Tutorial for Adding LED Lightsabers to Your Star Wars: Legion Miniatures

The fine folks at Fantasy Flight Games share a tutorial on how to add LED lightsabers to your Star Wars: Legion miniatures.

Not only does Star Wars™: Legion invite you to build a unique army of iconic troops, vehicles, and characters from across the Star Wars saga, it also gives you the opportunity to put your own personal touch on that army by painting and customizing your miniatures. For some, like Matthias Gruettke, this involves modifying the miniatures themselves, including the weapons they carry into battle.

Lightsabers are some of the most recognizable weapons in the entire Star Wars galaxy, wielded by noble Jedi and ambitious Sith lords alike. Rather than paint the lightsabers on his miniatures, Gruettke carefully replaces their blades with LEDs that reflect the soft glow of an ignited lightsaber. Join him today as he breaks down the process of bringing these iconic weapons to life in Star Wars: Legion!

A Jedi’s Weapon

When I saw the first pictures of Star Wars: Legion miniatures, I immediately thought how hard it would be to paint the blade of the lightsaber. I mean, it’s made of pure energy. How do you paint pure energy? There are some really talented painters who can do this for sure. But this illusion works mostly in dioramas where you look at the miniature from a certain angle. On the battlefield this is a totally different matter, because you and your opponent look at the miniatures from serveral perspectives.

That’s why I have come up with another solution. Why not use light to power the blade of the most iconical weapon in the Star Wars galaxy?

In this article, I will show you how to use LEDs and acrylic rods to light up your Force users’ weapons. It won’t be the easiest work, but with some patience you will make it!

What You Need

Materials:

• Star Wars: Legion Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or General Grievous miniature
• Star Wars: Legion base
Silver conductive paint
Super glue
1x transparent acrylic rod in the color you are heading for the blade
1x pre wired 0402 SMD LED in the color you are heading for the blade
1x 56 ohm resistor (not needed if you use a blue or white LED)
1x Neodymium sphere magnet Ø 3mm
1x Neodymium block magnet 5 x 1.5 x 1mm
1x Button cell battery CR2016 or CR2032

Tools:

Hand drill
Drill bits (Ø 0.5mm / 1.0mm /1.5mm / 3.0mm)
Hobby knife
1x Sheet fine sandpaper

Let’s Get Started

Use the 3.0mm drill bit to drill a hole in the middle of the Legion base using the hand drill. Be careful not to drill in your hand or any surface you won’t like to have holes inside. The hole doesn’t have to be placed exactly in the middle, just somewhere around the center of the base.

Clean the drill hole edges with the hobby knife so no plastic is sticking out from the surface or the backside of the base.

Drill another hole near the outer edge of the base with the 1.5mm drill bit.

Now, put the 3mm neodymium sphere magnet in the hole in the middle and the 5 x 1.5 x 1mm neodymium block magnet in the smaller hole at the edge of the base. Ideally, the holes are so small that the magnets barely fit into them. If they are the proper size, you shouldn’t have to use super glue to hold the magnets in place. If the holes are too big and the magnets won’t hold up by themselves, use only a really tiny drop of super glue to hold them in place. It is absolutely important that the areas sticking out of the upper side of the base as well as the areas that aim towards the inside of the base are not covered with glue, because you need the bare metal surface of the magnets as contacts for the battery and the conductive paint.

Read the tutorial in full here — happy gaming!