I made a change. I originally ordered the Padawan chassis from G.O.T.H. 3Designs due to simplicity. But the longer I waited for the hilt to come in, the more time I had to look at photos of sabers with lit up crystal chambers and wish I had one too. So, I ordered the version with the crystal chamber, called the Knight, and sold the Padawan chassis to another builder.
The chassis comes in a bland white, and in two pieces. The outer shell is universal, while the inner crystal chamber section is specific to the sound board I’m using. In this case, the Nano Biscotte v3.
Obviously the first step was to paint it badass, since bland white is not badass. I decided to prime it based on some advice online for 3d-printed objects. I used Model Master enamel primer I bought at a local hobby store. The coat seemed thick, but I kept on painting until both pieces were fully coated. I wish I hadn’t done that.
After letting it dry for a day, I started to paint with my main colors (all Model Master): Anthracite Grey Metallic for the shell, and both Silver Chrome Trim and Olds Engine Blue for the crystal chamber. As I started to paint the shell, the primer softened and began to blend with the metallic paint I was putting on top. It actually made it an interesting texture, so I quickly painted the rest of the shell and let it dry some more. When I started painting the blue on the crystal chamber, the result was decidedly not cool. I turned a bright metallic blue into a smudgy crappy blue-grey. So, I soaked the whole thing in paint thinner, scrubbed it with an old toothbrush, and took it back down to the base plastic.
I repainted the blue straight onto the plastic, and the results were much better! After pairing the entire chamber blue, I decided to do sections in chrome as well, to add some contrast and increase badassery. I gave the shell another layer of metallic grey, and then mixed Tamiya Flat Black with some paint thinner to create a thin liquid for weathering. However, the Tamiya paint didn’t dissolve in the thinner like I thought it would, instead it turned into tiny little grains of paint. I picked up a bunch in a brush and ran it over the shell. Instead of creating a subtle weathering effect, it ended up looking more grimey…like it had been dropped in nasty gutter water or something. It actually looks pretty awesome, actually!
I then took some of the metallic grey and mixed it with some thinner. The paint actually dissolved and I brushed it on the crystal chamber in places to dull the chrome a bit, and add depth to edges and the blue spirals of the chamber.
The next step was to cut the brass rod I bought to go into the decorative spaces around the crystal chamber. Amazon sold out of the 4-40 rods I ordered, so I bought a slightly larger (1/8″) diameter rod locally. I drilled out the holes to accommodate the larger rod, and in the process torqued one of the holes and snapped it right off! I tried gluing it back on, but ended up snapping off more of the post it was attached to.
I thought about ordering another crystal chamber, but that would be another week and another $40. Looking at the chassis, I decided to just go with it. I clipped off the posts on both sides to even them out. Instead of running a rod through those two sections, I used the 4-40 threaded rod I bought for the Padawan chassis, attached the threaded inserts I also got for the Padawan chassis, snipped the rod and then glued it into the front holes of the crystal chamber.
Finally, I measured the rod into three 2.1″ sections and used my Dremel to cut it down, and then sanded the ends to smooth them out. I ran those through the holes and glued them in place. I selected a quartz crystal from the bad I ordered on Amazon,placed it in the chamber, and inserted the accent LED connected to a little watch battery for now. You can see the result below.