Monday, January 25, 2016

Making a cheap toy lightsaber look cool

Not too long ago someone named Bryan Marchulaitis on the RPF.com posted a photo of a toy Kylo Ren lightsaber which he expertly painted to look more gritty and like whats seen on screen.


Feeling inspired I found a cheap toy lightsaber I had, which I believe was made by Rubies Costume company.  This blade belongs to Jedi Plo Koon.


Rubies makes notoriously cheap costumes and props (cheap, as in low-quality).  I think the crappy blue blade that came with this thing fell out within 10 minutes of me getting it.


So I'm going to try and make this hilt look cool and gritty like Kylo Ren's lightsaber.  To start I removed the stickers that were on it.


Then I made some room at my art table for this project and took out my paints.


The first paint I used was a Black-Brown acrylic paint.  I added a watered-down layer...


...and then wiped away most of it with a paper towel.  The corners and edges retain most of this paint, making it appear like dirt and grime.


I did this black-brown wash all over the hilt.


Next I took a dabbing sponge and applied some black.


This really dirties it up, but doesn't get into the little nitty-gritty areas.


So I applied more black-brown to those tiny areas with a brush.


Then I dabbed on a lighter brown...


...and a pewter-colored paint.  Then I let the paint dry.


Once dry, I used some grade 0000 steel wool to start sanding the whole hilt.  This removes most of the paint on the surface, but all those edges, corners and crevices still have paint.  I made sure to use the steel wool in many directions so that the wear and tear look appears more natural.


That's pretty much it!


This thing looks way cool now!



Below is a side-by-side comparison of the hilt  before and after.  


This hilt was in a bin of old toys for so long, but now that it looks way better I put it on a shelf in my office.


I had fun making that lightsaber look cool, so I decided to dig up some more of my old toy lightsabers and do the same.  Below are 2 Luke Skywalker lightsabers, one of which I painted black a long time ago and dubbed it "Evil Luke's Lightsaber".


Below are 2 Qui-Gon Gin Lightsabers - one with inverse colors, which Hasbro sold as simply "Jedi Lightsaber".


Below are 3 more sabers.  The one on top was sold by Hasbr as Mace Windu's lightsaber, but in actuality it's another Plo Koon lightsaber.  In the middle is Yoda's lightsaber and on the bottom is Ashoka's lightsaber.


Lastly I have Count Dooku's lightsaber and finally Darth Vader's apprentice's lightsaber from the Force Unleashed video games.


So I repeated the same process to weather all of these hilts and here's how they turned out:

Count Dooku.



Darth Vader's Apprentice.




The "Jedi" Lightsaber.



Qui-Gon Jin.



Yoda.



"Evil" Luke Skywalker.



Luke Skywalker.



Ashoka.



Plo Koon #2.



All of these turned out quite nicely to me.


I think I'll have to build a new shelf soon to display all these lightsaber hilts!
Thanks for reading!

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