Hoth on a budget...

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by BOUNTY HAUNTER, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. BOUNTY HAUNTER

    BOUNTY HAUNTER New Member

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    Just thought I'd show you guys a little something I threw together last week...

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    This is Hoth on a budget. I really liked the MR Signature Edition of the AT-AT, but like many licensed props, I just can't justify the prices these things are sold for. So I looked around and decided to make my own diorama using existing models and toys, and here's what I managed to put together...

    1 Star Wars "miniatures" game Colossal size AT-AT...$50.00

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    There's already a thread about these here on the RPF, so I won't bother going into too much detail on them... but they came out this past November and they look great. Very large...very detailed. And far more accurate and properly scaled than the Kenner toy.

    1 Micro Machines Action Fleet Luke Skywalker snowspeeder...$10.00

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    I had to hunt around for one of these. Especially since I was really looking for the "Luke" version with the grey striping. But eventually I tracked one down for a low price. It's a nice little toy with pretty accurate detailing. I then took some black acrylic paint to it and weathered it up a bit to look like it had just been shot down.

    One quick trip to the hobby store later...I picked up a $3.00 sheet of styrofoam to use as a base (cuz' it has that white, sparkling "snow" quality to it...) and a $5.00 can of powdered Railroad modeling snow.

    And that's about it. Check it out... (click the images for supersized closeups)

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    This isn't the model's final resting place in my collection yet. I'll have to figure out where to best display it. I'll probably still put a black inset base around the entire thing, and I've even printed up a Hoth backdrop for it. I just haven't had time to mount it yet. I've even considered adding the plaque to it, but I'm still on the fence about that.




    [​IMG]


    So...is this MR-level detail and accuracy? Hell, no. But at an overall savings of around $1,130.00...well...I think it's a pretty nice-looking alternative.

    Just thought I'd share.
     
  2. IAMMAUL

    IAMMAUL Active Member

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    That's a sweet looking set up. :thumbsup Not to mention I like your price better then MR's.


    Rudy G.
     
  3. Lord Abaddon

    Lord Abaddon Sr Member

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    That looks really sweet. You did a really good job of putting it together. :)
     
  4. RedTwoX

    RedTwoX Sr Member

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    Nice. That display works very well. I like your idea of the outer-base and the back drop, but skip the plaque. It's totally unnecessary.

    I picked up one of the $50 AT-AT myself back in November. I haven't done anything with it yet other than take it off the grid base and sit on the shelf. There will be some mods in it's future... at some point... when I finish with a dozen or so other projects (and probably start and finish a dozen more).

    Like you, I just can't justify the price of the MR piece. It's impressive, no doubt... but it isn't "three car payments impressive" :p The WotC AT-AT is "good enough" for the $50 I dropped on it. One of these days I'd like to find a more screen accurate kit to build up... one of these days... when I finish with a dozen or so other projects (and probably start and finish a dozen more).
     
  5. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    You know -- that $50 AT-AT really doesn't photograph too different than the MR. I mean, at least in photos, I can't see an $1100 difference. Nice work.
     
  6. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    I have one of these WOTC at-atas and I also have an MR AT-AT. The difference betwen them is pretty impressive really (MR is about 6 inches taller to start with). But you're right for 40-50 buck its hard to argue over accuracy and detail.

    Your diorama is really nice. Have you considered repainting the AT-AT? Since I have them both I can tell you that the color of the MR AT-AT is a lot lighter then the WOTC AT-AT. its still gray, but its several shades lighter. You could increas your spendature to about $75 and get a decent rattlecan paint-job on it to make it even cooler - still saving over $1300 ;) a bit of rattle can paint and some weathering will really make the differnce hard to tell at a casual glance at the photograph ;) Anther thing that you could try is to replace the side gun barrels with some brass tubing. I'm doing that with mine but I'm doing it because the CAT chewed off the side guns... I almost lost my cat that morning...

    Jedi Dade
     
  7. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    ....nice job. Yeah, I love the MR AT AT but I just can't justify the $.....I've bought 2 of the WOC AT AT's with an idea to display similar as to what you've done.....for a SS version, I'd rather get an ATATRon model.....
     
  8. Lynn TXP 0369

    Lynn TXP 0369 Sr Member

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    For $200-300 more then the ATATRon model kit you can get the MR V1 AT-AT for $850-950 off eBay or here, and thats if you can even find a ATATRon model at it's origonal $650 shipped selling price. There are only about 21-25 ATATRon models in existance.

    I have seen ATATRon model kits selling for $900 here in the junk yard and on eBay in the past, I would rather get the MR.

    Lynn
     
  9. Lynn TXP 0369

    Lynn TXP 0369 Sr Member

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    Great job on the Hoth display..

    Very impressive.

    Is the snowspeeders grey the base toy color, just weatherd?

    Lynn
     
  10. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Another idea for this AT AT is the crashed version -- may beable to mask some of its "opportunities" by doing the fallen version...
     
  11. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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    Nice work, and the price can't be beat.
     
  12. BOUNTY HAUNTER

    BOUNTY HAUNTER New Member

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    Oh, I might get around to re-painting the AT-AT eventually, but I'm really not all that concerned about making it look "exactly" like the MR version. From a fanboy perspective, you gotta imagine that the Empire had a whole fleet of Walkers at it's disposal, and each of them would look slightly different depending on it's make, model and the amount of action it's seen, so...I think every Walker should be unique. ;)

    Ok, so...here are some updated pics of the display. I went with a nice black display base and added the backdrop...(click for the hi-res)

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    I still need to pick up another bottle of modeling snow to fill in the display base a little more, and I might go so far as to kitbash a model to add some "crash debris" in the snow around the speeder along with some scorching of the snow itself.

    Actually everything in my display is pretty temporary right now. My wife and I will be buying our first house within the next six months, so it won't be long before everything is packed up. Hopefully I'll have more display space in the new house and everything will be presented in a more professional manner. My collection has completely overgrown the display space in my apartment.
     
  13. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Again -- very nice work.

    A suggestion, (since you mentioned working the snow a bit more): maybe try to level it out a bit. The "hillocks" or mounds seem a tad pronounced. I noticed it more in the larger images.

    Also, I have pics of a larger-scale crashed speeder (I think it was the AMT kit) diorama someone did. I can try to post it, as the path of disturbed snow the speeder left behind was done very well...
     
  14. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    Hey Brian, how did you make the display and the backdrop? I have an Action Fleet speeder on the way and am going to basically copy what you have done here :). I'm going to put the speeder in flight by mounting it on a clear acrylic rod...
     
  15. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Sweet. :D

    Since the speeder is a larger scale than the walker, I would recommend raising it a couple of inches onto a foreground snow mound in the front left hand corner and have the walker point toward it - that way you'd be creating forced perspective and reducing the scale discrepancy... Try it out and see how it photographs. :)

    - Gabe
     
  16. BOUNTY HAUNTER

    BOUNTY HAUNTER New Member

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    Ok, well...check it out...

    In keeping with the "Hoth on a Budget" theme...the black base is actually just a $10 picture frame from a nearby hobby store. I wanted something with a nice, clean black outer frame with a bit of an inner bevel to it so I could pick up the whole display and move it without dumping the snow everywhere. It works perfectly.

    [​IMG] "Cheep. Cheep."

    The backdrop might be a bit more money for you, depending on what kind of connections you have. It's as simple as searching the web for a decent hi-res snowscape pic, saving it to disc, and taking it over to your local Office Max or printing house and having them print it out as large as you want. But some of these places will tend to charge you a pretty penny for this service. Fortunately for me, I'm already a graphic artist and was able to scale the image myself and print it out at work. Then I just mounted it to a piece of foam-core and cut it to the size of the base. Total Cost: $3.25 for the foam core.

    [​IMG] "Cheep. Cheep."

    :D


    And yeah, my original idea was to somehow mount the snowspeeder on an acrylic rod with a black bendable wire circling the walker's legs for the "total movie cap" look...but ultimately I think I just preferred the crashed speeder for more of a subdued (dare I say "elegant") tabletop display.

    But yeah...feel free to copy me, dude. Out-do me. Post pics. Have fun with it. That's the point.
     
  17. BOUNTY HAUNTER

    BOUNTY HAUNTER New Member

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    Meh.

    I'm not that obsessed with nitpicking this. :lol

    Yeah, the speeder is slightly out of scale with the walker, but 99.99% of all human beings who will ever enter my playroom will never recognize that anyway. Again, if you're that obsessed with every detail, you might as well just drop the grand on the MR version. The point here is to make a nice, professional-looking tabletop or shelf display without blowing the rent.

    And as I stated above, I'll be adding a bit more snow to fill in the base and bury the speeder a bit more, and I'll add extra details like crash debris and maybe a half-buried cable whenever I feel like playing with it some more....but probably not until after I get moved into the new house and start finding more permanant display places for stuff like this.


    But I do appreciate all of the comments and suggestions, guys. I'm sure there are quite a few of you who were planning to do something similiar, and I know some of you will go so far as to completely re-detail and re-paint the AT-AT for accuracy, and come up with a much more elaborate display. I'm just throwing out some budget-conscious examples.
     
  18. Lynn TXP 0369

    Lynn TXP 0369 Sr Member

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    Your last pics are just coming up "Image hosted by Tripod"

    Lynn
     
  19. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I really love that diorama .

    One suggestion though, maybe you want to get one of the old diecast snowspeeders, they are smaller than the Galoob micromachines one.

    Otherwise, nothing left to say, just to follow your great example .

    Michael
     
  20. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    My local hobby shop didn't have any RR modeling snow, do you have a source where I could get some?
     
  21. BOUNTY HAUNTER

    BOUNTY HAUNTER New Member

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    Oh, it shouldn't be too hard to find. Here in Colorado, we have a big chain of hobby stores called "Hobby Lobby", and I picked up a bottle there. It was "Woodland Scenics Snow - Soft Flake"...

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    But I've also seen it at other hobby stores. Pretty much any place that deals in model building should have some in stock. Just look up "hobby" in the Yellow Pages and make a few phone calls around town. Somebody's bound to have it.


    And Michael...if you're referring to the really small die-cast snowspeeders...

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    That would actually be way too small, and I think would be even more out of scale with the walker than the Action Fleet speeder. Again, I was just uising the MR version as my visual guide. I'm assuming that for $1200, their walker and speeder are in perfect scale...

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    ...and if that's the case...the Action Fleet speeder is probably about as close as you're going to get.
     
  22. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    I remain impressed. I like the latest comparison shot. I really do NOT see a thousand dollare difference in quality between the walkers...
     
  23. TomSpinaDesigns

    TomSpinaDesigns Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very nice display. I always love to see take something and build it into something special.

    BTW- I think he means the vintage Kenner die-cast snowspeeder, which probably is a bit smaller and may indeed be the scale you need (could be wrong on that.)

    How big(or small) is the old MPC snowspeeder?

    Tom
     
  24. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was referring to the first vintage die cast snowspeeder :

    http://www.ncf.ca/~cn333/diecast.htm

    [​IMG]

    They are fairly cheap and come up on ebay from time to time. It needs a new paintjob, and the detailing is not brilliant, but it could work, being an in-between scale between the new diecast and the microcollection snowspeeder, aboot 10-12 cm overall length, IIRC.

    Michael
     
  25. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    I found it online. Do you need to mix it with an adhesive to create the mound effect you have? I've never used this stuuf before.

    OK, never mind, I spoke with the guy at my local Hobbytown and he get set me up with the snow and the adhesive and a cheap spray bottle, so I'm in business :)
     
  26. hunky_artist

    hunky_artist Well-Known Member

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    i read somewhere this week that the company that made that AT AT are making a snowspeeder in the miniatures line. So that will be in scale I'm guessing.

    should be cheap too
     
  27. tk7209

    tk7209 New Member

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    Just found this thread and have to say you setup looks fantastic for the price, well done...

    Just one question, did you weather the AT-AT or is just 'Out of the box'?
     
  28. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    OK, here's my effort. I need a cool background picture but I am happy with the results :)

    [attachmentid=6688]

    [attachmentid=6689]

    [attachmentid=6690]
     
  29. BOUNTY HAUNTER

    BOUNTY HAUNTER New Member

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    Awesome, Bryan. You added rocks.

    Rocks. I've been sitting here staring at my setup, wondering what it's stilll missing...rocks. Those look really great. They seem to add just that tiny extra bit of terrain detail that I was looking for....I need to try that.

    Alright, so spill it...how'd you suspend the speeder?
     
  30. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    LOL. Well, the pictures are a bit blurry so that help, but I used the empty plastic casing of an old ball point pen. It's glued to the bottom of the speeder and stuck in the ground (which has a styrofoam base). I angled the speeder towrds the viewer so it's well hidden. I used the rocks cause I had never used Scenic Woodlands snow and realized you could pile it up and create terrain like you did. So instaed I went outside, grabbed some rocks and glued them to the styrofoam base and then dumped snow on 'em.
    Thanks for the inspiration, bro.
     
  31. Star Wars Man

    Star Wars Man Well-Known Member

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    all u guys, nice job.
     
  32. cocomonk22

    cocomonk22 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great job. I haven't looked at the closeups, but I like your diorama better than Master Replicas. :p
     
  33. redshirt

    redshirt Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lynn TXP 0369 @ Jan 17 2006, 11:10 AM) [snapback]1161166[/snapback]</div>
    For $200-300 more then the ATATRon model kit you can get the MR V1 AT-AT for $850-950 off eBay or here, and thats if you can even find a ATATRon model at it's origonal $650 shipped selling price. There are only about 21-25 ATATRon models in existance.

    I have seen ATATRon model kits selling for $900 here in the junk yard and on eBay in the past, I would rather get the MR.

    Lynn
    [/b][/quote]

    I got an MR Limited Edition AT-AT at FAO Schwarz on sale for $725. Can't beat that..

    Tom
     
  34. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PHArchivist @ Feb 6 2006, 04:10 AM) [snapback]1177052[/snapback]</div>
    I have an MR and a WOTC walker... There is easily a $1000 difference in the walkers... When you see it up close. From a distance if its generally the correct shape and color - its good enough.

    I'm not dissing the WOTC walker diarama - its really good. but the MR model is far superior if you're trying to match what was on the screen. but it is hard to argue a decent walker for $50...and the WOTC walker is certainly a decent walker ;)

    Jedi Dade
     
  35. tk2647

    tk2647 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Really nice work, thanks for getting me some new ideas in my head...
     
  36. Apophis

    Apophis Sr Member

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    Excellent job., now all you need is my Rebel gun turrets and you`ll have a perfect diorama..
     
  37. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Jedi Dade @ May 13 2006, 05:25 PM) [snapback]1243705[/snapback]</div>
    I have an MR and a WOTC walker... There is easily a $1000 difference in the walkers... When you see it up close. From a distance if its generally the correct shape and color - its good enough.

    I'm not dissing the WOTC walker diarama - its really good. but the MR model is far superior if you're trying to match what was on the screen. but it is hard to argue a decent walker for $50...and the WOTC walker is certainly a decent walker ;)

    Jedi Dade
    [/b][/quote]

    Ah the beauty of photography (versus seeing it in person.) ;)
     
  38. frightzone_4_you

    frightzone_4_you Well-Known Member

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    I like it... good job :thumbsup
     
  39. ortiz34

    ortiz34 Well-Known Member

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    Real nice, i cant justify the MR one, now i dont think i will.

    <div class='quotetop'>(ManfromNaboo @ Feb 5 2006, 10:44 AM) [snapback]1176510[/snapback]</div>
     
  40. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    Just bumping this thread to say, great work on the display.

    I've just received my WOTC AT-AT and am very pleased with it - it's a great display model right out of the box, IMO, for the $$'s it can't be topped. :D
     
  41. never_ending_fett

    never_ending_fett New Member

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    Now it may be just because I have my contacts out and I can't see, but I think I like yours better than the MR.
     
  42. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    This is a great sight to see. I have a Wizards ATAT coming to me in a trade and I was thinking of making something like this. I love it, thanks for the great pics. Ill post pics of mine when it is done.
     
  43. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Finally got one of these AT ATs and am looking forward to trying a similar diorama...
     
  44. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    Really impressive build - thanks for sharing. :)

    $70? You could probably sell them for $400+
     
  45. swfan

    swfan Well-Known Member

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    Sweet Buildup! It will definitely save you some shelf space too.
     
  46. JoblessPunk

    JoblessPunk Well-Known Member

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    Love it!!

    I might just have to do something like that...
     
  47. Mr Fett

    Mr Fett Sr Member

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    VERY nice display....and like was said, not a huge difference in between the two displays.
     
  48. WebChief

    WebChief Sr Member

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    I can't justify dropping a mortgage payment on a dust collector either so your option if VERY appealing to me. Great job! I love the detailing with the backdrop.... really adds life to the scene.

    Besides, there's nothing better than the satisfaction of doing something yourself and having it come out so good. Congrats!
     
  49. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can't believe that your mortgage payment is only $1200!!!!!!:eek:eek
     

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