ESB Bladed Stunt Graflex Lightsaber "The Core!"

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by thd9791, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah dig that hole! Remember to make it a tapered one though.
     
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  2. vadermania

    vadermania Well-Known Member

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    Any news about the antenna yet?
     
  3. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Slow going for me on this issue with a lot of other things backed-up on the project list.
     
  4. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love this build so much... while sitting here waiting for a hair cut I re read the whole thing...

    Seeing how it was a belt hanger at one time.. and a close up shot in the wampa cave

    Can we nick name this the

    “Super Stunt”
     
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  5. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    We sure can! Thank you for all your work here too. I've been putting off applying the blue tape because engineering week has started at my job and I'm supposed to show up next Saturday with star wars crap. I don't want the tape peeling before then lol I may do it tonight or tomorrow though, it's close enough.

    Last night I cut up some boba fett shin tools, so I was a little busy
     
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  6. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Working on the tape now. It likes to peel off due to the tight curve surface. I tried to use the curvature of the tape roll and smaller pieces to minimize the arc. 20190216_233444.jpg
     
  7. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Okay, so here it is. Some of the sections of tape are not lined up... some overlap and some don’t quite reach completely around, but the nice thing is that I can replace sections if they come off.
    02B9230C-78F9-4B2B-BF8D-CF2F9D998C3F.jpeg 663898AD-B67F-4B46-AE3B-8F290393352A.jpeg
    Now, from far away with the light effect, this looks great! It even shines through the holes in the emitter.
    1793FCA8-3421-4B95-A6CE-DD53FCD5A13D.jpeg DD76C972-26AF-4579-B857-A01F6DDE7BFF.jpeg
    This is an artistic choice I guess, since we’re still researching stunt blades and their attachments. If we ever nail stuff down I can just secure another 3/8 16 rod in the new blade
    2A487FFF-D863-4DAD-A638-4359AC790317.jpeg 25FB84A2-2054-4472-A787-18C280AEC560.jpeg
     
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  8. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Freak’n awesome Tom!!!

    I can’t believe they make blue Scotchlite too!!

    You got me wanting to drill Allen screws into mine!
     
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  9. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You should know by now I'm not sold this ol' ski pole option as film pukka but that doesn't stop 'em making really nice blades. Knocks the merd out of the straight polycarb/led jobbies. Nice work.
    Halliwax, check fleabay for 'reflective tape' there's all sorts of stuff & colours, just not call scotchlite.
     
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  10. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thanks!
    This stuff is called Reflexite conspicuity tape. I've used the red, green and now blue for three different lightsabers. It's really high quality stuff and will stick to a water bottle for years but succumb to high angled corners.

    Yea, once we really find the blades, I'm definitely wrapping it in scotchlite and glueing it on
     
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  11. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My blades I’m using something trent turned me on to

    IMG_8098.jpg

    Gotta warn ya, once this sticks it doesn’t come off
     
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  12. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    have you tested it on corners or a tight wrap like on a skinny pole?
     
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  13. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Look for 'Retro-reflective' tape, Retro-reflective type is what 3M movie screen material is made from.
     
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  14. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It works perfect on my golf clubs! What I do is use blue painters tape and tape the scotchlite face down.

    I peel the scotchlite half way. And slowly roll the gold club onto the tape ( this is of course after I have covered the tip of the club with a small piece of scotchlite the comes down the side of the clubs)

    I roll the club ever so slowly, applying pressure with a flat surface. Wood block, butter knife (on the flat end) I’ll roll another 1/8” and rub the wood block or knife down it again, and do this to the whole thing until it’s completely covered

    Before this, I bought some safety scotchlite which had patterns on it like yours

    I wanted to remove it and try the version Trent uses
    I started ripping it off the club and it was a complete mess... ripping off itsy bitsy pieces...

    I gave up trying after struggling with a heat gun and getting absolutely no where..

    So I ended up putting the new scotchlite over the old, and where the missing pieces are you can see it all screwed up..

    The first go I had it smooth and tight, this second time i made a mess. So now I’m going to have to just use one of my extra clubs
     
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  15. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For my 1st efforts I've bought this Chinese cheepy stuff from fleabay ;

    NEW REFLECTIVE TAPE 25, 50, 100mm SELF ADHESIVE VARIED COLOURS WEATHERPROOF | eBay

    5 metres x 25mm £3.36. they do lots of different colours. I'm quite impressed, it sticks really well, is thin & flexible & you can even stretch it a little.
    Here it is on my golf stick resting against my (raw) V2.

    DSC08360.JPG
    DSC08358.JPG

    It's been on a couple of days now with no sign of peeling. I take you all are giving your cores a good degreasing with meths/ethanol before application.

    If I remember right lighter fuel is good for removing sticky tape. As I may need to redo mine I try & remember to get some.
     
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  16. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    very nice! full length strips?

    Looks like it has a glass bead style/finish. the white is very screen-like, I'm a fan
     
  17. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The lightsaber blade in the behind the scenes video at the archives with Roger Christian seems to show a blade that has been coated or spray painted with a reflective paint perhaps (it “lights up” when they take the photo of Roger holding it at the end, with the flash, but otherwise looks dull gray).

    The black marks on the blades, in the behind the scenes photos, look like like marks where the paint, or coating, has been rubbed off due to blade strikes)

    Is it possible that they could merely be coated with a reflective paint like this?

    Rust-Oleum Reflect. Coating Spray Paint, Clear, 10 oz 214944 | Zoro.com
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  18. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great possibility
     
  19. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am not sure if any of these types of products existed back in the latter half of the 1970’s:



    Roger does describe the blade as being “painted” with a reflective paint:

     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  20. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This video is now kinda bogus isn’t it? Since roger didn’t work on ESB or RoTJ

    He’s holding the ESB/RoTJ blades?
     
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  21. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My tape is glass bead type ala scotchlite. It's shiny plastic.Tip of the golf stick is 9mm diam. Full length single strip. I ordered white, it's a silver grey in normal light. I'm impressed with it & it's cheep. I don't have any scotchlite tape or fabric to compare it with, too expensive for my 1st steps in Lightsabery.

    ALLEY, I've hear Mark H state in interview that they used movie screen material = scotchlite. I've also discovered that DV's blade in ANH at least was painted (se my thread on this} while I'm sure OB1's was fabric covered. I think you're right for the BTS photo's that the dark marks could well be missing paint. By ROTJ I understand that all this reflective stuff had stopped. Kurtyboy informed me in a pm that scotchlite did make a reflective paint to put on a wall to make a projector screen, they no longer do.
     
  22. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don’t think the ANH blades were covered in fabric, we have pretty good pictures of them and they seem smooth
     
  23. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Why would a fabric covered blade not look smooth? That is scotchlite glued onto a core.
     
  24. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Uh, Roger is sort of the “Indiana Jones Of Prop History” I suppose.

    “...I don’t know, I’m making this up as a go...”
     
  25. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I keep thinking of how prop makers typically do their work while actually on a movie set with time being such a factor...go with what is fast, or take their time and work methodically?

    They seem to move quick and dirty, as demanded, once onthe set, from what is described.

    ...rewrap the blades with tape constantly?
    ...glue actual material to the blades each time you replace them when they break?
    ...or, simply spray the blades each night with reflective paint for the next day’s shooting?

    The production blades all look smooth to me and not wrapped with fraying material or with ratty tape hanging off, as would happen due to the wear and tear of dueling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  26. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hmmmmm...

    Go to the 4:37 mark here where Mark and then George talk about the blades.



    Mark calls it “movie screen material”.

    George then says “we rotated them with reflective tape ...that never really worked...so then we just used the sticks with reflective material on them...then as we got more proficient...we used swords that didn’t have the reflective material..”
     
  27. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm currently having a long pm conversation with Kurtyboy on this very subject. We're trying to get his motorised stunt in better shape & I'm trying to find the time to make one to test out what looks right when filmed & what doesn't. It's going to take some time though. I for one will post my theories & results when I can.

    Does anyone know of anyone who's already done work on this apart from Kurtyboy.

    At the moment I'm leaning to these: Lukes blade on the falcon as a square blade covered 2 sides ; everything else round, with DV's blade painted & OB1's fabric covered. I know you will want more detail & so do I but that takes work for which we need time in our busy lives. I'm confident that we have sufficient archive material & expertise to make some decent progress.

    on that subject, hows your motorised stunt coming along Halliwax?
     
  28. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking back at that "birth of the lightsaber" video yields some new observations from me

    I've been focusing on ESB/ROTJ stunt sabers in this thread.

    1) it appears the ANH stunt survived into ESB Practice, seen with the endcap and red button, and had fencing blade installed (promo shot set-up?)

    2) the blades in the Bespin duel had some sort of reflective coating, DV blade shines when he rotates on the spot during practice between takes.

    3) the dark blades are absolutely different from the thinner blades. Thinner ones flex and snap, but there are some dark blades that appear to be stiffer.

    I've looked into snooker cues after Brandon mentioned it and after a small amount of searching: most break in the middle, leaving 2 halves that seem to be too short. digging deeper on that one...
     
  29. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Do you mean the “classic 3 piece” model? The long piece looks spot-on to me...and the shorter part it threads into could be easily cut down and mounted as fairly solid chunk inside the Graflex and held in place by multiple socket head screws around the perimeter of the Graflex..a brilliant way to mount the blades and to swap them out easily.

    EEA21A5F-5A28-49F9-8550-D1AB8432A732.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  30. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There are some 2 piece models but it is unclear whether the top piece is the length and diameter needed.

    43AC8D80-DDCC-441D-BE9D-EA007285D2B6.jpeg
    143B8DD9-A500-444A-940C-443E3D167715.jpeg
     
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  31. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good eye, I was more looking at graphite and carbon sticks. solid wooden cues just don't feel right, after watching the footage
     
  32. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Interesting. Could something like this piece, then, be what is inside the Graflex (with the mounting screws drilled into it to keep it stationary), with the cue mounted to it and, therefore, being interchangeable?

    EE3D771E-A571-4B69-86CA-79CB77C01E47.jpeg

    I wonder...
     
  33. Ridire Firean

    Ridire Firean Sr Member

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    Hey ALLEY ! Neat find on the APX50! It's not easy finding dimensions on those, but a datasheet from another vendor with the same model name has the material listed as epoxy/ fiberglass laminate with metal parts of brass and stainless steel.

    So, I get that they're military antennas and all, but just be careful if you decide to test its strength by whacking it on something. Epoxy chips, chunks or shards in the eye don't sound fun. But if it's the right diameter, it's gonna look the part for sure!

    One source shows the serial number having a beginning of service date of 2006. It'd be interesting to research military antennas pre-1980. I don't think they have to have been WWII antennas specifically, but filming era correct would be a wicked find!

    I'm looking forward to your antenna review!!!
     
  34. vadermania

    vadermania Well-Known Member

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    The long piece looks very ANHish to me. Solid wooden stick, correct taper, perfectly round. Square milling, starting at about two inches from the base until the tip, after that the stick was painted with a reflective (scotchlite) paint, two sides were left blank or black tape strips were added. And voilá, Obi's stunt lightsaber blade was done.
     
  35. vadermania

    vadermania Well-Known Member

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    Some ESB stunt lightsaber blades were definitely coated with reflective paint.
     
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  36. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I may be backing off of the antenna theory, the more I think about it.

    I’m starting to lean more towards the blades having been some sort of plasma-energy at this point.
     
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  37. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think a big problem we have with this is..

    We are getting facts from people who are NOT the actual creators of these props...

    No disrespect to Hamill, but I don’t think he would be able to tell the different between blades...

    He went on record stating he never filmed the cave scene either with the blinking light hero..

    And George.. George couldn’t tell the difference between lightsabers.. so I doubt anything he says is facial as well.. “which one is yours?”

    I think.. well we KNOW these stunts went threw many experiments..

    And I think these experiment conversations trickled down on set, changed during filming so on and so on..

    I don’t want to come off as a @$$ but you can’t tell me these blades are square...

    Try taking a square dowel, spinning it around 800rpm then whacking it on something.. it doesn’t behave Or SOUND like what we are seeing and hearing...

    I truly believe there was so many trials of different blades that there are many different stories..

    If the blades were wrapped in movie screen material the process to make it so freak’n smooth would take forever..

    These guys don’t have time for this.. there is a picture with obi wan and a wood blade and you can see where the tip is cracked.. if it were wrapped in fabric we wouldn’t see that..

    Another thing to mention is...

    Vader’s ANH stunt broke for some reason.. blade or motor.. something.. maybe they actually ran out of blades who knows but it broke..

    They threw in Luke’s ANH stunt and everyone is saying Luke’s is a triangle-square blade.. you can’t tell me this is 3 sides, 4 sides ...it’s round

    IMG_8055.jpg

    We have to stop looking with our minds and looking with our eyes.. sit back, forget what everything we read and heard and dissect the pictures.. too much outside information contaminates what you THINK you see

    It’s too bad that actual creator has passed.. he may have shed some light on this for us..

    But I believe

    Blades are made of wood (that’s why none are around today)

    Prop department experiment with wood blades (possibly square/3 sides)

    Prop department experimented with fabric covered blades, chose painted material instead (we can see fencing swords covered in this material as well, and when they break they aren’t held together with movie screen fabric)

    While on set these things could have not worked right and the panically tried something else.. this is why there are so many different stories

    The stories could be true.. but it’s not what we see on screen, the prop department isn’t just 1 person so that’s another reason why the stories could be different, joe was in charge or painting blades and manny was in charge of covering them in movie screen material.. but it took to long to make manny’s blades so Joe’s version is what they went with

    But manny tells a friend or in a interview what his job was and how he made it.. and even though he’s telling the truth, it never made it to the screen...

    To end this long babbled out post.. I don’t believe square/triangle blades were used until I have better pictures..

    Doesn’t make sense to me.. would take way too long to make, wouldn’t behave like we see on screen and I can’t see photographic proof...

    And before you all start posting pictures of the blades, lol I’ve seen them I just can’t see the sailboat.. I’m sorry
     
  38. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh jeez, I think we now have four current threads discussing details of the ANH blades!
     
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  39. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Its fun! Next we need a group video chat with popcorn, and M&M’s!!
     
  40. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think George is more on key in this video.. I remember reading there was movie screen tape. 3m scotchlite, which theaters would use to patch rips in the movie screen

    Living next to one of the nastiest dirtiest cities in Massachusetts I distinctly remember being a kid and seeing all the patches in the movie screen with the tape lines..

    When playing with my 3m tape, the stuff falls off and got all over me. Let me see if I can find the pic

    This would also explain the dust we see, because it comes off pretty easily
     
  41. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is what it looks like after applying the tape. All the glass beads fall all over the place

    Can’t seem they unless there is a flash..

    IMG_8224.jpg

    You can see I was holding the blade on my lap
     
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  42. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice! I need this tape!
     
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  43. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I bought a cue but the first piece is far too short. And if I join the two pieces together, the diameter is too big at the base if I measure 36" from the tip.

    I'm sure there are countless variations though. Don't you just hate asking sellers all those questions about dimensions!?

     
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  44. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can't get over how much of the reflective microspheres have come off. This doesn't happen with the fabric Scotchlite. Nothing comes off.

    Had to order some from the USA.

     
  45. jorged123

    jorged123 Member

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    I guess if the inner diameter of the tubing is small enough compared to the outer diameter, you could free hand lathe a slight taper to the tubing. It'd still be probably too expensive or time consuming and possibly wonky!
     
  46. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks halliwax for saying what I was afraid to. In my long wanderings & researches into other things I have learned (from books written by neurologists ) that the human memory very unreliable. (I can ref the book I'm thinking of you want I still have it somewhere). The fact that sq. & Tri blades have been mentioned by people who worked on the film & in the props dept. too, tells me they at least tried these out. We also need to remember that films are shot out of sequence so for instance the scene in OB1's hovel maybe have been done after the scene on the falcon. I still think the falcon scene is the only candidate for a square blade making it onto scene at least in the out take I mentioned (here? another thread?).

    I'm also aware we (I) have hijacked this ESB thread somewhat (a lot). Sorry thd9791. May I suggest we keep non ESB stuff to 'The OT stunt lightsaber blades research thread' as a more suitable arena?
     
  47. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey no worries, im glad to be part of this research.

    When it comes to the ESB cores, does anyone think the base of the blades was embedded in the core? The ROTJ Vader (DV6) has a rod sticking up out of the emitter. I'm guessing it was set screwed into the core or threaded. Now, would the black bolts extend all the way to the center, or would they have a normal set screw that flush with the core's surface, and gets slid inside..
     
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  48. Mouse Vader

    Mouse Vader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks. I'll still be directing my ANH posts to that thread or my own one on 'DV's painted blade etc.' just so I don't have to keep jumping around across so many.

    as to your Q, I'd say there's probably not a lot of practical difference, if the blade is sliding onto the stub. Screw threaded allows the stub to be removed without disassembly of the hilt. Are you sure the stub is 'part' of the hilt & not the attachment for a blade that's been broken off (nothing left) & just left in situ?
     
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  49. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That is a excellent question Tom.. mechanically I would say those black hex screws would hold the 8mm rod in the center of the core

    But we have the picture of a core with out the hex screws in it and there is a pole attached to it right? I’m gonna have to go watch the video again.. be right back
     
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  50. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    shoot, you right.

    I didn't see another set screw on that detached core (at least from our poor vantage point)
     
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