PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
With my update to my project run, I thought I'd post a little bit about what's happened leading up to it during my trials.

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First off, the wood master had a lot more character to it than I could have possibly ever imagined. One of the things that needed to be worked out when restoring vadermania's cast was identifying was a blemish caused from casting and what was something inherent to the master. When I was able to discern what was a result from shrinking or soft-spots and rectified them, what was left really left me surprised. There are so many little details I would've never been able to find without had I not had the model in hand: many undercuts are concaved, the angles of the surfaces slope different to another, the grenade ring cuts are slightly hooked/humped, the emitter plate is at an angle and slightly dished, the clamp section being slightly bell-shaped, how genuinely oblong the booster is; there's so much I could go on about! These details were important to find out because that ultimately informs how much the respective hilts (v2/v3) were cleaned or not.

The V3 was pretty straight-forward and there wasn't much different to how I approached it this time around with the lineage cast. It's the V2 that always gives me pause. I know that the V3 isn't as clean and polished as the V2 is based on the surface finish and how much of the flashing and gravel-like texture from the sand casting still remains. The trick then, and has always been for me, how much do I take off the V2? Was it machined at all?

Ultimately, I concluded that the V2 was not machined but cleaned with a rasp and sandpaper--like the V3 but more than the V3 was subject to. I may be really late to reach this conclusion, but the collage that DaveP had done for his project and the research by Halliwax backed it all up. The rings looked like the cast's and much of the proportions remained intact even after casting. I was machining my earlier pieces because it was what was said at the time by Alinger and what everyone pretty much held true, and it all worked with the measurements taken from replica pieces that were available. It was exhilarating and disheartening to know my hilts were coming out a little too thin than actuality.

Apologies to everyone on the earlier runs! :oops:

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This then lead to the clamp for the V2 as now the lever for it no longer fit! Something that I went and solved all the while--had I waited-- roygilsing concurrently solved with his 2.0 version of the clamp lever assembly! Not knowing this however, I had to fix this issue myself and making it harder for myself, I wanted to address the quibbles I've had between the previous clamp levers offered.

I've always felt that the clamps levers made were too thick, too clean, and too shiny. Between the chrome plated pieces to the bare aluminium that some offered; it never looked quite right to me. It being comparatively thin on the real thing, and still being sturdy, I settled on steel as the material to use for the piece and the local hardware store had the perfect sized sheet of galvanized steel to use.

I made positive masters out of wood and plaster to mold and sand-cast dies to quickly and evenly produce these. They're a certain size and profile so I can remove the excess material away on my grindstone into the proper lever shape. The post and square lock nut are custom made out of steel as well to now better suit the lever thickness. A simple finishing nail acts as the bolt to hinge the lever and post together. Here is an early test piece dry-fitted together before reaching the final result:

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The rest of the V2 after settling on filing over machining it was pretty straight forward. I do find that because I'm working on something with genuine heritage, I am a little too gentle when it comes to cleaning out the grenade rings for the V2. I need to hog more out to get the right ring thickness but I always just pull back a little too soon for worry of irreparably going too far; it's better to have a little more than a little less, I feel. Currently, any way.;) Once I steady my hands and my nerves to do it, it shouldn't be a problem.

My one concession and failure to remedy I've come to accept during all this is the emitter. Rather, the damage to it on the V2. I've burned through four good emitters to try and get it, but I can't. I've tried all sorts to get to match the real thing, I've even created a separate die just for it similar to how I made one for the lever, but my casting alloy is just not strong enough to handle the stress of bending the emitter face to angle without damage. It irks me to no end to come to terms with it. The brazing wire originally used to make the real production casts are or had to be stronger than what I can currently get my hands on if they can warp as they did without surface damage (or flat out chipping off). I've quenched, I've annealed; I've quenched and annealed; hammered and pressed without any success. I can ding it, I can beat it up to a certain point, but the casting aluminium available to me is just not strong enough to achieve that one detail. I've crossed the finish line of the marathon but keep losing a shoe, it feels like.

One plus is that I've settled on the paint application of the stunt hilts as they were first done up. I always felt it was doing too much if I was mixing specific, hard-to-find colors together. It didn't feel authentic to something that was dictated by having little time and money to produce. It need to be something simple and fast, and that turned out to be just an airbrushing of brass enamel over black, and then dry-brushed with black on top and calling it quits.

Not too bad, I think.

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The V2 I've made in the photos here and on the project run will be leaving my possession pretty soon. This is a pro-bono gift to vadermania for all he's done not just for the project but for the runs before and after mine, what with all he's shared freely. It will also come with a little bonus. ;)

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Mr Mold Maker

Master Member
Apologies to everyone on the earlier runs! :oops:

No apologies necessary to me.. yes it is a bit disappointing to be an early adopter and have it be outdated instantly, but that’s part of the territory I guess. As for mine, it lives on the shelf and I pick it up every now and then and it makes me happy, hopefully others in the early run feel the same.

Best of luck with your future runs, it sounds like they’ll be getting a better saber in every way and that’s saying something because your first was damn good.
 
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PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
No apologies necessary to me.. yes it is a bit disappointing to be an early adopter and have it he outdated instantly, but that’s part of the territory I guess. As for mine, it lives on the shelf and I pick it up every now and then and it makes me happy, hopefully others in the early run feel the same.

Best of luck with your future runs, it sounds like they’ll be getting a better saber in every way and that’s saying something because your first was damn good.

A part of me wants to offer a refurbishing service where I melt down the earlier ones I made, and cast them into the new ones. I think it only fair and not leave anyone felt left out. The early adopters would have to send them back to me, of course, but I wouldn't know or haven't figured the pricing of such a thing. It's still the same amount of work. It is something I'm considering though.
 

vadermania

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The V2 I've made in the photos here and on the project run will be leaving my possession pretty soon. This is a pro-bono gift to vadermania for all he's done not just for the project but for the runs before and after mine, what with all he's shared freely. It will also come with a little bonus. ;)
I wish I had kept the very first replica Luke ROTJ lightsaber I made back in 1983. I cut every single grenade ring by hand from a sheet of aluminum, drilled and filed it so that it did fit on a central rod. Emitter and wind vane were shaped out of wood. Can‘t remember what I used for the booster and hand wheel section. But I know one thing for sure - I will call my „old friend“ and get that thing back!

I knew that it might be possible to create a replica of the screen used lightsaber using „vintage“ production techniques. But I never imagined that someone really decides to tackle such a time-consuming, complicated and costly project, willing to face all those challenges, including the constant dangers of failure and defeats.

It is an honor that I was able to contribute, and of course I did it for free and with joy. The result speaks for itself.

Now I really wish that others are motivated by that and take this as an outstanding example of dedication, passion, reliability and honesty and share their insight and knowledge (as long as they are not bound to an NDA ;) and lift the community to a higher level of replica prop creation. RPF at its best, thank you Sir!
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A part of me wants to offer a refurbishing service where I melt down the earlier ones I made, and cast them into the new ones. I think it only fair and not leave anyone felt left out. The early adopters would have to send them back to me, of course, but I wouldn't know or haven't figured the pricing of such a thing. It's still the same amount of work. It is something I'm considering though.
if you consider it..... and find solutions, please let us know!
 

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