ROTJ - Darth Vader lightsaber from a real Graflex

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Lichtbringer, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    As with my ANH-Obi build i first want to say that i´m no lightsaberguy, i´m sure i will miss or frakk up the one or the other detail. So, please chime in and correct me when you see me making any mistakes. :)



    Some time ago, when i started collecting pieces for my ANH-sabers, i got my hands on some parts for a ROTJ-Vader. I believe it is a set that was sold some years ago by Ob1kenny.

    [​IMG]


    And while not having a suiting Graflex (worn, but not to damaged) at that time, i nonetheless started preparing the parts, to be ready when i get such a Graflex.

    [​IMG]


    I had a piece of Alutube with a perfect matching dia to go over the Graflex body. It was milled (to generate the slots that are visible under the controlbox), drilled and tapped.

    [​IMG]


    That way i´ve got a sturdy fit with 2 bolts at the Graflex halves, while it still was able to look right when the controlbox was bolted on with a third screw, covering the 2 bolts that hold everything together.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I like it. :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice work!

    EDIT: and great graflex you found, a lot of them are so rusty nowadays
     
  3. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks.

    From that Graflex i made my ANH-Luke - on the above pics it was only used as a testbed for the Vader parts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great! I have one that looks just like that! found a pristine one in CA and bought stuff from Blast-Tech.

    I was kinda blown away by how hefty and significant one of those flashguns really is. Photos don't do them justice
     
  5. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Aye, they are really great looking stuff - much better than MPP, Heiland, Kobold, or what else is out there. :cool
     
  6. skynet

    skynet Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice! Got an old kit from elvistrooper back in the day but I never had the time to finish a saber with it.

    Most people hate that saber, some say it's ROTJ, some say it's a mocked up stunt saber, some say that the ROTJ hero was the same as in ESB...anyway this is my favorite saber version. It's beat up, it's made out of many different parts, it looks used - resembles the spirit of SW at it's best.

    I've spent a fortune all these years collecting flashtubes, I have 14 or 15 of them stored in a box in slightly oily paper to prevent them from rust...none of them is converted into a saber yet. :$
     
  7. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Nice work in progress ...

    [​IMG]

    ... alas the part seen above . . . is not the correct screen-used door latch.

    It should be the more
    square version (brass
    double ball door latch)
    as seen here :

    [​IMG]

    This is the only vendor in the UK which I could find googling right now who seems to sell them :

    http://www.screwmaster.co.uk/brass-double-ball-catch-50mm-cupboard-door-latch-62-p.asp

    [​IMG]

    however it is quite a newer version : the edges are not rounded
    nor are the screw holes round, but you could fix that quite easily
    with your metal skills :D

    :)

    -Chaim
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  8. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    You should start with one, one step a time. :)

    Otherwise some day in the future someone is cleaning the stuff in your house, and a box of "old useless stuff" wents to the trash. :eek


    I´m not a huge fan of this saber, but i like it cause it´s so "different".
    But, i have to admit ... it was no easy decision between the crude MOM pattern, and the sanitized version of the screws. :confused
     
  9. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks. I know, the above is the latch that came with the parts.

    And up to now i havn´t found the correct one - nor it´s proper dimensions. :cry



    Not sure if i found the same vendor or just a similar latch when i was searching, but unfortunatly it is not a very good replacement.

    The base needs to be much wider, i assume it has to be around 1/2", to cover the bolt under it:

    [​IMG]


    I can make a replacement part with measurements from the pics, if i have to do - but i would prefer to have real measurements from a real part (or better ... the real part itself :D).
     
  10. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    As you can see in my above post, ive made some progress since i´ve made the old pics from my first post.

    The last week i received a "not really nice"-Graflex that i´ve bought from Kurty for sale thread, to worse for a ANH or ESB Luke, but perfect for this one - so i was in a position to start.

    After disassembling it i first heatet the metal latches from the bulb release pin, to ensure they will not break when bending it. They didn´t break, but at their base they had some bend marks which i don´t trusted - so i used some solder to make them a little bit sturdier, and filed the recess flat.

    Then i decided to stay away from the original "black bulb plug", cause i´ve never read anything about how the washer and the metal pin was secured, it seems that everyone has his own guesses how to do it. My way was to take some Delrin and lathe + mill, to fabricate a new part where i could thread the parts on top.

    [​IMG]


    Where the glasseye was, the movie saber had some kind of tire valve upside down - if that is the true part. In the kit was some stuff to replace it, but i will make me a part that fits this M6 thread.

    [​IMG]


    My reference pics show no Graflex pins in one hole

    [​IMG]


    And one on the other side

    [​IMG]


    I think the upper part looks nice, even after the decision to use the irregular hole pattern of the MOM saber.

    [​IMG]


    But the lower tube is in such a nice condition, i´m not sure if i will use it - maybe i will hunt for a more weathered/aged tube before drilling holes under the t-track.

    [​IMG]

    According to the nice condition ..... i´m not completly convinced that really a real lower tube was used. There would have been no need to cover the Graflex inscriptin with a disc as we can see on the MOM-pics, so they maybe used a tube with endcap (the same way as some early builds were made from fans).

    Well, i ordered a new batch of t-track from Mary - i can always choose to put this lower cell away for a ESB-Luke.

    OK pals, now you are informed where i´m actually atm. :)
     
    Thibault likes this.
  11. BTTFfan88

    BTTFfan88 Active Member

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    This project seems to be going very nicely. I haven't seen that many ROTJ Vader sabers out there. I can't wait to see more!
     
  12. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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  13. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Good point - i will try another one. :)
     
  14. Thoth

    Thoth New Member

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    Wow, nice work!
     
  15. lonepigeon

    lonepigeon Sr Member

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    Looking good!

    The original ball catch has a simple stamped metal shell (nickel plated steel).
    I got mine years ago from a replica prop dealer that is no longer around.
    I don't know if there are any current dealers.
     
  16. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    As you can clearly see here the shroud top-screw is also diamond knurled too :

    [​IMG]

    -Chaim
     
  17. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks.
     
  18. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Wow, thanks - from your side it´s a esspecially big compliment. :$

    Thanks for the info, i´m searching for something close since a long time - without any success.

    But there is always hope. :)
     
  19. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    I checked my part boxes - no diamond knurled was found. :cry
     
  20. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey Michael

    You´re catching up bro :thumbsup

    Funny that you started the MoM ROTJ saber, since I also took Kenny´s kit out of the box just a few days before carnival :lol
    I didn´t want to start another/ work on any current blaster so I got sidetracked by the saber. I also have the MPP based ROTJ saber in the work atm!

    Can´t wait to see your progress on this!

    btw:
    What template did you use for the countersunk holes?
    I have a sanitised an a screenaccurate template for the hole placement, but I don´t know if it´s the latest version.

    PLUS...is there any template in existance for all the smaller holes in the rear tube???

    Markus
     
  21. Dave316

    Dave316 New Member

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    That really is a great quality Graflex, you don't see many like that! Looking good :)
     
  22. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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  23. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks, Markus. :)

    Yeah, after making the scope for the palace guard blaster i felt the need to do something different. And as i had these parts prepared and ready to go since a long time, i couldn´t keep my hands of when the Graflex arrived. :cool

    I´ve also started working on the simrad, but that is another story. :love

    Just wanted to make something for my own collection, for staying on track.

    The templates i used are the only version i´ve ever seen, iirr they are from Kennys site - no idea if there are any newer or more accurate ones out there.

    For the small holes i plan to use the pic that Chaim posted,


    [​IMG]

    counterchecked with this one (also from that thread):

    [​IMG]



    But not on this lower cell - for the drilled version i will use a not that nice one (which i first have to find :confused).
     
  24. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks, äääääh, which one? The ANH-Luke, or the ROTJ-Vader? ;)
     
  25. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    And a little progress .....

    The button to replace the glasseye that was included in my set of parts ..... was not as accurate/nice as i would have liked it. Looks like a part to assemble furniture. I assume the set was collected before every detail was discussed here.

    So i made my own part. Starting with the recall of the pics i´ve seen from made parts that screw in the glasseyes hole-threading, i made the hole/thread in the center

    [​IMG]


    rewatching the real part pics reminds me that the original part was not in the center, more to the top.
    So i turned the new part with a off center thread. That way it will be screwed into the center and still be visible as off center to the top.

    [​IMG]


    And compared to the part that was included in the set

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    And this is the way it looks now, mounted to the saber

    [​IMG]


    Wow, the macros are bad looking :eek - it doesn´t look that beaten in real

    [​IMG]
     
  26. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    so cool to see this coming together!
     
  27. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey Michael

    I felt inspired to dust off my own DV saber kit and started my V.2 build :thumbsup

    I checked my HDD and I only found the "REFLEX" templates (sanitized/ unsanitized).
    But these are not absolutely accurate reg. the hole placement...IMHO for the bolt, that goes under the catch is way off.
    Plus the hole for the bolt on the underside of the Graflex ("in line" with the control box) is too far to the right as well.

    What do you think?

    Markus
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  28. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Great, but don´t blame it on me. :cool


    As mentioned at the beginning ..... i´m no saberguy. So i don´t expect my build as accurate as some of the more saber-related pals here would have made it.

    But - i used the unsanitized template from Ob1kennys site, and when i compare the MOM pics with my build (hold in the same direction), they seem to be pretty accurate. Depending on angles and distortion it looks on some pics as if a bolt/hole could be moved 1-2 mm in one direction, on the next pic it looks as if the bolt/hole could be moved 1-2 mm in the other direction - on balance it seems to look good. :)
     
  29. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks...Kennys template seems to be slightly different from the reflex, so this might do the trick ;)

    Markus
     
  30. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Here's the template which shows the MoM version :

    [​IMG]

    This is my first purchased DV ROTJ ligtsaber made by GraflexReborn #GR0031:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And some details :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not really screen accurate since it's not made of a real graflex and thus lacks certain of the original graflex details, acceptable though :)

    My graflex based DV ROTJ lightsaber is yet another work in progress,
    some kit parts are not screen accurate. Still looking for the exact same
    replacements parts as seen below :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    -Chaim
     
  31. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Aye, that´s the one i used.
     
  32. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    I think i can say "I´m on track". :lol

    [​IMG]

    From left to right: for Bobas ROTJ EE-3, for a E-11, the cutoff sfrom my ANH-Luke, the new batch for 4 sets of lightsaber handles (this ROTJ-Vader, the ESB-Luke, my ANH-Vader, .....).


    As the lower part of the MOM Vader was build on a predrilled cell, i decided to use my lower cell to build it up as the wampa cave saber first, also due to it´s great condition. That way i can use it now for the Vader, and later for the Luke ESB.

    Started with cutting and notching the ESB grips

    [​IMG]


    Drilling the bigger hole in the notch, and the small in the front

    [​IMG]


    All drilled

    [​IMG]


    With inserted M2 bolt - i will try to find some black ones.

    [​IMG]


    And prepared with small pieces of double sided sticky tape, to arrange them for drilling the body.

    [​IMG]


    Marking the tube - with this roundtable you can mark/drill/mill a place, then rotate it with turning the handle to every wished degree (360° divided by six grips = 60° for each marking, later for 7 grips = 51,42°)

    [​IMG]


    And with the temporary assembled t-track

    [​IMG]


    Done:

    [​IMG]


    Adding a Kobold clamp with sticky tape for marking the bottom

    [​IMG]


    And drilled again some ugly holes in the nice Graflex lower cell :cry

    [​IMG]


    Now it is in a condition that this great vintage piece can immediatly be used for the Luke ESB. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  33. Trilogy

    Trilogy Sr Member

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    I always enjoy following your build threads, and this one is no exception.
    The saber is coming together beautifully.

    Great work as always. :thumbsup
     
  34. sskunky

    sskunky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think the part that goes at the bottom where the glass eye was should be a Scuba part if I'm not mistaken? I believe it comes off a regulator.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  35. sskunky

    sskunky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I also found this in my parts box but I have no idea where I got it....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I really must get round to finishing this saber.... It is definitely my fav...:)
     
  36. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks. I always hope to write not to boring for any potential readers. :)
     
  37. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Maybe, yeah. It looks good - the other thing i´ve read was it could be a part of a tire valve. Some of them look also close to your part, and the function may be also close?
     
  38. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks for making me feeling bad and beeing envious. :cry

    If you find doubles of these parts in your boxes ....... shoot me a line/pm/ email/fax/telex ...... :love
     
  39. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    After taking the ESB-grips off, i started cutting the needed set of grips for the ROTJ Vader

    [​IMG]


    Milling them flat and to the correct length

    [​IMG]


    After that i decided to make the clamp part much sturdier as just the bolts through the thin clamp. I turned a plug

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    It has a press fit in the end of both cell-halves - and it was drilled and tapped for the clamp bolts.

    [​IMG]


    And while i had the POM/Delrin mess on/around the lathe, i also made a plug for the end of the lover cell from a small offcut, also a press fit to avoid any rattle. It has a milled slot to have room for the d-ring rivets, and a threading to pull it out if needed. It´s purpose is to provide the material for a safe hold of the philipshead bolts.

    [​IMG]


    Here it is pressed on it´s place, with the reinserted spring

    [​IMG]


    Some other offcuts from alu and brass were tested in the tube to give the saber a realistic and well balanced weight

    [​IMG]


    First assembling to feel it´s balance

    [​IMG]
     
  40. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice work, as always Michael :thumbsup

    Markus
     
  41. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks Markus, really kind of you. :)
     
  42. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Next step was to round the corners ot the t-track - for that i used 2 sheets of coarse sandpaper, glued flat on a piece of flat stainless. Some pulls on the coarse to get the shape, some pulls on the medium to soften the marks. Then some polishing with one of these sticks the ladies use for their fingernails.

    Again the marking procedure
    [​IMG]


    Followed by adding the seven rounded t-tracks
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Due to the fact the bottom cell was prepared to be used for the ESB-Luke, and not wanting me to mill on it, there was only one position it could be assembled to the clamp
    [​IMG]

    And i didn´t like it. :cry

    The best way will be to forget about the small holes and the D-ring bracket position to the grips, and reglue the grips matching to the control box - as this is the most obvisiously part.
     
  43. KaanE

    KaanE Sr Member

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    The back of that lightsaber was covered so you could cover it and do again the holes. It'll look uglier, but it would be even more screen accurate, or another option is to build a new bottom and keep that one for an ESB Luke's.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  44. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Indeed it was always planned to use this bottom cell for the ESB Luke when i start that, and make a new and accurate one for this saber, then (prefered on a not so nice bottom). That´s why i first build it completly to the choosen ESB Luke.

    Atm. i only had this nice lower one, so i was aware that i had to do some tweaking - i´m just still trying to find out which way i get the best Vader result from gently tweaking the Luke, without using irreparable methods (drilling/milling). :lol
     
  45. benhs1898

    benhs1898 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I always thought this hilt was so strange/intriguing looking. Nice work! One day I'd like to build my own Luke ANH.
     
  46. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :eek: rounding off those corners really made a difference! I thought it looked amazing before, now it's hard to tell this from the actual prop, great work!
     
  47. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Thanks pals - the strange thing with this ugly thing is ...... the more i work on it, the more i like it. :wacko
     
  48. dcarty

    dcarty Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is a WIP pic of the endcap on the one I was working on. I traced out the shape on thin brass sheet loaded it up with epoxy and riveted the D-ring in place on top of it. One of these years I'll finish it:

    [​IMG]
     
  49. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    That´s something i will do to the next bottom, the final one for this saber when i use the present one for the ESB-Luke.
     
  50. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    As i never planned to build any sabers or other stuff that needed the reflector clamps of the Kobold, i only bought one and then stopped searching for them. :confused

    But now i need one for this saber and one for the ESB-Lukes. Later the MerrSonn,..... - so i decided to make me some. They are not completly accurate, but they will do the job until i have found real ones.

    A piece of big dia alu round material was used to turn on it´s inside the stepped radius that´s on one side of the brackets. Then the ring was cut to several pieces which were milled to the size of the Kobold parts, and the round outer side was milled flat, got a irregular sanding on all corners and edges to replicate the wear of used for many years - and after that slotted with a 6mm endmill.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After that i drilled the mounting holes.
    [​IMG]


    And used a tiny t-slot-endmill to finish the slots.
    [​IMG]


    The last step on them was to drill the holes on the side - now i have some parts that i can use until i get real ones in my hands. :)

    [​IMG]
     
    veektohr likes this.

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