Star Trek TOS Lirpa "hero" project update

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Prop Runner, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    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:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    and what was being fought over :love :

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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 :$ ):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  2. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,961
    Sweet.. I think a darker stain would look cool.

    Nice work..

    FB
     
  3. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,940

    They were fighting over a "gong"? :lol

    - k
     
  4. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Shut up, fool. :p
     
  5. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,940
    As in the time of my fathers... challenge is accepted. :angry

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

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,840
    So I gotta ask...how heavy is this thing???
     
  7. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    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
     
  8. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,145
    That's pretty awesome. Good work.
     
  9. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    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
     
  10. WinstonWolf359

    WinstonWolf359 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,671
    Wow, I'm in shock. That's absolutely amazing, Gabe.

    Great work.
     
  11. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Ok, moderators NEVER suck up to me (I already have one official warning), so I'm DOUBLY flattered. :D

    - Gabe

    [Edited for typo]
     
  12. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,840
    Is it possible to make this out of fiberglass, so it's lightweight?
     
  13. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    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
     
  14. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,840
    Dood, I'm not gonna DUEL with it. I just want to hang it on the wall. :lol
     
  15. blufive

    blufive Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,671
    Great project, man.
     
  16. Jimbo890

    Jimbo890 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    941
    O.M.G.

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

    Thanks for sharing.

    Jim
     
  17. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    5,035
    Looking good, looking good.... :)
     
  18. pyxl

    pyxl Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    521
    So you're saying spock wanted to bang a gong, get it on?
     
  19. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    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
     
  20. KUROK

    KUROK Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    521
    Gorgeous lirpa. Looks dangerous too.
     
  21. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Thanks, and forgot to mention: I'm leaving a 1/10 of an inch on the edge so it's a bit harder to take somebody's head off... :p

    - Gabe
     
  22. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,940
    I am so fortunate to be recognized by my peers, in my own lifetime. B)

    - k
     
  23. Sporak

    Sporak Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

    Trophy Points:
    1,671
    Now THAT'S a Knife...

    Excellent Gabe...

    The new one is accurate for sure...

    I still do love that wood version...
    Any possabilities of getting one of those?
     
  24. trekprops.de

    trekprops.de Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    521
    Wow, Gabe, that looks truly impressive. Very well done.

    I'm not too much of a TOS fan myself, but this one is just plain sweet.

    Great work.
     
  25. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Thanks. I'm pretty fond of the wood prototype myself - it's more art than prop. :) It was hand-made by a very skilled Austrian woodworker who lives in North Carolina, and it cost me $500 plus $70 shipping given its size & weight. Here's what he had to say about the wood and finish:

    The man is so cool that he shipped it to me before I even paid him, and it took me 2 months to fulfill my end of the transaction (I was willing to wait for it, but he wouldn't hear of it - I didn't think that kind of trust existed anymore - it truly restored my faith in humanity.) Knowing him he's probably sending King Kong gas bomb replicas to customers before their payment even arrives... :p

    So if you've got that kind of cash, he'd probably make as many as people are willing to buy (although he's probably out of Jarrah), and I'd love to give him the business. The hero metal versions would cost considerably less when I'm ready to do a run.

    I'm also designing gong-based wall mounts for both side-by-side and crossed pairs, so perhaps you'd want to get one of each. :D

    - Gabe
     
  26. Krel Jedi

    Krel Jedi Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    555
    That is a beautiful sight. I hate to sound like a herbert, and I could be wrong, but it appears that on the one being unwraped, pegs hold the blade on. Either way that is a true beauty.

    David.
     
  27. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Andreas: thanks. :) I owe you an answer on a promise I made to you - I haven't forgotten, my friend. (as you can see, I've been a bit busy... :$ )

    David: if you revisit my first post, I mentioned that the blade is held in place by bolts instead of the intended wood dowels (which the wood prototype does incorporate), and that's fine, because my vendor just wanted to show me how the parts fit before moving on to the next stage - inserting the dowels/pegs, sanding them down so that they're flush with the staff, and then dark staining and clear-coating it.

    Remember, guys: this is still a protptype - the base will look more accurate and so will everything else. :)

    And who's herbert? :p

    - Gabe
     
  28. Krel Jedi

    Krel Jedi Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    555
    David: if you revisit my first post, I mentioned that the blade is held in place by bolts instead of the intended wood dowels (which the wood prototype does incorporate), and that's fine, because my vendor just wanted to show me how the parts fit before moving on to the next stage - inserting the dowels/pegs, sanding them down so that they're flush with the staff, and then dark staining and clear-coating it.

    Remember, guys: this is still a protptype - the base will look more accurate and so will everything else. :)

    And who's herbert? :p


    - Gabe

    Thanks, missed the comment about the dowels.

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

    Are you "one" or are you "Herbert"

    David.
     
  29. eaviii

    eaviii Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    Gabe, that is flippin' sweet- Wow that turned out well- Kudos man-

    Doc
     
  30. Tiberius Kirk

    Tiberius Kirk Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,046
    WOW. That's a thing of beauty........

    Can't wait.

    TK
     
  31. trekprops.de

    trekprops.de Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    521
    No problem at all. :)
     
  32. Archie Opteryx

    Archie Opteryx Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    716
    Absolutely increadible.
     
  33. greatwazoo42

    greatwazoo42 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,205
  34. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    4,325
    That looks great..

    I can understand the dilemma concerning idealization vs. screen-look. However, I am loathe to suggest painting over real metal with silver paint that originally was supposed to look like real metal. Maybe if you wanted a duller look for the mallet you could Scotchbrite it or use a very fine sandpaper, a kagillion grit or something. :)

    Think the shaft needs to be stained, maybe?
     
  35. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,111
    :angry Terrrr-REEE, terrrr-REEE... :angry


    OT: Awesome Gabe. And my vote goes to the bead-blasted finish.
     
  36. trekkieb47

    trekkieb47 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    510
    Ever happen to catch the show "My Name is Earl"? Great for karma believers.

    But * man... this Lirpa is amazing. Incredible work and detail.

    Berry
     
  37. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Thanks again, guys - I'm humbled & honored by your appreciation. :)

    Some of you aren't reading my first post carefully enough, only looking at the pictures, because I stated that this is still a prototype and I've just reached the point where I can test the integration & assembly of all the parts to verify fit & function.

    The staff *WILL* be dark stained and lacquered to match the screen-used one, and the blade will be bead-blasted regardless of whether or not it's painted. The point of the bead blasting is to create a less-reflective surface if left unpainted, and to provide more "grab" if it is painted.

    As for the mallet base, I don't want it to be too shiny and reflective, so if there's a way to dull the finish without painting it, that's what I'll do. It can always be painted if one so desires. :)

    And Nexus6: "Terrrr-REEE, terrrr-REEE..." indeed. :D

    - Gabe
     
  38. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,860
    Gabe, that is dead sexy. The gong/hanger is a stroke of genius.

    I NEED one... NEEEEED I tells ya. Will look fabulous in mah prop room :)
     
  39. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,241
    Thats a nice bonker you have there....

    Looking really good on this end.
     
  40. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,850

    yeah thats what i was thinking, people who ask for these need to go through some sort of screening process like when purchasing a handgun... :p

    seriously great stuff gabe.

    i had forgotten about this project. good to see you coming along... perfectly.

    :thumbsup :thumbsup
     
  41. GBOOTHROYD

    GBOOTHROYD Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    735
    Gabe,

    Excellent work. The wooden version is a work of art. The metal version is also quite excellent and I might have to get one of those puppies. Although, I'm primarily a Bond fan, Star Trek TOS has also been a favorite of mine. So much so that I recently bought a working USS Enterprise wall com. Nevertheless, as a Bond fan I would love to get you to turn your prop making efforts toward turning out cool James Bond props. Anyway, keep up the good work. I can't wait to see this one completed.

    GB
     
  42. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,230
    Hmmm... Bond... Perhaps my next prop obsession? ;) What are your three wishes, oh, holder of the lamp?

    Believe me, at this point I'm doing it all for YOU guys. After so much time working on this, I have to admit I'm a bit sick of looking at Lirpas. :p Perhaps my brain is oversaturated. Call it Lirpa Fatigue Syndrome :lol

    This is a great time for all things Trek: MR is coming out with not one, but TWO versions of the TOS Enterprise 3-ft filming miniature (I am *SO* all over that.... :D ), Roddenberry.com keeps offering cool swag, and the fact that there are no more BAD Trek spinoff shows on the air is rekindling nostalgia for the TOS series. If my Lirpa project inspires more fans to ride that nostalgia wave, I've done my duty to help preserve the series. :)

    - Gabe
     

Share This Page