Last month, I posted an overview of one of the sabers that I helped to customize as part of a Christmas gift for a friend’s children. That saber, the Imperial Acolyte as I named it, was a Sith-inspired hilt with a red blade and Imperial accents. Today, we will be looking at the Imperial Acolyte’s Jedi counterpart, the Noble Apprentice.
Whereas the Imperial Acolyte was based on Ultrasabers’ Apprentice V4 hilt, the Noble Apprentice is actually a custom Initiate V4. Yeah, that is a little confusing, but so be it. The Initiate is a nice hilt, but I do prefer the styling and balance of the Apprentice. Both are what I would consider single-handed sabers, though they offer room for a second hand if desired.
Thematically, my goal with the Noble Apprentice was to create a simpler version of my previous custom Initiate. I felt my previous Initiate did a decent job of capturing an Old Republic sort of feel and resembled something you might find on the belt of a Jedi who hailed from Coruscant’s upper class. I hoped to recreate that same general appearance here, especially since this saber also featured a blue LED.
On my past example, I added copper highlights and Aurebesh text, but I also included a leather wrap. This saber is essentially the same, but sports no leather. Near the bottom of the hilt I added the new owner’s name in Aurebesh and the pommel features the Jedi phoenix emblem, much like my past work. The saber was then clear coated to help protect the paint.
Inside the hilt, the Noble Apprentice features the same USB battery source that I add to all of my stunt sabers. I replaced the 4 AAA battery pack with an Aukey 5,000 mAh USB battery bank, which offers a theoretical runtime of five hours when paired with a 1 A LED. Since the AAA setup is lucky to achieve one hour of constant use, I see the Aukey packs as significant upgrades. Furthermore, the voltage from the USB bank is consistently 5 V over the life of its charge while the AAA batteries (if alkaline) will start at 6 V total, but fall below 5 V rather quickly. Constant voltage from the pack helps to maintain consistent blade brightness over the life of its charge.
With the Noble Apprentice, I included a 32″ Ultraedge Midgrade blade from Ultrasabers. As with the Imperial Acolyte, I sanded the blade to give it a duller appearance. I’ve found that the sanded surface diffuses light better than the original glossy one. However more importantly, it eliminates glare that sometimes appears on the blade when held near other light sources. I used 800-grit sandpaper to add the sanded effect and it does show rub marks and scratches from use. Thankfully, a quick over with the sandpaper restores the blade to like-new.
While the Imperial Acolyte and Noble Apprentice were just two of eight total customs I delivered this Christmas, short timelines prevented me from documenting the rest of the work. A few may be coming back for additional custom work, so I’ll be sure to share them when they arrive. Until then, keep checking back!