ROTJ Darth Vader Graflex Stunt (MoM)(a.k.a. DV6) – by WannaWanga

roygilsing

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I decided to start a new thread for this project: WannaWanga accurate (unidealized) ROTJ Darth Vader’s stunt saber parts.

Rather than adding to my 2014 thread (Various OT lightsaber WannaWanga parts (new ALU MPP shroud)) I think it makes sense to start a fresh one for updates, feedback and discussions.

Since 2015 I have received many requests for the development of accurate parts for this lightsaber. Back then I tried it, but I gave up quickly when I started to realize how complicated this saber was and the quantity of all the unique parts in this saber.

It's a fascinating and weird saber!

Design

Last November, 2021, I finally had a fresh restart after I was challenged by my Dutch friend Sym-Cha who asked me to re-examine the known template for the holes in the Graflex top. I jumped on the challenge and made a new reverse engineered 3D model and refined it based on many reference photos, most of them taken at the famous MoM exhibition.

Here is a screenshot in Rhino3D where I combine and match the perspectives of the 3D model with the images and refine it. I keep on iterating until I feel that I’m done. It’s a painstakingly slow process, but the result is a very accurate 3D representation of the prop.
DV-ROTJ Perspective Overlay WannaWanga.jpg


After that I use another CAD program (Solidworks) to actually engineer all the part for manufacturing. I also posted some images of these results on my Facebook page and got some good feedback. Thanks to teecrooz thd9791 and Sym-Cha for their feedback and insights.

I took a new approach on the way I see that the shroud was assembled: two separate metal parts, connected with two rods and 4 set screws holding it together. I agree, that’s a lot of work for a custom made prop part, but it makes sense from what you can see in the images.

Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-01.jpg
Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-02.jpg

Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-03.jpg
Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-04.jpg

Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-05.jpg
Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-06.jpg
Graflex-DV-ROTJ-MoM_WannaWanga-07.jpg
Section-View.jpg

The saber is based on a (vintage or replica) Graflex top and bottom. Those will not be included in what I will be offering. I have thought a lot about including the Graflex part, but so far I haven’t been able to source them. So for now these need to be prepared and drilled with my new templates.

I created a new blueprint:
https://wannawanga.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Blueprint-DV-ROTJ-Stunt-scaled.jpg

And I made two templates, one for the top and one for the bottom:
Templates – WannaWanga

With the design ready, I took the decision to start manufacturing the following parts:

  • Shroud assembly: aluminium parts assembled with rods and screws plus knurled thumb screw
  • Control Box: two resin parts and two flat head screws
  • Clamp band: sheet metal part, rolled in the correct shape.
  • Front D-ring assembly: red button (resin), D-ring, a steel screw, a washer and a nut
  • Kobold clip with D-ring: the same as my existing Kobold with D-ring (mat chromed brass)
  • Valve: the chrome steel part that sits in the Graflex lens socket
  • Hex screw: black countersunk screws without any marks or numbers on them.
  • Interior parts: a connecting core part with the front disc and a pin sticking out in the front
  • Grips: 7 T-tracks (I happen to have these already! )
  • Double Ball Catch: initially, I hadn’t included this part in the list, because I was kindly asked by a RPF member to skip development of this part to give him and his girlfriend a change to give it a go in actual pressed brass sheet metal. Unfortunately the trials were unsuccessful and now I will include it. For the time being it will be a resin part. I don’t see how I could make it as a pressed metal replica.

Here is a small video of how it all assembles:
 

roygilsing

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Production

I took the risk of the rather large investment without starting an interest thread. I always prefer to do it this way. It’s a risk, not knowing how much interest there will eventually be, but since I was not planning to offer completed sabers, but instead offer conversion kits and parts only, and since I’ve always ran WannaWanga this way, I was fine with that. Besides, judging from all the response so far I think there will be enough interest.

Since December I have had all these parts in production. Some were ready very fast (in February), and some were slow. Some were a direct success and some were not. All in all this took more than 4 months. And it’s actually still not completely done: one part is being remade (the core part) and the double ball catches are not ready yet.

Here are images of some of the parts:
2022-02-11 11.14.20.jpg
2022-02-11 11.16.57.jpg
2022-02-11 11.14.43.jpg
2022-02-11 11.14.13.jpg

The Graflex you see is (I believe) a TGS replica. I removed all it's components, removed the bunny ears and flattened the bunny ear tabs.

2022-02-14 09.54.43.jpg


The clamp band were initially a success, but the coating wasn’t good enough. After some trials and a lot of time lost, the factory choose not to supply them anymore as rolled and painted parts. I then decided to order them flat and do the rolling myself on a small roller bank. Here's the result of a test:
2022-05-03 17.40.07.jpg


This will be time consuming but at least I can offer them. I will not paint them though.

The core part is made out of POM (a.k.a. Delrin) which is of my own design, but matches what can be seen through the holes of the real prop and has all the holes pre-drilled in the right location, matching my template exactly.
It needs to be combined with half of the black Graflex interior part and a front disc. A steel pin will everything together.

Unfortunately there was an error in the diameter of the core part: it barely fitted my Graflex replica but it won't fit a vintage, a 89Sabers or a Saber Armory Graflex. So at the moment (May 19th) I am redoing this part.

I am also waiting for the resin version of the double ball catch. I had a lot of doubt about this part. I would have liked it in metal, pressed brass sheet if it was possible, but the investment will be too large. So I'm very curious what you all say about that. I hope it's an acceptable trade-off.
In my sample build I used a resin print. But what I will offer is a resin casting with a satin gloss finish.
 
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roygilsing

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My sample build

Of course, the proof is in the pudding!
So before I was going to start this thread I wanted to at least build a sample first!
Since the reverse engineered parts are all based a rather wonky and ugly stunt saber, I wanted to replicate this very weathered and beaten saber.

I used my latest template files as posted above and used a drill press to drill and countersink all the holes. I worked as precise as possible on those holes, but it worked fantastically! The screws all aligned well with the threaded holes in the connecting core part.

Here is the result:
P1010328.JPG

P1010329.JPG

P1010330.JPG

P1010332.JPG

P1010337.JPG

P1010344.JPG


It won't be long until I can add this kit to my webshop.
I will sell both the kit as all components separately. So if you want you can buy the control box only. Or the shroud. Etc.
The price of the total kit, so all the parts except the Graflex parts, will be around $145 (plus shipping).
More information will follow soon.

If you are going to SW Celebrations in Anaheim: I will bring this saber to show it to you if you happen to see me and recognize me. You can follow my Facebook or Instagram page for more info. Send me a PM if you want to get in touch.

Cheers!
Roy
 
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eethan

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is so awesome Roy, thank you so much for doing it!
this is in my top 3 favorite sabers and I never started doing for lack of parts, looking forward to the release of the kits :)
awesome job
(y)
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So happy to help. Other than the ridiculous metal slug in this saber, this is the most accurate I’ve ever seen a replica. It makes me SO happy to see the socket built this way, to see the M6 bolts and the two piece control box and the two piece shroud. So. Excited.
 

Drew Baker

Sr Member
Very exciting! My own build stalled out for lack of parts, so I'm eager to pick up the ones I'm missing.

(I think there are a couple of sheet metal stamping places near me. I've mused about taking a vintage latch in for a quote, then running a kickstarter to see if there's enough demand to get them made. Would you like me to try that?)
 

roygilsing

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very exciting! My own build stalled out for lack of parts, so I'm eager to pick up the ones I'm missing.

(I think there are a couple of sheet metal stamping places near me. I've mused about taking a vintage latch in for a quote, then running a kickstarter to see if there's enough demand to get them made. Would you like me to try that?)
Sure! Please do!
 

ScourgiousJinx

Sr Member
I've been saving a vintage Graflex for a Vader MOM build for quite some time so I'm very excited about this! The resin double ball catch seems to be a great idea in lieu of brass. I'm sure many (myself included) would be more than willing to upgrade that part if a solution is found in the future.
 

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