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THE NEW 2011 Coyle Blade Runner Blaster:

 By Richard Coyle www.racprops.com

 Quick link to page 2 HERE

The 2011Model is the end product of over a four years effort. 

It is what I set out to do from1006 Worldcon, to build an exacting copy of the prop used within the Film Blade Runner.
 
A little history of the Coyle Blade Runner Blaster: From 1985 to Worldcon to now:

(Covering details and with pictures not shown before)


My early 1985 model was based on a couple of raw copies of the stunt castings and a little help from Nick’s Dad..


Little was known about this prop at that time and all we had were Beta and VHS early tapes systems with very poor freeze frames to study the prop and a few stills from the film..

 


The model was a fair approximation. The raw stunt casting seemed to match the one we saw within the film. We did not even know about the amber grips at first, so many were painted as wood grips.

 In the late 80s and early 90s I was now trying to get the look of amber on the grips and I did add light effects with digital sound effects in the 90s.

 

And yes it has a broken plastic trigger. And a amber grip paint job.

If you have been to my website, you will see articles showing some of the best guesses made by other prop makers.

 (See http://www.racprops.com/issue1/brgun_pt2/ )

We started to learn more when we learned that along with the upper part of the blaster was from a Steyr rifle,(the receiver, hard to miss the name and model was on the castings)  but we had not figured that the ammo housing and clip was also from that same model of rifle.


This was the most everyone knew back before 1995…I was on the leading edge of information.

In 1997 a guy named Phil Steinschneider got in touch with me about doing a newer more accurate Blade Runner Blaster. We talked for hours. I told him I had heard that there was a 5 shot pistol inside and that I was sure it was not a Smith& Western.  He when in search for the pistol inside the prop and found the Bulldog 44 Special and it matched all the details that we could see in the stunt castings.

You can check this story out in http://www.racprops.com/issue4/ and read other articles on Blade Runner there.

With the loan of his 72 Steyr Receiver and a Bulldog, I set out the recreate this prop. Which we did, and all of this is covered on my website at www.racprops.com. And a few of the other upgrades as well. All covered in:

http://www.racprops.com/issue4/projectbr_pt1/

http://www.racprops.com/issue4/projectbr_pt2/ 

As thanks I named the model the C&S Blaster, for Coyle/Steinschneider.

Then along came Craig Kovach whom helps make the model even better as covered
in: 
http://www.racprops.com/issue5/brblaster_take2/...

 As VHS machines got better and the DVDs came in and as fans on the RPF found more details, I would update the model to change or include these findings, leading to more upgrades and changes.

This was once thought to be the last word in the Blade runner Blaster: 

 



I like the saying that all decisions are made badly... that all decisions are made with the Best Available Data/information…B.A.D. I did the best I could with what I had to recreate this model.

 I have learned to never say this again: "Well I have done all I can on this model there is no more to upgrade." Boy did I eat those words…again and again….

For in Sat. 8/26/2006 August I got an e-mail from Karl Tate with the question and some pictures of a Blade Runner Blaster at the 2006 Worldcon convention being held in CA. The question was, “Could this be the real gun???”


One look and I was sure, I had argued over the fact that in some pictures it looked like the frame between the grips looked silver and in others it looked black, and here was why, part of the frame was black and part was silver.

 I was so sure I packed an overnight bag and drove over night from Phoenix AZ. To LA CA on the last day of the convention to see for myself.  What a day that was, holding the Blaster and helping Karl take all those great pictures.

 A note about the picture, this is the only one taken with me holding the model...and it WAS pointed slightly to the left of me, the pictures makes it look like it is directly pointed at my face.....and A) I was totally sure it was unloaded as I had checked and B) it is a double action weapon and thus takes a very long pull on the trigger to cycle the action and C) with the rust in the barrel I am in greater danger from a blowback than any projectile fired.

Richard Coyle and Karl Tate at the 2006 Worldcon holding the Blaster.

Now there were these great photos from the 2006 Worldcon of the Blaster taken by Karl Tate. (my efforts were very poor compared to Karl’s, my digital camera was too limited and I had not used a film camera in years and did not set it correctly, I would have totally blown it if not for Karl.)

I did the best I could from these photos. These were the first Worldcon models.

As thanks to Karl Tate I named the following models the CS&T Blaster, for Coyle/ Steinschneider/ Tate.

Once this find happened we got even more information: more information started to come out,

Lately we have learned that there are number of differences between the stunt prop and the filmed prop.  The stunt mold was made off the props before changes were made to the finish, the grips, butt plate and ammo housing and magazine…:

This is a copy of the real stunt prop used within the film:

There were a number of differences between this stunt model and the finial filming version of the prop.

So even the film props went thought changes and updates during the filming.

We can only guess how these differences happened, a few ideas come to mind, that once on the set it was found that the grip was a little small for Harrison Ford's hand, so they needed to rework the grip by adding in a cutout to front on the butt plate, a finger relief... and perhaps even remade the grips a little longer.

The stunt castings grips are about ½ inch short, why?? Best guess, mold shrinkage, but why only on the grips?? The rest of the casting are full sized. Also a flaw near the bottom left screw hole does not show up on the hero model, could be a air bubble or some mistake done by the prop makers…so they may have remade the grips  and the old grips may have ended up on the stunt casting which they would now fit correctly on the smaller grip frame.

  I say this because you can clearly see the amber grips in two action scenes, the one where Leon bats the gun out of Deckard’s hand, and the fight for the gun when Batty punched though the wall and drags Deckard’s hand holding the gun back though the wall, in the close up you can see the parting line on the top of the rubber stunt prop along with the amber grip.

 

 Also the prop as first presented to the director was seemly still all black, these two pictures seem to show it still having its original bluing, These two pictures suggest that, or are just too dark…and it might have been a lot like Classic Star Trek, when they saw in the dailies, the gun may have shown so little detail, (like the black and white Phasers in season one of Trek)  that they asked to fix it to show up more on camera, because for the all the filming, the real guns parts, the Steyr and Bulldog show raw steel, their bluing was removed, making the metal lighter and brighter.

 

This seems to be the final version used within the film, minus the weaver knob that is.  

And also to show up more within the film they also added five red LEDs and two green LEDs. (This may have been to make the gun look more sci-fi-ish..Personally if I have to hunt in the dark, the last thing I would want was a lighted gun to give me away) 

For a time we all thought the Weaver Knob from a Weaver Scope was part of the official model and I was turned on to the Weaver Knob by a friend named Todd Bates, so thanks go out to him for his help.

 

Then I received copies of many pictures taken of the blaster when it was put up for auction. This auction showed a cleaned up gun with the cut wires rewired, this happened 2009. (It sold for around $250,000.00)

 

These are some of the pictures that were taken at this auction:

 

Karl and I were too timid to open the cylinder, so details of what was inside were unknown until these pictures, three things showed up, the part of the receiver’s cut away to clear the cylinder and the fact there was a “wing” or section sticking down on the front end.

Also that the serial number was partly struck into the cocking lever, it shows the last two numbers 23.

Lastly the way the receiver was cut at the rear of the opening for the cylinder. 

These pictures inspired the 2010 model and thanks to a nice order for kits I was able to count on a large start up sale to make up for the time spent not making any sales as I spent about two months updating the model. These were sold as the 2010 Worldcon Model and the Propsummit LE Kit.

Even before this I had spent hours studying the new BluRay DVDs and I and no one else could find a frame with the weaver knob, nor was there any ware or rust found.

 

 

 


So I dropped the weaver knob and went back the film correct slotted screw as the Weavor knob is ONLY seen on the model when it showed up at the Worldcon, even the early pictures of the prop as delivered to the show only the slotted screw.

And I again thought I was done updating and changing the model… 

But fate and fans were not done with me yet:
 
I am very surprised of how much info and help that has come my way this past couple of months.

At the same time I am surprised over how many things I still had gotten… well less accurate…

At the same time I am delighted to get this help and to be able to make this upgrade to the model and to get it so much closer to dead-on.

That was the main reason a few reached out and offered me extra help, they all said in so many words:

“I am impressed with how much effort and time you have spent trying to make your model as accurate as you can, the years and the many upgrades and changes, and if I can help you reach that goal, then I want to offer this help..” 

Thus this fall of 2010 four things came into my hands:

 First: A very clean copy of the early hard castings made back in around 1984 of the stunt rubber model. The first ones I had were used to make my first Blade Runner model…I cut them up to make my casting molds, figuring I could buy more later…this did not happen, there was only one short run done.

Years later I got one of the last pulls from this mold, but due to the mold wearing out it was compressed and had some major chunks of rubber pulled out.

Some detailing of my old copy of this stunt casting (from the worn out molds) I had thought was caused by the compression of the mold to make this last copy, but I now learned that these were in fact real, the flatting of the left side cover, is real…and corrected on the new castings…a flatting of the grip frame between the grips has also corrected.

 

Second:  Getting an offer of a good Steyr receiver and after a long talk discussing the details and features of the 1966 to 1972 Steyr receivers I requested the1967 receiver, because the 1968 version had weak stamping of the word Mannlicher, where the 67 had a better stamping run, other than that and the year they are totally the same, whereas the 72 has the gap between the Steyr logo and the first letters too close. (A detail spotted by Andy)

As I now own this receiver I was able to fill in the serial number stamps and date so to have a smooth area the better to re-stamp them. (Try to re-stamp over old numbers caused ghost marks to show…) 

Both one and two came from Craig Kovach, many thanks for your help….

Three: A set of special photos showing even more detail. Detail unknown to 99% of the world.

A sample of these new photos:

 

 

Fourth: Some very good criticism and suggestions from a few very helpful people. Suggestions on mold making and help with the grips…

All of this inspired me to redo: The receiver, the grips, grip frame, inner grip frame, and butt plate. 

I also tweaked both side covers as well and made new molds, so these are new as well.

So with my latest upgrade to the model I can now totally say that my Blaster is nearly dead-on in accuracy, and is completely superior in construction to anything that has come before.

I am also making new, more complex molds so I can save time sanding parts to fit and thus hold their shape and size to tighter tolerances- a problem with my old molds.

These are small changes, but add just that much more to the correctness of the model.  

SO- all of this has led to: The 2011 Model:

The parts of this model that have given me the most trouble have been the grips, grip frame and butt plate.

It is a nightmare of compound curves and multipart’s that all have to come together as a fitted whole. 

The latest set of these parts are as close as I can get them, and I now know that they are at long last the best I can get them.

Changes to the grips were widening and a slight reshaping of them. As an extra detail I am drilling the barely seen mounting hole that was not used, and making sure they follow a slight curve near the top. I also have the correct light dip on the right side upper section missing on other models.

One new feature of the grip frame is how flatter the back strap is. This was there in the old crappy stunt model casting, but as it had been so highly compressed I thought the flatness was caused by compression, but getting an older cleaner copy and restudying the photos, I saw that it needed to be corrected.

 

Once I got the grips and frame correct it was not too hard to rework the butt plate once again.

One thing that is helping with these parts is I switched from open face molds to closed two part molds, now size will not jump around as much because of sanding these parts. And thanks to the special new photos:

I was able to see what was under the grips, and thus I have reworked the inner frame to show these details, and again slightly more accurately than any were before.

I also was able to see that the inner cut of the outer frame was not carved on the inside to cradle the inner Bulldog frame, so I corrected that. It turns out to be a straight cut out of the frame to allow the real Bulldog to slide in sideways.

 

 I was also able to see that the trigger guard was not held by a bar into a grove, but by a small round head screw, and again I have made the switch.

 

Lastly photos of the inside of the left side cover with the rod showed how the white wires were really ran- with one pair running under the cover 80% of the way and the other pair running on the outside of the cover, and then near the bottom the underside pair pop into the front thought a slot and join the outside pair for the last 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the bottom of the cover and then to the ammo housing.

 Also the wires leave the rod farther to the rear that I had them, so I corrected that as well.

 With this rearward placement the original has a more “V” shaped cut for the wires, and again I have added that as well.

 

 

This also leads to a minor reshaping of this left side cover, it is tighter, and a touch shorter on the cylinder. And it shows the correct gap between it and the Steyr Receiver showing, a little of the cylinder below.

 


 
I will be offering this cover two ways, as the Worldcon system with wires showing and with the hidden wires.

On the right side cover it was corrected a little for a better fit and alignment of parts.

Due to my having done a couple of these receivers early this year I was able to make a couple of slight improvements in the fit and cuts. (Practice makes perfect…well better…)  

Lastly I found a more accurate rod for the mount on one of the small screws on the side of the ammo housing and I also found I needed to relocate these two screws downward and to the rear. (The two holes in the stunt casting were in the wrong places…leading me to think they re-did the ammo housing as well when they made this change)

 

 Add I use real screws in every place there is a screw, there are no cast-in fake screws.

 

So with my latest upgrade to the model I can now totally say that my Blaster is nearly dead-on in accuracy, and is completely superior in construction to anything that has come before.

I am also making new, more complex molds so I can save time sanding parts to fit and thus hold their shape and size to tighter tolerances- a problem with my old molds. 

These are small changes, but add just that much more to the correctness of the model.

And lastly, this entire model is made of metal, other than the grips and the ammo housing and ammo magazine, which are made of plastic- JUST like they are on the original hero prop. 

 

 

The brightness of the receiver and other detail is in the eye of the beholder, but this is how I see the prop when cleaned up and will all the rust and dirt removed. 

As in these photos:

 

 


And lastly, there are the current unloaded ammo I include with these models- real 44 Special cartridges and great looking brass hollow point bullets.

 

Model can be ordered as the model above like new as issued to Deckard, OR

As seen on screen with paint ware and paint removed from the bottom of the grip frame.

As above with visible wires for the side rod.

As Worldcon with weaver knob.

I am the What a Berger of props, have it your way. 

 

 

 

 

 

So to sum up: New Steyr receiver, new grips, grip frame, butt plate, modified inner grip frame, modified trigger guard with screw mounting, modified side covers, correct wiring for side rod possible, for those that want the wires visible) and modified and corrected ammo housing.

This is a sturdy, solid copy of this great prop. One that you can pick up and hold and proudly show off to your friends- and certainly without any fear it will fall apart in your hand!

 Thanks go out to Phil Steinschneider, Craig Kovach, Karl Tate, Andy Pokon from Propsummit, Yasuyuki Suzuki, and Todd Bates. And all the researches on the RPF and others whom have help support this effort.

 Richard A. Coyle

 

 
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