Lightsabers & Blasters Customizing a Force FX Saber

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Sarge, Jul 18, 2013.

Moderators: Commander-DWH
  1. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I just got a Force FX Luke Skywalker saber. Thinking about doing a little work on the hilt. I'll probably drill some small holes in the emitter shroud so I get some spots of light, just for the "cool" factor. Also thinking about trimming down those flanges that run lengthwise down half the hilt.

    So, anybody here messed with these things? Any tips, tricks, or recommendations?
  2. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    After playing with it for a couple of days, I've decided the worst part of this saber is the switch. It's mounted on that big square box sticking out the side of the hilt and if your hands move too much you'll catch sharp metal edges and corners on the soft fleshy parts of your hands. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do anything about that without totally rebuilding the whole switch, which is more than I'm willing to do. I've slid a couple of 1" rubber O-rings around the hilt to give me a better grip and keep my hands where I want them. Haven't done any permanent mods yet; I don't want to rush into that without thinking things through.
  3. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Mods have begun. Drilled two 1/8 inch holes in the emitter shroud. The light doesn't come through them as brightly as I'd hoped; I don't think the LEDs go all the way down to the base of the blade. Still thinking about the flanges. I may leave the two that are aligned with the switch and cut off the others.
  4. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    I don't really know much about lightsaber modification, but I will say that any thread on such a topic could be infinitely improved with pictures. ;)
    Sarge likes this.
  5. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Gee, DWH, how am I supposed to know what you want when your hints are so subtle? :p

    My camera isn't very good at close ups, but I'll see what I can do.
  6. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    1. This is one of the holes I drilled. The other one is on the opposite side.
    2. These are the rubber O-rings I added.
    [IMG]
    3. These are the flanges I might leave the way they are.
    4. These are the flanges I'm thinking about removing.
    5. This is the switch assembly with the sharp edges that I don't like.
    [IMG]
  7. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I put a thick O-ring around the switch assembly. The sharp corners are still exposed, but it's a little harder for them to dig into my flesh now. I'll chalk that one up as a small victory.
  8. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I fired up the Dremel tool and spent about half an hour cutting away flanges, and another half hour cleaning up the cuts with grinder, file, and x-acto knife. The cuts aren't quite as smooth and clean as I'd like, but they're much better than the worst case scenario I feared. I left the two in line with the switch complete, and just removed parts of two more where my thumb goes. It's much more comfortable for my left hand now. I'll try to smooth out the rough edges a little more before I take more pics.
  9. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Interesting mods! I'm excited to see how this turns out. And your camera does just fine with close-ups... I've seen far blurrier photos posted in the name of showing progress. ;)
  10. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    1. Fat O-ring around the switch assembly.
    2. Flanges partially cut away to fit my thumb.
    [IMG]
    Flanges removed on this side.
    [IMG]
    Another angle.
    [IMG]
    Same angle, holding it to use. It's a much more comfortable grip for my left hand now.
    [IMG]
    I may remove more flanges, haven't decided yet. I don't like to rush these decisions. Once you cut something off, you can't just change your mind and put it back.
  11. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    One more flange is gone and it's even more comfortable to hold. At this rate, I may end up removing them all.

    I decided to drill holes through the "gunsight" on top of the emitter just to make it look less like a gunsight. That part is actually hardened steel; I'll have to get some better drill bits tomorrow cuz my old ones couldn't get through it.
  12. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I don't recommend drilling holes in the "gunsight." I got it done, but even with brand new drill bits, it was a huge pain. That is some seriously hardened steel.

    Almost all the flanges are gone now. I just left a couple of little nubs next to the switch, and the partial ones where my left thumb goes. The grip is so much more comfortable now!

    Added a little black electrical tape on the bare metal to give my right hand a less slippery grip.

    With that, I think I may be finished.
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    I wanted to take a pic showing me holding it in both hands, but my third hand kept dropping the camera.
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
  13. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    It looks great! Well done. =D=
    Sarge likes this.
  14. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I call this piece, Self-Portrait With Lightsabre
    [IMG]
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