Saber Weathering tips: Aging aluminum & more on the ROTJ Reveal

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey, guys. Just sharing a quick tip!

Here's a fast and efficient way to put a nice weathered finish on aluminum.

While there's more exotic methods out there, if you really want to pull the sheen off of aluminum and give it a good scarring while you're at it, I've found that regular old oven cleaner will do the job just fine. I suggest spraying the stuff on and rinsing it off every 60 seconds or so until you get dialed in on the desired finish.

NOTE: You may also want to Google, Cupric Nitrate and Ammonium Chloride for putting a nice green chemical patina on brass. While the chemicals are cheap, it can be very nasty stuff. Safety first!

The science company also has a some nice recipes. http://www.sciencecompany.com/patinas/patinaformulas.htm

Anyway, here's a couple shots of how I weathered down my reveal. I bagged the piston potion of the saber after 1 treatment since I wanted it to look slightly less abused and I plan to do some dry brush work in there. I shot the rear aluminum portion w/ oven cleaner twice and let set for roughly 90 seconds. I really like the random pattern and dull scarring I got. The finish is very similar to the known Elstree reveal.

Rear w/ oven cleaner sitting up:



After a good rinsing:



More later:
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That, too! Or, roll them down the driveway, or take a grinding wheel to them, or...

Man, I've done everything to these things that can be done! :lol

For this one, I just wanted a nice chemical bath. Oven cleaner put a nice burnt finish on the brass, too. I'm just about to patina the emitter reveal, too:



You could also give them a going over with a Scotch-brite pad.
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I need to break up the patina on the emitter reveal a little bit, but other than that, this one is all done. The green is much more pale in person; my flash just exagerated the tone a bit.

This one has seen a little action:



 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks, man. The more you layer it there the worse it gets, too! Doing up another this weekend. Hope I don't burn a hole through the sum *****! :lol

Very cool, Ry. That oven cleaner method really distresses the saber well.
 

Robert412

Well-Known Member
When "relic-ing" guitars, as it is known in the guitar world, a god way to get random ding patterns is to hit the finish with car keys. Not hard, just hard enough... And keys are so irregular, that it gives a nice random pecking.

Also, you can put several small metal pieces in a metal lightweight metal container, wrap and secure that in fabric, and put it in the dryer with a load of towels. Gives a really nice age.

Also, if you have any painted parts that you want to crack the finish on... Paint with nitrocellulose, let dry, and hit it with canned air turned upside down... Rub that down with coffee, shoe polish, oil, dirt... Whatever... It fills in the cracks... Beautiful!

r
 

Nexus6

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's good info, but I don't think I have it in me to weather mine (at least not yet).

Can you post another photo of it, this time in the battle-ready [collapsed] configuration?
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
:( Oh how I weep for those Sabers! :(

While we are at it let's put a mustache and some mud on the Mona Lisa! :lol
 

Clutch

Master Member
Also, you can put several small metal pieces in a metal lightweight metal container, wrap and secure that in fabric, and put it in the dryer with a load of towels. Gives a really nice age.
I did that with my blaster. Just threw it in a garbage bag with a bunch of wrenches and screwdrivers. Shake n bake. :lol
 

clancampbell

Sr Member
Weathered props are just the pinnacle for me....i just don't like uber clean stuff......

These sabers look stunning, just stunnig!

Rich
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's so hard to mess with a clean one! If I only had one prestine one, I couldn't bring myself to mess with it, either.

Hell, it stngs to ding one of these up anyway after wearing gloves the entire build to keep everything perfect!

That said, I love the 'as new' look, too.



That's good info, but I don't think I have it in me to weather mine (at least not yet).

Can you post another photo of it, this time in the battle-ready [collapsed] configuration?
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
LOL. If it makes you feel any better, I only weathered what few leftovers already had an imperfection here and there. Probably things nobody would notice but me. It still stung, but you're right. I could never harm the babies! :love

Think of it like a Spartan propmaker would. The pefect ones lived, I tossed the less than perfect ones off the cliff. Interestingly enough, some people prefer the beat look. I like the clean better, but the weathered has it's charm.

:( Oh how I weep for those Sabers! :(

While we are at it let's put a mustache and some mud on the Mona Lisa! :lol
 

Nexus6

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's so hard to mess with a clean one! If I only had one prestine one, I couldn't bring myself to mess with it, either.

Hell, it stngs to ding one of these up anyway after wearing gloves the entire build to keep everything perfect!

That said, I love the 'as new' look, too.
Now how about a "collapsed" pic of the weathered one?
 

dse2187

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great post... thanks for the tips Rylo.

I still want to get my hands on one of those ROTJ Reveal Sabers...

Must... Resist...


;)
 

JBReplicas

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Zeebo black grate polish works great too, it was used on the Cybermen from the new Dr Who series, it dulls the alu finish and the black gets in all the little nooks and gives a really nice weathered effect
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I've also had some good results soaking aluminum with brass in dish detergent.

The brass and detergent cause nice, subtle pitting in the aluminum after a couple days.

I used the lid from the control box to kick off the reaction.

NOTE: It doesn't take long! Anything more than 48 hours and you'll be looking at some hard pitting.
 
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