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 Post subject: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:00 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
I've gotten some questions lately about E-11 blasters: What's good, what's not good. etc. So, like my Stormtrooper Armor buyer's guide, I thought I'd post more info on E-11 blasters so you can be a more-informed buyer.

<B>Background</b><br>
For those who may not know, the E-11 Stormtrooper blaster was built on the British Sterling L2A3 submachine gun.<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/sterling01.jpg" width="300">
<br>
As you can see, the gun already looks like an E-11. Like the lightsabers (and a lot of other props from the OT) just a few small parts were added on to create every TK's favorite weapon.

The most obvious add-on was the scope. The scope was a found item, and was mounted on top of the blaster on a rail. Different blasters seem to have had different widths of scope rails, ranging from about 1/2" to 1" wide. There were two variations of british WWII-era azimuth-finding scopes used. MOST of the ANH blasters had the M-38 scope added on.<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/M38scope.jpg" width="300">
<br>
Some blasters in ANH (and most in TESB) had M-19 scopes, the same scope used on Han and Luke's ESB blasters:<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/m19tele.jpg" width="300">
<br>
On the barrel of the gun, six "cooling fins" were added, made from the same item/material that the lightsaber grips were made from. It was once thought that these were made from windshield wipers, but that's not the case. It's now believed that these were metal "t-track" from sliding cabinet doors. Many people still use rubber though, as it's easier to find/bend/cut. More on this later.

Many of the E-11s had an electro-mechanical counter made by Hengstler added to the left (as holding the blaster) side. (Pic borrowed from partsofsw.com)
<img src="http://www.partsofsw.com/images/hengsA.jpg"><br>
In addition, many blasters had two "power cylinders" added on top of the magazine well. The source of these parts have yet to be identified.

Finally, the Magazine itself was cut-down in length. And basically, that's it.

One thing to note: In ROTJ, the blasters were built on a REPLICA sterling from MGC. There were some differences including a different "nozel" on the front of the gun. In addition, u-shaped channel was added for the cooling fins, and a completely different scope setup was used. It's personal opinion, but I think the ROTJ blasters were UGLY compared to the ANH/ESB blasters.
<b>Prop Options</b>
There are quite a few different options available. The differences lie in the details, accuracy, and cost involved. I'll try to outline some of those differences here.

<b>OPTION 1: Hasbro/Kenner E-11 Blasters</b><br>
In 1978 Kenner released their "Star Wars 3 Position Laser Rifle". It featured a buzzing noise when you pulled the trigger, and a laser effect in the barrel created by a rotating tube with a yellow "candy-cane" stripe painted on it. The cool thing is that it featured a folding stock (like the real sterling) that WORKED! You can still find these on ebay occasionally, but they <i>can</i> be expensive. But once in a while, a deal will pop up.<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/3position_laser.jpg" width="300">
<br>
Hasbro has continued to use the same mold to this very day. However, they don't include the folding stock. Why is beyond me, it makes such a difference in the accuracy/appearance of the blaster.
<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/AUTOIMAGESHS87827lg.jpg" width="300"><br>
<br>
The Hasbro can be a nice starting piece. The unfortunate thing is that overall, the Kenner/Hasbro blaster is very inaccurate. It's too small, the scope is wrong, the "counter" on the left side is wrong, there isn't a magazine on it, the nozel and tailcap are wrong, the grip is too small for many adults, and the cooling fins are in the wrong positions. And, kids recognize it as a toy because it's "just like the one I have at home".
<br>
I may get stoned for saying this, but I've never understood spending hundreds of dollars on armor so you can look your best, and then buying a $20.00 toy blaster.
<br>
There are conversion kits available to bring up the accuracy of a Hasbro (check ebay).They're comprised of resin-cast "glue-on" parts such as a folding stock and magazine. They can make a hasbro look MUCH better. However, buy the time you buy a Hasbro and a $50-$75 conversion kit, you're getting close to the cost of some more-accurate options.
<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/jolly5.jpg" width="300"><br>

<b>Hasbro Blaster PROS</b>
<li>Inexpensive</li>
<li>Light-weight</li>
<li>Easily Obtainable</li>
<li>Sound Effects</li>
<b>Hasbro Blaster CONS</b>
<li>Too Small</li>
<li>Inaccurate</li>
<li>Looks like a toy</li>

<b>Option 2: Master Replicas E-11</b><br>
Oh my goodness. I've held one of these bad-boys and let me tell you, they're GORGEOUS. Master Replicas did an amazing job with this piece. It's nearly all metal, and very accurate. It's an "idealized" version of an ANH blaster. It doesn't have the counter or power cylinders, but the scope is beautiful (with a cool targeting graphic inlayed) and the blaster is put together very well. (image borrowed from rebelscum.com)<br>
<img src="http://www.rebelscum.com/mr/mr-anhstormblaster06.jpg" width="300"><br>
<i>Rebelscum.com has more pics <a href="http://www.rebelscum.com/mrstormblaster.asp" target="_blank">HERE</a></i><br>
<br>
The unfortunate thing (in regards to trooping) about this blaster is that it's HEAVY! In order to meet BATF requirements, Master Replicas was required to produce this blaster with a SOLID metal barrel, which makes it heavier than the real gun. It weighs in at about 10 pounds! Troop with this for a day, and you'll have forearms like Popeye! It's a BEAUTIFUL collector's piece, but I wouldn't really recommend it for trooping. I was also disappointed to find out that the folding stock is fixed in position. Although we never see it unfold in the films, wouldn't that be COOL?!

<b>Master Replicas E-11 PROS</b><br>
<li>Gorgeous Reproduction</li>
<li>Quality Construction</li>
<li>Accurate</li>
<b>Master Replicas E-11 CONS</b><br>
<li>HEAVY!</li>
<li>Expensive (about $500)</li>
<li>NO moving parts</li>
<li>Did I mention HEAVY!</li>

<b>Option 3: Build Your Own</b><br>
For the cost of a Hasbro, you can build your own E-11 from scratch and have a MUCH more accurate piece. There are a few ways to go about it, but your first stop should be the <a href="http://www.imperial-fleet.com/BBC/" target="_blank">PVC Blaster Builder's Club</a>. They have templates you can download to construct each and every part. You then assemble the blaster on a piece of PVC pipe.
<br>
I've built SEVERAL E-11s, and I'd like to offer some advice. First, pay attention to the details and dimensions. Nothing can throw off a great looking blaster faster than a wrong dimension. Having a scope that's wrong, or having a blaster that's the wrong length, or an incorrectly sized grip, etc can make the blaster look funky in a hurry. Utilize the reference pics at the bottom of this post, as well as the images of the Master Replicas E-11 at rebelscum.com (linked above) as you put your blaster together. Also, if you're going to build your own, it will save you a LOT of time and effort, and improve the accuracy and appearance of your blaster, if you pick up a few resin-cast parts. There are several sources out there. The last I checked, Jim (tk560) at http://www.tk560.com still offers some very nice pieces. Oh yeah, I also offer resin-cast sterling parts, cast directly from real gun parts.

With a little work, you can build yourself a VERY nice E-11. Here's a pic of TK560's work:<br>
<img src="http://www.tk560.com/blasters4/blasters4-Images/11.jpg" width="300">
And one of mine:<br>
<img src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/new%20E-11%20kits/IM000906.jpg" width="300">

<B>Build-your-own PROS</b><br>
<li>Inexpensive</li>
<li>Accurate (if you make it so)</li>
<li>Fun to build</li>
<li>Lightweight</li>
<li>With a resin kit, doesn't cost much more than a hasbro with a conversion kit</li>

<b>Build-your-own CONS</b><br>
<li>Takes Time</li>
<li>Depending on materials, may not be as durable</li>
<li>Requires some skills and tools, especially if not using resin parts</li>

<b>Option 4: Hyperfirm E-11</b><br>
Ahhh... the hyperfirm. The holy grail of trooping E-11s. Honestly folks, if you have the $, this is the way to go. These blasters are molded from a REAL, converted Sterling. They're molded in a durable, light-weight RUBBER, like the rubber guns used in self-defense classes. They're virtually indestructible, and look AMAZING! (image borrowed from http://www.sci-fire.com).<br>
<a href="http://www.sci-fire.com/Images/E11%20ANH%2001.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.sci-fire.com/Images/E11%20ANH%2001.jpg" width="300"> </a><br><i>Click on the pic to witness the full beauty of this piece</i>

<b>Hyperfirm E-11 PROS</b><br>
<li>Awesome</li>
<li>Durable</li>
<li>Lightweight</li>
<li>Accurate (cast from a real sterling)</li>
<li>Also offered in a ROTJ version</li>

<b>Hyperfirm E-11 CONS</b><br>
<li>Scope Rail isn't accurate</li>
<li>no moving parts</li>
<li>Barrel Cooling Holes are filled in</li>
<li>A bit pricey (approx $200-$250)

Even if you're not interested in purchasing a hyperfirm, you should visit sci-fire.com and check out their work. Besides, their website has really cool background music!

<b>Option 5: Resin-Cast E-11</b><br>
Buying a resin-cast E-11 can be a quick, fast way to get an accurate blaster. Most fan-produced resin-casts are based on a real Sterling and are fairly accurate. Unfortunately, it's hard to come up with a pic of a resin-cast blaster, as it's often hard to tell if it's 100% resin-cast. If you're looking for a resin-cast, check ebay.

<b>Resin-cast E-11 PROS</b><br>
<li>Accurate</li>
<li>Less Expensive (approx $100-$150)</li>
<li>Often, no construction required</li>

<b>Resin-Cast E-11 Cons</b><br>
<li>No Moving Parts</li>
<li>Can be Brittle</li>
<li>If not cast correctly, can warp while curing</li>
<li>Many details, like barrel cooling holes, will be filled in</li>

So those are the basic options. When making your decision, keep these things in mind:<br>
<li>Accuracy</li>
<li>Cost</li>
<li>Weight</li>
<li>Durability</li>
<li>Build difficulty (if applicable) vs. your own skills</li>

When we trooped the Museum of the Rockies exibit in Montana last summer, ondiv took some great pics of a screen-used E-11. Lighting wasn't great, but I've tried to lighten up some of those pics. <a href="http://s25.photobucket.com/albums/c100/jedi5150/props/sterling/screen-used/" target="_blank">Here are some of them which are great for reference:</a>


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:03 pm 
Retired Alpine Garrison Member
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Sandtrooper Master

Joined: October 29, 2005
Posts: 1377
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Hay Doug, here's another option for E-11's.

Check out the SDS E-11.

150 pounds to usd equals about $240. Not too bad.

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 5:22 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
Cooool....

Hmmm, I wonder if LFL will try to C&D Shepperton for that like they did the TK armor.....

Nice blaster. It might not be legal in the US though, unless they plug the barrel or paint the tip orange, it probably won't get through customs. It's nice though!


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 5:44 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Stormtrooper Master

Joined: April 7, 2003
Posts: 2142
Location: Preston, ID
Age: 47
If you go to the SDS website, it seems that he is offering LOTS of stuff, including armor. I really want to see one of his pilot helmets. It seems they come unpainted, and for the near 500 american dollars that it costs, it doesn't seem to be that good of a bargin except for the fact that it is made from the "actual" molds.

TK1970 - Shane

"I can see your shwartz is as big as mine!"
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Cadet

Joined: May 29, 2009
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What about the pros and cons of a complete resin kit?

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I was not placed above the grass of this ever fading earth for a standing ovation.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:02 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Joined: March 15, 2004
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nothingrecorded wrote:
What about the pros and cons of a complete resin kit?

Image


Here is the info listed in the first post:

jedi5150 wrote:

<b>Option 5: Resin-Cast E-11</b><br>
Buying a resin-cast E-11 can be a quick, fast way to get an accurate blaster. Most fan-produced resin-casts are based on a real Sterling and are fairly accurate. Unfortunately, it's hard to come up with a pic of a resin-cast blaster, as it's often hard to tell if it's 100% resin-cast. If you're looking for a resin-cast, check ebay.

<b>Resin-cast E-11 PROS</b><br>
<li>Accurate</li>
<li>Less Expensive (approx $100-$150)</li>
<li>Often, no construction required</li>

<b>Resin-Cast E-11 Cons</b><br>
<li>No Moving Parts</li>
<li>Can be Brittle</li>
<li>If not cast correctly, can warp while curing</li>
<li>Many details, like barrel cooling holes, will be filled in


I think he was talking about complete resin casts here, though I could be wrong.

TB-7567

I find your lack of faith disturbing

Duct Tape...the Force it is like. Both a light side and a dark side it has. Binds the universe together it does!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:14 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
Ross is right. 100% resin-cast kit or 100% resin-cast completed blaster, the pros and cons are the same.

An additional thought: I think the biggest pro for a full-resin kit would be easy of assembly. The #1 con would be that if the main portion of the gun is solid resin, it could be heavy. And, if not re-enforced with a metal armature inside (adding to the weight) if you drop it, it very well could break completely in half :(


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 Post subject: Blaster Kits
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Location: Pocatello, Idaho
I would like to add my sense into this subject since I have purchased one of these blaster kits from ebay and I dont know if they are all the same, but if your new to this and have never built one of these before from scatch, the directions that came with mine were terrible. One page with 3 sections really is not enough information to show you what goes where, and what materials you should use to hold parts together, no painting tips at all. In fact Im not happy with the kit once I got it together. So time for me to do the actual metal type as oppose to that resin pvc one i got

Seek not to know the Answer; but to understand the Question...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:34 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
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Age: 47
No, the kits aren't all the same. There are numerous kits out there. As with any purchase on ebay, it's critical to check the seller's feedback before you make a purchase.

On a related note, It's important to keep in mind that none of these kits are manufactured by large companies. They're all fan-produced, mostly by people who are doing it in their spare time, as not much more than a hobby that brings in a little extra $. That can be good and bad. It's good because the price is lower, but bad because details like instructions are often minimal. Most of the resin kit suppliers on ebay (blasters, lightsaber hilts, or other props) kind of assume you're familiar with the prop you're buying a kit for, as well as familiar with the building/modeling skills required to put it together. Quite often, assembling a kit will require you do to some research viewing photos etc of the prop you're working to build up.

A great, "no assembly required" option is the hyperfirm blaster from sci-fire.com. Ask Splattum about his: It's AWESOME!


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 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:54 pm 
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Special Operations Grand Master

Joined: October 31, 2008
Posts: 3304
Location: Bountiful, UT
I know this thread has been dead for a while but a question has recently come up that I can't answer and I was wondering if anybody had the information.

I have an old friend (his name is Derek) who recently sent me a message:

Quote:
"I have an actual sterling gun that has been de-milled so wont fire. I even have the original counter that was put on them to dress them up for troopers but it has not been painted or assembled. I also have several broom handle guns with the parts to make a Han Solo but have no idea what they are worth or if anyone would even want one."

I'm mostly concerned with the question about the Sterling. Is it a rare find? Is it worth anything (how much? (ball park estimate))but if anybody knows about the Han Solo blaster I'd be interested in knowing that information as well. He tells me that he Han guns are built around Denix Mausers.

He said he'll send me some pictures so I'll post them if he follows through on that.

Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:15 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Special Operations Grand Master

Joined: October 31, 2008
Posts: 3304
Location: Bountiful, UT
Here are the photos. He's looking to sell but right now he just wants to know what a fair price would be. If he asks me to help sell them I'll either start new threads about the Sterling, the Han Blasters, and the Lightsaber Hilts in the Cargo Hold or I'll ask an admin to move the threads and we'll talk price over there.

Here is a top shot. Hengstler counter, cable, real scope, unaltered magazine, and non firing but operable sterling.
Image

Image

Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:11 pm 
Timberline Garrison
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Sandtrooper Master

Joined: July 16, 2003
Posts: 4775
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Age: 47
Adam,
I replied to your PM, but since I'm a firm believer in sharing information, I'm going to post it here too:

It's all crap. I'll give him $50.00 for the whole thing.... ;) j/k

Wow, way to make me drool. That sterling is VERY nice. That would be a great start to a beautiful E-11 replica. He'd need the t-track on the barrel and a scope rail, but it could be gorgeous. As for pricing on it, it's been a while since I've priced actual demilled sterlings, but a guess would be in the $300-400 range just for the sterling. You can buy the parts kits for about $150, but having it all re-assembled like that really bumps up the price. And if it's the correct counter (can't tell from this photo) it's worth $50 or so by itself. The trick with this is selling it. Ebay gets cranky (even though it's been demilled) so the best place would be to a 501st member or the RPF... or he could just give it to me ;)


*EDIT*
The scope doesn't appear to be the correct model scope. It looks like it's an M38A2 scope, which is CLOSE, but not exact. That will impact the value of the scope significantly. You can see pics of all of the real scopes used here: http://www.partsofsw.com/e11guide.htm
*END EDIT*


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 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Looks like it's been a while since anyone posted here, but does anybody have any advice / input on an EIB E-11 Blaster?

It appears these are going for quite a bit on eBay as well as pretty much anywhere else around. I am trying to find one that I don't have to put a ton of effort into given my limited crafty experience, however if the only method to doing this cost effectively is to build one out of a doopydoos I guess that's what i'll have to do.

Has anyone found a good inexpensive source for the blaster or have any tips on someone who has a good one for sale that they're no longer using?

I've talked to Vern on the FISD forum and he had quoted a complete resin blaster with metal sight rail + fitted holster for about $230 , but I don't want to just have one option on the table.


Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:02 pm 
Alpine Garrison Member
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Stormtrooper 1st Class

Joined: September 19, 2011
Posts: 417
Location: Orem
Punkers wrote:
Looks like it's been a while since anyone posted here, but does anybody have any advice / input on an EIB E-11 Blaster?

It appears these are going for quite a bit on eBay as well as pretty much anywhere else around. I am trying to find one that I don't have to put a ton of effort into given my limited crafty experience, however if the only method to doing this cost effectively is to build one out of a doopydoos I guess that's what i'll have to do.

Has anyone found a good inexpensive source for the blaster or have any tips on someone who has a good one for sale that they're no longer using?

I've talked to Vern on the FISD forum and he had quoted a complete resin blaster with metal sight rail + fitted holster for about $230 , but I don't want to just have one option on the table.


Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


It depends on how screen accurate you want. A Hasbro blaster is always a inexpensive option that comes with lights & sound. There are some resin kits out there with cast sterling pieces that you can add to the blaster that will make it look more movie like. With a little bit of work, paint and some effort you can have a good looking blaster the won't brake the bank, look good and one you won't worry to much about people(kids) handling. It what I use. Let me know your interest and I can get you pointed in the right direction and would be willing to help out on a build.

Seth "TK-8044"

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster Buyer's Guide
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:15 pm 
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Special Operations Grand Master

Joined: October 31, 2008
Posts: 3304
Location: Bountiful, UT
If I'm not mistaken (and that's NEVER a guarantee) the blaster is part of the costume but not part of the armor (if that makes sense). I think there's a base standard for TK's and the blaster doesn't have to be overly accurate unless you're going for 'Expert Infantry' or 'Centurion' status on the FISD boards. I bought an expensive Hyperfirm before I really knew that. Having said that, I love what I have but I might have gone a cheaper option if I'd known then what I know now.

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