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Messages - Muftak

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Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Death Star Dioramas
« on: August 19, 2003, 06:03 PM »
Outstanding work there Muftak. How big do you plan to have the entire set be? Will it encompass such things as a full detention cell hallway, conference room, and/or the hangar bay?

There will be four more levels on top of this one, it will be just a bit bigger than three feet tall when finished. The next level up (3) has the detention center and the cellblock playset from 96, the one above that will contain the hangar control room, the hangar hallway (with blastdoors) and the elevator hall. The next level up (4) will be the control room and a short hallway with blastdoors. The top level will be the central core shaft, with two bridge doors and the tractor beam controls.

Docking bays are just too large to fit the size I was working for (trying to keep this thing under four feet square).  I really weighed doing the conference room, which would have been a floor all by itself I think, but in the end it boiled down to not enough officers to fill it. Tarkin, Motti, and Vader will just hang out in the control room. If hasbro suddenly has a change of heart and makes a troop builder set of officers, I can alway retrofit it later.

Great use of the CD to add effect for the superlaser control room, but wasn't the chamber parallel to the controllers, or was that in ROTJ? I forget....

After studying that three-second shot for waaaaaay too long, I've come to the conclusion that the control platform is actually in the round chamber (the laser blast bursts right behind them), which was actually just a matte painting. The painting had all the curved walls, while the platform and all it's walls were straight. In ROTJ it looks like they use the same footage flipped mirror-image style.

What about detailing on the outside, will you add anything like gunner stations or the turrets from the trenches?

I originally thought about putting two little gun towers on the very top (above the chasm doorways), but have lately been toying with the idea of making the whole thing double as a nearly-to-scale gun tower from the back, with  two large cannons sticking out about level three.

Maybe an exhaust vent hidden on the back of level two..?

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Death Star Dioramas
« on: August 17, 2003, 06:55 PM »
Finally, here are some pictures of how the two rooms fit together, and the overall "footprint" of the diorama:

On the outer walls I used more foamies to create the "armored" look, here's a detail of the outside walls:

All that dead space in the back came in handy to house the blast chamber's core tube. As the levels get higher they will carve deeper and deeper into the structure, hopefully keeping all the rooms accessible.

Thanks go out to JD's main man Chris, for hosting my pics!

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Death Star Dioramas
« on: August 17, 2003, 06:48 PM »
Here are some shots of the trash compactor:

I'd have liked to give it mashing walls, but the Screen Scene base kind of made that impossible. I'm going to put a chute opening in the ceiling to allow figures to drop from the cellblock (which will be directly above it) into the compactor.

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / UPDATED PICS! Modular Death Star
« on: August 17, 2003, 06:42 PM »
My latest project has been a five-story "playset" Death Star. I'm building it in a modular frame of mind, and I've recently completed the bottom level, which contains the trash compactor and the blast chamber (the only diorama version of it I've heard of.)

First up, here are pictures of the blast chamber:

I used an old CD for the end of the chamber to create a sort of "lasery" effect in the reflection. I found halfway through building that using the dark steel grey color made the whole thing too dark, so I fudged the color a little bit to brighten it up. The interior is constructed of those little craft foamies, which were the easiest way to get it all to fold up into a tube.

Other Toy Lines / Re: Dream Toylines
« on: July 12, 2003, 06:55 PM »
I would love to see (And the fact that it's actually possible adds a this dream) a Star Wars/Transformers crossover line. With Autobots as Alliance ships (X-, Y-, B-, A-Wings, Snowspeeder, and the Falcon as the leader) and Decepticons as Imperial craft (TIE, TIE-in, Bomber, Vader's Tie, an AT-ST,  and an AT-AT). All Action Fleet scale, but to-scale.

That would be the initial releases, more could follow (Landspeeders, Cloud Cars, Shuttles, Speeder Bikes, maybe even prequel ships with a "prequel" storyline). Just as long as they were "classic" style TFs, ie they were mostly one piece with an "authentic" looking vehicle mode.

Throw in a few Action Fleet- styled SW heroes and villains (Or can you imagine Han, Luke, Chewie, Vader etc. as Headmasters and Targetmasters?)

Unicron as the Death Star, anyone?

Saga '02-'04 / Re: ...More than they can chew?
« on: June 15, 2003, 09:10 AM »
Nope, no solid cases in the US, and what really burns us is the fact that most new "waves" have only one or two new figures in them, with the rest being previous releases.

POTJ's biggest figure year (2001) saw about 35 new figures released. Things were slightly bumpy then availability-wise (as it has to be in non-movie years), but what really helped out was the fact that each wave featured four brand-new figures. The classic POTJ pegwarmers (Bespin Guard, Duros, Ketwol) were the result of them being carried over for a second wave.

In all honesty, I look to really see 2003 product start hitting in fall 2004, much the same way the tail end of Episode I/POTF2 hit at clearance prices at the end of 2000. There is just too much '02 backlog in the warehouses.

Saga '02-'04 / ...More than they can chew?
« on: June 14, 2003, 11:30 PM »
Do you think Hasbro made a grave error in slating nearly fifty "new" figures (counting reissues) for release in this non-movie year?

Last year, a movie year, we had about sixty figures (including the POTJ that kicked off the year,) and we were swimming in summer figures by the time Christmas rolled around. Why in the world would Hasbro repeat the same mistake?--compounded this year by the fact that nothing much has hit the shelves yet due to last year's leftovers.

These numbers still blow my mind. Fifty figures this year? What were they thinking? Most folks have barely seen the first twelve or so '03 figs show up in stores near them. Contrast that to last year at this time, when the first 35 Saga figures were pretty readily available across the US. (And remember, that was the second month of Saga's life.)

Do you think Hasbro has bitten off more than they (or us, or retailers) can chew?

Maybe I'm just Hasbro-weary (as opposed to world-weary) but I keep flashing back on the sudden death of POTF2 as it tried to coexist with the Episode I glut. Both lines died because of that mess. Splitting Clone Wars and Saga by assortment might very well kill the both of them.

If there's going to be any kind of Star Wars push this year by the retailers, I have to believe it will be focused on Clone Wars,  which will set Saga even further along the wayside than it already is. I can't see both lines getting equal attention, unless the attention is so low that nobody cares either way and CW is forced into the same space Saga has at the stores now.

Either way, I sense harrowing times ahead for Saga in '04.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Kamino Airwhale!!!
« on: June 9, 2003, 07:31 AM »
If Hasbro did give us one, it would be in a "refresh" assortment number with the big-butted Shakk from Naboo. The Shakks would fill up the shelves before an Airwhale could ever make it out.

If they're going to release more beasts, I'd prefer to see OT stuff (a nice Sarlacc Pit puppet, for example).

The Original Trilogy / Re: How does Vader know who "Luke" is?
« on: June 6, 2003, 11:26 AM »
Whose to say the name Skywalker isn't any more common than, say, Williams or Smith or Chin?

Hmmmmm...what about Yoda's dying words: "There is another Sky...walk...errrrrrrrrr**"?

If it was the most common name in the galaxy, wouldn't Luke's response have been, "Of course there is. There's old Greedo Skywalker, and Boba Skywalker, and Deak Skywalker, and that's just from Kindergarden!" instead of, "Gosh, that must mean I have a relative!"

And as far as Luke's application, even giving you the possibility that Skywalker is a common name, definitely the return address "Luke Skywalker, Lars Farm, Tatooine" would raise a few red flags Vader would notice.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Coca Cola Classic - Caffeine Free?
« on: June 5, 2003, 05:22 PM »
Funny this topic should come up...last Saturday (my birthday) I made the conscious decision to stop drinking soda. Your story especially gave me courage, Nicklab!

My favorite was Mountain Dew--a leader in caffeine content--so you can imagine the headaches I've been fighting through. The way I look at it, I spent my whole life staying off of drugs, nicotine, and alcohol, only to wind up addicted to soda? I prefer to go as addiction-free as possible, thank you (now where're my new Star Wars toys? ahhhhh....)

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Imperial 4-Pack is fan-freakin-tastic!!!
« on: June 5, 2003, 05:08 PM »
The stormtrooper, who many of you know has knee articulation, can be posed perfectly with the E-WEB tripod cannon. I can't believe this wasn't brought up in any of the reviews on the collecting sites.

I completely agree with you, Lando--it was one of the many positives I pointed out in my own review. Some people look for movie authenticity above everything else, I guess...

I can't get over how much I enjoy this set, nor can I get over how clear Hasbro's thinking was on this one. I look at it like this--the ATST Driver and R4-I9 are both strong enough figures they could've been released on their own cards and I would've eaten them up. This is the way Hasbro needs to handle all rehashes--with creativity and style--using the best molds they have to conjure up new figures. If they could do it here, why not with the (very similar) upcoming Rebel Technician?

As for appropriate accessories, I can see both sides. Would I have loved, say, an old POTF2 Probot instead of the POTF2 Cannon? Sure, but twenty bucks for four different figures is as good a deal as your going to find, so accessories are just gravy to me.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Will you get the KBToys Imperial Shuttle?
« on: June 5, 2003, 04:48 PM »
I'm thinking about it, for sure...

I never liked the thought of buying a ship that huge to be shipped to me in the mail, but if one shows up at my local toy store, I don't know if I can resist the urge to take it home with me (it'll depend what my wallet says at the time, I'm sure).

The Original Trilogy / Re: How does Vader know who "Luke" is?
« on: June 5, 2003, 04:18 PM »
Well, just imagine if Owen had let Luke "transmit his application to the Academy." I wonder if Vader would review the names of the new applicants?

Once again, I think the idea to not hide Luke's identity could have blown up in Obi-Wan's face. (Say, right about the time the Imperial Fleet showed up to collect Vader Jr.)

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Okay I ordered cases whats gives??
« on: June 2, 2003, 04:02 PM »
At first I was going to argue he point with you, CHEWIE, after all, it was Wal*Mart's warehouses MetalJedi would really have fault with.

But after thinking about it a little bit longer, I have to back you up: it is Hasbro's fault.

Hasbro way overproduced the figures from last year. These are clogging up the distribution system to the point that new product can't even make it to the warehouse. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the new figures we've gotten this year have been drop-shipments straight from Hasbro to the stores.

Hasbro introduced the Collection 1 and 2 idea. If every wave did have it's own SKU, then knowledgable stores could get the product they want.

This is just depressing...

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