So, I wanted to share progress of new saber build I've been working on...
The aim was to get back into saber building and make a reasonably straightforward companion piece to a more complex, challenging saber I started but didn't finish some time ago ('Stonecutter' - think I'll be ready to pick back up on the reveal/interior build for that when this is done - and also need to update that thread with a little progress I did make since then and edit with some viewable images as Photobucket can do one since they inconveniently decided hold millions of shared images on forums to ransom... bah! :mad:).
I wanted to get back some confidence, momentum and joy in the process of making stuff, so I set myself a goal to complete it within a month, not stall with getting precious about it or making it too complicated.
I'm still aiming for that (started 3 weeks ago), but since decided to make it a neopixel install, so giving myself a little leeway there if needed, but sticking to the deadline for the finished empty.
Anyways, it takes some cues from the Stonecutter build with the leather and brass and also was a bit inspired by Anakin's AOTC saber.
I'd originally thought of it as a shoto/offhand 2nd saber that would be heavily weathered, but seems more apt as a padawan/apprentice saber with the clean and shiny direction it's taken.
Will share more when empty's finished and again when install is done. Hope you like it so far, good and bad constructive feedback welcome. cheers!
A glam-ish snapshot of current progress parts together...
That's a really good looking saber! I really like those brass inlays in the emitter which themselves have inlays. That's some intricate work that you normally don't see on the outside of a saber. All of the pieces look very well made. I could learn a lot by watching this build.
Cheers guys. It's turned out nicer than I expected so far. I think most challenging bit left is getting sound vents done in the pommel that don't detract (too much) from it and without hitches. Thinking to do concentric circular slots with breaks to keep it together as one piece at 12/4/8 o'clock. The rest is tidying up and small, separate parts like brass aux button/switch cap and blade retention screw that fits in with the look/feel, and making sure the parts are robustly put together with minimal addition of any visible screws/fixings and so it can be disassembled without too much agro if needed. Then getting to grips with a basic, robust chassis and the install/electronics.
Made some progress ...and had a couple of setbacks.
I borfed up the pommel - somehow I manged to miss something and the sound vents weren't quite lined up with the pommel cubes and you could see it, which was a bit gutting. I decided to make one big hole and an insert with sound holes, which probably looks a bit better in the end as it adds a bit of brass accent at the pommel in line with the look of the rest of the saber, so something good from it.
I also made an aux switch 'hat' and blade retention screw.
I still need to fine sand, buff and polish all the parts so they're proper smooth, make a nice kill key, blade plug and covertec, add a couple of discrete tapped holes and set screw and assemble all the parts, which are loose and mocked up for pics at the mo.
Unfortunately, I also injured my hand just before this weekend (not saber related), which I had free to finish things up, so staying away from manual work while the stitches do their thing. Still itching to work on it as it's so close to done and I'd set my deadline for end of July, but better to be sensible, of course...
Anyways, a few update pics of the new aux switch, blade retention screw and the pommel after botching and fixing:
It reminds me of a less-brassy version of RO's kestrel. I really like how this is shaping up.
Cheers - and well spotted! Kestrel remains one of my all time favourite sabers and probably my favourite TOR-style saber, so chuffed that it reflects it in some respects (and hopefully holds its own as its own thing, too). It's a shame that Balázs Ott, who made Kestrel for/with Roland, didn't get into making more sabers, but much respect and appreciation for bringing that one. As well as inheriting inspirations from its predecessor, including Kestrel, the Anakin AOTC was a big influence on this. Main things in my mind were shorter and slimmer and based on a mid-band design from the original camera flash sabers, with recognisable design cues from that saber like the narrow leather wrap, brass accents and 12/4/8 o'clock flattening and soft curves of the 'fatter' parts, with some straight/angular parts in contrast to these. It drew on the Anakin AOTC as the go-to example of a really nice small, mid-band saber design, esp the channels/slots in the AOTC, which ended up also reflecting the Kestrel with the brass and turned rods set into them. Although Kestrel was more of conscious influence on its (still to be finished) predecessor, I totally see how it's more evident in this one.
I really like this saber. It has those familiar elements, yet really stands on it's own as an original design.
Is this gonna be for sale? If so, I want 1st dibs.
Thanks DX! That's what I aimed for. It will be going up for sale at some point when finished and installed (it'll be Prizm 5.1 with neopixel blade) - I'll post in TRA and elsewhere and give you a heads up when the time comes. As it'll be my only installed and working saber, I may well hold onto it and enjoy for a bit until I have another finished/working saber, so might be a couple of months-ish, but possibly sooner. I'm considering making a V2 of this that's a tad shorter and slimmer some way down the line to keep for myself, which makes it a bit easier to let it go lol. This is 10" and main body is 1 1/4" - I think it'd be doable to make an iteration with 1 1/8" body and knock an inch off of the length and it still be robust and fit everything in it.
I'd go 2nd on dibs for one of these. I think the Kestrel is my favorite that came out of RO's shop. I also have some vintage camera greeblies that would go nicely with a hilt like this. the heiland snub emitter and button strip really evokes the AOTC look for me, and the mini-ears are great graflex hybrids.
When I got up to 12 sabers that are "keepers" and think that that would be enough, but then I see hilts like this, and Darth Chasm's run, and just need to get on board. I'd love to see a family of TOR styled sabers come out from you.
Thanks sandpeople - much appreciated words and encouragement, glad you like 'em and flattered that they're mentioned alongside Darth Chasm's work, as his sabers are awesome and inspirational. I've promised myself to dedicate more ongoing time to this and get a bit more up to speed, as I really enjoy it and find it satisfying. If I'm able to make and sell sabers as an ongoing thing and as a viable part of what I do with my time and effort and that's supported and appreciated and enjoyed by other folks, it'd make me very happy indeed
Minor update, as things have slowed down a bit - been playing with Prizm 5.1 and remembering that install is quite a challenge when you've not done it for ages. Also a job to get good diffusion solution without having MR foam diffusers to hand. And realised I want to have a couple of tweaks to the main hilt to make it more user friendly - discreet RICE port in bottom of mid-band, a less fiddly blade retention screrw that doesn't detract from the look (original look great, but too small diameter on the knurled bit to tighten it down easily). And making sure the chassis is robust and the whole thing strips down and slides out easily for future mods/upgrades. And getting the speaker to fit. Etc, etc, etc - a lot of 'small jobs' that turned out to be quite time consuming... :grin:
Anyways, I make a short vid of initial test wiring up with Prizm 5.1 weekend before last - it's a very pleasing little board, especially liking the blaster blocking effect!
I used a trans white tube in vid, but have decided against it as, in person, it really does desaturate the colours too much for my liking, although it does help quite a bit with the diffusion. I since have a thick walled clear blade, outside sanded lengthways, with white diffuser tube and a medical kinda white foam tube that I had to cut and reglue (19mm OD, 6mm ID) around the slim back-to-back LED strips. Fortunately the seam I reglued doesn't seem to show up when it's actually in the blade. Best solution with what I have available, but really hope I or someone can find an accessible source of MR/Hasbro-like foam tubes soon. I have been in contact with Makoto, but a bit of misunderstandings with language and so that's still in progress.
Anyway, here's a vid of stuff initially wired up. This is with the PRizm 5.1's default settings.
Been on the back burner here, but wanted to update - I've slowed down and limped along a bit with other life stuff-of-life and been finding the install itself to be more challenging than anticipated. I realised it was about three years ago that I last installed stuff in a saber, so just something to do more of to get up to speed with, I guess. I will be glad when the pogo pin PCB connectors for neopixels and foam diffusers are readily available, soon - they'll make life easier for sure.
It IS close, but still some bits to finish up. Chassis is fugly but functional and made so it can slide out with a couple of parts unscrewed and micro JST connectors unplugged.
I've also added a 'turquoise eye' retention screw, as the original one was too small and fiddly to tighten easily with fingers and thumb and too close to the end of the blade to hold it really securely. And added a decorative turquoise 'button' to what originally was the retention screw on top. It reflects the other hilt I've been working on and - I think - goes well with the silver/brass/leather aesthetic. Both were sloooooow to file/grind/polish by hand - I bought them as hemispherical 'cabochons' - and I recommend Cavers Wall Minerals (if in UK) if you want to grab some semi-precious stones for this type of thing, they seem significantly cheaper than eBay or elsewhere.
jaltrooper: Hey guys! Dumb question...but are there any t-shirts available, or any other swag I can buy to support the Page?
Sept 23, 2017 8:52:58 GMT -5
ARKM: We have challenge coins. Contact Luke Skywalker if you want one.
Sept 23, 2017 13:50:47 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: We never did any swag. There's never enough interest to even break even. My sponsor coin run was a huge success and helped us pay the bills well into 2018 and even gave us the money to fund a couple of one time costs we incurred this year.
Sept 23, 2017 16:23:33 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: As for shirts. I really need to get one for me as well. I've been wanting one with our new logo since we changed over. My desire has always been that this is a site for the members. I consider you all my friends and have no desire to make a profit from
Sept 23, 2017 16:24:51 GMT -5
ARKM: Luke Skywalker, hit me up if you want the image I used for the front of my shirt.
Sept 23, 2017 16:25:38 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: Site. I never intend to charge selling fees. The coin drive was a much better way to go imho. As for our logo, name and copywriter and TM's go. I have no issue with anyone wanting to use them. I ask two things. Please let me know prior. If it's crude
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Luke Skywalker: and vulgar and casts us in a bad light I simply won't approve it. The other thing I think would be nice is that if our name is used on things like t-shirts that you do make a small donation to help support the site.
Sept 23, 2017 16:27:29 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: My recommendation, and the place I will definitely go when I want to have a shirt done is TRA member defcon. Al's work is outstanding. Al is the Solo's Hold of saber bags and other fabric items. I've had him make me a couple of shirts and several
Sept 23, 2017 16:29:06 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: saber bags. His merchandise is perfection.
Sept 23, 2017 16:29:32 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: I think I'm down to about 8 coins.
Sept 23, 2017 16:30:26 GMT -5
Luke Skywalker: ARKM what image did you use? Was it the one with SVD's glowing eyes? I'm really curious to see how our logo looks on a shirt. Defcon would certainly need to use the flattened simpler version. For a detailed logo I think you'd need it silk screened.
Sept 23, 2017 16:32:23 GMT -5