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    Jul 9, 2012, 4:12 AM - Stunt lightsaber (Luke/Vader ANH) project. Pics added! #1

    Now that my question has been answered I thoud I'd share some of my progress pictures. Not much but it's early days. Plus working with stainless is harder than with aluminium. Pics added in post 11.

    For a screen used stunt saber from the original trilogy, what would the length of the aluminium rod blade be? I can't find any references to this so if someone has a dueling saber or similar, and wouldn't mind measuring it that will give me something to go on. Or any reference pics to show the blade length versus the hilt length.

    I'm making a start on a Luke/Vader shared stunt saber project and would like some references to start with. A lot of it will be guesswork since information is sketchy to say the least but the basics are fairly simple. Pics to come after I have made some progress.
    Last edited by pfillery; Jul 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM.
  2. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jul 9, 2012, 3:13 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #2

    The best shots are from behind the scenes ESB in my opinion. Luke and Vader both had graphite (or some other hard material) rods extending from flashgun handles, that were tapered like really really drawn out cones. (thicker at the handle, thinner at the tip 360 degrees around)

    There are also shots of david prowse fencing with Mark Hamil backstage, same sort of props but no flashgun.

    I don't have the photos on me, someone here must, but it looked like the the blades (from the emitter)...length wise, from the floor to waist length roughly, maybe more.

    Here are 2 stunt lightsabers (one is pointing at the camera a little)
    http://www.moviepicturedb.com/pictur...4_1956bc94.jpg

    Here is a longer ROTJ stunt
    http://looneyspot.com/img01/star-wars20.jpg

    Here is another ESB
    http://s3.amazonaws.com/coolproducti...jpg?1325981442

    and Darth Vader "flying" haha
    Behind the scenes star wars lightsaber image by punkboi on Photobucket

    another great shot of a stunt blade, an old Obi Wan one
    http://www.holored.com/sites/default...n-StarWars.jpg

    and the backstage photo I referred to
    http://www.galaxiki.org/feature/dart.../mark_dave.jpg

    There are probably more but I'm out of ideas, did that help?

    By the way, if you or anyone EVER finds out how to anchor a stunt blade inside a flash handle enough to take a beating like back then pleeeaseee let me know!
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    Jul 9, 2012, 4:11 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #3

    Thanks THD. Interesting the shot of Luke fighting Vader from the 3rd link down. Vader's blade is about 20% longer than Luke's. Also looks thinner and the same thickness all along it. Could just be the angle though. It gives me some good comparitive shots to approximate my length.

    You mentioned fitting the blade into the flash based hilt - the stunt I'm building, as with the one in the abovementioned picture, is based on a fake hilt. If you look at the top of that one there is no bunny ears and even the red button looks absent. The particular one I'm doing (shared ANH luke/vader) uses an older Folmer Graflex style red button and glass eye but has no bunny ears or cutout and no d-ring, also made from a single piece of tube with a clamp fitted and the fixed blade. It was painted black at the top to look like Vader's when he used it, this is probably the variation I'll go with. It won't be used for dueling but I'll be fitting an aluminium rod as a blade like the original and basing it's design on whatever info I can come up with.
  4. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jul 9, 2012, 7:21 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #4

    That sounds awesome! And yes, a lot of the lightsaber props were decorated tubes. I only said that because there are a few shots/moments when we see a real MPP flash or a real Graflex tube including one of those hard stunt blades. It's been a mystery to us on here forever how they got those to stick. A good example (though not in great shape) the ROTJ Vader was a graflex at one point. Granted, it's been done over so much we question what the entire bottom half is made of, but still.

    Can't wait to see this project! and good eye on the straight stunt blades I never saw them
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    Jul 10, 2012, 3:43 AM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #5

    I'll get some pics up tomorrow. Still need to get my bubble strip and t-track. Might even try casting a bubble strip since it is only a stunt. However if I end up ordering some track from blastech I'll get a strip as well. As a stunt, not that I intend using it as such, I am not being quite as pedantic like my ANH Luke with the original t-track. It's plastic this time. I think I have the blade retention sorted out thanks to a nice brass plumbing piece that is almost the right size. Stay tuned.
  6. Member Since
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    Jul 10, 2012, 6:19 AM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #6

    is this gonna be just a display piece or do u plan on adding light and sound?
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    Jul 10, 2012, 5:35 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #7

    djkibaman said: View Post
    is this gonna be just a display piece or do u plan on adding light and sound?
    Just a display piece, no plans to jazz it up at all, there will most likely not be any room left in the hilt.

    My aim is to get it as close as I can in appearance to the original stunt prop used, based on the reference and limited info available, so it will have a solid aluminium rod as the blade like the original (will not be used for dueling but will still be fitted in such a way that If I do want to hit something/someone it won't break) It is actually not based on a flash like the hero it emulates, it is a piece of metal tube fitted with an older style Folmer red button.

    The tube I have is 316 stainless steel because it most closely resembles the original flash tube in both colour and texture (once the mirror polish is dulled back) plus once cut to shape and finished, the exposed edges don't change in colour or rust (like chrome sink pipe or steel does) plus at $10 a piece it is pretty affordable. The blade rod is a piece of solid aluminium stock 16mm diameter. I haven't decided if I will go with a Vader or a Luke yet. The blade will most likely screw out but the details are not certain just yet, going to the hardware or plumbing store today to see what ideas strike me.

    This is the saber I'm doing



    Last edited by pfillery; Jul 11, 2012 at 7:08 PM.
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    Jul 10, 2012, 7:15 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #8

    I don't wanna be that guy, but holy cow! All those responses, and not a single answer! It's 36". The typical stunt blade was about that long, except under special conditions when it needed to be shorter (like the ROTJ sailbarge sequence where there was a danger Mark might whack some of the stunt men or actors with a full length blade).
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    Jul 10, 2012, 9:07 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #9

    Thanks. I guessed it had to be around the 36" or 1 metre mark. Just wanted to be sure.

    Tan Djarka said: View Post
    I don't wanna be that guy, but holy cow! All those responses, and not a single answer! It's 36". The typical stunt blade was about that long, except under special conditions when it needed to be shorter (like the ROTJ sailbarge sequence where there was a danger Mark might whack some of the stunt men or actors with a full length blade).
  10. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jul 10, 2012, 11:51 PM - Re: Stunt lightsaber blade length? #10

    and ya learn something new every day, I will remember that!
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    Jul 11, 2012, 7:06 PM - Progress pics. #11

    So this is what I have started with. A 30cm long piece of stainless steel tube.

    And shown next to the aluminium rod that is destined to be the blade.

    The template fitted, tube taped up to avoid marking it while cutting and filing, and this is what I ended up with, bottom squared off and top cut out to give me a blank the same length as the hero it emulates.

    Interestingly, I was about to put my holes in for the red button and glass eye where they go on the standard flash tube template, however if you look at the placement in this publicity photo, the eye looks like it is a lot lower down the tube.


    What do you guys think? May have been used to retain the blade or some other purpose. Mine has a better (I think) blade retention system so the button and eye will just be for show. What's the consensus - copy the hero or place it further down? In some shots it doesn't even look like it has a red button.

    This is the beginnings of my blade retention system. Some plumbing fittings left over from a job I did a few years back - love free found parts! None of this will be visible and the blade may be made to screw in and out but not sure yet. The 2 flanged washers on the tube are a firm fit inside the stainless tube so it will sit firmly. The inner diameter is just smaller than the OD of the blade rod.


    Thoughts/opinions anyone?
  12. Member Since
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    Jul 12, 2012, 12:53 AM - Re: Stunt lightsaber (Luke/Vader ANH) project. Pics added! #12

    i say go with the glass eye blade retention screw route if ur goal is to get it as accurate as the pic like u've mentioned above
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    Jul 12, 2012, 3:54 AM - Re: Stunt lightsaber (Luke/Vader ANH) project. Pics added! #13

    djkibaman said: View Post
    i say go with the glass eye blade retention screw route if ur goal is to get it as accurate as the pic like u've mentioned above
    The blade will be held in either removable or permanent by another means, probably a screw under the clamp so it is hidden, if the blade needs to come out the clamp comes off easilly. More than likely the glass eye will be a standard one. It won't be used for dueling so the blade does not have to be too strong but it will be solid so it isn't damaged if it does get a knock.

    Found that the thread size on the button and eye is identical to that used on key switches and some larger toggle switches so it should make fitting them easy, or relatively so.

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