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  1. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 12:21 PM - Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #1

    In all the years I've been researching T-tracks, purchasing real vintage and replicas in plastic and
    metal, withholding the urge to finish my vintage G R A F L E X for Luke ANH as well as my vintage
    MPP with any of them ... I still was in for quite a discovery on the last day of 2015. As always when
    you're not searching consiously you just happen to stumble on an interesting auction. In this case
    one with real black plastic vintage T-tracks coming from cupboards residing in the United Kingdom.

    Now before I jump to those pictures I'd like to take this opportunity to show you all the kinds of
    T-tracks with their profiles I have gathered over the years in no particular order :

    Rubbery T-tracks possibly from TFX Australia (?) :



    Rubber T-tracks by Blast-Tech :



    Metal T-tracks by King of Parts from Canada/USA (?) :



    Hard rubber T-tracks maker unknown from USA (?) :



    Hard plastic black T-tracks by GINO from USA :



    Hard plastic black T-tracks by Roy from Netherlands :



    Folded metal vintage T-tracks from cupboards in Australia :



    Hard brown plastic found vintage T-tracks from Saberfreak :



    And eventhough I had no intention to bid on the auction,mainly because I had no use for all the
    other ESB parts mostly coming from Roy's shop so I did contact the seller with a huge request in
    regards to the backstory of his find. After some lovely PM's and emails ... it became clear that the
    seller, who's also a member here, had an extra set of 7 grips . . . long story short . . . we swaped
    parts and greeblies . . . and I became the lucky chap with my hands on real vintage black plastic
    T-tracks. So without further delay . . . here's my recent lucky discovery and very huge revelation.

    Hard black plastic vintage T-tracks from cupboards in United Kingdom :



    Now what's so unique about these T-tracks?

    Ever since it was suggested on www.partsofsw.com that the black grips used for lightsabers in
    ANH/ESB although their exact identity of the grip material had yet to be determined revelations
    suggested the hard black plastic T-track might come from old cupboards with sliding doors . . .
    sofar the best looking profile in black plastic had not been found and revealed . . . until now. On
    the left GINO's replica . . . center Vintage T-tracks . . . and Roy's replica on the right :



    T-tracks in profile :



    Here again with Saberfreak's vintage brown plastic next to the vintage black plastic T-tracks :



    Notice how there's no glue-channel in either of the vintage parts . . . and one side, left from the
    center rib, is a bit thinner towards the edge :



    Question : Do I claim these recently found black plastic vintage T-tracks to be the exact same parts used in the
    making of the lightsabergrips for the movies?

    Answer : No. While the profile looks okay ... the size is 11.5 mm for the bottom and the height 6.5 mm for the
    center rib. And eventhough we know the same kind of T-tracks may have been used for the E-11 stormtrooper
    blasters . . . after some inquiry I learned the hole sizes are 11 mm in real vintage E-11 guns, so it looks like the
    T-tracks should be a bit wider than 11.5 mm im size, however I suppose that's an entirely different discussion :


    (Picture Courtesy JKNO)

    So are these vintage T-tracks coming from cupboards in the UK the closest thats we've ever come in regards to
    material hard black plastic and profile? ... most certainly. Am I happy enough to put these on one of my vintage
    flashguns? Absolutely

    Chaim
    Last edited by Sym-Cha; Sep 21, 2017 at 4:27 PM.
  2. halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 12:38 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #2

    very cool write up Chaim!! never saw the tracks on the gun bend like they before, very interesting


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. swgeek's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 1:24 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #3

    Nice find! So when are you starting a for sale thread?
  4. RPF Premium Member roygilsing's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 2:01 PM - Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #4

    Nice research thread, Chaim, and nice collection. The measurements are slightly off, but it's cool to see! It makes the suggestion that it's a cupboard track more realistic.
  5. OBI WAN KEN0B1's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 2:06 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #5

    Very nice write up indeed. I like the comparisons of each different type and the pictures are awesome for beginner saber builders. You are the man.

    PEACE OBI
  6. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 2:14 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #6

    swgeek said: View Post
    Nice find! So when are you starting a for sale thread?
    Alas these were a one off set of vintage T-tracks ... GINO's and Roy's are perfect replicas if you need some for your saber builds

    Chaim
  7. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 2:49 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #7

    Very cool find Chaim! Congrats and thanks for the write up, were that much closer!
  8. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 3:19 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #8

    Chaim, have you ever held Todds track? I'd like to see how it compares to the real deals we have here
  9. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 4:24 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #9

    Nope Tom, ... I can't say I have ... have you got some? Though I'll check his website now but probably won't order ... I've got plenty to fulfill my needs

    Chaim
  10. RPF Premium Member Panaflex's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 4:36 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #10

    Cool post with great documentation.
  11. halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 5:52 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #11

    thd9791 said: View Post
    Chaim, have you ever held Todds track? I'd like to see how it compares to the real deals we have here
    this is off topic, but man tom you look so different with ur avatar change! I'm still not use to it lol


    chaim, i really love the attention to detail you always strive for. for as long as I've been around you have been admit about the cupboard. your research has really paid off. with your hard work, and dedication i truly believe you will go down in history as the one to discover the original T tracks! keep up the great work buddy!
  12. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 6:16 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #12

    thd9791 said: View Post
    Chaim, have you ever held Todds track? I'd like to see how it compares to the real deals we have here
    Well according to Todd's Costumes own words and research and I quote : "One thing I noticed is that the end profile, when visible, is clearly asymmetrical. To be sure that I was correct, I compared photos of this track used on lightsabers, and blasters used by Boba Fett and storm troopers. I saw the same asymmetry enough times to confirm it. I incorporated this into my design. It's a small detail you will likely miss unless you are looking for it."



    I don't really see what he means ... I never noticed that asymmetry ... would love to see his research pictures ... but it clearly sets his T-tracks apart from other vendors

    Chaim
    Last edited by Sym-Cha; Sep 21, 2017 at 4:29 PM.
  13. Mystery Chunk RPF Premium Member PoopaPapaPalps's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 6:20 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #13

    He means on the left side ridge, where the flat "T" half/wing meets the protrusion; it's a lot steeper than the one on the right, so he says and so he sees. His also sports a shorter right wing/side/whatever terminology is used.

    I posted this in another thread but they're good options for T-tracks, if whoever's in the market for them. They're the cheapest I've come across. But, personal preference-wise, I prefer Roy's. His are just a shade darker than Todd's and his feel a lot more robust and sturdy to hold.
  14. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 6:24 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #14

    Thanks ... I can see what he did with his own T-tracks ... I meant I don't see what he means in regards to the original vintage T-tracks used (see E-11 blaster above) and in other research pictures, hence my curiosity to see his research photographs

    Chaim
  15. RPF Premium Member Scott D's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 6:24 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #15

    We've come a long way from thinking that they were windshield wiper blades.
  16. halliwax's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 6:29 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #16

    do you all believe these T tracks are soft rubber? or did they heat the plastic to make this turn?
  17. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 6:32 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #17

    To me it looks like they added heat to hard plastic T-tracks ... however I have evidence that apart from some E-11 having real vintage T-tracks ... Bapty also made their own aluminium T-tracks for the many blasters needed as props on set by stormtroopers




    (Pictures Courtesy JKNO)

    Chaim
    Last edited by Sym-Cha; Sep 21, 2017 at 4:30 PM.
  18. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 8:07 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #18

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FettTrack2.jpg 
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ID:	576948
    This may help. I don't remember where this came from, but it's the ROTJ fett blaster. The ROTJ vader saber his different T track from all the rest, most likely resinc ast give the white "chip" on the side of a grip.
  19. RPF Premium Member newmagrathea's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2016, 9:23 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #19

    Here are some comparison shots of Todd's and Roy's t-tracks that I took a while back.

    Todd's on the left, Roy on the right.



    Roy on top, Todd on bottom.
  20. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2016, 2:51 AM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #20

    My god they're both beautiful!
  21. jkno's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2016, 3:36 AM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #21

    Very cool find Chaim. Wish we could find the real t-tracks some day
  22. RPF Premium Member scottjua's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2016, 4:38 AM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #22

    I think Todd is right though... I've seen exactly what he's talking about and you can even see it on the Vader MPP from the casino.

    In any case, Roger Christanson in the Reddit thing recently said they were DRAFT EXCLUDERS from cars... not cupboard Tracks.

    So who knows...
  23. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2016, 7:08 AM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #23

    Indeed. So ... since I don't like to debate such minute details without proper pictures ... here's what I've found in my files about the Vader MPP previously from the Casino T-tracks, currently in private collection, now highlighted :









    And here are some more close-ups of the grips on the Darth Vader ROTJ G R A F L E X T-tracks also highlighted :







    Now keep in mind these are minute details we're trying to detect on pictures sometimes taken under poor quality lighting conditions
    ... having seen Todd's profile and read his research I can see how he came up to the conclusion of a-symmetry now ... whether it is fact
    ... still remains to be seen until we get a good close-ups of the T-tracks on that MPP bottom or the ROTJ G R A F L E X ... in the quality as
    I took of all the profiles seen above.

    That said these are just T-tracks based on one movie prop seen in ESB and ROTJ ... with 6 T-tracks. In ANH Vader had 7 ... so it's possible
    he lost one on the way and these are still the same original T-tracks from 1976 . . . however likely . . . it's also my gut feeling that over the
    years during the production of the OT T-tracks may have come from different sources. As for the comments made by Roger Christian . . .
    I'd love to see the evidence ... he's made several contradicting arguments over the years in regards of the T-strips, as he calls them, and I
    don't blame him for not being able to pin-point the exact source anymore, because he had far more on his plate back in 1976 to deal with
    than just grips on lightsabers and was glad he found something that worked. So eventhough I found something close . . . the quest to find
    the source of vintage T-tracks still remains and the truth is out there.

    Chaim
    Last edited by Sym-Cha; Sep 21, 2017 at 4:32 PM.
  24. RPF Premium Member scottjua's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2016, 10:19 AM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #24

    Oh I agree. I was only pointing to Rogers statement to highlight the contradictions over the years.

    We'll only know for sure when they're found and matched.
  25. Probe Droid's Avatar
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    Jan 13, 2016, 5:11 PM - Re: Are these the vintage T-tracks we've been looking for? #25

    C,
    So what are these U-shaped thingies screwed onto the barrel? I've seen them on blasters at a few different exhibits. Any ideas, anyone?

    Name:  Star Wars Blaster Props 5.jpg
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    Name:  Disney Trooper Blaster.JPG
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