M134 Vehicle Mounted replica

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Lordragnar

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Charleston, SC
Hello all!

Been gone for a while, but I've been busy. Long story short, I'm still neck deep into everything M134.

So in my quest for perfect replicas I have made great strides. I started with picking up a 3D printer then going on a several years long quest to find the best files out there to make the most accurate M134 replica I can.

So I'll start with some pictures. This is a Dillon Aero style m134 that I completely 3d printed and painted. Those of you who may not know, 3d printed parts aren't just ready to go off the printer. They require tons of sanding and filling to get smooth surfaces. All of this has been painted and clear coated and I used real hardware and pins to attache all the parts.

My girlfriend is a graphic artist and she recreated the data plates which I then attached to thin plastic sheet and attached.
 

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Lordragnar

Member
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Location
Charleston, SC
. . .. .and a few more.

Now this is a full scale replica, and really one of the first projects I completed when I first got my printer. That being said, as nice as it looks. It's not absolutely accurate, I mean, all the details are there. Dimensionally however it is off here and there.

Now this is the real reason I started this thread up. I have acquired some amazing files that are very, very nice. All dimensionally accurate so I can produce the very best and most accurate replica out there. So, with ya'll permission and blessing. Please join me on my odyssey to make the very best M134 replica for any vehicle, helicopter, or pintle mount in your living room. . .
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
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Location
Charleston, SC
So with the appetizers served, let's start making an accurate M134 replica.

Please note, aside from the fasteners, pins, and bearings, this is an ALL PLASTIC replica and cannot be made to fire anything whatsoever. It is basically a life size scale model kit and is a non-gun. Nothing on this is able to be made I to a workable part of any firearm.

So with that out of the way, let's start with the rotor housing.

So after printing, it requires some filler primer and sanding to get rid of the layer lines. I used duplicolor high build primer and found that the finish on the primer looked pretty good on it's own to replicate the parkerized look of the gun.
 

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Lordragnar

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71
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Location
Charleston, SC
A few more shots of the rotor housing, the data plates were once again made by my lovely and talented girlfriend. She took some pictures I sent her from the internet and then completely scratch built the data plates in her design program. She then printed them on high quality self adhesive vinyl that I then attached to thin sign plastic (the "no trespassing " signs from lowes and home depot) and curved it and glued it down.

I then drilled and attached cut finishing nails to replicate the rivets used to secure the plates.

The bearing is a real bearing from amazon that is the correct resr bearing for an M134 minigun(surprisingly!). The pins were all sourced from ebay and amazon.
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
Thanks! Thank you for the kind words. I cant wait to get deeper into this. I have a beautiful Dillon style mount to print and since I am heli coiling this one it will all screw and pin together nicely.

Waiting on the rotor to finish printing, that bad boy is gonna be about an 87 hour print.

I have been printing these at pretty high infill level, for those who dont know, you can choose how solid your part is on a 3d printer.

Most people print objects with about a 20% infill, so the interior is a honeycomb structure and the object is light, uses less material and surprisingly strong.

I , however, am not concerned with using less material and I want a beefy and heavy feel to it, so I am printing most parts at around 80 to 95%, some at 100% infill.

Even still, it will only weigh a fraction of what the real one does, and even then it is still just a model or replica, not suitable for driving around with it mounted( I mean you could, I just wouldnt hit any trails) but will be perfect for mounting on a vehicle at a show or display.
 

Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
Yes, eventually I will be offering kits and fully built replicas for sale. Just walking yall through my initial build so far.

I have a second printer that will be up and running so I will be able to offer parts and kits soon. All these parts are in spec with the real thing so one could use pieces to complete a demilled replica for museums and private displays.

Once again none of these parts can be used on a functioning gun and are not meant to be.

Alrighty, while waiting on the rotor print to finish, let's take a look at the recoil absorbers/adapter mounts.
 

Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
So, while I will be printing and finishing a Dillon mount, I want to go ahead and make a complete base model m134 in true G.E. style.

So here are the recoil mounts.

Once again they are printed in a high infill, the front lug has a sort of spring tension clip to allow it to lock in and rotate. The back cap is a separate piece so to make the mounts super sturdy I have inserted a steel pin that connects to the back cap and will be held in with a tension pin.
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
Got the rotor off the printer. So now I can show you a bit of the prep process.

So to start getting rid of the layer lines, I hit the main spots with 220 grit sandpaper on my orbital palm sander.

I then use some sanding files to get into the hard to reach areas.

Here are some pictures of the rotor after the first sanding pass.

After this I will use a light filler putty for some major areas, sand that back then begin the main filling process with SEM and Dupli color high build filler primer in black.
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
So a little more work on the rotor, I have the base coat of primer on and sanded. I started working on the hardware inserts like the threads for the bolt guides.

I also printed the front bearing, this is made with 6mm airsoft bb's for ball bearings and works pretty well.

I found a company that makes an appropriate sized bearing for about 75 bucks but it is a bit thinner. So I will probably install that once it arrives with a shim to help hold it in place.
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
Here are some shots of the test fit inside the rotor housing, so far so good.

Everything aligns well and rotates smoothly, just need to finish the gears, pin them on, and finish the bolt track guides and bolts themselves and the interior of the rotor housing will be done.
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
Some shots with the gears on the rotor. The main front gear has been pinned as well as the rear gear.
I used graphite powder applied with my finger to give the gears a more metallic look and also provide some lubrication for when they come in contact with the feeder/delinker and motor gears.

I used a liberal coating of graphite powder all over the inside tracks as well for the ball bearings on the bolts to travel around in. Hopefully I will be able to spin the rotor and have the bolts track up and down like the real thing. We will see!
 

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Lordragnar

Member
62
71
18
Location
Charleston, SC
As stated before, just like on the real m134, I have heli coiled all the screw points. Since this is all plastic(except for the hardware, bearings, pins and feed chute adapter) this allows the take down and disassembly of the replica to occur without damage to the plastic and adds even more realism.
 

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