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Thread: Forgotten Hero (lots of pics)

  1. #1

    Default Forgotten Hero (lots of pics)

    Hey all! When FJK made the contest posts, i knew i wanted to push myself and make an entry. I wasnt very confident in my original designs, and only owning a dremel and mouse sander, i wasnt sure what id be able to contribute. But there was this one saber from SWTOR that i was always fond of. Even if i couldnt replicate it, i could surely try make it my own.
    inspiration.jpg

    So i began drafting this saber, that i had yet to name. I drew up a few sketches for shroud design and overall hilt configuration.
    rough drafts.jpg

    I finally settled on a design i liked, and sent an email to TCSS for a custom lathed blade holder and long choke. AND WOW, they turned out better than i had imagined. You can stare at a picture all day and think youre ready for that final product, but once it jumps off the page and into your hands, its a kind of awesome that is hard to describe. BIG BIG shout-out to Tim and the rest at TCSS for their amazing work!
    custom work2.jpg

    With custom work in hand, i had to start my shroud. I used a graflex template for the scale and curvature, so the shapes would appear familiar to the eye, without being a copper graflex (though i might make one of those someday, i like working with the copper). I also was heavily inspired by Qui-gons shroud, specifically the small cutouts on the back or spine of the saber.
    shroud template.jpgshroud cut.jpgtest fit.jpg

    So during this whole build i had been racking my mind for what the "theme" of this saber would be. Flushing out a character for the weapon would help me decide if it would be weathered or polished, what color my blade would be, even what sound font id want to use. I was pretty sure i wanted to weather it. As anyone who recognized my forum pic and signature can guess, im a big fan of the Sith Warrior in SWTOR, and the mission to loot your first saber from a dead sith masters tomb is one of my favorite missions. But the saber you get in game is clean and pretty, and doesnt look like its been neglected for hundreds of years next to a rotting corpse. So i had to dirty this hilt. A lot.

    I started with a salt and vinegar bath for my copper bits. I used just normal store bought stuff from target, and left my convertec, shroud and even my kill key to soak for about three hours. That gives the vinegar time to eat the outermost layer of the copper and infuse it with a little salt. It doesnt quite etch it away just yet. After letting the copper soak for a few hours, you have to let it dry, THIS is where the weathering happens. the drying copper and salt mixture reacts with air, and gives a crazy looking patina. I wrapped my shroud in a vinegar soaked and salt encrusted paper towel, and just let it cook itself for about two weeks, occasionally adding more vinegar so it could etch more deeply. It turned out perfect and my kill key, shroud, and convertec knob matched!
    salt bath.jpg

    Over the two weeks that my copper was cooking, i had an idea for my "theme". My favorite Tolkien character is Turin Turambar, the Black Blade of Nargathrond. His father Hurin led an army against the first dark lord, Melkor, Tolkiens version of Lucifer. Hurin was captured, and as punishment for his "defiance" Melkor cursed Hurins children to have horrible lives and magically forces Hurin to watch as they suffer. However, Hurins son, Turin, grows up to be an Aragorn level BEAST, killing everything Melkor throws at him. For those who havent read the Silmarillion, i wont give away the end of Turins story, but he has a speech to his sword (which is SUPER EVIL. Good guy with an evil weapon.) He says, "Hail Gurthang! No lord or loyalty dost thou know, save the hand that wieldeth thee. From no blood wilt thou shrink."

    So i decided to etch that on my saber. "No Loyalty, save the hand that wields me." I used Tolkiens Dwarvish script because i liked it, I used a layer of nail polish as a resist, and carved the runes by hand with an etching tool. then to age it all i took a 9volt battery and salt water etched it further.
    salted copper.jpg

    Next step was to build my blade plug. Id wanted to make a razor head plug for a while, but all the ones id seen online were clean and new. My old razor was gross and aged... and PERFECT. I used by dremel to lightly remove the nubbins that stuck off the razor head, and to slightly sand the end of a few inches of blade stock until it could just pop on. I traced and cut out a bit of printer paper and glued it onto the back of the shaver head with a "dries clear" elmer gluestick. I then traced and cut out more printer paper and glued that onto the back of the whole blade plug. Now its double diffused and suitable for color mixing! (i hate it when my blade plug shows the two different LEDs.)
    blade plug parts.jpgblade plug.jpg
    Last edited by Vereous; 07-25-2018 at 01:30 PM.
    Player: I feel your anger, master.
    Darth Baras: A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel MY ANGER!!

  2. #2

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    Now for the hardcore weathering. I got my 9volt saltwater etching setup, my birchwood casey setup, and even my fine sandpapers and acetone (it seals the aluminum so it doesnt oxidize too much). Basically turned my kitchen table into a chemistry set.
    weathering station.jpg

    My first round of weathering was just dark, after some unresisted etching the birchwood casey is SO BLACK on the bare aluminum. So began the process of darkening, cleaning, and redarkening until i finally got it look like a relic. First round, it was too dark, but i kept taking too much off and making it too clean. I had to find that balance.
    too rough.jpgtoo clean.jpg

    I had a few gaps between my copper shroud and my choke, i wanted to put something there. So i decided on some exposed dummy wiring. i gorilla glued some tcss chassis rods in the gaps and applied my final weathering. Lastly i put blue and white wires in one side, and brown and white wires in the other. Just like Vaders exposed wiring. Its very subtle, but im pleased with it.
    dummy wiring.jpgjust right.jpg

    All i had left to do was clear off my chemistry table and make it a soldering station. Im still perfecting my soldering technique, im not sure if im using too much solder or if im using an iron that is too hot, but my joints usually end with a sharp point of solder sticking up. You can really see it on my LED. I used a tiny little file to round them down and did my best to blow the dust away to prevent shorts. I forgot to get a pic of my soundcard before it was mounted to my chassis, and cram-fu is still something i need to get better at. Maybe a fixed chassis for less crammed wires in my next build. Because there is ALWAYS a next build...
    LED wired.jpgnbv4 wired.jpg

    I decided to wire up a yellow blade with a white FoC as a nod to the old days in SWTOR where color crystals were locked to your alignment, you could only have red as a darksider, blue and green as lightsider, and so on. Orange, purple, and yellow had no such requirement, and were the go-to colors for neutral players like me.

    So there it is. A weapon that looks like its seen many battles that were too long ago to be recorded. The hero who wielded it... long forgotten.
    final product1.jpgfinal product2.jpg
    Last edited by Vereous; 07-25-2018 at 01:27 PM.
    Player: I feel your anger, master.
    Darth Baras: A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel MY ANGER!!

  3. #3

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    Um, that blade plug is absolutely SICK.

    Copper shroud is awesome too. I really need to get into some different materials for shrouds.

    Tom

    "Let the past die."

  4. #4

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    You amaze me Vereous. This just soooooooo awesome! With that aged copper patina and.... and that leather string... oh my...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Tilmon View Post
    Um, that blade plug is absolutely SICK.
    Thank you! I have the heads to make two more, then i have to find replacements for a very old Norelco. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Skywalker View Post
    and that leather string... oh my...
    Fun fact, the leather was a last second addition to cover the ONE PLACE my weathering didnt stick. I couldnt get a qtip into the grove on the pommel 10, so i neither etched it nor degreased it for the birchwood casey. i suppose i could have cut the qtip to make it fit, instead I gave it a quick strip of leather and voila!
    Player: I feel your anger, master.
    Darth Baras: A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel MY ANGER!!

  6. #6

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    Love the look of this Vereous. You’re so right about holding MHS parts in hand. The BH/choke design is fantastic and I’ll echo what Tom said about that blade plug. Awesome work dude.

    Greenie

  7. #7
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    One heck of an awesome saber. I can only hope that mine turns out to be even a fraction as good when I can afford to get it done.
    Sean

    SciFiHero.net Member; SG Operations Home of SG-Socom Member

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