36" (91 cm) Death Star WIP (continued)

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This is a continuation of my last thread due to the image hosting being lost. For those who have already been following, thank you! I'll post the newest progress pics first, followed by re-posting of all the progress pics up until where I am now.

Added a little fake wall to the hallway before the Luke/Leia swing across the chasm. Also a 'closed' door. This was actually by accident as on the second layer of the base wall I had cut the doorway on the wrong side, but it worked out so I ran with it.



Fixed the octagonal doorway leading to the blast door room to make it a true octagon, rather than a square with beveled edges. The one on the side of the original wall will need a little filling in later on.



Added the little room they come out of to get to the lift hub:



Added an extra wall to the 'duel' room, which will give it more of a backdrop when viewed from the hangar bay.





So nothing super-exciting tonight. All of the walls have now been doubled up, so each is 3/8" total thickness, giving the structure much more stability. It also sits perfectly flat, I think because I trimmed the edge of a wall I discovered was slightly crooked.

Here's a couple shots of the trash compactor room with a little better lighting:







Here's the trash chute viewed from the corner room. Looks a little ghetto right now, but it will be covered up later. I widened the trash chute and the guys don't get caught in there as much, but it needs a little more work.



More to follow, most likely next weekend :)
 
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Now for anyone checking out the thread for the first time, this project will be similar to the vintage Palitoy style on a much larger scale with more detail. I wanted to find a way to have the best of both worlds - decent-sized rooms while keeping the spherical shape.

It will include every interior Death Star room shown in ANH, to the best of my knowledge, plus the Emperor's throne room. There will be play features, for instance working trash chute, closing trash compactor walls, a swing across the chasm, working lift in the hangar bay, and quite a few more.

The hangar bay is large enough to hold at least one TIE fighter, and a ton of figures. The top floor will be removable, allowing it to easily fit through most doorways.

Right now many of the pieces are fastened with tape, just temporarily, of course, until all the structures are built, touching up completed and any painting or decals applied before the final gluing. The seams you see on some of the floors will be covered up, of course. Most likely I'll be using drywall mud to cover up the small seams and smooth out some areas later on before painting and decals.

So as not to be too long-winded, I'll go ahead and just re-post all the progress and R&D pics I had up until now. Any questions at all don't be afraid to ask, even if I may have addressed it in the last thread, as this is a fresh start and I don't mind talking about it!:grin:













































































































































 
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Oh yeah so I ended up just taking my chances with postimage again, because it's a lot faster than the RS hosting. I can't upload more than one photo at a time here, as it will say the files are too large. Then it breaks them all up into groups of two, and I just anticipated a lot of annoyance when using it. Hopefully postimage will be good for awhile. If not, I'll find something else.
 

Utinniii

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Nice update.
I think green painter's tape would help with temporarily holding things in place. Cello tape can rip up the paper which might lead to uneven surfaces - even if you put vinyl down afterwards.
 
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Wow. These grand builds are amazing undertakings. I count all the rooms you have to paint and detail out. Your a brave man, or crazy ;) Utinniii is probably the king of huge environment builds, and fast. Good to see you figured out your photo issue.
 
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Thanks. The painting itself will mostly be in certain areas and on certain accessories, whereas a lot of the rooms will have wall-panel decals. I'll most likely use some pre-existing ones that I like and revamp them a little in photoshop, just to keep it fresh. I think I may go with Utinniii's suggestion about the glossy black vinyl for some of the flooring.

I'm not going all-out fully screen-accurate with this as much as trying to include every room and give it a bit of a retro feel. There's so many people who have already done amazing work at capturing scenes like that, I think it's best left to them. Not to mention the fact that there has been a little necessary scaling down in order to fit everything in here.

Still a lot of work ahead, I know, but I've come this far and have resolved to finish it!
 
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https://youtu.be/0TfqW5jd58A

another DS build on YouTube kinda along the lines of what your designing.
Yeah, there's a few of them floating around out there (no pun intended:weeabooface:). I like the carousel on that one.

I think this one is my favorite of this style that I've seen so far:





The biggest difference with mine, other than the size, will be the outer shell with removable panels. So it will actually look like the Death Star inside and out. I'm still looking into options for how it will be made. Possibly paper mache, but 3D printing may be a possibility if cost permits, we'll see.


Looks great so far. Thanks for all the detailed pics.
Any time! I'll post more as soon as I can. Thanks for checking in!
 
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Nice. I think Iv’e seen that one also. It looks like the builder used lots of printed wall coverings. Simple but very effective. These DS dioramas are just about the coolest.

Having a removable or clamshell hinged cover that makes it look the Deathstar when shut would be absolutely awesome. Especially at 3 foot in diameter. Iv’e seen large fiberglass spheres built over/in molds. Fiberglass would give you the rigidity you’d need without reinforcing. It’s fairly cheap and easy to work with. Trouble would be finding/making a mold large enough to work. Probably some sort of inflatable ball. Also seen companies that make custom acrylic spheres or domes to your specifications. Probably expensive though.
 
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Nice. I think Iv’e seen that one also. It looks like the builder used lots of printed wall coverings. Simple but very effective. These DS dioramas are just about the coolest.

Having a removable or clamshell hinged cover that makes it look the Deathstar when shut would be absolutely awesome. Especially at 3 foot in diameter. Iv’e seen large fiberglass spheres built over/in molds. Fiberglass would give you the rigidity you’d need without reinforcing. It’s fairly cheap and easy to work with. Trouble would be finding/making a mold large enough to work. Probably some sort of inflatable ball. Also seen companies that make custom acrylic spheres or domes to your specifications. Probably expensive though.
Hey, wow, I might look into that! Thanks for the info. And yes, I already have a mold in mind. Wal-mart sells a 36" ball! That was one reason I decided to go with this size. I looked for 40" or 48" but couldn't find anything like that.

It is looking great!
The next time you take pictures I want to see both halves in addition to the individual rooms.
Thank you!! I'll make sure to take some wide shots from all views. I didn't before b/c I'd made such a mess with all the foam board scraps laying around, but I'll do clean up before taking pics next time lol
 
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THat's really coming together. Great work so far!

Are those troopers supposed to be dead or sleeping? I'd imagine the DS would need a pretty big morgue after our heroes left.
 
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Lol yeah it's actually supposed to be their bunks. I tried to make it look like they were uncomfortable. I guess they aren't allowed to take off their helmets when they sleep, either.

You know I was digging through my garage looking for tools for the project and I found an old shelf I'd forgotten about. It's circular and has multiple compartments. It's probably only about 1-1/2 to 2 feet diameter but it reminded me of the idea you had to make a giant circular shelf and include all the rooms. I think eventually I may come up with a background for it and just use it for display. Maybe it could represent another planet or something, I don't know. I'll post a pic of it when I get it cleaned up and put together.
 
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Thanks! Wow don't see many people from NE around here! Yeah my son and I got out all the figures that might be semi-Death Star related, included FO Stormtroopers, Galen Erso and Director Krennick and set them up in all the rooms. You can have a lot of fun with it. Can't wait till it has some textures.
 
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Time for another update...

I'll post the newest progress pics, and, as promised, some more full body shots.

Added the lift to the d-block. As you might have noticed, I've still been too lazy to put the door frame around the stairs back in. I want to re-do it because it was kind of wonky.







Did the super-laser control panel. I wanted to have a larger room for this (it's now in one of the two tiniest rooms) but I think this pretty much gets the point across. I'm thinking about adding a movable toggle switch, just to have another little action feature.







Started on the docking bay control room. Shout out to Niub Niub for the decals, which I printed off to get some of the dimensions. The others I had to kind of figure out, and I may end up re-doing them. If anyone has the blueprints or patterns, I'd definitely like to get ahold of them, as they're no longer available on his website.

I should also add that this will be scaled down like most of the rooms, so it won't have the full seven control panels. I want to have room for the closet where the droids hide, and maybe a doorway leading to the catwalk, just for fun.



And finally, the lift hub is pretty much done. I made a few tweaks. Had to shorten the room they come out of and widen the walkway so I had room for the railing (which is made from that flexi-hose stuff that I cut off the handles of a plastic bag and coat hanger pieces for the posts. It's not perfect, and if I find better materials I may re-do it later on, although I think it will look alright once the east ends are glued in place).

And of course I wanted to have three lifts, but obviously space was an issue.







Now the full shots. You'll notice a large post in the middle of the hangar bay. Only for temporary support until the permanent braces are glued to the ceiling.



















There are a few places where I had to correct some bad cuts, so I'm left with some gaps I'll have to fill in later. I'll certainly have my work cut out for me when it comes to the finishing and tweaking stage. But I'm having a great time with this thing.

I've also learned through the process that in order to have any of these rooms close to true scale, it would require a much larger sphere. Perhaps a future project...

So long for now!
 
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Utinniii

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Wow. Just wow.

In the hanger there is that small wedge with the doors. How are you decorating the interior walls? That looks like a good space where R2 and 3-P0 were hiding. There are different sized sticker craft beads that might make good lights for the walls.

I don't mind that the control room is so small since it isn't really a playable space.

What are you intending to do with the hollow space under the prison deck floor? If you were just going to cover it up, make it look like the exhaust port so at least it has some playability. Having just a bunch of wires would also be cool.
 
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Man, that looks so good. It is really coming alive! Great work!

(wish I had something more constructive to say...maybe later after I digest those pictures!)
 
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Wow. Just wow.

In the hanger there is that small wedge with the doors. How are you decorating the interior walls? That looks like a good space where R2 and 3-P0 were hiding. There are different sized sticker craft beads that might make good lights for the walls.

I don't mind that the control room is so small since it isn't really a playable space.

What are you intending to do with the hollow space under the prison deck floor? If you were just going to cover it up, make it look like the exhaust port so at least it has some playability. Having just a bunch of wires would also be cool.
Thank you!

The little area where the droids hid... I'm trying to visualize it, I know what you're talking about. Not having any luck pulling up images, so I may have to break out the blu-ray again. Not a bad idea, though.

Yeah for the control room I was hoping to be able to make the door for the closet open and close, so at least it has one action feature in there.

For that empty space in d-block, right now I'm thinking maybe either a small armory or a torture rack? Wanted to try to think of something that would fit with the d-block.

Man, that looks so good. It is really coming alive! Great work!

(wish I had something more constructive to say...maybe later after I digest those pictures!)
Thanks Muftak!
 

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Ha!
This is the pic I was going to use. I wanted the red circle thing and control board, but I see there is no room for it. The light walls can be on one door wall though.



Putting Han's (or Rey's) torture chair in that spot is a great idea. I was actually referring to the 2x3" space under the Cell floor though.

Adding a little closet with a working door will be fun and won't take up a lot of room.
 
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I forget, are you making an armory or barracks in this dio? Or is it all only going to be places seen in the films?

It's looking so cool too. :{J
 
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Ha!
This is the pic I was going to use. I wanted the red circle thing and control board, but I see there is no room for it. The light walls can be on one door wall though.



Putting Han's (or Rey's) torture chair in that spot is a great idea. I was actually referring to the 2x3" space under the Cell floor though.

Adding a little closet with a working door will be fun and won't take up a lot of room.
I was looking at it on my lunch break. It's just a small little cramped wedge, so I don't know how much I'd be able to do with it. If I covered up the octagonal doorway on the base wall with a regular-shaped doorway from another layer of foam board, I might be able to fit in some of the little lights. It might not look quite right, though. I'll see if I can come up with a concept sketch or something.

I forget, are you making an armory or barracks in this dio? Or is it all only going to be places seen in the films?

It's looking so cool too. :{J
Thanks! I was originally planning to have one or both (thinking, 'oh, with a 36" diameter, I'll have more than enough room for everything!') Ah, to be young again :rolleyes:.

So basically yeah, I'm kind of cramped for space. I don't know if you saw the little multi-layered Stormie bunk bed (or morgue, depending on your perspective lol). I'm left with the little corner room with the trash chute sticking out, then the other corner room that was going to be the outside of the trash compactor (I might use the room with the chute for that if I can make room). Other than that, no vacancy!
 

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It you wanted that scene there are 2 things you could do.
1] Widen the wedge a little or
2] Get rid of the Launch Bay door. If it was gone, you could make the moving catwalk (giving that space 2 levels (3 with elevator shaft) and put the console and circle thingie near the small blast door.
If you like the Launch Bay door, keep it but if you are on the fence about it, I think it is less interesting and playable than the catwalk idea and it is facing into the DS, not out.
 
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That's right I remember the bunks now. I'd say that's more than those Imp's deserve anyways! Thanks for reiterating. :{D
 
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It you wanted that scene there are 2 things you could do.
1] Widen the wedge a little or
2] Get rid of the Launch Bay door. If it was gone, you could make the moving catwalk (giving that space 2 levels (3 with elevator shaft) and put the console and circle thingie near the small blast door.
If you like the Launch Bay door, keep it but if you are on the fence about it, I think it is less interesting and playable than the catwalk idea and it is facing into the DS, not out.
Yeah, widening the wedge is kind of what I had in mind. The catwalk is a good idea, and it's something I had wanted to add, but I think it might be better suited for 3d printing. I think I could make them both fit. Also I may or may not have the launch door be removable, that way if it does become too crowded there are still options.
 
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What's up guys! Quick update here. I'll be working on it most of the night so I should have more later, but looking for some opinions if you have a moment.

So I put together a quick mockup for the droid hiding closet in the red room. Didn't feel like waiting for my glue gun to heat up. Anyway I'm wondering what changes, if any, you think I should make.

I want to have the sliding door on the closet, but I'm wondering if I should even just have 2 control panels rather than 3. This would allow me to move the closet over a little since it's right on the edge, giving a little more room to move the doorway from the catwalk over so Chewie can get through. It would also allow me to make a little frame around the bay window, nothing elaborate, but at least for a little definition in that area.

So here's some shots with 3 panels, then with 2.

















Let me know what you think!
 
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Honestly, I'd be more keen on 4 or 5 of the computer sections and ditch the closet completely. If it could work left to right as computer, window, then closet I would be more appreciative of it, but to me it sticks out because its on the wrong side of the flow. That scene is so iconic it gets weird when things get shifted around.

It's a great bit of work and it adds play value. It's a hard call, but like they say: "Kill your darlings."
 
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Thanks Muftak, appreciate the feedback as always!

Yeah, I can definitely see what you're saying. When you think of that scene, you think of the control panels, and the droids hiding in there is so much later that it almost seems like a different place in a way.

I do like the droid closet though, for the play value like you said, and also it's not an element you see a lot in dios (though at this point I wouldn't really call this a dio due to the lack of accuracy).

Anyway since the site's finally back up, thought I'd share the other little things I messed around with last night.

So this is what I came up with for a possible addition of the little hiding area in the docking bay. Again props to NiubNiub. If I do end up going this route, these textures are already so good that I may not really need to do much to them, other than balance the hues a little, which is mostly due to my printer setup anyway. Unfortunately the only way I could make that panel fit is to bend it in half, half on one wall and half on the other. So I don't know how well this works, again let me know:







And here's the old launch door in front of it to compare:



Cut out the blast door slides like originally intended:











Constructed the prototype for the overbridge window mechanism. It's actually a dial beneath a third wall that I added to that room. Of course later these panels will be fully and more realistically textured.









And lastly, I added the frame around the bay:





I have about a week and a half of classes left, so very soon I will be able to put in more hours...
 
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lol I love that pic of Leia right before she passes out. Noooooo! It's genetic.

And that hangar is sweet.

Is there eventually going to be an outer shell as a cover or something? Not that it would need it. :{J
 
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Lol and thank you!

Yeah, that's the plan. Still looking at options. My go-to was paper mache over a 36" ball that I can find on wal-mart online, if there were no better options. I am however considering 3D printing provided the cost isn't prohibitive. It would all be broken into removable panels around each room, so I think most printers could probably handle the size.
 

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I like the little Hanger alcove. It is confining, so it looks like a hiding space and the panel has the iconic parts, even if it is folded in half.

With regards to your closet issue, in my mind, the room didn't have a door and the corner where the door was held the closet. The closet would be open in the back because it would be the outside sphere. The door, it it needed to open, could just be a pull tap (either up or to the side). Then it occurred to me that most of the doors could have the opening/closing play feature. A second choice would be to have a teenie-tiny closet right next to the window (I don't remember what side of the room it was actually on.)

I don't think every room needs a door to get into. It can be assumed that it is on the 4th wall.

For your working blast doors, are you having 3 sets of interior doors, fully open, mostly closed, fully closed? That's a cool play feature if you are.

I love the spinning wheel screen. You could even swap it out for the Yavin scene (so something original if you roleplay with kids.)

I'm going to make one last plea for the Hanger Catwalk. The space door is less playable than the catwalk. The catwalk has 2 layers so you could have 2 layers of troopers in that scene.
(If you insist on needing the space for a vehicle, I'd make a separate docking bay floor that fits against your DS. It would be raised to be flush with the floor. (It could even be a separate dio so you have more play-features.


Just curious, do you know how to make invisible joins? It mostly doesn't matter since you are covering everything with paper afterwards.

Also, you should look into your Asian Supermarkets for a Yoghurt drink that has small containers that look like they belong in a SW dio. You are going to need a lot of barrels (unless you take the time to print them all out.)
 
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Thanks, Utinniii!

The hangar alcove bugs me a little bit with it folded like that, but I guess it's better than not having it. I'll probably still keep the launch door for a few reasons: 1) it makes the alcove an actual hiding spot rather than out in the open 2) it gives an extra little accent to the hangar bay and makes it look a little more similar to the pics 3) it gives a little extra space for Han to run. The idea was he chases the Stormies through the blast door, then ends at the entrance to the hangar bay where he runs into more of them, who then chase him back through (I guess they'll have to go single-file through the base wall door since I shrunk it down to make room for the light wall).

I did try moving the closet so the back was facing the outside of the sphere, but with the tapering of the sphere toward the ceiling it just didn't work. I'll probably just leave the closet, scrap the frame around the window and go for 3 control panels. I should also be able to move the door leading to the lift hub over a little bit. I know the closet and the door won't be in the right place, but just think playset over diorama.

Yeah, I agree the hangar bay catwalk should definitely be incorporated. Over the summer I'm hoping to find the cash to get a 3D printer of my own, as I think this would be the best-looking option, and less time-consuming than constructing one from scratch. I think it could work with the door and the catwalk and still have room for a TIE. It may be a little crowded, but they can be moved in order to play out different scenes if need be.

Invisible joins - is that where you cut out part of the foam and overlap the paper on the outside? Or making angular cut-outs on the back side in order to fold inward rather than outward (if that makes sense)? Were there any specific spots you think could benefit from that, or just in general?
 
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Those are good reasons for keeping the bay door.

The droid alcove will be fine, especially if you put little gems (phone or fingernail bling) for the lights.

It is playable still that way and that is what is important.

A 3D printer would be sweeeeeeeeet! (I just need to learn the programming!). A 3D scanner would also be great.

Invisible joins is the first one. I meant generally, but I noticed it when looking at Leia's cell bed.
 
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Oh also the blast door you were asking about - one slide is the doors on one track partially closed, the other slide is the doors on the other track partially closed, so together they form the little square, and the third slide will just be the door fully closed. To have it open just remove all the slides :) It would be really cool to have a fully functional one, but would require a lot more space and probably some kind of pulley system.

I've been dreaming of the possibilities of 3D printing since I first heard about it. It doesn't really require any programming, just some experience with 3D modeling software, like Solidworks, Maya, 3D Studio Max, etc. I've been messing around with that stuff for years in my free time, and then went back to school for drafting, so I'm good there. I tell you it's definitely worth learning!
 
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Wow your really making great progress since I last checked this thread. The one graphic panel looks great so far. This DS playlet will be so cool once the whole thing is painted, textured and detailed out. I’m really curious how you’ll design and build the outer cover. Hang in there it’s a load of work but at the same time it’s addicting ain’t it lol
 
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Yeah it definitely is. I've been so antsy this weekend because I had a huge project to finish for one of my classes before I'm done for the summer and just wanted to work on the DS. Now after drinking last night I have no energy but I'll probably have a rockstar and just push through to get at least something done. It should be moving at a faster pace now that I have a break from school.

The outer shell will definitely be a challenge. I'm leaning toward the 3D printing possibility if cost isn't prohibitive. I'm thinking of maybe having little interior notches on the different panels that will slide over the edges of the floors and walls to hold them in place, then they could kind of interlock somehow. I'll most likely model it in Solidworks or another program before I do anything, whether I go with printing or another medium.

Thanks for the compliments! More updates soon!
 
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