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TOPIC: Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp

Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56014

  • Kouri
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Picked up a used Graflex SE a week ago and got to work on modding it. Changes so far:
  • Replaced the Single Guardian Blue (Single Cree Royal Blue) with a custom Tri-Cree (Cree Blue/Blue/White).
  • Re-wired Obsidian V4 for FoC
  • Replaced the aluminum "buttons" with replica Graflex button and glass eye, along with tighter aluminum fittings.
  • Graflex Button now acts as blade retention thumbscrew.
  • Replaced US speaker holder with MHS variant that locks against pommel
  • Graflex Window in Emitter (gap between Bunny-Ear-Ring and main Flash)
  • Custom Graflex Blade Plug
  • Clocking Washer between BladeHolder and MLS unit to eliminate rattle

To-do:
  • Replace Grips with low-profile notched variants.
  • Replace Graflex Electrical Pins
  • Replace Pommel with MHS low-profile pommel and Kobold Clip D-Ring
  • Add a few Graflex Greeblies (beer tab & slide switch) with extra screws to lock the bladeholder in place.

Onto the pics!



Wiring up the BBW LED with Blue in Series to take advantage of the extra voltage and lower current of 14500s..



MLS Heatsink doesn't thread far enough to seat a Tri-Cree with Lens, so I used some styrene spacers I had leftover from another project. I'll be replacing those with aluminum spacers shortly.



Completed Tri-Cree FOC MLS Unit



US Speaker holder didn't have the MHS locking ridge, so replaced it with a TCSS holder.



Emitter window showing off the Blue color and Graflex Pin bladeplug (The color should be on-par with SF Light Blue). Also a good view of the Glass Eye.



Graflex 2.0 Button and WIP Beer Tab. Not sure if I'll complete the button or not - I kind of like the blade color shining through the button as-is.


Aaaand here I am goofing around with a silly soundfont:


Follow up in the next post.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56015

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Swapped out the BBW star for a RoyalBlue/Blue/White star. I think it's a bit closer to TFA blue. Should be similar to SF Medium Blue.


Countersunk a slotted screw to replace the button-head above the glass eye.


Fastened the beer tab and machined a faux-slide-switch. These extra 4-40 screws help prevent wobble in the blade holder.


Aaand just goofing around with an ESB dual-button setup.


Have a pommel disc on the way so I can mount a replica Kobold clip to the low-profile pommel. Also a set of low-profile notched grips being printed at Shapeways.

Planning to tinker with the activation box some. Maybe machine a black slot down the middle with a brass AV switch as a nod to the ESB circuit board.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56025

  • Burns3558
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I kinda like how it looks without the pins... with the light shining thru.


Shaking my head at that thing.... looks great dude...
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56027

  • Borommakot
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What's normally in the space where the window is? Just black plastic?
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56029

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Black-anodized aluminum blade holder. It's originally one solid piece, like the Anakin saber (I'm personally of the mind this design was reverse-engineered from an FX Anakin saber w/ TCSS conversion kit, plus a few simplifications).

Ground away just enough of the tube to make the bunny-ear-ring look like a separate piece from the side.

... Also realizing I re-attached the bunny ears backward after replacing the LED...
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56036

  • BoostinIX
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Love it. Can't wait to get my 2.0 kit going.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56071

  • OvrcAHst
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Great conversion Kouri to the US Graflex. It was always an obvious sore point for me that the clip-window was solid (disabling shine-through) and the switch section that came default. If only I had the skills, ingenuity and prowess to attempt what you do (not just limited to this project). Similar to BoostinIX, am increasingly more eager to get my hands on a Graflex 2.0 ESB. Nice work.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56104

  • RyanRising
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[why is there no clap emoji?]
Very nice work. I didn't really like the US Graflex, but I have to say, you make it look good. But that's the point here, isn't it? :P
The above post may be subject to editing. A lot of editing.
Last Edit: 1 year 8 months ago by RyanRising.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56755

  • Burns3558
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Would it be possible to modify the eye so the light could shine through?
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 8 months ago #56765

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Not through any conventional means, no.

The usual shine-through eye setup relies on an authentic Graflex eye screwed into the wide threaded how in the shell while the 10-32 hole in the blade holder remains open (either unused or with a vented set screw).

A vented 10-32 eye, similar to the vented button in the 2.0 kit, could work, but no one currently produces one. Perhaps it might be possible to vent a standard glass eye thumbscrew with a drill press and a precise jig, but that's not something I have access to.

On the flip side, I've a Force FX Anakin I'm converting to an in-between 3.5 Graflex, and I'll be using a vented 10-32 screw and custom-machined acrylic eye to achieve the effect.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #57269

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So foot in mouth. Modified the glass eye to light up.

While I was dremelling off the excess threads, the eye heated up, and the "glass* (clear plastic) bit popped right off. Marked the center of the threaded section and drilled straight down with a 1/16" bit. Was easy enough, since the TCSS eye is a fairly soft metal. Widened the hole with a 5/64". Probably could've gone up to 3/32", but I'm currently lacking one. Sanded both sides of the plastic piece to help diffuse the light and glued it back on.




Also cut away two slots by the screw to match an actual Graflex. Same up top - cut away the slot where the reflector dish would clip on:



TCSS order was delayed, so I wound up machining my own pommel disc. A bit wider than standard, so I was able to sand it down and press-fit it into the pommel. A bit of super glue just in case, but between the tight fit and kobold clip, that insert's not going anywhere. Drilled and tapped some 6-32 threads and a discreet sound vent.



Once the clip's installed, no visible sound vent.



Grips came in. Smoothed and repainted. Installed more 6-32 button head screws. Also painted the lines on the clamp and gave the whole hilt a brushed finish.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #58317

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Brought the Graflex with me to MegaCon as a lend-out prop for photos with my Kylo Ren getup.




This one made me really glad I modified the Graflex button into a blade retention screw - didn't have any tools on me:




Also, saber volume was a bit too quiet at the con, so I'm looking into putting some more sound vents into the pommel. I'll report back shortly.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #58329

  • Andi-Jae EL
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I love the Kylo Ren costume you created but how hot was it in the costume? I've been to every NYCC and it's always hot in the Javits Center. I give people so much credit not only for dressing up in costume but also for dealing with the heat of 100,000+ visitors. With the accuracy of your costume and props, I bet you were stopped a ton for photo ops.
- Light em up

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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #58371

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*really* hot. I went for the full three layers, and the inner coat's double-thick thanks to the pleats, so let's pretend four layers.

I learned I *really* need to install a fan in the helmet. Not just to stay cool, but I was literally suffocating with just a brisk walk since there wasn't enough air in the helmet, even after replacing all the black plastic visor and cheek details with mesh.

Did my best to put on a show. Lots of photo ops, but a bummer the dealer room's kept so dark. Really hard to get decent pictures on a cellphone camera.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #58375

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That's amazing work, well done. Also, I need that cat sound font in my life.
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #58455

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Fantastic job! And I second amenthea's statement. That's my new favorite soundfont!
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 7 months ago #58577

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My wife said she wanted a really off-the-wall sound font. I think that might be it, ha. Awesome!


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 5 months ago #63731

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Finally got around to finishing the mods on this hilt. Completed the 2.0 Red Button, glued in some MR Anakin brass pins, threw in one of my earlier prototype Graflex blade plugs, and gave the hilt some light weathering.












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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 5 months ago #63743

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Yep, definitely feeling a little jealous. That is sweet!


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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Ultra Sabers Graflex Revamp 1 year 5 months ago #63750

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Vastly improved; great work! It looks awesome!
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