Roman Obi-Wan ANH saber build


Master Member
14 years ago, I built an Obi-Wan ANH lightsaber from a very nice Russrep kit. I was pleased with it at the time, but times change. More info and references on the original prop have come out, and my skill level has greatly improved.

So, after years of chomping at the bit to make another attempt, I recently took the plunge, and picked up Roman’s latest iteration. Only the weathered version was available, but that’s no big deal.

I’ve swapped out the clamp for a TGS, and the bubblestrip for a WannaWanga. I then moved on to the process of weathering the booster and the grenade. First, hammering, sandpaper, files, and steel wool. Then rusting with white vinegar fumes. Then scrubbing, sanding and soaking in vinegar to remove the rust. Then bluing. Then more hammering, sanding, and vinegar treatments. And so on. Once the surface damage and pitting looks about right, I can switch to just bluing and sealing with Barricade.

In regards to simulating the booster weld, any tips? I plan on applying and then shaping a blob of solder onto the appropriate fin. Should the fin be shaved or flattened out, first? In some reference images, it almost looks like the real Browning boosters had the fin’s edge cut down before welding.

The clamp is the big question mark. I haven’t yet decided whether to go with the Tunisia, Death Star or Chronicles version. Or whether to add the chrome tape or the screws and wires. I take it no new info has come out as to whether those details only appeared on the Chronicles version, and not during filming?

I’m also not entirely sold on Roman’s clamp spacer. The edge of the channel in the side of the spacer is visible through the clamp slot, which looks weird. Wondering if I should cut out a hole in the spacer so that the clamp slot actually looks like a slot, like on the real prop.

Any tips on alternate/more accurate clamp spacers and booster adapters would be appreciated, although I may just work with what I have.

Anyway, here’s the “before” picture of the stock Roman replica, before any mods.

With Roman’s setup, the clamp spacer fills the slot in the clamp, EXCEPT for a tiny bit at the bottom (circled in red), which is where the clamp slot intersects the channel running along the side of the spacer.


Whereas the original appears to have nothing under the slot, or perhaps a spacer painted black.

Ohhhhj i have a roman props as well, just place the clamp in a different position the slot wil be open

That’s not how it works. The channels on either side of the spacer have to align with the rectangular holes on wither side of the clamp, in order for the transistors to screw into the spacer.
if you have access to a lathe you could cut a "channel" where the slot is, then paint that channel black
I’m also considering just putting fender washers onto the threaded rod to act as spacers, and dispensing with Roman’s spacer, entirely. I think there’s a decent chance that something like this was done for the real prop.

Also, unless I trim down the threads and just use the included nuts, screwing the transistors into Roman’s spacer results in the clocking of the transistor markings to be wrong.
Gonna head out to get some washers and nuts to play around with the idea of a crude, homemade spacer which allows the clamp holes to actually be holes.

Meanwhile, I took the booster out of its vinegar bath, and have it soaking in rubbing alcohol to clean it for bluing. However, since the grenade should look more pitted and worn than the booster, it’s currently soaking in a nice bath of hydrogen peroxide and table salt. The sizzling is so satisfying.
I’ve often wondered if Roman’s hollow FX MK1 Clamp “Cage” is closer to the original internals.

The standard Non-FX hilt is a fairly heavy beast.
I’m playing with a custom spacer setup. One 1 1/2” washer at the bottom of the clamp, and one inset 1/4” at the top of the clamp, with an aluminum tube cut to the proper size placed in-between them. The threaded rod which holds the saber together passes through the ghetto spacer.

Just finished the first proper test assembly. It works. The clamp holes are now holes.

Still need to fiddle around some more, but this is promising. If it works, I’ll JB Weld the assembly together, and also add a few washers at the center of the spacer to help with structural integrity. Then paint it all black.

This demo photo of the test assembly also shows off the raw, unfinished, unblued grenade and booster, with their dents and pitting.


All this kinda has me wondering…are there any Browning flash suppressor replicas out there? I suppose I could 3D model one, but I don’t have dimensions to use as reference. There’s been speculation that both the booster AND the flash suppressor (the latter serving as the clamp spacer) were used in the saber prop, and I think that’s a very valid idea.

It’s not the end of the world to just go with what I have, but it would be cool to have a flash hider (or a replica) inside the clamp.
…I see that Roman’s FX cage spacer is steel, mostly hollow, and screws into both the grenade and the booster. I may just end up going with that, since it’s more precise and durable.
Gave the grenade and booster a bluing treatment, followed by Barricade and a light steel wool polishing. Looking good, so far. The grendade could probably use some more hammering and rust treatment. Needs to looo a little more chewed up without being TOO extreme.

Calibrating the final color is the tricky part. Currently, the grenade is essentially a medium grayish steel color. More bluing would change that, of course. Color reference on the saber is a bit scarce. Grayish steel? More of a proper blued look? Rusty?

You certainly see a wide range of grenade coloration in all the real parts sabers seen around here, that’s for sure.

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