The OT stunt lightsaber blades research thread

vadermania

Well-Known Member
So...any new ideas about the origins of the OT stunt lightsaber blades after reading through the new STW archives book from Paul Duncan?

I have my problems in believing that the ANH stunt blades were square from the emitter to the tip. My gut feeling is that they were round at the base and taper into a square shape towards the tip. They just do not look square to be at the base, where they go into the emitter. And there is a black stripe on them running from the base and stops a few inches before it reaches the tip.

ESB stunt blades are round and tapered. Covered in scotchlite paint or tape? What are they made of? Wood, steel, fibreglass? I‘ve never noticed a bent blade in bts footage or photography, so that would rule out aluminum and probably mild steel, copper or iron. So I tend towards wood or fiberglass. Why are the blades showing black marks after heavy use? My gut feeling is that they were found parts. In fact, I have researched tank antennas from German WW2 tanks, and there are some very interesting points such as the taper and the „tang“ part that goes into the hilts.

Some RoTJ blades are not tapered, such as the black shorter blades of the Yuma and at least one stunt blade on the V3 during the final duel.

Looking forward to an intense and interesting discussion.
 

ALLEY

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The vintage army vehicle antennas took pretty good as well...these things were designed to take a beating in the field.

8541F355-2B09-4831-8D0E-74BE28A670A7.jpeg
 
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mugatu

Sr Member
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These are tank antenna from WWII. Made of copper:
5BC9EA60-1AEA-4A27-B9D7-191A5F207CCF.jpeg


You can hear on some BTS footage the clacking of the blades and it sounds metal. I’m not saying every stunt blade was the same material that they used the same things even within a single film’s production, but you can hear in some of the footage they are metal especially when they cone out of the hilt and hit the ground.

*the post coming out of the hilt would go up into the aluminum/silvery piece at the end.
 

ALLEY

Sr Member
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I want some of those antennas!! Where can I find them Andy!!??
There are a few military vehicle antennas on Ebay. The prices range from about $46 to $150. I have yet to find any that are specific to WWII tanks, however.
 

vadermania

Well-Known Member
These are tank antenna from WWII. Made of copper:
View attachment 975428

You can hear on some BTS footage the clacking of the blades and it sounds metal. I’m not saying every stunt blade was the same material that they used the same things even within a single film’s production, but you can hear in some of the footage they are metal especially when they cone out of the hilt and hit the ground.

*the post coming out of the hilt would go up into the aluminum/silvery piece at the end.
I'd say if they are made out of copper, they would bend easily when used in a stunt sword fight. Plus copper is a pretty heavy metal. Could they be made out of fibreglas with a copper coating? The ESB and ROTJ stunt blades sometimes sound to me as if they were made of metal (perhaps a spring steel rod) coated with scotchlite tape. Unfortunately I don't have any images of actual WW2 german tank antennas, but of scaled model tank antennas, which look promising shapewise.
cnjSZKA.jpg
 

thd9791

Master Member
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Yea, there must have been a decent coating on them, because they clack when hit but ring when they hit the ground.

My recent guestimates are 17-18 mm at the butt, and they don't taper until like halfway down the blade. seems like some were different, I've looked at a few flash stunts and the butt-size changes.
 

roygilsing

Sr Member
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Would these tank antennas be tapered? I have an option on a WW2 Soviet tank antenna. It's more than 4m long, consisting of multiple parts. Tapered as a whole, but not per piece.
Shall I buy it?
 
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vadermania

Well-Known Member
For more information/debate about the ANH blades check out this blast from the past thread. Some interesting information I had long forgotten:

ANH Stunt Lightsaber "Blades"--Triangular??? Gil Taylor sez so...
Thanks for this - some very interesting information over there. I tend to believe that the blades were square wooden dowels, two sides coated with scotchlite. No idea though what they mean with the four inches higher coating on one side.
 

vadermania

Well-Known Member
Yea, there must have been a decent coating on them, because they clack when hit but ring when they hit the ground.

My recent guestimates are 17-18 mm at the butt, and they don't taper until like halfway down the blade. seems like some were different, I've looked at a few flash stunts and the butt-size changes.
If that is the case, it reminds me on my current stunt blade on my V3, which is an aluminum ski pole covered in self adhesive scotchlite tape. The ski pole tapers until halfway down the blade.
 

vadermania

Well-Known Member
Would these tank antennas be tapered? I have an option on a WW2 Soviet tank antenna. It's more than 4m long, consisting of multiple parts. Tapered as a whole, but not per piece.
Shall I buy it?
The German WW2 tank antennas were tapered, and about 1,5m long. I have no idea what they were made of, my guess would be some sort of early fibreglass with a copper core or so.

Somehow I think they had a limited supply of these stunt blades for ESB/ROTJ. As said before, I‘ve never noticed a bent or broken blade in bts footage or images, so my feeling is that those blades were pretty sturdy, although the reflective coating wore off during the fights and left dark marks on the blades. Blades flew off the hilts a few times, such as in the Dagobah cave scene (Hamill hits Vaders helmet) or the hacking scene in ROTJ, where Luke cuts off Vaders hand.
 

Halliwax

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I have a hard time believing they are copper or aluminum because they used aluminum for the blades in Ep1, and you can see how easy the blades were damaged

I think carbon fiber blades were the used in ep2 and 3, but my memory escapes me
 

thd9791

Master Member
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If that is the case, it reminds me on my current stunt blade on my V3, which is an aluminum ski pole covered in self adhesive scotchlite tape. The ski pole tapers until halfway down the blade.
do you have any shots of your blade? Ive applied retro-reflective tape and had it peel off within a few months :(

the taper sounds much more accurate, ski pole you said?

I have a hard time believing they are copper or aluminum because they used aluminum for the blades in Ep1, and you can see how easy the blades were damaged

I think carbon fiber blades were the used in ep2 and 3, but my memory escapes me
I will also say this new carbon fiber rod sounds like metal when it hits the ground. Ep.3 (and maybe 2) used Texalum, a woven carbon fiber
 

Halliwax

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do you have any shots of your blade? Ive applied retro-reflective tape and had it peel off within a few months :(

the taper sounds much more accurate, ski pole you said?



I will also say this new carbon fiber rod sounds like metal when it hits the ground. Ep.3 (and maybe 2) used Texalum, a woven carbon fiber
I agreed ;)
 

mugatu

Sr Member
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These taper slightly and are very tough. But I will check to see if they can take a strike or not.
 

thd9791

Master Member
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These taper slightly and are very tough. But I will check to see if they can take a strike or not.
I contacted a guy on a famous auction site to see if any of his copper masts were long enough and thick enough. They were too small and short. it looks like only the 35" antenna of yours would be thick enough. Maybe not long enough or the right end/shape
 
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