Master Z Lightsaber – Don Diego de la Vega’s saber

Hello Everybody, a week or two back I posted a design inspired by the new Disney live action movie of Mulan – and the beautiful Katana sword featured in it. Well I seem to have caught a bug and have started modelling hilts based on real world swords and sabers….and in this case a sword that was made famous by Don Diego de la Vega – aka ZORRO! Vega/Zorro was a gentleman vigilante of the California regions who fought the oppressive authorities and tyrants that made the lives of the poor downtrodden folks hell. Don Diego was the son of a wealthy landowner and couldn’t be seen as such to be fighting the local authority so adopted a disguise of a black costume and cape, a sombrero cordobés hat and a famous face mask. In this disguise Don Diego became Zorro and using his fencing skills learnt in Spain he battled for the local townsfolk. Zorro also used a pistol now and then, had a knife in his boot and rode a horse named Tornado…but it was his sword he was most famous for. The weapon was a thin bladed sword with an ornate cup shaped handguard known as a Rapier (one of four types of fencing swords – the others being the Foil, Épée and Sabre). With this weapon he would out-skill the bounty hunters and militia that were sent out too stop the vigilante and as a way to humiliate his opponents he would famously “carve” his initial Z into their clothing using three quick strokes of his blade. Now I build lightsabers, so how could I build a Zorro inspired hilt? Well here are a couple of studio wireframe images to show you what I came up with…

The saber has a very distinct “Pirates” look to it too and you could imagine Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Powers or Duncan Regehr wielding this hilt (they all portrayed Zorro in movies or TV shows – Duncan Regehr is the Zorro seen in the title image above ^^). It has a regular “lightsaber blade” but that is just so I get the usual lightsaber look to the blade, otherwise I would have made the blade slightly thinner. There is the bowl shaped handguard and I even added ornaments such as the Quillons (the bar with the spherical ends) and the curved bar known as a Sweeping or Knuckle Guard. To finish the fancy stuff I added a high polished spherical pommel to act as a counterweight. However you won’t see the pretty polished look in a wireframe image so I think it’s about time for some Glamour Shots….

I am really pleased how this hilt turned out as I used to have problems before creating curved parts in Blender let alone a curved part made of a high polished material. My old laptop couldn’t handle the number of polygons (modelling units) and the graphics required to recreate such complex pieces, but my new laptop can! And I have gone to town with my second Rapier saber which should appear in next week’s post.

To wrap up this post I will just give a shout out to Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro, who wrote the original story way back in 1919 so Don Diego is actually 101 years old! The character of Don Diego/Zorro first appeared in a novel named “The Curse of Capistrano” which was serialised in five parts in the pulp magazine “All -Story Weekly”. Since then there has been over FORTY Zorro films, countless books, comics, plays, computer games and even a musical starring the masked man.

I will also mention that Zorro and it’s associated names and intellectual properties allegedly belong to a company named Zorro Productions Inc, but there are/have been disputes about who owns the rights. However I have mentioned them so I don’t have to worry about “infringing copyright” or other people’s work….this is a tribute!

That does wrap things up for this design and I hope you liked it. It was fun to build as I even got to visit the pueblo of Los Angeles for the Glamour Shots (just kidding!). I have another Rapier inspired hilt you may have seen in my sneak peek I posted yesterday coming up next week and it was inspired by the biggest swashbuckling film of the 80’s. I hope you will return to see that one as there are some memorable quotes to go with it. Thank you for checking out Master Z today, whether this is your first visit or you are a regular viewer/reader of my site thank you for the support, you are much appreciated. Till next time….

“Master Z” Lightsaber is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2020. “Zorro” and all other names, logos, images and related materials are Trademark/©Copyright of Zorro Productions Inc.

11 thoughts on “Master Z Lightsaber – Don Diego de la Vega’s saber”

    1. Thanks Capili, I have only just been able to make models like this because I updated my laptop and software. My old computer couldn’t cope with the amount of data for the shape of the model and all the textures. This new laptop allows me to have curved parts with all the shiny materials. Glad you liked it, I have another hilt from a big fantasy swashbuckling film from the 80’s next week!

  1. An impressive build there, FT, and a really good idea to model some famous swords in your sabersite style. Must be quite a challenge trying to blend historical with sci-fi.
    Here in France, Zorro is a massive pop culture phenomenon – with countless books, toys, games and promotions. At some French theme parks they have actors playing scenes of Zorro’s stories.
    If you remember Palitoy’s ‘Action Man’ from its period in the late 70s and early 80s, the French license for this was by CEJI and known as ‘Action Joe’ or ‘Group Action Joe’. CEJI obtained exclusive permission to produce a Zorro figure – same size and styling as the regular Action Man… imagine how cool that would have been opening a 12 inch Zorro action figure on Christmas morning! Here is one of my ads showing him: https://thevintagetoyadvertiser.org/category/action-joe/#jp-carousel-5606

    1. Hi TVTA, thanks so much, glad you like the idea of a Historical collection of hilts (or at least ones from the movies!). I am only able to create these new complex curved saber handles due to the new laptop I got and the latest version of Blender,
      And not only do I remember G.I. Zorro but my brother and I actually had one! It was a really well made outfit but we did have to accentuate his moustache a little with a marker pen! We also had a version of Captain Cosmos Mark and an Action Joe. The Action Joe had a really cool smock jacket that was identical to the real world ones (it fastened asymmetrically so it had a Storm Flap closure and high collar/neckline) Thanks for reminding me of Action Zorro!

      1. Cool you had the Zorro figure! And cool too you can explore new ideas with your workshop upgrades! I was thinking about some other TV/Film famous swords and wondered how they would work as sabers, like Arya’s ‘Needle’, Frodo’s ‘Sting’, Conan, He-Man, Kill Bill The Bride…

      2. Hmm, an update to the “Sword of Power” might be an interesting project or “The Bride” (I think I have an idea for this one already). Thanks as always….keeping me busy!

      3. Hi TVTA, thanks for the link – very useful! I think I could manage numbers 11 and 12 pretty easily! A few hilts in that list look interesting. I can say that one custom saber company made an Anduril hilt already but they didn’t release it. There is one example of it that I know of and is owned by their designer. I will have a go at modelling one of the others that is listed…so keep an eye open in future!

    1. Hello Resa, I’m pleased you like this hilt so much. With my new laptop setup I am better able to create the curved and chromed parts so can tackle these classic/historical styled hilts. I used to watch the Saturday Morning Matinees show here in the UK way back in the 80’s and Zorro was one of the main shows we got to see (The other being King of the Rocketmen). I was so entertained by Zorro that I wanted to learn fencing but the clubs in my area were too expensive for me to join. Thanks and I’m glad I stirred some memories.

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