Anakin ROTS Dueling Saber (almost gone!)

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Zenkai

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hello Saberland!

This is Nick from Saberz.com - things have been pretty quiet with Saberz.com for a few years, but we're coming back with some big projects. A brief outline of the sabers coming in the next few weeks/months:

1. Anakin ROTS Stunt saber, resin limited edition
2. Obi-Wan ROTS Stunt saber, resin limited edition
3. Anakin ROTS Stunt saber, metal FX-ready
4. Obi-Wan ROTS Stunt saber, metal FX-ready
5. Maul TPM, metal FX-ready
6. Obi-Wan TPM, metal FX-ready
7. Qui-Gon TPM, metal FX-ready

FX-ready just means hollow with room for electronics. Everything will be 7/8" blades. And, the big headline is that ALL of these hilts have been designed based on actual, screen-used examples of each saber, which we had in-hand and took measurements from. The accuracy on these is going to be next-level. For example, on Maul, we are using a stack of actual fender washers for the emitters, rather than a single piece of lathed aluminum. The fender washers have a lot of interesting geometry, surface detail, and random imperfections that you simply can't capture with lathed aluminum. So we are taking the appropriate-sized washers, and boring out the center so that they'll slide onto the assembly and still accept a blade. But I digress. Let's talk about the first hilt up to bat.

Up first, a limited-edition run of dueling hilt replicas from ROTS.

Saberz.com - Project A3

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These are hilts close to my heart. I always just loved the Anakin stunt hilt. To me, the stunt hilts represent what a "real" Jedi would use. And the Anakin ROTS is a perfect case in point. We start with the well-loved Graflex design, and eliminate everything that was impractical about it from a functional perspective. No sharp bits to hurt your hand, no greeblies to get in the way of your hand, reduced overall diameter, elegantly-small lower grips, and a perfectly-sized choke point for swinging. For me (and I know this may be blasphemy to Original Trilogy purists), this is the definitive version of the Skywalker saber.

Getting the details right on this saber was always a challenge. There have been very few good images of the hilt floating around, and there are vanishingly few examples of the prop in private hands. But as luck would have it, I was able to gain access to one, and it was off to the races!

One of the most exciting aspects of this project was learning about these hilts, including how they were manufactured, how they were assembled, and how they function. There are interesting things to note about every component of the saber, from tip to tail.

Let's start with the blades. As it turns out, they aren't a hilt plus a blade as you might assume. In fact, the blade is a critical component in the assembly! It's common knowledge that the carbon blades were actually texalium, a fabric which blends fiberglass and aluminum shavings which makes for a composite tube that is very strong, durable, and lightweight. What isn't so well known is that at the hilt-end of the blade, there was a long threaded push rod, similar to what you find inside car engines. Even more odd is that these push rods were hollow! I've been able to verify this against close to a dozen Episode 3 blades; all of them had the same hollow push rods. Unable to find anything matching the specs, I simply had them custom made for the project. These are hollow, black oxide steel, with M10-1.5mm threading on both ends. I tend to believe that the rods might have been custom made for production, as the threaded length tends to vary from saber to saber. Our push rods have 52mm of threaded length on each end. The threads on one side are hidden within the blade, press-fit into place.

Onto the emitter. The iconic S-bend Graflex curve is present, but carved a bit differently from the original flash handle. Some interesting geometry especially up front where there's almost a snub-nosed fillet right at the tip. On top we see the same simplified bunny ears found on the ROTS hero saber. But that's about it for greeblies. In place of the usual bulb holder, we find a simple aluminum tube, with a 10mm inner diameter to receive the push rod. One very shallow groove is carved into this tube, likely an homage to what the full-sized bulb holder looks like. Behind the bunny ears, it's very simple. No red button, no glass eye, no beer tab or other details. Instead, we find a beautifully-sooth upper section with a choke for spinning. This was obviously lathed by hand, as the curves are gloriously imperfect. I've replicated that imperfection as closely as possible, rather than attempt to idealize or smooth anything out.

Moving back to the clamp, we find basically the same clamp as the ROTS hero, however with the control box lathed down smooth. Nothing too crazy here.

Then, the grips. These are really interesting. Not only are they much lower than the standard T-track grips, an obvious benefit to dueling as they don't get in the way of your hand, but the sections between the grips have very interesting geometry as well. They are actually concave! It's unique, beautiful, and we've replicated it as closely as possible.

So, onto assembly. Our replicas here assemble identically to the real props. In fact, if you had an original prop on hand, you could swap out each and every component of these replicas and use them on an original saber assembly. There are three sections: the grip + clamp section (with internal threaded rigging), the emitter + bulb holder section, and the blade + push rod. Everything stacks together, and the blade itself tightens the assembly together. One small set screw on the emitter section acts as a redundancy to keep everything tight, as well as keeping the emitter clocked wherever you want it relative to the clamp.

Finally, on to what's on offer here! I've made a limited edition set of replicas produced just like the originals. The resin components are all SLA printed, sanded down to 1500-wet smoothness, vacuum metallized with a chrome finish, with custom-machined internal M10 threaded inserts. All exactly like the original props. The blades are genuine silver texalium blades, cut to the correct length, with accurate paint and heat-shrink applied, with custom-machined push rods to match the original. Please note, due to the nature of the construction, these replicas DO NOT have the uniform perfection of CNC-machined parts. Just as with the original props, these are imperfect, and may have minor cosmetic or geometric inconsistencies. In my opinion, that's part of what makes them so beautiful.

Now, the money shot. Real vs. Original. (Please ignore the thicker-looking blade on the replica; the heat shrink is too thick, and will be corrected).


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Because of the extensive manual labor required, and all the little custom bits needed, this run is limited to 12 pieces, at a price of $749 each. I know this is on the high end for a resin replica, but unfortunately the costs were extremely high. The cost of materials alone is well above what you'd expect for the regular retail price of an alloy saber, and that's before we even do any work to those materials. Hopefully you can appreciate the extraordinary level of care and effort that went into making these replicas what they are, and the value that they offer. I'm sure some of you might want to post "I was in, until I saw that price." If you are looking for a more budget-friendly version, we are working on FX-ready metal replicas which will be available in the coming weeks/months, which should slice that number in half or so. But the alloy versions necessarily have to be a smidge less than accurate; not only are the materials different, but then to make them accept electronics means changing the construction, and we also have to make the emitter hole a bit bigger (it's only about 20mm on the prop, not even big enough for a 7/8" blade). So if you want a dead-on movie-accurate hilt, this resin one is the way to go. But for "almost there" the alloy one will be great.

Current status: the first several sabers are complete. Packaging is still a few weeks out. If you want to forego packaging and just have the saber, I could send that out right now. Otherwise, all customers will be informed of the project status as updates are available.

Box o' saber parts (you can see some Obi parts in there!):
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Stay tuned for the other projects listed above!! The Obi-Wan (#2 in the project list at the top of this post) is at the same stage of completion as this Anakin, so expect a project run announcement in the next day or two.

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Project O3 is on the way very very soon :)

Thank you so much!! I'm super excited for these runs.

To grab this saber, head to Saberz.com/ProjectA3 now!

A3 Limited Edition, 10 hilts total:
1. SOLD, J.S.
2. SOLD, S.P.
3. SOLD, T.F.
4. SOLD, M.S.
5. SOLD, M.G.
6. SOLD, R.H.
7. SOLD, W.K.
8. SOLD, N.S.
9. ---
10. ---
 
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Anakin Starkiller

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looks great! An amazing dedication to replicating the original prop like it walked off the set. I'd post images of the whole project in the main SW forum. A lot of times, I think prop runs fall by the wayside when people doing search through the various sub forums.
 

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Zenkai

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That’s a good call, thanks! I didn’t want to get in trouble for cross posting, but I think there are some threads where it will be relevant.
 

Zenkai

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for your order!! Got you marked down above.

Yep, the O3 announcement is coming soon. In fact, the parts are basically all finished, and it's the same situation as A3 - we're basically just waiting on packaging. But I want to put together a video before I make the announcement. Why? Well, O3 contains more than triple the individual parts as the A3. That's because Anakin hilts were all basically the same. There was a tall-grip version, but we didn't replicate that as it doesn't seem to show up anywhere in the film.

The O3 on the other hand, there are LOTS of versions, so we wanted our replica to be able to be as many of them as possible. So once I have a moment, I'll take some good photos and make a demo video showing how it all works. And then put it up for preorder.
 

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Zenkai

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi corliss1,

The A3 Limited Edition is 12 hilts. They are already made, and now being sold, payment right now. They will ship as soon as our packaging is complete. Or, if you don't care about packaging, you could have yours delivered sooner. There's no "reserving" of spots or "I'm interested" posts being solicited.

Does that make sense?
 

Zenkai

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I see how it might have been confusing, since a couple folks messaged me privately asking to buy the O3 Limited Edition at the same time, even though it hasn't been formally announced yet. I edited the top post to make it a little clearer that this post is just for A3-LE.
 

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Zenkai

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
NOTE!! This run was previously 12 pieces. However, due to some quality issues, we are reducing it to 10 pieces. It's just SO hard to get these things all looking at the quality I want them to be. So it's just going to be 10. And only a few are left, so if you're interested, pull the trigger now! These will not be remade in this form again due to the labor-intensive process. It'll be metal from here on out.
 

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