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The Dragon

Half Frankenstein-ed SM1500

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#1 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:30 AM

Before I start I'd like to introduce you all to Widget, the Modding Walrus. He helps you keep track of what I do if you want to follow along.

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Over the weekend I was snowed in and I was bored, so I wanted to try something out. I had my SuperMaxx 1500 (minus the tank; that went into The Howler) which was collecting dust, and an AirTech 2000 tank that was also collecting dust. So I wanted to figure out once and for all if I could swap out the internals of the SM1.5k with AT2k internals.

And it turns out I can. But I didn't stop there. I had a busted Magstrike...

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There was a leak in the piston, so I chopped the internals up and took the bladder out. I used a hose clamp to keep the device air-tight on its own and plugged the overpressure valve on the other side of the bladder.

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I figured out that I could fit the bladder inside the "reservoir" of the old-style SM1.5k, so I cut the inside of the 1.5k shell to accommodate the bladder.

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One issue that came up was that the SM1.5k pump tube had a part that extended into the "reservoir" and poked into the bladder, so I replaced the tube with a pump tube from an AT2k. The shaft is from a SM1.5k; turns out it fits just about perfectly inside the AT2k pump tube. Go figure.

Anyway, I had to fill a bit of dead space to keep the new tube in place.

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All I had to do after that was hook up some 1/8" ID 1/4" OD vinyl tubing from the pump to the bladder and from the bladder to the tank, and glue the bladder in place.

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That was all there was to it. From the outside it looks like your run-of-the-mill SuperMaxx 1500. I gave it a removable 1/2" CPVC turret to top it all off, though on second thought maybe I should have singled it. I'm not a big fan of the big gaping hole in the front of the blaster when singled.

Last but not least, I gave it a earthy red paintjob and a name.

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Close-ups

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The removable turret keeps me from having to ramrod, and those of you who know me from the IRC chat know how much I hate ramrodding.

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Just a quick one, really. It snowed a boatload over the weekend so I haven't had a chance to test ranges. (Ranges are overrated anyway; this thing packs a punch. Though it takes more pumps to fill the bladder and the tank than just the tank by itself, the increased air output is more than worth it.)

Question/comment/flame away.

Edited by dizzyduck, 03 March 2009 - 12:35 AM.

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#2 Forsaken angel24

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:51 AM

Excellent work mate!

I always thought, Damn someone should make use of all this dead space in the Supermaxx guns.
And my boy, You have done it!

How many shots can you get off in one priming?

One other thing.

How are you able to pump up the bladder without the bladder expanding and cracking open the Orange tank thing in the back? There are no screw ports there anymore so how do you keep that part together.
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#3 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:55 AM

1. Two shots with about 20 pumps.

EDIT - For some reason after the first two attempts I could get a big surge of air in the first shot but the second would just fizzle out. Maybe the bladder is not expanding enough, or maybe I had a leak in the pump that was preventing the bladder from expanding and it eventually widened enough so I could hear it. I'll have to investigate once I patch the leak that sprung in the pump.

2. I had to glue the back together, which is something I don't normally like to do. If I ever need to get back there again I suppose I could just cut down the seam. Alternately I could drill through behind the back of the bladder and put a nut and bolt to hold it in place more firmly. I just haven't had a chance to get to the hardware store since I've been pretty much snowed in the past couple of days.

Edited by dizzyduck, 03 March 2009 - 01:39 AM.

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#4 BlackFox

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:10 AM

Wow, that's really ingenious. I love the paint job too.
Meh... My magstrike is gathering dust in the closet. I just might try this someday.

Nice work!
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#5 AssassinNF

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:15 AM

Widget is both hilarious and awesome.

Nice mod, but it seems like the bladder doesn't have enough room to expand.
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Probably dead by now, or something.


#6 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:19 AM

Widget is both hilarious and awesome.

Nice mod, but it seems like the bladder doesn't have enough room to expand.


It doesn't expand all that much. I was only able to get two shots off with it at 20 pumps.

I'd do more tests but it would appear that my AT2k pump has sprung a leak. I may need to get a check valve and put it in between the pump and the bladder.
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#7 Talio

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:48 AM

Nice paint job man. I really like that.

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#8 Fome

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:38 AM

Very very very cool.

I wonder what effect banding the magstrike bladder would yield. It results in more shots, higher ROF and slightly higher ranges in the magstrike and it would be a relatively easy addition to what you've already accomplished. Hmm...

#9 Pineapple

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:00 AM

The walrus rocks. And the 1500 isn't bad either. :huh:

Just kidding.


I'm wondering if the 20 pumps to get the bladder up to pressure for two quick shots would be advantageous over a normally modded 1500 with 3-4 pumps to get good ranges. Nevertheless, the novelty of it is ingenious and creative. And yes, it makes full use of the normally empty "tank" space on the old-style 1500.

Plus I love 1500s to death. Great paint job too.



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#10 durka durka

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:08 AM

That is a really nea mod. The paint job makes it even better.

I don't know if I could flame this mod. The worst thing about the gun seems to be the excessive pumping (and even thats not too bad).

Edited by durka durka, 03 March 2009 - 06:08 AM.

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#11 NerfCrazy

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:25 AM

All I have to say is nicely done. Oh, and that walrus is awesome too.
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#12 Galaxy613

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:59 AM

Very nice. How did you do your turret? The turret without the barrels look unmodified, how are they staying in there?
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#13 rokor

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 08:11 AM

That paintjob looks so nice! I just recently finished something like this but with a 3K tank in the Magstrike shell, so props for the wrtite-up.
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#14 hereticorp

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 09:31 AM

Love the paintjob.

The only downside is that the MS bladder is designed to expand backwards, not out. You've left almost no space for it to do that and that's why you're not getting very good performance out of it.

I'm honestly not sure what to do about that other than cut a hole in the back of the tank for the bladder to expand out of, but that's not really a good option.

If you had a bladder with thinner walls it would expand more out than back.
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#15 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:22 AM

Very nice. How did you do your turret? The turret without the barrels look unmodified, how are they staying in there?


Electrical tape. Lots and lots of it.

Love the paintjob.

The only downside is that the MS bladder is designed to expand backwards, not out. You've left almost no space for it to do that and that's why you're not getting very good performance out of it.

I'm honestly not sure what to do about that other than cut a hole in the back of the tank for the bladder to expand out of, but that's not really a good option.

If you had a bladder with thinner walls it would expand more out than back.


Thanks for the tip. That was something I did not account for when I put it in place; I thought it would expand more outwards than backwards and that would give me enough capacity for more than two shots. Once the pump is patched I'll look into it further.

Edited by dizzyduck, 03 March 2009 - 10:23 AM.

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#16 Homestarune

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

I love it. It's nice to see so many new modifications to old guns. Heck, in about the last week there have been three SM1500 writeups that I know of. Very nice use of the magstrike bladder.
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#17 oodalumps

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:33 PM

Awesome mod. And I love the walrus. I would really recommend cutting the bladder down though. That way it fits the shell better and makes better use of the few pumps that the shell allows.

Another idea would be to put a normally-open push-button valve behind the trigger and run tubing between the bladder and air tank to it. Just to help with efficiency. But that may be taking it too far.

Edited by oodalumps, 03 March 2009 - 02:34 PM.

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#18 Tornado13

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:56 PM

Or maybe you could acquire another SM1.5K and cut off the back end, cut off the end on this tank, glue the two together to let it expand more. Then pad the end and have it be a stock. Just an idea if you are looking to make the performance better.
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#19 Icespartan 1114

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:10 PM

I love this. Great paint job, and very creative. I like it.
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#20 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:40 PM

The only downside is that the MS bladder is designed to expand backwards, not out. You've left almost no space for it to do that and that's why you're not getting very good performance out of it.

I wonder if cutting down the length of the bladder would help this problem. The bladder wouldn't be able to hold as much volume, but you would get more pressure buildup from the walls of the bladder squeezing on the air.

How is it that all the air doesn't leak out of the bladder and tank when you fire one shot? Does the spring in the air tank have enough force to close the valve even when air is still rushing through?

Thanks for posting this, Dizzy. Your guides are some of the finest I've seen.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 03 March 2009 - 03:41 PM.

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#21 atomatron

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:46 PM

Widget the mod-walrus is great, I'm glad you found a name for it.

...The mod itself is also pretty good, a good use of assorted parts (and it looks great too).
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#22 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:25 PM

Beaver - I might try that. I've glued the back of the bladder into the SM1.5k shell - an admitted mistake - but I could remove it and cut down the bladder to squeeze more air out.

Tornado13 - SM1.5k's go for anywhere between $20 and $30, if I'm not mistaken. Quite a steep price tag for a full-time college student. One solution might be to add the back of the Magstrike bladder container to the back of the 1.5k reservoir, but that would look pretty fugly. I may have to look into a more comprehensive shell adjustment if the bladder mod doesn't work.
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#23 Salindin Naz

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 09:46 PM

Very nice!! As with all your work, I both love it and envy it at the same time.
Keep 'um coming.
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#24 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:52 PM

EDIT - For some reason after the first two attempts I could get a big surge of air in the first shot but the second would just fizzle out. Maybe the bladder is not expanding enough, or maybe I had a leak in the pump that was preventing the bladder from expanding and it eventually widened enough so I could hear it. I'll have to investigate once I patch the leak that sprung in the pump.


You're not going to be able to effectively semi-auto the gun with just a bladder strapped on. The fizzing out could be that the hose clamp has pierced the bladder, but is more likely that you've simply run out of air, as it all leave on the first shot. Put in a stronger trigger spring, and work on tapping the trigger to see if you can get more shots out.

Also, the At2k tank gets to much higher pressures than an unbanded MS bladder. You should look into putting some innertube around that so the gun ends up packing a lot more punch overall.
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#25 dizzyduck

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 11:07 PM

Thanks for the tips. I'll try a couple of those out once I get the chance.

The more I test, the more I think a chack valve from the pump to the bladder would be a wise investment. The pump has developed a second leak and I've had to put a piece of 1/8" brass in as a coupler for tubing. It has been rather frustrating, but I suppose it all comes with the territory.
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