Space 1999 Eagle Transporter Forum


Go Back   Space 1999 Eagle Transporter Forum > Deep Space Tracking Station > Breakaway > Blakes 7

Notices

SPONSORED BY
&

Reply Bookmark and Share
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-10-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
Exterminator
Deputy Commander
 
Exterminator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, where it never rains (ish)
Posts: 869
Default B7 Liberator gun refurb

Time for a little story. About four or so years ago, I bought this replica Liberator gun off eBay:



It had an old bike handlebar grip for a handle, and the ribbed "barrel" section was made from some sort of plastic drinks bottle, but I thought it would be useable, and I put it in the Storage Dungeon at Exterminator Towers ... and then forgot about it!!

Moving forward to about one and a half years ago, I was approached by a Horizon member who was after a Liberator gun. I remembered the gun I'd bought and set about doing a bit of restoration and replacment of bits:



... then some other stuff cropped up (building one and a half TARDISes for exhibitions, etc.) and I forgot about it again ... !!

Between forgetting about this gun the first and second time, I had bought ANOTHER replica Liberator gun off eBay. This one is cast in resin (the "barrel" is also cast in clear resin), but it didn't come with the holster and battery pack pouch. The surface of the resin (especially around the handgrip) has lots of tiny air bubbles over it. Luckily they're only on the surface, if they were all through the resin it would make the piece very fragile. Here's a side-by-side shot of the two of them:



My "customer" jogged my memory, so I got the two guns out of storage. The original one I'd started on looks rather short and fat in comparison, so I abandoned work on it and have now started work repairing and upgrading the resin one. Here we go!!

One interesting thing to note - the thumbguard is also made of resin, and is part of the casting! That was also rather "bubbly", and a thin bit of resin sticking up like it does is just asking to have lumps chipped out of it. Only one thing to do - having stripped the gun down, I ground the whole lot off!!



I also filled in as many of the air bubbles as I could with P38 filler.

To replace the thumb guard, I cut a piece off an EMA tube I had lying around, with a suitable size "tongue", which I heated with a heat gun and carefully bent up to the right position.



Another thing that had to go was the big square push button. This was replaced (after much drilling out of the hole it sat in) with the button that was used on the original props - a Friedland Model D642 non-illuminated clear bell-push (also used on the Federation rifles, to fire the flash charges). These are still readily available today - have a look here. Here's a closer view:



I did a quick test of the lighting circuit, as I'd hate to find out it didn't work once re-fitted!!



There is an extra strip of plastic on the underneath of the band on the original props, so I made that, and also added the correct screws in the right places - three slotted screws on the underside strip, a slotted screw on either side of the main band (towards the rear) and a black "philips" screw countersunk into the top, just in front of the thumb guard:



And again, a slightly closer view:



The final job was to re-drill the holes for the handle socket, so the two lugs were level with the horizontal:



It feels nice and solid. Everything was then dismantled and given a couple of coats of filler-primer - the body:



... and the bits:



While the primer was setting, I started work on the holster, a couple of bits of EMA tube and a hemisphere for the main part:



I had to glue a thin strip of ABS around the inside of the top part and then grind it back, so the gun sits in snugly and does not rattle around. Once this was done, I could join the two main bits together:



Now, a really important test. In the series, whenever the guns are drawn or holstered, they make "The Noise", a sort of hollow "clonk" ... oh, you know what I mean!! Everything was loosely assembled and the test commenced ...

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE TEST:



Well, I'm happy with that!!

With the primer dry, I masked the clear section up and gave all the pieces a couple of coats of gloss black acrylic:



I'll leave them for at least three of four days before I even touch them so the paint is hardened off, I'd hate to leave fingerprints!!

Something I've noticed is that there are two distinct versions of the holster:

Version 1 appears throughout the first series and in "Redemption" and "Shadow" in Series 2. the leather parts are a beige/oatmeal colour, and it has a thin strap with a popper on the end, which goes over the domed part of the holstered gun to keep it in place. This doesn't seem to get used much, and can often be seen dangling!!

Version 2 appears from "Weapon" onwards and the leather is dark tan, it doesn't have the gun-retaining strap, and the part that wraps around the widest part of the holster looks like part of a belt with fine white stitching along both edges.

I am building the second version. I've got the leather and most of the other bits I require (just a belt to get). I have also bought some white leathercloth, and I'll be using this to practice on first, as it's considerably less expensive to mess up than leather!!

I had a good look around the shops, and I found a belt that is about the correct colour and width for the middle of the holster.



The plastic part of the holster has been done, so I have been working on the leather "harness". First step, a paper version, for getting the hang of measurements and proportions:



This was then removed ...



... and a "practice" version made from the white leathercloth I'd bought previously:



The final stage before committing to real leather was to do a full test-fit with a waste section of the belt I am using.



I was happy with that, so time to repeat what I just did, but with the real thing. I stuck masking tape on the piece of leather I was using, spray-glued my template and stuck it on the masking tape:



With a new blade in my Stanley knife, it was soon cut out, I also used my hole punch to make the first set of holes for the rivets.



You'll notice that I have sanded the horizontal part - this is hidden beneath the belt, and removing the surface will provide more grip for the glue and get rid of any wax etc., to help everything hold together.

The first rivets have been put in, and the contact adhesive applied:



As soon as the contact adhesive on both the belt and the leather were touch-dry, the belt was carefully wrapped around and riveted in place. I also attached the ring, which is a chrome 19mm curtain ring!



And here's the front view:



One final bit of holster-work, I sprayed the plastic section gloss black:



I'll let that hang about for a few days before I touch it!

And now, a slight aside - You will have seen various lines on the side of many a model spaceship, both on the TV and in the movies, especially in the 60s, 70s and 80s. This is (or should I say, was) a product called "Letraline" by Letraset, which was available in many widths and colours in matt, gloss and transparent finishes, as well as a flexible crepe-based version called "Flex-a-tape". The original usage of this product was to add lines (and also patterns) to commercial artwork, and pre-dated the advent of desktop publishing.

Letraset discontinued almost all of the Letraline range some years ago, and now only sell a couple of sizes of black and white "Flex-a-tape", so the only way of getting hold of it is second-hand. Letraline doesn't appear on eBay much, but there is a USA-based company called Chartpak, they still make a few tapes, and there always seems to be quite a few eBay auctions for their products. To a lesser degree there is also another company called Form-a-line as well. It's worth doing a search for these names if ever you have the need for self-adhesive coloured lining tape.



I have been building up a "tape library" over quite a while, and I just happened to have some 3/16" Letraline gloss black tape, suitable for between the ribs of the "barrel":



It's always nice to use the proper stuff wherever possible!

So what's next? While I'm waiting for all that gloss black paint to harden, I will make a start with the battery pack case.

The paint on all the parts has had long enough to harden, so I eased the leather bits of the holster over the plastic part.



That's the first part finished off!!

Next, the pouch for the battery box. I measured it carefully and then drew and cut out the shape I needed in leathercloth:



I wrapped my test part around the battery box and stuck it together with masking tape.



Finally, I cut out the belt slots I'd marked and added a strap over the top of it:



Yes, I'm happy with that! I shall now "translate" what I've done into beige leather!!

Well, I have finished work on the gun ... but did my labours "bear fruit" ... ???



... or did it all go a bit "pear-shaped" ... ???



Off we go, then! I cut the beige leather out for the battery pouch ...



... glued it all together (I wrapped masking tape around the battery box to stop any stray glue sticking to it) and fixed one half of the "popper" in position. Each half is like the 2-part rivets I used - make a hole in the leather with the punch, push the two parts together on either side and hammer together with a special metal tool.



I cheated a bit with the strap, I affixed the popper to the strap first, "popped" the two bits together and THEN stuck the strap in place:



As you can see, I've added some extra leather strips at the top and bottom of the belt-holes, these will help prevent the pouch sagging outwards and will stop the belt ripping through the leather over time.

There you are, a view from the front:



Another bit finished! B)

A little upgrade on the cable - I replaced the plastic "DIN" plugs with the screen-correct RS locking metal plugs.



I also drilled some small holes in the bodies of the sockets, so the plugs' locking pins would have somewhere to lock!!



Just the gun to go! I soldered new wire to everything, testing the "circuit" as I went:



Just the switch to go:



... and there it is, in place!



I wrapped black electrical tape around the switch and the clear rod, so they just push into place - if ever the bulb blows or something needs to be done inside the gun, it will be a lot easier to get at the "innards" than if everything was stuck or screwed in place.

So, it was then just a matter of screwing on the thumb guard, and the gun was done!!



Final part - the belt.



Not too much to say about this - I didn't make it, I bought it from a gardening shop online - it's a toolbelt, you can buy extra bits to hold screws, hammers, etc. One thing I will say is that it's actually very difficult to buy plain beige leather belts that don't have patterns or logos embossed on them!!

OK, the moment you've been waiting for - here are all the parts together on the bench:



I took the whole lot indoors to get some nice uncluttered photos. What I needed was a dummy ...



No, not THAT dummy!! I temporarily evicted my replica Tom Baker costume from its display dummy, and here are a couple of "nice" shots:





Finally, I thought you'd like to see it in action - click on the image below to see ...



Well, it looks better than it did originally, and it lights up AND it makes "the noise"!!

More stuff soon!!!

Last edited by Exterminator; 10-10-2011 at 11:49 AM.
Exterminator is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
Slate Mcleod
Communications Officer
 
Slate Mcleod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Merseyside, United Kingdom
Posts: 1,269
Default

Once again I am astounded by the quality of your work Phil ! That is truly awesome ! Idea : How about an Eprom chip with the blast sound effect recorded on it and a small speaker inside the domed part ? Not sure how much room you have in there to accomodate one but it would be awesome !
Slate Mcleod is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
Exterminator
Deputy Commander
 
Exterminator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, where it never rains (ish)
Posts: 869
Default

Thanks!!

There is no room in this one, as it's pretty much solid resin, but I suppose it MIGHT be possible if EMA parts were used ... ??
Exterminator is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 06:47 PM   #4
Ham Salad
Communications Officer
 
Ham Salad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,409
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exterminator View Post
Thanks!!

There is no room in this one, as it's pretty much solid resin, but I suppose it MIGHT be possible if EMA parts were used ... ??
But you already said it makes 'the noise' ...How?

Planning to make more, nudge nudge wink wink.
Ham Salad is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
KevinD
Communications Officer
 
KevinD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,042
Default

Superb work!

I assume the noise you mean is that satisfying sound it makes when it slips into the holster? It sounds just like it does on the telly!
KevinD is on duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote

Old 10-10-2011, 11:22 PM   #6
Exterminator
Deputy Commander
 
Exterminator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, where it never rains (ish)
Posts: 869
Default

Thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinD View Post
I assume the noise you mean is that satisfying sound it makes when it slips into the holster? It sounds just like it does on the telly!
That's it - "clonk"!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Salad View Post
Planning to make more, nudge nudge wink wink.
This is really a one-off - I didn't make it, I just tweaked it a bit!!

Last edited by Exterminator; 10-10-2011 at 11:24 PM.
Exterminator is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 11:45 PM   #7
Captain Sci-Fi
Commander
 
Captain Sci-Fi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Glos, UK
Posts: 5,013
Default

Oh good grief my wish list is 5 pages long already....
Captain Sci-Fi is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
Slate Mcleod
Communications Officer
 
Slate Mcleod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Merseyside, United Kingdom
Posts: 1,269
Default

Presumably some parts for this DID come from the old EMA catalogue...any idea anyone what formed the handle grip ? I had always presumed it was from a bicycle but after making one many years ago using a bike grip I soon realised the gloss paint didnt take to the rubber and flaked off.

Slate
Slate Mcleod is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
Conrad Turner
Communications Officer
 
Conrad Turner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Duxford, Cambs
Posts: 1,438
Default

Exterminator is probably the best guy to give the correct answer, but I could have sworn I heard somewhere it was a drill handle.








OO
Conrad Turner is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 04:25 PM   #10
Alpha's last child
Medical Technician
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 155
Default

The Liberator Gun has been one of my lost grail pieces since I first saw Blakes 7 when I was a wee little lad...

This thread is amazingly inspirational... Truly amazing...

Now, where to start?

-ALC
Alpha's last child is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote

Old 11-10-2011, 04:27 PM   #11
KevinD
Communications Officer
 
KevinD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,042
Default

It was the side handle from Black and Decker power tools of the 70's (I got one from a drill and one from a hedge trimmer!) The later ones were sort of stippled and had a slightly matt finish, what you'd want are the early ones that were gloss black (and made of a horribly dense material that makes a lot of black dust when you drill into them!).
KevinD is on duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #12
Ham Salad
Communications Officer
 
Ham Salad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,409
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinD View Post
It was the side handle from Black and Decker power tools of the 70's (I got one from a drill and one from a hedge trimmer!) The later ones were sort of stippled and had a slightly matt finish, what you'd want are the early ones that were gloss black (and made of a horribly dense material that makes a lot of black dust when you drill into them!).
Any chance you might do a cast of just the handle? been looking for one of those for years, never found one.
Ham Salad is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 06:33 AM   #13
KevinD
Communications Officer
 
KevinD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,042
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Salad View Post
Any chance you might do a cast of just the handle? been looking for one of those for years, never found one.
I have never cast anything at all, so wouldn't know where to start Would it harm the completed model to do that to it now?
KevinD is on duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 01:42 PM   #14
Exterminator
Deputy Commander
 
Exterminator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, where it never rains (ish)
Posts: 869
Cool Size really DOES matter ... !!

It would be reasonably easy to cast the handle in situ, perhaps using silicone backed with fibreglass? If proper precautions were taken (i.e. lots of masking tape and carrier bags over everything) the paintwork would not be affected, as the silicone wouldn't attack it.

Amongst my vast collection o' stuff I've got an original Black & Decker A5006 side handle, but I think the ones used on the Liberator guns are a different model, they are slightly longer than this - photo attached.

Kev - excuse the double entendre, but is yours longer than mine? I might suffer from "side handle envy" if it is!!

I did find a local hardware shop which sold replacement side handles for the old 60s/70s Black & Decker metal-bodied drills (see the first and second photos of my first post), but the profile is completely different to the original Black & Decker handle like wot I've got.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Black and Decker handle.jpg (32.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Handle comparison.JPG (6.0 KB, 44 views)
Exterminator is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 02:06 PM   #15
Captain Sci-Fi
Commander
 
Captain Sci-Fi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Glos, UK
Posts: 5,013
Default

It would be pretty easy for an old woodworker like, well me, to reproduce a pattern from a decent drawing, so whip out your favourite crayon and post a profile. It's just a series of shallow coves and beads.

I'll sharpen up my skew chisel in preparation of a profile drawing becoming available shall I? Don't forget to include a width and length measurement.
Captain Sci-Fi is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2011, 02:10 PM   #16
MoonbaseAlpha
Chief Eagle Pilot
 
MoonbaseAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 434
Default

I've got a silcone mould taken from one of the handles on the original guns, I could cast up a few if you want.

Andy.
MoonbaseAlpha is on duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 02:56 PM   #17
Captain Sci-Fi
Commander
 
Captain Sci-Fi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Glos, UK
Posts: 5,013
Default

Get casting old bean, how many beer tokens (or wine coupons) do you need for one?

I can hear many prayers being answered.
Captain Sci-Fi is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 04:26 PM   #18
KevinD
Communications Officer
 
KevinD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,042
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exterminator View Post

Kev - excuse the double entendre, but is yours longer than mine? I might suffer from "side handle envy" if it is!!

I've just measured mine and it's 10.5 cm long Mind you, it isn't the warmest of days
KevinD is on duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 04:27 PM   #19
Mr h
Life Support Technician
 
Mr h's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
I've got a silcone mould taken from one of the handles on the original guns, I could cast up a few if you want.
Oh blimey - another project...Goodo!
Mr h is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 13-10-2011, 10:16 AM   #20
Exterminator
Deputy Commander
 
Exterminator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, where it never rains (ish)
Posts: 869
Talking "Love handles?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonbaseAlpha View Post
I've got a silcone mould taken from one of the handles on the original guns, I could cast up a few if you want.

Andy.
Andy,

If you need a couple of kilos of fast-cast urethrane to knock a few handles out, please let me know. More than happy to contribute!!

Can you produce hollow handles from your mould, or would they need to be drilled out?


Cheers,

Phil
Exterminator is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site and contents are copyright Bernard Walsh 2010 all rights reserved, no reproduction of material in any form without written permission email: Bernie.walsh@mac.com