He has broken cover and debuted on Disney+ and this Saturday he will make an appearance (of sorts!) here on FTSabersite! So if you are a lawbreaker, or you’re on the run or have a death mark on your head beware…this saber will bring you in alive or cold!
Hopefully all you law abiding viewers will join me this Saturday….Till then…..
Hello Everybody, today I get back to displaying sabers after my little acceptance speech I had to post last week – thank you Annlyel. And today I have a very new design I have come up with based on a History Channel TV show I have recently started watching. That show is, as the title says, Knightfall which tells the stories of The Knights Templar of the 1300’s. The show is a fictional story about a Knight Templar named Landry de Lauzon and his fall from grace from the order and his attempt to rebuild his life and reputation. During the Crusades the Templars lost the battle in the Holy Land and “The Holy Grail” to the Saracens and it took fifteen years for the Grail to resurface in France. Lauzon had in the interim been made commander of the Paris Temple and saw this as an opportunity to reclaim the Grail and solve the mystery surrounding the death of his mentor. However this course of action by the Templars resulted in some very powerful enemies to spring up.
Lauzon, in the second season of the show has to prove himself once more to be worthy of being a Knight Templar….and he has to pass the tests set by his new teacher, Master Talus the Initiate Master. The Initiate Master is a wise battle hardened instructor and just happens to be portrayed by….Mark Hamill!
Yes! Luke…I mean Mark Hamill plays Master Talus so I had to make a lightsaber based weapon based on this show knowing that. So I set to work. However there is a bit of a difference with this hilt as I modified an existing design from Ultrasabers, the Texas based custom saber manufacturer. I will show you the studio work in progress shot that I have (sorry it is only one but I modelled this so quickly so as to get it published I got carried away and only snapped one pic!)…
I will be honest I haven’t really done too much to this design, structurally I just added the crossguard pieces and gave it some colours (which you’ll see in the Glamour Shots). The saber I used as the basis for this design is the Ultrasabers Initiate and as Master Talus is the Initiate Master hence my choice of base model. The saber is available at Ultrasabers and you can find the Initiate model on this PAGE.
I WILL TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO POINT OUT I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH ULTRASABERS IN ANY CAPACITY AND AM NOT BEING PAID BUT I AM A MEMBER OF THEIR FORUM – Ultrasabers don’t even know I have modified/created this design yet!
Now the legal bit has been covered how about some “Glamour Shots”? Ok here you go…
“Crusader Saber” 1
“Crusader Saber” 2
“Crusader Saber” 3
“Crusader Saber” 4
“Crusader Saber” 5
I gave the hilt a new set of crossguard pieces to recreate a cruciform shape to resemble the famous red cross on the Templar’s shields and battle tunics. The red powder coating is actually inlaid into the metal and there is a matching band of colour around the edges. The emitter and pommel have a band of red powder coat while the handgrip has two bands of gold to accent that section. I kept with a silver base coat as white wouldn’t work as well, making the hilt look plastic rather than metal as it should be. Because I did minimal work on the saber handle I needed to do something different to add my touch to the design…so I designed a custom belt clip and hanger for the hilt. Here are a few more pictures of the hilt and beltclip combo….
“Crusader Saber” Beltclip 1
“Crusader Saber” Beltclip 2
“Crusader Saber” Beltclip 3
“Crusader Saber” Beltclip 4
I did attempt to create a sheath/beltclip made with a texture to look like leather but I am still struggling to make realistic looking materials. I tried to make the beltclip look like leather but when I added the grain effect it looked more wooden, but there was one good thing – the clip can also double as a display stand! You could unscrew the belt loop from the bottom and then you could have a free standing display plinth…or hang it on a wall. And as a final touch I added another Templar cross insignia on the top panel.
Now I think that just about wraps up this design, and I hope Ultrasabers don’t mind my little modification to their design but I think it worked quite well. If you want to watch Knightfall it is on the History Channel in the UK. Thank you all for looking in on this design and for all the fabulous support you give me, it really is appreciated. Just before I go I have news of a bit of an expansion as I have been introduced to a very talented artist who sketches saber designs and he will be featured in my “Guest Designer Gallery” very soon, so please call back to see that and more in future posts. Till next time….
Oh and just in case you wondered what I’d look like in armour here you go….
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…
Hello Everybody, to start this post I need to retell this quote – “Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties but I took them all away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie.” Now you may be wondering what Charlie’s Angels has to do with Star Wars or sabers? Well both were released at about the same time in the 1970’s and both had great toy merchandising. And it was my good friend, TheVintageToyAdvertiser, who challenged me to design a Charlie’s Angels themed hilt for our on-going movies and TV series of hilts and articles. Then he suggested I base my design on the customised panel van the Angels used in the show! This was a challenge but here is the results of my efforts…\\Angelic//…
Angelic Early Test Build
Angelic Texture Test
The Angel’s van at top of image!
I have made hilts based on cars before, but a panel van was something totally different. They are BIG and BOXY and not exactly streamlined so I could mimic it’s lines in a hilt form. So I went for a chunky utilitarian shape with extrusions to represent wheel arches, large flat faces for the panels and in the texture test image you can just make out a transparent area to form a skylight sunroof detail. Within the third picture (kindly supplied by TVTA) you can see the Angels’ van at the top. It has a solid bright pink colour which I thought was a little much for a saber so I used a painting trick found on modified custom cars and used a subtle dusky pink and silver finish. I think it worked ok but as always I’ll let you decide with a few more Glamour Pictures…
Emitter Detail with “wheel arch” bulge
Activation buttons-Green on! Red off!
Top View 1
Top View 2
Three Angels – Three Crystals!
And the iconic Angels’ Logo silhouette
These close up pictures show a few more of the details including the accent groove around the emitter and the octagonal blocks to mimic wheel arches. The activation buttons are the initials C and A for Charlie’s Angels with green to switch on and red for off. The letters are in a 70’s style font named Bauhaus (I also used this font in the header image!). The top views also reveal the sunroof/skylight detail of the van. However, where the van had two or four panes (depending on which toy you had) I used one panel to form a crystal chamber. Within that chamber are three crystals – one for each Angel. This feature I added instead of the suggested van rear doors and equipment rack. Finally I had to include the famous “Angels Silhouette” logo so I made a silver logo plaque and outlined it in black to give it some pop.
Another Angels toy advert
Kelly, Sabrina and Jill – the Angels
Angelic Glamour Shot
Charlie’s Angels was produced by Spelling-Goldberg Productions and ran from 1976 to 1981 over 5 seasons and did feature other actresses as the line up changed but I focused on the “Classic” trio here. Hopefully I have done justice to the them (and their van!)
That just about wraps up this case but I need to thank TheVintageToyAdvertiser for his “challenge” and for supplying the additional toy adverts. I think he has a Super Hero challenge for me next which will be interesting. (And please be sure to visit TVTA’s site and check out his fantastic images and scans of nostalgic toy and game adverts). I hope you will all return to check that one out in a future post along with my series of Trooper hilts and a new Crossguard hilt for a famous God! Thanks for your support whether you’re a first time visitor or long time regular, you are appreciated. Till next time….
Hello Everybody and in particular to two friends of this site, namely The Vintage Toy Advertiser (TVTA) and his pet office cat WOOOF! In one of TVTA’s recent comments he mentioned classic TV shows and that he had searched FTSabersite for a design dedicated to, or a mention of a very special show. That show was Knight Rider starring David Hasselhoff as a man on a crusade to fight crime using the aid of an indestructible supercar. Hasselhoff played the part of Michael Arthur Long, a cop who was working an undercover case. He was shot in the head and left for dead by the female criminal he was investigating. Lying in the desert Michael Long was fortunately discovered by a passer-by who took him to get medical aid, and saved his life. The man who found Michael was Wilton Knight, a reclusive millionaire who provided the hospital and treatment Michael needed to survive. That treatment included plastic surgery. Michael Long served in Vietnam and had a metal plate in his skull which actually deflected the bullet intended to kill him but his face was damaged when he was shot.
Michael Arthur Long awoke with a new face, a new identity and a new challenge should he take it. Wilton Knight enlisted Michael as a secret crime fighter and supplied him with a new name, Michael Knight and….a new supercar to help his crime-fighting exploits. That car was called KITT and I was sort of challenged to create a saber inspired by this show. These are my work in progress pictures…
Slanted emitter and sensor bulge
Basic hilt in studio.
Pommel cap with Knight Industries logo
Roof panel hand grips and spoiler!
As you may know the supercar, KITT, is based on 1982/3/4 model Pontiac Trans-Am and Firebird cars. They are very sleek, aerodynamic and in the case of KITT….was jet black in colour. This caused me a problem as it is hard to make details stand out on solid dark objects! But if you check out the picture above you can see the slanted emitter that reflects the hood and nose of the car, above which is a bulge. This bulge is the housing for KITT’s iconic sweeping red light sensor you see as “he” drives toward you (yes KITT is a he, voiced by actor William Daniels). The switch plate is just below that sensor bulge but isn’t visible with out the textures but you’ll see it below. Next on the hilt are two panels to represent the “T-Bar” sunroof of the Pontiac which enabled KITT to have ejector seats! At the very bottom of the hilt is the pommel, complete with Tyre Grip knurling around it’s edges and the logo of Wilton Knight’s corporation Knight Industries (fans will remember seeing the chess piece logo on the side of the semi-truck used as a mobile headquarters!) AND there is a SPOILER! No not a spoiler to ruin the enjoyment of a show or film but the aerodynamic kind to improve the performance of the car. I considered adding one to the hilt but didn’t as I thought it may look too busy, but after giving TVTA a sneak peek he suggested I add one…so on receiving great advice I did. Now enough chatting how about some Glam Shots? OK here are the rendered pictures…
En early test build (blue blade!)
Another early build with added switch section.
The iconic “Sweeping Sensor”
“Hello Michael, Hello Master Tyeth”!
The updated pommel section and added Spoiler!
Final Glam Shot.
I have done my best to show the details of this hilt but as I mention due to KITT’s colour scheme it is difficult to show details on dark objects. However hopefully you can see the famous red sweeping sensor above the emitter (with a new yellow blade to represent headlights!). There are two orange indicator turn lights either side of the hilt to make it street legal 😀 Also the activation switch is modelled on the electronic display used to mimic KITT’s “mouth” on the car’s dashboard. In reality I would use a touch sensitive panel similar to a smartphone screen lock, you swipe your thumb up or down to switch the saber on and off. The pommel has the Knight chess piece logo in silver and there is of course the Spoiler that just finishes the hilt perfectly. OH wait I need one more thing for this to be legal….a license plate!….How about one of these?….
Ok folks that just about wraps up this design. I’d like to thank TVTA and Wooof! for the inspiration and suggestion to come up with this hilt. Please be sure to check out their site showcasing classic advertising material, just click HERE.
And again as always thank you to all of my viewers and followers, new and regular, you are all much appreciated (and a Hi to my friend Rebel from Hong Kong, I saw you had visited!) And to everyone please be sure to call back for future posts as I have those two movie blockbuster film hilts coming soon. (One is based on another car and the second is based on a film that just released a 5min trailer!) So thanks again and