Saturday, 29 September 2012

Rebel Blockade Runner [Tantive IV] Playset

Remember the first time Darth Vader appeared on screen... The Empire had just captured the Rebel Blockade Runner and were boarding with Stormtroopers. Bang! The door went and through they stormed.  A few minutes after the battle, Vader stepped forward.

Here's my playset for the Blockade Runner. It consists of two rooms - the room on the right, is the one where we see Vader for the first time.  The playset has a wall in the middle with a door through to the second room.  In this second room, here we see Princess Leia load the plans for the Deathstar into R2D2.

I'm looking forward to getting this one printed out and seeing Vader - all contrasted against the white of the space craft. That'll take me back to 1977!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Jabba's Rancor Pit Playset

I was inspired by a great video on the web, taking a light hearted look at the old Return of the Jedi toys... (hope you don't mind me referencing your youtube channel).
So, with this in mind I started to draw out a new model for Jabba's Rancor Pit!  The basic idea for this model is that again, it'll be printed on A3 sticker sheets and mounted to 5mm foam board.

The board has slots in it to join the different panels together (so that it can be dismantled again).

In this design, I wanted to have some detail that stood away from the walls to make it feel more 'cave' like.  I also wanted to include a 'hide away' for Luke... the hungry Rancor can't eat our hero!

Unfortunately, my printer has broken recently and with an upcoming house move, I'll have to wait before I can finish this and the previous Rishi Outpost playsets.  Keep watching this space and hopefully, I'll be able to post the finished playsets soon.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Star Wars 'loose' figures - collection

In my childhood, I had a number of the Star Wars figures - many of them survived in my parents garage! They're all un-boxed loose and in various conditions of 'played' with, but mostly still very nice.

Using online auctions, I've been able to add to the collection to replace missing figures, or one's that I never owned.

To date, my collection includes a total of 55 separate figures. Still 22 to collect! That's not including the 'last 17'.

I'd love to have a full set of the first 12. I'm just missing a nice R2D2 solid dome!

And to complete the first Star Wars '77-'79 figures, I need: Snaggletooth and Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot.

I'll have to take a photo soon of all the figures stood together.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Rishi Outpost - The Clone Wars Playset

The Clone Wars "Rookies"

I've really been enjoying The Clone Wars animation series. Just waiting for season 4 to come out on Blu Ray! 

A great episode, early in season 1 featured Rishi Outpost. Here our gallant heroes have to defend the outpost against a droid attack!

This one is probably my most 'accurate' model. I've got plans to build the computer consoles so they have depth. There should be two staircases up the left and right of the model. And finally, there's also the centre console area.

I've been working on the new artwork for this model for a little while now... Just need to get some foamboard, sticker paper and some time... fingers crossed it'll be ready soon!

Here's a teaser pic for starters...

Jabba's Sand Barge Playset

Another model... this time from Return of the Jedi! Again, this was a lot of fun to draw out on the computer and build with sticky paper and 5mm black foamboard - Enjoy!

I wanted to add a range of details on this one, including the Sarlacc Pit and a separate Desert Skiff.

On the top deck is Jabba's Sail Barge canon! Great fun with it's firing rockets. My son falls about laughing when we set it off.

Imperial Walker AT-AT Playset

You just have to love the Imperial Walkers - they looked fab in the film... Here's my tribute to them!

Once again, another slot design model. This time, it has additional detail panels for the legs and also the Imperial Probe Droid.

The artwork had a lot of 'artistic licence' - it was really hard to find a way to fit it on an A3 panel, so a lot of comprise was made with the design.

Overall, it reminds me of the old Kenner "Hoth Ice Planet Adventure" set.

Bespin Cloud City Playset

I wanted to create another home drawn model, this time finding inspiration from Ralph McQuarrie who many will know was the conceptual artist and illustrator for Star Wars and many other films. Sadly Ralph passed away March 3, 2012...

Again, my model uses the same slot design from previous. I tried to capture a variety of room areas from the film, taking in a great deal from Ralph McQuarrie's beautiful pictures. Here's my small tribute to a fantastic artist.

It was great fun drawing out various segments of Bespin. Hope you recognise the "I am your Father!" scene.  There's a platform for carbon freezing. Whereas upstairs, you can see the normal 'civilised' living areas of the city.

Jawa Sandcrawler Playset

I wanted to carry on creating new models and this time, I was inspired to draw my own stickers... this time, I'd focus on the Jawa Sandcrawler!

Once again, the plan was to allow this model to be flat packed. It used the same 'slot' design I'd used for the Death Star.

Of course, in the film we never got to see the interior of the Sandcrawler, so I used my imagination. In my model, there's an upstairs living area; downstairs is the storage room for 'found' droids; and upfront there's a cockpit area for driving.

My Jawa looks a little lonely on his own...

Ah-ha!  Have you got droids for sale?

Hope you enjoy the model, it was good fun to draw on the computer. (I did this in CorelDraw X5).

Death Star Playset

Star Wars memories from my childhood.

I was about seven when Star Wars first came out. I remember going to see it with my older brother at the ABC Cinema in Basingstoke. (Here's a great website I found with some old photos of the cinema). It was one of those proper old 'flea-pit' cinemas (said with great affection) - not like the two 'multiplex' cinema that we see today! We queued around the side of the cinema opposite the taxi ranks...  the experience has stayed a long time with me.

Now, I have a family - they're really too young to understand what Star Wars is, but it's a great excuse for me to retrieve all my old toys from my parents garage and have 'fun' drawing designs out on the computer.

When I was young, I had some great toys - the Falcon, Vader's Tie and a Snowspeeder... I remember seeing the 'cardboard' Death Star and thought "hey, that's cool". Years later, I stumbled on an excellent website of diorama's - amazing film like replicas of scenes from Star Wars...

This is run by Frank Diorio - a 'wizard' at making foamboard and stickers look like expensive film sets. (Frank, I hope you don't mind me referencing your site here:

Frank has produced some amazing photoshop background images and shares these freely so that anyone can have a go at making their own models. (Frank, huge thanks for taking the time and making these available for everyone).

With an idea in mind and huge inspiration... Using a range of Frank's excellent stickers and my CorelDraw X5 software I set out to create a Death Star.

The model is made using sticky paper and 5mm black foamboard. The walls slot together to form the four main segments. This means it can be flat packed.

The upstairs floor level then slots through the main panels.

The 'lift' shaft columns are made from TV cable trunking, cut to length with end-caps. They attach to the main walls by Velcro strip. (Again, this means they can be removed and flat packed.

I added some panels that Velcro to the walls, to give a little more detail.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the end result - great fun!

My last 'improvement' was to build the tractor beam console that Ben switched off. Once again, this is a slotted piece that can be dismantled.

I do hope you enjoy the pictures and please do take time to head over to the