Luke ROTJ Hero Lightsaber with partially scratch made controlbox

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Hello there,

Some time ago I received my Luke ROTJ Hero Lightsaber from Jamanticus.
As seen here by Jamanticus For Sale pictures it was almost complete :





except for some essential parts on the controlbox :



When looking in The Star Wars Archives Book you'll see why I wanted this particular lightsaber :



It's rings on the 'grenade' part are not evenly spaced which I really love.
However I still had to finish the controlbox. Which meant I would have
to work with metal pieces . . . which is NOT my speciality :confused

Jamanticus had been so kind to send me the measurements already so I could
gather all the info I needed on how to tackle the job ahead :



So when the lightsaber finally arrived, like always I was far too eager to get started . . .
which usually means I've got to do everything twice :wacko

Here's my table-top workshop with the work in progres (this picture was taken after the first attempt :lol) :



A close-up of the original prop made me realize that there is an open space between
the activator plate and the metal controlbox by means of some grey parts and thin
L-shaped copper colored sidebars :



Which can also be clearly seen here from the back :



These parts needed to be made from scratch so I used some thin black ABS plastic so
by means of 3 layers glued together, one of which was a bit smaller, I produced some
nicely looking grey parts meanwhile cleverly avoiding to having them created from metal
bits and pieces :)
Then I purchased a 300 mm brass L-shape in our local modeltrain shop for only € 1.50
and . . . a tid bit more expensive real copper foil from a Tiffany Glass-in-Lead workshop.
I told you metal is not my speciality so by means of folding the copper foil nicely onto
the brass L-shape I made myself some thin copper look-a-like L-shape sidebars :love

Also the activator board that came with this lightsaber was the wrong color ... brass in
stead of copper. So I needed to make that from scratch too.
From that same copper foil I cut 13 strips of about 2.0 x 24.0 mm placed them unevenly,
just like the uneven rings, onto a 18 mm wide and 49 mm piece of black ABS Plastic, then
glued a slightly smaller piece however still 49mm wide of ABS Plastic on the back to secure
the copper strips from moving and voilà . . . a custom copper activation board was born.

Here are some more pictures of the first attempt together with the quite smaller already
made by MR black boxes :







The controlbox in these pictures looks okay . . .





. . . however the next day I looked more closely at my reference pictures and
to my horror I realized that on the original prop everything is off by some degrees
. . . as if all additional parts were just losely slapped on in a hurry by the propmakers
(which in fact was indeed what they did most of the time back then . . . and even
now I suppose :lol).

Here are some reference pictures of the MOM version :









(Pictures courtesy to whomever made them ... thanks very much indeed!)

Those grey parts are not aligned straight onto the metal controlbox at the red/green
arrows-side however it is slightly hanging with an angle and is also a bit thinner then my
first attempt :



Also that copper L-shaped sidebar attached, is hanging a little lower on the grey part towards
the right thus making the activator board fit kind of diagonal inbetween the L-shape sidebars.
Furthermore on that same picture I noticed that the small black rectangular boxes were about
the same hight as the copper L-shape sidebar and grey part together. However the box on the
right in the picture hangs a bit lower then the left one (sounds familiar guys :lol) even though
they are supposed to be one piece. And it also sticks out a bit more then the box on the left :



So I took the top parts on the controlbox apart and went back to the drawing board/table-top workshop :

First attempt from the side :



Final result from the side :



Lots of plastic was shaved of, bits modified and now checked and re-checked before glueing
them back on the metal controlbox :lol

Meanwhile when waiting for small parts to dry from painting I restorated the neck piece
by means of a mix of copper and gold paint (still needs to be darkened and smudged a bit)
and also weathered the nickelplated Tri-ring with matt black and dark reddish brown Revell
modelpaint added with a top Matt transparant finish layer to avoid scraping off to easily.

Finally at least to my own satisfaction I'm proud to present my partially scratchmade controlbox :















And placed here, not glued yet, on top of the Luke ROTJ Hero lightsaber :



-Chaim

PS I did notice that the tiny screws on the original prop were not made of brass ...
furthermore I do not claim my controlbox to be exactly screen-accurate however
it was a labour of great passion to recreate it.
 
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Jamanticus

Well-Known Member
Awesome work finishing up the saber, Chaim!

(And while I'm at it, awesome work creating the body and control box, Dan!)

I said it once before, but I'll say it again: I don't think I've ever seen a more accurate (or lovely) replica of the MoM Luke RotJ saber than this. The paint on the neck looks fantastic (not all reddish like the MR versions), the recreated wonkiness of the rails is spot-on... Even the tri-ring is rusty!

You thought of everything with the details, and it shows.
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
To be frank indeed I did try replicating the MoM version however in all honesty had I
done the screen-accurate ROTJ version it would have been 'All to easy'.
See here what I mean when looking at these HD screen-caps courtesy Lonepigeon



all I would have needed was my BRASS L-shape for both of the sidebars



and the brass activator board that came with the lightsaber + some black ABS plastic of the same size for the backside.




:confused

Still . . . when having to explain all my different versions of Luke ROTJ lightsabers to my
friends I can fingerpoint at this one in The Star Wars Archives Book and try to convince
them . . . that I finally got my hands on a real vintage movieprop HA,HA :lol HA!
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Hi Patrice,

Well . . . actually before I wanted to mount the controlbox today I noticed that my lightsaber is a mirrored version of the one in The Star Wars Archives Book. I just realised that when the lightsaber lies on the weathered Triangular-ring as in the book, the tiny screw hole in the emitter on mine is on the other side,



meaning about 180 degrees from where it is on the MoM ROTJ lightsaber or . . . in other words the Tri-Ring should be in the opposite position on the pommel.



Then and only then will that tiny screw hole be on the same side as the red and green arrows.

I tried to fix this but to no avail because the pommel is screwed on and I can not change it's position
without adding an extra metal piece about 1mm thick in between which would also compromise accuracy.
So in true George Lucas' spirit this lightsaber would work nicely on the big screen and is accurate enough.
Please also remember the long after post-production issue with Luke's lightsaber between ANH and ESB
it didn't bother George at all!

So upcoming weekend I'm going to attach the controlbox, aligned with my tri-ring, permanently fixed
and be done with it. :) Unless someone comes up with a radical solution in time! :confused

-Chaim
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Hi Patrice,

Thanks for your suggestion. However this is the real situation :


(Background picture courtesy Darthsaber)

there was still space for the screw to either move in the pommel or body,
although at the moment with all my different efforts it's stuck in the pommel
right now, however that will never change the screw thread inside the aluminium
body thus not able to change the position of the screw with half a turn (180
degrees). The only thing that would work now is to add about a 1.0 mm thin
+ same round-shaped plate inbetween the pommel and body and thus changing
the position of the screw thread and turning the Tri-ring about 180 degrees.
Which in my opinion is not an option . . . since it would definitely alter the overall
appearrance.

-Chaim
 
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kurtyboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The screen used 'hero' and the MoM saber seem to be one and the same. The unevenly size rings seem to match. I also think the activator plate on the screen used one might be the same copper one that's at MoM and not brass.

So were the extra details added to the control box after filming?
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Thanks for the compliments E-Wan I do love wonky movie props, and apart from the mirror issue it's one of my favourite lightsabers at the moment mainly because I had to replicate certain parts myself eventhough I still remain very clumsy when it comes to working with metal parts, jd pilot.

Well kurtyboy it seems you are correct ... apparantly some new parts were added for the Magic of Myth exhibits and before the pictures for The Star Wars Archive Book were taken. Why? I don't know?

However you could also be mistaken about them ROTJ lightsabers being one and the same body if I believe the pictures of the accompanying book of MoM where it also shows pictures of the Luke ROTJ costume with . . . the ROTJ lightsaber (with brass-like sidebars and activator board) in his right gloved hand which appears to be the 'screen used' and a picture of the old Obi-Wan (ROTJ?) costume with . . . yes you guessed it the Luke ROTJ lightsaber MoM version (with orange/copper looking sidebars and activator board and opening as seen in above pictures) in his right hand.

What the heck is going on here? Were there actually 2 lightsabers in the MoM exhibition? Both pictures 'seem' to show the uneven sized rings on the main body, well at least the one with the Obi-Wan costume for certain, however I must admit it is hard to tell with the lightsaber accompanying Luke's ROTJ costume and even my own eyes with the aid of a magnifying glass could betray me hence it could actually be . . . a resin stunt ROTJ version :confused
Perhaps someone who actually went to the show can confirm this, even with pictures to verify these findings? Or maybe Lonepigeon can shed some light on this?

-Chaim
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Thanks for clearing that up, Dan! Kurtyboy I stand corrected you were right, you were right about . . . you were right!!! :lol

Also the fact that the Tri-ring is in the wrong box on the pommel according to the position of the emitter's tiny hole . . . was this intentional as a 'tell'
to prevent someone from claiming it to be an original screen-used or the MoM version lightsaber after modifying/finishing the controlbox? :confused



No tiny hole in my emitter . . . see ... it's 180 degrees on the opposite side :wacko

One more detail that I noticed by looking at this picture courtesy Lonepigeon for those of you who decide to replicate this MoM ROTJ lightsaberdesign in
the future by means of this thread for all the relevant pictures. There's a tiny round notch here:



and here added onto Dartsaber's diagram :



-Chaim
 
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TridCloudwalker

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sym-Cha, try playing with the bolt in the pommel a little more. I have the same exact saber, machined by Anakin Starkiller, and I managed to tightly screw down the pommel so that the ring is in the proper position.

Also, I MIGHT have some silver screws left for the control box. I bought a whole bag of them a couple years ago when Dan first made these. If I can find them, I'll send you a set.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Hi TridCloudwalker,

I did try that several times however to no avail and now the bolt is quite stuck inside the pommel section.
So now I really have to use great force to get it unstuck and out ... again. :cry

@ Dan, the notch is also clearly visible in The Star Wars Archives Book, don't have a high-end resolution scan of it available however if it were a glob of superglue the light of flash would in fact reflect differently on it's surface in that particular picture, think of sunshine on a droplet of water, instead of a clear perfect circle with a dropshadow/emboss effect.

-Chaim
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Q: Did anyone ever find the correct color and size red/green arrows/leds ◄ ►? Anyone :confused

Well I did get the bolt fiddled loose again however I can't seem to get the Tri-ring in the correct position
what am I doing wrong?
By the way TridCloudwalker do post some pictures here of your Luke ROTJ Hero lightsaber if you please,
I'm very curious to know how you finished your controlbox and thanks in advance for the silver screws,
if you can find them send me a PM, okay?


-Chaim
 
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