Lightsaber Build

Well, I built my first lightsaber today. I decided to do my first one using a Dominix V3 hilt from Ultra Sabers. This hilt wasn’t very expensive, less so than ordering parts and putting one together. Since I had a lot of other stuff to buy that I won’t have to buy next time, (soldering iron, solder, etc.) I figured to keep costs down on the saber itself. Now, just to be clear, this isn’t a money saving way to go, as opposed to buying the saber itself from Ultra Sabers. Complete with blade, this saber is $69.99 USD. I paid probably a bit more than that for all my parts and didn’t get a blade. Plus, I ordered electronics from another site, so I had to pay for shipping there as well. This is more of a challenge thing than a money saver. Truth be told, you can’t build a saber of this quality for less than Ultra Sabers charges for them.

Anyway, this is what I started out with:

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I have my hilt, LED, thermal tape, optic holder, optic, switch, heatsink, resistor and battery holder.

And, of course, I also had wire, heat shrink tubing, soldering iron, solder, heat gun, safety glasses, wire snips, tweezers, helping hands (soldering tool) and electrical tape.  I wasn’t going to use the tape, but I accidentally ordered the wrong size of heat shrink tubing and I can’t find small enough locally.  I didn’t want to pay for more shipping, so I just went with electrical tape.

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Lightsabers

I mentioned the lightsabers I own in my previous post.  Since I mentioned them, I figure it’s only fair to show them.  These are my seven Ultra Sabers stunt sabers:

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Left to right: Initiate LE V4, Sentinel V4, Aeon V2, Aeon V2, Aeon LE V4, Aeon V3, Dark Sentinel V4

All of them are stunt sabers, meaning they have no sound.  But, I can pretty easily upgrade all of them, except the two Aeon V2s.  Those are thinner, so putting sound in one of them would be problematic. While these are “plain” hilts, the upgrade possibilities are nearly endless. Also, if one were to try learning lightsaber combat and/or spinning, any of these hilts would be ideal.

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Changing Times

Some of you may have noticed, the blog got a new title.  Well, there are a few reasons for this.

As I’m sure many people of noticed, my more recent posts have nothing to do with CGI.  Now, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to do CGI anymore, this just means my hobby focuses are shifting.  One thing that’s great about CGI is that it’s cheap, compared to many other hobbies.  Many hobbies require a constant inflow of currency, money spent to buy materials.  CGI is one of the exceptions.  With free software being what it is these days, you can literally start with no more out of pocket expense than a decent(ish) computer.  Of course, what you will be able to do with said computer depends on how much money you put into it.  However, even a budget laptop can be used to create models, if little else.  I believe I’ve touched on this before, but I was unemployed for quite some time.  While I was struggling to find work with an economic recession and faulty criminal background checks working against me, (common name) CGI was there for me.  With an OK computer and cheap or free software, the sky was the limit.  All it takes to make CGI models and do images, animations, etc. is time and patience, of which I had plenty.

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Beyond

A few months back, I went and saw Star Trek Beyond in the theater and really enjoyed it.  In my opinion, it’s the best movie in the Nu Trek series.  Since then, I’ve been patiently waiting for the Blu-Ray release.  I’d had the Amazon gift set of the film pre-ordered because I wanted the model of the Franklin it came with, even though I don’t need a 4K or a 3D copy of the film.  Well, I cancelled that the other day and decided to just buy the movie at work.  I’m sure glad I did, because I like the Walmart gift set much better:

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Standard Blu-Ray, (works great for me) a DVD I’ll give to my Dad, a digital copy I’ll never use and three little ship models.  All for around half the price of the Amazon gift set.  The models are OK, they’re about Micro Machines size and quality.  Though, from one of the reviews I read on Amazon, their model isn’t any better.  (I guess someone paid for some ultra fast shipping, which can be done)  Anyway, I’m glad I got this set, it has the discs I want, three models and I got it a lot quicker.  Here’s a couple quick snaps of the models:

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Sorry for the kind of blurry pics, best I can do.  I did do a little enhancement in GIMP to make them a bit better.  Also, ignore the stuff behind them, my desk is my catch-all. 😉

New Belt

I couldn’t take the cheap belt that came with my costume, so I ordered a better one. Not only was the one that came with the costume cheaper, but it also didn’t fit me so well. This one does. It came with the belt, which is a thicker, higher quality pleather than the one that came with the costume, three plastic pouches made to look like the ones from the films and eight of the little food capsules. All of that for $60. That’s not bad, considering that the belt and pouches are almost $40 individually and the food capsules are $20. One of the food capsules has a crack in it (the one not attached to the belt) but such is life. I’ll probably just leave it off, as I like that asymmetrical look anyway. One interesting thing is that the tops unscrew from the food capsules. Also, the pouches are held closed by magnets and a couple of the magnets in the medium sized pouch came out of their slots, but some super glue should take care of that. Also, this belt got to me from Singapore quite quickly. Seven days before Halloween, and two days before the low end of the estimate. Overall, I’m very happy.

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The Covertec clip didn’t come with it, that’s one I got from Ultra Sabers.

Looking forward

Halloween is going to rock this year.  UPS delivered my costume last night.  It only took a few days to get here from Shanghai, China, which isn’t bad at all.  That extra money I paid for shipping was worth it.  The boots came from a more local place.  Anywho, I won’t wear the cloak at work, and the belt is kinda crappy, but the rest ain’t bad.  I’m on the fence about wearing these pants or some khakis, but I’ll decide that as the date gets closer and I see the weather forecast.

The outer tunic, tabards (long strips over the shoulders) and obi (long strip around waist) are all 100% linen and really nice.  The inner tunic is shirt weight cotton, good for not over heating.  The cloak and pants are polyester.  All told, not bad for $90. (Amazon)

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Sorry for the bathroom pics, I needed a full length mirror. 😉

The saber is from UltraSabers and the fact that it makes the belt sag that much speaks to the quality (and heaviness) of the saber, and the crappy quality of the belt.  I’ll order a new belt after Halloween.  Meanwhile, I’ll probably just pick up a brown leather belt at work that will work for the day.  I can use it afterward to keep may pants up. 😉

What’s this now?

$50?  Shut up and take my money!

 

I was at Walmart last night perusing the movies after my shift and I found this wonderful item for only $50.  I had to buy it.  Plus, I used my employee discount and got $5 off, so it was actually less than $50 with tax.  I’m stoked, because I didn’t have this series on Blu-Ray.

Apparently, they’re the same discs previously released by CBS, which some people whined about on Amazon.  However, for those of us who don’t/didn’t already have those, it’s wonderful.  It’s not very expensive either.  For 20 Blu-Rays, that’s only $2.50 per disc.  I personally like this style of case better than the old DVD ones they did with the big cardboard and plastic things that folded out.  So, it’s a win-win for me.

Unfortunately, while I was on the way home from work, (on the bus) I read that talented actor Anton Yelchin, who played Checkov in the newer movies, passed away in a freak accident at his home.  That’s truly sad, as he was a good actor and I thought he did a great job of playing the role of Chekov, and I also liked him in other things I saw him in.  He was only 27 years old.  So, while there was some joy in my day, there was also a moment of sadness when I read this tragic news.  (please, respect the man and no comments on not liking the newer ST films)

May the Fourth Be With You

Well, I hope everyone is having a happy Star Wars day. I certainly am, mainly because of what I got yesterday. No, this isn’t a 3D model.

That is my new lightsaber, ordered from Ultra Sabers.  I’ve been wanting one of these for ages, so I finally got one.  The hilt is all aluminum and has some nice weight to it.  The blade is thick walled polycarbonate, because I got a heavy blade, one you can duel with.

Now, I didn’t pick the hilt design or the blade color, because I ordered what they call their Grab Bag.  That’s where they send you a random hilt, something they have already made.  The hilt is an Initiate V4 LE hilt, and it has a silver AV switch.  Together with the blade, this setup would be $104.99, but I paid only $70 for it because I got it in the Grab Bag.  Plus, the Grab Bag has another fun element to it in that you don’t know what you’re getting, so it’s like buying yourself a surprise.  Oh, and the blade is blazing red, it just looks yellow-orange on my camera.  My phone made it look pink, so I went with my Nikon Coolpix for taking the pictures.  I could have picked the blade color, but I just let them decide.  Red wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I don’t hate it.  It’s too hard to hate something this badass.  Besides, I knew red was a possibility when I ordered the saber.  They have 8 different LED colors and you can get any of them in the Grab Bag.  Or, you can choose another color for $5 or $10 more.

I would like a longer hilt, so I may have to get another one soon and choose the hilt this time.  Plus, they’re having a sale right now.  Though, I’m also planning to buy a longer pommel for this one.  The pommel unscrews easily to access the batteries, and to change it if you want to.

Anyway, I’m really pleased with my first Ultra Sabers purchase.  I’ll definitely be a repeat customer.  I also like their forum, it’s full of other saber nuts, many of whom are friendly and helpful towards people looking for that first saber purchase.  US is much cheaper than most custom lightsaber shops.  Plus, their turnaround is quick.  Since I decided to not wait until payday, which is tomorrow, I ordered my Grab Bag last Thursday.  It was shipped Friday and I got it yesterday.  I paid for 2 day shipping because it was only a few dollars more and because I wanted it faster. 😀

So, May the Force Be With You all.  It’s certainly with me.

 

Seven Years Later

Well, apparently, I started this blog seven years ago, according to WordPress. I know It’s been a bit lean of late, and I apologize for that. Work has kept me busy, but I’ve been feeling the modeling bug biting me again recently. Plus, I may have something non 3D to show in the next couple days, possibly tomorrow if the FedEx driver delivers it. 😀

Unused Rubbish

Since the project is officially dead, I see no point in not posting this now.  (a few people are trying to save it, but with no money)  Anyway, this is a series of effects shots I did for the Star Trek Equinox teaser, before they hired Gabe Koerner to do them.  Though, in order to save time, Gabe used my breakup of the Klingon ship in his version, so I technically still helped with the final effects shots (besides building the ships.)  Anyway, these were my versions.  There are four sequences, as called for in the script:

Equinox Effects Comp 01 from evil_genius_180 on Vimeo.

Anyway, this is all stuff I taught myself to do specifically for that project.