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

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Is that foam/spackling that pink stuff? Cause if it is I think it can be sanded.

I wasn't saying that the window would be your main window behind the throne, but a side window off to the Emp's right or left. But no problem. :{J

Is there any way to have the gantry extended out from the ball of the diorama? And if the dio is heavy enough it should easily be able to hold one Kenner TIE.

And if you did it off to one side instead of in the center it wouldn't block the hangar bay door.

If you do that balcony, will it connect to the overbridge room? :{J
 

Utinniii

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I've suggested he make a separate landing bay that can be attached. That way he could park the Falcon and/or hang his TIE rack.
 
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That throne room is turning out great! I have the same POTF Emperor in throne. You can Dremel out the bottom seat area and this allows the seated Emperor figure to sit lower. He’ll fit in the seat much better and his head will be under the arch at the top of the seat. It’s a nice throne, just a tad small.
 
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Hey guys just wanted to check in. I know I haven't made any updates lately and just wanted to let u know it isn't because I'm blowing it off or anything. Just going through a bad time right now. Hopefully things will get back to normal sometime soon.
 

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Ship happens. Don't let that star be the death of you.
We hope things get better soon.
 
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You have done enough work on this thing in such a short amount of time...those of us watching on the sidelines can't complain for years to come.

If there's anything your imaginary friends on the internet can do for you just let us (at least, me) know!
 
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I hope everything ends up okay for you Darth.

Made me think of this scene in ROTJ:

[Darth Vader steps out of his shuttle on the Death Star.]

Moff Jerjerrod: Welcome, Lord Vader. This is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your presence.

Darth Vader: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I am here to put you back on schedule.

Moff Jerjerrod: I assure you, Lord Vader, my men are working as fast they can.

Darth Vader: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.

Moff Jerjerrod: I tell you that this station will be operational as planned.

Darth Vader: [stops and holds up his finger at Jerjerrod] The Emperor does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation.

Moff Jerjerrod: But he asks the impossible! I need more men!

Darth Vader: Then perhaps you can tell him yourself when he arrives.

Moff Jerjerrod: [alarmed] The Emperor's coming here?

Darth Vader: That is correct, Commander, and he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.

Moff Jerjerrod: We shall double our efforts.

Darth Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am. [resumes walking]


I hope your Emperor is as forgiving as Darth Vader. :{J
 
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Thank you guys all for the kind words, and for your support on this project! You've made it all a lot less nerve-wracking than it may have been otherwise.

So I just thought I'd throw up a quick update. Nothing exciting really. I disassembled the structure and began cutting and tweaking some of the floors, etc.

Tonight I've actually been working on something a little different - learning some tricks in GIMP and editing some wall panel textures that will eventually be used on the wall decals. Nice change of pace for now, but I'll return to the actual construction probably sometime this week.

So I started with some of NiubNiub's already awesome textures, and just did a few slight tweaks to bring out their beauty. Here's some before and after shots:













As you can see nothing really major - I added a little texture to the surface of the walls, enhanced the highlights and shadows, brightened the lights, and added a slight glow to the lights (actually the lights had much more of a glow, so the some of the scripting must have been lost in the conversion process :( ).

Fun stuff, though. I think it makes them pop a little. Let me know what you guys think. And if you have any photoshop/texturing advice (Muftak I know you're already very well-versed in this) I'd love to hear it!

Take care everyone!
 
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Looks good, the glow definitely works.

I use a lot of "sponge" texturing to keep large areas from becoming too monochromatic and fake-y looking too...though as I have begun using higher resolution images I am finding it can be very subtle and still sell the "used" look of Star Wars environments. Then, of course, there are the heavily abused areas where I find I am adding tons and tons of layers to build up to the right level of complexity.

For Death Star (and Imperial in general) walls, I like to do the texturing as a "brushed steel" look. I figure something like the Death Star is fairly new and clean, and the texture lends a metallic look to the panels. Here's a section from the "Blast Door" shadowbox display I've been working on recently:

 
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Darth those all look great! I like the glowing lights too.



I think that the spongey look is a closer match than the brushed steel Muftak mentioned, but the BS does look nice too.

Dang, look at how wonky the left(our left) side of the pic is around that light column. Oh wait, I can see it on all of them. Huh... :{J
 
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^Lol yeah that's what happens when you cut holes in poster board and try to bend it ;)

So both options would probably be correct in their own way I think. If you're going for movie accuracy, probably the spongy look, but for realism as far as something they may have actually built, the brushed look might be the way to go. I'm trying to capture the overall look of the movie, but I won't go as far as bending the columns lol! I guess if my construction and finishing don't quite come out perfect, I can just say I was going for accuracy!
 
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Well, yeah...I guess Kyp's picture points out the inaccuracy of the brushed steel look as far as the actual set from the seventies. The newer First Order movie sets have a lot of the brushed steel throughout, so I just look at it as a budgetary decision (much as the light panels warped because...yeah, they spent no money on that stuff.) :grin:
 
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Lol yeah.

I've had the idea in the back of my mind to eventually do a Starkiller Base, as well. Obviously I wouldn't make it larger, because I just don't think it would have as many important or iconic locations (of course part of that could simply be the fact that TFA itself has not reached that level, rather than a lack of screen time). But I think doing one the same size could work out well and include most of the key scenes.
 
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To keep going on this tangent, I have thought about SKB too...I had the idea of a hexagonal playset to represent the oscillator building, showing key scenes/locations, with the chasm and bridge in the middle. But then I have a blueprint of the actual set that would make a killer playset too. (Pun not intended.)
 
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That sounds cool, man. I'd love to see your take on SKB! If it's anything like your cardboard DS, I would probably want one.

Well guys I know I've been slow with the updates. I actually started Body Beast on June 5th which I'll be doing this summer, taking a little of my time, plus we've been working a lot of Saturdays lately, so there's that. Excuses, excuses, I know.

Anyway I've been mostly working on textures lately, honestly haven't touched the actual construction for a couple weeks, but I'll be going back to that part sometime soon. Thought I'd share a little bit of what I've been doing, so here's some before and afters. And once again props to Niub Niub, the Diorama Builders workshop and anyone else involved in creating these already amazing textures!

Conference room wall:





Red Control Panel:



This one will need some work, as it was hard to edit some of the lights without editing other parts of the texture that I wanted left alone. I'll have to become well-versed in masking:



A wall, forget which one:





Duty post control panels:



Now keep in mind I'll only be using the actual screens, so the colors on the sides don't matter as that will all be painted:



And this is something I was trying to take a shortcut on. I thought maybe I could just tweak the colors and have it double as the duty posts in the Emperor's control room:



But as you can see, they are way different:



I was hoping not to take a lot of time on these but I may have to actually draw them out, as I don't know of any pre-existing textures floating around.

And this was something I was looking for a little advice on. I wanted to take this old texture from the vintage DS and use it for the chasm floor, but I'm not sure how best to go about updating it, to give it more depth and have it fit with the rest of the textures.



I had started by putting it in greyscale to get rid of the kind of funky colors, but I'm just not sure where to go from here, or if I should just try to make a new one.



Anyway so that's where I'm at right now. I'll try to get a good chunk of stuff done tonight so I have more to share next time. Later!
 
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Utinniii

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It would probably be easier to create a new chasm floor than fix up the vintage one.
What you are doing looks great so far.
 
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Thanks Utinniii. Yeah, unfortunately that may be the way to go.

So I decided to see what I could come up with for the Superlaser Control Room. I started with this image of the actual room, forgot where it is exactly:



I used the perspective tool to get the furthest panel to come out as square as I could, then cropped the image around it. This is the cropped image after editing out the sticky notes and kind of cleaning it up a little in between the monitors/etc.



What I ended up with was very low resolution, of course, so I had to increase the file size and do a number of operations to try to bring out as much of the original shape as I could, based on what I had to work with. The goal was also to clean it up a little to make it look more like the painted texture walls rather than a photograph.



Once I was okay with how the image would look in about the scale it needed to be, I went ahead and darkened the grey around it, even though technically that would come from it being a dark room, but I figure I'll have a better chance of really capturing the look this way.



What do you think? This is obviously just the back of the panel, of which I still have to do the thin angled strip in the middle and then the semi-flat control panel. Haven't decided exactly how I'll do all that, although I do have a good reference photo that might work for the semi-flat control panel.



So that's it for now. This here took forever, so I'm taking a break!
 
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And the board...

I did some of the same operations on this one, but since the image was a lot higher resolution I didn't have to try to sharpen it or anything.

This is what I ended up with. I think at the size it will be the details should look okay, we'll see. I had to match the color to the back of the control panel, so I lost a little detail there.



I'll have to combine them into an image so you guys can see how they compare, since the sizes are so different right now.
 
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Aaaaand here's what I came up with for the Emperor's window. Nothing groundbreaking. Basically took a drawing of the frame, edited the color and border, brought out some of the highlights and shadows, added a star field in the background, and edited out places where the stars were showing through the edges of the border.

 
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(Reply #100! I had to do it!)

Everything looks really good. Nice workarounds for building up the details. And it looks like you're learning as you go and adding more tools to your toolbox, so that's always a plus.

Wish I had a suggestion for the chasm floor, but nothing jumps out at me. I've never been a fan of the "downward angle" forced perspective.
 
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One trick that I saw scale model builders use. Put a mirror at the bottom of the shaft and design the graphics on the shaft to appear much deeper when reflected in the mirror. You’d have to play around with it a little but that might work to trick the eye into thinking the shaft is much deeper. I saw this used in a Millennium Falcon model to extend the length of a hallway and it was totally convincing until the builder pointed out what he did. Your DS build looks fantastic so far.
 
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(Reply #100! I had to do it!)

Everything looks really good. Nice workarounds for building up the details. And it looks like you're learning as you go and adding more tools to your toolbox, so that's always a plus.

Wish I had a suggestion for the chasm floor, but nothing jumps out at me. I've never been a fan of the "downward angle" forced perspective.
Yeah, it's a challenge, definitely. I guess it's kind of a requirement for something like this, though.

I am getting better using GIMP, and depending on how that control panel texture looks when shrunk down, I may re-do it and just take a little more time, as I did with the back side. I'm also thinking about adding more flashing red and white lights on the screens to look more like the ones seen in the movie.

One trick that I saw scale model builders use. Put a mirror at the bottom of the shaft and design the graphics on the shaft to appear much deeper when reflected in the mirror. You’d have to play around with it a little but that might work to trick the eye into thinking the shaft is much deeper. I saw this used in a Millennium Falcon model to extend the length of a hallway and it was totally convincing until the builder pointed out what he did. Your DS build looks fantastic so far.
Thanks, that's something I hadn't thought of, even though I've seen some really good examples of this. It might be worth a try.

I think the next project will be working on the chasm walls, trying to really capture the look from the movie. Once I'm happy with that, I'll revisit the floor, and hopefully by then have a better game plan. I really like the mirror idea, so if I can't come up with anything cool, I may just do that.
 

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Mirrors are cool but they can really only be effectively used from a fixed vantage. If one can get to close or view from a wrong angle, the effect is ruined (I can see my reflection!). Done effectively, it is awesome though.
I'll be using the endless hallway mirror effect in a couple of places when I finally build my own (Detention hallway, laser array, and perhaps a couple of endless hallways.)

The main problem with using the vintage DS chasm is that it is actually a tunnel and not a chasm. It needs to have the line go down the middle. I would consider having it mostly black space with the receding walls on the sides.

As for the walls that exist in chasm dios, I usually see 2 things that stand out.
1] The walls are usually flat and not curved.
2] They are all the same scale and usually too uniform.
The movie chasm was a matte painting and it wasn't uniform.
(A third thing is that the chasm lights are white for Luke but green for Ben.)

Nothing can be done about 1 in your case.
For 2, the walls could be a uniform size or be scaled to go off into the distance. The first might be easier but the second might look better.
 
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One trick that I saw scale model builders use. Put a mirror at the bottom of the shaft and design the graphics on the shaft to appear much deeper when reflected in the mirror. You’d have to play around with it a little but that might work to trick the eye into thinking the shaft is much deeper. I saw this used in a Millennium Falcon model to extend the length of a hallway and it was totally convincing until the builder pointed out what he did. Your DS build looks fantastic so far.
I did this on my DeAgostini Falcon. Worked like a charm!
 
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Looking at pics of the chasm wall, yes the lights seem pretty random, at least for the most part. The non-light panels almost look like a hodge-podge of some of the other panels found elsewhere. So I started with the base texture for the conference room light wall, and did some editing, trying to get an overall feel. This is what I came up with so far:



I can divide this into separate panels and mix and match them for an even more random look, and I may even do another set just to give it even more variation.

The next task I'll be tackling is using these textures, paired with some other wall textures, as a base for the chasm floor. I'll have to take some measurements and probably patch them together from three different angles, so I don't know how hard this will be, but we'll see what I come up with.
 
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I don't see any pics in here...cant link to youtube or most external sites, any way to get some images in here?
 

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Images are fine in this thread. The old thread doesn't work for photos anymore though.
It might be something on your end.
 
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All I can see are the ones on the first couple pages just showing the unpainted sphere pieces. I am looking on my work laptop, home laptop and cell using the latest IE and Google Chrome
 
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Oh, man, that sucks! Yeah I don't know what to tell you. I use postimage for my image hosting. Maybe you could check their site or something and see if you can see their embeds? Have you had this problem with other threads here? Hope you can get it working.
 
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Okay so I was experimenting with how to approach the chasm floor, and this is just a test. I'll be composing a texture pattern that includes a combination of regular wall panels as well as light wall panels, then putting them together similar to this, only a little cleaner lol.



That's it for the moment. Gotta work tonight but I plan on spending a decent amount of time on the project tomorrow, with another good update hopefully.
 
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That's a possibility...especially if you can blur it out as it gets smaller to add some "atmospheric perspective."

(And of course as soon as I said I wasn't a fan of using the "forced downward" angle for my stuff I got a commission job for a custom playset where I needed this image for the base...)



Jinxed myself!
 
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Hey, that should look awesome. I'd love to see it when it's finished!

Yeah, my plan is to have all the panels laid out, then use a black gradient coming out from the middle and fading into the panels at the most narrow point. That's my project for tonight, after the kids and I watch Last Jedi with my mom (she hasn't seen it yet).
 
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This is an example of my chasm floor concept. The real one would have more variance in the textures on each of the four walls. For this one I obviously just composed a texture pattern and copied it to the other 3 walls. Also I don't like how the blackness kind of overwhelms the light walls more than it should. I'd like to try to find a way to have the lights actually remain bright for most of the way down, but I don't know a good way to do that and still have the rest fade to black. Any suggestions welcome :)

 
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Also here's the base image that I used for the wall. This would actually be the entire back wall of the chasm, from top to bottom, total 26 inches in height and 11.25 inches wide, spanning 4 floors total. The left and right walls will have different textures, which will be a little more tricky because I'll have to measure them based on where the door frames are on the other floors to try to get a look that best captures the overall aesthetic.

 
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I'll get real nitpicky with you here in a minute for the sake of getting a better looking wall for your Death Star, but up front that is stellar work and you are really cruising along on your learning curve.

I wouldn't worry about the light panels fading off in the chasm downward angle at all. It is not a big deal, the black fade works well. Remember that most/all of the time no one is going to be looking straight down on the image anyway, so the mind is always going to "cheat" and compensate that image.

The thing that jumped out at me right away was the "stretching" on the open panel (the all black one) at the upper right of the wall image. You might need to jumble things around a little bit more to make sure those aren't at the top of the floor perspective piece, because they really do get stretched out of proportion and distract negatively from the presentation, taking away from the illusion.

The real nitpicky thing I want to say is to be careful flipping over images with faux embossing on them. When the light sides and dark sides flip, the eye can't help but to see that as the panels sinking in instead of popping out. Your eye will automatically assume the "light side" embossing is on top and "dark side" is on the bottom unless you give strong visual clues that the room is bottom-lit (like a lava pit in Vader's Castle, it is such a pain...) and all the features follow along. In the forced perspective/floor print it doesn't make a difference because the eye is compensating for the shaft, but on the wall print you previewed some of the panels pop out and some pop in, if you follow me.

Not a criticism of your work, just a suggestion of "selling" the 3D of the wall.
 
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Thanks, man! Yeah, I know what you're talking about, and that is something I'll have to go back and fix later on, and you're right, it is going to be a pain! I really appreciate the constructive criticism, as if you had not pointed it out, I may have been tempted to be lazy and just leave it like that. What a fail that would have been lol.
 
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So before I say why I am ecstatic at the moment, thought I would share the most recent bits I've been working on for textures.

First, I fixed the upside-down embossing lighting on the chasm wall. I also re-sized those particular panels to be the correct height, since for some reason when I import them they get enlarged. Hopefully this will help the stretching issue on the vent, otherwise I will just move them up so it isn't on top. Also, looking at it again there is one spot that should be light that I made dark, so I'll still have to go back and fix that, but other than that, should be ok.




Worked on some textures for the d-block floors and ceilings. The darker will be the non-back lit floor in the main room, whereas the lighter will be the floors and ceilings in the hallway.





I made the first texture for the duty post in the Emperor's throne room. I actually did this by cutting out the image from an actual photo, using the perspective tool to straighten it out and line it up, increasing the resolution, then basically drawing in new lines following the blurry ones from the much smaller image, trying to best approximate the original look.



And finally, a really quick take on one of the interchangeable slides for the hangar bay window (is this correct, or would it be the air-lock?).



And now for my exciting news (at least for me)... I pulled the trigger on a 3d printer!

I'd been watching this one for a while on amazon, after doing my research and trying to find the best overall quality for a price range I felt was reasonable.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSF5MG...olid=1IKY35J29R0BP&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

They just dropped the price about $50, so I jumped on it. So now up until the end of summer most of my free time will be spent learning how to work this thing, downloading models and creating new ones to fill out my Death Star. Can't wait!
 
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Utinniii

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That's great!
My library printer isn't great and I'm not a fan of the print lines but I'm having fun learning what I can do with it. Tiny stuff doesn't seem to work either.
Here is my Thingiverse collections. There are more Star Wars items (like ships) on the site but didn't save any. I have lots of greeblies, aliens and robots though.
https://www.thingiverse.com/Utinniii/collections
 
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