The Ultimate Luke ANH Graflex Research & Discussion Thread

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.


Gregatron

Sr Member
I think it is pretty similar to the elstree prop
View attachment 1440342

quickly cut by hand (from a beer can?) , rivets not aligned , etc. Assuming the hero got much more "hanging time" it could be just wear, bending and deformation from the D-ring that make the clip look so asymmetrical.


I don’t think there would be deformation from wear and tear. As I’ve noted in the past, the prop sees very little action in the film. Unless the metal used was really thin and fragile (which sort of defeats the purpose of using it to begin with, in that case), I would presume that any wonkiness comes from how it was made, rather than on-set stress.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

roygilsing

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’d be interested to see what Roy’s base design looks like without the folding, just to get a sense of how he thinks the original clip was cut to shape.

I don’t think there would be deformation from wear and tear. As I’ve noted in the past, the prop sees very little action in the film. Unless the metal used was really thin and fragile (which sort of defeats the purpose of using it to begin with, in that case), I would presume that any wonkiness comes from how it was made, rather than on-set stress.
5A9BF836-6A5E-47D3-AF83-E1AEE6CE8D65.jpeg


Here's the unfolded drawing. As you probably understand I have followed the shape based on that single back view image and reverse engineered it with this cut out shape as a result. Certain inaccuracies are unavoidable. But I didn't influence myself with the reasoning behind it nor by comparing it to the Elstree version. I do think the materials and the slopiness are similar and to me it does look like they used thin aluminium which is soft and easily bend and damaged.
As you can see from my unfolded shape it looks as if the initial cut was too wide and they cut or filed off some material on one side to loosen the D-ring. It's strange they haven't done it on both sides but maybe in the heat of the moment they just did it like this and mounted the bugger on the flash.
It's so dirty handiwork it would have been strange if it would have been the same as the Elstree D-ring.

Roy
 

v312

Active Member
I think most people that reject the new clip "design" do it just on the basis that it is ugly, but not because they see any error in Roy's interpretation of the pictures (that are the basis for the shape calculation). And that's ok, because sometimes when things look wrong or common sense tells you they are wrong - well, maybe there was an error somewhere that you can't exactly pin. For me the quality of that picture is so bad that I personally can only identify where the rivets are, but not the shape of the clip.

Anyway, here's a little test to see if in practice you can end up with a shape like this if you are a sloppy prop maker (which I'm not, so take it with a grain of salt).

Staring with a piece of aluminum sheet that I obviously cut too wide for the clip I have:

1616861201211.png


So, I take a mental measure where the clip is at the top of the sheet and do a sloppy cut at an angle, so it is OK at the top but it goes wider towards the middle and the bottom:

1616861368581.png
1616861416215.png


So it actually fits and I bend the sheet around the d-ring. However, since in the middle it is too wide - the clip cannot turn at all from that position. (which is exactly what happened with this clip the way I cut it)

Then I realize it is still too wide there at the middle. So I take the ring out, grab the cutters and just trim one of the sides at a random angle, because that's all I need for it to fit:

1616861669633.png
1616861751138.png


And now the clip fits and rotates as intended (and I have a very ugly clip, but hey - it works!) :

1616861827971.png
1616861851986.png


I didn't finish it with rounding and rivet holes, but I think I'll end up with something pretty similar if I just roughly cut it and drill the holes without taking any measures.
 

Gregatron

Sr Member
This comes back to something I have often emphasized: These props are only made A) To look good on-camera, which hides a multitude of sins; B) On-set functionality.

By default, I think we tend to expect idealized, pristine items, but the reality is that these props were often pretty crude. That being said, we’ve been examining footage and photos for decades, and only NOW have we possibly discovered this seemingly wonky clip shape. So, I’d say that the prop crew DID succeed in making it look good enough for the camera, didn’t they?

Personally, I’m trying to figure out where the prop crew found that balancing act. On the one hand, they were always trying to follow the above-mentioned rules, but, on the other hand, would they really be SO sloppy with their work?

Based on evidence seen in other props and costumes from the production, it’s clear that there’s a lot of sloppiness and shortcuts there, which we would never notice but for obsessive research and examination.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Gregatron

Sr Member
There gosh-darn well should be. The original film is one thing, in terms of having relatively scarce reference, but ESB and its saber props (which had a LOT more screentime) surely deserve some dedicated research like that seen in this thread.
 

sbeall

Active Member
I think making an ugly clip and a decent looking clip both require the same tools, just different attitude.
I used to work in the tin shop of a certain east coast outdoor history museum. We made clips like this for dozens of different items. Mainly these clips were soldered on, sometimes put in a slot and the ends bent flat. I’ll tell you what, it is very easy to make a crooked clip freehand. The sides can be less than parallel, or the bend goes crooked. And once you’ve made your crooked clip, it’s very hard to make it straight again. You’re better off saving the wire and making a new one.
Conversely, it only takes a few seconds to measure and draw a line parallel with the edge of the tin plate. All you have to do then is fold accurately. Add in a boatload of practice doing the same thing and your clips get better and better.
Now I can totally see a prop builder making a crooked clip, trying to fix it (because he doesn’t make very many of them, and how hard can it be?) and ending up with what we see here. Of course the next one will be better, because these people are really smart and good at making things.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Cantina_Dude

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'd think it completely reasonable that the aluminum clip could have started out relatively straight sided and then, after some use hanging off Luke's belt while he ran around, got distorted by the D-ring bending up the edge at the fold point, much like what happened on the Elstree, resulting in the wonky shape seen in the reference photo.

Straight_Clip.jpg

629073.jpg 629064.jpg
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top