Tron Legacy Identity Disc

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


New Member
Hi everyone! I had a few people ask me over the weekend at CONvergence in Minneapolis how I built my Tron Legacy Identity Discs so here is a quick thread on how I did it.

I'm posting this while at work so I'll need to come back and do some clean up and finish this post as I get free time. :)
Pictures are here (and should be shared):

I don't have a fully completed picture, but I do have these two test lighting pictures before putting in the inner clear parts. In the center is a relay and when you press it, it goes from orange (it was supposed to be yellow, but that looks orange to me) to white.
disc light orange.jpg disc light white.jpg

This is the best action shot showing the "holstered" one (white) and the "non-holstered" one (orange). It also happens to be the only picture where you can actually make out where the LEDs are placed.

Step 1: Materials
As I remember all the things I bought I'll update this.
  • Child's toy, single sided, flimsy vinyl identity disc x2.
    • I got them on eBay for about $9 each. I did dual discs so I got four of them.
  • A big sheet of plastic cut into 12" diameter circles with a 5 and 3/4" circle cut out the middle.
  • A second sheet of plastic for the inner "half-circle". I think this was around 11" in diameter and about 1cm wide.
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Super Glue (mistakes happen).

Step 2: Remove all the blue your floppy friends
Yep, these are the ones I'm talking about. There is only one side with details and the backside is nice and empty.
plastic disc.jpg

First thing I did was get the sizing of the whole disc. I drew an outline of the outer disc, the inner circle.

Then came the really messy part. I would recommend you do this in a garage and wear eye protection! Once this stuff gets warm it melts into little balls of doom that go flying everywhere. Using my Dremel with the round metal head attachment (not sure what it is called), I went to town cutting off the blue outside edge.

Later I found out it was a lot easier to cut it with just a scissors then clean it up using a sanding drum attachment on the Dremel. I used an old sanding drum that really did the trick so get something around 600+ or use an old drum if you have it. Heck, you could just sand it down if you don't have a Dremel.
The nice part of about the sanding drum on the Dremel is that I just kicked it on to speed 6 and it was really just tapping the edges or rotating the disc around the dremel. Be careful there! It melts super easy!
On my first attempt around I had primed the discs first. It made them way more sturdy, but without the primer it made it much easier to see what I'm cutting off! Just remove the blue!
Wait on doing the half circles in the center for now. It is way easier to do the plastic core fitting when it doesn't flop all over the place.
I did make sure to hit everything with at least 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper to make sure to smooth everything out.
As you notice things, clean them up as best you can. A small little wave in the circle is fine, no one will notice.

Step 3: Plastic Core Prep
I got lucky here, but only after I did this myself. Cut out your plastic core. I originally did two cores, one for each disc side, but later got lucky and a friend laser cut me some thicker plastic. If you know someone with a fancy cutter of sorts, now is the time to ask for their help!
Essentially cut out the core and clean it up. Do some fitting and clean up as needed.The thicker the core the better light dispersion you're going to have.
thin core.jpg

Step 4: That pesky half circle

Now that you have an idea of how everything will fit together, go to town on that center half circle. To get at the inside half circles I just punched a hole with my dremel (a drill works too) and using scissors cut out the inside the best I could. Then cleaned it up with the dremel and some sanding files. The back of the disc makes a nice reference of how much to remove as well if things start looking uneven.

Step 5: Remove the inner edge on one disc! I'm not sure what it is called, but one of them has to go!
This ended up being a problem for me due to lack of foresight. There is this inner edging that sticks down and ended up running into the other disc when I tried to assemble them. Removing the edging entirely from one of the discs really helped, but I still had to trim down the other side even further. This will also be dependent on how thick of a core you have as well. They may not collide at all.

Step 6: Fitting
Now that your cores are cut out, make sure everything will fit together and sand and dremel as needed until things seem to fit flush. Here is where final assembly needs some thought, which I maaaaaay have procrastinated on a little bit on mine.

Step 7: Wash and Primer
Make sure you give your discs a good wash to get them nice and clean. You don't have to use soap or anything, just a good rinse and maybe a run around with an acid brush or something to get anything that won't rinse off. Once dried, hit it with some primer! Simple enough. I primed with grey and then some white and grey again. No real reason. It helps make imperfections pop a little more and you can also do some "cheater shading", as I call it to slightly shade the final color. Oh yeah, that doesn't work so well with a matte black.

I used Dupli-color "sandable for minor surface scratches", which I'm familiar with since I use it for my Gundam models. I ran out at one point and couldn't find anymore nearby so I switched to Krylon to finish one of them up and it turned out great. Make sure to hit the back of the disc too with a few passes! The primer does a fantastic job making the disc solid.

Step 8: Primer and Imperfection clean up
Primer is amazing for helping make mistakes or imperfections pop out. Now is a good time to take a look at your discs and see what, if anything, the primer revealed. Sand anything down with 220 - 600 grit sandpaper and hit it with a 1000 grit to smooth it out. Then just prime it again if you need to!
whtie disc cleanup.jpg I am a little retentive when it comes to this stuff, but you can see after hitting it with white I found a few spots to clean up. I did a wet sand (best thing ever) using 600 grit sandpaper. Once dried, I just hit it with some more primer.
disc cleanup black.jpg

Step 9: Lighting the inner core
I had a bunch of help at this point since my knowledge of electricity is slim to none. Essentially what was decided was to run two series of LED's for each color off of two 9V batteries. For the orange we used 14 LED's per disc and for the white we used 12 LEDs per disc. Again, this is where I got lucky and have a friend that was able to cut me a thicker core and do all the maths.
We picked a spot where the two 9Vs would be then just drilled 7 holes on each half and two larger holes where the batteries would sit. One side had the orange LEDs and the other had the white (while skipping the center hole for the white).
lighting started.jpg

Step 10: Assembly
This was probably the most difficult task. The four inner holes are all there at a 45 degree angle so I needed something that would be able to attach both discs and the plastic core. We ended up using 6-32" machine bolts and drilled a hole through the core that was straight down from the first disc and into and out of the second disc. The bolt fit cleanly (not at first) through. The problem was attachment. What I ended up doing was getting some of the plastic hose you'd use for the water line on a refrigerator, cut it at a 45 degree angle and left one side flat. I think they ended up about 3/4" tall, if not shorter. So the bolt would have this plastic stopper, then a washer, and then the screw head or nut.

This picture is just a test fit. We eventually shrink wrapped the tube and the washer to be one piece, which made assembly easier. That worked out pretty well. The amount of time it took to get the discs together was more than I wanted though.
bolt holder sizing.jpg
Last edited:

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

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