R5-D4 Saber – A saber for Red

Hello Everybody, today I continue the Star Wars designs with the first of my updated Droid designs! I designed a couple of hilts and applied new colour schemes to them a while ago (including Chopper and K2-SO) but I felt that they weren’t quite right. I was limited by having to rely on the parts available in the virtual saber builder software I used to use. However now I have the power of Blender (and it feels like real power – I’m having to be careful not to turn into a Sith!) I can create bespoke pieces of my own. So, as you can tell from the title this is for the unfortunate Astromech we saw in Star Wars A New Hope, R5-D4 or as Luke called him, “Red”. Again I wanted to push my boundaries and skills and this is the first of three droid hilts. So “Come on Red”….the audience wants to see you….

These work in progress pictures show that R5-D4 is basically a tube to begin with but after some pushing, pulling and reshaping the outline of a basic Astromech appears. Astromechs have many panels and compartments and I tried to add a few of them as slightly recessed areas, which provide convenient gripping characteristics! I also made the blue and silver grill as a separate part then combined it with the body. This ensures that I can model the part and if I make a mistake it doesn’t ruin the work I have done on the hilt already. The same applies to the silver grills situated below. I then had to add the “optic sensors” which are 4 metallic parts that form R5’s face as it were. I noticed that R5’s “neck” section wasn’t quite right so I modelled the row of square windows that circle between his head and body. Ok we’re part way through the build so I will add a few more pics here…

R5-D4 Saber was starting to look the part, however, the longer you tinker with a design, the more things you “find” that you want to alter or fix. Well I realised I had forgotten to provide a way to activate or switch the saber off! I fixed this by modelling the two red arm-like appendages that run horizontally across his body. In real life saber building there are special types of switches called “Tactiles” which can measure as small as 5mm square and just a few mm tall. I imagined using one of these switches attached underneath the red arms to form the On/Off switch. Then it was a matter of tweaking parts and repositioning to get the hilt in proportion(ish!)

Well that is just about all there is to tell about shaping the saber, and most of you will be able to tell that the blade comes out the top of R5’s head – a bit like his bad motivator that shot out of his dome when Luke’s uncle bought him from the Jawa’s. Now some believe that R5 was “Force Sensitive” and knew that Luke had to meet Artoo Detoo to save the galaxy and so purposely malfunctioned. Others believe that Artoo sabotaged R5 while in the Jawa sandcrawler so he could complete his mission. Either way this saber blows it top every time it is ignited! And here are two final images for you…

And there you have it, R5-D4 Saber all lit up and motivated! You may have noticed that R5 tried hopping into an escape pod in the last picture…yes, I have learnt how to add background images to my finished models now (by the way that’s the Tantive V!) just for a bit of fun.

I am out of time for this offering and I hope you liked it. I have a further two droids to bring to you, one you will recognise instantly and a second much newer addition to the Star Wars saga. On top of those, I have two hilts based off films due for release in December, a tribute to the highest grossing super hero film ever, the TLJ tribute and finally….my latest build a cyborg! (cough,cough…hint,hint!) Hopefully you will continue to come back and see what these hilts are in my future posts but for now thank you so much for visiting today (and if you are a regular viewer thanks for your continued support) it is much appreciated. Till next time….

“R5-D4 Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-18. “R5-D4”, “Astromech” and all  other Star Wars related names, logos, images and material are Trademark/©Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm.


10 thoughts on “R5-D4 Saber – A saber for Red”

    1. HI there, I am trying to learn a new skill or function for each saber I come up with. That way what happens is, I end up picking up more techniques more quickly because some are very similar or linked even if they don’t appear to be at first. Adding backgrounds and layers of smoke/mist just adds a fun element!
      And may I say your motivation is never to be questioned after your fund raising efforts!

    1. Thank you Neil that is much appreciated coming from you. As I commented above the more I do now, the more bits of the software “click” and make sense. I am still working on composing images and getting render settings right (I have been getting a lot of noise/speckles in my images) but I will sort those problems soon.

  1. Congrats, that looks the business. You got all the defining features and colours of that droid spot on. R5 never had much screen time but is a well-loved character and was included in the first 21 action figures released by Kenner back in the day. Great to see this droid added to your creations.

    1. Hello TVTA, thank you very much as always. Even though R5 had such limited screen time it is amazing how pivotal he was to the saga. And I remember the action figure too, which I owned and it too had the “eye/face” details which stuck in my mind so I had to add them!

      1. It was a good addition to the toys. Like R2-D2 it had the clicking head when you turned it. There is a hard to find variation of the vintage R5 that has minus one of the vertical red stripes on the body sticker. I always keep an eye out for one but am content with my ‘standard’ copy I picked up in a bargain lot some years back – still in mint condition after 40 years.

      2. Interesting, I never heard of the missing stripe model! I too was content with what I could afford as a Youngling. And speaking of age I wish I was still in mint condition after forty years. But that’s how I got my nickname. Most wannabe Jedi come up with a name and I celebrated my big 4-0 birthday a few years back and I was in denial, I kept repeating “Fortieth?” over and over…then finally I said it slowly and it came out as For….Tyeth and my name was born!

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