De-farbing and ideas for your Denix M1 Garand
Now if you own a Denix or are looking to buy one and have seen the obvious flaws, don't fret, these can be improved really easily and cheaply. Putting an original next to a Denix really shows how well they did this reproduction. Everything is in the right place, almost down to the mm, yes there is a couple of screws that were poorly choices, but overall it really is a great clone. Here are a few ideas for you to consider - the wood is fairly easy to darken and re-colour, the screws can be hidden behind some filler and painted black, the stock can be replaced with an original with some minor hollowing out, or the Denix stock can be drilled out, giving you the cleaning tools slots and the butt plate replace with an original one. They are the perfect match, even the screw holes line up perfectly! Sometimes Denix surprises me with things like that.
The woodwork supplied is a very bright , almost red colour. There are a dozen ways to change the colour, of course wood stain is the obvious choice. However, oils and even dark brown boot polish can be used. I have tried boot polish myself and a few light layers do work fairly well.
The photo above shows the Denix stock with a light coat of brown boot polish, in the middle is a Denix M1 Garand in an original M1 Stock. The other two pieces of woodwork are Denix pieces that are slowly being darkened. On the bottom is my original M1 Garand that has some really light patches in the woodwork.
If you replace the stock for an original, and keep the front grip and top cover from the Denix woodwork, you'll soon notice the vastly differences in colour between them. Sometimes there are already slight different shades in colour between the 3 parts of woodwork supplied any ways. A closer examination of original Garand will also show the same different mismatch of shades of colours on wartime examples. To a GI this really wouldn't have mattered one bit, after all the colours of the parts matter not one bit to the functionality of the weapon. However, I would still make some effort to darken the Denix parts some extent to get rid of that reddish glare they tend to have.
If you want to drill the Denix stock and replace the butt plate, you'll have to first get hold of an original, both wartime ones and post-war are the same size. Sadly there are almost none in the UK, so it almost pointless even looking for them. You usually find it much better value to buy a bulk lot of them, at least that is what I do for the ones I replace. Also, watch out for that dreaded import tax!
Below left shows the original ww2 M1 butt plate with its opening door, on the right shows the Denix one piece cast item where nothing functions.
To drill the holes, get the replacement butt in place, open the door and mark the centre of where the bottom hole would be and the same with the top. Get a 20mm wide drill bit that is really long, auger is best and drill out the hole for the oiler and tool. Make sure to keep the drill really straight! Once done, you'll need to open up a gap between the two holes, not deep, only about 5-8mm deep, the door hinge sits in this recess. Once that is done, it looks best to stain the wood that has been newly cut and drilled... BEFORE you put the butt plate in place.. Simple! Or I can do it for you...
The front sight also isn't drilled through, it has an odd solid look to it, which can be sorted fairly easily with a good sharp drill bit. I haven't done this Denix Garand yet, but it's on the to-do list. The one in the background is the original with the hole in the sight, the foreground shows the solid sight on the Denix.