More details on the Vader ROTJ saber - Please archive

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Brevin Din-Shay

Well-Known Member
Edit: At this point, I believe we're past the original question I asked.


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

Hi all,

I'm wondering what the majority of you feel is the "correct" way to have the finish on this prop look...

It has been popularly speculated that Vader's ROTJ saber was a replated Graflex. Whether chrome or nickel, nobody has a clue.

Here's that famous SW to Indy pic:




My question/discussion topic isn't about the plating. Instead, it is about what you feel would be more accurate.

Would you replate the saber (whatever metal, doesn't matter) and then scratch it up a bit with a piece of Scotch-Brite?


I realize everyone has a personal preference when it comes to this saber, but this question seems to be a constant. I just wanted to "test the waters," so to speak.



Later all!

**This thread is dedicated to Wada Yado, my biggest mentor and (from my viewpoint, along with many others) the greatest Darth Vader ROTJ lightsaber student/builder/teacher of all time**
 

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7-11 Jedi

Well-Known Member
I was always under the impression that they just wrapped some chrome or aluminum tape around it to make it a little shinier and just cut out the holes for all the goodies.

Cheers!

Mike
 

Sporak

Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
I have one of Biskit's tops...In my opinion it's PERFECT for one of these...

Yes it absolutely seems brighter than most Graflex's we've seen...

Now here's a thought though.
I've seen several real graflexes and every one of them has a slightly different shine on them depending on age or whatever...
Also, we don't have a clear color shot of Lukes Graflex, at least not as clear as we do the converted one for the Vader...

Well...What if Lukes was actually this shiny? or at least the one they reused for the Vader? Could it just be either a newly plated mint shell? Or a well worn and polished piece?

Anyway...I would go with a newly plated Nickel finish, without the brushing. Let time and handling add the wear on it...This is the one to hand people when they want to see one
 

Ghost Host

Sr Member
I have a feeling that "they" tried to give the Graflex a shiny MPP finish, and just polished it up on a buffing wheel. I'd be surprised if they had it replated, or whatever.
 

LiquidPhoenix

Well-Known Member
Well I have a question about this saber to.
I noticed some holes(maybe for grips) at the end could it have been a unused ESB luke or a redone Graflex in lukes style?

pic of holes:
 

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darthwilliam87

New Member
yeah, that is what people are thinking liquidpheonix. I think ghost host is right, i bet they just pollished it up to make it look like the mpp, but i think they only did it to the top half. here is a picture that I took at the MOM exhibit last summer which shows the two finishes.
 

Brevin Din-Shay

Well-Known Member
Well, let's start with Mike:

I really don't think they used tape, man. When I saw the prop in person, and after I've scanned almost 100 pics of the prop from MoM, I see no evidence of overlapping tape wraps.



Ghost Host: Quite possibly your theory is correct!

Bill: As always, great observations.




LiquidPhoenix: I started a thread about the "leftover Luke holes" almost a year ago. Indeed, there are holes, both in the bottom grip section and the top.

My biggest question dealt with the placement of the holes. After extensive research, it seems that there is no uniformity involved.
The best conclusion that we reached was that wherever one of Luke's 6 grips had been (with the screw/rivet at the bottom), there was a smaller black screw attached (and basically camouflaged) at the RIGHT SIDE of the grips, near the top.


I saved the thread to my hard drive. If you want specific info, I'll be happy to e-mail you.



Back to the finish, though...I don't think it's nickel. As Sporak pointed out, there are several finishes that were used during the 1940-1947 Graflex era. The most popular was the "brushed" finish, I think...other than this, there were 2 others (identified by Padawan Michael). I only remember one off the top of my head: Chromed.

So...that's all for now!
 

Sporak

Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
Actually there is uniformity...Ghost Host did indeed drill his as if the 6 Luke grips were in place and removed, then replaced the 7 vader grips in the correct position...what he got was exactly the right formation of holes as seen in the Mom pics. As far as I'm concerned thats exactly what happened.


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Brevin Din-Shay wrote:
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My biggest question dealt with the placement of the holes. After extensive research, it seems that there is no uniformity involved.
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Oohyeah KL

Well-Known Member
It seems pretty obvious to me (I thought it was well-established, in fact) that the holes are teh Luke ESB holes. I did mine up with those holes and they matched perfectly too.

I have some related questions:

1) Is the MOM saber the same saber as the one in the top pic?

2) Does the MOM saber have the same bright finish as the saber in the top pic (whether they are the same saber or not)?

3) Assuming there's no replating or use of tape/foil, how exactly would you polish or buff up a Graflex to make it shinier?
(ie., how would an idiot like me polish up my Graflex?)


btw, if anyone is looking for more pics of this saber, the pic collection thread is now in the archives.
 

Onigiri

Sr Member
Another thing to consider is the 'du;; 'area on the bottom would be where thr old grips WHERE nd the finish might be indicative of where thry were removed.
 

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DARTH SABER

Master Member
I think that kind of finish can be achived by buffing it really well rather than plating it...
As far as whether this is the same saber from the MOM, I persoanlly think it is...The photo from the "Indy to SW" book shows a set of scratches which look like teeth marks on the saber, these marks can also be seen on some of the MOM pics...
Personally I think it is the same saber.

Im planning on making this saber soon and am planning n adding the yellowish glue goo found between the grips.
 

Brevin Din-Shay

Well-Known Member
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Oohyeah KL wrote:
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It seems pretty obvious to me (I thought it was well-established, in fact) that the holes are teh Luke ESB holes.
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Well KL, looking from all the different angles that I have seen, and taking into account the distance that the holes are from the midband, I have to disagree. Yes, the bottom holes are the same as a Luke ESB bottom, but the top ones...well, that's where I get my "educated guess" theory. They seem to be quite a bit lower than the Luke ESB saber pics with screws as we see in POSW.

Here's more on what you asked. My answers are in BOLD.

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I have some related questions:

1) Is the MOM saber the same saber as the one in the top pic?

I would have to say definitely so. Again, from my many pics that I've collected over the past year.

2) Does the MOM saber have the same bright finish as the saber in the top pic (whether they are the same saber or not)?

It's VERY hard to tell with the flash going off - kind of like when everyone first thought it had a brass rod and brass hex bolts. Lighting throws it all off.

3) Assuming there's no replating or use of tape/foil, how exactly would you polish or buff up a Graflex to make it shinier?
(ie., how would an idiot like me polish up my Graflex?)



No idiot, my friend! I'm wondering the same thing. What grain/grade of polish would work best to achieve that finish? I am also very curious (hence the reasoning behind the thread in the first place!).

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Interesting read, you all!
 

DARTH SABER

Master Member
Just in case it wasnt known, Vader's ROTJ lightsaber is longer than Lukes ESB stunt...
Im guessing that this is due to there not being a clamp for the upper and lower shell to lock onto, thus probably changing the normal length of a Graflex flash when the bottom shel was manually attached to the upper shell...

This might be why the holes are on a slightly different distance from the ROTJ Vader and the ESB Luke..
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Since the top shell is so beat up and scratched, but the copper underneith the plating is not showing, I have often wondered if they simply didn't just paint the top shell with a silver/buffing paint after ESB to 'spruce-up' the saber a little?

Considering it's condition, I can't imagine they actually had it replated? Too much time and trouble.

I can't see any edge to indicate foil or tape, too clean on the raised button areas.

I'm wondering more and more it it's not just painted silver?
 

DARTH SABER

Master Member
What about the stuff on the bottom of the saber??
Im referring the "putty" looking stuff under the D-ring..Kinda looks like metal epoxy with a whitish grey color to it.
 

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DS- The putty is just what it looks like(judging from amny hours of studying). Metal putty, the exact reaon we don't know. Some thought the original endcap had been knocked loose during the Dagobah training scenes, but other Graflex pro's said that couldn't have happened since the endcap is set in a ridge inside the tube. It would be very hard to knock out without splitting the tube.
So that leaves my theory that it was just banged all to hell, and the putty was purely cosmetic.

As for the finish, it seems to have been buffed to shine. The scratches don't have the brass look but they very easily could be just "mucked up"<--very technical term
The difference in the two halves alone proves that it is not the original finish(even though some graflex have higher shines than others).

Now, the holes in the grips, I again have to agree with DS on this one, the bottom holes are definatley from the Luke ESB saber, the top holes are most likey from the Luke also.
As most of us know the Luke ESB had small screws set on the right side of each grip to give them extra security during a duel. Now I had thought that the Ranch saber had screws on the left and right side of the grips(could be wrong) but that would explain the odd positioning.

Also the top holes are further from the clamp(midband) than the bottom holes are from the end of the tube. But again this could be due to the way the 2 halves were fastened together.

The mystery behind the ugliest saber in the galaxy continues....
 

Oohyeah KL

Well-Known Member
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Brevin Din-Shay wrote:
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Oohyeah KL wrote:
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It seems pretty obvious to me (I thought it was well-established, in fact) that the holes are teh Luke ESB holes.
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Well KL, looking from all the different angles that I have seen, and taking into account the distance that the holes are from the midband, I have to disagree. Yes, the bottom holes are the same as a Luke ESB bottom, but the top ones...well, that's where I get my "educated guess" theory. They seem to be quite a bit lower than the Luke ESB saber pics with screws as we see in POSW.
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As DS and TDD mentioned, the distance difference could be cos the mid-band is at a different position to the graflex clamp.
Even if the position of the top holes are slightly different, I would just say that they merely used a different Luke ESB from the one(s) we've seen.
The way the holes are positioned, I just can't see this having any other explanation other than that they were there as Luke's ESB saber previously.

Thanks for your response on my other questions!


I'm still trying to figure out how an idiot like me can buff up the Graflex without workshop tools.

eg., Can I just use Scotchbrite and keep rubbing it??
 
KL
You could use a rubbing compound on a rag and and buff it out. Then use a metal polish to add the shine. I have a 2 cell endcap here I can experiment on for fun.
Just hold the rag by each end and buff like a pair of shoes.
 
I'm not sure yet. I'll try out my 2 cell with some stuff and let you know.
Just check with the metal polishes for a compound. As long as it is mildly abrasive, it should work.
 

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