A hilt I got from our friends Force Relics, very nice replica from the video game The Old Republic from Bioware. Another unicorn as this saber was only formerly brought to life by eFx and only for Bioware employees. The eFx replica would definitely not allow any electronic install and Force Relics did a wonderful job on an electronic-friendly version combining metal & wood working along with metal 3D printing and powder coating.
I won't do RICE on that one as the SD card remains accessible and I don't need to tune any color profile, I love my character sabers simple. The hilt came with a nice 3D printed chassis designed to welcome the activation & aux. switches, making the install quite smooth and quick. I only added a locking system with a set screw.
Install WIP and build log
♦ I started by gluing the 3D printed parts. The wood sleeve I glued after drilling the switches holes once everything was aligned. I locked it in place with blue painters tape, remove the greeblies, and added a bit of super glue in some parts, crept under by capilarity. Not much glue was used, the contact surface allows to secure it firmly and the gluing of the greeblies then allow to finish the job
♦ I filled the minor gaps between the wood and the metal parts with a custom mix of JB kwick and alu powder as I didn't have any alu A+B epoxy left. I obtained a very close shade to the PC color and the seam is almost invisible.
♦ I wanted to have a slide-in chassis as much as possible. I noticed there was enough clearance on the side of the activation switch to flex the chassis and allow it to slide without the top cap.
♦ For the aux, I tried different solution including taping it, which worked...
♦ But it remained too fragile once I've added a registration hole on the plunger wall so that I could install a needle nose tweeze to block it while screwing the amber cap on... so I went with magnets. The topper has 2 magnets in there, better than a single magnet (on the plunger) and just metal on the other side. Very strong but can be removed with blutack / poster putty anyway. The blue plunger, well, I haven't tried yet lol, will see once everything is installed.
♦ Once I got there I was about to close the hilt and thought about Goodman's hilt (Arklight Arsenal). I decided to add a bargraph to do justice to the hilt and also because a single accent LED on such a saber would make no sense. So I made a mini bargraph of 4 leds with the idea of using the half PLI display on the CFv7 I've put in there
I'm very happy how the micro bargrah turned out, It's invisible or almost when the saber is off. 3 green leds + one white for the low power. Works great even behind the resin diffuser that has a super close shade compared to the powder coating