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Japor Snippet

The Japor Snippet Prop


From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki.

The Japor snippet was a good luck charm that Anakin Skywalker gave to his future wife Padmé Amidala as a gift in 32 BBY on the Naboo Royal Starship when they were on route to Coruscant. It was a simple piece of japor ivory wood carved with a traditional Tatooine sand symbol. It was threaded with a string of Jerba leather.

Thirteen years later in 19 BBY, Padmé still had it in her possession and was now wearing it in private whenever she was with her husband Anakin. While she lay dying and broken-hearted after giving birth to her twins, she gave the japor snippet to Obi-Wan Kenobi to keep for her but he did not understand the significance of this gesture so he gave it back to her.

During Padmé’s funeral procession, her body could be seen holding the japor snippet in her hands. The japor snippet was likely cremated with her.

Making the Japor Snippet

I started out with a bit of Sculpy polymer clay, and used a bit of wood with a smooth face to shape the and round the profile I wanted.  This allowed me to get the gentle curve, and avoid getting finger prints on the surface.  Then I used a sharp kitchen knife to cut the outline of the snippet.

Next I used some wood carving tools (pictured below) to carve the grooves into the face.  The most useful tool for getting the right look was the ‘V’ cut tool.  I also used a chopstick to put some dimples in it where the screen shot looked like it had.

Result:

Next step, now that I had a master to work from was to pour a rubber mold of the snippet.  The reasons I did this were two fold, I could make multiple copies, and the resulting resin copy is a nice bone white color which works well as a base.  Also, resin is much tougher than clay, even after baking.

Here’s the rubber mold.  I screwed up the edges a little bit, because some rubber got under the edges, but that can all be sanded away.

Once I poured resin into the mold, and it had hardened, I pulled it out, and sanded the edges smooth. I took some 400 grit sand paper and lightly hit the surface all over to smooth out any rough spots, and make it smooth edges all around.  A quick rinse with soapy water, and a pat dry it was ready for some color.

I mixed up some brown paint, with a little bit of water to give it some flow.  I dribbled this all over the snippet, getting it into all the cracks.  I would rather have used brown ink, but this is what I had. I let this dry all the way so I could move on to the next coat.  The point of this brown wash was to get the color down in the cracks, but not over power it.

Next stage was the ivory, which I applied in a dry brush technique.  I would put a little on the brush end, and rub it on some newspaper till most of the color was out.  Then I lightly stroked it on the snippet surface, careful not to get down into the cracks and paint over the brown.  It takes several passes of this, putting just a little bit of the ivory paint down each time.  It gets a nice aged look, and the bone color I was looking for.

A quick coat of a clear, to protect the paint, and ta da!  (and yes, as she says, I way over engineered this one, but I like the results.)

Finished Pictures

Reference Pictures

Posted in Props.

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