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 Marushin UZI ... ReFinishing and Customising

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Cerwyn (Site Admin)
Cerwyn (Site Admin)

Number of posts : 10783
Age : 59
Location / Country : North Wales
Registration date : 2008-07-20

PostSubject: Marushin UZI ... ReFinishing and Customising   Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:58 pm

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Marushin UZI 9mm Project

I was somewhat surprised myself when I first thought of this project, the Uzi has been a submachine gun that I grew up with, see it in the news everyday, everyone knows about it.  That said, I never really looked much into it, only the micro Uzi interests me and it stayed that way until I saw the movie SCARFACE (1983 Brian DePalma)".  Funny because most people remember Al Pacino with the blazing M16A1/M203, and there really isn't much Uzi action you can see in the movie either.  Who knows.

About the Marushin UZI 9mm:
  Marushin is known for making highly authentic, detailed model/prop guns, the Uzi 9mm model gun was first released in the 70's, known for it's level of detail, and full metal construction.  It was discontinued in 1979.  During the 80's, Marushin made these "kit guns" that require assembly and finishing, along the line of kit guns are M16A1, and XM177E2 Commando, and of course, the UZI 9mm, compared to it's 70's counterpart, this newer version is more realistic in design, and has realistic markings.  However it is no longer full metal, the entire pistol grip assembly is made of ABS plastic (everything else is made of metal, except grips, of course). The model gun I used is one of those made during the 80's.  These are too discontinued.  However I've heard that Marushin has recently re-introduced those classic model kit guns, but I have yet to see an Uzi 9mm.    Included in the kit are all the parts to make a full size, fully functional model gun, plus a can of spray paint to finish the gun. And being almost all metal, the fully assembled piece is quite heavy and impressive.  The detail is also quite accurate, for being released more than 20 years ago. 

The Project:
 One of the hardest part of this project is perhaps finding a Marushin UZI model cap gun to start with, model guns in general are hard to come by, and if you do find one, they usually have high price tags.  All the ones I've seen on Ebay have been going for $500~$600, and even $700 for the older 70's production, pricy for a model gun indeed.  But eventually I found one from a nice gentleman at almost half the normal going price, at $325.  I don't know why people didn't bid crazily like they did with the others, but I'm guessing it's because this particular one has really old, worn, sloppy paint job, and looks really ugly.  But being an expert at what I do, this is the perfect gun!!!  I was able to see beyond the ugly paint job that this is going to be a terrific project gun and can be made to look real nice.

Initial fitting of parts

Well nothing is perfect, this model gun has it's short comings it regards to it's authenticity and rigidity, but that's why I'm here.  The goal of this project is to build a full metal, authentic, and fully functional model gun.  The major components of the gun consists of:  Receiver, top cover assembly, pistol grip assembly (lower receiver), and folding stock. My plan is to replace as many parts with real gun parts as possible.  That may sound easy, all model guns are made in a way so that the dimension is slightly off compared with the real deal, this is true to all modern(1970 and after) model guns and airsoft guns.  This is due to the Japanese government regulation and code in regards to airsoft/replica guns.
Real stock screw/nut versus Marushin

When I first got it, it has the worst finish, chipped, oil soaked (can be easily scratched off with fingernail) and uneven, even has bubbles, it was a terrible paint job, plus a really old one.  So the first thing I did was strip off all paint with an acetone bath.  After that, I hosed all the parts down with Gun Scrubber (a powerful cleaner/degreaser for use with guns, it's essentially the same as brake pad cleaners).
The way the gun looked like when I first received it (it was hell)

After all parts have been degreased and cleaned, it is time to fit all the real UZI parts onto the receiver.  They are fairly straight forward for the most part, involving nothing more than minor fitting, filing and drilling, with the exception to the top cover/cocking handle assembly.  It is the most pain staking, time consuming, energy wasting process.  The dimensions are quite different, and requires some major modification and fitting; with most of the time spent on the process of trial & error.  Compared to the top cover, the rear folding stock and the trigger/pistol grip assembly slipped on like a pair of gloves.  However the weight and feel of the real parts are definitely worth the hard work.  The real pistol grip/trigger group assembly is also much more solid, and provides a crisper action, and is surprisingly a lot more comfortable to hold, compared to the spongy, squeaky, plastic unit that the gun comes with.  Although I did had to retain the original auto sear, but it's not something you can see after the gun has been fully assembled.  The real folding stock locks up much much tighter than the original, which comes loose on it's own sometimes, and the screws requires tightening periodically. 
Marushin pistol grip assembly vs. real Israeli trigger assembly.

After all the real steel parts have been fitted successfully, it is time to remove everything from the receiver and start "re-contour" the receiver.  Since we all know that the UZI receiver is made by stamping a sheet metal and pressing it into shape, so the corners are suppose to be round, and the indentations should lack crisp lines. So the major re-contouring involves sanding down the sharper edges throughout the receiver to give it a "stamped" feel.  Also, the cast seams and marks are removed from the receiver and other parts.
Real stock (left) vs. Marushin (Right)

On the front/rear sight wings of the real steel, there are indentations (weld spots) on each side, the model gun did not have those features reproduced, so I did it by the use of drills and sand paper.  The results turned out fairly well, in my opinion. The rear sight has also been replaced with the rear UZI part.
Simulated spot welding marks on rear sight wing, notice the sharp/authentic receiver markings.  Marushin stamped their markings instead of making it part of the mold, which made it feel a lot more realistic.

Now it's time to paint the parts, I had some dilemma on it, I wanted to use gloss black, because the UZI were originally finished for a somewhat glossy look, however all the UZIs I've seen have been parkerized. So in the end, I used this one kind of baked on lacquer finish, and it's suppose to be sort of in between, but more towards matte, so I said to myself: "Oh this will do", and it did.  The paint is used is Brownelle's baked on teflon/moly lacquer.  A very durable finish that is permanent and cures by heat, will not be able to wash off after it cures (provided that the surface has been properly prepared).  Spray on, set it dry to touch for 20 min, heat oven to 300 degrees, put parts in oven, let bake for 30 min, let cool, and voila, you got a industrial grade finish.
Assemble the parts into the complete gun, and we're done!

p.s. If there's anything I can change on this model gun (that I haven't done so), it would be to find a better barrel.  The original part is a little too round and thick.  But I have yet to come up with a way to fix it.
Pictures of the final product will be updated into the gallery section shortly, please stay tuned!



Hobby collector of Replica model guns and Militaria.
also member of Living History Reenactment Groups.
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