A beginning landing pad..

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So I was recently taking pics to catalog my vehicles and I was really disenchanted with the home studio of "a table in the basement" to take them. I have gathered some supplies over the years and have some leftover lumber from a recent home project and thought I'd see where it took me. Dunno where to go from here. I need to make some vertical walls to go on 2 sides of the platform. Thought I could make a few docking bays along one wall to park ships at. Well, here's some pix...

Figuring out the wiring. It's a battery operated string of 20 BRIGHT blue LED lights from either a holiday or a craft store clearance. I have two of these to use...


All even with the floor and hot glued in. The sticker and pencil marks will be sanded off later..


Test shot with an A-Wing. Dan Like!!


Another test with something larger. Unfortunately, I don't think the BMF will fit on this. It's ok, this is just a test run to sharpen my carpentry skills for now...


Some more layout shots. I love the ants' eye view shots!!




That's all I got for now! Let me know what you think!!
 

Utinniii

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It's a great start. You need some guidance lines, refuelers, repair station and possibly some cargo.

I think Playmobil has some tower lights if you want some above lighting.
 
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Resurrecting this thread as I've started some upgrades and additions. I plan to add an upper deck along the wall and to redrill and move the LEDs to make more of a landing strip then a crosshair. I will also add lights under the upper deck and hope to attempt some floor lighting as seen in Yavin's hangar. I hope to get some sample floor tiles in black or maybe marble pattern to make the floor and wall. I am in the process of making a gantry bridge to span over a ship. It is based on the one featured in the Echo Base hanger.

20200528_171852.jpg

This is the starting prototype to lay out the basic size and shape of the deck layout. The ladder is the second attempt as the first attempt was.... not good. The wing looking pieces along the sides were a first idea for the handrail. I wound up not doing it like that.

20200529_101245.jpg

This pic shows how I started over, using more crossbeams and making the double cross beams longer than the width of the walkway to mount the handrail uprights. They will be drilled and pinned coming out at about a 30 degree angle and then coming back at the angle to be about figure waist high. Got it planned just got to figure out the engineering! Any hints or ideas are always welcome! Criticisms, notsomuch....:p
 
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Lots of work done today so far! Laid out what I wanted for the handrail supports. I needed 48(!) identical support struts each with a hole at both ends.

20200529_134615.jpg

And that's not counting the ones I had to remake because they split or broke!

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I had four assemblies just like this to make. Fortunately, I only had one instance of the holes not lining up and had to be worked out.

20200529_135232.jpg

And this pic illustrates the idea of what I was going for. This is the first time since I started any projects I've posted here that I can say it looks better than I thought it would! Deathspawn happy!

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With a stunt droid for scale. Looks good!

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One side done! This is almost exactly the look I was going for!
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Both sides in place. I'm leaving the sides loose for now until I get the rest completed. I'll probably still need to trim the toothpick pins along the bottom.

20200529_155939.jpg

I took a half inch dowel and cut 6 sections about 3 1/2 inches long for the support pistons. I cut them at 15 degree bevels to widen the stance around the ships. I'll make a shorter set to fit closer to the smaller ships. The base of the pillars has a lip that extends outward for stability. The top will have a base that fits into an upside down box on the bottom of the gantry. Modular for more flexible playability!

20200529_160201.jpg

I had a hard time figuring out how to clamp something with ends that were offset by 15 degrees. But if you need to know, this is what finally worked for me!

20200529_161102.jpg

This pic shows the upside down boxes that the top of the piston towers will fit into. I may have to make the ladder part of the piston assembly so I don't have to make the ladder adjustable. Or I dunno, I may have an idea or two on that....
 
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All of the wood came from Wal-Mart in their craft or hobby section. The grey grating is plastic canvas and I couldn't find it there. You can get it from hobby stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Thanks for checking it out!!


EDIT: Here are the supplies that make up most of the handrails, uprights and any flat surfaces The frame was made from notched craft sticks but I don't have the packaging for it:

20200529_182632.jpg

The only other wood I used was 5/8" (I think) dowel from Home Depot for the pistons and some generic toothpicks.
 
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I can't believe I'm almost finished!! I just started this last night! One piston support is done, although it's very twisted around.

20200529_183039.jpg

No, It's not upside down, maybe your monitor is!

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I had to sand down one side to get it to fit snugly.

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I didn't want to make any more details on these pieces as I was having enough trouble trying (and failing) to get just 5 pieces straight, much less adding more dowels to make it look like collapsible pistons. Next one, I promise!

20200529_182438.jpg

From this angle, the twisting of the base is very obvious. I was content to shrug and say "Close enough" until..
20200529_182734.jpg

I assembled it and placed the ladder along side to see what the next step was Yeah, maybe the other assembly will be straighter and I'll put the ladder on that side. If not, gonna have to redo it. Live and learn!


EDIT: Why oh why couldn't I find these pics earlier? Looks like I got the walkway and handrails close, but misremembered the scaffold. Really gonna redo them now! I know what I'm doing the rest of the weekend!!


Echo base hangar gantry.jpgEcho base hangar gantry 2.jpg
 
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Well, I feel today was a good day! I didn't expect to get this much done on this project. The other piston base finished gluing and it was twisted too, although not as much as the first one. I am already planning out how to do more accurate piston assemblies, but that will wait until tomorrow. Pics!

20200529_213748.jpg

Went to the shop to see if the last assembly was ready and grabbed a random A-Wing for the pic. This is one of the shorter ships to couple with the gantry and it would look better with an X or Y-Wing, but they're still boxed up. I'll do that tomorrow.

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Bear in mind that the railing arms are still loose as I haven't finalized (glued) them into a static position. This was just a quick "Let's see what it looks like" type of setup.

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The second piston tower was straighter, but not by much. I do think the four skinnier pistons will look better than these chunky rods. Wasn't this gantry what Princess Leia leaned her forehead against when they were closing the blast doors? A good reason to rewatch TESB!!

20200529_213852.jpg

While the stunt droid is a very stable figure, the platform does a really good job of keeping the figure upright. Will test it with more figures over the weekend.

I think I have about 8 hours of work total in this, not including the sketching out and planning of the piece. If anyone decides to tackle it, feel free to post your work here or in your own thread. I had a really good time making this with my 9 year old son! Thanks for checking this out!
 
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Holey transoms, Batman! I am staggered at the amount of work involved in this. I've tried my hand at an Echo base transom and my God, I went the total lazy route! Also...that A-Wing.....when the hell did we get a white A-Wing? Or did you customize it? Did I miss out on some Hasbro ship (wouldn't surprise me) that we got? Anyway, looks great, keep it going!
 
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great work so far. I just love these details about the work process with all the making-of pictures. Look forward to more pictures and the final result
 
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Thanks for all the replies! YS, the A-Wing is the recent TLJ/ROS release. The Blue one is the regular ship and it was supposed to be an exclusive repainted in red. It got exclusived to the dollar stores because of distribution problems (I think). I'll post a link later when I'm on the computer and not on mobile...

EDIT: Here's the link!


Oofa, Awesome pics! I have that game but I haven't played it lately. Love my steam May the Fourth sales! I'll have to fire it up later!
 
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Lots done today! First, about the gantry:

I had the idea to take 2 sizes of wood dowel and drill the larger to fit the smaller to make the basic piston. The test result was, well....
20200530_130131.jpg

Let's just say I saw too much Flintstones in the result. Gonna stick with the twisted too large pistons for the time being and think about this for a while...


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I will say that the twisted around structure is the only real complaint I have about these. I got the heights bang on and the frame fits the top of the platform snug enough to pick up the entire assembly by the walkway.

So about the rest of the Landing Pad. When I made it, it was just for me to start developing some wood working skills and make some sawdust. I made the platform with the lighted landing cross and one wall and that's about where I lost interest. I figured that I would come up with something in the future.

And I have!

I don't know if any of the other veterans in the forums that remember the Buck Rogers MEGO series..? One of the toys that I never managed to get was the Starfighter Command Center.
brstarfightercommand.1.jpg

Anyway, I thought I could use some of its design elements and expand the landing pad a bit. Here are my ideas!

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First, I had to remove the lighting. Fortunately, the hot glue didn't have a death grip on the wood. Lights are still good and bright so I'll save them for a later step.

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The Buck Rogers playset featured a second level with computer equipment, some chairs, a table or two... So I got to work planning on adding a second level. I wanted to leave enough room for a work area and ship parking underneath, so I just made it level with the top of the existing wall I had made. Now I had to figure out how the pilots and techs would go from lower level to the upper floor. I checked out the leftover Jawa steps I had made, but they would take up the whole wall to rise to the second level. I tried to brainstorm it when my 9year old assistant engineer said "I'd use an elevator." Hmmm....

I started by recutting a new back wall that was both levels tall. After deciding on where the elevator would be, I determined that a tab sticking through the back wall with 2 dowels on either side to keep it aligned would be the best way for the materials I had. I cut a slot in the wall for the tab and proceeded to make the floor cutout for the platform.

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I hope it's not too obvious that I haven't used a jigsaw since the Bush Administration. And not the most recent one either....

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Here is the platform with the rod tab sitting in the floor cutout. The rod runs the length of the platform to help stability. The holes for the dowel guides are on either side.

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I'm skipping ahead a few hours but it was a lot of tedious work featuring measuring, cutting, cussing, recutting, gluing, cussing, ungluing.... anyways... Here we have the floor level with the elevator platform sitting in place with the dowels somewhat lined up. The toothpicks helped align two plywood pieces to glue under the floor for the elevator platform to rest on. This keeps the platform level with the floor. The square rod glued to the wall is what the second floor..... floor will be mounted to.
20200530_181759.jpg

Here, the second floor is temporarily clamped to test the fit and see what needs adjustment. The elevator rods aren't glued in, just in place. There will be a stop block mounted to the wall that they will be mounted into to keep them straight.
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Here's the lift platform handle sticking out the back of the wall. I hope the pics and my description makes sense. PM me or post in this thread if anyone needs any more info on the plan or the build.

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And here we set up the gantry and an A-Wing and a..... sanding block? wtf.... For a few shots to help visualize how far it's come and where we want to go with it. There's room on the ground floor for crates, tools, a vintage VME, some droids and such. Looking forward to outfitting the second floor with computers and workstations. My son felt there should be a ramp from the second floor to the gantry. May have to incorporate something like that....
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Another angle showcasing the elevator platform, ship and plier handles. Plier handles? DAMMIT!!!

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Definitely needs some lighting under the second floor. Good thing that's in the works, huh?
 
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A brief update today. Sorry I don't have pics for this one. I ran ito a brick wall with the elevator using the rods as guides. I can't get them aligned correctly for the smooth movement of the platform. I've decided that I just over engineered it with the dowels and I'm starting over. I recut the platform and square beam to get rid of the drilled holes and for the beam to stick further out the back. I'm going to add a solid panel back to the platform and sandwich the back wall with another panel to make the alignment. I promise pics in the coming days..... IF I can get it to work!

On another note, does anyone have any ideas on making the footlights for around the hangar? I've tried fabricating them with wood and styrene sheet but the result looked horrifying! I'm open to suggestions....
 
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Utinniii

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3D printing has some.
I would make one, make a cast of it, and use a clear (or yellow) resin to make them. Then paint the parts that don't need to light up.
 
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Thanks Utinni! I think Hole in the ground has some. I completely forgot!

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So this was the first reattempt at the lift platform. The assembly is rotated onto it's back because of the lack of sizeable clamps in my shop... Notice the "Top no glue" written on it? Yeah, there's a reason I had to write that....
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Here is the shim/spacer I fabricated to attach the back panel to. Don't know why I started with those dowels! I think I was inspired by a certain video game's elevators....
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And with the back piece fitted but not pinned and glued. Works waaaay better than those dowels!

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And here the elevator assembly is fully glued and pinned. The back wall goes into the slot between the two upright pieces. Hope you can see what it will be when assembled...

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I decided to go with square dowels instead of walls for the outside edges to hold up the second floor. I also drilled some pin holes along the wall to secure and align the floor with the cross beam/ There is a significant gap along the wall closest to the camera but I can cover that up with equipment or the floor surface...
 
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Finally done with the lift! For now probably but I'm tired of working on it..

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The lift is in place and shown here on the second floor.

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Only goes two directions, up and down. Hopefully won't confound the Jedi that are trying to rescue the Chancellor...

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The view from the back of the wall. I wound up drilling a hole through the back and both walls of the lift to insert a toothpick pin to hold it when it's on the second floor. Thought about working out a pulley/thread system, but just done with this step for now.

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I also went ahead and glued the Gantry handrail arms in place. The more they were adjusted, the looser they got.
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Now to lay out the handrail for the second floor. I'd like it to match the look on the gantry, but that was a lot of work and I'm feeling lazy. I may wait until I have more energy to tackle this. Plus, I have to figure out how to mesh it in with putting lights under the floor. Don't know if I'll go the Beams of Light route like the Sandcrawler (which I haven't forgot...) or come up with something new.
 
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Sweet work. Not a criticism, just an observation.....your transom appears to have three pistons per side. The ESB one has four per side.
 
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Good catch! I was dissatisfied at how I made them pillars instead of pistons but was nearing it's completion and rushed the bases. I want to redo the piston bases but haven't worked out how I'm going to do it yet. I was going from memory before better pics were brought to my attention and got the walkway more or less right. I will figure it out soon!
 
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I think three is cool, it's actually a good look as you've rendered it. I guess in theory the transom would move up and down anyway whether there's two, three or four per side. Even one per side would work I guess. :unsure: The grated walkway is fan-friggin-tastic as is the whole setup. Ideally? I'd want to do one transom that was as close to screen accurate as I could but a three piston one is just as cool and really functional to fill a dio. Heck, you could do multiple versions. Star Wars is a big universe and you've got lots of stuff. You could revise.......or, perhaps even better, you could make a second transom with four pistons? I used tomato stakes stripped of their green plastic sheathing for the metal parts on mine. They were pretty cheap and a six foot length means you've got a lot of length for a couple of bucks to do all kinds of tubes and things. Used a dremel to cut 'em to whatever length they needed to be for various projects.
 
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I have enough sticks and poles to make it any number of upright pistons. The [female dog] is trying to get that 15 degree angle to match on all legs! That's where I'm stonewalled!
 
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Man, that's why I'm still on the hunt for that book! Such a wonderful resource and usually pricey in the aftermarket.
I found it at a book e-tailer here and for a reasonable price I couldn't resist.
It IS a great source, but sometimes the measurements on the drawings are down to guestimates, even if photographed and enhanced, as they are big schematics but only take up a quarter of a page, etc.

And the At-St is not in it.
The Hoth turret/DF-9 tower is a bit different in the blue print as well.

But indeed a great source!
 
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The [female dog] is trying to get that 15 degree angle to match on all legs! That's where I'm stonewalled!

Yes, that's definitely one of the things about the transom that is a beast to work out. It is an interesting detail that the pistons angle a bit and that makes the catwalk platform veeeeery hard to sit level. In fact, I got mine to have a level platform but the whole thing is wonky. Bad wonky. It's why I haven't posted it publicly. The pistons are all sort of parallel within each side but the two ends angle at different degrees. My desire to get it perfect means that I want to revise it but that's going to be incredibly difficult since everything is locked in now. Ir's wood and metal and cracking it apart to shift angles would be nigh impossible. Anyway, you've got the rails looking great (another element in my own version that is both inaccurate and incomplete ATM) and it's a fantastic bit of engineering. Keep at it.
 
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So I've been brainstorming the 15 degree problem. I can't seem to get the struts to agree on the angle. So I came up with this:

20200606_150904.jpg

I plotted out a 15 degree angle on a piece of scrap wood and thought, "What if the struts aren't angled, but the platform they're attached to is?"
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I cut out two pieces to make the base structure and stuck a scrap dowel under one side and pushed it in until the angle matched...

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I then made a corresponding set to go at the top of the struts..
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..and then promptly glued them on backwards. I can fix it though! Just got to trim off the overhanging lip so they'll fit the other way! Can't have progress without setbacks!

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In other news, I purchased some cheap vinyl floor tiles to make the floor and cover the old crosshair holes. I don't know if I'm really feeling the marble. I thought I would, making it look like the bay floor was the natural stone of whatever planet they were on, but I may just try to go with glossy black posterboard or something... Thoughts?
 
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More!

I've received a PM or two about how to make the ladders.

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I made the jig in the foreground with a strip of wood identical to the sides of the ladders. You hold the 2 sides evenly and drill the first hole. You insert the pin in the hole and drill through the guide hole to make the second. You keep moving the pin to the new hole to line up the next hole and so on. Then you get your toothpick rungs and glue the ones on the ends through one side.

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I like to clamp the ruler out of my square to the inside of the ladder uprights. It keeps them spaced exactly even for the next steps and until the glue dries.
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Insert the rest of the rungs but don't start gluing until all are in. I use a toothpick to apply the glue to the run on the outside of the frame. Twist the toothpick while you pull it through the frame to spread the glue in the hole. Repeat on the other side. Putting the glue on the outside of the frame makes it easier to sand off after everything dries. Another benefit to using the ruler is you can use the markings to make sure your rungs are straight!

20200607_160229.jpg

This ladder has been trimmed but need to be sanded. Looks good!
 
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Wow! I completely forgot the other thing I got more done on today!

20200607_150449.jpg

I tried to select between 1/4" and 3/8" dowels. The 1/4" turned out to be too small to drill the hole for the pins so I went with 3/8". Don't know the metric conversion, but it meant I had to use the larger one.

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The bases wound up almost exactly perfect for what I had planned!

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The tops.....notsomuch. I ended up using the wrong thickness of wood for one of them. *Sigh*....more cussing, more recutting...

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An hour later, I had matching tops. Success!

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I guess I forgot to get some pics for a few steps, sorry. I drilled mounting holes for toothpick pins at the top and bottom of the piston dowels. I then cut some side pieces out of balsa to cover up the sides of the bases. I will do the same for the tops once I make sure where they need to be...

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Once I got everything assembled, I realized I had cut the pistons the same length as the original oversized ones! Coupled with the extra height from the bases makes it a little too tall. I will shorten the pistons hopefully tomorrow. That's why I assembled without actually gluing it all together! This time....
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I think it looks good spanning some vintage!

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My poor vintage Y-Wing! It's missing a tooth!

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Good height for the old iron!
 
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Heck yeah!!!! Love the tip for using a ruler to keep spacing even! Looks great!! The marble floor may work out, I too have dabbled in this area of solutions for floors and am not sure how I like it. I've tried spare bathroom tile (heavy stone) and ultimately abandoned it because of weight but the look is still intriguing. Maybe some prequel Naboo palace type floor would be really suited?
 

Utinniii

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Sometimes I remove the head of a pin and use it as a drill bit. It is slow and fiddlely but gives me a smaller hole than the smallest drill bit.
 
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First part today is pics I owed from yesterday for the updating on the piston assemblies for the gantry...

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The base and matching top both get toothpick pins mounted at the correct angle and the new pistons drilled out to match.
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Then some balsa trim pieces cut and glued on to make it prettier...

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See? Prettier! Well, after the clamps come off...

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The plywood piece on the left of this part is what goes into the box on the bottom of the gantry.

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This covers up the dowel that is wedged in to make the angle.

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Overall, I've been very satisfied with this build! I think all that's left that I want to do is hang some lights under it and give it a good paint job!
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Sometimes after working a solid day, you just have to take a load off...
 
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Part 2: The chairs!

Again, I didn't get enough pics through the beginning steps. Sorry! The backs are glued to the seats and pinned with two toothpicks. I'll get pics if I can make any more...

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Square base the size of the seats, drilled through for a toothpick pin...

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Short dowel section drilled through to add the meat to the sammich...

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And then a hole through the seat to complete the sammich. I already trimmed off the toothpick before taking this pic so you faithful readers wouldn't be tempted to make the jokes my 9 year old asst engineer was making....

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I had enough of this strip to make 5 seats. However...
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Only the three on the right were usable. The two on the left were.... crooked...

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Starting to flesh out the second floor a little. The trophy cabinet was there from my son playing earlier. Gotta get a holotable, some desks, maybe some computer type stuff....
 
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Yeah, you definitely want to make sure the seat doesn't have a toothpick sticking up! OOOOUUUCH!!!! :LOL:
I once had a smiling orange X-Wing Luke figure (the Legacy SDCC one with a ladder) and after sitting in a chair with a toothpick stump, he changed to this....

http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/swsaga/sw03anakinswoopasfront.jpg

Painful face......and far less valueable.....that's a lose/lose.....
 
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So I got a call from OSHA today, and they insisted that I needed to implement some safety features into this build...

Gonna hit you with the final result and then cover the how-I-did-it!
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Rose was blown away! The handrail beams fit almost perfectly! Only had to glue in one section as it was barely too short to stay with friction!

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I drilled holes to mount the handrails. They fit snugly without needing glue!

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I got the height looking good and wanted to get them as close as I could to the edge. I knew if I pinned them, they would work but I didn't know if I could drill the holes in the floor that close to the edge without chipping or breaking it.
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Drilling out the ends was nerve wracking! I've drilled my finger twice while doing this in earlier projects! (I did use both hands to drill them, the other hand is taking the picture here..)

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So I used a center punch to mark the places for the hole and just let the weight of my rotary tool make the hole. No chipping out of the edge on any of them!

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Rose was skeptical of the height, but I told her to hush or I'd throw her into the Jar Jar box...

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I think the height looks good in the long shot!

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Ok, you're wondering "What's with the knife in the first pic?" After gluing, I had one post that kept rising off of the platform. I jerry rigged a weight out of one of the chairs and the knife to keep it down while the glue dried.
 
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*Sigh* Omelettes and eggs...

Yesterday, I decided I was done with the fake marble tile and decided to just go with shiny black posterboard. I took the landing pad apart and prepped to glue down the posterboard...

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Here's the old pad, naked and looking a little lonely...

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I cut some pieces to go in the elevator well and started spreading the glue. The elevator well pieces didn't go in so well. That should've been a clue for me...

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Then I applied the posterboard. It wouldn't lay down on the edges or corners and as it set, the glue soaked into the paper, making the wonderfully awful pattern you see here. I didn't take a pic of the "after removal". You didn't want to see it... I'm going to have to recut the whole floor, the one thing I didn't think I'd need to replace.

I did, however, plan to recut the second floor and the back wall. (Cue pitiful sounding "Surprise....."). I finally figured out how I wanted to do the lights. I will make a sandwich of the entire floor using 1/2" square dowels to frame it. That way, I can drill holes for the lights wherever I want them to be! I am also going to make the elevator a little wider and cleaner, now that I have better tools to do so.

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Here is the bottom floor plate with the framework roughed in. The reason I need to recut the back wall is that the beam that I previously used for the floor support is 3/4" but I didn't need that much space for the wiring, nor did I like the look of a floor that thick.

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And here is the entire floor structure roughed in. The edge closest to the camera is the wall edge. The supports are already drying on the new back as I type this. I am also (in my head) trying to work out how to include a blast door between the door and the ship area with articulated doors! Dunno if it will be a vertical door panel or if I'll have the room to make it a sideways closing and opening door.

I've been putting this together as a "Test run" or prototype as I've been going. I am not opposed to redesigning something that I've already mostly completed. But the floor thing just killed my vibe for today...

Also, if anyone has any tips to glue the posterboard to the wood, that would be awesome! Or if anyone can recommend something other than posterboard (I'd rather not use foamcore, it doesn't stand up to play. Sorry) it would be much appreciated.
 
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It's hard to get flat surfaces to adhere evenly, I always have issues where there's dimpling and crappy looking areas. The bigger the surface area, the harder it is to get a surface to look good too. Evenly applied glue and then evenly applied pressure (bunch of books for example) on a very flat floor like a garage floor can help but sometimes things can still prove problematic. I feel your pain.:(
 
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