Airsoft Welrod: Part 1

Cold War, Custom builds, pistol, Suppressed, Weapons, Welrod, WWII

Our long-term readers may remember a long time ago an introduction to the Welrod.

 

While the initial project was for an airsoft model, it ended up being an inert replica for the client in question. Well, the Welrod is back for another attempt at the quietest airsoft pistol around!

The base gun for this is a double-action non blow back CO2 pistol. For those of you who like the internals of guns here is a picture!

_DSF7395

In order to keep things simple (K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple, Stupid is my motto), I’m keeping as much of the frame as possible as it does a good job of holding the internals and designing a new frame… well suffice to say that life is short. The red coloured areas will be removed over the course of the build.

_DSF7396

The donor with several of the red panels cut away on one side. I actually quite like the slightly steampunk aesthetic of being able to see some of the internals.

_DSF7433

The receiver in progress, the first step is to cut out a recess for the donor.

_DSF7425

Which, with both halves now matching, fits in very nicely. Inside the tube is a buffer that holds the front of the barrel and stops the mainspring. In theory this could be adjustable to make the barrel unit strike the valve harder/softer to control FPS. I’m not sure at this stage how feasible this would be though.

_DSF7553

The front cap and back cap, freshly turned on the lathe! Both parts are in mild steel so will match the rest of the receiver nicely when all finished. The dip around the muzzle is to disperse the muzzle blast more effectively when used at point-blank range. Which it often had to be as accuracy was pretty appalling with the original!

_DSF7554

A close-up of the back end.

_DSF7555

 

The next stage is to make the trigger guard and housing unit, then modify the pistol grip.

 

If you would like to discuss commissioning a gun of your own or want to see more content like this,feel free to drop us an email at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or join us on Facebook!

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

G43: Part 6: Complete

Battle Rifles, Complete builds, 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.

_DSF6692 copy

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.

_DSF6697

Side view of the receiver, showing the scope rail.

_DSF6700And with scope mounted.

_DSF6703

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

_DSF6693

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.

_DSF6701 copy

 

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.

_DSF6322

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.

_DSF6323

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

_DSF6659

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

_DSF6660

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.

_DSF6661

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.

_DSF6663

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.

_DSF6674

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.

_DSF6682

 

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.

Kukri- Floppy replica!

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Imperial Era, Kukri, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWI, WWII

When showing off the original kukri replica, a good number of people commented that on their airsoft sites don’t allow for solid melee weapons and that they have to be flexible.

The people spoke, we listened! As a result, this foam cast version is now available on our brand new etsy page.

_DSF6362Original resin model bottom, foam above.

_DSF6363

Flexible enough for safe use in the field!

_DSF6364


So, we hope you like it! If you want to buy your own kukri you can do so here.

Why not join us on Facebook? Don’t forget you can follow the blog and get updates straight to your email inbox!

Kukri-Replica

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Imperial Era, Kukri, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The first job is to create a mould from which I can make a resin casting.

_DSF6325 _DSF6331

Mould making has been quite well covered elsewhere on the net by people much more expert than I so I shan’t go into detail here. I then poured a resin into the cavity which, when hardened produced a hard but semi flexible blade.

_DSF6332 _DSF6333

Much like an airfix model, once the flashing is removed it takes shape very quickly. A bit of filing and sanding here and there gets a smooth surface overall. I then sprayed it black as a base coat.

_DSF6339

I then layered up the paints as I would for a plastic model.

_DSF6340

_DSF6341

Blue-tack makes a great masking tool, allowing a really clean, sharp edge to certain areas._DSF6342

_DSF6343

After an initial dark brown coat on the handle, I dry brushed a light brown paint over then top to create the impression of the light tropical woods used in older kukris.

_DSF6347 _DSF6348

A finishing touch was the varnishes, different types for different parts of the knife to give the correct finish for the materials the paint is impersonating.

I’ll be making a few of these as training knives and airsoft knives. Just email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com and join us on Facebook. Don’t forget you can follow the blog and get updates straight to your email inbox!

Kukri- Introduction

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Era, History, Imperial Era, Kukri, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The Rev. J. G. Wood in The Natural History of Man (1870):

“The Goorkha ‘kookery’ is of a very peculiar shape. Both the blade and hilt are curved. The blade is very thick at the back. From the back it is thinned off gradually to the edge, which has a curve of its own, quite different to that of the back, so that the blade is widest as well as thickest in the middle, and tapers at one end towards the hilt and at the other towards the point. The steel of which the blade is formed is of admirable temper, and for the greater part of its surface is burnished like a mirror. The point of the kookery is as sharp as a needle, so that the weapon answers equally for cutting or stabbing. In consequence of the great thickness of the metal, the blade is exceedingly heavy. It may be imagined that a blow from such a weapon as this must be a very terrible one. The very weight of the blade would drive it half through a man’s arm, if it were only allowed to fall from a little height. But the Goorkhas have a mode of striking which resembles the ‘drawing’ cut of the broadsword, and which urges the sharp edge through flesh and bone alike. In the hands of an experienced wielder, this knife is about as formidable a weapon as can be conceived. Like all really good weapons, its efficiency depends much more upon the skill than the strength of the wielder; and thus it happens that the little Goorkha will cut to pieces a gigantic adversary who does not understand his mode of onset. The Goorkha generally strikes upwards with the kookery, possibly in order to avoid wounding himself should his blow fail, and possibly because an upward cut is just the one that can be least guarded against.“Years ago, when we were engaged in the many Indian wars which led at last to our Oriental empire, the Goorkhas proved themselves most formidable enemies, as since they have proved themselves most invaluable allies. Brave as lions, active as monkeys, and fierce as tigers, the lithe, wiry little men came leaping over the ground to the attack, moving so quickly, and keeping so far apart from each other, that musketry was no use against them. When they came near the soldiers, they suddenly crouched to the ground, dived under the bayonets, struck upwards at the men with their kookeries, ripping them open with a single blow, and then, after having done all the mischief in their power, darting off as rapidly as they had come. Until our men learned this mode of attack, they were greatly discomfited by their little opponents, who got under their weapons, cutting or slashing with knives as sharp as razors, and often escaping unhurt from the midst of bayonets. They would also dash under the bellies of the officers’ horses, rip them open with one blow of the kookery, and aim another at the leg of the officer as he and his horse fell together.”

_DSF6196

First things first, I admit I have a bit of an obsession with the kukri. They are really stunning tools as well as formidable weapons. For those unfamiliar with the kukri, they have their origins in Northern India. Here the Goorkhas, a local tribe, dominated their neighbours in battle and forged their own respectable little mountain empire which we would now call Nepal. When the British East India Company came into conflict with these vicious mountain men they learned the hard way what they could do:

“A British officer, armed with a long regulation ‘spit’, ran his sword through a Goorkha. Notwithstanding his agony, the wounded man literally forced his way up to the weapon’s hilt, until he could close with his adversary, cutting him down with his kookri (Nepaul knife) and falling dead beside him.” (Gen. Orfeur Cavenagh, The Native Army in India, 1879.)

As a result of this they made the unusual decision to make peace and ally themselves with the Goorkhas and even employed them as soldiers, considered widely in much higher esteem then the average sepoy (Indian soldier in Colonial pay). Since then they have served British interests loyally up to this day. ‘Ghurkas’ as they are now known also serve in the Indian Army and Shanghai Police.

_DSF6091

Their weapon of choice has always been the Kukri, a complete history of which could take a whole blog, never mind one post. Suffice to say that this blade has been used to pacify Indian mutineers and rioters, Europe in WWI and WWII and in the East against Japan. Even in recent years Gurkhas deployed to Afghanistan have used their Kukris in close quarter combat with the Taliban.

Gurkhas at kit inspection showing kukri in France during World War I[1/4th] Gurkhas at kit inspection showing kukris [Le Sart, France].

I have been experimenting with replica knives for Airsoft and re-enactment purposes for a while now and thought this would make a fun project. More to follow next time…

G43: Part 4

Add-on kits, Battle Rifles, Custom builds, G43/K43, Weapons, WWII

While skimming the stock to remove the varnish one thin area gave way in the pistol grip. This proved quite difficult to fill as there was no support to speak of underneath.

_DSF6144

Eventually, I managed to fit a piece of shaped wood into the space and affix it with wood glue. To re-enforce it I filled the space with resin. Once sanded and varnished it should disappear fairly quickly.

_DSF6188

I could then varnish the wood all over to seal it.

_DSF6194 _DSF6195

I then oil blacked the remaining parts. I’ll be putting together a video on this process very soon.

_DSF6256

The oil blacked receiver in place. You can see the small, irritating gap between the top heat guard and the stock. I have managed to fix it by shaving some of it off in just the right place and adding a brace inside.

_DSF6269

_DSF6268

Looking quite close to finished now! I’m tweaking a couple of bits to make it a little more usable and will be testing it soon. I also have to finish the scope mount for this client.

_DSF6312

This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit. 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.

G43: Part Three

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

At the end of the last instalment, the G43 looked like this:

_DSF6046

Since then it’s improved a lot. Now I know what shapes are required it is possible to get neater pieces laser cut. As before, I bent sections for the top of the receiver over wooden formers.

_DSF6079

This time however I had some checking jigs to ensure that bends were executed correctly and precisely. This will help to reproduce accurate results time after time.

_DSF6081

This means that the bent parts neatly fit their neighbouring components and can be welded into place.

_DSF6100

Checking the fit of the chamber cover:

_DSF6106

One of the nice bits about this stage of development is that everything has its place and you know with a fair degree of certainty that parts will fit together with a minimum of fussing. This is why custom builds take so long, just because there is only one piece produced at the end doesn’t cut out all of that prototyping work!

_DSF6108

Once the receiver unit was assembled, I had to attach it to the action. A nut captive in this piece of polymorph holds it in place. The polymorph (low softening point plastic) is epoxied in place onto the top of the M14’s outer barrel.

_DSF6140

Below is the bottom part of the rear sight unit on first (dry) assembly. You can see clearly that it is made from five separate pieces, slightly differently shaped to make the rough shape of the sight unit. These are then screwed together to make the unit. They could be welded but for this job a tidy and correct appearance could be achieved by countersinking and flattening off the screws.

_DSF6114

A close-up of the tapped hole. Tapping is a relatively simple process that cuts a female screw thread into a piece of material. This means that a much neater appearance can be achieved than by using a nut.

_DSF6115

One of the distinctive features of the G43 is the scope rail that comes pretty well as standard except on the earliest few hundred models produced. One request the client made for this was that it could be used in the DMR role so a scope mount was needed.

No picatinny rails here though. The scope will mount on the side rail. A piece of 6mm steel with holes corresponding to two holes on the receiver makes the rail, I had to put a chamfer on by hand so that the scope will slot on without falling off the side. There was quite a bit of trial and error needed to achieve a fit close enough to allow the scope to be accurate but loose enough to allow it to be removed.

_DSF6102

For those of you who were paying attention earlier, you will remember the use of different shaped pieces being assembled to create a part. The scope mount is a great example of this being used. A 3mm steel plate is used to align and assemble all the parts, of which there are three types. The front cap you can see here, behind it are parts that slot over the bevelled scope rail and the two vertical posts that take the scope are similarly equipped._DSF6145

Once all the parts are assembled, I could tap the holes in the sides.

_DSF6146

These take the spring steel clips that lock down the scope.

_DSF6147

The assembled scope mount with scope.

_DSF6148

My last job for today on this was to oil black some of the smaller parts. This was my first time oil blacking with spent motor oil. In the past I have experimented with WD40, linseed oil, veg oil etc… all of which produce slightly different results.

I use a MAPP torch to heat the parts, though propane or oxy-acetylene (if you are a lucky sod) will also work. I heat up the parts and watch the colour change as the metal heats. It’s important to make sure the metal is clean of grease and rust to prevent an uneven finish.

_DSF6160

When it is the dark grey shown below it is the right temperature to dip.

_DSF6161

The first time you drop a part in cold oil it produces a thick cloud of white smoke. Each time afterwards it produces less smoke as the oil heats up.

_DSF6162

After the first dip, the part is reheated, dipped a second time and heated again.

_DSF6164

The last heating it is heated until a black, powdery residue is formed. when the part cools this can be brushed off and the finish is left intact.

_DSF6166

The front band:

_DSF6158

The assembly so far:

_DSF6168

Sadly the big parts won’t fit into any suitable container I have. However in my next laser cutting order I have added an oil blacking station which will take all but the biggest parts I do.

 

This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit. 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.

G43: Part Two

Custom builds, G43/K43, WWII

At the end of the last post on the G43, it looked like this:

_DSF5983

The next piece of metalwork was the buttplate. This elegant pressed steel piece was ideal for the rushed mass production of late-war Germany but this apparently simple shape is actually very expensive to produce as a one-off.I decided to create it in two pieces, the side and back. These were then formed around each other into the correct shaped welded in place. It doesn’t look like much yet but it should clean up nicely!

_DSF5973

 

The shape of the buttplate for the G43 is very different to the original M14. The stock shape had to be adjusted significantly, especially the back slope along the top.

_DSF5984

Once the rough shaping had been completed, I cleaned the varnish off along the whole length.

_DSF5986

I also welded the rear sight and chamber unit to the rest of the receiver.

_DSF5994

Which could then be fitted roughly into place:

_DSF6001

The eagle-eyed among you will see the hole at the back of the receiver. In an ideal world this would be filled with wood, but I was concerned that this would be a fragile solution. In order to make it look ‘right’ if not ‘correct’, I used a piece of thin sheet steel to cover this area, trimmed to shape.

 

A bit of real woodwork next, the upper hand guard is made from beech. The channel inside was routed out first, then the external shape planed by hand. I then marked out the vents in the side, cut the edges and removed them with the chisel.

_DSF5991

Next, the rear sight. My first attempt wasn’t as tidy as I would have liked so I made a few tweaks to the design and had another go.Largely welded in the main, a little brazing secured the rear end.

_DSF6030

A little cleanup later and the casual viewer would be none the wiser.

_DSF6036

So, this is where we are at now:

_DSF6046

I must confess that i have missed out a few steps on the way to this point.I made side panels for the receiver that fitted the woodwork. There is also a small arch of steel at the front of the rear sight unit that helps holt the top hand guard in place. These features will be refined for production.

 

This project has sparked a lot of interest and it looks likely that this model will be available as a kit and 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.

 

G43: Part One

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

_DSF5918 _DSF5919

As regular readers of this blog and the Facebook page will be aware, many of the projects begin with some intense design work and a lot of laser cuttings! I was particularly looking forward to getting these as it was my first venture into mass-preparing parts for hand folding.

I tend to run several components’ production in parallel so that i can be working on one as another cools, but the first job was assembling this little former:

_DSF5925

This shape allows me to very accurately bend the front sight hood by hand.

_DSF5927

_DSF5928

This done, I did much the same with the barrel band and drilled them so that the unit could be assembled with the sight post in the middle.

_DSF5932

_DSF5933

The one screw loosens and fits the whole unit. I may do some more work on the appearance of the foresight itself but it’s not bad as a first attempt!

Next was the front band, the part that ties the top and bottom of the stock together.

_DSF5935

Again I made formers, this time out of wood, for the strips of steel going around the woodwork. These were then viced with the plates that corresponded to them and welded in place. I rather conveniently had a piece of steel pipe exactly the same diameter as the barrel of the M14 I’m working from in order to assemble these parts.

_DSF5971 _DSF5972

Clean, polished and fitted to the gun for the first time. I must confess that even I was surprised at the first fitting with no modifications needed at all!

With the receiver came a lot more bending. Each panel was hand bent over a piece of 38mm steel tube.

_DSF5931

Once the curve was pretty close, the appropriate endcaps and features were welded in place, holding the exact curve needed.

_DSF5930

I then had to fit it to the gun:

_DSF5975

Clamped in place, ready to go! At this point my angle grinder gave out. Typical.
_DSF5977A quick trip to Screwfix later and I could get to work removing the receiver unit from the gun. I had hoped to keep this intact but it turned out to be integral to the gearbox housing so it had to go!

_DSF5978

Once the main part of the receiver was gone, I could trim away the remainder of the receiver that was in the way. At this point I had to make some adjustments to the stock in order to fit the disk at the back of the gun. A straight bit cut away the space needed and a small channel where there would be a curved lead in like the original G43.

_DSF5979

_DSF5982

Cut away stock, also trimmed down at the front for the top guard. I will need to make a filler piece for the lead in to the receiver as the stock was pretty hollow at this point to fit the gearbox in.

The last photograph shows the fit of the parts so far. I’m happy with the back two, but I will need to modify the rear sight and chamber to fit over the hop unit/barrel mount. I will be putting strips of steel down the edge of the receiver to help it fit absolutely spot on.

_DSF5983

So far this had been a really fun build, it’s nice to be able to focus on the cosmetics for a change!

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