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Thread: Crossguard 2.0 - Chrome kit

  1. #1

    Default Crossguard 2.0 - Chrome kit

    Hey folks,

    Picked up a chrome crossguard 2.0 kit back on May the 4th and it's been a long haul to get the saber built, finally buttoned it up this week.

    When the hilt first arrived, I toyed with the notion of building a 'light-side' crossguard but I really had my heart set on a Kylo-style hilt so first steps were sanding, priming and painting. First up, sanding with 120 grit, then 300, then 400 to prepare the surface. Then two coats of etching primer, followed by two coats of black. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably do a coat of copper before the first two coats of black so the weathering would potentially show some copper, like the TFA prop.

    Once I had the hilt coated, it was time for weathering. Using the TFA paint job as a reference, I scuffed it up with a dremel sanding drum and/or 3M wheel.



    I did try to paint the 'heat staining' effect on the hilt but I don't have an airbrush and couldn't really get the effect to look good with either spray paints or hand-painting. I settled on a simple stripping of the paint about halfway up the vents, angled to match the outlets. Because the kit is plated twice: copper, then nickel, I was able to get some nice copper effects by sanding down the first layer of metal to expose the copper below.
    Here is the final result:




    I chose to do the install with a simple Goth 3Designs Padawan chassis, this wasn't a saber I was really wanting to do a crystal reveal on, given the difficulty in a standard install. I ended up cutting quite a bit off the inner 'tube' at the bottom to accomodate the 28mm speaker, as well as extending the switch notch at the top of the tube to help with wiring routing. To get the side buttons active, I hollowed out one of the plastic inserts in the gash section so I could mount a tactile right under the switch. For the lower side switch, I dremeled out the hilt and inner tube to expose the chassis, which has a helpful shelf to mount a tactile switch to be activated by the lower switch. For that lower switch, a bit of copper tubing was mounted to the switch, just long enough to trigger the tactile on the chassis and then secured with e6000. The upper switch was also secured to the tactile with e6000.

    For the blades, I chose the TCSS pixel connector PCB and holder and a 15A battery to power the hilt. The side blades were installed with GX-16 aviation connectors and 3535 pixel strips. To properly diffuse the side blades, I drilled them out to increase the ID and allow for sufficient diffusion. 3 feet of cellophane and about 4 inches of foam wrapped around the strips gets me about 80% of the way there on diffusion. To fully diffuse the side blades, I roughed up the outsides with a dremel drum and now they look pretty decent. The main blade is a thick-walled trans-white with TCSS bullet tip, again with 3535 strips. Because the side blades are quite tight and the GX plugs give additional friction, I elected not to drill side blade retention screws. Those side blades stick in there pretty tightly, unless you're really doing full contact fighting, I don't think the retention screws are needed. I drilled a 6-32 hole for the main blade and to retain the GX-16 plugs in the sides. To mount the GX plugs, I actually had some leftover neowars connector holders, which work really well to mount the GX plugs.

    Sound and light is provided by a Proffieboard v1.5 and a TCSS Veco 28mm speaker. Wiring was all PTFE throughout, which is a necessity for this very cramped install. Even though I cut the inner tube to mount the chassis, I still had to trim almost 30% of the pommel 'core' off to allow for full speaker movement without contacting that core. There's just enough left to fill the gap in the pommel and look correct, but close examination will reveal that the inner pommel core doesn't go up into the saber. Chassis retention is handled by the lower clip screw. I need to find a suitable matching screw with enough length to capture the chassis, right now I have a temporary screw in place with the wrong head.

    Overall, this kit is a pretty decent value at $125 and the painting and weathering process is actually the most fun part of this build. Routing the wires from the blade connectors and buttons into that inner core and then to the soundboard was a pain. More than once I crimped or pinched wires from the buttons or side connectors in the three-piece emitter section and had to tear it down to redo it again. The magnetic doors seemed pretty weak, but epoxying the inner and outer doors together helped stabilize them, now the door doesn't come off accidentally while swinging the saber around. Plenty of modifications to the hilt were required to complete the install and I would not recommend this build to anyone who isn't comfortable drilling, grinding, sanding and cutting with dremels and other tools.

  2. #2

    Default

    Ah! Killer job man!

    It certainly sounds like you put in the time on this build and it paid off! Nice detailed build synopsis too.

    I need to find a suitable matching screw with enough length to capture the chassis, right now I have a temporary screw in place with the wrong head.
    What thread size is the machine screw? I might have something that would fit and look the part; I’d be happy to check and help a fellow CA out...

    - Steve

  3. #3

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    Here's the screw I used for the belt clip. Fits like a glove and it comes in various lengths

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-32-Flat-H...72.m2749.l2649

  4. #4

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    Looks good Matt, the only thing I would have done is to left the chrome on the quillions, as that would have worked there for the heat bluing look. I guess that erases fear about using the chrome CG 2.0. Were you able to do any tricks to help keep the hatch on?

    Tom

    "Let the past die."

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the tips on the machine screws for the clip @smurphin89 and the offer @null. I'm sure I can find something at the local bolt supply once I head down there one of these days.

    @Tom Tilmon, epoxying the inner and outer door together helped. It seems solid enough now and hasn't come off accidentally so far. If it becomes an issue, I can always try the bar magnet trick that I've seen posted here (by @fett263 I believe.)

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