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Project: Thompson M1a1 "Restored" (Day 4)

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Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:48   #1
Strelok
 
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Project: Thompson M1a1 "Restored" (Day 4)

Alrighty. Few of you guys know I like getting old-style airsoft guns, and making them look older, or at least have a finish more akin to steel rather than the shit-paint that airsoft guns are normally coated with.

Recently I had made a trade for a CYMA/Cybergun Thompson M1a1. Its full metal, plastic "wood" and a surprisingly amazing performer. Its quickly hit the top of my favorite guns of my collection. And I have a lot!



This is the gun in question. The current finish on the thing is a dull non-reflective black. The paint is well fixed to the gun, despite having gone through a couple different owners hands and who knows how many games it retained a somewhat acceptable appearance. But I hate paint on old guns, doesn't look right! This is what I want the gun to look like with the finished result:




Yesterday I sat down in my garage and started to strip the stuff off of the gun, and just as expected, its proven itself to be quite the pain in the ass. I had an AGM MP40 prior to this, and I had to have the damn thing sandblasted to dislodge the paint.

Luckily enough, it wasn't 'that' bad with the Thompson. I got the barrel and the upper receiver mostly done. Lots of paintstripper and steel wool later, i've come out with this:




You can see that there is a bit left on the right side of the weapon. The paint-stripper could only go so far before it hit a gluey-powdery substance beneath the paint, I had to either scrape off with my fingernail or steel-wool the living fuck out of it.

Gonna head to a home depot after work today and get some rough and fine steel wool to make the job a bit easier. And since the upper receiver has little detail, it was easy to do. That lower however is going to be a much, much different story. That's probably something I'll have to hit later with a toothbrush in hand later tonight.

And lastly, I just got a wood kit in courtesy of Capital Airsoft.


Its pretty alright for a Chinese wood kit. Its decent in wood quality, but the paint is poor. First thing first is to stain it and make it that dark, oiled look that most Thompson's have.

Anyway, I'll update as I go and probably go into detail on how I do the steel-like finish with the Birchwood Casey aluminum black as I get to that point. Gonna be a fun project!

Last edited by Strelok; May 8th, 2012 at 13:44..
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 13:34   #2
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Nice to see it evolve,I'm glad to see it become such a nice beast!!!
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 13:49   #3
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I have the same one but King arms. I love it and everyone who tries it is amazed at the quality for the price ($230). I think it's the perfect second gun and it's great for WW2 games.

Cant wait to see yours finished. I have a wood kit and a metal lower receiver that is just waiting to be installed.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 14:18   #4
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Metal lower? I wasn't aware there was one available aftermarket. I'm interested. Shouldn't be restricted either because the part with the serial number is the upper receiver.

All metal + wood gives me wood...
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 15:48   #5
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It's made by king arms and I'm not sure if it's compatible with Cyma Thompsons.

http://www.redwolfairsoft.com/redwol...r_Receiver.htm
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 16:39   #6
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Will you be re-finishing the mags as well?
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 16:41   #7
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Yes, Kinda sorta. I'm getting a whack of KA thompson midcaps soon. Plastic, but still workable. I'm thinking of painting them up to match to the best of my ability. Hopefully my years of painting GW Figures should pay off!

Just waiting on my aluminum blue at this point. Apparently Canada Post lost it, and the guy that delivered/lost it marked it as 'successfully delivered'

So i'm trying to resolve that at the moment, I'll probably continue on stripping paint for the meantime.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 18:09   #8
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I have to agree with you that the dull black paint is just unsightly haha. I did this to mine a while ago, pretty much the same method you are doing.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 20:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strelok View Post
Yes, Kinda sorta. I'm getting a whack of KA thompson midcaps soon. Plastic, but still workable. I'm thinking of painting them up to match to the best of my ability. Hopefully my years of painting GW Figures should pay off!

Just waiting on my aluminum blue at this point. Apparently Canada Post lost it, and the guy that delivered/lost it marked it as 'successfully delivered'

So i'm trying to resolve that at the moment, I'll probably continue on stripping paint for the meantime.
They did the same shit with my p90 several months ago.. I received it 1 month after.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 20:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchmeister View Post
Metal lower? I wasn't aware there was one available aftermarket. I'm interested. Shouldn't be restricted either because the part with the serial number is the upper receiver.

All metal + wood gives me wood...
We made a group order with the ww2quebec group, a few months ago, and all lower receivers, except one, didn't make it (they were all in the same box, and they somehow missed one)


Adam and Strelok, can you share the products you used/going to use, I'd love to try it as well.

PS : The KA Woodkit is pretty good quality, but the pistol grip won't fit Cymas, without some TLC.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:25   #11
Strelok
 
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Originally Posted by Adamlxlx View Post
I have to agree with you that the dull black paint is just unsightly haha. I did this to mine a while ago, pretty much the same method you are doing.
Wow, that looks great . Pretty much what i'm after.

Alright, so last night I got a few things done.



Since my aluminum blackener didn't come in, I gave a shot at using the gun blue I had lying around. And surprisingly enough, it worked!
I'm not sure if it'd be to the same quality as the blackener though. I started to get some rainbow coloration on the metal, and it really brought out the imperfections of the cast of the metal. I can see where they ground down the seam of the casting and polished over. I think i'm gonna give a shot at layering more and more of the gun blue to obscure it. We'll see!

The receiver was also finished, to an extent. I got most of the paint off, but even after a good long application of steel wool afterwards I was still finding splotches of residue when i applied the gun blue to the metal. The receiver has a pretty dirty appearance now that i'm not too fond of. Been going back and forth with applying the blue and steel wool in hopes of evening it out. I'll get some better photos this afternoon when I get home from work.



I also did a bit of work on the front handguard. Not much, but got most of the paint off to start the staining tonight.

Thats pretty much the end of day two right there.

Today, I've got a few things on my to do list.

Even out the appearance of the receiver and barrel.

Start stripping the paint off of the lower.

Finish the rear sight, as its currently half stripped and untreated.

Sand the paint off of the stock, grip and foregrip assembly.

Will update again tonight.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 18:21   #12
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Hey guys, i stumbled on this topic while searching for mods for the CYMA M1A1 on google.
That's pretty amazing job.

I also wanna give that realistic look to my Thompson.

Unfortunately i'm pretty awkward with this kind of manual work, i'm afraid to destroy it and do something wrong.

I know nothing about paint and metal.

From what i could understand the first step is to strip the paint off with paint stripper and steel wool ? Then apply something called blue ? (meaning gun blue ?)
Do i need to use some specific paint stripper or anything is fine ?

Whats the process of that last step ? is it simple or you need to know what you're doing ? Is it expensive ? (the gun blue)
And whats "blackener" ?

Thanks a lot.

Last edited by CS67; May 4th, 2012 at 18:23..
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Old May 4th, 2012, 19:34   #13
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That's pure awesomeness Strelok.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 22:28   #14
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Lookin good for sure!
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Old May 8th, 2012, 13:39   #15
Strelok
 
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Okay, Technically day 7. But I ended up having to take a break from the gun for a couple of days.

So, Day 4!

End of the third day, a buddy and I plucked away at the wood. The woods surface was very uneven, very large dips into its surface made it near impossible to sand off all of the previous paint, so some spots on the buttstock are still visible. I don't mind though, it actually gives the gun an interesting appearance.

Here is a photo of the gun so far.



So, all that night we sanded the stock, stained it, coated it with polyurethane and its been drying rather slowly since.

Rear sight was refinished, did a few more applications of the gun blue to even out the finish... Now all that is left to do is the lower receiver and the gun should be good to go.

I'm thinking of dirtying up the gun, give the wood parts a bit of a tumble in the dirt and maybe leave the metal components outside for a while too.

Whee, fun stuff.

Last edited by Strelok; May 8th, 2012 at 15:52..
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