3 3/4" Scaled Version of the Kenner Micro "Death Star World" Playset

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micro ds world.jpg

I hope the title explains it all.

I was feeling nostalgic for building a big playset piece for myself, so between Cardboard Galaxy work I have been tinkering with a side diorama/playset project just for me. The inspiration for what it would be came from discussion here on the board a while back where we were trying to figure out what a HasLab Death Star could look like. I became quite enamored with the idea of a hugely upscaled and more detailed version of the Micro Death Star World from 1982. I've been building Death Star dioramas in one form or another since 2003, and I decided I would build a mock-up of the idea because a picture is a worth a thousand words, so surely a 3D diorama must be worth several million of 'em.

I started the project at the new year, and I have been keeping a log of it every week on the Cardboard Galaxy FB page just to keep myself honest about progress and by doing so, ensure progress was ongoing. This week is the watershed moment when the thing is really starting to take shape, so now is the time to start a genuine thread for it.

I have assembled the skeleton of the "Death Star Escape" tower-side of the playset.

Skeleton 01.jpg

Here is a comparison of the dimensions of my version versus its inspiration. As I said, I am trying to walk a fine line between faithfulness to the original and more screen accurate display spaces.

Tower Comparison.jpg

The outside wall will get more dimension as I go. The cannon's blast door/window (and the small blast door on the first floor) will get thicker to represent the multilayered look in the movies, and when that happens up top I will have the wall angle out midway through level two like it does in the micro version.

Also, one of the most fun things I have realized in working this model up is that the back sides of both parts go together to make half of the hangar bay where the Falcon is captured. So I will lean into those details on that side to make it a great backdrop for the BMF to park in front of as well. My initial guess are that this thing will wind up being 4 to 5 feet long (depending on how the chasm area comes together) and 18" tall so it will certainly hold its own against the ship!

Tower Demo 02.jpg

One of the harder-fought decisions I made was not to include the secondary elevator shaft on this piece. Instead of it I will be doing a chunk of chasm wall to sit between the two halves and give that space a little more definition than it had on the '82 version. The elevator for this piece will be the large circular tower that is a part of the "Death Star Trash Compactor" side of the playset.

There is still a long way to go on the project, but I was excited to show something of it off (now that there is something to show!)

Thanks for looking!
 
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Is that cardboard you are using for the construction or styrene sheets?

It looks amazing and it's a brilliant idea for the 3 3/4 line. What an excellent way to display vintage 3 3/4 figures too.
 

Utinniii

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That looks really fun! it is always inspiring to see what you come up with.
 
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Is that cardboard you are using for the construction or styrene sheets?

It looks amazing and it's a brilliant idea for the 3 3/4 line. What an excellent way to display vintage 3 3/4 figures too.

Sorry, the materials I used thus far are 5mm thick black foamboard and printed cardstock. The cannon is a 3D printed piece from KrazyD's Kustoms.
 
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Very creative use of materials Muftak! There is so much good stuff out there to 3D print for the Star wars universe. Did you have tonsand down the canon or were you able to print it that fine? It looks so smooth. Sorry for all the questions.
 
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Very creative use of materials Muftak! There is so much good stuff out there to 3D print for the Star wars universe. Did you have tonsand down the canon or were you able to print it that fine? It looks so smooth. Sorry for all the questions.

I know zero about actual 3D printing, KrazyD's Kustoms sells the preprinted parts to the customer. I did not sand it at all, they did a fine job of giving me very finished pieces. All I had to do was assemble and paint the piece. (Still not done with that!)
 
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Beautiful work, Muftak. Great blend of nostalgia and upscaling to come up with an OT classic display.
 
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Absolutely incredible! Now it blows my mind that this is (as far as a I know) the first time a Micro Collection playset was "upscaled" as a custom diorama. It makes so much sense.
Funnily enough, I was just looking through Steve Sansweet's From Concept to Screen book this morning. I haven't picked it up in many years. It was my collecting / Star Wars bible back when I was 10-11. The Micro Collection pages were especially inspiring.
 
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Thanks guys!

I can't wait to keep filling this thing out to get it closer to the original playset. It was one of the few things I didn't have as a kid but wanted. (I had to choose one Micro set and it had to be Cloud City for me!)

As far as I know there has been no other upscale either, which just wanting the visual was a big part of the drive for me to get started. There are Lego versions, but of course that's a different beast altogether.
 

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I think it HAS been upscaled, but only to the Legion RPG Scale (so, not by much). It was a 3D STL file, so conceivably, it could be printed out at any scale.
Yours is way better though.

I was pretty much a 3.75 scale purist, even as a child, but I was impressed with the MM concept.

Nothing I ever saw compared to what I invisioned in my head though.
 
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Thanks guys!

I can't wait to keep filling this thing out to get it closer to the original playset. It was one of the few things I didn't have as a kid but wanted. (I had to choose one Micro set and it had to be Cloud City for me!)

Since it fits the topic, and to give your thread a bump, I found this custom 3 3/4" Bespin Freeze Chamber diorama made by TGC Customs on FigureRealm. There's also this amazing LEGO Death Star World (including the unreleased DSII Emperor's Throne Room.
 
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I am glad to see someone did the Micro Freeze Chamber idea for 3 3/4" figures. I might tackle a version of that someday utilizing the new Hasbro pieces.

I have talked with BaronSat, who did the Lego version, about the project at the very inception. We both had a laugh about the feasibility of the guard post at the top of the round elevator turret.
 
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Wow, I remember you talking about this a while back. It's great to see it coming together, and as always your work is top notch! Can't wait to see more!
 
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That's pretty cool!
You know as much as I've always wanted a spherical approach to a Death Star with inside play area, this might just be the next best thing in order for it to be successful on HasLab.
 
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If it ever becomes available for purchase at CG, you got my business. 😮
 
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Really creative work as always Muftak, I think this style of Death Star certainly has validity like you are proving. I can't wait to see the full thing assembled if you get that far. My only gripe would be no area for the Emperor's Throne Room or Turbo Laser room (which is really just a gripe with Kenner's original design which came before ROTJ, I think?). I still love the idea of a DS playset that can have a partial outer shell on it, kind of like how the Barge has the removable panels and then you get to see inside the interiors, at least on one area of the DS.

This looks fantastic either way, I love the inclusion of the tractor beam control area too.
 
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I don't know if anyone else has been keeping up with this stuff, but there's a guy on eBay now selling 3D printed upscaled-to-3.75" version of the Micro Carbon Freeze Chamber. If you look up "space fantasy freeze chamber" you should hit it.

Big Micro CFC.jpg

And in other news, I got back to upscaling the Death Star World by working on a "chasm" backdrop piece that was never really in the Kenner one, but since I am not doing double elevators I decided to add these to give that setpiece a bit more definition where the two towers meet.

Chasm WIP.jpg

I changed up how the platforms in front of the doors attach to the backdrop (I didn't want to do slots and tabs because I didn't want to slice the chipboard and cause the potential loss of strength and stability for such a tall thin piece) so I used magnets instead. I wasn't sure how well it would work as far as strength to hold the figures, but it turns out it was plenty strong:

Everybody on the Platform.jpg

I couldn't fit any more figures on there! (my son saw this and said: "Hey, why is that Stormtrooper hanging out with the good guys?" to which I replied: "Don't worry--it's Han in disguise!" And it is in fact!)

This won't be the final version going with the upscaled playset, it's a test print and build I will wind up selling off to somebody. The playset version will just be the background, while the main platforms will still be on the main tower and the elevator tube connecting both halves.

Thanks for looking, I'm glad to be back on this project after taking the summer off.
 
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I don't know if anyone else has been keeping up with this stuff, but there's a guy on eBay now selling 3D printed upscaled-to-3.75" version of the Micro Carbon Freeze Chamber. If you look up "space fantasy freeze chamber" you should hit it.

View attachment 399912

And in other news, I got back to upscaling the Death Star World by working on a "chasm" backdrop piece that was never really in the Kenner one, but since I am not doing double elevators I decided to add these to give that setpiece a bit more definition where the two towers meet.

View attachment 399913

I changed up how the platforms in front of the doors attach to the backdrop (I didn't want to do slots and tabs because I didn't want to slice the chipboard and cause the potential loss of strength and stability for such a tall thin piece) so I used magnets instead. I wasn't sure how well it would work as far as strength to hold the figures, but it turns out it was plenty strong:

View attachment 399914

I couldn't fit any more figures on there! (my son saw this and said: "Hey, why is that Stormtrooper hanging out with the good guys?" to which I replied: "Don't worry--it's Han in disguise!" And it is in fact!)

This won't be the final version going with the upscaled playset, it's a test print and build I will wind up selling off to somebody. The playset version will just be the background, while the main platforms will still be on the main tower and the elevator tube connecting both halves.

Thanks for looking, I'm glad to be back on this project after taking the summer off.
See Retroblasting's video on it, Michael is helping it along! There is a lot more to it than the photos suggest.
 
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See Retroblasting's video on it, Michael is helping it along! There is a lot more to it than the photos suggest.

More like he spearheaded the whole push to get the thing made in the first place. You have to really watch the video close to catch all the many set-ups Michael achieves with the myriad pieces. It is a good set with strong Kenner design bones.

I was able to get some fun pictures of the prototype chasm piece for the Death Star this week. It was an enjoyable one-off to dive into for a while.
 

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More like he spearheaded the whole push to get the thing made in the first place. You have to really watch the video close to catch all the many set-ups Michael achieves with the myriad pieces. It is a good set with strong Kenner design bones.

I was able to get some fun pictures of the prototype chasm piece for the Death Star this week. It was an enjoyable one-off to dive into for a while.
Yes he did but was trying to just het people to watch the video and considered it a spoiler...lol. It looks fantasticbut that is a comitment to a lot of real estate.
 
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The chasm is a real treat, only seen a couple of takes on it (Daigo_Bah's being the only one coming to mind), I can envision the stormie being blasted and hear a Wilhelm scream!
 

Utinniii

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I really like that you have angled walls. The main beef I have with most chasm dios is that the walls are flat when there should be a gradual curve. Yours gives that illusion.
 
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