Master Replicas Surgeon Required!


Active Member
I was only being slightly facetious but this is a unique situation.

Master Replicas Obi Wan As First Built. Limited to only 500. One of the Crown Jewels of the line and very expensive. Average price 3000 and up.

Mine has an imperfection in the bubble strip. Crack or scratch. Original owner treated it like a baby. No impact and no idea how it happened.

I would like to explore the possibility of replacing the bubble strip. For those who know it’s locked in very tight into the metal control box mount.

It needs to be a perfect and invisible repair and the bubble strip needs to be identical to what Master Replicas used.

Remember you are operating on a true heirloom and essentially irreplaceable.

I’ve attached a close up of the issue.

Also my YouTube review talks about it extensively and shows it in high resolution from multiple angles. You can skip ahead to the relevant part at 30:00 min.

Thank you!

To open the clamp you first have to remove the pin that holds the lever to the clamp bolt. Once the pin is out and the lever is removed from the bolt the lever side sidebar can be removed and the bolt unscrewed. Under the removed sidebar you’ll also see 2 screws on either side of the bolt that hold the clamp together that are hidden under the sidebar. Once the lever, bolt, and screws are all removed the clamp will be loose enough to remove/replace the bubble strip.
Wow. Thanks for the info. All this can be done without damaging the saber and with conventional tools? And can I find a bubble strip identical to what MR used?
You can unscrew the lever/bolt without removing the pin. Once the lever is out you’ll see the screws and once those are loosened the bubble strip can be removed.

The down side is the MR bubble strip is wider than a real bubble strip, meaning all the awesome replica bubble strips are also accurately narrower than the MR unless you get a spare bubble strip from an MR regular or FX saber.

Another possibility, since the current bubble strip is already damaged, is to gently tap it out from one side using something like a small wood block and a small mallet to protect the saber and not worry about the bubble strip if it breaks. You could also cut the bubble strip down the middle with a utility knife just outside of the bubbles but I think tapping it out would be the best solution.

Once the old/broken bubble strip is out you can take a new MR bubble strip and very gently sand the edges so it will *just* slide into the clamp but tight enough to hold in place.
If you do decide to remove it, I wonder if he could mold it and cast in clear resin so the bubble strip is more a replica of the MR strip than anything else? Of course, he'd have to glue and repair the broken strip first.
You can still find busted/broken MR FX hilts on eBay pretty cheap from time to time. It’s usually the blade and/or the electronics that are busted and not the saber itself. The bubble strip on a Luke ANH FX lightsaber is the same size as the ones used on the LE and signature Obi and Luke ANH lightsabers and should fit only needing slight modifications on the underside.
Wow that is a wealth of I formation. Thanks so much James Kenobi. You definitely got the right handle!!

Fascinating how this works. I never imagined the lever could be lifted and unscrewed like that. This can also be done with LE MR?? Will it damage the finish at all?

I can buy new bubble strips from Wannawanga but are you saying for a perfect match I need to take one off an FX version? Are Luke and Obi bubble strips interchangeable??

Finally how do you unscrew? Is it Philips or something more specific?
Bad news. I knew the MR FX bubble strips have tabs on the bottom for the on/off switch that I thought could be removed but the FX bubble strips are a totally different construction from the LE/Signature bubble strips and won’t work. I pulled one of the MR Vader FX clamps I have that includes the bubble strips and it’s not even close on the underside or how it’s put together.
That saber I took apart and took photos of is a Master Replicas LE Luke ANH. The clamp and bubble strip are 100% identical to the AFBB Kenobi lightsaber so the clamp would come apart exactly the same way.

You can open the lever, unscrew the lever bolt, and continue with dis-assembly the same way but there is the possibility of damage/scratching the saber depending on how careful you are, what tools you use, and how you protect the saber while working on it. I would do it to my own saber but I wouldn’t do it to anyone else’s because I can’t guarantee no damage.

All the current replica bubble strips like Roman’s and Roys (WannaWanga) are replicas of a real Exactra bubble strip which is more narrow than the MR version (see the photo above). Yes, you could use a Roman or a WannaWanga bubble strip but it won’t look exactly the same, plus it would lower the value of the AFBB Kenobi saber. To be both a perfect fit and keep the value the same you would want to get the bubble strip from an MR Luke ANH LE and swap it in for the broken one.
If I were doing the job, to help guarantee not damaging the saber I would use non-marring tools like the corner of a small square wooden dowel and a small mallet to dislodge and free the broken bubble strip and sand microns off the edges of a replacement MR bubble strip until it slides in the clamp.
You have been beyond helpful. Does rotating lever do any damage? It seems a simple hinge. Then unscrew seems unlikely to damage. After how do you loose the internal screws when then sidebar comes off? What other areas should I watch out for when dissembling?

So only really perfect match is Luke LE? I would think Luke Elite edition as well. And Obi weathered wouldn’t work because it’s dirty?
On your question about the lever, any damage to the saber depends on how carefully the lever is rotated and what precautions are taken. Once the lever is off and the sidebar removed it’s just a medium size Phillips screwdriver to remove the 2 screws to fully open the clamp.

Any version of the MR Luke ANH would be a perfect replacement however the LE would be much less expensive to purchase than a Signature edition or the Elite edition so I would think you’d want to source a cheap MR LE Luke ANH. IIRC the weathered Kenobi ANH has a weathered bubble strip so it wouldn’t be a good replacement.
Hello James. I now have all the info I need thanks to you. I thought this required some sort of incredible tear down with advanced instruments to somehow bend metal or thst the bubble strip was glued in. I believed there needed to be professional restoration and touch up after like with statue restoration.

But now with the steps and pictures you have provided you just need a 1500 dollar Luke LE and balls of steel.

The procedure must be done on both and reversed for both. On the surface it seems pretty simple. What precautions would you recommend on opening and unscrewing the lever as someone who has done it multiple times?

I also find it amazing that you did this in the first place on an LE hilt! What prompted you to do that? Just tinkering?
This may sound like an unbelievable story but it's 100% true. When MR sabers first launched in the early 2000s they sold for about $250 each brand new directly from MR. At some point the prices went up to $325.

Because sites like the RPF, TFBB, ASAP, etc.. were such strong builder communities and there had never been LFL verified licensed prop companies before MR (except ICONS) many people rejected props that were idealized, corporatized, sanitized, and easy. The belief back then was "Why would you want to just buy a less accurate prop from a company instead of researching every detail and making it yourself". There was a lot of gatekeeping and only 'real prop collectors' made their props they didn't buy them.

As a result many of the target audience for MR lightsabers turned their noses up at Master Replicas and didn't buy them. Also, the internet wasn't where it is today back then and we had not yet had the nerd-explosion and fandom-explosion in the early 2000s pre-'Big Bang Theory' like we do today. Hardcore fans were buying MR, but the general population had yet to fully catch on.

As a result, and here is the incredible part, many MR lightsabers went for almost nothing back then. I bought that LE Luke ANH with no paperwork, no plaque, and no box/stand for $135 for just the saber. Also because there was not a robust lightsaber making community like there is today there was a HUGE market for people to buy things like the LE Vader ANH, LE Vader ESB, LE Luke ANH, LE Kenobi, and take them apart and part out the saber parts for sale and make 2X-3X the original cost just for the parts.

Pre-Parks, pre-Roman, pre-everyone you couldn't just get a replica MPP clamp, or a replica MPP shroud, or Graflex parts, or 'accurate' Kenobi ANH parts. So it was very common to see MR lightsabers disassembled and offered up in parts. I remember many an RPF Thread about taking MR lightsabers apart as we used what we had back then to make our Star Wars props. I knew how to take the clamp apart because I remember seeing it done many, many years ago.

I'm happy the info was useful !
As far as taking the saber apart, I would definitely use a soft tape like Masking tape and cover as many surfaces as possible to stop/reduce any scratches before starting. Basically cover the clamp, the grenade and booster, and everything around the lever with masking tape including the sidebar around the lever. Masking tape should come off leaving no residue and should not damage the finish but I would not press any harder than you need to just keep the tape attached, don't press very hard just enough to allow the tape to stick and protect the metal from possible errant scratches.

If you use any tools, use either rubber jaw tools or cover the jaws with a thick tape like duct tape so the edges won't scratch the saber. You might look for soft-edged jewelry tools or specialty pliers designed to not marr or scratch metal.
Wow. Unbelievable that these same hilts are now going for thousands.

Why would you need pliers? Is the lever that hard to move and turn??

Good idea about masking tape for sure.
Steve (the founder of MR and SD Studios) was a member here and all the prop boards and knew about MR sabers being taken apart and sold as parts so they started adding glue to some areas to make it harder to separate the pieces.

The lever bolt on my Luke saber did have some glue on the threads that made the bolt difficult but not impossible to turn and I did use a pair of flat-billed pliers to get leverage to get it turning. Once the bolt started turning a few rotations I was able to use my fingers.

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