LOM's Saber Projects: V3, ANH-Barbican!

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LOM

Active Member
I'm going to try and maintain this first post as a catalog of various references to the V3 itself and my own project. various saber projects I find myself working on.

For those who are building, designing, or finishing a V3 saber - here's a link to a ton of reference in a google drive!
V3 Reference
Similarly for the Barbican:
Barbican Reference
If you have any images you'd like to add, feel free to PM or post them here. Or, if you would like to be credited for your images or would like an image removed, let me know as well!

Image Link Credits:
Original Prop Article: "EXCLUSIVE: 237 Lost/Unpublished Historic Star wars and Indiana Jones Movie Prop Photos from the Lucasfilm Archives from 1996/1997", Original Prop Blog, "From the Basement of Bob Burns",
John Sciacca Writes... "Photos from my visits to Lucas Ranch and ILM to cover the new Force Unleashed video game"


Celebration III
Lucasfilm Exhibitions
Andy
https://flic.kr/p/6i32x7 Star Wars Costume Exhibit 11.19.05
https://flic.kr/p/5CYFw https://flic.kr/p/6i32E3 https://flic.kr/p/27r6y Celebration 3 (Indianapolis) - 2005
https://flic.kr/p/4wq3r9 https://flic.kr/p/6TGamT NASA Lightsaber Event
https://flic.kr/p/4kExWU The Films of George Lucas-Johnson Space Center



& Various RPF members and threads
V3 Project:
6/17/20 - WIP
January 13th 2021:
I believe the correct term is "eureka!"

(Give or take a few tweaks here and there.)
1610588530553.png



V3 History Reference:
For Reference, this is a "timeline" of when the V3 shows up in places:

ANH: Assumed to be created from a wooden master, but unfinished during production
***I believe the V3 to be motorized during ANH based on my own references, research, and conjecture. Though it might be actually impossible to prove such a thing without onset prop photos that show a distinct steam line. Which I do not believe exist.
ESB: Appears to be used in rehearsal for stunts
RotJ: Appears to be used in the Throne Room fight, Endor Speeder swipe, and practice for the Luke surrendering himself. Resin copies were made as well, which were potentially an inspiration for the design of the Yuma

1993:
  • Refurbished in the Archives by Don Bies for tour in Japan and to be featured in a book(?)
1995:
  • Appears in the book: "From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives"
  • Appears in "The Art of Star Wars" exhibit in the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco
1996/7:
  • Pictures taken in the Archives that now appear in the Original Prop Blogs' article
1998:
  • Featured in the book: "Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary"
2000/1:
  • Went on tour as part of "The Art of Star Wars," at locations including Barbican Art Gallery(?) and the Helsinki City Art Museum(?)
2005:
  • Was exhibited at Star Wars Celebration III
  • Appears in "Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars" exhibit at the FIDM museum in San Francisco
2007:
  • Launched on STS-120 (Which also delivered the Harmony module to the ISS!) and taken into space, subsequently kept at the Houston Space Center for a time. *NASA inventory number was added at this time
2009:
  • Still in possession of NASA(?) as it appeared in "The Films of George Lucas" at the Johnson Space Center
2010:
  • In early 2010, appears to be at the Main House at Skywalker Ranch
  • Later appears at a museum in Sacramento
Recent Whereabouts:
  • Supposedly kept in the Main House at Skywalker Ranch (as of 2015)

Barbican Saber Project:
6/17/20 - Completed (almost)
See Pg. 4 for details.

IMG_4466.JPG



Barbican History Reference: WIP
ANH: Created for the duel. Motor most likely malfunctioned, or the saber broke needing the Graflex Stunt to be used as well.
Created to be Vader's motorized hilt, I do not believe there was enough depth and the motor was unable to balance or keep itself in the socket while rotating because it was seated high up. In addition, I don't believe it broke, rather it was a pain to replace the blades because it required popping the emitter off to access set screws, to pop out the core, to access more set screws to lock in a blade. This is all conjecture based on images. The Graflex stunt was only utilized in 2, maybe 3 shots in the movie during the duel is my current understanding of it.

ESB: Appears to be used in rehearsal for stunts, and on the catwalk duel with Luke in the movie. Also apparently in the carbon chamber rehersal.
RotJ: Unsure if it appears in the movie, but a resin cast was utilized as the saber Vader looses when his hand is cut. (I believe it makes a short appearance in one scene)

2005:
  • Was exhibited at Star Wars Celebration III
  • Appears in "Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars" exhibit at the FIDM museum in San Francisco
2008:
  • Resin saber and severed hand were in Bob Burn's collection at least till then
Recent Whereabouts:
  • Contained in the Lucasfilm archives
  • Part of Star Wars Identities Exhibit?
============================================================================================
Some preliminary future projects I'm working on.... As of December 13th.

Dooku - using measurements from a [likely rejected] unused stunt casting. The Dooku sabers are weiiirdd when you start to get to know them.
1605756397118.png


Aha - what is this? A v2?
1605756321591.png

And... the wooden buck?
1605756359551.png


=============================================================================================

Original Post:
Hi all!

This is my first major project – a V3. I've been on this forum for about 3 years now, but I haven't really done anything. I do have a Blade Runner blaster on the backlog, but I figured it was time to take a break from that. Although I've been meaning to build some lightsabers for years now, I never really got around to it till recently when I started doing a lot of reading on older threads here. For the past few weeks, I've been working on this model to try and capture the V3 as well as I can. I am a pretty mediocre modeler, so this is has been a learning experience and probably the most “complex” thing I have modeled. I plan on trying to recreate how it looks today in its 'restored' state (kind of how people capture the look of the Worldcon Blaster rather than the on-screen look) since for some reason, I find it quite interesting.

In the world of amazingly accurate Hero and V2 sabers, the poor V3 gets left out quite a bit, probably due to the fact that its really ugly and hard to capture all the details. I would like to capture the V3 as accurately as possible, but my skills as a modeler are definitely not going to let that happen so it will be slightly idealized. I also hope to try and get this model CNC'd when its done, but that probably wont happen for awhile, so for now my friend is printing me a prototype. Hopefully when its all done, I'll have a separate pommel, body, and emitter. If that fails, I may have a go at trying to cast it in a foundry but I'll figure that all out when I get there. Either way, I'm pretty happy with the model as-is and decided it may be worth sharing.

Big thanks to all the V3 threads, a lot of the research done has been really helpful and a wonderful read. Also thanks to Vadermania for helping me out with a few measurements, and many members for their inspiring builds and research!

A few questions that I would like to pose to all of you before I get on with it:
  1. Any idea where I can get an accurate D-Ring for this? It almost looks like a Kobold clip D-ring to me but I honestly have no idea.
  2. The V2 has that weird pommel grove, and it seems the V3 has it as well? It doesn't show up in too many of the pictures I have but I'm curious if this has been discussed.
r6 pommel thing.png


The pommel has been giving me some trouble for awhile now, since there isn't really a straight on view, modeling that has been hard for me. I also plan to try and make the 'fatter' part of the rings a bit bigger to eliminate that step where the seam is, but that's why I need that printed prototype. I think I figured out how the rings should be modeled as well, but I again, don't have the skills to do it correctly. (I also need to work on the screw hole placement, and the weird booster may have too much of an angle)

Anyways, here's some pics!


V3comp.png


R2.PNG


R3.PNG



R4.PNG


If you've got any comments or critiques I'd love to hear them. Hoping to get that 3D print soon and a few more details ironed out.

Thanks for looking!
 

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LOM

Active Member
starwrslover Thanks for the tip! Just found the correct one I think

chazzychaz I know some people have converted Anakin Starkiller's V2 kit to a V3, and jorged123 has done an upgraded emitter for that V2 kit to make an accurate V3. Awhile back I think there was a run of an idealized version from someone else as well. But one thing that all of those runs lacked before was that nasty seam line down the side from casting, and I'd really like to try and capture that.

Anyways.. some updates for this model are the works in the next couple of days hopefully!
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey Halliwax have you seen this?

I have not seen that part discussed yet - we can start discussing in the V3 or V2 thread if you'd like. From what I understand that circle is from pausing while Milling out the pommel cubes (its a rotating bit)

It would seem they also paused in making the V3. The marks are in different places and the V2's almost has 2 circles. GOOD EYE!
 

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PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm working on a V2/V3/Shared Stunt/filming hilts project as well, replicating the exact method like the production copies. From my research, I can also say that the pommel of the V3 also has the same machine markings on it as the V2 does, just in different spots. I think I've spotted three from various photos and it leads me to think that the V2 would have more than the one. I think it would have to by the very nature these things are made.

The markings, at least the ones on mine that I've made, do come from pausing, but it's not like stopping. Because these things were machined manually, it's more like adjusting your speed when you're feeding the thing under the bit. The bit is at high speed and you're hogging lots of material away, so to keep it from kicking or jumping, you have to slow down a bit at times so the bit can chew away at the material.

This is an example from the prototype I made and parted with not too long ago.

IMG_7252.JPG


IMG_7253.JPG
 
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BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi all!

This is my first major project – a V3. I've been on this forum for about 3 years now, but I haven't really done anything. I do have a Blade Runner blaster on the backlog, but I figured it was time to take a break from that. Although I've been meaning to build some lightsabers for years now, I never really got around to it till recently when I started doing a lot of reading on older threads here. For the past few weeks, I've been working on this model to try and capture the V3 as well as I can. I am a pretty mediocre modeler, so this is has been a learning experience and probably the most “complex” thing I have modeled. I plan on trying to recreate how it looks today in its 'restored' state (kind of how people capture the look of the Worldcon Blaster rather than the on-screen look) since for some reason, I find it quite interesting.

In the world of amazingly accurate Hero and V2 sabers, the poor V3 gets left out quite a bit, probably due to the fact that its really ugly and hard to capture all the details. I would like to capture the V3 as accurately as possible, but my skills as a modeler are definitely not going to let that happen so it will be slightly idealized. I also hope to try and get this model CNC'd when its done, but that probably wont happen for awhile, so for now my friend is printing me a prototype. Hopefully when its all done, I'll have a separate pommel, body, and emitter. If that fails, I may have a go at trying to cast it in a foundry but I'll figure that all out when I get there. Either way, I'm pretty happy with the model as-is and decided it may be worth sharing.

Big thanks to all the V3 threads, a lot of the research done has been really helpful and a wonderful read. Also thanks to Vadermania for helping me out with a few measurements, and many members for their inspiring builds and research!

A few questions that I would like to pose to all of you before I get on with it:
  1. Any idea where I can get an accurate D-Ring for this? It almost looks like a Kobold clip D-ring to me but I honestly have no idea.
  2. The V2 has that weird pommel grove, and it seems the V3 has it as well? It doesn't show up in too many of the pictures I have but I'm curious if this has been discussed.
View attachment 1259631

The pommel has been giving me some trouble for awhile now, since there isn't really a straight on view, modeling that has been hard for me. I also plan to try and make the 'fatter' part of the rings a bit bigger to eliminate that step where the seam is, but that's why I need that printed prototype. I think I figured out how the rings should be modeled as well, but I again, don't have the skills to do it correctly. (I also need to work on the screw hole placement, and the weird booster may have too much of an angle)

Anyways, here's some pics!


View attachment 1259633

View attachment 1259635

View attachment 1259636


View attachment 1259637

If you've got any comments or critiques I'd love to hear them. Hoping to get that 3D print soon and a few more details ironed out.


Thanks for looking!
Looks like a very accurate representation of the archives book image/cropping.

I would HIGHLY recommend establishing a large volume of photos to corroborate and compare the straight on side view. One side- image is not enough to build an accurate model.
As with the Hero, the archives book image is NOT a good representation as the editing and cropping remixes much of the edge/profile data in a confusing way.

another question I have is: machinability. Are you looking to cast these or have them machined? The seam lines in the grenade are quite well defined and (as one can clearly see) are asymmetrical. On either half, at least offset.
If trying to maintain that; This would be ideal as a 3D printed/molded/metal cast replica.
However if you desire to have it machined it will turn *into* something like the V2. The staggered seam-line assymetry won’t be possible.
 

LOM

Active Member
thd9791 One thing I find odd about the milling marks here, is that to me they look a lot more protruded than recessed. (This same argument has been done in a V2 thread somewhere here I imagine) and I feel like I remember people saying the V2 is recessed, but in these images the mark casts a shadow and takes light the as if it was protruded, at least to my eyes! Glad to have some experts chiming in here as well,

PoopaPapaPalps You're project has actually been a bit of an inspiration behind this as well, I really love what you've come up with so far! Regarding these milling marks, from your experience, would you say it leaves more of a concave or convex mark? Also that hilt is beautiful, looking forward to seeing the rest of your run take shape.

BRRogers I have actually gathered a size able collection of photos (here <- hopefully that's public), I just have yet to go over most of them and compare... Also I quickly learned how bad the archive book is for scaling - I initially scaled it at 29cm, then realized how very very wrong that was when trying to scale everything around that. For machining, I know I can at least get the pommel and emitter knocked out by a CNC pretty easily, but I the grenade portion has been troublesome. I've talked to a few people and they had considered it (by coming up with some unconventional ways of machining it) but the costs would be quite expensive. Casting may be the route I go for that part, however there isn't an aluminum foundry around here (at least close), so I'll figure that out once I get there!

Edit 4/10/20: Updated google drive link for reference! Click Here
 
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PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You'd use a flat-end mill bit to do the channels, so it's neither concave or convex; it's just ever-so-slightly-just-a-fraction-of-a-hair off that leaves the slightest indentation. The mark on the surface would catch light differently than on the rest of the surface. If the mill bit jitters or jumps due to it being a little loose or there's too much material to hog away, it also creates a mark, which is what I think happened on the V2, which is why it seems more pronounced and "double looped" than the other marks on the V3.
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I will say, I forget the pommel cube space is done in one go. that IS a lot of material, crap Is the bit like.. trapezoid shaped? (flat on the bottom, with a slanted cutting side)
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There are some like that but I believe they milled it with only one bit. A flat-end mill bit is just that; it's flat to make flush cuts. I don't believe they milled it in all one go, it's a bit dangerous to do so and will wear the bit down, most likely it took a few passes. Once the channels for each cube is milled, you just simply lay it over to do the angles.
 

BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
677199CF-A330-4EF8-AD0D-67EFAA1892DB.jpeg

this is from the Hero; but should explain the milling operation.
the saber would’ve been chucked into to an indexing vice and milled in the passes using the cross slide
672F99C5-D9A9-423C-998A-11BFAB8063A8.jpeg

something like this.
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I just made one of these, and tried to cut the pommel cubes in one pass. It didn't do it. And that's with a carbide end mill cutting aluminium. Of course it's only a small mill drill, but it seems unlikely that they'd do it that way. Faster just to take 3 passes like I ended up doing.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's a great visual - I can see where some of those marks on the Hero came from like you said

A friend of mine made a V3 as like... a term project for his first machining class for me years ago and they didn't have a mill for the pommel cubes and they ended up with cubes that cut in really deep when they got to the saber body. I have no idea how they did it, but it looked like a more pronounced version of the red bit that goes too far.

I see parallel lines on the V3's pommel cubes, pointing in towards the saber - is that also the result of an orbiting bit?
 

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LOM

Active Member
Update time!

After some tips and looking at more reference photos - I now see that my original model was quite inaccurate compared to the real thing. Sure it looks quite like the one in the visual dictionary, but not like the real deal. This past week, I took the few dimensions that I had confirmed and pretty much remodeled the whole thing using other photos as reference material. So now I've got this new model that still needs a bit of work, mainly modeling the pommel cubes as my original one was pretty much guesswork so I'll try to do it right this time (and a few of the grenade rings seem a bit off too) Speaking of the pommel cubes, thanks everyone in here for chiming in with some info about its done! I've used lathes before, but not mills, so I had little knowledge of how this would be done, but now it makes a lot more sense (if only I had a mill to try it myself!)


Here's some pics of my new model, the seam line isn't lined up exactly to the images, but the gist of it is there. Also, I may not be able to make those awesome wire frame overlays, but I've managed to get some comparison pics using canvases in fusion!


38 V3.PNG
37 V3.PNG
36 V3.PNG
35 V3.PNG
34 V3.PNG
 

Dann

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
View attachment 1269964
this is from the Hero; but should explain the milling operation.
the saber would’ve been chucked into to an indexing vice and milled in the passes using the cross slide
View attachment 1269965
something like this.
I'm so glad Bryan made that picture with the "tool paths", it pretty much describes everything that I most likely wouldn't be able to properly describe in words.
 

LOM

Active Member
The past few days I have been working on the pommel cubes.. I think I've gotten pretty close. I might do some more modding but I'm not sure how much more accurate I can get it. I still have a ways to go on the wind vane portion and a few of the grenade rings. I keep changing those parts a bit and I just haven't gotten them right yet. In other news, I'm probably going to 3d print this and toss it in Mold Max 60 and cast it in pewter. I don't have the means for aluminum casting, and Anakin Starkiller's pewter V3 looks awesome! It's probably more economical than getting it machined too.

pm geometry1.PNG
pm geometry2.PNG
310saber.PNG


Question for the milling experts here again BRRogers, Is there a reason that the left sides of the cubes are milled before the 'valley' on that diagram? I've got all of my pommel valleys to be about 60 degrees apart and it seems to line up, and wouldn't milling the valleys first be easier to get the spacing correct? I feel that would be more convenient for the original makers. PoopaPapaPalps, would you mind sharing your method for milling the cubes out too? I find all this really interesting and it makes me want to try working with a mill sometime... (might have to drive on down to my 'local' makerspace for some classes!)
 

BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
bear in mind the diagram I shared was made to theorize the odd cutouts in the valley for the Hero.
We know it (the hero) was shaped at a different time (and solid body)
So the V3, being potentially a different time, machinist, and construction could have been produced in a different order and quality.

Model is looking good! Cubes may be just a hair of a wider OD at the face, but in the same linear position, I think the bottom of the cubes where they hit the body can adjust angle a hair towards the front of the hilt.
I think there may be a 90° cut just above the upper gear angle, which will also be related to the height and angle, and forward position.

this is one of the weirdest things in terms of modeling timeline to get. I can tell you are really close though :)
73CB87B8-C7F0-40DA-971F-05BA466FCED9.jpeg

AB9E2244-B8A6-4918-BCBA-08ABBD5E22A8.jpeg

basically trying to make the front end sharper and the cube faces stick out a bit farther, all probably within .25 - .5mm of alteration... and the gear valley will seem relatively shorter on the front than the back due to this as well.
3C121E32-0839-4DE2-A6D6-AF676790FAA5.jpeg


Granted I say all that, just to point out if you want to fiddle additionally the direction I’d go. By no means am I trying to tell you do it verbatim! You’ve already done a great job! :whistle::lol:
 
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Dann

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The order in which you make your cuts doesn't really matter, and the cubes on the hero have those undercuts that aren't on the V3.

There are a number of ways to mill them out, but a couple simple methods would involve some collet/index blocks, or a rotary table, or dividing plates, for rotating the stock a certain number of degrees and locking it into position, before making a cut.

You're basically adding another axis to the mill table. Think of it like you're mounting a small lathe to the table (headstock and tailstock), but you can lock the headstock in the positions you need in order to make your passes.

(I'm pretty sure there's a video on YouTube of a guy doing this, but like three or four or more pommels at a time. His hilt is pretty inaccurate, but you get the idea, if you can find it)

I believe PPP uses a much simpler and more low-tech process, and I'll let him describe it!

Aha! Here's that video I was talking about!
This guy doesn't have everything squared and zeroed on his mill, though, and he screws up a couple of the pommels, iirc. He shouldn't have tried to do more than one at a time. Or, should've done a better job with the setup.
 
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