LOM at it again, thanks for doing all the hard work for meI was about to buy one of those torches too, then I saw the shipping prices
Thank you for those snippets! dcarty I really need to start picking up more reference books... Added those bits where they are relevant in the original post. I'd love to see a Vader write-up! There is so much to learn, every one in awhile I get curious and research but it's quite intense.
Here's some gifs I just made, quite compressed from the videos though:
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The film take appears to strike the dummy in a different location:
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The effect in the film is quite different than those two bts takes, I wonder if they encountered issues with the collapsible skeleton that forced them to rig something else up.
These ones are quite interesting because they clearly show the Barbican being used on the final day of filming!
Huh, well that is quite a curious spot in the storyboards!
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There's something really raw and powerful about the two clumsily fighting like this.
I don't know if the sabers were considered basic casts.. it took Brian a LOT of work to make the pulls he is doing now, which are arguably better than the cast that propsore sold
John [Stears] also recalled a scene in which Ben Kenobi dematerialises. “When Darth Vader slices through Kenobi with a lightsaber I did this by replacing Alec Guinness in a strategic position in the action with an empty cloak shaped like Alec. It was hung so that as Darth Vader’s saber hits the cloak, an electronically-fired pyrotechnic charge cut it in two, the bottom half having to fall a split second before the top, so as to show what had happened.”
Ahhhhh - I haven't studied the real parts of Obi as intensively... Wasn't aware the windvane doesn't really lock, so that could explain that detail.1) The Chronicles photo really was a re-constructed hilt for record's sake, we think. So, the placement of the windvane may not matter, it's easy to spin up and down and doesn't lock anywhere. Very good eye on seeing the ridge on the bottom of the "pommel".... all AS handwheels of that model (with or without and endcap) look like that
The R2 details are quite interesting! For anyone curious about the construction of the original R2 units, the OpenR2 group on facebook (and related sites) is a goldmine.2) Thank you for the R2 details, that's something I'm very unaware of. I don't know if the sabers were considered basic casts.. it took Brian a LOT of work to make the pulls he is doing now, which are arguably better than the cast that propsore sold
“I drew them up and got them from a local casting company (looks so similar I wonder if it was from their pattern?) and we then machined them (can't remember if the radii were on an nc machine or on a rotary table) . On the RC R2 the "hand" end part was cut off and a 1" long seloc pin (3/16" dia ?) fitted between this and the "forearm" to allow the "hand" to be "stiffly" twisted, although I don't think this was ever used (in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen the arm swung out anyway apart from what I think was an out take).” - Neil Anderson, shared by Robert Jackson
Fair point, I'm not even certain it was available in a tape variety at this time? I think most of the references to blade material from the time are "fabric."5) I believe the hut, cantina, etc. used Scotchlite fabric. Especially the hut, the lumpy frayed look of the material, and the sheen, really look like my Scotchlite fabric meant for vests and stuff. I glued it to some PVC pipe and it looks just like this.
Wow, that first pic does look quite skinny! But the death saber blade is interesting... When it's on the ground it has a nasty bend in it, I wonder if that is wood that snapped?7) The blades in ANH duel are a lot skinnier than I thought. The best way to tell these sabers a part is the diameter of the emitter face. I personally believe there were casting flaws in the in emitter plate, and they lathed the plate smaller to save the cast. That's how you end up with the V2 or the others. This is a small emitter here
Something was definitely up with the shroud - Prowse holds it so awkwardly. The guts having problems staying in makes sense, considering the location of the switch hole being so high up on the hilt compared to the Luke stunt. I haven't actually seen any evidence there was even 1 set screw on the shroud during ANH. I imagine there is a set screw under the shroud that holds the guts in similar to the Luke stunt though.8) MouseVader made a very good argument that they might have had trouble holding the guts in on the Barbican, or holding the emitter on... I don't remember why, but I don't think the 1 set screw was enough when swinging it around
Still, your experimentation on the casting has provide some great insight into the process of what it could've been like!I wouldn't say that. There are still problems I encounter every cast I pull. In fact, that's all I seem to ever post about on my Instagram. [snip] I'll be the first to say, and will continue to say, that I honestly don't know why or how they did it.
Possibly, but I'd argue the V3 is a worse casting than the two blanks we know of that are in private collections? The seam line and casting gunk is substantial compared to the other blanks.I do think the casts they wound up using to make the hilts were the best of lot they had, out of however many they made in the time they had to do it
The thing is the stunts don't have to be ready by March 22nd, they have to be ready by April 20th for the Cantina! Tunisia filming begins in March and stunt sabers are not necessary then. So that gives them technically about 2 months to come up with something, with a couple weeks of being unsupervised, as they finish filming in Tunisia on April 4th. I'd guess they'd be finished, or almost finished by the time Elstree filming begins on April 7th - maybe even later considering how rushed of a job they seem to be and how it seems they tinkered with blades throughout filming.The latest date for the saber designs settled on is implied to be Feb 5th, and the shooting memo says the props needed to be sent out by March 20th-22nd; that's about a month and a half to figure something out for the stunts.
"Tall collar" is what I've been calling this one! Agreed 100%Definitely different sabers. this is what I see:
I concur!2) V2?
I think the first pic in #3 is the V2, but in the other images though the emitter plate looks quite wide to me. Though it could just be the V2 before getting dinged up, not sure.
Nice catch on the clamp! I'm certain there's another BTS shot that shows it decently clear.. I'll have to look for itI went through this frame by frame too finally! I definitely see what people are saying. it's my opinion we are seeing blades with collars sitting ontop of bearings, right up against the emitter face... at least for the shots where we see the blade spin in detail. The high ones.. not sure. I see the blades bend too, multiple times.
It was cool seeing the motorized graflex in action. here's the MPP clamp on the barbican
The R2 details are quite interesting! For anyone curious about the construction of the original R2 units, the OpenR2 group on facebook (and related sites) is a goldmine.
I believe they recently acquired this interesting piece.
A raw cast aluminum R2 arm, for anyone who wants to compare it to the raw cast sabers.<p style="text-align: justify;">An original R2-D2 utility arm created for the production of the 1977 science fiction picture Star Wars, the first instalment in the classic franchise directed by George Lucas.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">R2-D2 is twww.thepropgallery.com
An exact quote from one of the original ANH R2 engineers regarding these can be found here:
OpenR2 is an open source effort with two focused objectives. 1) Researching the specifications of the robot prop built at EMI Elstree studios in 1976. 2) Implementing an open source robotics...www.facebook.com
Still, your experimentation on the casting has provide some great insight into the process of what it could've been like!
Possibly, but I'd argue the V3 is a worse casting than the two blanks we know of that are in private collections? The seam line and casting gunk is substantial compared to the other blanks.
The thing is the stunts don't have to be ready by March 22nd, they have to be ready by April 20th for the Cantina! Tunisia filming begins in March and stunt sabers are not necessary then. So that gives them technically about 2 months to come up with something, with a couple weeks of being unsupervised, as they finish filming in Tunisia on April 4th. I'd guess they'd be finished, or almost finished by the time Elstree filming begins on April 7th - maybe even later considering how rushed of a job they seem to be and how it seems they tinkered with blades throughout filming.
Ah! I think you mentioned this before in another thread, I remember that bit now about the bodies being a bit more on the un-lathed side of things from what we can see.Thanks!
That first pic in #3 is very, very un-finished. The wide emitter plate AND the wide, stubby main emitter section are reminiscent of the V3 moreso than the V2. The V2 emitter was cleaned up to the point the main section got skinnier too. The tall collar one also has this chunky attribute, although the emitter plate itself is almost gone lol
I think the death saber fall picture is the reflection of the emitter plate. I forgot to mention that, when you watch that video its theemitter flashing at the camera, blending in with the blade.
Definitely! It's strangely clean, which is why in the first post I mentioned that I doubt they were from the same source, but possibly inspired in process by.Now, this is interesting. That arm is very clean in comparison to any of the casts seen in public and the V3 (still some pockmarking I noticed on the surface and underside of the arm). The folks who built R2---and this is just from anecdotes I've heard recounted---were out-of-work aerospace engineers after some union quarrels, I think, within the airplane industry. Those guys definitely knew what they were doing. The original R2 domes (not the lamp shade that inspired them) were spun in-house by them from what I've heard.
Neil Anderson specifically said the casting for the R2 arms was outsourced to another professional company after providing them with a drawing, not a buck from his recollection. (likely traced from provided blueprints. Mr. Anderson did not recall exactly what they did, so they've been trying to figure it out) At the very least, they didn't do casting in house. It's possible Stears' SPFX team contacted that company later, but again, with how wonky casts like the V3 are, I don't think they were a pro job.Would it have bogged production down even moreso had a request come in last minute to the R2 team to cast the bucks too after just finishing work on the R2? They would've had the know how to make the casts and they obviously made a master for the R2 arms; were they responsible for the casts? A part of me thinks it's plausible, but another part of me thinks that request going up the chain of supervisors and producers---especially after all the work done for R2---Could it be? Are there any invoices outside the memos? If someone could track down the invoices from Don Post on how many masks they made for the production of Halloween, surely this must exist somewhere.
Take a peek behind these guys!Speaking of, I found out there was a line of bench lathes popular throughout workshops in the 70's and 80's in the UK. The Emco Compact lathes, Models 5-8:
I'm not saying the hilts were machined on these, but I am saying these were available and they were everywhere then, and a lot of what I've tinkered with my hilts to correspond with choices the original prop team made, like removing the emitter from the casts to fit the lathe and find its center; or the need for the small stump on the casts--- you'd only really have to make those choices to work on a bench lathe and not a full sized lathe. Just sayin.'
Fun bit of trivia: These things are insanely well built. Many models then are still in great working order today. In fact, ILM'er Jon Knoll has one and used it to build components for his motion-control rig that was used to film the ship model in The Mandalorian.