Obi Wan ANH Lightsaber Build - AFBB

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Kevin Gossett, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I never had an interest in building a saber, until I saw a couple pieces that Orange_Blend had placed in the Pay It Forward thread. For some reason, the OWK ANH started growing on me, and fast! I had to have my own, so in a very short amount of time (two months?) I collected everything I would need.

    [​IMG]

    Roman's emitter, grenade/windvane, Parks clamp w/russrep transistors, russrep booster and scratch-built booster bearing, and a resin pomel (which will be replaced by a proper one at a later date)

    I haven't come across a clamp spacer yet, but I may not need it...

    [​IMG]

    I am going for an AFBB, but clearly I still have a lot of work to do! I need to finish the grenade, chrome the pommel, and insert the d-ring.

    As far as the grenade goes, what is the best method of getting it black? Paint? Powder coat? Help me out! And for the pommel, I found an electroplating service that will do it for $20... As long as it comes out OK, it should definitely tide me over until I can replace it.

    Once it is finished, I of course need to find a display case for it. All the hobby acrylic displays I have found are just a little too small. Outside of the MR display cases, what does everyone use?
     
  2. azn

    azn New Member

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    nice :)
     
  3. Darth Crucius

    Darth Crucius New Member

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    Powder coat on the grenade part looks fantastic and should not be to expensive to do.
     
  4. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So it seems I'm looking at three options (maybe more?) for finishing the grenade:
    - powder coat
    - anodize
    - paint

    Painting would be the most affordable option, but not my first choice. Any feedback on the other two?
     
  5. Tan Djarka

    Tan Djarka Sr Member

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    I recommended it in another thread, but a chemical process called "aluminum black" might be the best bet. It's as durable as anodising and can be applied at home, like paint and for a comparable cost (I think).
     
  6. alessandra

    alessandra Member

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    I recommend Slothfurnace's work whole-heartedly. He also has complete build logs of his sabers - you can check out his Obi Mark III build here.

    Welcome to Slothfurnace.com... Tasty!

    He uses Birchwood Casey Super Blue. You can see it and the results on the second page.

    Aluminium black is another option, as is anodization.
     
  7. Tan Djarka

    Tan Djarka Sr Member

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    Is that suitaable for use on aluminum or just steel?
     
  8. Serenity

    Serenity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Super Blue will not work on aluminum, it won't react with the metal at all. Slothfurnace was using it on the Russrep steel grenade, from what I read...
     
  9. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Serenity! So good of you to stop by :) How's your saber coming?

    As far as the grenade goes, I have a friend that is looking into powder coating... Shouldn't be too much for such a small part
     
  10. parfaitelumiere

    parfaitelumiere Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Right,Sloth used a steel grenade,and gun blue works on steel,not aluminum.

    For a rusty look on aluminum grenade,best way would be painting on a black anodisation to add reddish and brownish areas..

    For a brand new look,just make black anodisation or powder coating,even a simple black painting to begin(easy to remove by sanding)
     
    Thibault likes this.
  11. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Got several quotes from local powder coating shops and they all have around a $70 minimum, which is a bit much to me (but I completely understand why). Anyone know of any less expensive services? I think I may paint it at this point...
     
  12. teecrooz

    teecrooz Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've used Birchwood Casey products on steel, but they also have a line for aluminum:

    Aluminum Black

    You can also find it at Walmart.
     
  13. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Picked up some Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black today... Anyone have experience with this stuff? What is the best way to apply and get an even color?
     
  14. jazzygeoffery

    jazzygeoffery Well-Known Member

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    Go with Alessandra's suggestion and read sloth's obi saber build. I believe he used birchwood Casey black too, he also was very thorough when he got to the electronics side, incase you decide to add any. Anyways, good luck with this c:
     
  15. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sloth's was steel, so it's a different process... Plus, I don't think the aluminum black is quite as noxious as blueing chemicals
     
  16. Reg B

    Reg B New Member

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    Looking great so far.
     
  17. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well after some digging, I didn't find much in the way of application other than what was on the bottle: apply to the area with a saturated swab. I tested this method on an inconspicuous area, and the results were less than desirable. Splotchy, uneven...

    So I opted for a small container with a lid, big enough to fit the grenade in. I emptied the bottle (3oz or so) into the container, and then gently set the grenade in. Closed the lid, and began swishing it around. I let it sit in there, making sure all sides were being coated evenly, for a couple minutes. I removed it using rubber chemical gloves (and wearing eye protection, in a well-venitlated open garage--safety first!) and dropped it into a tall cup of cold water. Swished it around in there for a minute or so, and then flushed the cup with more cold water until it ran clear. After that, I pulled the grenade out, and blotted it dry with a paper towel. Here is the result:

    [​IMG]

    Pretty good coloring, mostly even coverage... But there were still a couple areas that weren't completely covered. So once it was dry, I placed it back into the solution for another couple of minutes, and repeated the process.

    I very lightly dried it, and it is curing in the garage now. I'll give it 24 hours or so, and then polish, and hit it with some clear coat to help protect the finish. I'll post another picture at that point :)
     
  18. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, I clearly did something wrong. Not even 5 minutes after that last post, the entire grenade was covered in rust. :lol

    Took the wire wheel to it and cleaned it all up, so I'm back to square one. I may just throw some gloss black Rustoleum on it and call it done :lol
     
  19. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I never had that problem:

    All the black on these are done with AB:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This brass one was completely covered in AB then steel wooled for the proper look.
    [​IMG]

    When I did these, I did it with several light brushings. You may not see result right away but you just have to be patient. I think you over did it by soaking it.
     
  20. Tan Djarka

    Tan Djarka Sr Member

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    Which department? Paint or sporting goods? I want to (re)weather the emitter on my Obi ANH.
     
  21. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It would be in sporting goods, but I didn't have any luck there (or anywhere else for that matter). I had to call around to 5 different local gun shops before I found some!
     
  22. Tan Djarka

    Tan Djarka Sr Member

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    Ditto. They had Perma-Blue, but not aluminum black.
     
  23. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Your best bet is to order it online
     
  24. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You need to try a gunsmith. That is where I have gotten mine before.
     
  25. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Agreed, I got mine at a small, local gun shop.
     
  26. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well after a little more experimenting with the Aluminum Black, I just wasn't getting the even coverage like I was hoping for. So I broke out the Rustoleum, and laid down a few coats of gloss black.

    [​IMG]

    Now all I need to do is polish up my clamp and emitter, and wait for my pommel to arrive! :)
     
  27. DarthGM

    DarthGM Member

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    This is a really nice build you have.

    Oddly enough, it's appropriate to me right now, as I'm working on an ANH Obi-Wan costume for my 65 year old father.

    :lol
     
  28. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks! :thumbsup

    Look forward to seeing the costume :)
     
  29. modelcitizen

    modelcitizen Sr Member

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    that aluma-black stuff makes your aluminum pieces smell like a burnt * in my opinion. looks like charcoal too.
     
  30. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Quick update, here is where I stand:

    [​IMG]

    I took a cue from James Kenobi 1138 and polished up the inner portion of the emitter as well as the clamp:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I did this by attaching a polishing pad to my drill press, and applied high gloss metal polishing compound. Worked each piece around until I got a nice, mirror finish :)
     
  31. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So I finally received my russrep pommel the other day! A little disappointed in the chrome finish, as it seems a few from his last batch weren't the best. I'll try to get some closer-up pictures to show the pitting, but I don't think it's worth me sending back and waiting another month or two to get a replacement.

    Anyways, here is the finished assembly!

    [​IMG]

    I need to repolish the clamp a bit, as there is some slight discoloration on it. I'm also going to get a more accurate bubble strip. The only major thing I need to do is fabricate the base for the stand, and order a plaque!
     
  32. Shade88

    Shade88 Well-Known Member

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    Looking great, I love Obi-Wan's ANH Lightsaber. :love

    Just a quick question, do you plan on getting a bubble card from Blast-Tech, or are you going to get an actual Exactra calculator?
     
  33. redfive

    redfive New Member

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    LOVE IT! Building mine atm, but I'm going for the weathered version. Looking forward to get my Pommel from Russ, should be here within the next week then my saber will be completed. I hope the chroming of mine is not in that bad quality…

    Cheers
     
  34. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'll actually get one from Rebelscum. He's local, and I've had a good experience with Philip before (not to mention the North TX prop party is at his shop in a few weeks!)
     
  35. Shade88

    Shade88 Well-Known Member

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    Lucky!!! :thumbsup
     
  36. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Received my Rebelscum bubble strip the other day, and it is much more accurate! Great work as always, Philip.

    Here are the two, side by side:

    [​IMG]

    You can certainly tell the difference!

    I had to do a little prep work in order for it to fit. It was just a little too tall to fit in the channel of the clamp, so I had to sand down the bottom side just a bit. Now it fits like a glove!

    I also received my plaque from Pastor Jedi yesterday. Great quality, and received it extremely fast!

    [​IMG]

    So I have started to work on the base for the stand... I bought an 8"x48"x1/2" plank of oak and cut it into four pieces 12" long each. Then I glued three of them together, face to face to face, and clamped them. I let them set for a few days, so now I have a block that is 8"x12"x1 1/2" to work with:

    [​IMG]

    I will bevel the front edge, then create a small lip on that edge for the plaque to attach to. Once I finish with that, I will have to route out a couple of grooves for the acrylic stands to fit in, then sand everything down and paint!
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  37. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Cut down the block to give it a nice bevel, then used my hand plane to soften and round the edge a bit. Then used my router to notch out slots for the acrylic stand pieces:

    Front view
    [​IMG]

    Profiel view
    [​IMG]

    Now I just need to build my "lip" for the plaque, then sand it all smooth, and paint.
     
  38. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ...and the stand is finished! Sanded, painted, acrylic stands installed. I'm calling this one done... for now :lol

    [​IMG]
     
  39. Jerome

    Jerome Active Member

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    Very nice! One of my favourite sabers.
     
  40. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    To shiny for my taste, but awsome work - same for the stand, it´s really good looking. :thumbsup
     
  41. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you!

    My thought process was "it's probably easier to go back later and add weathering then it would be to make everything pristine again"! :lol

    I actually referenced your build quite a bit, Michael. Awesome job :thumbsup
     
  42. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That looks really fantastic. Great job.
     
  43. Serenity

    Serenity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nicely done, mate! I was curious, what made you decide to put the transistors on top of the washers, instead of through them? Based on the reference I've seen, it seemed like they go through them, but I've seen a few builds that have them sitting on top instead...
     
  44. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    As far as i remember there are 2 version of transistor, that might be the original one - one shorter and one longer version.

    That might look as if some were put through and others on the washers - depending on the decision for which look you strive..
     
  45. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    As mentioned i´m not the shiny/afbb guy, but this looks so nice you should keep it that way. If you want a worn one, build a second. ;)


    Thanks, that´s very kind of you. :)
     
  46. Serenity

    Serenity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    When I look at photos from both the Chronicles book and the large Tunisia photo, which would cover both "look" variations, I think they look the same height.

    Anyway, I digress! That's just how I see it and how I'll put my saber parts... 2 cents
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  47. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The way these transistors were made, the top has to sit on top of the washer. Otherwise the washer would slip right off :)

    I know I said "this one is done"... but that doesn't mean anything, right? :lol

    I made a couple of "improvements" today, as well as began down a path I hope I can accomplish. Two words: crystal chamber :love

    For the improvements:

    - Got some chrome tape for my clamp. I reached out to a local shop for a quote to have the clamp and transistors chromed, but haven't heard back from them... This will hold me over until I can get that done.

    The first attempt with the tape didn't go over as well as I had hoped. The tape went on just fine, and it had a very nice look to it, but instead of trimming off the excess, I wrapped it around into the inside. This prevented the tape from laying as flat as it could have. Also, I didn't get the stamped lettering/lines coming through like I wanted. The second try went much better:

    [​IMG]

    I trimmed the tape to the proper size first, then applied it to the clamp slowly, making sure all air bubbles were out. Then I used my fingernail to rub in the stamped "GRAFLEX" and lines. This worked much better

    - Next I took some advice (partially) from James Kenobi 1138 from the North Texas prop party last weekend. He mentioned that my pommel didn't have the proper space between it and the booster. He gave a simple solution of wrapping a particular gauge of wire around the booster section (that inserts into the pommel) twice and then pushing the pommel on. Rather than doing that, I wanted to put a new toy to use :cool I had bought a tap and die set recently, so I decided to drill and tap a hole through the interior of the pommel and the booster, and connect the two using a set screw

    [​IMG]

    Now I have the proper spacing! There is a little wiggle to it, so I will add a second screw 90 degrees from the first, eliminating the wiggle

    - The last improvement I made concerned the emitter. It is an older machined version (Roman's/Gavidoc I believe) and I decided to customize it a bit. I took one of my countersink bits and my drill press, and drill out a cone into the center. The ring with holes will get painted black as well. (tried taking a picture of this, but the camera wouldn't focus correctly :facepalm)

    Finally this brings me to my grand idea... I met Brad (slothfurnace) at the prop party as well, and if you haven't seen his work... You owe it to yourself to see it! (www.slothfurnace.com) He brought with him some of his sabers, including his current project: the Obi Wan reveal. Seeing this in person inspired me!

    I don't have all the nifty toys he has (mill, lathe) but I think I can adapt some of the ideas to more basic methods. I started drawing out my ideas first, then put some into action. I won't even attempt a spring-loaded reveal (yet :love), but rather a static display that I can switch in and out of my current saber, so I will have both :)

    So far, I drilled and tapped the bottom of the grenade for 8-32 rod, and got some hollow brass rod that slips over the threaded rod to give it a more finished look.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also needed to figure out a way to join the upper assembly together, since the entire saber is bolted together on a single threaded rod. So I got a shorter threaded rod :) I still need to countersink the bolt head into the bottom of the grenade to make it flush.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see in the picture above, I also have a crystal :love

    [​IMG]

    It is an aqua aura quartz, slightly larger than a quarter inch in diameter, and about an inch and a quarter long. I still need to figure out how I'm going to work out the actual crystal chamber... I would like to get some 1" brass stock and see if I can machine it down a bit to my liking (similar to how Brad did his :thumbsup) I will also machine some "radiator fins" to finish out the look.

    This is going to take some time... if I can even accomplish it with the few tools I have :lol
     
  48. ManicMechanic

    ManicMechanic New Member

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    Framing awesome. Great work. :)
     
  49. avianoguitarist

    avianoguitarist Active Member

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    Nice work, man--that saber has been on my list for several years.
     
  50. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Hi there,

    That's a mighty fine lightsaber you've got there :)

    -Chaim
     

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