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Sunday 12 August 2018

Lightsaber fancy dress mod

We were invited to a birthday fancy dress party where the theme was to come dressed as something with the same first letter as your name.

I chose a Jedi, from Star Wars.

The essential component for any Jedi is their lightsaber™. I already have two but these are the Master Replica models from 2007 with fixed blades. They are excellent but not very convenient to carry as part of a costume.

I wanted one I could easily hang from a belt without a blade.

I was not going to butcher the very nice ones I have already so I bought one of the better looking full size toy versions.

This is Rey's lightsaber, from the Disney range.

It's a bit plastic looking but well put together. For anyone who wants a very quick review. I think this is good for the price. It is a plastic moulding, so is only a rough approximation of the on-screen weapons but it looks right at a distance. It's a good size and plenty strong enough for mock battles.

The hum sound and the blade open and close sounds are all very good but the sound for blades striking each other was not in sync with the strike and continued to something more like a battle of multiple blades rather a single clash. I mention this because one thought was to use the sound module from this for a custom duel ready sabre. That's for another day though.

For my immediate requirements I needed to remove the blade and fit a hanging ring. The main part of this article is about how to take it apart.

Finding the screws was easy. I remove the battery cover and took out the batteries. There are then three external screws and three within the battery tray.

Note that there are two different length screws. The shorter ones are from within the battery tray.

Having taken all the screws out, I expected it to come apart. That would be too easy. It was firmly secured at the blade end.

I unplugged the speaker to stop that dangling.

I managed to remove the top nob that I thought was holding it together. It pulls off but I had to use a pair of pliers to get enough grip. Luckily it's knurled so any damage was hidden. The only trouble, is that still did not get the thing apart.

I had to resort to a search on the Internet and it did not take many moments to find that lots of people had given up when they have tried on this particular product.

I was not too worried about breaking it so I carried on with a bit more force.

I pried out a rubber seal round the blade. The blade moved but there was no way it was coming out.

What I now know is that the ring at the blade end is glued round the two halves! To get it apart, I kept forcing the two halves of the body away from each other and tried to force a knife and screwdriver between the rear body and the ring. I was using more force than I liked but it was a strong moulding.

Eventually I saw signs of movement.

I was able to use a screwdriver to pry the ring forward and eventually it was free enough for me to pull it off. There was a little damage to the edges but nothing I could not hide.

With the ring off I could see the signs of the adhesive that had held it in place. The two halves now came apart easily.

I unplugged the cables that ran to the blade and lifted the blade module out.

While apart I also fitted a hanging ring. This was just from a set of picture hangers bolted through holes I drilled in the side towards the end. I could not fit this to the very end because that was the speaker.

The last job before assembly was to blank the big hole left by the blade removal.  I simply cut various discs of plastic to exactly fit the open end.

All back together. The sounds still works and it will look great hanging on the belt of the costume.


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