Revell At-At WIP... finalising the RetroSF Speeder

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Just remember George's famous words : 'Don't make it real, make it believable' ... here's an upgraded Vista-Vision shot of the AT-AT model on the tabletop Hoth landscape :

AT-AT Vista Vison-FX.jpg


Chaïm
 

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starks

Well-Known Member
Usually work Saturdays but took one off so had some time for modelling. Time for the rear of the kit.
So here's the back as per Revell. No upper plating, the mid plating is molded in and sits in too far and that oval area down the bottom has actually pretty good detail BUT go figure it is upside down compared to the studio reference. :rolleyes:
The kit back and the studio back:
jhYo7dc.jpg

BqZWwLA.jpg


So all this took me maybe only an hour, hour and a half so I feel was well worth the time spent.
I took a scribe around the inner part of the oval and effectively cut it out.
uhwDTzv.jpg


From here I sanded the edges, turned it around and glued it back in the correct way up.
I made the top plating and a new mid plate section which simply covers the Revell plating and you would never know that molding is there underneath and here are the results:

8bxUzpe.jpg

Pvbxxoh.jpg


I'm actually quite happy with how this turned out. It was fun using the scribe to make the raised rivets in the mid plating and I felt overall this was a good representation of the studio model.
I feel confident to move forward onto the drive motor attachment and legs now.
Cheers,
Josh
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
I don't know how much help I'd be, but I'm happy to share what little I know about the AT-AT that we restored.
Don't hold this as gospel, but I believe there were at least 6 walkers made for Empire, and they likely all had slightly different details.
A picture has already been posted of the one I worked on:

ATAT pre-resto 1.jpg


This picture is pre-restoration. We tried to not do more than was necessary. Loose parts were re-glued, the forward lean was brought more centered. The corrugated neck tube was crumbling to dust, since it was originally cast from foam. We made a new pattern and cast a new neck that isn't as flexible, but we hope will be more archival. We tried to keep paint touch-ups as minimal as possible. Baking soda had been used to simulate snow; but it is a salt, and had attacked the paint and some metal parts. We replaced the baking soda with "snow" used for model train sets.
Fun fact: My avatar is a picture of the tiny AT-AT in this display.
 

starks

Well-Known Member
I don't know how much help I'd be, but I'm happy to share what little I know about the AT-AT that we restored.
Don't hold this as gospel, but I believe there were at least 6 walkers made for Empire, and they likely all had slightly different details.
A picture has already been posted of the one I worked on:

View attachment 1455926

This picture is pre-restoration. We tried to not do more than was necessary. Loose parts were re-glued, the forward lean was brought more centered. The corrugated neck tube was crumbling to dust, since it was originally cast from foam. We made a new pattern and cast a new neck that isn't as flexible, but we hope will be more archival. We tried to keep paint touch-ups as minimal as possible. Baking soda had been used to simulate snow; but it is a salt, and had attacked the paint and some metal parts. We replaced the baking soda with "snow" used for model train sets.
Fun fact: My avatar is a picture of the tiny AT-AT in this display.

Thank you for your input! It must have been a blast getting to work on a studio piece.

I notice the streaking down the side seems to match the same style as on the 32" falcon.


It sounds like you went through a very clever restoration, as minimal as possible. We go through similar mindset on high end cars to try retain the factory integrity and originality.

I knew they'd used baking soda for snow but never had it occured to me the soda would attack the parts but it makes sense... I have a large tub of woodland scenics snow here to suit my build... left over from a snowspeeder I put together years ago.

In reference to the paint.... if you recall.... seems the armoured plates are painted in a texture? Was this the case or is that deterioration?

Was the tiny AT-AT one of the studio models used for those 'in the distance' shots?

Cheers,
Josh
 
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Hagoth

Sr Member
Usually work Saturdays but took one off so had some time for modelling. Time for the rear of the kit.
So here's the back as per Revell. No upper plating, the mid plating is molded in and sits in too far and that oval area down the bottom has actually pretty good detail BUT go figure it is upside down compared to the studio reference. :rolleyes:
The kit back and the studio back:
View attachment 1455919
View attachment 1455920

So all this took me maybe only an hour, hour and a half so I feel was well worth the time spent.
I took a scribe around the inner part of the oval and effectively cut it out.
View attachment 1455921

From here I sanded the edges, turned it around and glued it back in the correct way up.
I made the top plating and a new mid plate section which simply covers the Revell plating and you would never know that molding is there underneath and here are the results:

View attachment 1455922
View attachment 1455923

I'm actually quite happy with how this turned out. It was fun using the scribe to make the raised rivets in the mid plating and I felt overall this was a good representation of the studio model.
I feel confident to move forward onto the drive motor attachment and legs now.
Cheers,
Josh
Timely area of focus. I was just looking at those exact differences on my MPC kit last night. Comparing them to the Bandai 144 and the Studio models. MPC is missing the right mid plate and top plate completely. Interestingly Bandai still got the oval upside down but did get the top and mid armor plates in there pretty well. Bandai also added some lower plates.

Makes me wonder if there is a picture out there with the oval upside down that was used for the Bandai reference since they are normally pretty good at capturing details properly. Is that part removable on the AT-AT SS models? My thought was it might be a similar situation as the upside down servo hub on the back of X-Wings that has been molded into some kits as taken from a SS model pics where the insert had spun around in the mounting hole or was put back in wrong. Never showed up in the film that way.

MPC back. No upper armor plate and missing the right side mid armor.
IMG_6048.JPG


Bandai Back
AT-AT Back.jpg


Really nice job on the new armor plates and oval direction!
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
I never realised my MPC kit was missing that right plating, until now o_O ... nice job starks ... looking forward to your next upgrades and a picture like this one, just with your AT-AT on set :

10568032_1451050778496858_1859046153_n.jpg


1024x1024.jpg


Chaïm
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
Thank you for your input! It must have been a blast getting to work on a studio piece.

I notice the streaking down the side seems to match the same style as on the 32" falcon.


It sounds like you went through a very clever restoration, as minimal as possible. We go through similar mindset on high end cars to try retain the factory integrity and originality.

I knew they'd used baking soda for snow but never had it occured to me the soda would attack the parts but it makes sense... I have a large tub of woodland scenics snow here to suit my build... left over from a snowspeeder I put together years ago.

In reference to the paint.... if you recall.... seems the armoured plates are painted in a texture? Was this the case or is that deterioration?

Was the tiny AT-AT one of the studio models used for those 'in the distance' shots?

Cheers,
Josh

Yup, the little walker was used for distant shots, and I don't believe it was articulated - just static. There were at least two little guys made (maybe more - other folks would know that better than I.)

The baking soda looks great as snow; and when making a movie, we don't worry about anything needing to last longer than getting the shot.
 

starks

Well-Known Member
Timely area of focus. I was just looking at those exact differences on my MPC kit last night. Comparing them to the Bandai 144 and the Studio models. MPC is missing the right mid plate and top plate completely. Interestingly Bandai still got the oval upside down but did get the top and mid armor plates in there pretty well. Bandai also added some lower plates.

Makes me wonder if there is a picture out there with the oval upside down that was used for the Bandai reference since they are normally pretty good at capturing details properly. Is that part removable on the AT-AT SS models? My thought was it might be a similar situation as the upside down servo hub on the back of X-Wings that has been molded into some kits as taken from a SS model pics where the insert had spun around in the mounting hole or was put back in wrong. Never showed up in the film that way.

MPC back. No upper armor plate and missing the right side mid armor.
View attachment 1456050

Bandai Back
View attachment 1456051

Really nice job on the new armor plates and oval direction!

You have had me scouring the internet for further photo's of the rear now haha. Again I'm not going for a perfect build and not obsessing over this but am having fun doing the research so just letting it evolve.

I can find no studio shots showing the walkers from behind. Maybe someone has some.
There is this shot with all the models, walker at the front... and point of interest.... no top plate and looks like only a mid plate on the RIGHT side. Could have been made this way, or pieces most likely fell off but considering how often they get tooling reversed on models I bet this was what was used to base the MPC on. I cant really make out the rear oval but through the shadows and pixels my gut feeling is it is correct to the MPC kit.
Perhaps there is a better photo of this somewhere but considering it's pre-digital age I doubt it. And why is that Falcon upside down? everything is just upside down today haha
hPwCKga.jpg


Perhaps your right about the rear oval being removable and have gotten turned upside down like on the X-Wings.
So now I question is mine right or wrong?
Every reference I can see.... toys, model kits...even turned on Star Wars Battlefront as when the boys were playing noticed the Rendition of the At-At was really on the money and they all show the oval with the vent up top as molded on the Revell and MPC kit. The Master Replicas model (which is really nicely done) shows this orientation to.

Here we have a picture of a seemingly untouched studio model.
Looking closely at that rear pic of the studio model, unless there has been some repair or restoration work, that oval was in their from day 1. There is not seem lines inside the oval, the weathering overspray shoots up leaving an untouched area above the oval detail and matches into the grille section above the oval.
We can see the resin breaking down in the oval detail so its definitely a resin cast part. Could have been cast separately and glued in upside down. But point is it seems to have been made like this originally... would have been used on set like this... and seemingly is correct and I bet all the resin casts match this.
BqZWwLA.jpg


Does that mean I'm the one person to pick up on this? cant be. Is this studio model wrong? I don't think so. I highly doubt every other industry professional got it wrong in their rendition though. Could it be there was a part that was placed upside down on the model that was referenced for all the replicas and kits? Yeah that's a possibility.
Without seeing all 6 studio models standing side by side we will never know.
Seems minor differences in all the models as Duncanator believed and you see minor differences on screen.
Perhaps both orientations of the oval are accurate, if the model was built that way and used on screen that way, it's accurate to that filming miniature and honestly I think you could be comfortable with that oval in either orientation.

All I can do is reference the material I have and that is these pictures of a seemingly original studio model, be it right or wrong in the grand design of the Imperial Walker, it's correct for THIS studio model that I'm referencing.



Regarding the Bandai model they really did a nice job on that. As for the two lower armour plates who knows, there is every chance the model they referenced had the plates. Could be a later addition for the RoTJ model or was simply there all along.
I'm sure whenever a studio model is presented for inspection there is 6 boxes with 6 walkers and someone is sent to the archives to pull out a box and they go yup...At-Ats and just grab a random box and present it. Its the only sensible option in my opinion. I don't think Bandai are just making details up, I don't think Revell or MPC got it wrong, I think they were different or damaged models copied.
And if that's the case they all have the oval with the grill up the top and the one I'm copying is seemingly upside down.

It's all fun to think about.


I never realised my MPC kit was missing that right plating, until now o_O ... nice job starks ... looking forward to your next upgrades and a picture like this one, just with your AT-AT on set :

View attachment 1456071

View attachment 1456072

Chaïm
What I'm building a set now? ;)
There will be baking soda everywhere, my wife will kill me haha.
But seriously definitely looking forward to some on set photoshopping!

Thanks guys
Josh
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
Well Starks, here is what I have found.

From the picture above I concluded the same thing about the oval orientation. Hard to tell for certain but it looks to me to be vent at the top. Hmmm, a possible contradiction in prop shots. Knowing that what's left of the filming models are quite battered I can see reason for the missing armor panels that would explain the MPC kit details which seem to be quite accurate to that particular example of the filming models if only reversed in places.

So, I was thinking what did get filmed? As for an on screen filmed example the only time I could remember that showed a studio filming model from the rear was the time that Luke tossed a grenade into the belly of one on Hoth and then watched as it blew up... from behind. Did that shot happen to show enough detail to confirm anything? Went back and took a close look frame by frame. The video of that sequence was actually posted in this thread earlier so it is easy to find. I found the filmed shots you were looking for. Sure enough, the vent on the rear is at the top and there are two small armor plates on either side of it. Looks like Bandi got it right from that one after all. Faith restored.

As to what the story is behind the reference you are using I have no idea. Whatever the case it does not seem that particular area of that particular model ever made it on screen taht I'm aware of. At least not with enough detail to be confirmed as a valid filmed orientation and offer an alternative to the scene I mentioned above. Just a prop build continuity error maybe? Not the first time those have caused rampant confusion and essays of discussion. Such things do provide ample fodder for deep detail dives and all kinds of focus. I actually find that part fun.

Which by the way another detail that Bandi captured is the deep vent triangle shaped blocks on the inside surface of the bottom belly armor with the three vent slots covering the body to leg pivots. They show up nicely in your contradicting oval orientation image posted above. I'll be adding those to my MPC build.

At any rate I think you have evidence for either oval orientation.
 

starks

Well-Known Member
Well Starks, here is what I have found.

From the picture above I concluded the same thing about the oval orientation. Hard to tell for certain but it looks to me to be vent at the top. Hmmm, a possible contradiction in prop shots. Knowing that what's left of the filming models are quite battered I can see reason for the missing armor panels that would explain the MPC kit details which seem to be quite accurate to that particular example of the filming models if only reversed in places.

So, I was thinking what did get filmed? As for an on screen filmed example the only time I could remember that showed a studio filming model from the rear was the time that Luke tossed a grenade into the belly of one on Hoth and then watched as it blew up... from behind. Did that shot happen to show enough detail to confirm anything? Went back and took a close look frame by frame. The video of that sequence was actually posted in this thread earlier so it is easy to find. I found the filmed shots you were looking for. Sure enough, the vent on the rear is at the top and there are two small armor plates on either side of it. Looks like Bandi got it right from that one after all. Faith restored.

As to what the story is behind the reference you are using I have no idea. Whatever the case it does not seem that particular area of that particular model ever made it on screen taht I'm aware of. At least not with enough detail to be confirmed as a valid filmed orientation and offer an alternative to the scene I mentioned above. Just a prop build continuity error maybe? Not the first time those have caused rampant confusion and essays of discussion. Such things do provide ample fodder for deep detail dives and all kinds of focus. I actually find that part fun.

Which by the way another detail that Bandi captured is the deep vent triangle shaped blocks on the inside surface of the bottom belly armor with the three vent slots covering the body to leg pivots. They show up nicely in your contradicting oval orientation image posted above. I'll be adding those to my MPC build.

At any rate I think you have evidence for either oval orientation.

Well a bit of assumption here but I think I have the answer and may have well solved another mystery.......
found this on Starship Modeller dated :Chicago Museum of Science and Industry October 2007
nhglWjZ.jpg


A fallen off upper armour plate, a fallen off right hand mid armour plate, ( you can see they were once there) hello MPC
and oh look, an oval with NO greeblies.
This proves the greeblies were a separate cast to the oval and have fallen out.
For all purposes the Modellers magic model is either A) restored and repainted or B) original and either way someone glued the oval greeblie in upside down. The overspray pattern proves the model has been painted with the greeblie in that position and not fallen out and just been re attached incorrectly. The model is showing resin deterioration but otherwise is so clean and complete and every other model seems to have fallen to bit's so there is no way to guess if its originally a mistake or a restored mistake.

I think there is more than enough evidence here to suggest this studio model is incorrect and the studio intention is the oval should be vent upwards as molded in toys and kits and hence I have eaten humble pie and just cut the damn thing back out and turned it around to it's original position.
hopefully this information is helpful to anyone else using these pictures as reference.

Cheers,
Josh
 

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Hagoth

Sr Member
Wow, smoking crater level circumstantial evidence in that image supporting the separate piece/possible fallen off re-orientation theory. :p
I think you have earned your Sherlock cap and pipe here.

The butler did it. It's always the butler.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
I took the liberty to grab these pictures from that youtube feature I posted earlier. Perhaps someone can get these same images from a 4K resolution source?

Schermafbeelding 2021-05-09 om 16.57.59.png


Schermafbeelding 2021-05-09 om 17.03.39.png


Schermafbeelding 2021-05-09 om 17.06.39.png


Schermafbeelding 2021-05-09 om 17.07.46.png


Now it's very likely and possible this was the largest AT-AT which the ILM folks had build, so it may differ slightly from the smaller ones made ... perhaps someone can enlighten us?

Chaïm
 

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Analyzer

Master Member
I took the liberty to grab these pictures from that youtube feature I posted earlier. Perhaps someone can get these same images from a 4K resolution source?

View attachment 1456558

View attachment 1456559

View attachment 1456560

View attachment 1456561

Now it's very likely and possible this was the largest AT-AT which the ILM folks had build, so it may differ slightly from the smaller ones made ... perhaps someone can enlighten us?

Chaïm

Looking over Sculpting a Galaxy, yes, that is the large 4 foot Walker

In the book, Lorne describes it as "... a massive four-foot version of the AT-AT for high speed shots of the walker toppling during battle."

.."The first such shot of this was when the walker tripped from the daring tow-cable stunt performed by a hot-digging snowspeeder pilot - the four-foot walker sag forward hitting the baking-soda snow. Filmed in high speed and projected at a normal rate, the slow motion shot looked suitably massive..."

"...Other shots of the four-foot walker included a low-angle view from behind as Luke's grenade tore the vehicle apart from the inside"

He says there were three 18" tall "hero" stop motion models built and "..when five walkers can be seen on screen, some of the more distant ones are actually articulated photographs, stills of the models with their legs cut out and hinged."

as mentioned by robn1 the small 2" ones were composited into live-action helicopter shots like the view of Luke racing towards the on coming walkers
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
This is all really good research background. As was alluded to, another bit of variation between model props is captured in the screen shots Chaïm posted above. The first one with the speeder flashing by has different hatch and panel details than the next one down that Luke blew up. The second image shows two slightly tapered rectangular panels on the rearward section just aft of the big mid body access panel. This is the only time I have noticed them on a Walker and I do not believe I have ever seen them included on a kit. Both are screen accurate depending on which you choose to replicate.
 

starks

Well-Known Member
This is all really good research background. As was alluded to, another bit of variation between model props is captured in the screen shots Chaïm posted above. The first one with the speeder flashing by has different hatch and panel details than the next one down that Luke blew up. The second image shows two slightly tapered rectangular panels on the rearward section just aft of the big mid body access panel. This is the only time I have noticed them on a Walker and I do not believe I have ever seen them included on a kit. Both are screen accurate depending on which you choose to replicate.


Good catch!
I went and looked at images of the walker falling after the tow cable tying it's legs and there is only one of these... bags? On the side.

Also notice both models have the lower armour plates like the Bandai.

Cheers,
Josh
 

Analyzer

Master Member
the tripping walker and the blowing up walker are supposedly both the same 4 ft model

It could be those "bags"/hatches are part of the pyro stuff for the explosions or possibly one of them fell off at some point in between takes and they did not get a chance to put it back on, or whatever

Although what I think is more likely is they could have been the part that the cables holding it up would have been attached to

Lorne wrote "..Steve Gawley devised a system of electromagnetic locks that would hold the legs in place. When the power was cut, the legs would collapse. Unfortunately, the walker weighed about ninety pounds and turned out to be too heavy for the magnets to support it. Instead, a steel cable suspended the walker from above. This was cut with an explosive device whenever the AT-AT needed to collapse on cue."

The piece seems to be big plant on piece and would be an odd choice for a detail to add unless it was for some functional reason

I am guessing in the shot where it falls forward they probably attached one to each side for the cables. This way it would fall forward instead of sideways, where as the scene when Luke throws in the grenade, there are two on the one side opposite the side it is supposed to fall towards. i.e. two on the left side (when facing from the front) so it falls right
IMG_5606.JPG

IMG_5607 (2).JPG
 

Analyzer

Master Member
It's hard to see what is going on here as is is not high res so I can't tell if anything might be attached

It could also be the cables ran through the inside and out the top?

Even if they were not for the cables directly, they still were probably something that was part of the pyro effects

850362c23a80b69c92c937752f5474df.jpg


There is a screw right there as well so I guessing these were added on a bit "crudely" compared to the other details

IMG_5607 (3).jpg
 
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