Star Destroyer model from Star Wars Identities - Sydney 2019


Sr Member
Interesting story about this model. I think it was back in the late 90's, when the 8 foot star destroyer, the 4 foot X-wing and some other models were being shipped to the Smithsonian for a special exhibit. We received a "concerned" call from the Smithsonian that some of the models had not survived the transport well, and would be shipped back for repairs. When they arrived back at the ILM modelshop, the SD's upper port side surface had a crack all the way from the edge to the center, and the bridge had broken off of the neck and was smashed to pieces. The X-wing arrived looking like a 4 foot unassembled model kit - the acrylic center pivot for the wings had broken, allowing the loose bits to beat the snerds out of the rest of the ship.
So repairs began.

On the plus side, the Smithsonian didn't just close up the crates and ship them back. Oh no! They were far too professional for that. They had stabilized the large parts, and packaged all of the loose bits into individual zip-lock bags, including the "crate sweepings" from the bottom of the crates (sawdust, fibre-optic strands and paint chips).

I was tasked with rebuilding the Star Destroyer's bridge. I'm going to apologize now to any purists out there as I WISH we had known back then what the RPF knows now, because reference was hard to come by even at ILM! Folks like Steve Gawley and Lorne Peterson only vaguely recalled what models had been used. I did the best I could to match paint chips and glue marks and any other ways to determine where parts went. There was a whole table covered with little zip-locks with model parts in them. Pieces that were too smashed, were replaced with duplicates. We discovered that quite a few detail pieces had fallen off over the years, and replaced as many of them as could be determined. The balls on top had been knocked off and almost all the "legs" had been smashed beyond repair. Steve recalled that the angled truss parts were from a Tamiya ship model, "maybe 700th scale?" he said. After searching kit catalogs, I found the kit and had to order a dozen of them because there were only 2 (turns out they were cranes) per kit, and the SD needs 24 of 'em.

It definitely satisfied a childhood thrill to get to work on that model; but again, I wish back then we had the parts knowledge that the fans have amassed these days.
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