Introduction: How to Make a Lightsaber - Kylo Ren
Hey Cosplayers, in todays apprenticeship I'll be teaching you how to make Kylo Ren's Lightsaber from Star Wars
Episode 7 "The Force Awakens" unsing PVC pipe and an off the shelf thermoplastic. Make sure to stay tuned to the end for a chance to win this lightsaber!
Step 1: Watch the Video
Are you ready to learn how to make Kylo Ren's Lightsaber? Let's get started!
Step 2: What You Will Need to Get Started
- 10-1/4" long 1" Schedule 40 PVC pipe
- 1ft. worth of 1-1/4" schedule 40 PVC pipe
- Rustoleum Metallic Silver Spray Paint
- Rustoleum Flat Black Spray Paint
- Rustoleum Red spray paint
- Rustoleum Blue spray paint
- Rustoleum Clear Matte or Gloss Coat based on preference
- 35oz Tub of Polly Plastics/thermoplastic (You will use 1 cup (8 oz)
- You can buy the template right here
- Heat Gun
- Scotch Tape
- Towels/Heat Pads/ Gloves
- Pipe Cutter (optional)
- Sharpie/Pen/fine tip Marker
- Utility Knife
- Electric Sander/Dremel (Optional)
- 80 grit sand paper
- 150 or 200 grit sand paper
- Shaping Utensil (ex. Butter knife, wax Carving set, etc)
- 13x9 Cookie Sheet
- Rolling Pin
Step 3: Preparing PVC and Plastic Pieces
Begin by downloading and printing off the template I created to make this build easy as Pie, available now for only $2.
Start by softening 1 cup of Polly Plastics thermoplastic and roll it out flat in a 13x9 cookie sheet. I have died the plastic red to make it show up better on camera, you can leave yours white :) Check out my tips and tricks video on creating plastic sheets for more details on this process.
With your template cut out all of the pieces. the ones on the left of the template will be used to measure and cut PVC and the ones on the right you will trace onto your plastic sheet and label and number them according to template as you can see here.
Using the "J" stencil, tape it onto a the end of a 1 1/4" PVC pipe with the solid end toward the inside of the pipe, trace out all of the edges and then remove the stencil but hang onto it because we will use it again later.
Cut the PVC along the bottom line and onto the next!
Now with your "E" stencil do the same thing on the other factory edge of your 1 1/4" PVC pipe. once again hold onto the stencil we will need it again later.
Make sure to transfer your Labels onto the pieces for referencing later.
Now with a 3/4" piece of PVC pipe trace and label the "A" stencil once again with the straight edge to the inside then trace a second outline of the "A" piece right next to it.
Then do the same thing tracing out two "B" stencils after the "A"'s and cut the pipe at the tops and bottoms of the A's and B's
Then cut a 10 1/4" length of 1" PVC this will be the main body of the hilt\
On your piece you just cut mark a line all the way around at 1 3/4" and label it top and mark another line 1 1/2" in on the other side and label it bottom.
If you cut your pieces perfect you wont need to worry but since I didn't I am going to clean them up and make them flush, you can use sandpaper, a dremel, a belt sander or a file to do this for all your pieces.
Using a Rotary Tool, hack saw, or other tool cut out along the rest of the straight traced lines, hold off on the rounded ones.
If you mess up and cut a little too far in on parts of the "E" piece, don't throw a Kylo Ren tantrum and destroy any control panels. We can patch it with plastic later and will be covering most of it up anyway.
Now with your rotary tool sanding barrel, a file or other tool. We will be doing the curved edges, smoothing out some cuts, add some nicks, and sanding some beveled angles.
Next we get to start with assembly :)
Step 4: Assembling the Basic Frame
Now that all your pieces are cut, we can start with the fun stuff, the B pieces will fit inside of the A pieces.
Heat up the back of each A piece and place the B piece and let cool. Once cooled I stuck a thin layer of hot plastic between them to help them stick to eachother.
And voila, you have some awesome cross-guard exhaust pipes with emiiter shrouds!
Lets take a look at how these will all go together, J will go on the top side, E is the Pommel, and AB combos are the cross-guard.
J will slide on till the straight edges just above the gash line up with the line we drew on the top. Draw a reference line along the bottom of it as well.
Then cut out a strip of your plastic sheet about half the width of the two lines heat it up around the pipe along the top line. Then heat the plastic again and slide J into place.
Remove the excess plastic and place some of it inside the gash so there is a layer of plastic inside.
Now cut out your K pieces, they will be used to "weld" your crossguards onto the hilt. place and heat all the way through, then stick it onto the side, if it doesn't press up tight, you can hit the pointed edges of the PVC with the heat gun till it becomes soft then you can press it tight until it cools.
You can smooth the plastic out in the gaps and it will give the look that they are welded on.
Moving on to the pommel, place a small pieces of plastic on the inside of each of the prongs, cut out 4 squares from your sheet, roughly the width of the base of your hilt, cut a 9" length of 1/2" PVC pipe, press the PVC into the middle of the 4 squares heated together, followed by the Pommel.
Trim off the excess
Heat the inside pieces of plastic and the small strips at the tops of the prongs and slide the hilt into the pommel to where the tops of the prongs meet your marker line and make sure that the widest gap is facing front (the same side as the gash with the gap splitting center), press the prongs in against the hilt till they cool, and smooth out the plastic in the base of the hilt.
Then lets make this lightsaber the beast that it is by adding some weight. I have these big concrete bolts that I will use but you can use anything you have that will fit inside of a 1/2" PVC pipe.
Then heat up a small ball of plastic to plug the gap and keep them from falling out or rattling around.
Next, fill the gaps in the Pommel with plastic so it looks like solid pieces of metal.
Side note, the best part about this build is that Kylo Ren cobbled his lightsaber together so any mistakes or mis-shapen things will likely add to it's character so feel free to make like Han Solo and Chill out ;)
Step 5: Onto the Specifics (Details)
Okay, before you become Jabba's favorite decoration let's jump back into the heat of things, cut out your 6 "D"
pieces, these will become the grip section, start by placing the first one splitting the gap on the front side of the pommel and then space each of them about 1/4" apart around the entire hilt.
Next, cut out all 3 G pieces in one rectangle to start, heat up the surface and press in 3 or 4 lines about 1/4" up from the bottom. Then cut to separate the 3 pieces.
These will go on the top of the grip, splitting every other gap between the pieces we just placed. Start with the gap just to the left of center. and place one in everyother gap around the grip.
Unlike other pieces we have attached, this one we are heating the plastic on the grip and sticking the piece to it we are not heating the G piece so as to maintain the detail we just did.
Next bring your E piece back into play, cut straight down from either side of the first prong, trace and cut 5 of those rectangles from your plastic sheet They will go on top of the Tines on the hilt to give them a raised look/
While the plastic is hot, using the aqua-thermo digitation technique press the plastic so that it increases in thickness as it moves down the pommel.
Next up is the F pieces which will become "welded" bracers for cross guard exhaust pipes.
Place and heat, use the little bit of over-hang to create a little weld look.
And now for the H piece! Place and heat on the back of the saber, for some extra style you can add the half circle at the bottom and press 3 grooves into it.
M is for mighty! place and heat this one on the top front of the saber and feel the power of the darkside begin to take root.
L is for Legit, that is what all your friends will say when you show them your lightsaber after adding this piece in just above the gash
"I" is all siths think about there is no we in Sith. Heat all four pieces together, let cool then heat one side to place on the back of the saber 1/4" down from the PVC edge.
"C" is for comic relief, that's what Jar-Jar was supposed to be. Cut out the inside with a razor blade, stack and heat the two pieces together, Using 2 small pieces of plastic heat, round off, and press a cross into them to make 2 screw heads and attach to either side of the C piece. then cut 2 pieces the shape of the bottom section and attach them as well. Then place the whole piece piece, flush with the bottom of the grip section running up to overlap slightly on the grip.
Now lets detail up the Gash, cut small strips of plastic at a thin point about 1/2" long and 1/8" inch wide. these will be used to as some vent flaps.
On the left side of the Gash heat the plastic in the gash and place the vent flaps one on top of the other starting from the bottom and working up so that there is a slight space between each. Use a reference image to shape out the rest of the gash how you would like, we will add the blue wires later.
J is for Jabba the Hut becasue it rhymes with cut which is what you will do here, along the solid line and the dotted line tabs. Then trace the two pieces onto your plastic and cut them out, they will go on either side of the gash like you see here. Place and heat.
On the right side piece you will add this little piece of detail with the two rounded shapes and lines inside it.
Last but definitely not least, lets add these cool exhaust chamber details. Cut 3 strips of plastic 2 small and 1 larger. Heat them up and place them around the inside of the pipe just in from the edge.
Then heat them again and press the ridges into them
make sure that the top opening is large enough to fit 1/2" PVC pipe inside, this can be used for painting and for adding a blade to your hilt later on should the ghost of Obi-wan tell you to do so in the future.
Now for le piece de resistance, The large wire that runs the length of the grip into the pommel and the 2 small wires that run inside the gash.
Cut a strip of plastic and roll out a string of plastic about 1/8" thick and about the lenght of the hilt as well as a shorter thinner string.
Cut the shorter one into 2 pieces that will fit in the gash, use a reference image for placement and gently heat the plastic in the gash and place the little wires on top retaining their cylindrical shape.
The larger wire will run from the top of the pommel in the first gap left of center and run up the grip to the left corner of the gash.
Use leftover from the small wires or roll more plastic to be used as "staples" holding the wire in along the hilt.
it helps to have a little plastic under where the staples go to help adhesion.
Once you have the wire attached, your main build will be complete and all that is left is to give it a sweet paint job! I included a link to a video that helped me learn about the dry brushing technique and soon I will release a video on dry brushing as well so you can check that out!
Step 6: Conclusion
Well you did it!!! You have built your Kylo Ren lightsaber, now you just need to somehow escape an imploding planet
as it turns into a star and meet up with Snoke to finish your training so you can be even more hard core in the sequel!!!
I've got some great stuff coming down the pipe like Han Solo's DL44 Blaster and Deadpool's Swords and back sheath! So, make sure to subscribe and follow me on YouTube and Instructables to see those when they come out!
P.S I have struck an awesome deal for you in obtaining Polly Plastics. If you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading Cosplay_Apprentice Promo. They will send you an amazon promo code for 20% off a 35oz. tub of Polly Plastics.! Just tell them you saw my tutorial and take advantage of the savings!
P.P.S if you end up making this lightsaber, please send me a picture of it, I want to see your awesome work! Send it to CosplayApprentice@gmail.com
Enjoy, and until next time Cosplay on my Friend!