PPSh-41: Lower Receiver
The lower receiver came together pretty fast so I don't have any progress photos. It's basically built like a box, the hardest part was the curved section at the back. I bent some heated plastic around a bottle with the right diameter and then glued it to the rest of the box. A little sanding and putty and it's one piece! Same goes with the curved "tongue" above it.
The big notch is where the drum magazine fits. Most of the rest of it will be inside the wooden stock.
I hit it with a little Testors metallizer "gunmetal" spray paint as a test. This paint will actually buff up a nice metal sheen!
PPSh-41: Upper Receiver
Since this piece hinges and supports lots of other parts, I decided to try to form this from a single piece of plastic. I cut a piece of wood to match the INSIDE of the receiver and using the heat gun, wrapped the plastic around the wood.
Unfortunately, because of the length of the piece I couldn't keep a uniform level of heat on the plastic to keep the bends even. Not only is the receiver uneven and lumpy, but it turned out too wide.
My second rule of building (the first being "measure twice, cut once") is "don't be afraid to do it over". This time I cut out the sides of the receiver as individual panels and join them together like a box. I glued in a thin strip on the inside joints for support.
I glued the sides on to the top piece (a "u" shape) and then glued in a barrel support and the muzzle end.
Before I glued the bottom, I painted the inside as it would be next to impossible to paint it when completed.
A little putty, sanding and blading the edges to get the "bend metal" round edges that I tried to get with the first attempt.
Soviet PPSh-41 Submachine Gun
I've always loved the look of this gun so I have decided to try something ambitious by re-creating this one as accurately as possible. I plan to make it as functional as styrene plastic will allow. Obviously it will NEVER be able to fire anything, but I'd like to have little plastic bullets in a spring-loaded drum magazine which will cycle into a little plastic chamber and then get ejected by a little plastic spring-loaded bolt!
My web research has produced actual machinists diagrams of most of the parts of the gun. Others I will have to extrapolate from photos. I will also carve a birch stock to complete the authenticity.
Information on the real gun can be found here...
My progress will follow....