Wampa Claw lightsaber build

Benjo

Active Member
That design has leaked years ago but I since kept the idea of one day create that hilt.
I love it, I love its nice curvy shape and I often felt the need to have fun with the idea of a lightsaber emitter mounted on a claw.

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First thing first, I think that hilt was meant to be HUGE. Considering the size of the 1979 Wampa Costume that lightsaber has to be bigger than regular lightsaber hilts. I took the usual 1.5 inch diameter as a base to build my version. The design offers a more sophisticated and High tech feel compared to the O.T lightsabers but I'd really love my version to look more like an old relic than a Disney prop, if you know what I mean ;).

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I actually have made two attempts to recreate that hilt over the past years but I wasn't satisfied with how it turned out. Getting the curvy handy shape cannot be done with straight tubing. I have tried with tapered vacuum cleaner tube, I also tried to get the curvy shape by simply beveling a tube but I couldn't catch the same exact tapered line

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So I finally choosed to use 3d modeling to get the emitter sleeve the way I wanted it. I did my best to model it via Solidworks, printed the file and I got this:


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Still have a to clean the piece BTW. There's a hole going through the sleeve to insert a threaded rod. The idea is to add some weight and solidify the junction sleeve/claw.

a 1.5 diameter aluminium tube can be inserted to the top

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I also made the thin emitter grooves by hand. I still need to clean it up, it's not as straight as I would like.
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Next to my weirdflex tube

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I'm currently working on the claw. It's an organic feature, so I'm making it out of an exotic heavy wood found on the basement. All I had on hand was a tiny table saw, so I had to find out how to shape the claw with limited possibilities. Layering seemed to be the best solution. It's a bit messy but I'll show when things will get a little more precise :)

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Loneken

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you guys ;). Showing the progression will be a good exercise :).
I think it's Watto's Junkyard that's doing a run of the wampa claws and I thought that was cool, but it's even more cool that you're doing you own thing from scratch!
 

Benjo

Active Member
Things are currently very messy but I wanted to share the building steps. I'm currently experimenting a few things with the claw.

I don't want the claw to be nice and smooth, I prefer it to have the same rough texture you can find on real animal claws. I took inspiration on dinosaur claws grainy texture.

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Here is the thing. The claw has been roughly sculpted out of layered Mahogany wood with a rasp. A thread rod is inserted to add weight and tighten the assemblage. It's still very rough but I don't want the junction between the two parts to be perfect as it is a technological object mounted on some kind of bone (sorry for the poor quality pics)

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To get the claw texture, I'm currently trying to keep rasp marks on some areas and I have used putty to get a grainy texture on some other areas. That's a try, next step will be to check the result with paint and, maybe, try things differently.

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Benjo

Active Member
Time for a few experimentations

So, I've done a few tries with the claw and it turned out not that far from what I wanted. It's all about keeping flaws, rasp marks and unsanded areas.
I first gave it a black satin basecoat and had to weather it with usual weathering stuffs: dry brush and acrylic paint mixed with water. The trick is it has to look natural, not like a painted object (that's why I hate dry brush, because it always looks like nothing but dry brush)

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Now the emitter sleeve. Making a piece of plastic looking like convincing metal can be tricky even with Alclad or Alumaster. In my experience, it's all about surface prep. This time I had to do with what I had on hand. My airbrush needs to be repaired, and all I had was a Tamiya light gun metal rattle can.
I could tell a lot about faking metal, I've done several tries by the past. I don't like gloss black undercoat as it tends to darken the result, and I know the gloss needs to be increased for better results. This time, I've tried with a glossy white base coat.
First thing first, after smoothing and wet sanding the plastic surface until a 600 grit sandpaper, I applied two coats of glossy white. Once dried, I've wet sanded the paint with 1000 to 5000 grit sand paper, and then I used a T-cut component to obtain a mirror finish.

It's hard to see it on the picture but the surface was shiny and reflective.

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And the result turned out suprinsigly good. Still look like a painted stuff though.

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Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
I made this for my son. The claw is printed but it is coated with a mixture as seen in the tutorial video below. Basically it is a mixture of Elmer’s glue, baby powder, and acrylic paint. You just dab it on with your finger. Not only does it cover up any print flaws but it also gives an organic look. I plan to utilize it in future projects and possibly different colors. Maybe it might be helpful for your claw.

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You can see the creator’s tutorial for the display and how to add the texture to the claw here…
 

Benjo

Active Member
I made this for my son. The claw is printed but it is coated with a mixture as seen in the tutorial video below. Basically it is a mixture of Elmer’s glue, baby powder, and acrylic paint. You just dab it on with your finger. Not only does it cover up any print flaws but it also gives an organic look. I plan to utilize it in future projects and possibly different colors. Maybe it might be helpful for your claw.

View attachment 1536089

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You can see the creator’s tutorial for the display and how to add the texture to the claw here…
Ok, ok,
Thank you for the tips. I'll try my best to upgrade my texture so.
 

Benjo

Active Member
A few pictures of the progression.
I applied the technique shared precedently, black acrylique mixed with PVA glue and baby powder. I like the way it turned out. Wall compound gives an interesting texture too.
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I totally failed in giving a metalic shine to the emitter sleeve ,:lol:, glossy clear coat made it dull so I choosed to give it a darker tone with a slight weathering.

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Time to try some greeblies to see if some details could be cool.

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