Made some progress this weekend on the blaster. I got a scrap piece of trex board from my brother in law. It worked perfectly, no grain on the surface and cut pretty easily. I added two layers of styrene material to create the grips and then smoothed the seams with glazing putty to make it less "clunky" feeling. I had to epoxy the handle to the barrel as the back screw wasn't going in very well and I did not wish to damage the barrel or handle trying to force the issue. I left the screw in the forward area of the handle.
The top of the site rail is painted black, but I did not paint the bottom. I like the look of it "as is", so I'm leaving it that way.
I also started work on the folding stock. I have decided to lock the stock in a closed position. I don't recall ever seeing the stock opened in any of the movies and to me, it looks better closed, not to mention the savings in added cost of material to make is strong enough to open and close without damaging components.
The paint appears "two toned" as I had to tape off the areas of the heat baffling (the holes in the barrel) to protect the metallic inner barrel. I plan on weathering and clear coating the gun when it's done, so it's going to get evened out eventually.
Just a few more components and details to add, maybe another one or two weeks work. I haven't added the hengstler counter. That update may come later on. This will end up becoming a cross between the ANH and ROTJ versions. As with any art piece, it will never really be "finished" as I'm sure to find something to tweak and improve it down the road. Of course, R2 builders know nothing of this... ;-D