It is with great sadness that I find that Dave Prowse, the body and actor beneath the Darth Vader suit has passed away, aged 85. He was a giant of the acting galaxy but probably never got as much recognition as he should have earlier in Star Wars history (as he was kept in secrecy behind the mask to preserve his mystique). Dave was however seen in film and on screen if you knew how to recognise him, he appeared in several Hammer Horror movies with Peter Cushing (usually playing Frankenstein’s monster or the Mummy) and for kids of the UK back in the 1980’s will remember him as the face of a government road safety campaign. He was the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero that taught kids how to safely cross roads as well as the Dark Lord that tried to rule the galaxy far far away!
David was a proud Bristol born gentleman who had a career in bodybuilding which led to him getting the roles in the Hammer movies due to his physique. He also appeared in A Clockwork Orange with Malcolm McDowell . Dave was then cast as the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, though we didn’t hear him as his dialogue was famously dubbed over by James Earl Jones due to his West Country accent.
I obviously haven’t had chance to build or design a hilt in his honour but I did model Darth Vader’s hilt a while ago so I will repost the pictures here…
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr Prowse’s family, friends and the Star Wars community at large. You were the ultimate on screen villain but a gentle green giant off it.
May the Force keep and protect you forever more My Lord….
Hello everyone, today is bittersweet as I return to the sad news of the passing of Eddie Van Halen, the guitar genius of the band that shares his family name. This is my way of thanking Eddie for all the inspiration he gave to me as a budding musician.
Eddie Lodewijk Van Halen was born in Jan 1955 to Dutch father, Jan Van Halen who was a jazz pianist, clarinetist and saxophonist (I guess Eddie was always gonna be a great with those genes) and his mother Eugenia (nee van Beers) who was of Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) descent.
The Van Halen family moved to the USA and settled in Pasadena California in 1962. Eddie had an older brother named Alex and the pair studied classical piano from an early age in San Pedro but Eddie couldn’t read music! He learnt by watching and listening…and when he had to perform Beethoven or Mozart pieces he would improvise! Alex decided to pick up the guitar prompting Eddie to buy a drum kit to accompany his brother. However after hearing Alex drumming the song Wipe Out by The Safari’s the pair “swapped” instruments and Eddie began studying guitar. He practised whenever he could, carrying the guitar around with him. They soon realised that rock music was much more cool than classical and formed a band….and Eddie built a guitar!
The guitar became famous as the “Frankenstrat” built from various parts and modified pieces that allowed Eddie to create out-of-this-world sounds. Eddie also became synonymous with a playing technique he called “Tapping” where he used the fingers of both hands to tap and hold the strings on the fretboard to play ultra fast notes up and down the musical scales. Later Eddie would invent a device to assist holding the guitar in position whilst he “Tapped”. He also designed other guitar parts so he was a designer too….and I think it’s time to show you my design in honour of EVH…This is my “Eruption Saber”….
You may have seen this saber before if you follow my site. I posted one picture of this as a variant to my Obi-Wan Kenobi Master K (https://ftsabersite.wordpress.com/2019/10/12/master-k-saber-an-obi-wan-kenobi-inpsired-hilt/) hilt but the news of Eddie’s passing was so sudden I totally forgot I had built it. However I have added a few more details I’ll show below. But first this saber shares a similar colour scheme as Eddie’s famous Frankenstrat of black, white and red abstract stripes and shapes. The Frankenstrat was originally black until Eddie felt it needed a coat of bright red bicycle paint! The guitar was also updated with pickups (the magnetic elements that pick up the strings vibrations and turn the movement into electrical signals) that were assembled by Duncan Seymour – a famous guitar technician who also modified some pickups for Brian May. Now as this saber is an “old” design I felt I needed to upgrade it so in tribute to one of Eddie’s most famous tunes named Eruption…I added a crystal chamber with the power of that Van Halen solo!
I felt there was so much power in the crystal of this hilt it needed to be caged! But there was no caging Van Halen and the band toured the world and their fame grew globally. Eddie worked and collaborated with many names in music including Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, Nicolette Larson, Michael Jackson (remember the solo in “Beat It”? That was Eddie!), Brian May, Sammy Hagar, Black Sabbath, Roger Waters and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. He even wrote film scores and appeared in Frank Sinatra videos and in a stroke of comic genius….Two And A Half Men…
So to round this tribute off I produced a couple of “Posters” featuring the big man himself, the Frankenstrat and a tip of the hat to another great EVH recording – Panama.
Now I feel I have done my tribute properly and thanked Eddie for all he gave me. I hope he would have approved. I just have to perfect my version of “Jump!” on keyboard.
Again my thoughts and prayers are with Eddie’s family, friends and all who have been affected by, inspired by or were just entertained by the great man.
That brings a close to this post…thank you all for checking this tribute out and for all the comments and support you have given me, hopefully this has given some back. I appreciate all of your efforts and hope you will return to see upcoming posts featuring many more new saber designs, some spaceships and much more. Till next time…...JUMP!
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Hello Everybody, this week has not been the greatest as the world awoke on Oct 6/7th to the sad news that a musical genius and guitar god, Eddie Van Halen passed away from his battle with cancer. He was just 65 years old, yet in that time he created his own style and guitar playing techniques despite not being able to read music! He also, like Brian May of Queen, built his own guitar….the Frankenstrat. You will more than likely have seen it and recognise it as soon as you see this pattern.
You will definitely have heard his guitar too….just listen to the solo in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and of course with his own band, Van Halen…anyone remember “Jump!”?
And that song is what makes this news hard for me to take as I am a keyboard player and just like with “Bohemian Rhapsody” I attempted to learn how to play Jump! – complete with his KEYBOARD solo! A few years ago I posted a tribute design inspired by EVH and the song Jump! and here are the pics…
As a result of this news I have been knocked for a loop and haven’t felt that inclined to work on a post this week, however I do have a small gallery featuring a Guardians of the Galaxy inspired hilt in post two for today. But I will end this tribute by sending my condolences, thoughts and prayers to his son Wolfgang and all of Eddie’s family and friends. RIP Eddie, thanks and you’ll forever be on my playlist of the masters.
“Eddie didn’t just play a guitar….he conducted a six string orchestra” – FT
Hello Everybody, today I wish to present something very different and very personal at this very crazy time in the world. As you know we are in the grip of a global pandemic and a lot of the planet is in lockdown to attempt to close the virus down. With this lockdown society has had to find new ways to entertain itself and one individual has gone about it in a very humble and genuine way. That person is an idol of mine and he is called Dr Brian May. Yes, the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. Brian has quietly gone about producing YouTube “Micro Concerts” and tutorials each and every evening to entertain and more importantly reassure us that there are folks out there that are thinking of you and me, so we don’t feel so isolated.
Now I have a very strong emotional connection with Queen and Brian’s work, the day I was born Bohemian Rhapsody was sat at No.1 in the charts, the first piece of music I remember hearing was the guitar solo from Killer Queen, I taught myself music and piano – starting with a Stylophone! I progressed to proper home keyboards when I convinced my parents I was serious I wanted to learn. I practised Bohemian for over 20 years to get to a “passable rendition” of it…still haven’t nailed it. I did become good enough to play in a band and performed the song around the clubs of the UK….and I even had the honour of performing on a stage that Brian, Roger, John and Freddie stomped on during their 1974 tour. I had serious goosebumps that night! But I realised when I saw the videos that Brian is now posting that I hadn’t really thanked him for what he (and Queen) had given me. This was partly due to not having access to social media and partly because I was shy about reaching out. Well that ends today. I have designed a little something as a “virtual gift” to Brian and it combines elements of his career, music, his love of Astrophysics…oh and he is a BIG Star Wars fan too. This is Red (5) Special….
Red (5) Special pic 1
Red (5) Special pic 2
Red (5) Special pic 3
Red (5) Special pic 4
This is Brian’s beloved guitar the “Red Special” or as she is sometimes called, “The Lady” modelled as best I can in 3D! Brian and his father famously built this guitar from scratch using parts such as a knife blade and a 100 year old piece of wood from a fireplace mantlepiece! Luckily I didn’t have to source parts but I did have a really difficult job recreating the beautiful shape of this instrument (and all the other parts). It has the selector switches, the rotary knobs, the famous triple Humbucking pickups, a tremolo arm…the tuning head with machineheads…and if you look on the back I even added the two black access panels/repair patches you don’t normally see! However, this isn’t 100% accurate as I intended this model to form a display stand for a new…lightsaber! Well Brian is a Star Wars fan so I imagined what a saber would look like with a guitar shaped display stand and realised I could expand the triple pickups to form a cradle to hold a saber…
Red (5) Special stand pic 1
Red (5) Special stand pic 2
Red (5) Special stand pic 3
Red (5) Special stand pic 4
And the saber is a design I modified from my Altenweg Shoto design I made last year as I realised it had a bit of a Flash Gordon look to it so was a perfect hilt to use. And I’m allowed to mention Flash Gordon on this website as Queen and Brian had a little role in it. It was a spectacular mash up of movie magic and magnificent music. And as I near the end of this offering I have a few more images to share…
Red (5) Special studio pic 1
Red (5) Special wireframe (note the backpanels!)
Clay sculpt preview image.
Red Specal replica
My Red Special poster.
It turns out a guitar makes a decent display stand and I have nearly come to the end of this post…Oh wait, you may ask what connection to Astrophysics does this model and guitar have? Look closely near the white switches and you’ll see Brian’s star logo to represent his love of astronomy and his Doctorate on the subject (He’s probably even used radio telescopes like Jodrell Bank!). And why is there a 5 in the name of this model? Red 5 was Luke Skywalker’s callsign in the Death Star attack in Star Wars of course!
I want to finish by saying thanks once more to Brian and I sincerely hope he likes this, it meant a lot to model it and is my small way of saying thanks for all he has done, is doing and will continue to do for all of us in the future.
Stay safe, well and keep rockin – we appreciate Everything You Do. For Tyeth.
And NO SYNTHESIZERS were used in the making of this design!
Hello Everybody, today I bring you my second Rapier style lightsaber which is a inspired by a character from the 1987 hit film “The Princess Bride”. “Inconceivable!” you can’t make a saber made of light! Well, I proved last week that it is possible with my “Master Z” saber for Zorro, so I have built one for “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father….prepare to die!”. Technically this saber is just an inspired by version of his rapier as I am working on a more accurate version (coming soon I hope but it is complex, very complex). But this saber is quite complex itself and to show you I have a couple of wireframe pictures for you to take a look at…
“Montoya Saber” Wireframe 1
“Montoya Saber” Wireframe 2
I can now make much more complicated objects now I have an I5 processor powered laptop. It can compute all the data for the polygons and the texturing which makes the models look so much more realistic. As you can see in the picture the handguard is in fact a wire basket and Blender/my laptop has to map out the position, size and shape of each little strut within that basket, hence the big strain on the computer and software! Luckily Blender has some clever tricks called “Modifiers” used to make modelling easier and one is called “Wireframe Modifier”. I have used this technique before on my “Spidey Saber” to make the web like shrouds, but it was perfect for this saber too to make the basket shaped guard. The wireframe modifier turned the bowl shaped part into a wire framework – a bit like early 3D computer game graphics – and allows me to alter the thickness of each strut to make the frame look “solid”. The ornamental globes on the pommel and at each end of the Quillon bar are also Wireframes but have a set of panels beneath the wires to fill in the gaps. I can make the struts one colour but the panels can be coloured differently giving the globes that Faberge like look! And speaking of coloured pictures I think it’s time to show you the Glamour Shot gallery…enjoy….
“Montoya Saber” emitter/handguard 1
“Montoya Saber” Handgrip and handguard 2
“Montoya Saber” Top down view 3
“Montoya Saber” User’s viewpoint 4
“Montoya Saber” the view your opponent might have! 5
I decided to go with a regal black and gold colour scheme with an amber/gold blade. Now I have added the texture graphics you can see the complexity of the struts making the basket handguard. I was able to select certain rows of struts and rotate them clockwise around the saber, then selected a second set of struts and rotated those counter-clockwise to create a zig-zagged pattern or swirl effect. I can just imagine my old (but much loved) previous laptop being asked to model this and it saying, “Please don’t make me try and build this!”
I also decided that as “The Princess Bride” became such a classic cult film I would make a few posters for this hilt…
“Montoya Saber” poster 1
“Montoya Saber” poster 2
These are nothing too fancy just some toying around with object placement and lighting. Also, I normally add the lettering and text in a photo-editing package known as GIMP (which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program), but Blender can also add text as a 2D layer in Compositing Mode (where you build images/videos in layers) or as in this case, I added a 3D model of the text! Blender even allows you to type a word or text, then convert it into a 3D model which you can edit, morph and add textures. This now means I only need to fire up Blender to do all my workload to create my designs and images.
And finally, as I mentioned above this is just an “inspired by” version of Inigo Montoya’s hilt – I am working on building something that looks a lot closer to the real thing for a future post – however it is very, very complex and I am working hard on it…this is the real prop I am hoping to recreate…wish me luck!
I think that just about wraps up this post and design. I will be working on the proper Montoya hilt and will post it as soon as possible but in the meantime I have a few other new things to post for you. These include Darth Maul’s new saberstaff from the new Clone Wars season 7, a whole new collection of original For Tyeth designs and as Disney/Lucasfilm has announced a new project named “The High Republic” which is set 200 years before The Phantom Menace I am going to attempt designing some sabers for the new sagas to come! I hope you will call back to FTSabersite to see those. I want to say a big thank you to all who visit and support me and FTSabersite, especially the viewer who logged in from New Caledonia! Thank you whoever you are and I hope you liked what you saw. Whether a new or regular visitor/supporter, thank you – you’re much appreciated and are what keeps me designing! Till next time….
Hello Everybody for an impromptu “Special Gift” post! I have recently “met” a nice young lady by the name of “Nothin Nerdy” also known as Frankie, who has her own YoutTube and Twitch streaming channels. On these channels Frankie livestreams while she plays Star Wars computer games such as “Star Wars: The Old Republic” (SWTOR) and the new “Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order”. However I was introduced to Frankie when I saw her video on YouTube where she was unboxing her new custom saber. I left a comment on her video and to my surprise Frankie replied and from there we started a conversation and we got to know each other a bit. Frankie helped me get into using message boards and live streaming (giving me instructions on how to sign up etc) and I introduced her to some of my designs. Well, Frankie had the ambition of reaching 1000 subscribers on YouTube before the new year and I kinda suggested that if she reached that milestone I would design a custom saber just for her. Frankie reached that milestone in the past few days and as I am a Jedi I kept my promise and here is the saber…Now Frankie just follow the instructions and reach out…call to your saber!…
See Frankie, I kept my word as a Jedi, I hope you like it! It has a double pronged/shrouded emitter (which are all the rage at the moment!), gold accents and trim, as well as an illuminated activation switch. The saber even has a “Double Crystal Chamber” with a red and green crystal cube. And just to make sure we know you are a Jedi it has the Order’s logo on the pommel. Oh! I just realised you can’t see those details in the reveal video so here are a few images for you (I know you like gold!)….
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber 1
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber 2
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber Pommel
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber with blade
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber with blade 2
These pictures are textured using a basic preview material making the model gold all over so you can’t really see it in full “Technicolour” so how about I take you on a virtual tour of your hilt? Here is a short video to show off some of the details…
I think you can see all the details in this video and as you are a fan of the Jedi Consular character in SWTOR I made a double bladed staff version for you too! The saber also sports the pink blade you hinted at so this is quite unique (and the switch matches too). I hope this saber and staff serve you long and well, I’ll arrange with you to send some full size images and videos for you to keep OK? Here are a few of them…
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber pics 1
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber pics 2
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber pics 3
Frankie’s Nothin’ Nerdy Saber pics 4
Now I’d like to share a few links to Frankie’s Social Media platforms as she deserves as much support as possible so if you like Star Wars, computer gaming or generally having fun celebrating all things Star Wars then please check them out.
Please visit Frankie and help her channels out, you will have a great time as the community that has built up around her are a great bunch.
Thanks Frankie for becoming a friend of mine and I hope you have continued success in the future…and speaking of futures that includes “Level Up Days” and guess who just got a little bit older today? Yes For Tyeth just became “For T Four” (Forty Four) years young and I just wanted to share with you a few pics of my birthday presents I got!
A cool Japanese style Vader T-shirt
An even cooler Rise of Skywalker T-shirt
And look at these figures, Darth Maul vs For Ty – er, Qui-Gon Jinn!
Ok I think that just about wraps up this special “Gift Giving” post, I hope you all enjoyed it and again to Frankie, thank you for being such a warm welcoming member of the SW community and inviting me to join your circle of friends and I hope you will feel part of the For Tyeth family here!
To all my followers, new and regular (including those in Brazil – I see you!) thanks so much for your continued support it means a lot. Please call back for future posts as I hope to do a review of “The Rise of Skywalker” and I have a whole storeroom full of new saber designs to show you all. Till next time….
Hello Everybody, I was going to post a hilt based on the famous Star Destroyer ship today but I have had a change of plans. The reason being that I have been working on a hilt inspired by the upcoming computer game by EA Games and Respawn Games, named Jedi Fallen Order. There has been a trailer posted online advertising it and numerous pictures of the cover art for the game featuring a damaged hilt with wires hanging out of it and a blue blade projecting from a distinctive emitter.
Well news of this game buzzed the Internet and Social Media and the very day these images were posted certain individuals set to work “creating” their own 3D take on it. I liked the design and wanted to complete the hilt as it looks as if part was missing. so I set to work and came up with my own version. Well, it turns out one professional saber designer posted his design and complimented himself on how quickly he had built “his” model – within 24 hours. I built the base model of mine in roughly the same length of time but didn’t post it as I was going to post it nearer the release date of the game. However the designer works for one of the big saber manufacturers in America and they have started selling the model and people have started receiving them, so I felt I should post my version now as twin pronged emitters seem to be popular right now. So here are a few work in progress images…
Dishonoured Saber in studio 1
Dishonoured Saber Wireframe 1
As you can see it has a distinctive double prong emitter (my own modified design), a nice thin necked section, the Knurled handgrip section but it has my own designed pommel part. The original emitter had two flat plates above and below the blade but I made an inset and raised it to make the plate seem embossed up. The pommel I also made to reflect the emitter having a twin pronged opening and some nice inlaid segments, not visible in these pics but there is one that show the details below in the glamour pictures. The knurling on the handgrip are properly aligned on my design and appear as “blocks” (as per the original EA/Respawn version) rather than the “diamond” shaped cutting on the other designer’s model. However enough chat, you want to see a few more pictures so it is time for the Glamour Shots….
Dishonoured Saber 1
Dishonoured Saber Emitter 1
Dishonoured Saber pommel with inlays
Dishonoured Saber Emitter lit
Dishonoured Saber Thin Neck
Dishonoured Saber full length lit
You can now see that the pommel has some nice inlaid sections filled with an accent colour. You will also be able to see the two tiered plates on the emitter making them look like medieval shields. And there is also some etched circuitry patterns located between these plates – just like EA/Respawn’s original. But to demonstrate I am not just copying a design and that I am always trying new stuff I made a few variants of the design and I have finally worked out how to add 3D image backgrounds so here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy…
Dishonoured Saber in the Falcon
First model I made named “Orderly”
I also have a Darkside Version!
I aso have a Darkside Version Two!
The EA Games original prototyp model.
My new “Temple” emitter for an upcoming new model.
I have a Dishonoured Saber in the Falcon! You can also see my original model I made which I called “Orderly” as in Fallen ORDER but I thought “Dishonoured” fit better as a name. There is also my Darkside versions with Sith red blades and a much darker and sleek black and silver colour scheme. The next picture shows a prototype model that was built by EA/Respawn Games’ design team to evaluate “THIER” design. The picture was circulated on the internet after the lead designer (allegedly) posted it on his Social Media – I included this to give credit to EA and Respawn Games for their work. Finally the final picture shows how I have modified my own design and modelled a new emitter named “Temple” with silver and gold and a Jedi symbol embossed onto it. (This will feature in another new build of mine in the near future!)
I think that just about wraps up this offering. I want to thank EA Games and Respawn Games for creating the original design. It was fun testing my skill in making this tribute of sorts. I hope you enjoyed it and I will post the Star Destroyer hilt next week as I have gone overboard with the 3D image backdrops. I want to thank you, my viewers/readers, whether a regular or new first time visitor I really appreciate your support as it keeps me designing and building. Till next time…..
Hello Everybody, as promised last week I am dedicating this post to the great Peter Mayhew and Chewbacca. Ironically I had been working on a saber for Chewbacca for a month or two as a request by a member of Ultrasaber’s forum. I worked on an initial design but thought it could be improved upon and just as I finished it and was getting ready to post it the sad news of Peter Mayhew’s passing broke. So this hilt has become a tribute and memorial to Mr Mayhew.
Peter Mayhew was born in 1944 and suffered from Marfan Syndrome which resulted in his great height. At his tallest Peter measured in at 7 feet 3 inches (2.2 m) tall. And apparently he also had large feet, which led to his career taking off. Peter worked as a hospital orderly but an appearance in a local newspaper article about men with large feet brought him to the attention of a film company who needed an actor of large stature to portray a half man, half bull….or Minotaur. That film was Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. In the same year George Lucas was holding auditions for Star Wars and Peter decided to try out for a part. Originally Lucas was going to cast David Prowse as Chewbacca but Prowse took the role of Vader instead. This left a big Wookie shaped hole in Lucas’ cast. Then Peter turned up to audition for the part of “a large hairy alien”. Peter was seated as Lucas and other execs approached him but just by standing up to his full 7″3′ height earned him the role, so imposing was his physique and movement. Chewbacca and Peter Mayhew became one and the same.
My friend on the Ultrasabers forum asked me if I had or could, make a hilt inspired by Chewbacca and the Wookies and I said I had done one a few years ago (see it HERE). However I said it needed updating as I’d used the old designing software I had access to. This meant I had to model a new Blender design from scratch. After a day or two I had this as a base:
But as you can guess I wasn’t quite happy with it and knew there was something I could do to improve it. It needed an iconic part that would link this to Chewie and that part came courtesy of Chewie’s actual weapon he used in Star Wars, the Bowcaster blaster rifle. The weapon looked like this:
Bowcaster Blaster Rifle
Chewie in action.
I looked at this rifle and realised the part was right there, the crossbow arms and the spheres on each end! I thought they would make a really unique Tsuba hand guard and so set about modifying the emitter. And the very moment I added the bow I knew I had something that might work. Here are the “Glamour Shots” then I’ll talk you through the details…
Wookie Berserker 1
Wookie Berserker 2
Wookie Berserker 3
Wookie Berserker 4
Wookie Berserker Pommel Cap
Wookie Berserker Bowcaster Emitter
Wookies come from the planet Kashyyyk, which is covered in forest and lakes so I thought a green blade would be appropriate and that blade erupts from a windowed emitter with the Bowcaster Tsuba.The Tsuba has the iconic energy spheres found on the blaster as well as a nice insert strip in a brown colour reminiscent of Chewie’s fur. The switch has a matching green light and is situated on a LARGE double handed grip section which features turreted blocks and silver accent bands. The handgrip is capped off with a special For Tyeth Edition lighted pommel. The pommel features a green crystal that I imagined contained some energy or essence of the forest and glowed when in use. When viewed from certain points of view the saber actually looks like a Bowcaster, but without the pistol handgrip and shoulder stock.
I thought this saber captured the character of Chewbacca and the Wookie species, in that it was aggressive looking when needed but also spiritual and mystical at the same time. Chewbacca was exactly the same, he was a loyal friend and peaceful ally but when needed he could be a powerful fearsome Berserker who “can rip your arms out of their sockets”. And Peter was a gentle giant himself, loyal, caring and gave back to his fans. He made numerous appearances as Chewie outside the films visiting children’s hospitals. He also stood up (all 7 foot 3) to bullies too, as one time he became aware of a young girl who was bullied at school for being a Star Wars fan. The girl suffered terribly because the boys said stuff like “you can’t like Star Wars…you’re a girl!” and “Go and play with your dolls, you’re not cool”. Well, upon hearing this story Peter and a charity arranged to meet the girl in person and prove the bullies wrong and let them know the girl was “Chewie’s friend”. The girl was soon considered cool afterwards! But most of this and his writing talent went unheard of. I think the biggest “news story” that involved Peter was when airport security stopped him at the check-in desk because he had a walking cane shaped like a lightsaber (that might have been used as a weapon)! Peter loved his fans and even as his health faltered he battled on playing Chewie up till The Force Awakens. Eventually he had to stop and didn’t appear in The Last Jedi, but did act as a consultant and mentor to Joonas Suatomo, the actor tasked with filling his role. Peter passed the Bowcaster to Joonas with dignity and class. And I wish to pass on this design in his memory. So I have two final images, the first is the memorial picture I posted last week and the second is a last minute edit I made to the design. Chewie became our big furry friend and so I had to make a “furry” version of this hilt and you can see it in the second image:
Wookie Berserker in Fur!
So I think I have covered this hilt and I hope you all enjoyed it and sharing a few memories with me. I wish to extend my condolences to his wife, Angelique Luker and their children Katy, Sheryl and Kathleen. May the Force be with all of you.
Thanks for looking in on Wookie Berserker, till next time….
It is with an extremely heavy heart that I discovered Mr Peter Mayhew has passed away. As you may have seen I had been teasing a new design for a “Wookie Warrior”, well as you will have worked out it was a design inspired by Chewbacca who Mr Mayhew portrayed from 1977 all the way to 2015.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the immediate family and close friends of Mr Mayhew and I wish I could have thanked him for all he gave me as a fan. I will post my full gallery next week, for now I raise Wookie Berserker in his honour.
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…
Starsky & Hutch Saber in studio 1
Starsky & Hutch Saber in studio 2
Test rendering early glimpse.
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…
Spot the Torino 1
Spot the Torino 2
Large scale model
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….
Test Render image 1
Test Render image 2
Test Render image 3
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…
Starsky & Hutch Saber 1
Starsky & Hutch Saber 2
Starsky & Hutch Saber 3
Starsky & Hutch Saber 4
Starsky & Hutch Saber 5
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…