Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Death Star Playset - Jumbo Kenner Prototype

With Gentle Giant releasing the 12 inch retro jumbo "Kenner" style action figures, I had this evil idea of building a scale Death Star Playset, just like the vintage set for the smaller figures. This is the prototype. After getting this far, I need to shift and use the foam board shapes to trace onto wood, and cut the wood.

Also, I figured the large cardboard tube used for concrete shaping isn't tall enough...will have to figure out a way to get the tractor beam machine and the top floor/cannon added.

Materials so far:

Three pieces of 36 x 26 foam board from art and craft store: $15
Cardboard tube for concrete pouring: Loew's: $11
Thick styrofoam blocks...1.5 inch by 20 inch by 12 inch: $27

The styrofoam blocks were used for the base walls and the columns. They weren't as strong as I though they would be. I used a box temporarily for the trash compactor.

Photo 1: Materials with Blue Snags and old death star for reference.

Photo 2: Build first "floor".

Photo 3: First level cut including garbage chute.

Photo 4: Drawing second floor.

Photo 5: Second floor cut.

All three floors cut.

Starting the elevator shaft.

Ground floor entry way cut.

Side by side: Elevator, trash compactor, first floor next to original.

Connecting first floor to elevator shaft door.


Ground floor panels made of thick styrofoam. Box used as trash compactor for now.

Second floor columns and floor added. Not as sturdy as I hoped it would be.

R2, C3PO and Death Squad Commander.

Luke Skywalker and the Princess prepare to swing across the chasm - OK, will need to build that. I have ideas on how I would do that.

Once again, side by side with the original.

The prototype took about two hours. Not sure when I willhave time to cut this in wood yet. May at least paint the elevator and second floor in their darker colors.

To be continued...

Gentle Giant Blue Snaggletooth

Gentle Giant Ltd (www.gentlegiantltd.com) has been releasing Jumbo 12 inch reproductions of the vintage Star Wars figures. Their latest exclusive from San Diego Comic Con 2012 was the repro of the rare Sears Blue Snaggletooth. The Blue Snags could only be found in the Sears Cantina set exclusive. Because the toy designers only saw a few photos of snaggletooth (from the chest up), they designed him with a blue outfit and full height. Later on, the shorter Red Snaggletooth was released on a card.

GG celebrates the legendary Blue Snaggletooth with this great 12 inch reproduction. The figure came in a blue bag. Inside, the package was protected with a white slip cover box. Finally, the packaging was reduced in size (the figure never came carded).  On the back, the Celebration VI exclusive Lando Calrissian is previewed.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Walking Dead Diorama - Dale's RV

Who knew that a Tonka Indian Camper from the 1950s/1960s? would fit in so nicely with McFarlane's Walking Dead figures. Just like Dale's camper in the AMC TV show. Scales nicely. Here, Rick and Daryl hold off a hoard of zombies (figures from TV Series 1 and Comic Book Series 1).

Korean War Artillery

I had made a large scale diorama of an epic Korean War battle. In late November 1950, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops infiltrated North Korean as the Allied forces pushed north to end the war. The entrance of the Chinese took the Allies by surprise. The bitter cold weather in the mountains of North Korea was also an enemy to all sides. In this diorama, I used the awesome 1/6 scale 155mm Howitzer from Hasbro along with some of the Korean war troops.

Kenner Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Ark

I used the great Kenner Well of the Souls playset, along with the vintage Sallah and Indiana Jones for these shots. Also used the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con Marion Ravenwood figure from the Well of the Souls to finish it off.

Too bad both Indiana Jones lines (Kenner 1983 and Hasbro 2008) didn't do as well as they could have.

If you look closely, on the "stone" cover that was over the Ark, the engravings of C3PO and R2D2 appear, just like in the movie.

First X-Men Marvel Legends Collection

When I first started thinking of the jigsaw puzzle business, this is one of the first test shots I took. I simply grabbed all the Marvel Legends X-Men figures and shot some photos. Storm, Colossus, Phoenix, Cyclops, Wolverine, Marvel Select Dark Phoenix, Nightcrawler, Beast, Rogue and Iceman.

Galactic Heroes on Tatooine

Took several of the Dewback Cinema Scenes from Hasbro's Galactic Heroes line. A few Dewbacks, Sandtroopers, and Jawas, chase poor R2D2 and C3PO through the deserts of Tatooine.

M1 Abrams

21st Century Toys released several great 1/6th scale Sherman Tanks back int he heyday of the 1/6 military craze. The tanks were Radio Controlled. Very late in the game, they released a 1/8th scale (close enough) M1 Abrams tank, also Radio Controlled. My tank's RC capability never worked. Oh well.

It was still fun to put that thing up with infantry running alongside it.

Indiana Jones - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indy grabs the crystal skull and races out of one temple to the next, chased by the Ughu Warriors. All the figures were from Hasbro's Indiana Jones Crystal Skull line. Unfortunately, there were more characters in this scene, but none were made into figures...except Mutt...and I really couldn't stand his character anyway.

Marvel Legends Thing versus Juggernaut

Close up photo of a backyard battle I did many moons ago. The Thing versus the Juggernaut. Marvel Legends nailed it with their sculpting.


I have always been a fan of animated movies - and Disney makes some great ones. Tangled was hysterical. I grabbed my daughters set of Tangled figurines and snapped this photo for her. Will make this into a puzzle for her next birthday/holiday. Very fun movie. Recommend it to anyone.

Geonosis Arena Battle

Did this diorama in my backyard right after Attack of the Clones came out. Grabbed a few of the new 12 inch figures from Hasbro - Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Clone Troopers, along with some classics, like Yoda and R2.

The funny thing about the back yard. When I bought the house, it was grass....this is out in the southwest. Unfortunately, my dogs destroyed the sprinkler system and within months, it was all sand. Oh well, makes for a good Geonosis, Tatooine, Middle East environment.

Damned Engineers

Just a quick diroama of some 54mm green army men. In this case, the classic Timmee army truck and armored car are crossing a great Hasbro Combat Engineer Playset Bailey Bridge from the 50s or 60s. More on this set later. A BMC Sherman tank crosses in the rear. Along the side march soldiers on their way to the front.

The Hovitos are Near

One of the best parts of the Indiana Jones movies and a great opening for the original Raiders of the Lost Ark. After Indy retrieves the idol, he is chased by the Hovitos natives through the South American jungle. I used the 2 inch Hasbro Indiana Jones Adventure Heroes figures. The Heroes figures from Hasbro for Marvel, GI Joe, Indiana Jones and Star Wars were great. Too bad they ended...though there seem to be some Marvel 3 figure sets coming out for the Avengers and Spider Man.

McFarlane NFL Baltimore Ravens

Another team consolidation photo of these great McFarlane NFL figures. In this case, the Baltimore Ravens...the set includes Jamal Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathon Ogden, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Steve McNair, Joe Flacco, and Deion Sanders.

Lord of the Rings - Last March of the Ents

One of my favorite scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is when the Ents (Trees) march to Saruman's tower. I took a bunch of the 18 inch Treebeard figures from ToyBiz and marched them against a bunch of orcs, goblins and Uruk-hai. May redo this later. I think of this more as a prototype diorama.