Panaflex's Props

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Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi all, rather than keep making new threads, using somebody else's great idea, I've decided to make a single thread for all my stuff.
This used to be my Obi Fossil build...

Enjoy

Update: 3/25/17


So after 5 years here at the RPF, I've decided to attempt the near impossible and do a real parts OB1 build. Madness I know but hey, why not?

Please feel free to critique the build, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I'd like to say thank-you to some of our members who've helped me out either with parts, information or machine services. I appreciate the trail that's been blazed before me.
An incomplete list I'm sure but:

Mugatu
Sym-Cha
Roman
3cell
James Kenobi1138
Teecrooz
Scottjua
Serenity
NeoRutty
Thd9791peacefrog35

This started when I bought Roman's weathered OB1 saber and I thought,"This an amazing piece of art, what more could I ask for?"
I liked it so much, I took a picture.
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After awhile, I couldn't help it and the idea of adding vintage parts started to become an obsession.- Thanks guys...

I like that this prop is all beat up and so I thought it would be cool to take it further and create something that was more of a decayed relic or unearthed artifact. Along the way, I discovered that building one this way could make it cheaper, slightly cheaper...as some of the parts wouldn't command as high a price.

First, the parts-

So I pulled it apart when I got my 1st real component - An AS hand wheel. Thanks Mugatu!

Starting at the bottom:

I got the cold one as I liked the blue.
This came off a bidet in the UK. I like the worn plastic ring, it already looks old and the chrome is scratched in places. I'm doing some research into aging chrome with finishes.
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Next up, holy grail #1. A booster. Until a miracle occurs, I'm sticking with Roman's replica which is an amazing piece. I'm currently trying to source the real deal by selling a kidney but I'm not holding my breath. Weathering will be forthcoming.
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The clamp assembly is interesting to me as it's really a number of parts working together.
Clamp, transistors, bubble strip and washers.

Real Graflex clamp with some natural weathering but in overall good condition. It'll need work to age it properly.
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I found some vintage transistors of the proper Motorola MA series. They're the 205's. Seems like some here have gone high profile while others like the low version.
There's a photo of the saber on Obi's cloak showing one high and one low. I'm going that route in the end and shortening one of these. I'm still looking for a good vintage washer...
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Onto the bubble strip. Got the proverbial Exactra 20 and pulled it apart for the strip.
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I did this before with my Luke ANH build but labored over it with hand tools- filing and cutting etc. This time I decided to use a belt sander and a band saw.
This made it faster but also introduced other issues like a possible trip to the emergency room. Luckily, I still have all my digits.

When I used the belt sander to slim the strip down to fit under the clamp, an interesting thing happened; it melted, bubbled and frosted over. I was originally thinking of polishing it out but then the look grew on me. It reminds me of old broken glass that's been left out too long in the elements.
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Next up is the grenade. Thanks again to Mugatu for parting with this treasure. You may recall his excellent tutorial thread on reconstructive surgery to this piece found here.
http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=238323&highlight=mugatu

I can't say enough about what an outstanding job of rebuilding the bottom edge he did. Top drawer.

One of the beauties of this piece is that it's so worn, there'll be no weathering to do. It sat in the French soil for the last 100 years and I think it's perfectly battered by time and the elements.
The cracked ring even adds to the concept of the build.
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It does need some TLC on the inside as there's a good amount of surface rust.
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I took some sand paper to it and it looks better now. I'm going to hit the inside with this product I found which claims to transform rust into a black paintable surface and renders the rust inert.
I hope....
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Ok, that leaves Holy grail #2. The balance pipe. I may be collecting Social Security by the time I find this part, I'll run around the nursing home brandishing my saber at the staff, I'm sure they'll appreciate it...what?
Until that fateful day, I'm sticking with Roman's weathered pipe which I'm probably going to seriously maim and discolor to fit in with the rest of it.
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So that about wraps it up for now. Those are the parts I have. Next installment will be about the odyssey that is putting them together. Almost there...
More to come.
 

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NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Welcome to the club!

Check your sanity at the door. Anm2 is a fun one.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

lol I'll second that. Nice work and nice parts! Andy really did do a beautiful job on that grenade.

The sink knob.. I actually just picked up two and the hole is too small for the threaded rod we all use. Currently figuring out how to fix that without drilling and tapping T nuts to a spacer, like another member did.

You've got a work of art here, eagerly seeing how this works out!
 

redbutton

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Really sweet!! Your replacing the parts as you come across them - nice! Really good pictures too. Thanks for posting,
Steve
 

matty matt

Sr Member
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Looking good! I like the way the bubbles turned out. That worked out nicely.
 

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Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Thanks guys!

@ thd9791- I have a solution for that hand wheel issue. Posting soon.
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Your grenade looks fantastic, it looks almost exactly like mine- split windvane ring and all.

This is going to be a stellar build.
 

Darth Lars

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

I'm going to hit the inside with this product I found which claims to transform rust into a black paintable surface and renders the rust inert.
I hope....
Another way would be to immerse it in boiling water for a couple of minutes - no chemicals! Then brush away the black surface rust (I used a brush with plastic bristles, for cleaning drain pipes) and oil it. But of course, that would also transform the brown rust on the outside.
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Panaflex, I'm very eager to see your progress on this badboy! All your parts are looking good, and as matty matt said, the bubble strip looks fantastic! That "old glass" look would be very difficult to replicate...so you've got a truly unique piece.

Also, you take much better photos than I do, ya bastard! It's all coming together very very well, man. And don't be shy about your results with the rust converter spray.
 
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Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Some forward progress...

So when I started this, I figured when I got the original parts I'd just string them together on the threaded rod that Roman provided on the saber. It's a 3/8 16 rod.
What I didn't account for was this:
Problem- Round peg, square hole and the hole was too small.



Answer: Buy a drill press. Got medieval on it.


I found out they make a special add on for drill presses to hold your stock in place but by then it was too late and besides I kinda' liked the clamps.
I wasn't sure what to expect as I wasn't positive what was plastic and what was metal so I put the bugger on the lowest setting.
And got this:


Note the brassy dust flakes. Metal. I started with a smaller bit and worked up to this diameter. A perfect fit.

So at this point, I was really excited, I drilled a hole and now I could test the fit with the rod.
The plan was to secure it all together with a low profile nut inside the hand wheel.



Perfect... or so I thought. The pic above is just the booster and hand wheel.
After putting everything on the rod I got this:


ACK!
Problem: Roman's rod was too short to clear the hand wheel leaving me with nothing for the nut to bite on.

Answer: Run out and buy a new rod that only came in a 3 foot section.


Excellent. Now I had to cut it down to size.
In keeping with the power tool vibe of the build I broke out the air compressor saw.


So I found out that when you cut a threaded rod with this thing, fast though it may be, you tear up the threads at the end and then you can't put a nut on.
So, I had to grind away the metal trash I created at the tip of the rod. Break out the grinder...


At this point, I questioned just what it was I was doing. As did my wife...
I thought this would be the end of the rod dilemma. How wrong I was.

Problem: The rod and the nut were still not mating... so to speak.
The threads just didn't extend far enough up the rod.

Answer:
Get out the tap and die set. Try to make new threads on crazy rod from hell.
IMG_5930.jpg

So I made new threads on the end of the rod and wound up with this:


I put all the pieces together, finger tightened the nut, popped the end cap on the hand wheel and voila!
It all finally worked!



So in case anybody decides to replicate this, here's a pic that might interest you.
Roman's rod up against the hell rod.


While this was laborious, I have to admit it was also fun. I think if I'd gone with the clever two rod, T-nut system I would have lost my mind.
I like that ultimately, it's a single rod throughout and I can disassemble it by hand with the finger tightened nut.
I'm not sure what will happen or need to be redone if I ever find the balance pipe. Hopefully I can just tap it and still use my hell rod.

Next installment will be the tale of how I spray paint the inside of a grenade...what?
P.S. My title must have auto corrected to "did" instead of dig. I don't know how to change it. Any help on that is appreciated as I don't see how to edit that bit.
 

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matty matt

Sr Member
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Awesome! Really nice build. I know it's already done, but when you cut a threaded rod or bolt, forcing a nut off the end will re-cut the threads pretty easily. I do it all the time. Keep the updates coming!
 

Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you did up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Awesome! Really nice build. I know it's already done, but when you cut a threaded rod or bolt, forcing a nut off the end will re-cut the threads pretty easily. I do it all the time. Keep the updates coming!
Thanks Matty matt. I appreciate the tip.

I did try that to a small degree but started to worry that I'd cross thread the nut when it resisted. I had a bear of a time finding a vintage low profile nut and didn't want to destroy it.
I know, silly right? The madness continues.
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Excellent process images and commentary. I'm enjoying this build, man. Being able to hand tighten this is also very forward-thinking.
 

Marv

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

i use an M6 rod you don't need to damage/drill any part of the prop then at all. Putting a washer under the nut works to give hold.
 

jkno

Master Member
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

I'm not a lightsaber collector, but it is always so awesome to see a prop made from real parts! :thumbsup
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Now ... take the pommel down and drill a D-ring hole in the correct pommel cube ... muahahahahaa! :wacko

Okay ... here's the how-to-drill thread by James Kenobi 1138, now that you have a drill press available :

http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=113901

Chaim
 

Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Thanks Chaim! That is going to wait as I'm trepidatious about drilling that particular hole!

UPDATE:

So I decided to do a bit of weathering for fun. I did a lot of research into weathering using paints and finishes. I like what many have done here with chemicals but have been concerned about irreversible effects in case I wasn't happy with them. I finally decided I really liked what the gaming figure modelers do with their pain jobs using "washes". I was unfamiliar with this concept but basically, its a light ink like paint that settles into the cracks and gives shadow detail along with various shades of color.

I decided to go with "Sepia" made by Levado.

First though, I had to beat the heck out of some parts for my "artifact" build. So I took a grinder and wire wheel to the transistors. The rear one appears to be lower profile so I ground it way down along with Roman's washer. I went for the reference pics look of it as much as possible while saving the MA bit.


Nice but too shiny!



SO, I started up with the wash directly over the bare metal, no paint under layer. Taped it down to a pencil for handling.




End result:




I'm pretty happy with it. I can enhance it even more with another coat. I also bought an umber wash but it's more black in tone than anything else.

Moving on to the emitter. In looking at the reference pics of the saber, the emitter is seriously beat up around the collar. Roman's emitter is tough as nails so I had to break out an air tool called the "Nibbler". This thing looks like a mini ball peen hammer on the end of an air tool. It beats the snot out of anything in its path, Including my finger at one point.

Results after the Nibbler but before adding the wash.




After the wash...
Again, I like it but may go after it again with more wash, darkening the joining collar areas a bit more. Maybe even more dings if there are calls from the audience here for more saber assault and battery.





So that's about it for now. Still have to tackle the grenade interior rust solution and the aesthetic decisions on weathering the clamp. I do like shiny but I'll need to nock that down due to the concept of the build. My initial research suggests that chrome doesn't really weather a lot unless it's in a wet and or salty environment which isn't our favorite desert planet...

All comments welcome.
 

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Romans Empire

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Fantastic re-build!! I love the pics and all the step by step details! :thumbsup

Now when I get questions on how-to... I'll just direct them this way!!! :D ;)
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

loving this thread... :thumbsup
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: "Where'd you dig up that old fossil?" My real parts OB1 "Artifact" build.

Your emitter looks awesome, man. I would love to see a pic of "the nibbler".
The transistor weathering looks very good too, but damn, that emitter looks awesome and old and like it's seen many battles.
 

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