Mos Eisley Cantina long overdue! (WIP)

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After my last project which I -mostly- finished, I was reluctant to enter into such a huge undertaking and time commitment again, so took a long hiatus. Well, as the announcement for the next TVC Haslab project draws near and is expected to come this month, the odds of us getting a proper Mos Eisley Cantina are seeming less likely in favor of other projects *cough Razor Crest cough*. I could be wrong, but either way I won't be disappointed.

In any case I decided it's time to at least bring the cantina a bit closer to becoming a reality. This will be a very basic project. I'm only going to do the floor and walls at this time, with no furnishings or accessories, aside from the possible exception of the bar (but no distillery). The idea is to make it easy to reproduce so I can have something to offer to others who also want a cantina of their own and aren't afraid of doing a little work.

I'll be taking what I learned from working on my Death Star and avoiding some of the mistakes I made the first time around. Which also means I'll be planning it from the get-go to be easy to reproduce.

Here's the floor plan, an older one, that I used for the scale.



Rather than go crazy on accurate scaling, I opted to go for a minimum amount of space, basing it on the size of the alcoves, leaving enough space for the benches and a small table with a little leg room. I also eliminated a couple of the outside and background rooms to keep it a little more compact and avoid the dreaded sunken floor plan paradox that I'm sure others have thought about. So it won't have the 'power room' or the room containing the stairs to the cellar.

Without further ado, here are a couple shots of my base floor plan, with Han and Greedo thrown in to get an idea of scale. Try to ignore the piece of cardboard underneath if you can.







So as you can see the thing is still going to be BIG, like Haslab big, but keeping the set to a very minimum in order to limit space, time and materials. The size is 32" wide by 40-1/2" long. The cardboard floor plan you see is just a pattern. Later today I'll be going to get some foam board, making the actual floor and hopefully starting on the walls. The walls and floors will all be two layers of foam board, so about 3/8" thick total. I will make patterns for the walls before I make the actual walls, that way I can easily reproduce them later.

Once I get the walls and floors made for this one, I'll just be using paint for the most part. I want to avoid all the printing of textures that I did with the Death Star.

This could change, but what I would like to do is offer the wall and floor pieces, unpainted, together as a kit with assembly instructions. I may or may not pre-cut them, depending on how that affects price and time. If they aren't pre-cut, the patterns will have to be printed, and that can get expensive (about $150 for a 6-foot piece of foam board, of which I'd need two). I'll work all that out later.

Again these are tentative plans, but I really would like to do that in such a way that this could serve as a base for those who have a little skill and like working on projects like this, but want to save a little time on the planning and layout phases.

I hope to have an update tonight. Oh and it's great to be back and to see so many of you still here doing what you do, which has been an inspiration to me since I first started popping in to these forums.

Take care!
 
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Great to see you return, glad you got over the "Death Star Burnout." The fact that you are tackling another big big piece shows how much you enjoyed the work, even if it was quite a mountain to climb!

I am interested to see how this progresses, especially how it comes together as far as being a rather expansive set enclosed in exterior walls.

I don't know that I would ever tackle the Cantina in total like this. If I did my mind has already been warped by the version made by Boutros77 to the extent that I think I would just be doing a version of his:




Which, while not complete by a long shot, satisfies everything I would want in a really elegantly simple design.

I am really looking forward to the progress here!
 
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Oh, that's a good one! Loved your death star playset and I'm really looking forward to your cantina taking shape. :)
 
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Oh, that's a good one! Loved your death star playset and I'm really looking forward to your cantina taking shape. :)
Thanks, SpectreOne, and great to see you still on here! This one won't be nearly as elaborate as the DS, of course. Think something like this, but without the furniture and distillery - just basically a skeleton, for now.



That's the main project. Over time I'll add more on to it, though, and will share whenever I do.

Great to see you return, glad you got over the "Death Star Burnout." The fact that you are tackling another big big piece shows how much you enjoyed the work, even if it was quite a mountain to climb!

I am interested to see how this progresses, especially how it comes together as far as being a rather expansive set enclosed in exterior walls.

I don't know that I would ever tackle the Cantina in total like this. If I did my mind has already been warped by the version made by Boutros77 to the extent that I think I would just be doing a version of his:




Which, while not complete by a long shot, satisfies everything I would want in a really elegantly simple design.

I am really looking forward to the progress here!
I really do like that style and would be happy if Hasbro were to put out something like that (hint hint, Hasbro). It's tempting to go with something like that for this one. For the purpose of having something to offer that gives more options, I'm including all the walls. If someone wants to use mine as a base, they could easily just omit the wall sections they didn't really need and come up with something more compact.

Okay, so I did a little more work on it last night, not as much as I wanted. And I'm already seeing how it will be a lot larger of a project than it first seemed.

I cut the two bases for the floor...



...and then took all the measurements for the exterior and interior walls, labeled them and made a cut list





Turns out since each wall will be double-layered foam board, I now have 56 wall sections to cut out!

I decided to go with a 6-1/2" height for the walls, which seemed tall enough but not too tall as to make it more difficult to reach inside the rooms. We'll see once the walls are up.

And I did cut one pattern for a wall section with two alcove openings. (So I guess technically including the patterns, I have 84 wall sections to cut :(

I think the size of the alcove openings looks okay, based on pics of a couple other dios I've seen. Muftak still has enough room to barely fit under there, so that should work.









I still haven't decided if I want to do the raised portion in the entryway or not. I'll leave it as on option that can be easily be put in later, if not. Honestly I must be crazy for starting something like this now, as I have so much other stuff going on. It just felt like something I needed to do, I guess.
 
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Awesome to see you tackling this! I've been stuck on the distillery section for a long time now, haven't really gotten much progress other than some patrons but now I'm feeling the urge to get back at it seeing another cantina project. Love the sketches and notes like the reminder to account for wall thickness, can't wait to see you do more!
 
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Looks good so far...I see you had to get into double letters on your alphabetized wall parts list. That's a lot of pieces!!!

The pattern looks good, too (thank goodness I don't have to duck!) I like what you did with the curve of the alcove opening, to allow the seated figures to be visible and not hidden behind the wall.

As far as why you are doing this with so much on your plate: I have found that even though this stuff is work, it is enjoyable for me and helps cleanse the gunk of the day from my brain and soul. The Cantina is your therapy!
 
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Awesome to see you tackling this! I've been stuck on the distillery section for a long time now, haven't really gotten much progress other than some patrons but now I'm feeling the urge to get back at it seeing another cantina project. Love the sketches and notes like the reminder to account for wall thickness, can't wait to see you do more!
The distillery isn't something I'm looking forward to lol, which is why it will be left out of the initial project and added at a later time. Yeah like I said I learned a few things from mistakes I made with the DS ;)

Looks good so far...I see you had to get into double letters on your alphabetized wall parts list. That's a lot of pieces!!!

The pattern looks good, too (thank goodness I don't have to duck!) I like what you did with the curve of the alcove opening, to allow the seated figures to be visible and not hidden behind the wall.

As far as why you are doing this with so much on your plate: I have found that even though this stuff is work, it is enjoyable for me and helps cleanse the gunk of the day from my brain and soul. The Cantina is your therapy!
Yeah it's a nice break from the more 'serious' stuff I've been tackling lately. I found when I stopped working on the Death Star I started getting a little depressed, so I've learned that just for my mental well-being it really helps to have a project of some sort to be working on rather than just look for distraction after distraction.

Okay, so I have all the patterns for the interior walls cut. Here's a shot of them all layed out.



And here's all the wall patterns in a nice little pile lol



Tomorrow morning on my way home from work I'll be getting more foam board and plan on starting on the actual walls. So I had a question:

I see a lot of dios with a little square cutout on the exterior wall of the alcoves, like a little window to let light in I guess. Does anyone know if these are supposed to be in all of the alcoves or just certain ones?
 
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I know the double alcoves have those small windows, and they're elsewhere.....but it's something I've never definitively known where else. Interested to see what others might know and /or show with reference pics.
 
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The windows definitely show in the pick-up shots done in California, and only sometimes in the Cantina set shots from the original shoot in England. The booths with Hammerhead/Myo, Gotal/Yamnose, the pair of Duros, and the Band's area definitely show windows behind them. You don't really get a clear shot of the window in Muftak's booth, but it's just barely there (like in my avatar pic). The booth with the Ranat, Jawa, and Snaggletooth does not appear to have one, but I believe they are seated at the front next to the foyer so theirs likely isn't on an exterior wall proper.

And of course the booths where Han deals with both Kenobi and Greedo both have the windows.
 
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Great point, Muftak, that's something that has always made it a little muddy to me about "where" the windows are. Basically, the pick-up shots leave me a little confused because we're dealing with two different sets, that's something on lots of SW scenes that seems to befuddle me, pick-up shots create issues for nailing down things.
 
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As I noticed from someone's Facebook post, which I neglected on my initial viewing, the windows are actually shown on the floor plan that I've been working off of! I'll probably go with something like this -

 
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But that floorplan is inaccurate then, because in them the booth where Han shoots Greedo has no window!

Now everything is suspect!:p
 
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Here's a couple of the images. Rest are here (too large to upload here)


With things like blueprints, it's annoying they put them across the midsection of a book, but I get why.
Edit: Let me know if there's a part you want emphazied/enlarged etc.
 

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Here's a couple of the images. Rest are here (too large to upload here)


With things like blueprints, it's annoying they put them across the midsection of a book, but I get why.
Edit: Let me know if there's a part you want emphazied/enlarged etc.
Thanks, so much for sharing that! Some great references there. If I was smart I'd have bought that book myself before I started.

But that floorplan is inaccurate then, because in them the booth where Han shoots Greedo has no window!

Now everything is suspect!:p
True, true! I had to watch the scene again to be sure. The floor plan I'm working from is an older one and not really considered the most accurate, apparently. However the newer ones don't even show the locations of the windows. I've had a couple people point out that the floor plan I'm using is incorrect, but I really don't like the thick slab of ununsed wall in the foyer shown in this one:



It just didn't seem realistic. I was reading on one resource, don't remember the name, that it would really be impossible to come up with an accurate floor plan as there are so many inconsistencies and the scene was a composite of different sets, anyway. So I'm keeping it basic, and in the spirit of trying to go with a more vintage feel, using an outdated floor plan lol.

Anyway I decided on locations for the windows, got the patterns finished, and traced the patterns for all the walls - 2 of each, 56 total.



I still need to do the bar and the curvy wall in the foyer, which will be poster board with foam board bracing. I'll also probably include the raised floor in the foyer and the steps. So a little more to do with the patterns, but we're getting there.

I'm gonna go drink some coffee and take a break and see how ambitious I'm feeling yet tonight :giggle:
 

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I wasn't going to say anything about the floor plan since you already started.
It actually is possible to get an accurate floor plan from watching the movie, with a few exceptions.
The interior and exterior are different.
Many of the booth shots were filmed at a second location so where windows go is inconsistent.
It would be impossible to place the characters accurately because of different takes as well as the 2 locations.

Personally, I go with the stage floor plan where seen and use the second set only where we can't see it on film. I place the characters where they most logically fit (where we know they aren't.)

If you watch some of the cut footage you will see details not seen in the movie (like where the crawl hole or whatever you call the part of the bar that flips up so the waiters can leave the bar - Near the Tonnika sisters BTW). Watching the film frame by frame will also reveal details and often reused props/set pieces.

Most people won't notice the details.
 
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Maybe I misunderstood then, as I do remember the thing about accurate character placement being impossible. Sometime in the future I might try it with the other floor plan. I'm still trying to figure out where the hell I'm going to display this one, though 😁

Okay guys, I have really interesting photos to share! (not really)

I got all the walls cut, aside from the poster board foyer wall. 56 wall pieces total, if I remember correctly. I got the two base floor pieces glued together and I'm about to start putting down the mesh.







I think the next thing after that will be to start putting up the exterior and dividing walls. Once I get those put up, I want to start doing a little sanding and going over some of the edges and whatnot with lightweight spackling. Then I'll begin painting them. I'll paint the very interior walls with the alcoves before I glue them on, as they'll require a little more care.

Wish me luck! Oh and tips, tricks and ideas are always welcome of course :)
 
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In terms of mesh, replacement window screen is a lot thinner than the craft mesh for yearn.
That might have been nice. Oh well, too late now. The biggest problem was getting the stuff to stick. Spray adhesive didn't work, so I had to sand one side of the sheets then lay down thin layers of hot glue. The glue of course went through in some places, but it doesn't look too bad. It should look better after I paint it.

So yes, I got the mesh flooring glued down and left it sitting overnight to try and flatten the base as much as possible.





I went over all the door and window openings with lightweight spackling, and began putting up the walls.

First the exterior -



Then the dividing walls -



Next I went over the top edges and corners with lightweight spackling.



And yeah I know my work area is a mess lol.

I'm really happy with how flat and square it has turned out. As you can see, the lines for the interior walls don't correspond to where they are actually supposed to be. Part of this is because I'm using two different thicknesses of foam board. The regular is slightly less than 3/16" and the Ghost Line is slightly more. But I have lined up the interior walls to make sure they work, and they will.

So the next thing, in addition to a little sanding and possibly more putty, will be to work on the foyer with the raised floor, curved wall and steps.

After that it should be time for painting. Getting psyched for this!
 
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I came up with a compromise for the foyer that I could live with. There are 'engineering' problems with the geometry of this structure that would require making a new 3d CGI model of it and trying to 'unwrap' it in order to completely fill in the gaps where the outside opening meets the inside opening, if that makes any sense at all. I'll have to go back and see how others have tackled this issue.

In any case, I got that part done and got all the walls up. The pre-planning did pay off, but of course because I used two different thicknesses of foam board and failed to account for the variation in thickness caused by the hot glue, I ran into a couple issues that I had to work around (i.e. the walls didn't line up perfectly on the lines I'd drawn on the base, so I had to either cut them shorter, or insert a small filler strip in one case). I've gone over all the edges, corners and gaps with lightweight spackling, so once sanded it should look decent.

















Which means that we're one step closer to being ready for painting!
 
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Something thrilling about a nice, monochrome, pre-painted build like that. Looking forward to watching where it goes from here, but take some pride in a set that looks very exacting and precise thus far. I know you probably see compromises and flaws, but trust me when I say none of that shows through. Great work.
 

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Absolutely beautiful structure, and presented as a whole set accurately! The one I made years back, (and not as ground up accurate as yours) eventually got cut in half so that I could front display the back half and the front half toward the viewer. I lost some thing in whole set accuracy, but ultimately I liked the end result display. Still, this is always my favorite way to see Cantina or Jabba’s Palace dioramas: as one whole structure. Looking fantastic!
 
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Thanks so much, everyone! I will say I'm glad I waited another day to start the painting and elected to go with a second coat of spackling. I knew I would thank myself later!

I started the painting today, and am finishing the base color as we speak. I've applied it in a series of very light layers so as not to wrinkle the paper from the moisture, and it's coming out alright. The glue lines are showing through the flooring, unfortunately. Eventually when I get some figures in there, add some lights and put it in a darkened room that shouldn't matter as much.

Would you guys recommend painting the stripes before or after the weathering?
 
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I did mine before weathering so there would be some sense that the walls were pretty beaten up. I did the base coat of light yellow, then the red and blue stripes (my stripes were done with pretty watered down red & blue btw), gave a few places a veeeeeeery light application of a slightly darker dirtier yellow. Finally I hit it with some fine sandpaper very carefully to give a worn sort of finish. That last step does a lot to make the stucco texture pop.
 
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I did mine before weathering so there would be some sense that the walls were pretty beaten up. I did the base coat of light yellow, then the red and blue stripes (my stripes were done with pretty watered down red & blue btw), gave a few places a veeeeeeery light application of a slightly darker dirtier yellow. Finally I hit it with some fine sandpaper very carefully to give a worn sort of finish. That last step does a lot to make the stucco texture pop.
Great advice, thank you!

I got the base coat down. I think what I may do is a little dry-brushing just to give it some texture, then do the stripes, then do some real weathering. I'll probably end up making a pattern for the stripes because I want to make them look good.



















I had another question for you guys -


So the three doorways on the wall where the bar comes out of - do the stripes go over all of these? From the reference photos I've found, it looks like they might go over the ones on the side, but the middle one I'm not sure. I know they go over the 'canopy' or whatever that is above the bar, so maybe they skip over the middle doorway, but I'm not sure and I want to give it the right look. Also this thing will likely never have that canopy since it doesn't have a ceiling, unless later on I decide to go and add that stuff. So I'll need to find a way to work around that. Any thoughts??
 
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Yes, there's definitely evidence in reference pics I've seen of red and blue stripes over all three, the center one for sure. I'm not entirely sure how the canopy striping works at the point where it connects to that back wall, but if you include a canopy it has the striping as you've pointed out. I'm at a dead end on my own cantina with respect to this very canopy issue, haven't resolved what I want to do and haven't got the center bar piece and all the necessary pipes etc., have pressed the pause button for over a year now because of these issues. Hoping to get inspired by your efforts to jumpstart my own reboot btw.

On the weathering for the walls in general......I used both drybrushing and light sanding to get the effect I wanted. You may want to try that combination of light colored drybrushing as well as sanding. I used white and suuuuuuuper light yellow for that drybrushing. The light sanding reveals the white of the original wall patch color too, so you're looking to get lighter/white at the surface/high points. Basically the net effect is that the high points on the walls surface will be lighter and the darker wash will be present in the lower surface points giving it depth and making the rough texture have more contrast and be visually a bit more interesting than it would be without drybrushing and washes.
 
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Yes, there's definitely evidence in reference pics I've seen of red and blue stripes over all three, the center one for sure. I'm not entirely sure how the canopy striping works at the point where it connects to that back wall, but if you include a canopy it has the striping as you've pointed out. I'm at a dead end on my own cantina with respect to this very canopy issue, haven't resolved what I want to do and haven't got the center bar piece and all the necessary pipes etc., have pressed the pause button for over a year now because of these issues. Hoping to get inspired by your efforts to jumpstart my own reboot btw.

On the weathering for the walls in general......I used both drybrushing and light sanding to get the effect I wanted. You may want to try that combination of light colored drybrushing as well as sanding. I used white and suuuuuuuper light yellow for that drybrushing. The light sanding reveals the white of the original wall patch color too, so you're looking to get lighter/white at the surface/high points. Basically the net effect is that the high points on the walls surface will be lighter and the darker wash will be present in the lower surface points giving it depth and making the rough texture have more contrast and be visually a bit more interesting than it would be without drybrushing and washes.
Thanks again for all the advice, yodashizzle! Hope you end up finishing yours, I'd like to see it!

Since my walls are just bare foam board with no texture, the drybrushing won't look as good, and I don't know how well a wash would work. I did start doing some drybrushing last night, however. I started with a golden color a little darker than the base because I thought it needed more yellow in it. I basically drybrushed the whole thing but it looked terrible. I went over it with a light coat of the spray paint I used for the base, and it actual turned out looking pretty good. Then I repeated the process with some light brown, but once I started going over it with the base color again it just looked like I had spray painted over blotches of brown and didn't really look good at all. I may have to go over it again with the base color and start over :\

Oh well. I ran out of the base color so I'll be going to get some of that this morning as well as some better brushes and sand paper. In the meantime I started working on the bar and base for the distillery. They'll just be stand-ins until I get some pieces from Hole in the Ground, but it's looking decent so far. Should have more pics later!
 
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To add texture details to your walls without actual texture to bring out, you might want to look into natural sponges.

I used these when I needed to paint my Cantina-themed shelf display. Like you, I didn't add texture, I just had flat foamboard and craft foam surfaces.


View media item 268140
I went with a few different shades and alternated between them in layers until it built up the look I was going for. You kind of need to experiment as you go to see what the texture of a given sponge will do, effect-wise (the upper tier of my display did a better job because I had learned a lot while doing the bottom layer.)
 
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To add texture details to your walls without actual texture to bring out, you might want to look into natural sponges.

I used these when I needed to paint my Cantina-themed shelf display. Like you, I didn't add texture, I just had flat foamboard and craft foam surfaces.


View media item 268140
I went with a few different shades and alternated between them in layers until it built up the look I was going for. You kind of need to experiment as you go to see what the texture of a given sponge will do, effect-wise (the upper tier of my display did a better job because I had learned a lot while doing the bottom layer.)
That looks really good. I actually was just at Wal-Mart and thought about getting a couple of those but ended up just getting some better brushes. I watched a few drybrushing tutorials so I think I can do a little better on the next run.
 
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Few more pics before I do my second attempt at the drybrushing. After applying more of the base color to mute all the brown blotches, I actually thought the texture came out looking okay. I used most of the new full can to do it, so I can't mess up again lol.

The bar and distillery base is just a stand-in until I order a custom-made set, but I think it came out looking pretty cool considering it's only foam board and poster board. It's solid, too.

One thing I see is that I should have made the middle doorway leading to the bar a little wider than the others. Poor Wuher's getting too old to be hopping over the counter like this!













 
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Doing two posts in one day tonight, hehe. Well, technically the other one was yesterday. But be sure to check it out first if you didn't already so you can see it pre-weathering!

And... I think I'm to the point where I'm happy with it. I made a few patterns to do the lines around the doorways, and the extra time paid off. I actually surprised myself with a few of them!




















So this is about it for what I had wanted to accomplish. I figure no need spending all the time making furniture when there are already quality pieces available out there, and same for the distillery.

I might go back and make a couple little odds and ends like wall lamps and lights, etc., after I take a little break. I had also mentioned I wanted to make some kind of kit available to others who want something similar and don't mind doing the work. I need to get busy on some assembly instructions before I do that, but it's on my short term to-do list, as well.

Thank you, guys, for all the helpful comments and compliments! Even though there isn't as much traffic here as some places, this is my favorite place to post. I'll update this thread from time to time as I start to get furniture and add little things here and there.

Take care!
 
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It looks great. Fantastic paintwork, even in the harsh bright light. The only critique at this point would be that the floor could use some griming up.

As for your door width behind the bar, a simple way to help it visually balance would be to make the distillery base shorter, so it will end with a couple of inches to spare, adding "walking room" behind it.

Hopefully in the future we can see some of the furniture fill it out. I am especially interested to see how you furnish the entrance area.

Thanks, it was a fun project to track, and has really made me reconsider putting a full layout Cantina on my "to tackle" list.
 

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That does look fantastic.

Sorry I wasn't able to share reference pics and ideas. Life isn't good right now. If I get the time and energy I will look for some reference pics.
 
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In between working on a project for Halloween, I found a little time to do some lamps. I got a couple helpful ideas from this site:


If you haven't checked it out, it's a great resource for cantina building! :giggle:

Here they are:











But I'm not sure where to put them. I've seen different pics where some have a lamp between alcoves or inside alcoves and some don't. Also I'm not sure where the two lamp types come in. Any advice here?

Also I have some extras, so if anyone is interested PM me :)

 
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