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  1. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 1:05 AM - Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #1

    There's a thread for Anakin Starkiller's ROTJ V2 lightsabers, but no one started one for Nicksdad's ROTJ "Hero," so I figured I'd do it. I know several people have posted their completed sabers in the Project Run thread, but that doesn't really seem like the best place for them, in my opinion.

    Anyway... here's mine, which I just got around to finishing recently.

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    After breaking it down into its component parts, I de-burred and cleaned up the machining marks with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper, and then went at it with a green Scotchbrite pad followed by #0000 steel wool - I wasn't going for "new and polished"... I'm always more interested in "old and worn." I gave everything a light pass with Easy-Off oven cleaner, just to knock the shine down a bit.

    For the paint I used Krylon flat black (with no primer). I first tried Krylon satin black but it was way too glossy, so I stripped it off with an acetone bath and a chip brush. Strangely the flat black provided a better satin finish. After letting it sit for 24 hours I sanded the paint off the ribs with a 240 grit emery board.

    I finished drilling through the side hole on the emitter nipple and tapped it for an 8-32 set screw. I slightly darkened the interior of the emitter socket with diluted Birchwood Casey aluminum black, applied with a paintbrush.

    I had a friend at work turn a new neck piece for me out of brass (I asked him because he enjoys doing precision metal work - he calls it his "shiny therapy"). I sandblasted it and then rubbed it down with #0000 steel wool. A couple hours of ammonia fuming gave it a nice patina and I rubbed it down again with the steel wool. I had a moment of doubt when reviewing all of the reference pics, so I went ahead and gave the copper neck piece the same treatment. I think it looks pretty good, but I'm gonna stick with the brass replacement - it just looks more "right" to me.

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    For the rails on the control box I first used straight-up Tamiya medium gray paint. After looking at it for a few days I thought it was a bit too light, so I mixed up a darker grey color (which I think might be a bit too dark ). I then finished them off with brass foil tape. After buffing both the brass tape and the circuit card with an ultrafine grit 3M sanding sponge (and wiping them down with alcohol) they got the ammonia fume treatment as well, and then a bit of polishing with steel wool. I then airbrushed the back and the edges of the circuit card with Tamiya clear blue. As a bonus, this provided some slightly extra thickness and therefore friction, so it isn't so loose in the rails now.

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    I darkened the interior of the box a bit with diluted aluminum black, applied with a q-tip. I cobbled together a circuit board from a couple different sources... I'm not sure what they were exactly - perhaps some sort of power control modules - but the miniature lighting guy at work was giving them away, so they were free. I dressed in a couple electronic components from a spare control box that I got from Rylo, which was left over from his Elstree Reveal saber run.

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    I sandblasted the tri-ring and gave it a short soak in Modern Options Sophisticated Finishes Instant Rust solution. The stuff works great (and fast!), but it came out as bright orange rust. So I burned it with a propane torch. Better, but too dark - back into the rust solution. I did this a few more times until I got something that I liked. As a bonus, I got to see a nifty green flame! (since one of the ingredients of the rust solution is copper sulfate)

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    The last step (before reassembly) was to add a small bit of "gunk" in the grooves and crevices. You can see this if you look closely at some of the pics of the original prop. I didn't go crazy, as the original still appears to be pretty clean in all of the photos that I've seen of it. I first tried airbrushing Tamiya flat base into the crevices of the bare aluminum parts - it dried as a chalky, white haze. I then rubbed the parts down with a rag which removed most of it. I left it as-is on the main body and the pommel, but I went back in with an off-white mixture of oil paint thinned with turpenoid on the emitter (applied with a fine paint brush). Then I mixed up a dark grey color for the grooves of the black painted areas on the grip. One final step was some minor scraping-off of bits of black paint here and there.

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    Anyway, there you have it. Feel free to contribute your own.
  2. Mystery Chunk RPF Premium Member PoopaPapaPalps's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 1:31 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #2

    I've never liked the RotJ "Hero" but your work on this is top notch!
  3. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 2:26 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #3

    Thanks!

    Once upon a time I didn't like *any* of the Luke ROTJ sabers. Now I'm at 3, and counting...
  4. Mystery Chunk RPF Premium Member PoopaPapaPalps's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 3:56 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #4

    As long as one of them is the V2, that's all that matters.
  5. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 7:01 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #5

    Excellent ... job well done ... yet as I have seen before being forgotten there should also be copper/brass color underneath of the neck of the emitter piece as can clearly be seen here on the original :





    Cha´m
  6. RPF Premium Member
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    Feb 25, 2017, 8:02 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #6

    Hmmm...I wonder if we can replicate that with a very thin brass shim. That area is so thin that it's virtually two-dimensional, right?

    Sym-Cha said: View Post
    Excellent ... job well done ... yet as I have seen before being forgotten there should also be copper/brass color underneath of the neck of the emitter piece as can clearly be seen here on the original :

    http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/z...ROTJHero06.jpg

    http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/z...eROTJMOM01.jpg

    Cha´m
  7. RPF Premium Member
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    Feb 25, 2017, 8:09 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #7

    Looks excellent! I prefer screen-used vs. present-condition, so I personally won't be doing the rusted tri-ring. Everything else, though is fantastic.

    I didn't see where you mentioned the brass rails. Did you use real brass angle?
    D48thRonin said: View Post
    There's a thread for Anakin Starkiller's ROTJ V2 lightsabers, but no one started one for Nicksdad's ROTJ "Hero," so I figured I'd do it. I know several people have posted their completed sabers in the Project Run thread, but that doesn't really seem like the best place for them, in my opinion.

    Anyway... here's mine, which I just got around to finishing recently.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anyway, there you have it. Feel free to contribute your own.
  8. Jack's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 8:13 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #8

    Now that's a nice looking Hero.

    Thank you also for the tips, I'm sure they will be very usefull when I will finish mine.
  9. halliwax's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 9:28 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #9

    beautiful job!! that came out great!
  10. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2017, 10:32 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #10

    Sym-Cha said: View Post
    Excellent ... job well done ... yet as I have seen before being forgotten there should also be copper/brass color underneath of the neck of the emitter piece as can clearly be seen here on the original
    Oh I didn't forget... I just didn't want to use paint on the neck piece (like the original). I figure if it's made out of a specifically colored metal, use that inherent color. I guess mine is an "idealized" version then.

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    - - - Updated - - -

    Spyhunter2k said: View Post
    I didn't see where you mentioned the brass rails. Did you use real brass angle?
    I was initially going to use K&S brass angle, but I thought it would add too much dimension, so I used brass foil tape.
  11. Pedro's Avatar
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    Feb 28, 2017, 2:13 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #11

    Looks amazing! I love the muted finish you've achieved, and good move on the blue on the circuit board (have been trying to figure out how I'll handle that). Interesting that you ended up with some of the same components from your random bits on the circuit board that I did. Nice!
  12. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Feb 28, 2017, 10:09 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #12

    Thanks!

    Post some pics when you're done
  13. Pedro's Avatar
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    Mar 1, 2017, 5:24 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #13

    Will do! Almost there, I'm debating over whether or not to strip the copper paint I used on the control box and sub for brass tape or paint. I tried some copper tape but it was too red and shiny.
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    Mar 1, 2017, 9:10 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #14

    Actually, the neck and control box rails as they appear today are much more orange than was seen on screen, meaning it's very likely a repaint. If that were the case, there would be no need to add that painted detail to be screen accurate.

    Also the 1/8" brass angle from K and S is available in a very thin size, adds virtually no dimension, and looks great.

    D48thRonin said: View Post
    Oh I didn't forget... I just didn't want to use paint on the neck piece (like the original). I figure if it's made out of a specifically colored metal, use that inherent color. I guess mine is an "idealized" version then.

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    - - - Updated - - -


    I was initially going to use K&S brass angle, but I thought it would add too much dimension, so I used brass foil tape.
  15. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Mar 2, 2017, 2:12 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #15

    Spyhunter2k said: View Post
    Actually, the neck and control box rails as they appear today are much more orange than was seen on screen, meaning it's very likely a repaint. If that were the case, there would be no need to add that painted detail to be screen accurate.
    Well, I've come to believe that the neck was *always* painted. Saying that any perceived color differences are the result of a repaint is purely speculation. Hell, if you watch the deleted "cave" scene, the color appears to change within the scene itself - it's crazy.
  16. RPF Premium Member
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    Mar 2, 2017, 9:13 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #16

    The neck was likely painted from the beginning, true. You can see missing brass/yellow neck paint in some of the on-set pics of the saber while at Yuma. In the ISYHCANL scene the rails are the same color brass/yellow as the neck was in Yuma, and it stands to reason if the Yuma stunt was cleaned to be used as the hero then they would have likely just re-applied a fresh coat of the brass/yellow paint on the neck.

    In the cave scene, the neck when in partial shadow could be taken for copper, but when the light hits it, that orange-ness goes away. With more light, it looks brass. It stands to reason the more accurate color is the one seen in better light.

    No pics of the Yuma or hero from the time show the orangey/24k gold color currently seen on the hero.

    It's speculation either way--to conclude that the current color is the result of a repaint, or to conclude that it is not. We know the SS/V3 was repainted after production. In the end, I personally think the brass you chose is spot-on. Of course, opinions will vary.

    D48thRonin said: View Post
    Well, I've come to believe that the neck was *always* painted. Saying that any perceived color differences are the result of a repaint is purely speculation. Hell, if you watch the deleted "cave" scene, the color appears to change within the scene itself - it's crazy.
  17. Mance Vader RPF Premium Member MCM's Avatar
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    Mar 2, 2017, 11:05 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #17

    To my eyes, it looks like the brass paint got dirty and grubby from handling. I feel like that would adequately explain the color difference, although it's not outside the realm of possibility that it was repainted.

    Sent from my SM-J700P using Tapatalk
  18. kevin926's Avatar
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    Mar 2, 2017, 3:09 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #18

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    Here's mine. Based off the photos Cha´m shared
  19. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Mar 2, 2017, 10:08 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #19

    MCM said: View Post
    To my eyes, it looks like the brass paint got dirty and grubby from handling.
    Spyhunter2k said: View Post
    In the cave scene, the neck when in partial shadow could be taken for copper, but when the light hits it, that orange-ness goes away. With more light, it looks brass. It stands to reason the more accurate color is the one seen in better light.
    I agree on both counts. I also believe that this is all the same (dirty) color... and I don't believe that it was ever repainted:

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    I think it's the same effect as seen in the cave scene - the color looks different depending upon how much light is hitting it. These pics were all taken under different lighting conditions which is why the color looks so different.

    So who here has actually seen it in person? I've never had the opportunity, and I would need to see it with my own eyes to make the color determination for myself.
  20. RPF Premium Member Kylash's Avatar
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    Mar 3, 2017, 5:00 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #20

    Did you have to take the tri-ring off to do the rust solution? If so, did none break off when you had to bend it again to get it back on?

    Here's mine so far, maybe a few tweaks left. Last thing I did was glue on the aged brass rails. Still want to blue-up the card, and maybe weather the neck some, right now its just painted with Antique Gold.

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  21. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Mar 3, 2017, 9:38 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #21

    Kylash said: View Post
    Did you have to take the tri-ring off to do the rust solution? If so, did none break off when you had to bend it again to get it back on?
    Yeah, I removed the ring. Nothing came off since it's such a super-thin layer of oxidation. I did wrap a couple layers of masking tape around the jaws of the pliers that I used because I was worried that I would mar the surface. When I was blasting it with the torch I also went ahead and annealed a good portion of the end point, to make it a bit easier to bend back when I re-installed it (it was still a bit of a challenge though).
  22. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Mar 3, 2017, 11:29 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #22

    D48thRonin said: View Post
    I agree on both counts. I also believe that this is all the same (dirty) color... and I don't believe that it was ever repainted:

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    I think it's the same effect as seen in the cave scene - the color looks different depending upon how much light is hitting it. These pics were all taken under different lighting conditions which is why the color looks so different.

    So who here has actually seen it in person? I've never had the opportunity, and I would need to see it with my own eyes to make the color determination for myself.
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  23. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2017, 11:23 AM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #23

    thd9791 said: View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And your point is...?
  24. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2017, 5:58 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #24

    D48thRonin said: View Post
    And your point is...?
    In Photo #1 you can see the Tri-ring is on the saber during the duel, and it's dark
    possibly rusted already.

    The second photo shows some original paint on the neck, and it looks quite dark as well.
  25. RPF Premium Member D48thRonin's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2017, 8:01 PM - Re: Nicksdad ROTJ "Hero" lightsaber show-off thread #25

    Yeah, but that's not the hero... not *yet,* anyway (if we're to believe the speculation that *that* particular saber was converted into the hero).

    The tri-ring looks bright and rust-free here:

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    I wasn't saying that I don't believe it was re-painted *during production* - that would have happened when they created the hero. The saber that you posted pics of has paint missing on the neck piece - the hero doesn't.

    I'm saying that I don't believe the hero has been re-painted between here:

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    and the time that it started showing up in public exhibits (1993 - 1997):

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    And I don't believe that it has been repainted between that time and the present. But as I said, I haven't seen it in person, so I can't say for certain - it's just what I personally believe.

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