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 The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!

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budspencer
Grand Moff
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budspencer

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Join date : 2011-08-15

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PostSubject: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 26, 2013 7:22 pm

Ok technically it is not a toy! but this is the best thing that i got in a long time and it is screen accurate. I decided to invest in this rather than the replica ones. The replica one are as just as expensive as this one in most cases. They are machined and are sanitized for mass production. This is it. You cannot get any more screen accurate than this with at least the basic graflex assembly. The rest you have to cheat for at least 2 out of the 3 other parts you need but since no one can get the original materials from that time period i guess a cheat is permitted.

The Champ of lightsabers is here! Go big or go home as they say!

Tale of the tape:

diameter of the tube: 37 mm

weight: 493 grams or just a tiny tad over 1 lbs white the extra parts so it is quite heavy! I thought this was flimsy but it is not.

It is made of really thick metal. I would say that the thickness of the parts is over 1 mm easy. I believe it is metal with applied chrome that is brushed polished afterwards.

length: 27 cm or just a tad over 10.5 inches.

The saber breaks apart in 3 so if you happen to have one part that gets damaged you can find an extra piece to replace it.

My saber is is extremely good shape. no rust at all. In some places it shows scuffs and such but it gives it that authentic look.

Now i need 3 other parts to finish the hilt.

I need the t-tracks that makes the hilt.

Gino's t-tracks

I need a bubble strip from inside a choice of 3 very rare and expensive old 1970's calculators.

Bubble strip

more bubble strip info


I need to set a d-ring at the bottom of the saber.

D-ring

and i forgot, the mylar tape that you put around the middle part to cover the name Graflex.


And apparently the graflex 3 cell went thru some revisions over time and you have to watch which one you get also!!!


Different Graflex 3 cells versions

The unboxing!

The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! IMG_2144_zps44a888f4

The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! IMG_2151_zps509d6343

The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! IMG_2152_zps5bedf19e

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The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! IMG_2316_zps18ab0c58

The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! IMG_2320_zps70a2a6fa

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The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! IMG_2427_zps317e8ef3


Last edited by budspencer on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:06 pm; edited 7 times in total
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arohk
Jedi Knight
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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 26, 2013 7:36 pm

That is rather cool looking what works nice for the t-tracks are wiperblades but all in all very cool saber.
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psybertech
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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 26, 2013 7:50 pm

Had to jump in quick... Angry SW
I am a very photo-happy-taking-guy, so this hurts I can't take pictures now (NY Rangers are paying and on the telly so nothing else matters at the moment)... but I will post some up tomorrow of what I got and what I did to it (them) if anyone is interested.

I just wish I thought to take pictures of before, during and after the prop-ifying of mine.

Sorry, this thread makes me very happy.... bounce bounce bounce

for now, I have posted images in the latest purchases thread here a little while back to show an overview my stuff and in it includes my prop-ified end result at a glance....

sorry not enough time to re-post those images.. this is a link to the post with them in it....

-->LINKY<--
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budspencer
Grand Moff
Grand Moff
budspencer

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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 26, 2013 8:05 pm

I am interested in your story of where you found the parts you needed and what you decided to settle on for parts in the end or even how you assemble everything together.

It would be nice if you could tell us that story.

cheers Saber Master!
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psybertech
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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeWed Mar 27, 2013 8:58 pm

Unfortunately most of this will be just a story as I don't have any pictures from the past to show. Sad

It was 1989... or was it 1990... not sure.......................
I was a photo lab technician working in a lab/studio/camera shop starting my career in high school. We bought and sold used camera equipment and well, in walked Luke's saber. Wait, Luke's saber had a brother and a cousin.
One day an older man came in with a box of old camera parts and in it were 3 Graflex and a Heiland flash bar!!!!!!!!!!!! bounce

The guy wanted $50 for the lot. I normally would call the owner or his son down to approve the sale, but I said "Sure", pulled petty cash and paid the man.
Once he left, I ran the box out to my car and prayed no one would check the petty cash until the next day. Yeah, back then, making $3.xx an hour in high school meant this was a lot of spare cash! I had it, but just not on me but I HAD to have them!!!!! I replaced the cash the next day of course, but man, I was sooooooooooooo happy!!!!!
I had only started the job a few months back and was always a Star Wars fan so I knew all about Graflex and Heiland but never put 2 and 2 together about my current job. Man, I was too stoned back then. Very Happy

OK... back to the box...
The box had one 3 Cell Graflex (the base of Luke's saber), one 2 cell Graflex'es (the same, but a smaller handles - 1 D battery in length shorther to be exact) and a 3 Cell Heiland (Vader's saber). They all had the dome reflectors, cables ad what-not, but all I could see was gold!!!

I cleaned them up and added the 3 Cells (Graflex and Heiland) as is to my collection. The other 2 cell Graflex'es I put away.

I actually ran across Graflex'es quite a lot back then after that day as I would start going to camera and antique shows with the boss to see if I could find more. I would pick them up for $10-$20 and re-sell them on consignment for $50-$60 a pop with a local comic shop who also did flea markets (or swap meets depending where you live). All the while doing this mine just sat an collected dust.
Like an idiot I would buy and sell 3 Cells and never upgraded my own 2 cells to the 3s. No
I even pulled my only 3 cell and sold that! Man, what an idiot. It wasn't the best shape 3 cell, but it was good enough and someone offered me $100 if I would sell it. So, like an idiotic teenager, I said 'Hell Yeah!'.

Now I was left with two 2 Cell Graflex'es and my Heiland. Not bad but not the greatest situation either.
I ended up quitting that job and moving along so my source for these pretty much dried up.
A year or so later I wanted to prop-ify my sabers but I didn't have a 3 cell!!!! ARGGGG!!!!!!! Where was eBay?!?!?!?
I looked and searched but could not find one anywhere. Go figure!!! Evil or Very Mad

At first I improvised and found that my step-mother's vacuum had an extension tube that had an outer diameter that would fit perfectly inside the 2 cell and the coupler. I now had the right length, but man, it looked like shit and my step-mom was PISSED!! haha
I figured it would be OK for now and started to move along to find the (now called t-bar strips) handle parts and TI calculator bubble.
I could never find a windshield wiper exact, but found some close ones at a junk yard but they were crappy looking.
I went with off the shelf wiper blades to see how they would look on my Hoover-Graflex hybrid. DISGUSTING!
So, I said screw it. Pulled out my duct tape, my black hockey tape and made a very decent handle. Mind you it looked nothing like Luke's but it was soooo omuch better than the Hoover extension and nothing at all.

The calc bubble was another beast. I found one years later that was broke and picked it up. It did look OK, but meh'.
I put it on display and about a year after that I moved so it was packed up along with everything else.
I forgot about it all up until about 10 years ago when I found the box they were in.
This time I went and tried to mock up Vader's Heiland. It was OK, but not complete.
Once again I found my sabers cools, but half-assed but half-assed was better than what most people had!! Very Happy
They both sat idle for the next decade until Feb 2013. Yes, last month.

I still displayed them, but after the find of some of my original figures from my grandparents/father's house, the Star Wars bug was back. Add to that I had a broken femur so I was home, out of work with nothing but OCD, obsession and a computer.

When I started cleaning and removing the tape nightmare I created nearly twenty years prior, I forgot I still didn't have a 3 Cell part!!! Arrrgggg!! TGFE (thank god for ebay). I found just the 3 cell part for $50 and snagged it.
I looked around and saw the common opinion was that repo parts for the sabers were probably the best from Blast Tech. They had kits for around $30 US for both the Graflex and Heiland if I recall.
I opted for a Graflex kit with the 7 bubble and 3 feet of uncut t-strip material.
The parts took about two weeks to get to me, but Blast Tech communicated with me the entire time.
When they arrived the install was quick and easy and man, loooooooooooooong overdue!
The d-ring install is not complete yet. I just used double-sided servo tape from an RC car there for now until I decide to drill and screw or find someone to rivet into place. The uncut t-strip was used for my custom 2 cell Yoda Graflex (another story, another day) and the Heiland Vader saber.

Anway...............sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

It has been an on again, off again story for over 20 years, but as far as I am concerned, it is done and worth it!

So, it was a long way to get here:


The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! Luke_Graflex(0)
The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! Luke_Graflex(1)
The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! Luke_Graflex(2)
The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! Luke_Graflex(3)
The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! Luke_Graflex(4)

I have a ton more pics and can take specifics if you want but for now, even for me, this novela is done because the beer is getting to me. :I am stupid:
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budspencer
Grand Moff
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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeWed Mar 27, 2013 9:38 pm

Well my story so far would be this.

Like most people here i am a big huge star wars fan and like the intricacies of the movie. especially the props.

A couple of years ago i was heavy on the stormtrooper suit. I got an helmet and a suit from ATA. i sorta finished the helmet but the lenses are still not right. I have to replace them. and the suit is still lying into pieces as i need a tool to do the return edges on the armor but because i got bitten by the kenner star wars toy bug, i never got around to buy the darn tool to continue my suit.

anyways, several years ago i started doing research on the graflex. I read some stuff about it and was really interested but since it was expensive i could never justify the purchase to my gf. Until a couple of weeks ago wherein i came across a bundle of cash and said screw it. I am gonna go for it. and i did.

Now i have read many threads on the rpf about the extra parts you need. I know that out of the 4 parts, the only part that you can get that is real vintage is the bubble strip from one of the 3 calculators. I thought ok fine... i ll get one. Went on ebay and almost had a heart attack on the spot. Those darn thing sell for a fortune. The last few i saw went up to over a 100$ and upwards! that is a pretty sour point. To pay half of what i paid for the graflex for the bubble strip to say that it is authentic. I am on pause at the moment on that one. I am considering to cheat and try to locate a source for repro bubble strip or go big and actually get the original thing. I could strike it lucky on ebay at anytime and find one dirt cheap when no one is looking but it could happen tomorrow. it could happen in one year, 2 years... my priority right now is to try to complete a full 93 loose run of the kenner figures. i can say that i am around 60 if i would rebuy to upgrade a few figures ( because i want them high grade). Once that is done i can concentrate on the rest of the stuff from the original movie that i am missing. playsets and vehicles and the puzzles line. I got the death star now which is a huge load off my collecting agenda but i have yet to strike gold on some vehicle like the falcon, sandcrawler and tie fighter.

anyways back to the graflex. i know the bubble deal and the mylar strip... i can deal with that. The only thing now i the t tracks for the grip and the d ring. No one has ever seen the original prop again ( as far as i know ) and the only thing left are photos of it ( the ANH lightsaber version ) so the only info i can go on with is what i find on the internet. So far i have found that there is 3 type of t tracks for sale by different vendors. Blastech, Gino's and another vendor.

Gino claims that is are screen accurate but they are a fan sculpt and have been molded for this purpose. So score zero for authenticity. While they look like the real thing. they are not. It is a fake and he charges a lot more for them than the other vendors. The other vendor seem less screen accurate , again according to Gino but sell for less too. So i am left with this conundrum. Should i pay the price Gino is asking for them just because he says that his a prettier or more accurate than the other or should i just go with the others because they are cheaper and i have read that at least one vendor sells them from parts that were actually made for their real purpose and not some fan made thing.

Now i am left with the d ring. Nobody seems to have a decent shot of the bottom of the original lightsaber. We got some in ESB but not for ANH, so there is wild speculations as to what the d-ring really looks like, how big it is and how it is really shaped. The only thing that people seem to know about it is its orientation and the fact that it was held there by a rivet.
Cool at least the assembly of this would not be too hard. But the hard part would be to put a d-ring and find out later that it is not screen accurate. You actually have to drill a hole at the bottom of your graflex handle to put in the rivet and d-ring. I am not 100% sure if i want to do that right now. I mean if i mess up pretty bad i am sure i could get a new handle but mine is in very good shape so why mess with it.

I know that some guys have made a lot of research on this but i am not convinced that they used all the resources they could use. I have not read of anyone trying to contact any former lucasfilm employee about the lightsaber to try to get some details or at least try to get something. Also i am sure that someone has access to photo stills from the movie that shows the lightsaber in better details. Heck in my making of Star Wars book, i have a candid photo where Luke stares down the barrel of his lightsaber in Ben's homestead. So if a photo like that exists than i am sure others do which would show the bottom of the saber properly. It is just a question of asking the proper person....

so while i have my graflex now i am ambivalent on trying to finish it just yet as there are too many unknown right now about it....

I also dont wanna go all Diva on it and put a crystal kit inside of it or get a blade kit. I just want it to be a prop. plain and simple like what Ben gave to Luke, well int the sense of the prop i mean.... Hopefully i ll be able to pass this on to my own son when i rejoin the force or go to sith hell. ahahahaha


The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! Lightsaber11_zps1edcd64c
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dcarty
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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitimeThu Mar 28, 2013 2:32 pm

Excellent, you've taken your first step into a larger world!

You never forget your first Graflex Smile. I got my first Graflex in 2001 and have owned half a dozen over the years though I am down to three now. One is made up as the New Hope hero, one as the Hoth version of the ESB saber, and the third is attached to the camera I bought it with.
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PostSubject: Re: The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible!   The best lightsaber! The Graflex! an awesome collectible! I_icon_minitime

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