21 April 2017

The Lightsaber of Doom!

TL;DR - I got my first order of MHS parts, and it's strangely exciting. This order is comprised of:

MHSV1 Blade Holder Style 7
MPS8 MPS Pommel style 8
Cclip MPS Clip
MPSI12 MPS insert style 12
MHSchokeRL MHS choke style 3 long

The main body will require some custom milling, so I put it off for next month. Pictures follow. This will likely be a slow build. Why?  Well, if you want to know, read on.

I'm an older geek. In 1978, my family was living in a very rural area of Arizona -- so rural, our town didn't even have its own grocery store, just a gas station / convenience store. So when my mother heard that there was a SciFi movie out, she tossed a ten-year-old me in the car and we drove the couple of hours to The City to see it.  We both loved it, and I at once wanted to be a Jedi Knight. My first lightsaber was just a flashlight with an inflatable blade. (No foolin'. You can see the advertisement for it).

Fast forward a number of years, until I was a grown up geek. I was in the Navy and attended a local SciFi con where I saw that they were play-testing a new role playing game based on Star Wars. Intrigued, I got in on the session, and played an Alien Force User because there were no Jedi in what would become West End Games' d6 game... or at least, that wasn't the part of the rules they were testing, and that option wasn't available to us. (My AFU, by the bye, was limited to touch range, and her big special attack? Touching people on the shoulder and putting them to sleep.  Yes; I crossed the streams. But I digress).

A few years later, I got the chance to play the D20 version of Star Wars RPG, and this time, Jedi were included. So I rolled up a Consular, thinking that I'd make her a Jedi Healer. Just for kicks and giggles, though, I took a couple of skill ranks in pick lock, because you know... sometimes, evil hides behind locked doors. Thus Sorrow was born. She was a four-lekku blue Twi'lek who had been orphaned as a small child and taken to the Jedi Temple. She couldn't remember her name, and the Jedi who found her nicknamed her Sorrow because of her woeful countenance. Over time, it stopped being a nick-name and became her name.  In honor of a great Jedi of the past, she eventually appropriated the family name Sunrider.

Well, the campaign went on, and at a key point, Sorrow saved the party by using the Force with her lock picking skill to open a door and an avenue of escape. (I rolled a natural 20, and the GM gave it to me). This led to joking that I should cross-class into a less upright profession, and I started thinking about Jedi Sentinel. Sorrow turned away from healing and toward investigation.  The campaign ended before I could get the pre-reqs together, but I went on thinking about her, and in my mind, she went on to become a Sentinel. She retained her original lightsaber, though, so hers has a cyan blade (reflecting her path between Guardian and Consular) instead of the more common golden blade of the Sentinels. (Aside from which, if you light up a gold-blade lightsaber, you're pretty much flashing a badge, and Sorrow works more in the shadows than that).

So when I started building my own lightsaber, I decided I wanted to start with Sorrow's. Because it's a saber from the height of the Jedi Order's power and influence, it's more refined and finished than the later-era sabers.

Why did it take me so long to start working on building my own saber? Because I was a nurse, working 12-hour shifts and taking care of my Uncle's wife's parents on my days off, so I had no time. Then I was diagnosed with a chronic, and couldn't work, so I had no money. But now, finally, I have some money and some time, so I'm starting work. I do, of course, still have a chronic illness, so I don't do very much at a time, and my income is based on disability, so it's not very much money. Both of which mean that this will probably be one of the slower build threads -- it may take me six months or a year to get everything together.

But it promises to be a heck of a ride, and I'd like to share it as I learn things and approach my dream. I hope you'll find something of interest as we go forward.

Stand by for picspam!

Here we have the emitter and pommel. The taller one is MHSv1 Blade Holder style 7; the shorter one is MHSv1 pommel style 8. The emitter has been media blasted -- my initial idea was that I wanted it to look as though the emitter had discolored over time due to the tremendous energy of the blade. I'm not sure it accomplishes that, but it does look nice! The media turned the normal glossy silver into a fascinating matte gray, slightly pearlescent. It picks up schmutz like whoa... I think I'm going to need to find a nice matte clear-coat to put over it, if I don't decide to color it.

My previous saber was made by a machinist who boasted that no two of his sabers were exactly alike. I forget if I found him on eBay or his own website, but I bought the saber below and, though I had dreams of lighting it, I've actually just put a polycarbonate rod in it and used it as a bokken for a number of years. It's pretty, and I might still electrify it, but it taught me that I wanted a longer hilt, because my training is in a two-hand style, and this one? Definitely a single-hand hilt.

So I also ordered a choke style 3 long. Here you can see it with the emitter screwed in, which shows nicely the difference between the plain aluminium and the media-blasted, I believe.

I don't have a double-female piece at the moment, so I removed the emitter and screwed the pommel in.

Someone else made a comment that, with a double-female adapter, the choke 3 long would make a decent shoto all by itself. I am kind of interested in making a matching shoto for my daito, but that's down the road... and I'm kind of thinking that maybe an MHSv2 hilt would be better, if Tim ever makes any of those again.

Anyway, the last bit of fun was the pommel insert. I'm waffling about this -- I want to keep the lines of the saber as clean as possible, and my initial thought was to put an activation button and recharge port in a box 9, and use the pommel insert to hang the saber from a hook on my belt. But Sorrow was a pre-fall Jedi, and the D-rings are sort of a New Jedi Order look. In our game, Sorrow's lightsaber had an internal, force-activated switch, so no one who wasn't force-sensitive could turn it on. I don't at the moment know how to do that (though I am tossing around some thoughts regarding RFID chips) so it has to have a switch. I'm waffling between having a 16 mm AV switch in a recessed hole on the side, with the recharge port in the pommel insert; or putting the switch in the pommel insert and having the recharge port on the side.

I guess it's going to come down to whether the covertec kill-switch that fits in the recharge port is strictly cosmetic, or if it's got enough friction to actually hold a saber in a clip.  Or maybe I'll just shove the saber through wraps on my belt like a katana through an obi. I dunno.

1 comment:

Susan - yes, you're right. I'm a no-reply blogger. said...

Light sabers have come a long way since they were toys out of the first movie!