me, in overall length, and most of that is behind the grip. Throwning off some of the other dimensions, like scope positon, grip position, etc.

As for the paint, I used Krylon chrome. It never comes out looking like chrome, so a brushed aluminum is what you get. Almost perfect.


1. The sight rail is shorter on the Hasbro.
2. Trigger guard is too small, and trigger too big. Also, the entire grip is too far forward. The back of the grip has a hump in it.
3. Biggest issue, the receiver is 1 inch too short, behind the grip, and in front of the endcap.
4. The scope is mounted too far forward, mainly due to the receiver being too short.

Also, the grip has an odd hump on the back, to accomodate the battery cover screw.

Jim
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Obey Wann (William Blackburn)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two main categories one must decide: Accuracy and Material. One must ask is if they want to go for 100% accuracy or not. And one must decide what type of material they are looking for. The costuming community has folks who are on both ends of both spectrums, and I respect that.

IMHO --and this is just a personal belief, not policy, by any means --the Hasbro Nerf is pretty darn good. It is the "standard" that folks have used for years, and while ~15% off from the MR, it still isn't bad.

If someone were to use a Hasbro Nerf as a base to make reproductions of, and do minor changes (i.e. smooth out the Star Wars logo and put a D-ring in place of the cocking handle), then it would be perfectly fine as a prop. For the non-OCD, it is a good prop, and short of breaking out a tape measure, or a side-by side comparison, it does a good job of looking like the prop from the movies.

Simply stated, if Hasbro still had the Nerf on the market, that would be what practically everyone would be using. It required very few modifications, plus a little bit of paint, and this was ready for trooping with a day's worth of work.

Regarding materials:

Vaccuformed shell or ultra-light weight foam: I think this would be a great option for a "holster queen" blaster that is uber-light, but doesn't get pulled out much.

Hyperfirm: These are great for those that both have the money and want to show it off more. I personally wouldn't use one of these in a holster much, but it would be lighter than rubber or resin.

Resin: This is typically the standard material used for details and whatnot, but you run into the danger of it shattering if dropped. Maybe there are better materials out there that can handle the drops, but I have bad memories of watching a fellow trooper's E-11 upgrades shattering when it was knocked off a table. It was heartbreaking to see that break like that. Thank God it wasn't that expensive to replace, but it taught me a lesson about the dangers of resin props.

Rubber or foam: After looking at Smooth-on's website, I have seen some products that look like they might work. But I currently lack the funds to experiment with these myself. I want to try my hand with these, but I'm several months away from testing them personally. Sad But from what I have seen on their site, there seems to be a possibility that they could work for our purposes. They seem like they could handle the rigors of trooping, including unexpected drops.


...Now, all that said, I would expect that if someone were to go through all the effort to mod a Nerf to 100% accuracy, or use a rather expensive MR as a base, or make a base on their own --and make it as close to 100% accurate as possible, then they would be well within their rights to charge a premium on the product.

The beautiful thing is that this is a free market. I think it's possible for there to be multiple suppliers, and multiple grades of accuracy and cost. When I did my poll, I was checking to see if there would be an interest in a relatively cheap and light DH-17, similar to a Cushman. There was some interest. Likewise, there was some interest in a purely Hyperfirm style of ultra-accurate, light foam rubber one. And there was a lot of interest in a resin/rubber one.

And that's purely on the Rebel Legion side of things. There are at least 8 total costume types --4 Rebel and 4 Imperial --that can carry this. So... for any "makers" out there, there should be plenty of opportunity to recoup start up and material costs once these are made available to both Legions.

Quote:
- RFT
- Hoth Trooper
- Endor Trooper
- X-Wing (and other) pilots
- Imperial Crewman
- Imperial Officer
- Imperial Navy Trooper
- Imperial Gunner



One final thing to remember --the heavier it is, the less you want to holster it and walk a full parade with it.

Different costumes have different needs. For my ERT and HRT, I'm personally looking for the lightest pistol I can get so I can holster it and leave it while I carry a BFG. (And I will gladly purchase one from whomever makes it.) I deeply regret selling my Nerf, because that was pretty light and could have done the trick. I would not want to walk a parade with a heavy, solid resin blaster strapped to my leg. But if I were trooping as another costume that would have the blaster out more often than not, I'd want a blaster that is more accurate --and sturdy.

So for anyone interested in making a DH-17: Please do so. There are plenty of people out there who could use them. We can use them in various grades, weights and levels of detail. And since Hasbro has chosen to not sell these anymore, folks who can't make them on their own (for whatever reason) are waiting on others to produce them.
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JimE2 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good points. Thanks for expressing them!

I think for me, a way to do this right would first make a direct cast from the Hasbro version, minus the cocking handle. Then chop that resin copy into the needed donor parts. Scope, rail, end cap, etc. Then, cast a second version to rebuild it all on. Then, bondo, sand etc, and add details until it was 100% accurate. THEN make a new set of molds.

One thing that bothers me is if you look at the available recasts from the film used prop, the trigger guard is bizarro.



from this link: http://www.therpf.com/f9/anh-rebel-dh-17-blaster-wip-3796/

Is that a detail that should be attempted, or modify to be more like the E-11s?
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Obey Wann (William Blackburn)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not like the huge trigger guard. It looks like crap, IMHO.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me either, but that is what was used on film. I think I would have to idealize that one feature.
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Luke Warmwater (Clark Oliver)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own both a Nerf DH17 and an MR as well as a cast from the original mold. Neither the nerf or the MR are the same dimensions as the original prop, nor do they have the pronounced muzzle droop that caused the RFTs to be so ineffective. Laughing

The Nerf gun is an inch shorter than the screenused prop but the barrel is the same diameter is the MR.

The MR was designed to be an idealized prop and it's great in that regard (but heavy!). It is an inch longer than the screenused props and the barrel is thicker.

So you have to ask yourself? What do you want?

Idealized, pretty: MR

Trooping quality, light: Nerf

Screen accurate: Bizarro triggerguard.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

all good points. I guess if I were to put a wish list together, it would be basically a trooping version of the MR, lightweight but strong. The trigger guard on the screen used ones is not my cup of tea.
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Schph Gochi (Phyllis Schulte)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will go on record as saying that I have been happy with my Hasbro blaster overall...
Where it is always desireable to have as close to screen accurate as possible, we all know that the public generally doesn't care.....
it is the desire of the wearer themselves.

I have used my Hasbro in probably 50 troops and no one in the public sector has ever said..."hey..that is undersized" or "hey...that is a Habro"...lol...
often times people ask...where can I get one of those...I used to be able to tell them to just buy a Hasbro.

Reflecting back on the last 5 years...the affordable availablilty of the Hasbro blaster and your own affordable RFT helmets Jim have been the two greatest "finds" and the reason that we finally got a lot of people into the RFT costume.

So, the reality is screen accuracy is GREAT...
but most of the time..
AFFORDABILITY is better....

In case anyone missed this information posted in the other thread...

this is a comparison of JediDad's custom made blaster and the Hasbro. Before the Hasbro blaster came out...JediDad did his awesome construct and offered some of these blasters for sale. Before Hasbro...JediDad's and Master Replica was pretty much your options other than building one yourself from scratch....there are many RFT's who do have JediDad's blasters.






As noted in the other thread...
the JediDad blaster comes in at an overall length of 17 3/4"
and the Hasbro at 15 1/2"
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JimE2 ()
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good points. Just seems kinda weird to go through the effort of making a replica, and NOT correct as many flaws, but I see where you are coming from. Certainly easier to NOT make these mods. Hmmm...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll chime in and agree with Phyllis...

Affordability and weight are probably the top 2 things that I can think of --for mass-market blasters.

That said, if anyone were to offer a top-of-the-line quality blaster that is accurate... and made from premium materials, I'm sure that it would sell as well. There always seems to be consistent sales of Hyperfirm blasters...

But when you consider that the RFT (and Imperial Crew) are touted as affordable options to new costumers, it would make sense to provide an entry-level blaster. Especially in these tougher economic times.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that's what I will try to do... Make a more accurate one than the Hasbro version, but fairly lightweight, durable and cheap. That's a pretty tall order But that's what I think I want to try. Now, cost wise, what is a fair price say, for essentially a rubber like resin version?
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Grey Jedi (Donna Keeley)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the Hasbro ones sold for upwards of $60 (un-modded) on e-Bay even when people could still buy them at Target for $30. So obviously people are willing to pay that much to get one.

I honestly don't think too many people would be able to afford a hyperfirm one for $100+. We Rebels aren't as "rich" as the Imperials. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not completely true. I spent about $100 on my DC-15 short (bought 2 over the years), and longer rifles can go for considerably more -- $250+.

There are also plenty of Hyperfirm E-11s are out there, and this is a universal blaster, even more than a E-11. Even if Jim doesn't sell many to Rebels, there are plenty of Imperials out there (and others with higher budgets) who do pay for the quality.

Just saying that it seems like there is plenty of a market out there, all it would take is putting up an interest or sales thread at the OIC, main 501st boards, etc.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed....I have suffered a stroke or two when some of my fellow MWG members have told me what they paid for their Hyperfirm blasters and rifles...

Usually a splash of cold water brings me back around...
eventually

Very Happy

I would like to see if one could keep the costs to about $60.00...if that is possible...
since I am really not a prop maker....I am clueless...
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