AK CONVERSION
Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

This is "quickie" project that can be done in a few hours. I recently got one of 21st Century's first issue Kalashnikovs- the kind without the removeable magazine. Although it was pretty nice, I really wanted an underfolding stock version, the type a paratrooper or a Sunday afternoon plinker might have. I wasn't familiar with 21st's particular version, but it was close enough to what I wanted to make. If the detail was better than what I wanted to make (i.e. the handgrip, forward grip & receiver cover), I left it alone. So it's probably another weirdo hybrid.

The first things I did were cut off the wooden stock and the sling tabs along the bottom. Some detail needed to be added so I fixed the following:

Several areas are articulated with pins: the elevation sight, the stock at the receiver and butt, and the sling pin connectors. The front sling pin is connected to a short length of leather strap which has a 'D' ring and a pinhead "rivet", which in turn connects to the original elastic sling. The stock butt is made of sheet brass for durability, and also so it could be shaped with a slight rounded contour. The stock arms are made of strip styrene. I wanted the wood to have that funky, slightly varnished look of a cheap weapon. The color mix worked out pretty well (I think), and tones down the exaggerated sculpted wood grain that it had from the factory.

These are just a few of the most obvious things I wanted to fix. If you're anal-retentive enough, you can always find all sorts of little missing detail, like a screw or rivet here or there... Good grief! I just noticed that they left off the lever to unlatch the piston cover! ;^)

 

(Okay, okay!!! So it is just another excuse to show a picture of her again... She's got seniority here, so she always gets to try out the new stuff first! Ack, ack... )

10/23/98- Addendum: The search for the "Special Operations Weapons Set" ends. This set includes a batch of neat stuff, like an AK-47, Uzi, Remington shotgun, yadda, yadda, yadda. I really only wanted it for the first two on the list, and they are the best pieces in the set.

The AK included in this set is a completely different sculpt, with much more refined yet simplified features. They took care of several of the things that I had fiddled with in version 1, like the sights, the vent holes and the charging handle. In addition, they did a fine job of casting the cleaning rod with a gap between it & the barrel. They also removed the exaggerated woodgrain and made the grips look less dorky. (I thought the first version ones looked weird, but what do I know?) Yet, in the process of simplifying it, some of the receiver detail seems weaker & bland. For example, the indentation above the magazine is small and not as well-defined, and some of the rivets are either missing or slightly oversized. All this is just minor quibbling over a very nice rendition. After all, this one has a removeable magazine, plus they remembered to put the latch for the top cover of the gas piston! (Unfortunately, they don't give you the little kit with the tool that helps you unlatch it.)

The level of detail in the Uzi is incredible! Not only did the make the two-jointed stock, but they also made a removeable magazine, with a painted round ready to go. There's not much you could do to improve their version. You could drill out the barrel & fix the sling attachments-- theirs are molded on and slightly oversized. A wire version would be sturdier and more to scale, plus you'd be able to articulate the forward one so that it folds down. Other than that, it's nearly perfect. Of course, it's a shame that you can't break it down for cleaning...

Jeezus H. Christ...if I could do stuff this nice, I'd die a happy man...