Trooper – TFA Saber – First Order Trooper Saber

Hello Everybody, today I park the Starsky and Hutch Saber back in the workshop and have another Stormtrooper inspired hilt to bring you. This time it is designed for the troopers of the First Order and came about after I watched The Force Awakens and saw the “duel” between the trooper called “Nines” and our new Rebel Stormtrooper, Finn. In that fight Nines had a weapon called the Electro Riot Control Baton, an extendable baton similar to the side handled batons used by today’s police forces. The difference being the Electro Baton had an energy blade and so Finn had to use the Graflex lightsaber he was recently given to look after. I thought “If troopers had energy batons, why not the lightsabers that Ralph McQuarrie envisioned from George Lucas’ story?” Well I explained the reason in my original Trooper Saber post but I still wanted to know what a First Order style lightsaber might look like and I set to work…sort of!

I will be honest, these are identical to the original Trooper hilt design as this TFA version is a “repainting” rather than a redesign. However it did teach me a new trick (as I am still trying to learn something new as often as I can). That trick was in regards to applying “layered” textures but more on that later in the post. I didn’t realise but the handgrip which I created with the perforated holes would work perfectly for the Fist Order styled design. I used the perforated grip purely for ergonomics on the original design but upon studying the new costume and helmet for the First Order Stormtroopers (updated by Michael Kaplan) I noticed that the recessed black parts of the helmet had a honeycomb like pattern of dimples moulded into the material. It dawned on me I could apply a black colour to the grip and it would look similar to the parts on the helmet! Anyhoo, I had best display a few more pictures so you can see for yourself…here’s the Glamour Shots….

So, by altering the balance between the black and white parts of the saber, I was able to make a more modern looking version of the Trooper hilt. Just like Michael Kaplan did to John Mollo and Ralph McQuarrie’s original Stormtrooper costume. The pommel has more accents as does the emitter with black panels and rings added. The handgrip has the new black contrast and is more obvious now the white hilt body shines through the perforations. The saber does have one new feature and that is a First Order logo activation switch! And some of you may have noticed the hilt pictures with the “bloodstains” on the emitter? Well those are the FN-2187 version of the hilt that belongs to Finn. The bloodstains are to represent the handprint smeared onto his helmet when his comrade died during the attack on the village on Jakku at the beginning of The Force Awakens.

These bloodstains are also the new “layered” textures I mentioned. In Blender there is a function to create graphics to look like materials such as glossy, matt or Aluminium textures to apply to your models, but it also has a feature to allow the user to apply layers of semi transparent images as well. This is similar to adding decals onto scale model kits but it is a little tricky to position the graphic accurately. The two images above show the original scratches in black and white and the second image I coloured red and made transparent – this image I applied onto the model. Using this technique I will be able to add all sorts of insignia and logos onto future models!

Well I think that just about wraps up this week’s offering, I hope you liked the new updated Trooper. I have two more versions for another post and one of these is based on an as yet unseen Stormtrooper who may be in the new Episode 9 Star Wars film. So I hope you will return to see those as well as my new Exo-Suit inspired hilts for a couple of Marvel heroes…and my new REBUILT Thor crossguard and shoto hilts! But for now I have to say a big thank you as always for your visit today and the continued support I have received, whether a new visitor or a regular viewer/follower you are much appreciated. Till next time….

“Trooper TFA Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. “The Force Awakens”, “FN-2187/Finn” and all othe names, logos and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of Disney Studios/LucasFilm.

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Starsky and Hutch Saber – Inspired by the Ford Gran Torino

Hello Everybody, today we come back down to earth with a bump and land right in the middle of the world of crime busting! This is another of my “inspired by” range of sabers based on toys and merchandise from TV and film franchises for a series of posts which I produce in conjunction with my friend, TheVintageToyAdvertiser. And today we go back to the mid 70’s and Bay City California – the world of top cops, Starsky & Hutch! I used to watch reruns of this series in the UK during the early 80’s and loved the show. It had everything, action, stunts, real hard hitting stories and three stars in the show. I say three as there was the two titular cops played by Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul….but there was also the CAR! Yes, the now world famous 1976 Ford Gran Torino with the white vector stripes down the side. The car wasn’t loved by everyone however as Paul Michael Glaser upon seeing it behind the scenes described it as ” big, ugly and childish-looking” and “wasn’t the sort of car undercover cops would drive”. He also said it looked like a “Striped Tomato”. Well that striped tomato (or Grand Tomato as it got nicknamed in the UK) became a big selling toy item for Corgi Toys and I was given the task of designing a hilt based on the show so what better than a Gran Torino saber! Here are some studio work in progress pictures…

So as this series concentrates on the toy merchandise and the car is the star I had to combine a Ford Gran Torino with a saber! I thought that was daunting as I had already pushed the limits of design and created a Ghostbusters Ecto-1 themed hilt and I worried that a Gran Torino hilt may look too much like a car. However using clever shaping of the hilt handle I was able to create a hand guard section (or Tsuba in Japanese sword terminology) which also resembled the front hood of the car and the radiator grille, whilst still incorporating the saber blade. I repeated the flared shape for the rear end of the saber which resulted in a car shape with a “pinched waist” for the handgrip. To show why I chose this shape here are a few images supplied by TVTA to show off the Corgi Toy replica car…

As you might be able to see, the Gran Torino has a very distinctive front end and rear section so by flaring the ends of the saber I could replicate those body shapes and incorporate a few nice details such as the radiator grille with headlights! Of course the most striking detail on the car is the white stripe and I had to work hard to get that looking correct. Fortunately the effort I put into my Superman Supermobile Saber hilt helped me position and shape the stripe (not easy on curved surfaces!). Below you can see a few test renders of the hilt where I check my work….

In the above images you can see the shape coming together and the all important stripe. You can also see the “bodywork lines” to represent the hood and panels of the car – I even modelled the rear collision protectors (known as bumpers in the UK!) But it still wasn’t completely finished it was missing a few more details, see if you can pick them out in the following “Glamour Shot” gallery…

I modelled the windshield and side windows and gave them a black gloss finish to replicate the toys. These windows are actually inset slightly to give a grippy texture to prevent the saber slipping in your hand. It also has an emergency light used as the activation switch, and technically I know it should sit atop the “roof” section but for the sake of ergonomics I moved it to a position so it could be pressed with your thumb. For the really little details I even added “door handles” on the sides and the moulded bodywork fins stretching from the stripe to the rear end of the car/saber. If you zoom in real close on the radiator you will find the red “Ford Torino” badge modelled on the chromed grille! Oh yes…and the headlights light up too as accents!

Wow! That was a slightly longer than normal post but there were a lot of details to cover. Starsky and Hutch ran for four seasons (series) and a theatrical movie was produced as well as a computer game. The two prop cars used in the show still exist albeit slightly worse for wear as Paul did his best to secretly try and destroy the cars as he hated them. Thankfully he failed (though he did bend them quite a bit) and one resides in a museum of “Cars of the Stars” and the second I believe is in private ownership now. Many replicas have been built/modified by fans around the world.

And please be sure to check out TheVintageToyAdvertiser‘s site over the next few weeks as one of his posts will be a Starsky & Hutch themed offering of toy and merchandise advertisements!

Ok I will end here, and as always thank you all for checking out my Starsky and Hutch Saber. I hope you enjoyed it and will return to check out more of my creations here on FTSabersite in future posts. Whether you are a regular long time viewer/follower or a first time visitor, you are most welcome and appreciated. Till next time…

“Starsky & Hutch Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. “Starsky & Hutch”, the “Starsky Gran Torino” and all other names, logos and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of Spelling-Goldberg Productions/Columbia Pictures. 

Swoop Saber -A weapon for Enfys Nest

Hello Everybody, now today’s post is definitely not the one I was going to bring you but as you may know due to a technical “glitch” the files for the Thor inspired crossguard hilt I had built were wiped from my computer and USB stick as I was finishing preparing the images for the post. Silly me had removed the USB stick and re-inserted it but when I attempted to save an image  to the stick Windows jumped in and began scanning and “fixing” the stick as it didn’t recognise it properly. The “fix” included deleting the folder (because it was open) and ALL the files. I was distraught as I had spent over a month building it!

But back to today and another saber is ready to “Swoop” in and fill the void! That saber is a design I had for a new character from the recent SOLO – A Star Wars Story movie, and she is called Enfys Nest. Nest is a pirate and marauder who led a pirate group called the “Cloud Riders” who rode advanced speeder bikes called “Swoop Bikes”. So this design is named after their flying bikes….here are a couple of studio work in progress images of “Swoop Saber”….

This design stemmed from the weapon Enfys Nest uses to break open packing crates and containers and which she used to attack Han, Chewie and Tobias Beckett whilst they tried to steal Hyperspace fuel from a moving train! The weapon is called an Electroripper Staff and I quickly saw interesting details on it that I thought would look good on a saber, The section above the handhold has a perforated shroud (probably for cooling purposes) and interesting angled panels and edges that I really liked. It was these details I tried to incorporate in my design – the rest of the staff was fairly plain. I had to build the hilt handle but fortunately had a handgrip that I was able to flip and modify, then I had to model the perforated shroud. Man, was that fun! I had to learn how to create a flat sheet, divide it into smaller squares then punch holes through it – and if that wasn’t hard enough I had bend the sheet so it wrapped around the hilt! Luckily I was a quick learner and I achieved it…now I guess you would like to see some Glamour Shots? Ok here they are…

This saber has a few neat little details which didn’t show up in the studio pictures above, the first of which is the logo on the pommel. This logo is associated with Enfys and the Cloud Riders and I thought it would look good on the pommel stub. The saber has a nice blue illuminated switch that matches with the electrical sparks on her Electroripper Staff. The emitter was a scavenged part I thought looked sleek and a little like a carburettor head or part of a Swoop Bike. Finally there is the shroud and this I really like, if you look closely you will see it isn’t just a flat sheet but is in fact hollow and has the perforations running through both sides of it. But the shroud is also removable and a peek underneath it will reveal what that blue glow is…Yep this saber has a twin crystal chamber…

Twin crystals shine through the windows on the underside of the hilt and once more if you look closely you can see the four mounting pins to hold the shroud when it is fitted, little details make all the difference!

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Enfys Nest – Copyright Disney Studios/Lucasfilm.

And I think that just about wraps up this design. I think Enfys might be tempted to use a hilt like this, it suits her style. And so again I apologise that I couldn’t bring the Thor hilt I had been teasing but hopefully this one was just as good. I have started the job of rebuilding the lost hilt from memory and hope to have a new version in a week or two.

Fortunately my technical mishap didn’t erase all of my work and so I still have a lot more new sabers to show you in upcoming week’s posts. And next week we will be visiting Bay City and a police crime drama show where the inspiration will be the “Grand Tomato”! If you don’t already know what that is then I hope you’ll all return and I can show you. Thank you so much for all the support this past week and for visiting today, whether a new or regular visitor you are all welcome and appreciated. Till next time….

“Swoop Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. “Enfys Nest”, “SOLO – A Star Wars Story” and all names, logos and related materials are Trademark/©Copyright of Disney Studios/Lucasfilm.

Sorry everybody, disaster has struck! (But at least I’m still here)

Hello Everyone….

I am not in my usual jovial mood today as I have a bit of bad news. Luckily I am still here but one of the sabers I have been teasing you with and was hoping to post this weekend has been lost.

Let me explain….as some of you know I have a really old laptop and I have been struggling to keep it running. Well I had been saving all my designs onto USB stick drives because the laptop kept reporting it had no memory left. I fixed this problem by doing a full system and drive clean up but I still had my designs stored on USB. I was busy this afternoon creating the title header image for my Thor inspired crossguard hilt and had the folder open which I had it stored in. As I attempted to save this image to the USB stick I got a message saying “Write Protect is active cannot save”. I tried several times but it wouldn’t save so I removed the drive and re-inserted it. The laptop immediately reported an issue on the drive and asked did I want to scan and fix it. Before I had a chance Windows proceeded to do the disc scan and “fixed” the problem. ONLY PROBLEM WAS….IT ALSO DELETED THE FOLDER THAT THE THOR SABER WAS IN!. I feel as if I have been run through the chest with a saber myself….I had worked on that design for more than a month and now it’s gone.

And yes, stupid rookie mistake, I only had the design on ONE USB stick not both that I own. Even worse (or a good thing depending on how you look at it I suppose) it left all my other work intact. So I will still be posting a design this weekend…just not the one I was really planning for. I am going to post the two teaser images I did upload to WordPress and I will set about bringing the Thor saber back to life….I WILL REBUILD IT SOMEHOW!

I feel sick to the stomach to be honest, but I just want to say sorry to everyone who was looking forward to this design…I was just as much, as I was especially proud of it…..hopefully you will return this weekend when I will post a surprise saber!

Thanks for your support and looking in today (it’s very much appreciated after today’s events) Till this weekend…..

For Tyeth (p.s. to self….Back up your Backups!)

Gre’thor Blade – A Klingon inspired field weapon

Hello Everybody, now today I am breaking from my normal operandus modi and am posting a repeat of sorts. I am posting the other colour variants of the B’Elanna’s Blade hilt from last week. This time the saber is coloured a tactical black with Bloodwine red edging and silver accents (I hear Klingon warriors like a tankard or two of Bloodwine!). It still has the three claws, the “cranial ridges” details on the handgrip and the Klingon Empire emblem on the pommel. But this is a weapon you might find on the battlefield in The Neutral Zone or in Klingon Hell…known as “Gre’thor”. So what better name for a hilt than Gre’thor Blade, and here it is….

And yes, this hilt shares the same pommel decoration as B’Elanna’s hilt so I used the same image! However the other pictures are new and I think really highlight the sinister looking Bloodwine red edging and accents. This is meant to be a sidearm saber weapon (it might look good paired with a Bat’leth ax weapon!) and is mainly a tactical black colour to enhance it’s aggressive look and make it less visible. It is also stealthy. And on the subject of stealth I messed around with the controls in Blender and tried out some other colours and discovered a very nice green shade for the handle. It turns out that colour reminded me of a very special Klingon icon…The Bird of Prey! The Bird of Prey is the famous Klingon spaceship that has a Cloaking Device, making it virtually invisible (and first appeared in Star Trek III). When it is de-cloaked it looks like this…

Similar huh? It’s amazing how often these little coincidences happen and how they can lead me to produce either variants of a hilt or even completely new designs! It is these coincidences that have led me to post these designs today, as during the last 7 days I have created two more completely new sabers and I am beginning to build up a backlog that needs to be posted. But before I move onto these new designs I will just post one last picture of Gre’thor/B’Elanna’s Blade and it is in a nice shade of blue.BlueHawk One MK

So I have finally completed my Klingon Collection, and I can move onto all the other hilts I have left to show you all. These will feature in upcoming posts and include the “Grand Tomato” cop show saber, a hilt based on a space-age mining ship and comedy show, a fearsome weapon from Kashyyyk and a new Stormtrooper has been announced and I built one for him too. But first we are going to Asgard next week and a great Norse God and Marvel hero gets his crossguard…and you won’t want to miss this epic hilt. So please call back to see all of this next week (and in the near future).  Thank you for your visit today, whether a regular viewer/follower or if this is your first time here…your support is much appreciated. Till next time…..

“Gre’thor Blade” and “B’Elanna’S Blade” are For Tyeth Editions and are ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. They were inspired by the Paramount Pictures and CBS Television franchise Star Trek and Star Trek Voyager (plus movies). All Star Trek names, logos, images and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of Paramount Pictures/CBS Television.

B’Elanna’s Blade – Inspired by Star Trek Voyager’s B’Elanna Torres

Hello Everybody (or Nuqneh), today I venture into another galaxy to discover new life forms, new civilizations….and new saber designs, to boldly go where no saber designer has gone before! I refer to the franchise of Star Trek of course and the series Voyager in particular. This is one of my “rebuild” hilts in that I have designed a saber before on this subject using the old software I used to use but this is a new Blender 3D design! The hilt is for the famous warrior race, the Klingons and one particular half Klingon, B’Elanna Torres.

B'Elanna_Torres,_2376

B’Elanna was a half human, half Klingon woman who came from a broken family when her human father left home – unable to cope with two Klingon females in the homeplace. This affected B’Elanna greatly and she shunned her Klingon heritage and the fact she was bullied for her “cranial ridges” at school didn’t help. B’Elanna eventually joined the Starfleet Academy but due to her conflicted personal state she dropped out and joined a group called the Maquis. B’Elanna served on a Maquis ship, the Val Jean, which was attacked and disabled. Ironically, Torres was eventually rescued by the starship Voyager and became a member of it’s crew….and gained a reputation as a bold warrior! This is my new saber for her…Studio pictures!

These two studio images show how complex my 3D models are becoming! These are the wireframe models and show the three claws and the decorated handgrip. I modelled a single claw then made duplicate copies which I arranged around the emitter. To make these claws look more sleek and smooth I used a function called a “Subsurface Modifier”. This modifier helps blend the rectangular faces to make smooth/rounded curves on parts. You may also be able to make out some details on the pommel too. But of course this hilt has no textures applied so it’s time to display the rendered images with the textures and FX added….Glamour Shots….

The hilt is painted in the colours of the Klingon Empire, red, silver/white and black. And those colours are used to nicely highlight the decoration on the handgrip. These chevron arrows represent the famous “cranial ridges” that adorn B’Elanna’s forehead – they are so iconic as a Klingon feature I had to find a way to represent them. I also made the emitter claws to represent the Klingon Empire emblem, the three bladed logo seen above the Gates of Gre’thor as seen in the episode of Voyager titled, “The Barge of the Dead”. And if you want to see a better representation of the logo, I included one on the pommel as a decoration!

This just about covers this design but I do have to say I have a couple of versions in different colour schemes that I will post next week so you will see this hilt again! I hope they are an improvement on my previous design based on this courageous Klingon, and I hope you have enjoyed this update. As I say I have a few more versions of this Klingon Blade to post next week then I have a Marvel superhero hilt to show you. After that I have a Star Destroyer, a Swoop Bike and a “Grand Tomato” hilt inspired by a famous TV cop show! I hope you will call back and see what I’m talking about in my upcoming posts. But for now thank you for visiting and supporting me and FTSabersite, it’s very much appreciated! Till next time….

“B’Elanna’s Blade” is a For Tyeth Edition design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. It is inspired by the character “B’Elanna Torres” who appears in Star Trek Voyager. Star Trek and all it’s character names, logos and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of the Gene Roddenberry estate, Paramount Pictures and CBS Television.