Hoth on a budget...

BOUNTY HAUNTER

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



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



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



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)

















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.







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.
 

RedTwoX

Sr Member
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).
 

PHArchivist

Master Member
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.
 

Jedi Dade

Sr Member
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
 

KevVader

Sr Member
....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.....
 

Lynn TXP 0369

Sr Member
Originally posted by KevVader@Jan 17 2006, 10:07 AM
....nice job. Yeah, I love the MR AT AT but I just can't justify the $.....for a SS version, I'd rather get an ATATRon model.....
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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
 

PHArchivist

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

BOUNTY HAUNTER

New Member
Originally posted by Jedi Dade@Jan 17 2006, 07:40 AM

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 ;)

Jedi Dade

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)












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.
 

PHArchivist

Master Member
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...
 

Bryancd

Master Member
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...
 

Prop Runner

Sr Member
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
 

BOUNTY HAUNTER

New Member
Originally posted by Bryancd@Feb 4 2006, 04:56 PM
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...
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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.

"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.

"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.
 

BOUNTY HAUNTER

New Member
Originally posted by Prop Runner@Feb 4 2006, 05:44 PM
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
[snapback]1176179[/snapback]​

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.
 

DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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
 
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