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Messages - Muftak

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Thanks everyone.

Corran, the images are indeed on a circular piece of posterboard connected to a knob that turns. My original idea was to use a push-pin thru the front of the console, just above the screen itself to both hold the wheel together and act as the knob, but during construction I found out the friction was causing the push-pin to become separated from the circular piece every time, it would come loose after a few turns and stop working.

After a bit of tinkering, I came up with an alternate mechanism--there is now a much larger knob connected to the back of the wheel, firmly glued into place. The angled section of the computer fits flush to the angled back corner, and the knob connected to the back of the computer sticks out a hole in the outer wall of the playset. The "pin" that holds the wheel in place (and that you can see in the lower part of this picture: )

is now made from an earring I found at the dollar store that looked vaguely like the controls on the computer. I attatched the other earring to the computer too, to make this one look less funky.

No plans on making the elevators work, though I did figure out a way they could be made to work and retain the ability to come apart level by level (if, say, Hasbro were to devise a real toy based on the design.) For my taste, the tubes were too shallow to try sticking figures in them and making opening doors.

This thing is holding together like a rock--each level simply sits on top of the one below it, but they're so wide it's pretty easy to pick it up by the base and carry it like an enormous birthday cake. The next level should be interesting in that regard, because I'm splitting it down the middle and building it as two dioramas that fit together. The column that will hold the Tractor Beam controls will sit atop the seam, essentially making level four a three-piece construction.

Lastly, here are some pictures that show the entire diorama as it stands now:

It's about half the height of the finished project now, to give you a better idea of the scale of wha I'm shooting for. Level 4, which is already well underway, contains Tarkin's control room (with more changing screen images) and a hallway with a closing blast door. Look for more pictures soon!!

Next we have the main hallway outside the Hangar Bay itself:

this is the other side of the Command Office doorway, which actually connects out into the hall:

and the elevator hub:

I originally designed this level to have a guardrail around the large open area in the hallway, but it got way too cluttered looking so I removed it.

At long last, here's a look at level three, starting with the Command Office:

(I made the Han and Luke storimes as well!)

Door closed...

...amd open.

Also, there's a knob built in that turns to allow the image on the main computer screen to change...

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Hall of Fame assortment
« on: November 6, 2003, 09:39 AM »
I am a bit torn about the idea of the HOF series. I love the idea of a 12-different figure casepack, it's the sort of thing I've been insistent about (come fall every year, Hasbro should bundle the year's offerings into a couple 12 figure cases and sell through till Christmas. It would work.) Here the idea is hindered by the fact that none of these figures were ever hard to find. Commtech Stormies can still be bought by the four-pack at the old Fan Club Website, and the Wizards mall stores blew them out for  insanely cheap prices. I'm betting the R2 will be the initial SAGA version (EFX Rehash).

At retail, it's a double edged sword also. This is the perfect case for Hasbro to sell to a drug store/grocery store chain with no space. I'm sure these figures will sell in those places--imagine two pegs filled with the variety of this case.

I just fear WalMart, Target, and TRU placing orders for these in lieu of genuine new figures, and the glut that would follow.

Will I buy them? No.

The Original Trilogy / Re: EP 7,8 and 9 still a possibility?
« on: October 23, 2003, 09:42 AM »
I think at this point I'd have to agree that Episodes 7-9 would feel like a tacked-on sequel in the vein of Jaws 2 or Alien 3. There just aren't the loose ends as of ROTJ--the story will need to generate a new antagonist as well as new heroes, and at that point I feel like it's not a continuation, but something else, milking the cash cow or something.

As it stands, the two trilogies do tell the story of Anakin Skywalker, period. If there are going to be more movies, I'd prefer them to be titled something stand-alone rather than be Episode Whatever.

The original Star Wars story is done, but they could tell another.

Power of the Jedi / Re: 25th Anniversary Sets - Opened or Boxed?
« on: October 20, 2003, 12:12 AM »
Matt hit the nail on the head, the Vader/Kenobi scene and the Luke/Leia scene will have places in my Death Star.

I bought an extra (clearanced) Luke/Leia set just for the base last year and stuck a pair of stormtroopers on it to complement the real sets.

Right now I've got them all opened and lined up on a shelf, along with an open Silver R2 paired with TC-14 to commemorate the "silver" anniversary.

Clone Wars '03-'05 / Re: As expected... PEGWARMERS!
« on: October 11, 2003, 07:25 AM »
I think a part of the strategy in releasing these figures was to intentionally make them pegwarmers. As someone mentioned above, this is the only case shipping these three figures, and the line is gonna be around through Christmas. Theoretically, Hasbro wants kids to be able to buy Anakins and Yodas (while collectors keep buying ARCs) all through the holidays. If so, the stores have gotta stock up now while they're available thorugh Hasbro.

It only follows logically, then, that Wave 2 will hit in slightly smaller numbers (since some Wave 1 will still be out there) and Wave 3 will be even smaller...but by that time the entire line ought to be available on the shelves at the same time, in more or less the same quantity.

If Hasbro refuses to ship figures at 1 per case (which I think is the best stategy, but what do I know?) then I like the "four of three" waves as long as there is no spillover to later cases. Most of POTJ shipped like that, and they cleaned up well (Until the Bespin Guard wave reshipped with Training Obi and Shmi.)

Thanks to everyone for the feedback and support. I'm glad this thing has been a hit within the community.

Matt, I spend about 10 hours a week working on it, give or take. I seem to be able to turn out a level a month so far, but I actually started the project in June, and spent a solid month planning things out level by level so that everything would fit just right. A lot of the work time now is spent on designing the decals, since this is my first opportunity at photoshop-type applications. The plan has always been to finish by December, and that looks like it'll happen.

I'm still looking for something to use as those wall sensors, I've got plenty of room to stick 'em, but I love those little cannons...

The console is built from a foamcore skeleton covered with black posterboard skin. Basically, the leg pieces are two pieces of foamcore joined face-to-face, the back one slightly taller than the front. A third wedge-shaped piece is placed on top at the angle made by the different heights. Then the posterboard covers the joints, with stickers and scavenged car model pieces to complete the look.

The next level to come will be the Docking Level, featuring the Command Office (above Leia's Cell) with an opening/closing door and rotating computer screens. The elevators continue up into the docking level also to give the illusion of a straight ride (though they are non-functional). A curving hallway joins the two sides, with the Docking Bay Doors (and a large decal of the Falcon in Hanar 2037) in the rear center.

I don't think I could build another Death Star, though. This one was all about seeing my wishlist of rooms and features come to life, someone else would want other things and <poof> the magic would be gone for me.

(Of course, if enough money were offered, I'd stop being an idealist real quick...)  ;)

Some Star Wars to Hobbit names for you all...

Luke Skywalker = Dimple Sandybanks
Han Solo = Posco Danderfluff
Chewbacca = Mungo Bolger
Leia Organa = Ruby Goldworthy of Michel Delving
Darth Vader = Mungo Burrows
Obi-Wan Kenobi = Berilac Deepdelver of Brockenborings
Anakin Skywalker = Popo Sandybanks
See Threepio = Podo Proudfoot
Artoo Detoo = Meriadoc Foxburr of Fair Downs
Boba Fett = Ponto Underhill of Frogmorton
Jabba the Hutt = Polo Bolger of Newbury
Yoda = Olo Overhill of Rushy

(brought to you by good ol' Sancho Peatfingers of Brockenborings)

The Original Trilogy / SE Greedo Scene: Was it just poor execution?
« on: October 1, 2003, 08:11 PM »
Imagine if you will, a scene from the "Ultimate" edition of ANH on DVD in 2006:

Greedo threatens Han, while Han silently pulls his blaster from the holster. Then, just as you instinctively cringe to watch the poorly edited "Greedo shooting first", your draw drops as an entirely new image plays out: Greedo shoots with precise aim, but Han rolls smoothly to the right, clears his blaster above the table, and burns a hole in Greedo's chest.

All of it clean and clear (the way George really wants it) redone on stage with Harrison Ford's face painstakingly mapped onto a double's head.

Would the scene be passable in your eyes then?

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Death Star Dioramas
« on: September 30, 2003, 08:57 PM »
Lastly, here are some more "overall" images that show the diorama as it stands now:

To allow the cell door to still be able to open, I had to put an opening thorugh the side exterior wall of the diorama:

In addition, I made a part of this wall completely removable so that the Cell was accessible for play when the whole thing is put together:

The ceiling line for this level also gives you a rough design of what the third (Docking Bay) level's floorplan will look like.

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Death Star Dioramas
« on: September 30, 2003, 08:48 PM »
Here, then, are some shots of the Detention Corridor and Leia's Cell:

(I designed the "corridor" sticker myself as an homage to Kenner's vintage style.)

I replaced the tiny cell that came with the original playset with a more accurate room of its own. The playset itself is completely removable from the diorama itself (though it looks silly without it there.) There is also an opening behind the trash grate to allow the figures to fall through to the bottom level--I put some nice pipe details in there, but none of my pictures of it would show up very well.

Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Death Star Dioramas
« on: September 30, 2003, 08:39 PM »
As I mentioned earlier, I have finished the Detention Level of my multi-part diorama. Here are some views of the Anteroom:

The console is not fixed to the floor, it's its own piece of furniture. I went with the orange-colored grid on the floor (instead of reddish like in the movie) to match the floor of the Cellblock Playset. The elevators are constructed out of multiple layers of Foamies attatched to a cut-in-half mailing tube.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: New Hasbro Jabba Palace Announcement!!!
« on: September 26, 2003, 03:17 PM »
A couple of nit-picky thoughts I came up with as I read the news:



Looks to me like we might be seeing a bit of parts sharing between these two figures. A simple head-swap and different deco would suit these two. Especially with all the figures planned for their wave...

Tatooine wave has three figures, which means four per case (and leaves R2 and R1 to duke it out for the pegwarmer of the bunch). Palace wave has five, so the ratio there will be screwed up. I'll guess three each of Lando and Shawda Ubb, plus two each of J'Quille, Elom, and Luke. They could really mix it up by making Luke a one-per or J'Quille and Elom replace one another as a running change.

For my money, I'll bet the B'omarr Monk will be a straight rehash of the exclusive version, so now I have to decide if a wall monster and Bubo are worth ten bucks. That was a deluxe set I didn't see coming, and just proves that assortment is wide-open now.

Holographic Luke sounds really cool to me...the best surprise yet. And it's great to see the fantastic job done on the R1. I'm looking forward to searching for all of these!

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