Gray Consular: Custom Ultrasabers Apprentice V4

Before I get into this rundown, It’s worth mentioning that this saber is very, very similar to the Republic Defender that I recently completed. I’ll note the differences where applicable, but readers should also check out that build for a different take on a very similar concept. Because the customer in this case wanted a light-side saber with a green blade and darker accents, I’m calling this one the Gray Consular.

The breakdown of parts on this build is as follows:

  • Ultrasabers Dark Initiate V4 hilt
  • Plecter Labs Pico Crumble (light version) soundboard
  • Tri-Cree XP-E2 Red-Orange – Green – Blue (RoGB) LED
  • 34” Ultrasabers Mid Grade blade
  • 18650 Li-ion battery
  • 28mm 2W bass speaker
  • MHS V6 chassis
  • 16mm anti-vandal switch
  • 26 AWG silicone-insulated wire

Like many of my commissioned builds, this saber is based on the Ultrasabers Apprentice V4. I’m a big fan of this hilt for a variety of reasons. First, they’re affordable. Even empty hilts can be very pricey. Most of my local buyers are looking for basic builds with sound and light. They’re not die-hard saber enthusiasts that are willing to fork over $300 or more for a movie replica hilt. Second, the Apprentice V4 feels great in the hand. It’s the perfect size for swinging around and has a well-placed choke point. It may be somewhat plain, but it hits all the right practical notes.

The choke point on the Apprentice V4 is very well placed.

The Gray Consular is interesting from a customization standpoint because it’s a dark hilt that’s intended for a Jedi build. To make that fact more clear, I added the Jedi phoenix emblem to the saber, opposite the activation switch. I also added other silver accents throughout the middle of the hilt’s body and at the emitter. My inspiration for the color scheme was Qui-Gon Jinn’s lightsaber from The Phantom Menace.

Like I do with many of these custom builds, this saber has some added powder coat accents.

Inside the hilt is the good ol’ MHS V6 chassis that I use on almost every MHS-compatible hilt. The V6 isn’t all that much to look at, but it just works so well for builds like this. Riding atop the chassis is a Plecter Labs Pico Crumble light side version. I’ve done a bunch of Pico builds lately and I really like the board, at least for the most part. It’s very easy to install, offers color changing, and is incredibly responsive. The only downside is that the sounds are very limited. It offers separate hard and soft swing sounds as well as hard and soft clashes. The Pico also sports activation, hum, and deactivation sounds. Other than that, there’s little else and the sounds do become a little repetitive after a while. One cool feature it has is Mute on the Go, which makes it easier to show the saber off in places where the sound isn’t welcome.

The MHS V6 chassis is a superb option for compatible sabers. The electical tape here protects the Pico Crumble from the aluminum hilt.
A look at the 18650 Li-ion battery in its holder.

As I mentioned just a moment ago, the Pico Crumble supports color changing. When paired with the Tri-Cree XP-E2 red-orange, green, blue (RoGB) led in this saber, the Pico can put together some really intriguing mixes. Switching colors with the Pico Crumble is fairly simple, but not as straightforward as other, pricier boards. With the board in deep sleep mode (after five minutes of inactivity), the service menu can be accessed by holding down the activation switch until the board beeps and the LED turns on. Then, briefly pressing the switch cycles through the colors. Once the desired color has been found, holding down the switch saves the color and returns the board to deep sleep.

The 16mm momentary switch

The photos of the available colors on this saber are below. Essentially, it’s capable of the red-orange, blue, and green of the Tri-Cree along with mixes of these, creating sky blue, yellow, and lavender. The flash-on-clash for the Pico Crumble mixes all channels, which in this case means a very light blue-white.

The green blade option
Ice blue. This one is amazingly bright!
Pale yellow

For the saber’s sound, I opted for a 28mm, 2W bass speaker from The Custom Saber Shop. It’s a Veco-made speaker that’s very loud and offers deep tone. My only complaint is that it doesn’t offer quite the level of clarity that I would prefer. I don’t regret using it on this and past builds, but I might be in the market for something else moving forward.

A peek through the pommel at the 28mm, 2W bass speaker.

Lastly, since this was a local commission, I included a 34” Mid Grade blade from Ultrasabers. Originally, it was a 36” part, but I cut it down to better fit the relatively small hilt. I’m a big fan of Ultrasabers blades for their price-to-performance ratio. To enhance the blade’s diffusion and perceived brightness, I sanded the exterior of the polycarbonate tube with 150 grit sandpaper.

I sanded the blade on this build for better diffusion.

That essentially covers this build. Please don’t hesitate to post any questions you may have in the comments.

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