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

LeMarchand

Sr Member
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.



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".



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.







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
 
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Reel Fakes

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's a very ambitious project.

I look forward to seeing your progress.

Good luck. :)

Chris
 

saber_wielder

New Member
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?
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
Originally posted by saber_wielder@Aug 5 2005, 04:37 PM
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?
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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
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
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
 

Sporkey

Well-Known Member
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 ass than looking for the hinges online
 

mez7

Sr Member
Originally posted by DrStranglove@Aug 6 2005, 07:22 AM
Was it just me or did his lighter look oversized in the movie?
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probably looked that way cause it was
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
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.



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:



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
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
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
 

DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
Originally posted by ManfromNaboo@Aug 9 2005, 10:45 PM
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
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That would be awesome!!!!! Keep me posted.



Marc
 
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LeMarchand

Sr Member
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
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
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
 

LeMarchand

Sr Member
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.










And here is a final shot with a 1.5" circle showing the size of the medal


Marc
 
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