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No Aim Required: Building the Z6 Riot Control Baton from Episode VII

When I saw the previews for the new Star Wars, I got pumped for several reasons. Obviously, the whole thing just looked kick ass, but there was one specific stormtrooper that caught my eye.

zUUY3HV - Imgur

In the preview we see one of our main characters unleash a lighsaber while looking at a stormtrooper. What does the stormtrooper do? Does he cower in fear and run away? Nope, he snaps out his trusty z6 riot baton and goes toe to toe with Finn!

The baton just looked really cool. I loved how it snaps out before use, and of course I enjoyed those crackly bits of plasma you see around the end of it. After eyeballing it a bit, I thought that I could probably build one out of PVC.

The most difficult aspect of this was going to be the hinge. I couldn’t find any existing hinge at the hardware store that would allow the large rotating end of this thing to snap into place. I was going to have to create something from scratch. As you see in the video, I pulled it off with a strong spring and a little extra strapping.

If you’re interested in my thought process behind the whole construction, you can check out the brainstorming session I had over this project.

I knew, going into this project, that I would have to take some shortcuts. Its fun to see what changed from the initial concept to the final result.

7 thoughts on “No Aim Required: Building the Z6 Riot Control Baton from Episode VII

  1. Looks like a fun low-cost project! I would like to add a mechanism that allows the flip-out part to stay in the locked position.

  2. I was a little disappointed that the hinge was touted at first as being made completely out of PVC but was actually made out of PVC, nylon, and various pieces of steel (bolts, nuts, and spring). Before seeing the cut away, I thought that perhaps a flap of PVC had been cut, lifted, and was using the flexible properties of the PVC to flip around. Clearly that wouldn’t have worked nearly as well, but thus my disappointment. I hoped against hope. I think the problem that is causing your locking mechanism to overextend is probably a combination of the small bolt bending, and the PVC being grooved by the sharp threads on the small bolt. A thicker and (perhaps) slightly longer bolt at a different angle might reduce or prevent that.

    Now let me nit pick ONE more point. This is certainly not the first weapon to be able to go up against a light saber (including those robot guys). Far from it. In the Old Republic, one of the first non-lightsaber weapons that could withstand a lightsaber strike was a virbrosword/vibroblade with cortosis-weave.

    Good build and funny exuberance. =) Sorry for my being a stickler.

    1. I also believe that the pikes used by the Emperor’s Royal Guard were able to block and deflect lightsaber blades as well.

    2. I designed mine based on these designs, but with a replaceable stop and screw. If either wears out, I can easily replace it. Also I used wire rather than strapping :)

  3. This looks AMAZING. I really want to build a (non-electrified) version for my son to go around womping things with.

  4. Dumb question, will there be any sort of diagrams or plans for how you pulled off the mechanism?

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. You can find me on twitter at @calebkraft

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