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TOPIC: ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2

ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 8 months 1 week ago #65035

  • HotRod
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I have realized that this feeling starts to come over me as I begin an ASP saber review. I seem to fear that I'm going to have built something that someone has already built. I was less worried about this with Nightstick, but with this one, I'm sure there is a pretty good chance someone has thought of it already since this one is made up of several popular components. Nonetheless, I have never seen one before, so I'll present it as such.

I give you, my Graflex Avenger (yeah, I know the name sounds like a corny superhero...I just didn't have a name picked out that I liked at the time of this writing). :-)

I hope this isn't a desecration of the Church of Graflex, but here it is:





It is made up of the following:

Graflex Emitter . Standard
Switch 4 . Standard
Avenger Body . Standard
Graflex Pommel . Standard

NEC Spark 2 soundboard
Base Speaker
Saberforge Hero Rb / Rb / G / G LED (arriving tomorrow)....Light Blue Standing In Until That Comes

Graflex IV HD & Graflex V HD fonts by Juansith
Graflex TFA by Shameem


I was tinkering on the virtual builder and I thought I might build a Graflex that is comfortable to hold. This is what I came up with.





So, I have heard a LOT of good things about the Avenger. Everyone who gets one seems to be more blown away by it than expected. So I started with an Avenger body. It's worth noting that my inner grip section was loose and I had to glue it into place. Also, the Covertech Wheel ends up on the wrong side since the body is meant to be turned 180 degrees in the opposite direction, but I just removed it since I have a D-ring. Being a Graflex fan, I went Graflex on the Emitter and Pommel. That simply left the switch section. I wanted something that had a box, but wasn't sharp or obstructive since I was aiming for that Graflex look without the Graflex feel. So, Switch 4 looked great having a low-profile box-ish switch section with hour-glass silhouette.

I popped in a Blue LED AV Switch and we were off.


- The Build -

This was the quickest soundboard installs I have done to date. My Nightstick was VERY short on space and was a Spark Color 2. My Redeemer, on the other hand, was my first build and therefore I took my time. However, I did more tinkering with the hilt and emitter this time around.

The body and the emitter required a 3/4 turns worth of the timing shims to get the alignment the way I wanted it. I had to buy an extra set of shims to get the job done. Honestly, it's still off and I need one more thin shim to get it perfect on the body. I'm also not thrilled about the black lines above and below the switch section (which do not exist when the shims are not there). Nonetheless, this is a nitpick because this thing is a joy to hold.

The emitter was the other place where I spent a lot of time. I ordered glass eyes from TCSS and drilled a hole in it to let light in, along with the shortening the thread rod. That was not too bad. I also had to tap and rethread the glass eye screw hole to 10-32 in the emitter from 8-32. Also not bad at all. Where I did run into issues was the base of the eye holder has a circular section that juts out and fits into the circular indentation in the emitter. That hole had to be either widened on the emitter or reduced on the glass eye. For better or worse, I chose to increase the size on the emitter. I might do it differently next time, but this is the way I went. It took me a long while with a dremmel tool to get that hole in the emitter wide enough to accept the glass eye, but I did manage it.





Haha, unfortunately what I got was more of a pin-hole light and less of a glowing orb. :-) Oh well, live and learn. I have a glass eye from KR Sabers coming, but I could not tell you what I will have to do to get it to fit.


- The Look and Feel -

This is where I was surprised. I got this saber thinking to myself, "This will be my goofing around saber, but it won't be one I am enamored with." Well, I was wrong. I think I may like this one more than my Nightstick. I feel like it looks great, it's VERY comfortable, and it screams Graflex. It's just fun. I know it does not adhere to strict Graflex doctrine, but I have to say, I'm really loving this saber. That Avenger body is nice and comfy with excellent grip (it honestly makes me want an Avenger). :-) The emitter is not without detail having a clamp ring around the blade to the faux bunny ears. The light shines nicely on both sides of the clamp ring around the blade (unlike my Monarch which is the ONLY thing I do not like about that saber). There is even a window at the top of the shroud above the ears for more shine-through goodness. You also get pins and a red button with beer tab. I know these are not exact replicas of the details from the original, but their presence is greatly appreciated.

I have to say that the emitter has many of the details of a Graflex that I would expect and is well made. However, it somehow looks....sparse to me. Like it's missing some details. I'm not sure why I feel that way. It might be the finish is not as shiny as I am used to seeing. I'm sure there are many Graflex experts that know the exact differences. I am not an expert...just a fan. I can just look at it and tell something looks....off....or missing.

I've also gotten better about configuring the swing settings on my Spark 2 so each pass I feel like it's more and more responsive. The Graflex HD fonts from ANH, ESB, and TFA feel right at home here. This improved the feel yet further.


- What's Next -

Well, I have a Rb / Rb / G / G LED arriving tomorrow. My hope is to set this up with Arctic Blue, something between Arctic Blue and Royal Blue, and Royal Blue. All with Green Flash on Clash. It's all wired on the saber. I'll just need to wire up the star when I get it from Saberforge.

Also, I'll take another crack at that glass eye when I get the replica from KR Sabers.

This saber gave me the feeling I wanted to get from ASP...building a saber that would feel uniquely mine and something I could be proud of. It's not perfect...but it's mine.

More to come as I get my first look at an Arctic Blue LED and my other glass eye arrives.

Thanks for your interest as always! You guys are the best!




- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 8 months 1 week ago by HotRod.
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 8 months 1 week ago #65036

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Very nice build! The Graflex emitter is so iconic that seeing it with other saber parts give it a good perspective. Look forward to seeing your LED mix. Have fun!
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 8 months 1 week ago #65048

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Dude I have to say the Avenger body goes surprisingly well with the Graflex, good job! I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that your saber gave you the feeling you hoped for from the ASP--building a unique saber that is yours! Looks great, Congrats & Enjoy!
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 8 months 1 week ago #65058

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Nice build HotRod and good on you with a successful electronics install as well.
I give you, my Graflex Avenger (yeah, I know the name sounds like a corny superhero...I just didn't have a name picked out that I liked at the time of this writing).
How about, Dennis? :P
Have you thought about aligning the switch either at 90Degrees to the right (or left) to further your Graflex influences? What's the assembled length of the Hilt and the Blade Socket's Depth of the ASP Graflex Emitter?

Your XP increases with every new build that you do. Pretty soon, there just might be one these hanging from your window with electronic installs too.. ;)

Congratulations. Looks like another 5Round Title Fight has you emerging as victor and defending your Title.
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 8 months 1 week ago #65081

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Looks better than I would have considered it to. I have a hard time imagining the graphlex emitter on pretty much any other saber but you pulled it off nice. Good job!
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 8 months 1 week ago #65125

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OvrcAHst wrote:
Nice build HotRod and good on you with a successful electronics install as well.
I give you, my Graflex Avenger (yeah, I know the name sounds like a corny superhero...I just didn't have a name picked out that I liked at the time of this writing).
How about, Dennis? :P
Have you thought about aligning the switch either at 90Degrees to the right (or left) to further your Graflex influences? What's the assembled length of the Hilt and the Blade Socket's Depth of the ASP Graflex Emitter?

Your XP increases with every new build that you do. Pretty soon, there just might be one these hanging from your window with electronic installs too.. ;)

Congratulations. Looks like another 5Round Title Fight has you emerging as victor and defending your Title.

First off, I really like that image! Awesome! Thanks!!!

No, I hadn't thought of turning it 90 degrees to one side, but that is a VERY good idea. I have another Graflex emitter and that same switch section, so I'm going to go check that out. That might work nicely!

The saber is 12 1/4" on the nose from pommel to tip of the emitter shroud. The LED is about 1.5" below the edge of lowest apart of the opening. My 1.5" KR Sabers blade plug sits too high in this hilt as you can see the edge of plug itself below the ring (this does not include the brass center tip which sits up too high). I have more room to push the LED down further, but there is nothing to secure it in place. The beer tab screw is holding it now. I did that so it's down low enough to light up the glass eye.

Zeddicuus wrote:
Looks better than I would have considered it to. I have a hard time imagining the graphlex emitter on pretty much any other saber but you pulled it off nice. Good job!

Thanks, Zeddicuus! It's funny that you say that, because I feel the exact same way. No reason to mess with a good thing (or something that is so iconic). I feared it would feel like a generic knock-off compared to an actual Graflex. When I ordered it, I was sort of messing around. I had it in the back of my head that I might even sell it. Now that it's in hand, I am surprised how much I like it. Thank you for the compliment.


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 1 day ago #68562

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I just wanted to provide an update here. My buddy and I managed to get a KR Sabers glass eye installed. I am thrilled with the results.

For those that are interested, the threading is 5/8-24 and the hole was made with a 37/64 drill bit. I don't know if this is official, but Khal told me he wasn't sure of the sizes and this did work for us.








I certainly can't argue with the results. We basically drilled the hole in the emitter, threaded it, I cut the spring that came in the glass eye so it did not protrude out, and I used a Dremmel tool to sand down the back of the eye slightly since the inside of the emitter is concave in shape. I also glued the glass eye into its holder.

There is in imperfection in the "glass" eye make it look like you are looking into a crystal ball when you are looking into it. It was worth the trouble to get this in to me. :-)


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 6 months 1 day ago by HotRod.
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 1 day ago #68572

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Love that glass eye!
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 1 day ago #68575

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Wow the glass eye is a really nice mod to add. Great job!
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 1 day ago #68583

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HotRod wrote:
I just wanted to provide an update here. My buddy and I managed to get a KR Sabers glass eye installed. I am thrilled with the results.
Nice work! Hoping to do something similar on my Monarch (notso much my Graflex cos am lovin the ESB Ver. :P ). Other than a nod to accuracy (& possibly the shine-through element), what's the difference between a KR Glass Eye versus the TCSS Glass Eye?
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 1 day ago #68588

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The way they thread in is completely different, so you can't use a KR for blade or LED retention. It's designed to screw into the threads of a replica Graflex shell, wheras the TCSS/TGS eyes use 10-32 threads that thumb-screw into Graflex-fitted bladeholders.



vs



Not an issue with an ASP Graflex, since the beertab pin handles LED retention, and the slotted screw's been replaced with an 8-32 blade retention set screw, but on something like a Graflex 2.0, you'd need to come up with another way to retain the blade if you swap the glass-eye thumbscrew with a KR eye.

I *think* the bottom eye-replacement greeble on a a Monarch is for LED retention, but I could be mistaken. If it is, there's not much benefit in swapping in a shine-through eye, since you'd be sticking it on the LED wall, away from the light. Shouldn't be a problem to re-tap the hole to 10-32 and dropping in a TCSS/TGS eye though.
Last Edit: 6 months 1 day ago by Kouri.
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 20 hours ago #68628

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Kouri wrote:
I *think* the bottom eye-replacement greeble on a a Monarch is for LED retention, but I could be mistaken. If it is, there's not much benefit in swapping in a shine-through eye, since you'd be sticking it on the LED wall, away from the light. Shouldn't be a problem to re-tap the hole to 10-32 and dropping in a TCSS/TGS eye though.
Thanks Kouri and Yes, you are correct that it is for LED retention. Without having the parts on-hand has me strategizing by exploring the theories to either glue a glass eye (no shine through) to the existing greeblie or as you write to tap another hole. An alternate plan was to change the LED retention thumbscrew to a 8/32 setscrew and tap a 10/32 hole (between the graflex studs) on the underside so it share the same axis (opposite side) as the top button blade retention (where I planned on retapping as a 10/32 also) with a shine through glass eye.
So is the conclusion that the TCSS type is solid and the KR type is shine through?
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 19 hours ago #68629

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OvrcAHst wrote:
Kouri wrote:
I *think* the bottom eye-replacement greeble on a a Monarch is for LED retention, but I could be mistaken. If it is, there's not much benefit in swapping in a shine-through eye, since you'd be sticking it on the LED wall, away from the light. Shouldn't be a problem to re-tap the hole to 10-32 and dropping in a TCSS/TGS eye though.
Thanks Kouri and Yes, you are correct that it is for LED retention. Without having the parts on-hand has me strategizing by exploring the theories to either glue a glass eye (no shine through) to the existing greeblie or as you write to tap another hole. An alternate plan was to change the LED retention thumbscrew to a 8/32 setscrew and tap a 10/32 hole (between the graflex studs) on the underside so it share the same axis (opposite side) as the top button blade retention (where I planned on retapping as a 10/32 also) with a shine through glass eye.
So is the conclusion that the TCSS type is solid and the KR type is shine through?

I think Kouri pretty much nailed it. And yes, I was using the TCSS as an additional retention screw but the shine through on the TCSS even when I drilled it out wasn't that great of an effect (Kouri could probably do better than I did, but you can see it in the beginning of this post where just a touch of light comes through). The KR Sabers shine through eye is basically a greeblie and nothing more, but a REALLY pretty greeblie at that. :-D If you are going for function, TCSS is the way to go.


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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ASP Graflex Avenger with Spark 2 Arctic Blue XP-E2 6 months 1 hour ago #68655

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Wow I totally missed this thread. That is a very nice build HotRod. I'm really liking your mods to the sacred Graflex. Looks good! :)
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Last Edit: 6 months 58 minutes ago by Greysider.
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