Constantine: Lighter Project *UPDATE 04-09-2009 - Pics of brass parts are up*

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by LeMarchand, Aug 5, 2005.

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  1. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Pics of brass raw pieces are FINALLY in,

    http://www.therpf.com/showpost.php?p=841297&postcount=581

    Brass run sign up in the junkyard:

    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=43886


    Time to start a new thread in which you will be able to see the progress my buddy Mike (SithSheriffBrody) and me are making on the lighter from Constantine. We will keep you informed on the development of this very cool, yet tricky, timeconsuming and expensive project.

    NOTE: This is not an interrest thread. If you have questions, email me at shadowrunner@home.nl or PM me

    So, let's break down the project into segments and see what we have come up with sofar. The lighterproject is basicly devided into 5 parts: The body, the artwork, the Benedict medal, the hinges, the zippos and the etching process.

    The Body:
    The body is made of brass and using my own zippo as reference combined with very good shots from the 'Holy Relics' featurette on the DVD i am almost done with the blueprint for the body. I will use this to make a styrene testbody to see if it looks right and to test the opening and closing as the locking piece on a real zippo is too short and will have to be replaced by a longer one. When i am satisfied, i will have it machined out of brass.

    [​IMG]

    The artwork:
    When it comes to vector tracing artwork, i always thing of my friend Mike first. He is very good at it and is very dedicated. He is the guy who also did the artwork for my 'I, Robot' badges, in case you have seen those. Mike is currently tracing the body artwork and send me a pic of his progress. The artwork is the same on both sides. There is also writing on one of the thin sides which reads:"Fiat Iustitia et Piriat Mundus".

    [​IMG]

    The Benedict Medal:
    The round medals, which are on both sides of the lighter, are 'Benedict Medals' you can find them in all shapes and sizes on the internet. However, after looking for many days, i haven't find the correct one, and we have decided to have a custom one made. Again, Mike will do the artwork and i will have a master made by either acidetching brass or laserengraving magnesium. Since the medal looks brighter than the brass of the body, i think it is best to cast the medals in a metal called 'pirates gold' which has a dull gold look to it.

    The Hinges:
    Ah, the true challenge of this project, i kid you not. When i started researching the hinges i thought of a couple of options: Zippo hinges, sunglasses hinges or miniature hinges as found in dollhouses. I am now convinced they used the hinges found on some sunglasses.

    There are 2 hinges on the lighter, each has 5 'knuckles'. I found 2 pairs of sunglasses which have these kind of hinges. At first i thought they were no good as they were not flat like the ones on the prop. I took my dremel and started sanding them and as a result i ended up with hinges that look very close both in shape and size.

    The downside of this? It is nearly impossible to find sunglasses with the correct type of hinges. Most sunglasses with metal hinges have 3 knuckles. The ones i found are brandless and impossible to track down, they also couldn't be backordered. So the last 3 days i have surfed all over the internet to see if i could find a place which sells sunglasses in bulk for as cheap as possible with the correct hinges, sofar no luck. I also tried to look for asian companies that make parts for sunglasses (most sunglasses are made there), this has turned up nothing either. So my search for these continues.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Zippos:
    The used a real zippo insert for the prop according to the featurette. It is gold colored and can be found on ebay for $10-15 a piece and sometimes cheaper

    The Etching:
    Once everything is done and parts aquired, i will send the parts and artwork to a professional etching place to have the artwork acidetched on the body. I have written to a very good place in the UK, hope to hear back from them soon.


    As more progress is made, me or mike will post here to keep you all informed.

    If you know where to buy sunglasses with the 5 knuckled hinges for cheap (no more than $3 a pair) please let me know as it is driving me NUTS.

    Cheers,

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  2. Reel Fakes

    Reel Fakes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That's a very ambitious project.

    I look forward to seeing your progress.

    Good luck. :)

    Chris
     
  3. saber_wielder

    saber_wielder New Member

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    do you have anymore pics...of the other side? i am looking at the medals I found one That is really close...just a little thinner lines...I think it might even be the right color. does the other side have the oposite side of the coin?
     
  4. Guardian Devil

    Guardian Devil Sr Member

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    Me too. I love this lighter. Can't wait to hear more.
     
  5. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    I'll try to post more pics later. In the meantime, can you point me to the medal, would love to see it,

    cheers,

    Marc
     
  6. saber_wielder

    saber_wielder New Member

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    I would, but its one in a local antique store. thats the reason I was asking for more pics...to take and compare.
     
  7. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    I'll post some pics later tonight.

    As for the benedict medal. I have scaled it to 1.5" in diameter. Good reference points to look out for when comparing is the distance between 'pax' on top and the letter 'V', quite wide on the real one. The double circles around the letters in the middle and the large circle.

    It looks like they sanded down th medal's surface considerably.

    cheers,

    Marc
     
  8. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    nice progress, cant wait to see something physical :)
     
  9. Sporkey

    Sporkey Well-Known Member

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    if u cant find the hinges, u could try and make mold of the ones you have, and then cast your own hinges, of course that would probably be a bigger pain in the * than looking for the hinges online
     
  10. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

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    Was it just me or did his lighter look oversized in the movie?
     
  11. mez7

    mez7 Sr Member

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    probably looked that way cause it was
     
  12. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    The hinges are driving me nuts...

    I have sent out a couple of email to wholesale companies. I have found one that might have them, hard to see, but it might have the right ones, keeping my fingers crossed and hope they will answer my email soon.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also wrote a US hinge maker who makes hinges for (sun)glasses about these.

    If all my efforts remain fruitless, i might have to throw the towel in the ring and go with the 3 barrel hinges.

    I also promised to post a good pic of the benedict medal:

    [​IMG]

    good point for reference are the distance between 'pax' and the 'V' on the topside, the double rings around the large letters and the big circle.

    cheers,

    Marc
     
  13. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Heard back from a couple of sunglasses wholesaler, none have these specific hinges, so i am now hoping that 1 of the 2 comanies i wrote who make optical hinges, can supply these. If not, i am going for the 3 barreld ones, since i have about 40 hours already in seraching for the hinges alone.

    I expect to get more info from a dutch engraving company next week about pricing on the engraving of the lighters and making a master medal for casting. They can do both laser engraving and photoetching from what i understand from their reply i got.

    I received the first batch of goldcolored zippo's as well, unused and very clean. I intend for all inserts to be real zippo's as we want this prop to be high standard in every aspect.

    We'll keep you posted.

    Marc
     
  14. TimDrakeRobin

    TimDrakeRobin Sr Member

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    Very cool i await the finished product. :D
     
  15. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Marc,

    just contacted a friend of mine who works at a glasses wholesaler, maybe he can come up with something. He is a movie nut himself, so chances are that he might look into this a bit more thoroughly than the others do ;-)

    Keep that lighter comin´... Lets burn down the house ... ;)

    Michael
     
  16. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    That would be awesome!!!!! Keep me posted.



    Marc
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  17. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    eck, those glasses are tacky.
    when can we see pics of what you have etched so far :)
     
  18. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Etching will be the final stage of this project and i will have to wait till Mike has the artwork ready for it.

    I am currently throwing together a wood and plastic prototype to check my scaling and functionality of the lighter (the levers on a the storebought zippo's will need to be replaced with a longer custom made one).

    Basicly Mike and me still have a long way to go, but i am sure the wait will be very rewarding since we both are very determined to make a replica that is as close to the original as possible. Once the hinges are found, the artwork is ready and companies have been picked for the engraving and machining, it should go really fast. When the parts are made, the only thing that remains to be done is casting the medals in 'pirates gold' metal and some drilling and tapping of the body.

    Marc
     
  19. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Interresting observation i noticed while building a prototype out of wood and plastic.

    I could be wrong but it might be that the hinges used on the one we see in the movie are different than the one used on the one we see in the featurette 'Holy Relics"

    In the movie, when the Zippo is open, the lid rests straight agains the body, suggesting the hinge barrels are really thin. When i have this position on the proto with the sunglasses hinge, there is about 3/16" space between the lid and body where the hinge barrels are.

    So, question rises. Do we want screenaccurate movement or go the 'what we see in the featurette' way.

    I will post comparison pics when i am back home.

    Another thing i think i am seeing is that instead of making a new longer lever for the zippo, the added a piece to the original lever. I think for aestatic reason, i will have new ones made.

    Marc
     
  20. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Here's some shots of a wood and styrene proto i threw together to see if my scaling is good and to determine if the brass copies will function.

    I think i scaled it right and will add the inner piece and longer lever to check opening/closing function soon

    By the looks of it the barrels of the real lighter are thinner than the ones found on the sunglasses i have, maybe the company i found will have good alternatives. Sofar i am pretty pleased.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    And here is a final shot with a 1.5" circle showing the size of the medal
    [​IMG]

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  21. BigBadBat

    BigBadBat Active Member

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    Very nice work.
     
  22. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    ooh, thats a tough decision. but if it were me, id say just use the one from the featurette because you know 100% whats going on there. where as your not exactly sure about the one on film (*or do you?)
    good work so far Marc.
    Scott
     
  23. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Thinking about it, it occured to me that they might have sunk the hingebase into the body, resulting in less distance between lid and body when the lighter is fully opened, after checking some caps i think that is what they did.

    cheers,

    Marc
     
  24. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    heh i was about to pm you saying that. but does it look counter-sunk?
     
  25. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    YEAH BABY!!!!

    the hinge company send me an email. Usually they sell the hinges in bulk of 5000, but they are willing to sell me 100 at a fair price. My search for suitable hinges is over. You won't believe how happy i am right now :D :D :D

    the hinges measure 0.19" x 0.58" , which is exactly the right size,



    Marc
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  26. docholl

    docholl Well-Known Member

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    Great teamwork! Can't wait to see the finished product. B)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  27. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Congrats. :D


    -Mike
     
  28. darthgoat

    darthgoat Well-Known Member

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    Wow this is really shaping up nicely.
     
  29. houdiniguy

    houdiniguy Sr Member

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    OH YES....
    BRAVO.


    Dang I so wish I had talent.
    Tom
     
  30. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Very nice progress, Marc. :)

    I love watching a difficult replica come together... And you certainly appear to go for the more challenging ones. ;)

    - Gabe
     
  31. Smallvillekalel

    Smallvillekalel Active Member

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    EXCELLENT WORK... :)
     
  32. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  33. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    ................WOW.........is this man good or what....

    excellent work mate, 2 thumbs way up..

    Marc
     
  34. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow, this really is coming together quite well ...

    Michael
     
  35. dkwd

    dkwd Well-Known Member

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    There's a piece on the insert that reaches across into the lid - I've no idea what it's actuall called.

    In the stills it reaches all the way over - it looks longer than the one on the insert on your mockup. Is it a different style insert or did they replace that part?

    Good work so far.

    I'm quite impresses by how close the shape of the styrene lighter looks.

    David
     
  36. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Yes, they either made the existing zippo lever longer (looks like it in some screenshots) or made a new, longer one.

    For good looks, i will replace the original zippo levers with new machined ones

    Marc
     
  37. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow, this project is looking FANTASTIC.





    And I'm pretty certain it will be well out of my price range. :(
     
  38. TimDrakeRobin

    TimDrakeRobin Sr Member

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    i am so excited for this project.
     
  39. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    why is everyone so supprised that Marc is awesome at this? :lol
    any progress or info about the medalion insert yet?
     
  40. goldenage

    goldenage Well-Known Member

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    You are my hero.
     
  41. TimDrakeRobin

    TimDrakeRobin Sr Member

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    Here is the design I did. I know it is not exact, but I am going to have it done on a regular size zippo for my Best man at my wedding as his gift. He really likes the lighter in the movie and isn't big into props so he doesnt care that it's smaller and a little off in the designs. he doesnt want to wait for an exact one lol.
    [​IMG]
     
  42. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    Don't know what your budget is for the lighter for your friend, but there is a zippo available in japan. It is not a 1:1 scale replica of the movie lighter, but a zippo sized one. I think they go for 8500 Yen, which is 80-85 bucks.

    https://shopping.biglobe.ne.jp/shopping/wor...04/0203/1704114

    cheers,

    Marc
     
  43. saber_wielder

    saber_wielder New Member

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    well...the medal was a flop....I went back to the antique shop and it was gone...so...good luck
     
  44. goldenage

    goldenage Well-Known Member

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    Wowser - one I could use and beat up: Not to hijack the thread or anything but does anyone know if this is being imported anywhere or if we can pick it up online?
     
  45. LeMarchand

    LeMarchand Sr Member

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    I had a friend in Japan contact them, since i wanted the trinity necklace. They are a bit difficult to buy from, only COD or something. As far as i know they don't deliver outside Japan. I could ask a friend who uses a japan-usa brokering service.
    Unfortunately for me the trinity necklaces are sold out.

    Marc
     
  46. TimDrakeRobin

    TimDrakeRobin Sr Member

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    yea i can't read japanese but i would really like to order that lighter from them.
    is there anyone here on the boards in Japan?
     
  47. punisher

    punisher Sr Member

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    *sorry to hijack but...
    what about *Tim buy a breass lighter and print your graphics*make black and clear* and then print them out on decal paper. apply the decals of the engravings onto the lighter and coat it with a heat resistant clear coat.
    *put gun away and sits down quietly
    Scott
     
  48. TimDrakeRobin

    TimDrakeRobin Sr Member

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    actually that sounds good too, but there is an engraving company here in my town that said i just habe to bring them a design on disk and they will engrave it on a zippo for me. so im gonna try that first

    Oh and i tried converting the site to english, but it isn't in japanese it's like wing dings or something.
     
  49. Guardian Devil

    Guardian Devil Sr Member

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    Just a little bump to make sure this doesnt fall off the radar.

    - I love how similar in style this lighter was to the old 1930's zippos with the outer hinge.
     
  50. TFrosst

    TFrosst Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Can someone look into brokering that lighter?? OR is there someone that can get a regular zippo engraved/etched for not too much money?
     

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