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Thread: Work in Progress: Silvana - MHS build

  1. #1

    Default Work in Progress: Silvana - MHS build

    This saber, tentatively “Silvana,” is almost ready to go, just waiting on some final pieces that I’ve changed as the project has take shape. The specs are:

    TCSS MHS based hilt, painted
    hand shaped brass switch plate
    DIYino Prime 2.0 prototype with FX-SaberOS
    3500mah 18650 battery
    Custom 12mm switch w/ pixel accent LED
    TCSS 28mm base speaker
    – DIYino + Battery holder
    – TCSS speaker holder
    – Chassis Retainer/disconnect
    – Choke Adapter
    – MHS pixel blade adapter w/10-pin aviation plug
    Pixel Blade:
    - TCSS thin wall clear blade w/bullet tip
    - 120 x2 WS2812 144/m strips
    - foam and gift wrap diffusion
    - silicon coating for retro/unstable look (also helps with diffusion)
    pixel blade plug
    programming/charging adapter

    I was originally planning on just posting a reveal thread, but here's a bit of a build log instead since this "simple, quick build" has ended up taking on a life of it’s own. It features a lot of experimentation in building, and reflects a the development I've been doing in with Arduino based sabers. While I've used other TCSS parts before, this is my first MHS build, and I can’t say I’m disappointed in the quality and ease of use in the pieces from TCSS. I'll definitely be looking to include some MHS parts even in my scratch builds.

    Silvana also features my first time painting a saber. I really like the look of it, and the look would have been very difficult to achieve otherwise, but this also renders this hilt a bit of a “shelf dandy” if I want to keep it looking clean. I ended up repainting a couple of the pieces to get things right. I used self etching primer which didn't seem to really do much compared to the regular stuff, appliance enamel, and several brushed on acrylic enamels. I applied a semi-gloss polyurethane to the copper and brass parts and it definitely improved the durability. I was worried that the polyurethane would take away from some of the texture I was able to get with the paints, but it really helped it quite a bit. The black parts have a heavily brushed anodized look to them, so I'll probably leave that alone. The metallic paints were much thinner and softer and needed it especially since they are on the business ends.

    The copper coil in the faucet pommel is a counter weight which doubles the weight of the pommel. This hilt is really top heavy, which is bad enough, but the pixel blade with the silicon treatment weighs about twice as much as a normal thin blade. The center of gravity in the "standard" configuration with the D-ring pommel is about 6" up the blade: not ideal. Since I'm not planning on dueling with this maybe I don't really care too much, but I'm debating how to finish the pommel if I do use it. The scheme I used for the other pommel doesn't really work: Brass surround, black speaker grill, copper knob, brass D-ring. I'll probably just skip it and live with the fact that this isn't a dueling saber. (I don't really duel anyway...)

    As part of my ever evolving changes to the build, I'm working up the nerve to expand the holes in the choke that were originally intended for a D-ring into a crystal chamber window. As you can see in the current photo up top the "chamber" is already pretty well lit by the LED in the AV.

    I'll be redoing the blade this week so I'll post some more photos and possibly a video later this week.

    images are clicky to embiggenate

    Last edited by jbkuma; 05-01-2017 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2


    Nice one! But I still need to know what the pixel (blades, plecter) stuff is all about
    Join me, join the dark side!

  3. #3


    I'm using an Arduino based bored which is designed for making lightsabers. The hardware developer and I collaborate on the programming.

    I've spoken to Erv about programming and pixels before, and I'm also interested in what he's got coming! My "Pathfinder" build is a Nano Biscotte v3 with an Arduino partner board (aka R2ino). Erv obviously has greater access to the base code and programming of his boards, and he's made a lot of other cool things in the past. Since the Plecter boards don't require as much technical ability, I'm looking forward to seeing how the pixel blade technology develops. There's is currently only a small cadre of us sharing notes, but I don't think anyone has come up with the perfect solution yet.

  4. #4


    Is that balsa wood you've used for your chassis? That's brilliant! I wonder why I haven't thought of that before?

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Is that balsa wood you've used for your chassis? That's brilliant! I wonder why I haven't thought of that before?
    It's actually chip board from a cereal box that I cut on my Silhouette to prototype the SLS print. I think if two pieces were glued together it problably would have been totally sufficient. As it was, in number they were durable enough to hold together. The original prototype didn't stay straight under pressure, so I modified the design a bit and took some of the design elements out (which also made the cutting much faster).

    From before I dyed it red.
    Last edited by jbkuma; 05-01-2017 at 02:32 PM.

  6. #6


    Looking awesome! I can't wait to see it in action.

    Lol at chipboard from cereal box. I'd say its more of an Orientated Strand Board (OSB).

    What is that connector you are using? Is that for the blade? Lots of connections...

  7. #7


    I like to put lots disconnects in my electronics.. There is a GX16-10 aviation connector for the blade/charge plug/blade plug. Originally I used a GX20-12 for the main disconnect for the chassis, but when I switched to the av switch I needed more pins. Now I'm using another GX16-10 and a 2x3 header for the switch plate. If anyone knows of a 16 pin connector that would fit inside the 1.25" ID, I'd love to hear about it! (although soldering 10 and 12 pin connectors is awful enough...)


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