So, when you start a serious saber hobby, obviously you need to keep it fresh. Or, at least that’s the excuse I use to keep buying this stuff. 😛
So, I ordered an Archon 2.1 hilt from Ultrasabers recently. It’s a really nice Luke Skyalker/Ben Kenobi inspired saber. I’m doing some mods to it, like adding a Graflex clamp to it to make it look more like the ones from the movies:
Anyway, that’s a work in progress.
So, I ordered that saber unassembled. When you do that, Ultrasabers sends you the stuff in a box. I got all the parts for a stunt, but I wanted a saber with sound. So, later, I ordered a Nano Biscotte V4 from The custom Saber shop, intent on building the Archon with that setup. Then they went and released a new Nano setup, with a power extender (for RGB installs) and a battery/speaker holder installed. So, I switched tracks to wanting that for the Archon. That left me with some parts laying around. I had hilts already, so I built two sabers:
Those were both a lot of fun to do, even with the issues I had with the Xiphos. (it happens) To me, this stuff is more fun right now than CGI. It’s hands on and I’m left with some cool stuff to play with when I’m done. Without a 3D printer, there’s nothing physical to be had from CGI. Plus, I took an electrical course in high school in 1994, I might as well put some of the skills from that floating credit to good use. 😉
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… stunt saber!
So, this is a saber company I’ve been wanting to try and finally did. Future Sabers.
And, now that I have one, I’m glad I did. Of course, now the have the all black one in stock. When I ordered, they only had the all silver and silver and black. But, that’s OK. Anyway, it’s a really nice saber. But, I’ll let the video do the talking:
I forgot about these until someone on a forum mentioned action figures.
Back in 1999, I decided I was going to get all of the Episode I action figures. Don’t ask why, I just did. Anyway, I’ve had all of these in a box for ages, so I decided to take it all out and snap some photos.
That’s quite a group, I almost didn’t fit them all on the dresser. 😉
I was going to do a long post for this, but my heart just isn’t in it. I’m amazed I even put this thing together yesterday, considering that I wasn’t really in the mood. However, I’m not one to waste resources, and I finally got all of the parts for this, so here it is:
Just a quick rundown on what I did: As I said in the video, the saber was a grab bag Dark Sentinel from Ultra Sabers. The soundboard is a Pico Crumble (Light Side version) from Plecter Labs. I’ve wanted to build a saber with one of those since they released it. The wiring on it was even trickier than I thought, mostly because I haven’t actually soldered to a printed circuit board since the mid 1990s and this thing is TINY. But, I got it all soldered and I’m actually amazed that it works. The switch is, unfortunately, bad, so I’m going to need to replace that. But, that happens with electronics. I used the same kind of connectors on my Consular, so I just tried the switches in opposite hilts. The Consular switch worked great in the Sentinel, while the Sentinel switch had the same kind of issues in the Consular. So, bad switch. The LEDs are quad Crees that are in red, green, blue, white. I ordered five of them on Ebay from Hong Kong at a lower price than TCSS charges for a single tri Cree. Plus, these have all of the LEDs in the center, allowing me to use the single LED optic, so no issues like I had with the Consular.
Anywho, that’s what I have. This will probably be my last saber for a while. I have a bunch of empty hilts, but they can wait until I’m more in the mood. Plus, this stuff is expensive. In pieces, not so much, but add those pieces together and it’s a lot. Look for the return of CGI in the near future. 😎
After having fun with my Dark Sentinel yesterday, switching it to green and going with the opposing silver switch with the black bezel, I decided I wanted to do another. So, I grabbed the switch that came with that saber and the other grab bag saber I got in that order, my Aeon V3. Sentinel Yellow is one of my favorite colors, ever since I first played Knights of the Old Republic. I pad $10 extra per saber for this color on my Aeon V2s, so I was for sure going to use this LED, even though I switched one of the V2s over to orange. So, I decided to put it in the V3. I really like how this looks.
Not a huge customization here. I got this Dark Sentinel from Ultra Sabers some months back, during the second Summer Raffle, I think. I couldn’t afford to enter the raffle, so I bought a couple grab bags, I got this hilt and an Aeon V3. The Dark Sentinel came in Fire Orange, which is a nice enough color, but not necessarily my favorite. I have a friend who really likes orange blades, so I plan to give him an orange saber, just not this hilt. A while back, I transferred the orange LED to one of my Aeon V2 hilts, which I plan to give to him eventually. At that point, I left the hilt disassembled, because I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought about doing some sanding, but I still haven’t decided if I want to turn this into a two tone hilt. And, if I do, I can always do it later. I have a big upgrade planned for my Aeon LE V4, in fact I want to add sound and Flash on Clash to it. To get FoC, I’ll need a Tri Cree LED anyway, so that means the green LED in that hilt is up for grabs, as is the silver latching unlit AV switch. So, I decided to switch all of that over to the Dark Sentinel, as I have two black hilts with blue, but I don’t have any with green. I also decided to give the hilt a hint of silver by transferring the AV switch, but only the switch. I used the black bezel, to make it look more like the switch is built in and not just tacked on. I really like how it came out.
This is my eighth order from Ultra Sabers, constituting Ultra Sabers #10 and 11, with an entry in the Winter Raffle, which earned me Ultra Saber #12. Here’s a group shot of my order and winning sabers, then we’ll break down everything into a review:
Left to right: Dominix LE V4 in Guardian Blue, Dominix LE V2 in Adegan Silver, Lost Gray in Consular Green
I chromed the lightsaber hilt. Fortunately, chroming something in one 3D program isn’t all that different than doing it in another. All you have to know is what the settings do and then fool around with diffusion, specular, glossiness and reflection settings. Also, it helps to know where to put the environment map. One thing that’s easier is using a node-based texture system with everything done in one window, as opposed to what I had to do in TrueSpace, which involved using multiple windows and was a big pain in the butt at times. (but easy once I got used to it)
So, that will pretty much do it for this object. I mostly just created it because I like lightsabers and because I wanted to start off with something simple(ish) to play around with modeling settings. Ironically, this is actually the 2nd hilt I started, I hit a creative wall on the first one, so it’s currently in limbo. 😉
…the first object I’ve built since switching 3D software from TrueSpace to Lightwave. It’s not much, but it’s a start. The materials are temporary, I have to work out how to do metal materials in Lightwave.
By the way, in case anybody isn’t getting it, it’s a lightsaber hilt. 😛