Going Green

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.

Before:

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A Tale of Three Sabers

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:

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Left to right: Dominix LE V4 in Guardian Blue, Dominix LE V2 in Adegan Silver, Lost Gray in Consular Green

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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.  😉

Chromed

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)

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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. 😉

Lego Star Wars Pt. 08

I decided I hated my first turret. Technically, it was pretty accurate to the one in the movie. However, the one in the movie had little greeble bits and painted details, neither of which is an option when one is working with Legos. So, I took some artistic license and made a new turret. After all, it’s not like my Death Star surface details are going to match what was in the movie anyway (neither do the ones in the Lego Star Wars games.)

Anywho, I’m happy now. Or at least happier, anyway. I’m getting sick, so that’s not a happy thing. 😦

Lego Star Wars Pt. 06

I’m getting into uncharted territory here. To my knowledge, there’s no Lego kit for this. I built a turret that’s similar to the ones on the Death Star’s surface and in the trench. It’s pretty basic but, without being able to really greeble it, that’s how it’s going to stay. I’m building at least part of the surface and trench, so there will be several of these on there.

Even though it’s not necessary because this is CGI, the turret is built like it actually would be out of Legos. The parts that should move are built so that they actually would if it was made in the real world. The top is on a 2×2 turntable brick and the guns are on bricks with hinges on them. The parts rotate as they should. I rigged it in trueSpace so that the top and guns rotate as they should, on their respective moving parts. To illustrate this, I rendered a short animation of it in motion.

Lego Death Star Turret Animation Test from Chris Martin on Vimeo.

It’s in 720p, so advise watching it in HD on Vimeo. This rendered very quickly, mostly due to the fact that the Legos aren’t textured, which means it’s looking like a good possibility that I might do some Lego SW animations. 🙂