Hello Everybody, I hope you all enjoyed last weekend’s post and the little animation I dabbled with. Today I don’t have a new animation (but I have worked on one which I’ll post soon) however I do have the final version of my Trooper series of hilts. The inspiration for this redesign are the 709th Red Fury Stormtroopers, a legion of crack commando troopers of the First Order. The 709th were Kylo Ren’s private squad of troops (around 800 of them at full strength) and the equivalent of Darth Vader’s 501st Legion (known as Vader’s Fist). The 709th are best known as the troopers who were stationed on the planet Batuu, which you may have heard of as this planet was the inspiration for the new Disney “Galaxy’s Edge” theme park! It was also rumoured that these crack troopers would be appearing in The Rise Of Skywalker due out this December, this has yet to be confirmed (as far as I know) but a YouTuber known as Star Wars Explained posted a video about the Stormtroopers and their distinctive appearance.
I was really taken by the new camouflage striping and thought that would look sweet on a saber handle. But how to include the stripes and make them “Pop”? Well, I had learnt how to create ribbed sections so I could make a vertical striped handgrip…however I also learnt how to “twist” those ribbed sections so the ribs wrapped around the handle in a spiral style. I thought the spiral ribs looked like the diagonal “Zebra” stripe camouflage. So, here are a few work in progress studio pictures…
Wireframe of new handgrip.
The pommel is shared from previous Trooper hilts but the handgrip needed to be remodelled and as you can see in the wireframe image it sort of resembles a Harlequin! But those diamond panels are just the flat surfaces (known as Faces) that the 3D model is made from. Carefully positioning and rotating the Faces creates the spiral effect (like a screw fastener or Helter Skelter ride). Add the textures in alternating colours and you get the effect I am about to show you in the Glamour Pictures…
Furious Saber 1
Furious Saber 2
Furious Saber 3
Furious Saber 4
Furious Saber 5
Furious Emitter with components
As you can see using the techniques I mentioned above you get a striking look! I imagined that the black raised ribs were a tactical high grip material to prevent the saber from slipping from the trooper’s grip when raiding wet planets (or just on a messy battlefield in general). The red and black form an intimidating look especially as Stormtroopers usually wear white armour (The Imperial DeathTroopers from Rogue One and Captain Phasma’s chrome look being the two other non white armours). I have also started to add details in the mouth of the emitter to represent the in-universe components where the plasma blade projects from. I am really beginning to push my limits now adding more and more details and learning new functions of Blender. One of which is animations as mentioned above and I can say I have a very special hilt for Luke Skywalker which I will post nearer the release date of The Rise Of Skywalker which features animated details!
And as this is my final Trooper hilt I thought I would just add a gallery of the hilts together…
Sadly this wraps up my series of Trooper inspired hilts (well till Disney and LucasFilm bring out a new trooper type!) I hope you have enjoyed them all. I am moving on to more new designs including some inspired by the computer games Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic (SW KoTOR) and Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR). I still have the hilt belonging to Darth Vader’s secret apprentice to show you all so I hope you will return to see those in future posts. But for now I have to say a BIG thank you as I have now broken 12,000 views, so if you are a regular viewer or a first time visitor thanks for all the support. It is very much appreciated. Till next time….
Hello everybody, today we stay in the Star Wars Universe but travel this time into the genius mind and world of Ralph MacQuarrie – the world famous concept artist who created the “look” of Star Wars. Ralph MacQuarrie’s works could hang in any gallery and I find them fascinating, whenever I see one of his pictures I stop and study it. There were character designs for Darth Vader complete with battle armour and helmet/mask making him look like a space Samurai, there is an image of two droids walking on a sand flat…then there are the pictures of the Stormtroopers! We all know the Stormtroopers now, the shiny egg-shell white armoured foot soldiers but did you know they were supposed to have lightsabers in the beginning? Originally, George Lucas envisaged everyone would have “Lazer Swords”, the good guys, the bad guys and Stormtroopers! Mr MacQuarrie produced an image of two corridors, one with three Rebel fighters and in the adjoining corridor a group of troopers…the one nearest to us wielding a pure white plasma bladed lightsaber. However you can’t quite make out the hilt itself except it is short, so I decided now I have Blender to release my creativity, I would design a hilt that the Stormtroopers may have hung on their belts. This is Trooper Saber….
Trooper Basic Hilt
I took the approach that a saber for a trooper would be functional, compact and based off the image (seen in the title image above btw!) it would be similar to a hilt known as a Shoto. Shoto hilts are predominantly single handed weapons used in your non dominant hand as a defensive weapon. They tend to have a shorter blade too but I kept a regular blade as you will see later again in keeping with the image. The pommel I took inspiration from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s saber from The Phantom Menace, which according to sources houses an additional power cell. This saber just has a speaker vent but it does share the round skull-crusher style and the turrets or blocks around it’s circumference. The handgrip I made from two sections, an inner core and a perforated outer sheath/sleeve. I imagined that this outer sheath would be some sort of rubberised/textured material as this is a tactical weapon and grip would be important. Ok I have tattled on and you have still to see some Glamour Shots of the saber so here they are…
Imperial Cog Activation Switch
Trooper Pommel with belt clip knob
Trooper full length top 1
Trooper full length top 2
Trooper profile 1
Trooper Profile 2
I think this design worked out ok (it is a slightly older design but it still checks out sir! 😀 ) I replicated the eggshell white colour of the troopers’ armour and accented sections in black to mimic their equipment belts (such as the ring of panels around the emitter). The handgrip again is in white but to avoid the hilt being lost in one colour I used black as the inner core so it can be seen through the sheath holes. The activation switch however is a bit special as it is modelled on the Imperial Cog logo which sometimes is displayed on the shoulder plates and pauldrons troopers wear. To finish the hilt is the pommel which as I mentioned earlier is loosely based on Obi-Wan’s saber but it also shares the spherical motif that the Empire employed. The Death Star was spherical, the fuselage of the Tie Fighter (more on this later) was spherical and so too is the pommel of this weapon! And the blade of this weapon is pure plasma white as Ralph Macquarrie imagined. Later rewrites of the story would replace the white blades with Blue ones for the good guys and Red for the bad guys…and the Stormtoopers got….Blasters! So uncivilised!
I suppose in a way it made sense that the lightsaber be withheld for the main special characters and not just everybody, it instilled the weapon with a sense of mysticism but it might have been fun seeing hordes of troopers with lazer swords…and I could have supplied them! But sadly that is another story and it is also time for this post to end. But as always before I go, I have a few bits to let you know about. I still have at least TEN more hilts to show you all (and maybe a Tie Fighter themed one) so I hope you will all return to see those in futures posts. And I have to say a big thank you to a gentleman named Lord_S_Gray from the Ultrasabers’ forum who kindly commented on my Satele Shan hilt that I “had truly recreated the weapon of a Jedi”. That means a lot. So to end I will say thanks to you my viewers and followers new and regular for all the support and kind words. Till next time!
Hello Everybody, today I have a saber for a very well known hero, who had what you could say was a bit of a reluctance to embrace Lightsabers but has been known to wield one now and again. I am talking about Han Solo, the Corellian Smuggler turned Rebel Fighter, General and Hero. Han had his first close contact with Lightsabers whilst chauffeuring the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, the young Luke Skywalker and their droids from Tatooine to Alderaan. Han was slightly dismissive of “The Force” and “Lightsabers” preferring to have a good blaster by his side. Han must have learnt something though from Obi-Wan’s attempts to teach Luke, as Han had to use a Lightsaber in the Empire Strikes Back to save his young friend’s life on Hoth’s ice plains. Just for his bravery going into the blizzard to save Luke I felt Han was overdue a saber design as a reward, and so here it is, I call this design Bloodstripe Lightsaber….
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Emitter
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Emitter 2
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Switch
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Body
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Pommel
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Pommel 2
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Horizontal
Bloodstripe Lightsaber Vertical Up
The physical design of the saber isn’t fancy, it has an emitter, switch, a body section and a pommel. The blade is coloured Arctic Blue just like the Graflex that Luke inherited from his Father, and was later used by Han on Hoth. The emitter looks a little like the cylindrical sections of Han’s ship the Millenium Falcon, and connects to a standard switch unit. I said the design of this hilt was basic but the hand grip is a bit special as it is made of several Coupler pieces which allowed me to replicate the famous striped pattern found running down the leg of Han’s trousers. You can see what I mean in this picture..The arrow points to the marks in question which are known as “Bloodstripes”. Bloodstripes were an insignia to represent bravery in the Corellian military and to wear them the individual had to earn them. It is rumoured Han won his Bloodstripes whilst on a mission where he freed Chewbacca and saved his friend’s life. There were two tiers of Bloodstripe and Han was one of the few people in the galaxy to have won both (the other insignia consisted of yellow markings). To achieve the look I was able to paint alternate blocks of the handgrip using the blue and red “powdercoats” and hopefully recreated the insignia and look of Han’s trousers.
Han has also been known to have used a saber in the new Star Wars comics launched around the beginning of 2016. In Issue #11 Han accompanies Princess Leia and Chewie on a mission and can be seen using a Green bladed hilt. As this comic was released with Disney/LucasFilm’s permission it is said that Han now can use a Lightsaber and it is considered as Canon. However I’d like to think he may have swapped the Green one for my Bloodstripe design.
I am once more approaching the closing of this post but first I’d like to let you know of the next couple of hilts I have in the works. Having seen the new Trailers for The Last Jedi, I noticed something in them which has led me to redesign a hit I had already begun work on but I should have that one finished soon and I have a hilt for a BFF, BIG FURRY FRIEND! I hope you will join me for those in upcoming posts and thank you so much to all the visitors (from all corners of the globe) I have received over the past couple of weeks, your support is very much appreciated. Till next time.
Hello Everybody, today I have another hilt I have been working on and I want to post this one as I may have the chance to meet this guy shortly, but more on that later! This is a saber for an anti-hero type Bounty Hunter who took his job seriously and did it with “honour”, so much so he belonged to the bounty hunter’s guild. He had many quarries to catch and had varying success. He worked with various other hunters including the likes of Dengar, Aura Sing, the legendary Boba Fett and even Ezra Bridger(?). But I think this character is an unsung legend and his name is Bossk, son of Cradossk. Bossk is a Trandoshan, the race of humanoid reptiles that were infamous for hunting Wookies (sorry Chewie!). Bossk’s weapon of choice is a Relby-v-10 Mortar Gun but he may decide to use a saber after he sees…Bossk’s Bounty…
Bounty Emitter 2
Bounty Vertical Up
I think you can see what I attempted here, the saber sort of looks like Bossk himself from top to bottom! The emitter I felt had a bit of a facial look to it and when coated in the powder coat called Mocha Metallic gives it the alien reptilian look of Bossk’s head. The body replicates Bossk’s flight-suit with it’s yellow main casing and the white ribbed grip section. The suit in reality was actually a high altitude survival suit for RAF pilots called a Windak suit. The white vest like chest piece is part of the air supply filtering system I believe. The suit is so Sci-Fi looking it was used in a few other British Sci-Fi TV shows! The switch is a fairly standard one just functional really, but the pommel I used is a little gift to Bossk. Let me explain, when I went to the cinema way back in time to watch Empire Strikes Back and saw Bossk on screen I was slightly concerned that he didn’t have boots to protect his feet (you may remember the scene on Darth Vader’s ship with the other bounty hunters and Bossk’s claws were hanging over the edge of the platform they were stood on.) As a result I decided to use this pommel to look like boots…but his toes STILL stick out, those are the little brown accents. I think I may have designed the first pair of Trandoshan Toe Boots…hmm I might have to branch out into fashion design too 😀 !
That was Bossk himself and I hope he likes his new saber design, if not the boots! Now I mentioned earlier that I may have the chance to “meet” Bossk shortly, well I hope to get to visit a Comic Con where the actor who portrayed him will be attending! The gentleman’s name is Alan Harris, and he also appeared in the next film Return of the Jedi as Bossk too. He is very versatile as he also played a Stormtrooper and was a stand-in double for Terence Stamp! Hopefully I might be able to get his/Bossk’s opinion on my design!
I will have to let you all know how that goes, if I can snag tickets to the convention. But I am afraid time is running out here and I need to bring this post to an end. As always thank you for looking in today, I realise you have to wait a little longer for my designs but I hope it’s worth it. Your support is really appreciated. So please call back and see what I have in store in my upcoming posts…Till next time.
Hello Everybody, today I finally get back to the Star Wars universe and present to you my design for a character that is a fan favourite. So much so there seems to be a campaign to “Bring him back!” for the new film The Last Jedi. That character is of course Lando Calrissian, the former administrator of Bespin City, the the floating mining facility in Empire Strikes Back. Lando was a bit of a rogue and a ladies man, and nearly proved to be an equal to Han in the race for Princess Leia’s affections (I think Leia always wanted to be with Han, but having Lando show her attention didn’t hurt matters, it helped keep Han on his toes!). So it seems Lando lost the Millennium Falcon to Han in a card game, lost Princess Leia to Han and lost Bespin to the Empire…I think he deserves a saber don’t you? Yes, and here is my design for him, this is Calrissian Lightsaber…
Calrissian Lightsaber Hilt
Calrissian Lightsaber Emitter
Calrissian Lightsaber Emitter 2
Calrissian Lightsaber Switch
Calrissian Lightsaber Body
Calrissian Lightsaber Pommel
Calrissian Lightsaber Vertical Up
Calrissian Lightsaber Horizontal
There, hopefully this should cheer Lando up! I designed this to have a little bit of flair, with a few nods to Bespin. The blade is white, reminiscent of the whispy clouds that shared the sky with Bespin “Cloud” City (maybe I should nickname this hilt Cloud City..hmm?). The hilt has an overall blue powder coat to reflect his outfit from ESB with it’s cape and gold brocade. I was going to add a few gold accents but felt that might be a bit gaudy (but having seen what Lando did to the Falcon in the Lego Star Wars cartoons I needn’t have worried). The hilt body has markings and recessed areas that remind me of the arches and beams of the floating city as does the pommel. The pommel looks so much like the mushroom shaped accommodation pods on the upper surfaces of the city.
That was Calrissian Lightsaber, I hope you enjoyed it. I don’t know if Lando will resurface in The Last Jedi but at least we got to see him again in ROTJ. (But don’t worry there is another chance to see Lando, albeit in his younger years in the Han Solo anthology film). I guess time will tell.
Yes I mentioned that word again, Time, sadly it is running out on me. I will have to bring this post to an end shortly, but before I go, as always I need to thank you all. Your support keeps me designing and posting these hilts and you have been visiting from all around the globe so thank you so much. I sincerely hope you will return to see upcoming posts where I have a Legends inspired hilt and some more from my friends. Till next time.