(Re)finishing a Vader Saber (Finished!)


Master Member
I picked up a Parks saber a while back thinking it might be a real MPP. :lol The gamble didn't pay off so I decided to try and accurize it some by refinishing the shroud.

The shroud was thick. I sandpapered the inside of it until I had it at reasonably thin. The only problem is that this left a big patch of bare metal showing!

I went ahead and stripped the factory paint and bought a can of VHT Wrinkle Plus paint. Using this paint goes against everything I know about rattle cans.

Most people would think that several light coats spread out over time is best, but that will get you nowhere with this paint. You'll end up with a smooth, gloss black finish.

What you need to do is lay down three thick coats in a crosshatch pattern (all this is on the can instructions). Spray the first coat horizontally and let it set for 5 minutes. Then spray it vertically and let set for five minutes. The final coat will be diagonally sprayed.

It will look like you coated it with glossy black paint, but the magic starts a couple of hours after you spray it. The wrinkle effect takes time.

If you do need to respray an area, you should just respray the entire piece. What happens is the edge of the respray will be too thin to wrinkle and you will have a gloss 'boundary' between the original and respray.



Next to a MR FX saber. (FX in front)
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Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Looks amazing. I've used VHT dyes before for changing plastic interior pieces in vehicles. They make good products!
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

I just found this in an antique store today



Now I have an ethical problem: make a light saber
OR sell it to make profit AND avoid feeling bad for wrecking a quality flash unit.

Anybody have thoughts on this, I would like to hear them.
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Hi there,

Sell it to make a profit since that is a Heiland Flashgun with the wrong shroud anyways and not used on screen. Only MPP was used as Darth Vader's Lightsaber!

Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

^^What he said.

I need some grippage now. Gino? Calling Gino...
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Getting ready to do the grips and noticed that Gino recommends grips that are 1/16 shorter than what Parts Of Star Wars says. Any thoughts on this? Also, is there a template that shows where the grips align around the flash body?
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Thanknyounfor posting that. Thenfinish on my Vaders shroud is chipped and i had wondered how to fix it! Thanks!
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Wow! Where did you find that ratle can stuff? Is it an automotive product? Could have really used something like that on my blaster build...
And NICE looking Vader piece!
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Thanks. You can get it at Autozone and Pep Boys.

I've searched and can't find one mention about where the grips are supposed to line up.
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

There are some grip templates on POSW. Both ANH and ESB. Don't know if that's what you were looking for....

PoSW Reference Library


Thanks, but that just helps with the spacing. I want to know if they start with a grip lining up with the clamp or if they start slightly clockwise of the clamp. I'm thinking the latter.
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

I know on the ANH luke graflex sabers, the grips kind-of frame the 2 sides of the clamp and you space from there. The Vader I'm not sure about, but i figured this bit may help in someway :)
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Wow Clutch, I'm thoroughly impressed with that paint. I'd have never thought you could get that from a rattle can.

My MR ANH Vader has a grip lined up with the clamp/bubble strip, although the clamp is not lined up with the shroud at all, if that helps you any.
I can take pics if you like. I don't know if there's any new information to go off that would render the MR no longer accurate though.
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Thanks. I'm surprised that there hasn't been more talk about the grip placement on the Vader like there has been for the Luke. I found these pics, but I've seen the clamp in two different positions. I'll have to cull everything together and make my best guess.


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Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

To distress the flash tube, I scratched it a bit on the aggregate driveway. I then went over it with a Scotch-Brite pad to give it tiny micro-scratches that dull the tube ever so slightly. The letters were filled with some flat black acrylic paint to simulate the grime that comes with age.

The shroud was chipped here and there with a needle file.

I glued the grips on. I don't like the way you can see straight through underneath them. This is because the end cap is slightly higher than the flash tube causing the grips to angle. Wouldn't do that if they were rubber. :lol I also lined them up so that there is a gap, not a grip that lines up on the bottom 'S'.

Now for the clamp. If that is a bent nail through the clamp, it's gonna be a doozy to get the nail actually bent without risking damage to the thin metal of the clamp. Gotta think about that one.

I also need to work on the bubblestrip. I have one of Philip's fine repros that will need to be cut down. I never thought about it, but it will be a bit off because the clamp is a little longer than six bubbles.

I also need to decide if I want to try and sandwich the backing circuit board in there or not. There isn't a lot of space in the clamp and the sides will definitely need to be pried open more.
Re: (Re)finishing a Vader Saber

Finished. The clamp is fragile. The U-shaped sections that hold the bubble strip are not very deep, so prying them up was not easy.
I tried a flat piece of metal, but it kept slipping. I had to use a screwdriver and it did a job on the finish! No way to get the bends uniform and the paint cracked.

So it got me to wondering about the circuit board underneath. Why would they go through the trouble to make both fit when the bubbles
would slip in with no problem? Or, did they even bother with modifying the clamp? If you look below, it looks like the bublestrip is almost sitting on top of the clamp:


If I had noticed this before, I probably wouldn't have mucked the clamp up. Getting the nail through it was pain enough.
Any movement would scar the soft aluminum sidebars.


So I think I am done for now. Maybe one of these days I will own a real one. Although I don't know if I could bring myself to do the kind of damage I did to this one.



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