My 1982 Tron Disc build - IT GLOWS!

nick daring

Master Member
The Project- Two Hero Idenity Disks from Tron 82'

A red "Bad guy" Disc


and a Blue "Good Guy" Disc


The real discs used by the actors were flat white frisbees with black gaffer tape rings that would be made to glow later in post production.


Also in a recent auction one of these hero discs went up for sale. It's diameter was 9 ¼ in. diameter.


I wanted to do this on the cheap and quick so I first needed some glowing frisbees. The problem is that most glowing frisbees are a milky white color and have different colored LEDs built into them for the different color effects.


However after a little searching I found a cheap knockoff brand on Ebay that was being sent in from China that had the colored plastic I was looking for.



They weren't the correct diameter but they were cheap (about 10 bucks each), had a good color to them, and best of all no raised writing or graphics. Just a couple of easily peeled stickers. The glow is kinda weak and there is still an area of raised grip lines on top but what do you want for ten bucks and no work?





Next I had to make a stencil to paint the non-glowy areas white.

Using Adobe Illustrator I took measurements from the auction photos and applied them to my larger frisbees. It worked out that the stripes and spaces would be 1/2 inch each with a 1/2 inch diameter dot in the middle.

I initially intended to take these vector outlines and have a sign company cut them out of some masking vinyl but I kept putting it off and decided to just do it the old fashioned way.

I wrapped the two frisbees in blue painters tape and with a compass marked the half inch increments.



The X's marked the sections that would remain stuck to the Frisbee.

Using the same compass I replaced the pencil with an exacto knife and cut along all the radiating pencil lines using small swipes. The blade wanted to veer off if I tried to make one big long cut.


Cutting the last stripe on the edge wasn't possible with the compass so I used a sketch book to hold the exacto at the proper height as I spun the Frisbee against the stationary blade.


I burnished the edges of my tape nice and tight against the plastic for a clean edge. The exposed plastic was then hit with a few coats of Krylon Fusion gloss white that was left over from a previous project. I would have preferred a flat/ matte finish for a greater contrast in texture but convenience won that day. :)


The paint dried/cured overnight and I peeled the remaining tape.


Here they are glowing with the lights on-


And with the lights OFF!


The Fusion paint adhered to the plastic perfectly. I do wish I had burnished the masking tape down onto the surface of the red disc a little better since there was a little underspray in a couple spots. Nothing big but it hurts that clean digital look upon closer examination.

I'd also like to install more powerful LEDs or perhaps sand the backside of the plastic to help disperse the light a little more evenly but they look pretty cool for how little work I had to put into the project.

Not bad for 20 bucks and some supplies I had lying around!

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Re: My 1982 Tron Disc build


Like I said above there is still room for improvement.
-Brighter LEDs
-Closed back
-Sand plastic for better light dispersal
-I'd even like to see the disc itself done as a custom Vaccuformed piece with recessed grooves for the colored rings to give it some dimensionality

Project for some other time though.

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