Bowcaster Parts

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Macklin, May 12, 2005.

  1. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    I recently acquired a Horton Safari crossbow that I plan to convert into a Chewie bowcaster. I checked the POSW page, but it's still incomplete. What parts do we know about besides the Single Point scope?

    Does anyone have a good idea how the scope assembly is put together?

    The side panels look like cut metal sheet. The barrel is most likely metal tubing. what about the front sight? And the side greeblies? Could one of them be the Imperial Officer disc? Maybe camera parts? Which type of sling is used? What are the balls?

    Just trying to start some conversation here. I'm really excited about my purchase and can't wait to start working on the project. :)

    Patrick
     
  2. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    The side greeblies are tuning knobs off of a guitar or amplifier or similar....like volume control knobs.

    -Brandon
     
  3. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    One of the coolest props of the OT and one that we know very little about. The ones that I have seen done were basically just the best rendition that the persons vision allowed....and they were all GREAT. I'm hoping that MR does Chewies bowcaster from the OT.......... :D
     
  4. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    kurtyboy is the man you seek :)

    He´s done a massive amount of research on this great prop, with the support of our very own Chris T.

    I´m sure they´ll chime in very soon :D

    Markus
     
  5. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    BTW:

    Got pics of your horton X-bow?
    I built my first BC based on a barnett commando, but I´ve got a Horton waiting for it´s conversion too :D

    There are just sooo many different versions out there :unsure

    Markus
     
  6. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    Here's the auction pic. I don't actually have it in my hands yet, so no pics form me. I thought about documenting my progress and posting a tutorial. We'll see how it goes. :)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...DME:B:EOAB:US:6

    Brandon, I know nothing about amps or guitars. Any more info to offer before I go investigating knobs?

    I'd love to hear input from folks who have already made one of these. Any construction tips and material suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Patrick
     
  7. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I see you have the same Horton that me and Markus have. Except mine is green... I think Markus' is also green. Good price too. I thought I got a bargain at $50 on my one. I've seen them go for well over $200.

    This is about the closest we're going to get the to correct crossbow. I spoke to someone at Horton USA and showed them some Bowcaster photos. They told me that they had only ever seen one of those in their whole life. It has a metal frame unlike ours which are plastic.

    There are a total of 5 Imperial discs on the bowcaster (you seek Obi1kenny.). The other greeblies I'm not sure about but some are just flat discs. I have the info somewhere about the sizes and types of screws holding them on (got the info from Lonepigeon).

    Now onto the scopes. The two flanking scopes have not been identified but they are probably the same as the Dr. Evazan blaster but definitely not the same as the Boba Fett blaster. They are not ASI 4 x 20's. The closest ones I've found are Nikko Stirlings. I know they are not the correct scope but the shape and size is pretty much spot on and the screws, windage/elevation knobs/box are also the same.

    The centre scope is a cone tipped singlepoint. You also need a pair of ROTJ style scope rings (like the ones I sold in the Junkyard recently) and a pair of the Boba Fett style scope rings (you may have seen me selling these in the past too).

    That's about all I know I'm afraid. Reference photos of the ANH are very scarce. The best one I found came from the SW Fact Files UK. It is a much bigger and much cleared version of the side view in Chronicles. The ROTJ or ESB crossbow has been on display though.

    Markus has info on the correct bow part.
     
  8. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    Does this particular prop still exist in the Archives?? I know it's a near impossibility,but I thought I'd ask...........
     
  9. Sumatra

    Sumatra Sr Member

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    Also, was the same bowcaster used throughout the trilogy?

    Anyone have reference photos to post?
     
  10. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Might have been the same base weapon, but details changed throughout the trilogy.

    It must still be around because it was shown in an exhibition. Not sure which exhibition though.

     
  11. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    Seems like the front sight changed between ANH and ROTJ. I'm not sure about any other differences. Maybe the strap? Dunno.

    Patrick
     
  12. Sumatra

    Sumatra Sr Member

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    Are there any alternatives out there that are easier to find and not to pricey? I'd really like to make a bowcaster. It wouldn't need to be perfect, but most of the ones I'm finding are way off.
     
  13. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was hunting (if you pardon the pun) for a suitable crossbow for nearly two years.

    So far the only ones I've seen that look any good are the Barnett (close but apparently too big) and the Horton which is very accurate but the stock will need to be hollowed out. The other bonus is that the Horton has the correct scope rail and the grip is the right shape.

    The Horton seems to be very cheap nowadays.. but that could change if demand builds up :) They are relatively rare though. One or two pop up on ebay every few months.

    Be aware of the two types of Horton Safari though, the front part is completely wrong on one of them. I bought the WRONG one by mistake first time round :confused

     
  14. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Could someone remind me what the strap was? I knew at one time but its been that long that I've forgotten.

    I was going to use a Sterling strap.
     
  15. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There is also a coiled Graflex cord on it.

    A bowcaster was on display a couple years ago during Disney's SW Weekends. Reportedly Peter Mayhew saw it and said it wasn't the one. Of course, we know to take prop recollections by actors with a grain of salt.
     
  16. jedivigneri

    jedivigneri Well-Known Member

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    Heres what I know from talking with Chewie P. Mayhew himself....

    the planet hollywood hero medal i looked at with Peter, and he looked long and hard, and said "not even F##$( close..." and walked away...and all these years later we have the ACCURATE MR medals..SO ya, i think peter has a good idea of whats real off set and not...

    If he said the bowcaster at disney wasnt it makes sense, as he told me back in 2000 that there was only ONE used between 77-83, and somehow it got out of the archives and into the hands of a private collector from the same source as steve sansweet got his 3po head, han gun, and other REAL sw props. THE one and only bowcaster is in a private sw collection in germany,according to p. mayhew. and we know the ONE real hero medal from sw is in a private collection in the UK, so it all sounds right...

    the "balls" were racketball balls painted black...got that from mayhew, and saw it in print once...somewhere...

    Mayhew knows somethin of props, as when he saw my han blaster with real hensoldt scope he looked long and hard at it and said, WOW havent seen one of those in a long time...and he called a droid caller a "linhof" and said he had one...

    that what i know...curt solo :)
     
  17. Sumatra

    Sumatra Sr Member

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    Wow, that's good info. Thanks Curt.
     
  18. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So....the BC is in Germany?? :D

    Will have to reactivate some of my contacts ;)

    Markus
     
  19. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    So you'll have the original and find a cache of the correct crossbows in about, what a week? :lol ;)
     
  20. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    DROOL DROOL.

     
  21. Sumatra

    Sumatra Sr Member

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    Count me in for a crssbow if you find them :D :D :D
     
  22. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    Wow. There's some really great info in this thread. Thanks, guys.

    Does anyone know if there is any way besides ebay to acquire back issues of Star Wars Fact File in the US? I've wanted these for quite some time, but I'd rather not buy them all at once. BTW, Kurt, is there any chance we could see a closeup scan of the side greeblies? :)

    Is it true that no source has been found for the Han ROTJ scope rings? I know David had his run of them and I missed out on it. Is anything close available?

    Patrick
     
  23. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    I got my crossbow a couple of days ago. Just thought I'd share a few pics for those who are interested. :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Patrick
     
  24. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    The Graflex cord mentioned above is a "Y" cord. It's curly like a telephone cord.

    A camera geek has spoken.
     
  25. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    Here's another tidbit that was lying dormant on my hard drive. I don't know where it came from, but I recognize the board name.

    "According to TK818, the ANH Bowcaster used a 2" wide medical bag strap, the same as the Aliens Pulse Rifle. For the ESB/ROTJ Bowcaster, a 1¼" wide M-1 style sling was used."

    Patrick
     
  26. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think its just speculation that it could be a Graflex cord on the bowcaster. It could be just about any black coiled cable.

    There are actually two cables on the bowcaster. As well as the one which attaches on both sides and goes round the back just below the scope rail, there is a thinner coiled cable which seems to come from under the scope mount and attaches on the right side.

    There are d-rings at the front and back of the bowcaster.
     
  27. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    The short coiled cord also has a rather large plug, similar to a headphone plug. Here is a front view from Chronicles. It can be seen on the left.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wouldn't a racquetball be too small? They are the same size as tennis balls.

    The 5 imperial discs are held in with flat pan head screws. The diameter of the visible screw head is 7mm.

     
  29. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    A replica, no doubt... But there was one in a Planet Hollywood.
     
  30. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Here it is...
     
  31. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It may well be a replica but the base crossbow looks like the correct model.

    It could even be the original but with some parts missing and other parts added. The scopes also look like the correct models.

     
  32. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As Macklin pointed out to me. The balls have a seam showing on them in all photos. Racquetballs don't have a seam. They could be plastic hemispheres glued together.

    Was there a company like Plastruct (who make them now) making products like this in the mid 70's? Must've been.

     
  33. lonepigeon

    lonepigeon Sr Member

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    Actually racquetballs DO have seams. A racquetball I have is about 2 3/8" diameter, not sure if that's big enough. They might be another type of rubber ball if racqetballs are too small. The solid foam rubber type balls also have seams.

    I have to ammend one thing I told you Marcus. There are only 3 or 4 Imperial discs on the bowcaster. 3 on the left side and that may be another 1 under the small coiled cord plug on the right side.

    The two 4x20 scopes on the side attach to the Singlepoint via the scope rings. The screw in the Singlepoint scope rings thread through the side scope rings. Singlepoint rings are ROTJ type (high weaver style, maybe a bit wider base than ROTJ- not sure, depends on width of rail). The 4x20's have the same type rings as Fett's rifle, but the more common lower style (not the high ones like Fett).

    I've looked off and on for the correct crossbow with no luck yet.
     
  34. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    I stand corrected. :)

    Ok, I just did some quick scaling from a hi-res pic and if we agree that the barrel is .625" in diameter then it looks like the balls are 2.375".

    This matches perfectly with your measurements, Chris.

    Patrick
     
  35. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know or have any guesses as to what might be used for the bow part?

    Patrick
     
  36. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Must be the bow from a different crossbow. Might be ab idea to show pictures of the bow to crossbow dealers.

     
  37. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Not sure why you would think it would be from a different bow. Why not from that bow? I don't think it would make sense to start rigging pieces from different bows. I also wonder about them taking the time and effort to cut out all that extra material between the rails for a quick and dirty prop that has less than a minutes screen time over 2 movies.

    If you're wondering about the differences in the amount of curve between the "hero" hanging on the wall, and the found part, that just due to the tension created by the bow string. Even when it's not cocked, the bow string is still under very high tension. I remember when I started making mine (based on the Barnett Commando) the hardest part was getting the bow string off. I didn't want to cut the string for fear of where everything would go flying.

    There's got to be another bow out there that has the size of the Horton and the design of the Barnett (meaning empty frame).

    -Fred
     
  38. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There is... its just so rare that the chances of finding one are very small :p

     
  39. GotWookiee

    GotWookiee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sorry to bump this, but I am guessing that some of you have done some scaling work on the bowcaster. What are it's dimensions? How long is it and how tall?

    Thanks.
     
  40. paulcarson

    paulcarson Well-Known Member

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    I don't see a picture...
     
  41. Chuey

    Chuey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    One of my garrison members who plays one of our Vaders also made a Chewbacca suit along with a bowcaster. I will dig up the pictures and post them them later.
     
  42. Chuey

    Chuey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here are the pictures. This thing is very heavy.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  43. GotWookiee

    GotWookiee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That's a nice a bowcaster. Can you post any info on it's construction?

    I sent an e-mail to Horton and asked if they knew anything. This is the reply I just recieved:

    Not any new info, other than that they've been around long enough to have made the crossbow that was used for the bowcaster.

    Using the photo from the Parts of Star Wars, I scaled the bowcaster to about 30 inches long. Does that sound about right to you guys?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2007
  44. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Horton Magnums with the solid stock are only 27" long.
     
  45. GotWookiee

    GotWookiee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good to know.

    Any idea if my 30 inch measurement for the length of the bowcaster is correct?
     
  46. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    Hmm...I get 27-1/2" on mine.

    I was always under the impression that the original prop was a real crossbow of the time, possibly a European tournament crossbow.

    When I saw the Horton Magnum being used to scratchbuild props I immediately concluded that Horton acquired the original design either through a defunct company or it was an old design of theirs. Then they retooled it for injection molding in whatever space-age material they used. In the retooling process, they made certain modificatoins, the most noteable being that they filled in the negative space from the origilnal design.

    This would provide more stability with the lighter material and add some weight, perhaps helping to balance the weapon. I suspect that it would make the manufacturing process a bit easier as well.

    So...let's not assume that they actually used the current Horton Magnum for Chewie's crossbow. It could have been an earlier productoin piece from Horton or another company. It could have been a prototype. It could have been a specialty crossbow for tournament use only and not marketed to the general public.

    And yes, it could have been that blasted Champaigne crossbow. ;)

    Whatever the case, I'm sure the bow used for Chewie's prop was original to the weapon they used. We're just trying to find a suitable replacement for the Horton Magnum, which is roughly similar in shape, but doesn't have those neat 70's swooping curves. So far I haven't found any source for just the bow, which is called the prod in crossbow circles.

    Not trying to rant here, just trying to offer some perspective and help uncross some wires.

    BTW, those pics - is that TK818? I've been trying to contact him with no success.

    Patrick
     
  47. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yep, closer to 27 1/2" than 27". Still way short of 32".
     
  48. GotWookiee

    GotWookiee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for the scaling information.

    Thanks for the clarification on things, Macklin.

    Regarding the Champagne Champion Crossbow: What is the source of that information? How did it get started that that bow was the basis of the bowcaster? Also, does anyone have any information on it at all? Any pics? Any evidence of that crossbow's existence? How about any information on the company? Do they still exist?

    Thanks.
     
  49. Macklin

    Macklin Well-Known Member

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    The first I ever heard of the Champagne crossbow was in a phone conversation with Jeff Ritzmann back in '99 (Jeff, you out there?). He told me that he had researched and discovered the identity of the crossbow, then after a LONG search he found one. I'm sure he spoke to other people about this because soon after our conversation it came out on the boards.

    I also remember that he gave me the length as being 27-1/2". Huh...

    I have done a fair amount of research on this over the years and have found no evidence of there being such a company. I trust Jeff at his word and he said that they were ultra rare. So finding one will be next to impossible. Still, I feel that I should have run across something by now.

    The Horton Magnum is the next closest thing. I'm certainly thankful that we have at least this to work with. They pop up on ebay from time to time. Just keep looking.

    I'm taking my time with the conversion on my crossbow, taking step-by-step pictures in anticipation of creating a tutorial. It's slow going, but it seems to be coming along nicely.
     
  50. GotWookiee

    GotWookiee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks, Macklin. I've asked that question for a long time and have always got "I just heard on the boards."

    If you can get a hold of this Jeff guy, it would be awesome to see some pics of the crossbow as well as more information on how he found out that it was the basis of the crossbow.
     

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