Lightsaber Parts and ‘Power Cell’ Battery Decals: An Interview with Skywampa
Skywampa, a United Kingdom based Etsy store, specializes in staple DIY lightsaber parts including: clamp cards, D-rings, a crystal chamber and even some uncommon and popular ‘power cell’ style battery decals. On Etsy since 2014, Skywampa has made over 2200 sales to date.
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SaberSourcing interviewed Skywampa about his UK based lightsaber parts store.
Can you describe your first lightsaber? How and when did you get it?
My first saber was a ROTJ Luke Lightsaber by Kenner Hasbro back in the 90s. Unfortunately, I no longer have the saber but was the best thing even as a kid. My first ever collectable saber which got me into collecting sabers was a Master Replicas Luke ANH which I think was around 2007.
How did you decide to open your own lightsaber parts store?
The store started back when I got my first DIY install saber the Graflex 2.0 kit. I thought about the idea of modifying it to look closer to the real Graflex flash and made some laser etched pommel caps with the Graflex Stamping on them so I could cover the sound holes.
As I am a Graphic Designer by trade it was relatively easy to replicate and was my first ever product in the store. I then moved on from there thinking of various things that I either needed for my own builds or what I thought others may find useful over here in the U.K. Initially I set out to help people with parts more locally and avoid high shipping fees/import taxes from overseas and it all just grew from there.
Can you describe your design process for your prop replica parts, from concept to completion?
My design process will start with an initial idea or maybe a solution to a problem. Usually I will research and reference images I have of screen used/production props. I then start by creating some drawings/specs for the product that I can either use to produce the product myself or source a company in the UK to produce on my behalf if its beyond my own production capabilities.
I have a background in product/gifting design for some large well-known companies and franchises and I use my knowledge in this area to help come up with ideas and production solutions that I can apply to my saber projects and product ideas.
How do your clamp cards compare to clamps cards made by other companies?
I’m not too sure how they compare to others out there as I have only had cards that come with kits/sabers which are usually ok but I would then make my own.
Some quirky, unique items in your store are your battery decals, which are designed to decorate lightsaber batteries. How did you come up with the idea for a battery decal and how do customers react to them?
The Battery Decals came about when I was gathering items for my personal Graflex saber that I had planned for electronics install. When I had all the parts and chassis I quickly noticed a bright blue battery staring me in the face and to me looked out of place for something that should look like it’s from the SW universe.
I set out to cover it up with some materials and then thought, I can print some designs on this to make it look like it’s a power cell from another planet. Reaction to them from customers have been positive and are quite popular. Although I never get to see how people have been creative and integrate them into their builds.
Can you describe an unexpected customer interaction or request?
I don’t have too many stories but sometimes I get requests from customers that due to time I am unable to take on. To my surprise I have done some commission work or supplied to other saber smiths and makers etc which I never thought I would end up having those kinds of relationships when I started out.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who is brand new to the Lightsaber hobby?
My advice is to do plenty of research and start talking to people in the community/forums in your area. There are lots of knowledgeable people in the community. I would also go with things that make you happy and appeals to your own likes and tastes.
What’s your favorite lightsaber from Star Wars Canon or Legends and why?
My favourite Saber is actually Obi-Wan’s from ANH as I love how it’s a mismatch of various items from a jet engine part, a grenade, down to a sink tap handle. Its so beaten and worn that it has its own charm and a true piece of art that was cobbled together from junk they had on set.
What’s next for you?
I plan on expanding my product range as always and in the coming months will be trying some new ideas and items that aren’t necessarily saber related parts. Which I hope to share with you soon 😊
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Skywampa Etsy Store [AFFILIATE LINK] https://www.etsy.com/shop/Skywampa
Skywampa Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Skywampa
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COVER IMAGE CREDIT: Skywampa
image depicts items from the Skywampa store including: clamp cards (top), crystal chamber (top left), D-ring, screws, radiator fins, and battery decals.