Zeiss Ikon Flash - Custom Lightsaber Build

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Kylash, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm starting this thread before I do any modification to this flash I just got because I'd like some input and opinions from you guys. So far this is untouched, all I did was remove the reflector and clamp mount bar. I got this flash because it has quite a few features of the standard lightsaber flashes like the clamp, input jacks, clear bubble, push button etc. In fact the top area layout is quite a lot like a graflex, though the details are all different.

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    I'm going to try sticking to vintage parts and approach this as it would have been at the time, only using what was available in the late 70's. Here is what I have decided on doing so far as prep:

    - Replace the clamp screw (that wing nut is just huge and ugly)
    - Remove the riveted icon plate that says "camera"
    - Cover the Stuttgart logo area with some foil tape.
    - Install some style of D-ring on the bottom, it's flat so it should work fine.
    - Probably use a circuit for the clamp "switch" instead of a bubble strip, its just too short and I don't think I could get a bubble strip to work without cutting bubbles in half.

    So this is the point where I need some input:

    - The emitter area is a little bland as is. The area where the reflector tabs in breaks it up a little, and it will look nicer one the foil tape is around the one side, but otherwise do you think it's fine as-is? I'm not sure if it is able to be removed yet.

    - The entire thing is metal, but the main body is covered with something black, either anodized or baked on, I dont know. It has some texture but overall it's pretty smooth. I think I'll keep it, but might it be worth trying some oven cleaner to see if it will come off? I think it would be flat silver underneath, so I'll probably leave it. Also thought about scuffing it all up with some sandpaper so the control details stand out from the black a bit more. It's already going to have to a bit weathered since the clamp and emitter has some rust.

    - Grips: This is where the above point causes issues. Since the entire body is black, I'm not sure what to do with grips. T-track is black, and I'm not sure how good that might look on this. I like the reversed colors, so maybe use some silver aluminum bracket type grips riveted on?

    - The clamp has a quite sizable gap between the screw, since it's taller than most clamps. What would be good to fill this with? I think it would just look a bit odd left as open as it is once I have a circuit board in there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
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  2. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is SICK! Nice find! My first thought was silver t track, either painted or made from metal. I love the look of this flash, you're right up there with set decorators!
     
  3. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've seen metal t-track on on of the saber sites that weren't painted black... looked cool. I'll see if I can find
     
  4. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah I think Parks sells them black anodized, I'd have to ask if I could get them raw, but I'd rather not wait 4-5 months.

    EDIT: case in point, he says they are out of stock thought they are listed as available on the site, go figure.

    I think black grips might still look ok, I could scuff them up so they stand out a little.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  5. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That top photo almost look like a white baby saber blade has started to come out!
     
  6. Luke the Belter

    Luke the Belter Well-Known Member

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    Just what I thought.
    T-track or flat metal grips.

    Nice flash. Never saw one before.
     
  7. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here are a few updates. Added rubber o-rings on either side of the clamp and replaced the wingnut with a unique license plate holder bolt. I played with covering the clamp with aluminum tape to cover that rust, but it just always looked like tape, that stuff pics up any tiny scratch and it just didnt look real.

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    Removed the symbols plate but left the rivets that held it on, thought they looked cool. Covered the logo on the front of the emitter with aluminum tap.

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    And finally ripped the reflector off of it's housing and connected it back into the top of the flash. I think I'll either round it (ala Yoda saber) or bend each side in a more angular way. Either way I thought it was what I needed to make the emitter area a little less plain, and it makes a nice emitter shroud. I tried removing the rusted screws to clean them and maybe rearrange some things, but they wouldnt budge. So overall this will be a slightly weathered design.

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  8. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Anyone have any tips to get rid of this rust remaining? Its a kind of sandblasted texture on the metal of the entire clamp, and Ive soaked it in vinegar/salt and scrubbed quite a bit of the rust off, so I'm not sure what, if anything I can do to get the rest off.
     
  9. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Try Coca-Cola ... it's quite aggressive against rust . . . I just question why you would like this lightsaber to look factory-fresh and clean . . . it goes against everything STAR WARS stands for ... yet I see it happen over and over again ... is this a guy-thing to have something always look prestine and brand new when working on it? :wacko

    Chaim
     
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  10. matty matt

    matty matt Sr Member

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    Yeah, that's natural weathering right there. I say leave it as is. Everything looks great. The design is Star Wars all the way! Better than the prequel sabers IMO.
     
  11. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have nothing against weathering, my favorite saber is my beat to hell Romans Obi!
    [​IMG]

    The problem is that only the one side is rusted, other than a little near the top and the screws, it's pretty much clean. If i could rust the rest of it to match I would, but i think that would be even harder. The black body is some kind of weird coating over metal (its not just paint, i think its baked on) that I'm not sure how to weather. I'll probably just start whacking it or take some sandpaper to it and see what happens. Still waiting on my grips from Blastech.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  12. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Please .. only use sandpaper as a last resort ... as for Blast-Tech I thought he's well out of business ... did you contact John before purchasing T-tracks online?

    Chaim
     
  13. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yup, I even got an email reply from him thanking me for the order. That was 2 weeks ago. If I dont get them I'm only out $10. I know lots of people make them.

    And I meant the sandpaper for weathering, not taking off the rust.
     
  14. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Decided to go full-on weathered. Banged and scratched it up a bit, it really helped bring some of those details out of the plain black body. Got the emitter shroud bent the way I wanted and I think it works. Scratched and scuffed up the opposite side of the clamp to the rust and replaced the plain hex nut with a covered hex nut, still not sure about that one. Added a red wire from a Gillette Supermax hairdryer into one side of the brass ports to harken a little to the ESB Vader design.

    I still haven't found a suitable activation circuit board, the part of the clamp that on a graflex clamp goes tight around a board is much taller and rounded on this one, so I need something about 3 times as thick as one of those boards. And of course still need the grips and d-ring.

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
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  15. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks cool! Like what you did with the emitter.
     
  16. chizbot

    chizbot Active Member

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    I love where this is going! After briefly seeing one of Tom's older sabers in person, I've wanted to make one for my son (he's 4). He uses my resin droid caller and some hasbro sabers now, but he LOVES my DL44. Even at 4, he can appreciate authenticity. Subscribed!
     
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  17. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Awesome saber. Looks great. I love the idea of using a traditional flash like they did in the movies for a custom. Truly looks the part.
     
  18. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks guys! I stayed up way too late last night working on the activation circuit. I had to sacrifice a 78 Magnvox Odyssey cartridge for it, but I think it looks pretty cool. I kinda wish the board material was a bit darker, right now the gold bits and the board are close to the same color and dont stand out much at certain angles, but I'll probably leave it as is. I had to stick a few layers of sheet foam under it for the clamp to get a tight enough grip on it.

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  19. chizbot

    chizbot Active Member

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    Love the board. maybe just a brush & rub of a green or brown acrylic paint might help it stand out more. Or paint the back of it?
     
  20. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Perhaps you could give it a quick wash with some thin black paint or airbrush ink and then whipe it clean so that it only remains on the sides of the gold 'fingers'?

    Ha,ha,ha @ chizbot ... great minds think alike :)

    Chaim
     
  21. chizbot

    chizbot Active Member

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    Great minds think alike. ;)
     
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  22. matty matt

    matty matt Sr Member

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    That's awesome!
     
  23. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Did a little photoshop of how the grips may look with black and silver (though I dont know where Id get metal ones). I honestly think the black on black doesnt look too bad, despite being different than other OT sabers.

    Also pasted a kobold clip on there on the top and bottom to see how it looked both ways. Not sure ive got enough room on the top to actually rivet it there, but I like how it looks.

    customsaber.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
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  24. ronwlim

    ronwlim Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    EXCELLENT saber. I like the black on black. And I think the Kobold clip is overkill. You already have the D-ring on the end for your belt... two belt rings is redundant.

    -Ron
     
  25. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks. I'd only put one on, I put both in the comp to see what either would look like. Both are photoshopped.

    Just found these on ebay, the sandblasted surface would match the clamp. Decisions ,decisions..
    Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 2.25.52 PM.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  26. Matheus27

    Matheus27 New Member

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    I also think the black t-tracks looks little bit better.
    Overall this is thing of beauty. Great job!
     
  27. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Jesus christ, I LOVE what you've done with this. bending the shroud was just what it needed! the wires in the sockets...that board (where did you get it again?) is so unique. There are few leads just like the original ESB graflex. I hate seeing the boards post apple computers that are filled with leads, it just doesn't have the same look.
     
  28. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If I'm not mistaken, these are sold with that group of parts from 1980s Star Wars magazines. These were some of the first 'replicas' made, were horribly inaccurate but very well made. I'm not sure where they sourced their T track.
     
  29. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks man! Yeah I figured its unique looking, and metal, so I got them in black and can always sand them down if i want them silver, or just weather them for somewhere in between.

    The circuit board is from a 1978 Magnavox Odyssey 2 cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
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  30. chizbot

    chizbot Active Member

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    I'm gonna say I like the silver T-track. Sets it apart from the canon sabers. Maybe ditch the track altogether and go with something original. That board is freaking great.

    I had a friend when I was a kid who had the magnavox. We had a Sears Pong console. I'm sure old Atari or clones cartridges could yield some cool boards.
     
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  31. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I also tried a coleco Atari donkey kong one but it wasn't wide enough, the Odyssey ones are much longer.
     
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  32. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    I love this, especially the circuit board. I would do something original for the grips. blank canvas.
     
  33. BobasBounty

    BobasBounty Well-Known Member

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    I am really liking this saber. I hope you don't mind but I am totally ripping off your idea for a circuit board on my Peak flash lightsaber. Just picked up a Magnavox Odyssey 2 cartridge off ebay. :)
     
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  34. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Used some copper paint on the circuit board, I think it matches the saber much better now (the emitter interior is copper) and has better contrast with the metal leads.
     

    Attached Files:

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  35. Metallijosh

    Metallijosh Active Member

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    That looks awesome so far. I think you should go with flat silver grips instead of T-Tracks, like on the Mara Jade saber.
     
  36. Scott D

    Scott D Sr Member

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    I was thinking the same thing.

    Dr. Tayln, shoot me a PM if you're interested in going this route.

    Love that circuit board.
     
  37. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah I've done a few more comps and agree those look best, I'd definetly need help though, don't have any metal cutting machinery. Here are the comps using your photos Scott, of the grips in 2 different spacings.

    Photoshop:
    customsaber.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  38. Luke the Belter

    Luke the Belter Well-Known Member

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    Those looks quite right to me.
    I would choose the lower one with only four grips.
    The other one doesn't show enough black between the grips.
     
  39. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I dunno... I liked the t-track. very OT in design.
     
  40. Calaeryn

    Calaeryn Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it's powder coated...and I dig it. Rather than trying to remove ALL of it, I suggest you remove PORTIONS of it, in a pattern, perhaps...or possibly in rings. I'd probably just leave it as-is...if for no other reason than I wouldn't want to ruin it.

    Some polished metal grips would be awesome...would match the emitter. Something like the Mara Jade saber (though I wouldn't put them as close together cuz I'd want the black to show in between them)?
     
  41. Calaeryn

    Calaeryn Well-Known Member

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    Steel wool?
     
  42. Metallijosh

    Metallijosh Active Member

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    Yes, but not as many as the top and more than the bottom.
     
  43. Straycatt

    Straycatt Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For future reference, when trying to take off the rust, consider using Naval Jelly. It easts the rust, but does not damage the surrounding surface. Even safe to use on chrome ...
     
  44. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I decided to keep the rust, thanks for the tips though :)

    I'm gonna give the silver slat grips a try and see how it looks, I can always change my mind later. Or hell how about both, t-track in between the silver slats?

    Photoshop Comp Of Grips:
    customsaber.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
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  45. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I kinda like both!
     
  46. Metallijosh

    Metallijosh Active Member

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    I like it with both!!
     
  47. CSMacLaren

    CSMacLaren Sr Member

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    The Allen screws on the tracks are a very nice touch. I also love the weathering as it gives it a sense that it's real - something I don't see with the Force FX sabers.
     
  48. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This could be overkill, but I wanted to give it a try.

    image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  49. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thats very Vader ESB ish (circuit boards under bubbles) Dude. you made me put down my nutella. I stopped mid-bite...thats not overkill at all...its really REALLY good
     
  50. chizbot

    chizbot Active Member

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    I like the bubble strip on there. It probably lets you remove some of the foam behind the board as well.


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