project images and editing by Arnie

A What? Well there's no prizes for guessing where this project was inspired from, if you missed the film End of Days (EOD) you really should go on out and watch it.

So what's this project? Well no, it's not just an opportunity for me to grab a DVD off the shelf and page through the weapon and action sections frame by frame (rather fun though I must admit), rather it's a project inspired by CL's original EOD MP5.

When Clarence Lai (CL) of DenTrinity made the original MP5 it was based on the very few stills that were available at that time, well here we are in 2002, and thankfully there's more information available to creat a more accurate replica. The film is quite dark, so sadly the new screen caps that we have now are quite dim & grainy.

Here's DENTrinity's images of their EOD MP5 taken before sale. These images are here with DENTrinity's kind permission (thanks guys).

Now I'm aiming to make my own version of this replica. As you will see from the information that we have gathered there's quite a bit more detail we can add to the design.

Day 1 - fitting of the ZEKE metal barrel
Day 2 - Design ideas
Day 3 - foregrip completion
Day 4 - cutting
Day 5 - more cutting
Day 6 - trigger grip
Day 7- flashider

Day 8 - muzzle design
Day 9 - painting and decorating

The design? Well it's simple in essence basically you'll need:

  • Classic Army MP5
  • TM G3 SG1 foregrip
  • Short ZEKE M203 metal barrel
  • SP M203 grenade launcher

The parts for this project have come from AirsoftShop, the parts arrived here in the UK via TNT, less than 24hours after they left HK, which to me was astoundingly great service. I would really recommend getting the parts from Eddie at AirsoftShop if you are thinking of a similar project.

'Features' The flashhider in the film has five slits cut into it, that cut into the 'pipe' by about 40%. Other points of note include the fact that the SG1 foregrip has been cut back to allow the sling pin to be used, and that the M203 trigger guard is attached to the replica in the film. Strangely the SG1 foregrip in the closeup shots is missing the pin to hold it in place. This begs the question as to how they actually attached the grip to the prop (superglue?). It's worth mentioning that the EOD prop uses the 'SEF' style trigger group, which is handily the same as that on the ClassicArmy replica.

Project notes As the project progresses I'll be adding notes here, with what's happened, and how things are going. Please do give the project time, there's no real deadline for this to be finished, so it may take quite a bit to complete.

Start date (January 2002) Well all the parts have arrived, bar the SG1 foregrip. It seems to be really difficult to get hold of spare TM parts at the moment. I do have one SG1 grip, but that is on my own G3 SG1, but I may have to canibalize it if I can't get another spare for the moment.

(February 3rd) Fitting the ZEKE metal barrel Well this is quite easy (comparatively speaking) - here's how you do it: Simply take you M203, release the pipe, and slide it forward. On top of the mounting frame is a silver catch, depress this catch and you can remove the shell pipe completely from the frame. On either side of the grip you'll find several screws (3 I think). Carefully remove these and slide the grip off, you will find two sprung catches behind the grip, make a note of their positions and remove them. You will not be left with the plastic pipe on a steel slide. The steel slide is held onto the plastic pipe with some small pins. Just tap them out gently with a tac hammer and a small punch. To fit the barrel you simply follow the above instructions in reverse order.

Well that was the easy bit done, although it's possibly the most impressive metal part I have ever seen! The ZEKE M203 barrel is gorgeous, and features a rifled inner barrel, and a two tone cross through. Just note the detail in the inset image above left.

(February 9th, 2001) Day 2 Making up a frame to bolt the M203 to. Well we've been off to B&Q and aquired some sheet steel, and some 25mm square box steel. Handily this is just big enough to fit inside the M203's frame, to allow the grip to be mounted to the steel, and the M203 in turn to be bolted to the 25mm box.

I dunno how much sense that makes, but hopefully the images to the right (and below) make some sense of it all.

The inner barrel itelf isn't IMHO strong enough to allow the M203 to be mounted to it directly, so the SG1 foregrip will have to have a metal frame built inside it that holds the M203 to the grip itself. Sounds simple eh? Well I wish It was :) The main problem is that the M203 doesn't have a flat surface to bolt to, and will most probably need to be cut down to fit properly. Now this is where the big problem at this point lies, SPM203's aren't cheap, so any choice made has to be the right one, as I'm not going to make a mess of it at this stage.

To help with the construction a new spare G3 SG1 foregrip is on order and should be here shortly to aid in the design of the front end.

(March 24th, 2002) Day 3 Well the two SG1 grips came last week (thanks to Matt, and DENTrinity), so I started work on the foregrip. Now that I actually have the grip, I've taken a different tact to attaching the M203.

Firstly.. one recommendation, don't use a hacksaw, get a dremel and a cheap(ish) jigsaw from your local hardware store. I spent over 2 hours cutting the steel box pipe (above) by hand, and spent 15 mins today, cutting down all kinds of steel and plastic with ease. You have to love powertools. Now please remember kiddies, take care with powertools. I am rather assuming that you know what you are doing here. If you're in any doubt seek help.

Anyway. so what's the game plan now? Well if you look at the technical manuals for the G3 series you'll spot that the G3 SG1 foregrip is two piece of plastic, bonded into two using metal pins.

Now in cutting the grip down to size, you significantly weaken the grip. In fact it's highly likely that the two halves will come to bits if you saw it with a jigsaw.

Given the fragile nature of the grip, what I've done is detach the two halves, and rebond them with some decent two part epoxy glue (I used some hard as nails Araldite). Be sure to do this is a ventilated room, as the stuff really stinks! Now that the two halves are well attached they need reinforcing to take the weight and strain of the M203. I cut some 1mm galvanised steel sheet down to fit. One piece was inset into the bottom of the grip, and the other piece was cut into a horseshoe style shape to bridge the grip at the back - this makes the grip very 'unsquishable', and also adds a lot to the weight. Make sure to use a lot of glue to bond the steel to the grips, the more the better, as it ensures that everything will stick well.

At the front of the SG1 grip you'll find a steel attachment to fit the bipod. Well being me I'm not one to cuck bits away if they can be recycled. If you carefully split the front of the grip (remember you hacked this part off to cut the grip down in the first place) you can easily remove the front attachment part. This new part easily fits inside your new grip (as shown). You'll have to cut down the cast metal, as otherwise you can't lever the grip on, as the square fitments catch on the bottom of the foresight. As you'll see after 10 mins with a sander and a dremel with a cutting disk, I've cut the corners off so that you can slide the grip on easily.

The plastic of the grip has also been carefully filed down so that the metal insert sits easily. It's not glued on yet, but as you can see it features a 6mm bolt hole in the bottom. I've tapped this so that it now fits some 6mm bolts that I have.

When the glue has cured (normally takes about 12 hours to completely harden) the M203 is going to be cut down to create a flat mounting surface at the top, the M203 is then going to be bolted on with 3 bolts (one will go through this new bolt hole). In this way, a lot of the M203's weight will be supported via the front foregrip pin.

There is also a metal plate that I've cut to fit the underside of the grip. As you'll see the grip has an angled bottom, so the metal spacer (that goes between the M203 and the grip) will need to be angled to ensure that the M203 doesn't point skywards.

Three 6mm holes will be drilled into the frame of the m203, and through the grip, and the two metal plates on either side of the foregrip. The bolt heads will be recessed into the M203 frame, and the nuts will be inside the foregrip.

What's left to do? Anyway.. that's a lot of the hard work done. The SP M203 needs to be cut down (this will require a lot of care not to mess it up), the steel wedge shaped spacer needs to be made, and a new pipe needs to be cut to shape and mounted onto the present flashhider.

(April 22, 2002) Day 4 It's been a busy night and the dremel has never seen so much work in one night. What's been done? Well the M203 has been cut right down, and now bolted onto the newly fabricated grip. Here's a photo:

Sadly I scratched the SP M203 receiver a few times, but that doesn't matter as it's going to be sprayed matt black with some hammerite/plasticote spray in the next session.

There's not a great deal left to do now. The SP M203 is attached level and straight - believe me that's not easy to do. :) The custom flashhider, M203 side sight and M203 trigger guard need work now.

At a guess I'm looking at another 2 full days work, but damn is Jericho heavy now! The full metal body combined with the full metal grenade launcher makes for a truly awsome piece of kit.

I've also managed to get the custom SG1 grip on real tight. This was done by reusing the SG1 frontgrip metal front pin block, and by reworking the inside of the grip. When I get a few more free moments I'll snap a few more photos, and get some sketches up of what I've done. Given the environment that I was working in (high speed drills, and dust) I didn't have my nice and expensive camera near me. :)

The metal frame that I've used to mount the SP M203 to the grip is a really a prototype, so I'm going to remake it in the next day's work so that the M203 is mounted closer to the flashhider. At the moment, I'm more than happy with where I have got to.

One further bit of information I've received is from a nice guy in the US (he asked to remain anonymous). Above you can see a photo of a real M203 grip, and that of the real deal. As you can see the Airsoft version is very wrong in looks. When I get a bit further in the SP M203 grip will be sanded down with sequential grades of glasspaper to achieve that nice flat matt black look.

(September 16,2002) Day 5: Well it's been some time since I've had the ability to get back to this, but after a good few hours of work tonight, I've re-cut the SPM203 and shaped it as shown. There's more to be done, as it's not quite laterally straight (yup I'm a bit of a perfectionist), but the look is getting there.

The cuts along each side were milled out with the dremel with a ferodo stye cut-off disk (this takes about 1 hour or so), and then I proceeded to cut off the top section by hand with a large hacksaw. Needless to say this is a long painful process. The reason for the difficulty is that I don't have a bench vice that's suitable for clamping/securing the M203 frame to for cutting so I have to hold both peices by hand.

Here's some more photos of my living room carpet: ^_^

Warning tangent approaching! It occurs to me that I haven't mentioned the 'dremel' I'm using. To be fair it's not really a dremel, but it's much the same. Black & Decker make a clone of the original US Dremel for about 1/3rd of the price called the memorably named 'RT650KA'. It comes with handy features such as being "In FireStorm™ orange". But yay, lest thee not forget the saving power of orange tools.. .it saves us Brits from losing them in the workshop. Nope I couldn't figure it out either, personally I prefer my tools not to look like a Bob the Builder accessory (for anyone in the US, Bobo is a kid's animation about as annoying as that Purple dinosaur you guys get subjected to), or a Terry's Chocolate Orange (for anyone that I've lost here a TCO is chocolate, round and tastes of orange and comes in a bright red foil wrapping) but there you go, that's the price you pay for cheap tools. I picked mine up from Argos "why?" you ask, well Argos know nothing about powertools, the only difference between them and any other UK DIY chain being that they don't pretend to know anything about tools, hence making them trustworthy. Oh before I forget it costs around 39UKP, and comes in a handy tool box with loads of sandy bits and other wierd looking brush like things (yes, yes I know but I threw the manual away didn't I? I am a bloke after all). You'll need about 7 of the black cutting discs, you get two in the pack, and you can get more as 'Dremel' accessories in a cutting pack (costs around 10UKP).

What's left to do now is to fit the customised grenade sight to the RHS of the grip, and to re-spray the M203 frame black. The grenade sight is basically an 'L' shaped piece of steel with the original M16/M203 sight bolted onto it. I've sourced somewhere to get a custom muzzle/flashhider made and anodised (I hope) with some friends of mine in the US.

Oh I cut away enough inside to fit a standard mini battery inside the SG1 grip perfectly.. not bad I thought. ;) A big thanks go out to Jeremy Morrison (aka LoneWolf) for helping me out with this one, he was kind enough to send me a couple of mini batteries which gave me the physical dimensions I needed to do the work below.

To do this you need to cut away some of the original SG1 foregrip end. I recessed mine by 3/4 of the end cell of the battery, so that there's room to get it in. There is actually enough steel left in the front section to recess it further for a 9.6v mini battery if needed. Anyway with the newly cut innards there's enough room for a mini to slide inside the grip and sit between the reinforcing plates and the front end. Underneath the battery a securing bolt comes through and a nut secures it to the lower reinforcing plate. The bolt and nut have both been cut down so that they protrude as little as possible. Thus the battery sits as flat as possible (the nut is in the middle of the battery underneath it).

(September 18,2002) Day 6: Well I've done the last filing, and the M203 is now mounted on straight. Sadly this has to be done by eye, as cutting down an M203 to fit a shaped grip requires a lot of patience and time.

Two major bits have now been done. The trigger guard has been looped around so that it is secured against itself. The way this is done is to cut two grooves into the end of the trigger guard, and the recess it into itself. Sounds complex, but it's actually quite easy.

Take a hammer and a punch and nock out the split pin in that hold the trigger guard to the front. This detaches the trigger guard from the M203 itself. Now carefully cut two grooves into the end of the guard (as shown in the photo), they need to be about 3-4mm long and about 2mm wide. Now this is why you detach the front of the guard, you need to angle the guard into the recessed plastic, and then when it's in place replace the front split pin. To make it all a bit easier I bent the end of the guard that I was levering into the black plastic flatter than it originaly was.

Next up was fitting the grenade sight, this unbolts off the original M203 M16 kit. This really is quite simple. Cut a piece of sheet steel that's twice the size of the bottom of the grenade mount, and then bend it in half, bolt the sight to the top half, and then bolt it to the side of the grip. I drilled two 3mm bolt holes into the SG1 grip. You'll need to cut down the bolts so that they don't protrude too far into the grip, otherwise the battery won't fit back in.

Well all that's left now is the painting of the M203, the sight, and the rewiring and the new flashider building. I really need more days ill at home to get this finished (I wasn't well today, hence had the time mid-week to sit at home in the warm). Here's some photos of the work so far:

(September 20,2002) Day 7: Something completley unexpected happened yesterday. A UK company has offered to make the muzzle for me right out of the blue, which to put it mildly was much appreciated (thanks heaps guys!).

I've attached to the project page a "rough" diagram of the muzzle that the final product is to be based on. Sadly I don't have a CAD package installed, and don't have the time to dig through my CD collection to find where I put it, so I've done this in Photoshop. Hopefully the final version will be done sometime next week. Again a big thanks go out to the guys that offered to get this made up for me!

(October 9, 2002) Day 8: The prototype muzzle is here, well it's been here for a good few days actually, but I've only just had the chance to take the photos and put it all online for you guys ('n glas) to see.

Please note the muzzle/break is only a prototype, and is to gauge the sizes and evaluate the design. The next version will be in anodized black.

The company that kindly created this muzzle for me are relatively unknown in the Airsoft world, not because they aren't big (far from it actually), but rather that up until now they have been supplying dealers, rather than direct to customers. This is going to change in the future, and by their talents and devotion to the industry I can almost certainly say that they will be a hit with everyone.

The guys who kindly made this product are Area51Airsoft, more specifically Dave (their R&D guru), who kindly offered to lend a hand with the muzzle design and production. For this I really can't thank him enough - as mentioned above milling items like this by hand without the correct equipment is messy and very difficult

(February 15, 2003) Day 9: Well with a few coats of some Hamerite black car spray paint I've managed to get a decent coat of paint onto the flashhider. Sadly I've lost contact with Area51Airsoft so I was left with an unpainted flashhider (if anyone hear's from them please do let me know). So as I lack the machine shop tools to mill my own muzzle I've sprayed the one that I have. Now to do this perfectly you'll need to spand down the alluminium to achieve a dull finish, and then apply a primer coat so that the Hammerite sticks.

...that's if you want to do it properly. I wanted to take this to the last CQB site that I visited so had to somewhat rush the job. It's not as perfect as I'd like but it's good enough.

To spray the muzzle I mounted it on the end of Biro, and then stuck the biro into a beer box. I angled the muzzle upwards so that an streaks were minimized and then applyed 4 light coats (each around 5-10 minutes after each other ) from about 6 inches away. I did this in my living room, but I'm careful with paint - if it's not too cold I'd recommend that you do this outside.

I've also aquired a ClassicArmy MP5 folding stock now.which was kindly supplied by Al at AirsoftArmoury (cheers mate!). On a side note if you are after any CA bits in the UK, I'd give him a ring. Fitting of the stock is dead easy, sadl I'm currently missing the sling hoop, which seemed to have gone missing the the CA bag, but that's no biggie I'll have to scrounge one of them.

Here's some photos of the my newly hoovered carpet progress so far:

One other point of note - stock CA gear comes with a spacer on the spring guide that increase the FPS to around 350fps with a 0.2g. An 8.4V mini battery simply can't drive that at a high RoF, so I highly recommend taking the spacer out.

Oh gosh darn it - almost forgot. The CA muzzle is held in with a small grub screw under the figure-eight foresight. As this grub screw is nigh on useless (and because it had already fallen out)I replaced it with something better - a nice handy self tapping screw. This screw goes into the bottom of the sight, and screws into the bottom of the muzzle ensuring that it stays securely in place. CA's foresights are held on by friction really (My original CA MP5 seemed to have been built by the "bash it into place with a hammer" assembly school).

There were a few scratchs on the frame from light skirmish use, and from where I'd been using tools on the frame. I do plan to spray paint the M203 frame matt black too, but haven't got there yet. On useful tip is that if you wish to quickly cover up a scratch ona black surface pen it in with a black magi-marker. Yup believe it or not it's a good fix in the short term, that's if you're short of black paint. ^_^

Is this the end of this project then... nah.. I'll be back. ^_^

Put in your comments: I've started up a section in our forums where people can post their feedback. Please feel free to post advice, comments, suggestions or sketches there. All comments are greatfully appreciated. The idea is, rather than just build something and showing it off, I'm going to build this project page up with photos of the project as things progress and accept advice from anyone that cares to give it.

The old forum has now closed, so I've started up a new thread in the new forums here. You can find the new forum thread here.

Screencaps from the film itself:

Site Links:
CL EOD MP5 review
- a review of the original CL custom version

External Links: - Clarence's original webpage for his hand made replica - Kyle's own very nice HK94/M203 replica

Last updated: Saturday, February 15, 2003 8:35 PM
Except where listed, all contents are Copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft
Some images are supplied by and © DEN Trinity 2001