FG42: First production model: In pictures

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Products, Weapons, WWII

Airsoft replica of the WWII German battle rifle used by Paratroop units. The Fallshirmjägergewehr 42 was designed to give paratroops more firepower than their the standard rifles and SMGs as well as giving them a small enough package to jump with rather than having to drop them separately in a canister.

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This airsoft version is based on a later pattern, with only full automatic functionality. Semi-automatic functionality may be achieved with the addition of a mosfet or rate of fire control unit. 

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The bipod locks up and down solidly with knurled thumbscrews, as does the foresight unit. 

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This will come with a rubber bayonet, modified from a MAS36 but which maintains the look of the original.

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This replica takes standard TM/CYMA M14 magazines for ease of procurement, inserted in reverse. The version customers will receive will also have a false fire selector that is missing in this picture.

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The charging handle can move, the current design is not sprung but I hope to fix this in future versions.

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I have been asked a few times if I will be producing an early pattern FG42. Within a few months I will be producing a conversion kit with additional parts to make it into an early pattern for those who want it.

 

You can see the build process for this here and order the FG42 and many of our other items through Etsy.*

For large items like this, payments in instalments are welcome. Please get in touch to arrange.

*At present Etsy are being awkward about selling replica firearms. Please get in touch directly on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to place your order

FG42: First production model: Improvements

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

First things first, a locking system for the bipod. It flopped around a lot on the pre-production version so I have added locking lugs. This should hold it in both deployed and carry positions.

The new receiver and trigger group. The shape has been changed significantly, losing the fore-end entirely which allows for a much stronger wood fore-stock. The back has been extended to fill out the buttstock and support it fully.

The pistol grip has also changed to fit the new grips I am making.

I bought in some repro grips from the US and modified them with polymorph to fill in the air gap and make them really solid.

I then made rubber moulds of these modified grips and poured copies.

The new magazine well is a big improvement. It locks up very tightly on the magazine.

I have modified the Sten barrel to fit an extension. The gas port is welded directly onto the receiver.

The new foregrip in place. This is much more solid than the first version and will have a correct-looking curve across the top.

I sanded down the woodwork and stained it. Finishing it with hardwax oil.

I then cut a slot matching that in the receiver up into the gas tube for the operating handle in order to allow it to move.

Some of the new parts having their first coat of paint. I’m looking into 3D printed versions of some of these, but need to test out the strength of the parts.

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In position on the gun. 

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The bipod locked down, so far, so good!

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The new gas tube cover.

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There are a few other small changes, but this article covers the vast majority. I hope to have the first  production model completed this week!

 

If this build is of interest to you, please get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

FG42 Pre-production prototype complete

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Long-awaited by many, the pre-production FG42 is now finished!

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This airsoft model was designed with a number of considerations in mind:

  1. It should be relatively affordable. Obviously work like this is expensive but the price should be kept as low as possible.
  2. It should use standardised airsoft parts as far as possible to allow for upgrade and tech work to be carried out with relative simplicity if/when it must be carried out.
  3. It should use standard magazines. Airsoft guns with dedicated mags for a relatively niche audience become unusable if the magazine malfunctions or breaks.
  4. It should have features as authentic as possible to the original.

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After several years of work, this prototype which roughly shows what the end product will be like. This is NOT the finished product, there are a number of design and manufacture differences that will be implemented in future models:

  • The pistol grips will be replaced with a design that is both easier to make and more authentic
  • Gas port detailing will be improved
  • The forestock will be re-designed: So that the operating handle will move and the shape of the woodwork will be improved
  • Bipod: locking mechanism to improve stability when in use
  • Add turf spike to bipod
  • Improve case deflector
  • Improve aesthetic of rear sight
  • Improve access to hop adjustment
  • I hope to produce a bayonet for it in time (such use as it may be!)

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There are a number of positive features of this design which I shall be retaining however:

  • The base gun is an AEG airsoft Sten, taking upgrades for this model and having its excellent hop-up
  • The magazines are standard, unmodified M14 midcaps
  • Both fore and rear sight fold down for transport
  • The rear sight adjusts for elevation just like the original, you can see a video of a prototype here
  • The construction is, as far as possible, steel. The woodwork is laminate, like the originals (so far as I can gather)

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If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

FG42: Part 6

Battle Rifles, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Through all this section I am working in the background on the furniture, staining and varnishing it for use. This is literally watching paint try so I will just give you an intermediate shot of the process rather than bore you with a step-by-step!

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There aren’t any good photos of the bipod in progress, each fold was handmade in the vise with a few different hammers and other tools until each was at the right angle. For a production version, these will probably be made with a press if I find a supplier who can do this.

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And folded away! This should really look the part when painted up and the furniture is in place.
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Next, shaping the grips. I used polymorph plastic coloured with acrylic paint as a base colour. These are just a rough first pass, they will be re-shaped with a heat gun to get a smoother finish.

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After a bit of work with the heat gun and some tools, the finish is now quite smooth, providing a good base for etching in the chequering.

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I oil backed the rear sight for a really wear-resistant finish. As with previous versions, this adjusts just like the original.
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On the lathe, I turned the muzzle brake in plastic. When this is finished I shall produce a mould to cast more from as it is quite a complex piece.

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I made a mould and took a casting from it. This has been painted up to look like metal!

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And this slots onto the gun! Oh yes, I have now oil finished the foresight unit and bipod, which should resist the wear and tear that will inevitably affect these parts better than paint.

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Pretty much all there at last! Just a few last details to finish off…

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Completed pictures to follow.

 

If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

FG42: Part 5

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Since the last post, I have attached the new magazine well, it’s not looking pretty yet but is feeding from the magazine! At this stage function> appearance, though it’s not long before it looks right and actually works.

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My second model bipod legs, these are much thinner and lighter than the first attempt but are the same basic shape. However on completion I found that they interfered with the barrel. Not a problem though, a new design is due from the laser cutters any day now.

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The bipod mounting unit and foresight unit is going to be one part.

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The foresight mounting block, which incorporates the bayonet mount, barrel lug and front sling mount.
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Roughly cleaned up, this will get some attention from the scotch brite pads before finishing.

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And in place on the barrel, the foresight can be folded down for transport. The screw will be replaced with a knurled head screw to lock it in place.

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Next, I secured the buttstock in place. A piece of polymorph prevents the wobble of this piece, I plan to make a front cover to hide the gaps. On the production version I will tweak the design to sit closer to the receiver naturally.2

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At the front end, the fore-stock has been screwed into position around the cocking handle. This one has been welded into position, in time I hope to produce a version that has a moving cocking handle but at present this is where the battery goes.

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So finally we can now see the overall format of the FG42! The sling is from Zib-Militaria, it is effectively identical to an MG34 sling. The metal parts look as though they have been painted while still rusty so I won’t be providing these to customers.

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Not far off now!

  • Details like the selector switch, pistol grips
  • Stain and varnish the woodwork
  • Flash suppressor
  • Gas tube/battery compartment cover

And of course overall paintwork etc…!

All that to come in the next instalment.

If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

FG42: Part 4

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

The next important step In making the FG42 was the furniture. The prototype served its purpose but it was time to get something that was a better shape. I took the outside shape and created a series of layered profiles that could be glued together. These were then laser cut in plywood.

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I put two pilot holes in the backs to line them up, using M4 screws. Then put each layer down in order with a thin coat of wood glue and clamped it.

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The two halves could then be glued together. Here’s a picture of the new next to the old, as you can see the shape is much improved and the sling swivel mount is present in the new version.

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For the fore-end, much the same procedure was followed, I’m concerned about the strength of this part as there are some very thin joints so this may have to change for production. Nevertheless, the original was fragile so maybe this is authentic!

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I took the worst of the edges off with the draw knife, but it was quite difficult due to the perpendicular grain.

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In the end, I switched to the drill mounted sanding drums, which dealt with the cross grain far better and gave a relatively smooth finish. A quick going over with sandpaper by hand will clean this up nicely.

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Not looking too shabby though I say so myself! A bit of wood stain and some kind of epoxy outer should finish this off nicely when it is sanded down. The next step is to make the new magwell and create the bipod!

 

If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

FG42: Part 3

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, Era, FG42, Weapons, WWII

The FG42 is finally coming together and starting to look like an FG42. The rough woodwork is together, this will be upgraded to birch ply on the production version, with a few adjustments to improve authenticity such as vents in the foregrip, the buttstock will be one piece including the back (left open on this test part).

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The foresight, folding like the rear sight. The original was locked into place with a spring and detent, this one uses a screw that holds it solidly in position. Below it is the mounting that attaches to the barrel, below that is the bayonet lug.

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This is now at the stage where I can build the first production model as soon as I have a willing client to fund it! This will obviously be far more detailed, with better shaping for the timber and with much better consideration for ease of use in the field.

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The bipod is on the way and if I have enough money left over for development this month I will order the new woodwork.

 

Very much looking forward to getting this finished!

 

If you would like to be involved in the development of this gun, do drop me a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or follow us on Facebook.

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

FG42: Part 2

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Much awaited, the second instalment of the FG42 build! This has been quietly going on in the background when I have had to wait for other parts to dry/cool down/harden.

The pistol grip is pretty much the same as before, the changes are internal mainly, plus the top panels.

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This attaches in much the same way as the previous version, though as you can see the receiver is very different.

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This is because it is a cradle for a Sten MkII, that will be modified. This means less modifying gearboxes and no need to make a custom hop as the Sten hop is excellent as-is.

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The unfinished magazine well. This is a first model, so finish will be a bit rough as this is just to establish exactly where parts need to go and establish the fit.

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Like the first model, this takes M14 magazines.

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With the barrel in place and the gas tube.

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Making the furniture, the original was laminate wood, this version will be as well. Given how little material there is inside the woodwork, this actually makes a lot of sense as it is far less wasteful of materials than solid timber would be.

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The sights both fold down to prevent them catching on equipment during the jump.

The foresight block is made of several parts welded together. Three parts make the post, two plate parts and one screw make the ghost ring.

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This fits onto the foresight base and tightens up with a screw. The original used a spring-loaded nub and detent to lock in place but it would be prohibitively expensive to make this mechanism as well as the rear sight…

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The rear sight is VERY complicated. This is the second model I’ve made, lots of parts go into making this function like the original.
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Some stills of the rear sight in location. At the bottom of this article there is also a video of it working.

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If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or follow us on Facebook.

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

G43: Part 6: Complete

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, G43/K43, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

As promised, photographs of the finished G43 build. Remember, this was converted from an M14 AEG, so it isn’t a 100% accurate replica.

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This is shown with the short M14 magazines, the standard M14 magazine is much longer but these are a pretty good stand-in for the original G43 mags.

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Side view of the receiver, showing the scope rail.

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A close-up on the foresight. This wedge sight and full hood should make for fast and easy target acquisition.

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The underside for those interested. Unfortunately due to the location of the battery compartment in this AEG, the classic German sling mounted through the side of the buttstock was unfeasible. As a result I have kept the original sling swivels.

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This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit and as a complete gun. If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook. Remember, you can now buy our pre-made kits on Etsy.

G43: Part 5

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, G43/K43, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

The G43 was looking pretty close to finished at the end of the last post:_DSF6312

Since then, I’ve been working on a last few details. Firstly, the scope mount for this client as he wanted to be able to use this rifle as a DMR in modern skirmishing.

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The scope mounts on the rail which was built into every G43 after the first couple of hundred. This mount just slides into position and can be removed and replaced in game. During the the Second World War snipers in most nations were taught to carry their weapons scopeless the majority of the time, carrying the optic in a special protective case, only attaching them when needed. A scope rail like this would allow a sharpshooter to maintain zero through removal and re-attachment.

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I also wanted to work on the iron sights to make them more realistic and user-friendly. The rear sight leaf is adjustable for windage. A piece of folded steel supports the leaf and it is all brazed together. You can see the first stage of the elevation adjustment here as well

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I turned two endcaps for the tube, one of which I drilled and tapped to take a screw. These could be brazed into position.

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I then made a small screw with a knurled thumb nut to lock and unlock the elevation slide into place once the correct elevation was found.

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The unit is now finished for functionality and just needs to be painted up. I’ll add some markings on the elevation slide to make it easier to track movements.

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To help the markings last longer, I cut recesses for them with a fine file. I could then fill the space with off-white paint. I painted the rest of the sights, though I think if I do any more sights like these I will probably oil black them overall and just paint in the details.

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As it’s an airsoft gun, I have left the range markings off, normally a rifle like this would have marking from around 200m to about 1200m. I’ll leave it to the client to mark in ranges that he wants with a chinagraph pencil.

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Finished photographs of the whole gun will be going up in the next post!

This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit and as a complete gun. If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook.