Star Trek TOS Lirpa "hero" project update

Prop Runner

Sr Member
It's been a while since I last posted on my "Lirpa" recreation project, and last time I did, I had just received my wood prototype, based on the 3D CAD model I'd spent weeks tweaking. So a little recap is in order: first, what the frakk is a "Lirpa?" I won't get into the story behind it, but if you're a TOS Trek fan, you already know that it appears in one of the most memorable episodes of them all: Amok Time, legendary for its utterly absurd plot and campy fight music (parodied to perfection by Jim Carrey in Cable Guy), but most of all, for the awesome two-ended Vulcan "Lirpa" ceremonial dueling weapon: a pendulum-shaped slashing blade on one end, metal skull-crushing mallet on the other, and a thick hardwood blocking staff in between. For a synopsis of the episode, click here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amok_Time

Some highlights:



and what was being fought over :love :



As I hadn't known anyone to attempt a *TRULY* accurate fan-made reproduction before, based on screen captures and painstaking scaling trial & error, I came up about 6 months ago with the 3D CAD model for the Lirpa and a wall mount based on the gong that was shattered during the fight:





I designed the mallet to be hollow so I could pour plaster, cement, or resin into it to provide a counterweight, if needed for horizontal display or re-enactments. Then a flat steel disk would be attached to the circular depression with JB WELD. The disk diameter also approximates what appears to be a disc in several of the screen grabs of the mallet's bottom.



I then commissioned a very talented woodworker (now turning wood gas bomb replicas for "King Kong" fans - shameless plug :D ) to construct an all-wood proof-of-concept prototype, which served to gauge the accuracy of my CAD model, as well as scale and proportions. Needless to say, I was mighty pleased with his work and my interpretation (once again, I apologize for the horribly geeky t-shirt :$ ):







That's when I posted my show-off thread and mentioned that a metal "hero" version was in the works, and after the initial enthusiasm for the wood prototype ebbed, the thread sunk fast since I did not post any progress, and it eventually dropped off the RPF deep end - my bad. :( Fast-forward to today... After more trial & error, financial delays, and decisions about materials and finishes, I've finally come up with a near-perfect version that only needs some tweaking to the mallet shape and the bolts replaced with wooden dowels.

So without further ado, may I present, the Lirpa:















Let me preface any comments and questions by agreeing that the base shape is still off and I'm sending my spinning/forming vendor a new drawing so he'll get it right. The blade and mallet are stainless steel, and I'm REALLY happy with the laser-cut profile and rough-ground edge, which simulates the look of the original:



The face of the blade is bead-blasted, so it can be sprayed with gray paint for a truly non-reflective flat surface like the original, or left alone for the idealized look.

I haven't decided if the mallet should be painted for the satin painted look of the original, or leave it stainless, so I welcome opinions. :)

Also, the hanging wall mount is made of hardwood, like the shaft, and needs to receive the airbrushed stripes to match the original gong. The staff will be painted in a dark brown lacquer to match the original. I may also add a dip at the free ends of the steel hooks so the blade doesn't slide and cause the mallet to hit the wall and get dinged.

One last item: I'm not offering these yet, but when I'm ready, I'll start an interest list. If you'd like more info until then, please contact me privately at proprunner@aol.com or post your comments and questions here. I can't answer PMs because my box is currently full, so save yourself the trouble.

Thanks for looking, and hope you enjoy the eye candy. :D

- Gabe
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by Prop Runner@Jan 12 2006, 06:41 PM
and what was being fought over  :love  :



[snapback]1157410[/snapback]​

They were fighting over a "gong"? :lol

- k
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As in the time of my fathers... challenge is accepted. :angry

Dut-dah-DAAAA-DAAAA-DAAAA-DAAAA-DAAAAA-dut-dah-DAAAAA-DAAAAAAAA.....
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by Funky Jedi@Jan 12 2006, 04:26 PM
So I gotta ask...how heavy is this thing???
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Not nearly as heavy as the all-wood prototype, which rings it at exactly 10 lbs because of the solid walnut mallet. This one's closer to 6, since the mallet is hollow. Add another 4 for the wall mount, and well... :D

- Gabe
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by MattMunson@Jan 12 2006, 04:39 PM
That's pretty awesome. Good work.
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Thanks, Matt - especially coming from a true Trek hardcore & talent like you. :)

You're now eligible for the 5% suck-up discount. :D (and everybody else who piles on the praise... :lol)

- Gabe
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by WinstonWolf359@Jan 12 2006, 04:45 PM
Wow, I'm in shock.  That's absolutely amazing, Gabe.

Great work.
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Ok, moderators NEVER suck up to me (I already have one official warning), so I'm DOUBLY flattered. :D

- Gabe

[Edited for typo]
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by Funky Jedi@Jan 12 2006, 04:47 PM
Is it possible to make this out of fiberglass, so it's lightweight?
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I'm sure that once these are finished, I could come to an arangement with a reputable fiberglass artist (if one comes forward) who would offer authorized stunts on my behalf, but that was never my intent. I'm definitely open to the idea in principle. :)

Or you could wait until some scumbucket recasts it and sells copies on eBay - I've already resigned myself to the idea, but I'm also a firm believer in karma, so I don't envy the person who'll try... :p

Question: wouldn't fiberglass stunts be fragile? I would think a rubber blade and mallet connected by a steel-rod reinforced fiberglass staff would be the ticket for dueling, no? Unless you want one that's screen-accurate and shatters. :lol

- Gabe
 

Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Dood, I'm not gonna DUEL with it. I just want to hang it on the wall. :lol
 

Jimbo890

Well-Known Member
O.M.G.

Thats fantastic. I've been waiting a long time to see the final version. Well done.

Thanks for sharing.

Jim
 

pyxl

Well-Known Member
Originally posted by phase pistol+Jan 13 2006, 12:09 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(phase pistol @ Jan 13 2006, 12:09 AM)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Prop Runner
@Jan 12 2006, 06:41 PM
and what was being fought over  :love  :



[snapback]1157410[/snapback]​

They were fighting over a "gong"? :lol

- k
[snapback]1157433[/snapback]​
[/b]
So you're saying spock wanted to bang a gong, get it on?
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
Originally posted by pyxl@Jan 12 2006, 06:55 PM
So you're saying spock wanted to bang a gong, get it on?
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One more gong wise-crack and I swear I'll delete the photo. :lol

At least Karl is the RPF's resident wisecracker, so it's expected, predictable, and yes - even a bit sad... :cry But I wouldn't step on his turf if you know what's good for you. :D

- Gabe
 
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