T-47 Snowspeeder 1:1 full scale prop build

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TXarmory

Active Member
Current progress as of October 17, 2015. Unveiled for the first time at Dallas Fan Days - Irving Texas. Oct. 16 - 18.




This will be my first posting project for one of our builds, as we build it. When we built the X-34 Landspeeder back in 2006, I was not an RPF member at the time so I did not chronicle the lengthy construction process of the landspeeder build. I have a lot of photos and stories to tell of it's creation, and will eventually start a thread dedicated to it's build. But truthfully, MonCal's build thread covers the subject quite well, except that our speeder was scratch built from the wheels up. No molds or shells, just shaped urethane foam core and double sided, hand laid, triple layer 8 oz glass cloth and West System epoxy.

So here we go...

We enjoyed building the X-34 Landspeeder and later showing it off at some of the local Texas conventions, so much so that we wanted to build a second vehicle and start a fleet of Sci-Fi vehicle props. Originally we started on a Buck Rogers Starfighter, but have put that project on hold in order to create something in time to hopefully take to Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim CA this April 2015. We chose to build a T-47 Airspeeder, a.k.a the Snowspeeder. It's just the right size and quality that we have a solid chance of completing it on time and budget.

We own a M.R. 3/4 studio scale resin replica and are using it as the basis for deriving much of the scale dimensions and angles for the full scale 1:1 build. We also have been collecting all known web references as well as the original ILM build blue prints for the Elstree built stage live action props used in ESB. So with all this reference material in hand we set upon a build size of 17 feet long, rear engine fins to cannon tips, by 15 feet wide wing span. This works out to about 1"= 13" on the M.R. model.

In order to prove the concept build size, we first are building a (quick and dirty) cardboard mock-up. Here are some pictures of what we've done on the first two days of the project.

IMG_2017.JPG IMG_2016.JPG IMG_2018.JPG

The wing panels are 6' wide by 14' long. The cardboard is attached to some wood stiffeners and the two wings are raised until they are at 22.5 degrees. Looking correct so far. Tomorrow we should have the cockpit canopy in place and some dummy seats in place so we can confirm the cockpit will be large enough for two 6' adults to comfortably and realistically fit inside the ship. We want it to be sized correctly so it looks like the onscreen filming cockpit closeups.
 
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TooMuchBBQ

New Member
First of all, the carboard one alone is awesome! I don't know that I'd ever get beyond that stage.

If I recall though, the prop models - used for inflight filming - differed quite a bit in size from the production 1:1 scale models used in the hangar. Are you guys building to match the hangar version or the model version?
 

TXarmory

Active Member
First of all, the carboard one alone is awesome! I don't know that I'd ever get beyond that stage.

If I recall though, the prop models - used for inflight filming - differed quite a bit in size from the production 1:1 scale models used in the hangar. Are you guys building to match the hangar version or the model version?

We are scaling it to match the flying models. Those have the most screen time. The hanger props seem to have been built at about 7/8 to 3/4 scale to make it all fit inside the crowded hanger scene. When the canopy is down we want your head and body position to look like it does on screen. We might have to play around a little bit with the cockpit floor and some thin seat cushion bottoms to make it all work correctly. From what we are learning from the cardboard mock-up is that the close up hero filming full scale cockpit floor would have had to been built lower (deeper) than what really could have fit into a craft that size if the bottom of the speeder, as seen on the flying models, would have been strictly built. But since it was not on screen, they did not have to make it actually fit. I think we have come up with a graceful compromise.











So far we are very satisfied that the scaling will be correct and proportional to the flying miniatures and hero head shots of the canopy closeups when you see pilots flying the speeders. By raking the seat backs to a comfortable angle and some creative seat cushioning, there will be good head room and plenty of shoulder room when the canopy is closed. Should be good head room even with a flight helmet on. The cardboard canopy cut out windows are not proportional to the correct final canopy. If we cut too much cardboard away at the thin rails then it gets too floppy. With two of us sitting back to back, there is plenty of leg room in both ends. We tested being able to climb in and out of the rear gunner's seat with the canopy held open and it should be easy enough for the average person to enter and exit without pulling a muscle.
 
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SofaKing01

Master Member
NO WAY! That is too cool! :) I have a few behind the scenes pics of how the original designers built/transported the SS. Shoot me a PM!
 

Sith Lord

Well-Known Member
I'd be pretty happy with that cardboard model! Will be watching.....

Tech help? My pictures are loading small. How do I size up the pictures to a larger full width format? These pictures don't show much detail, but future pictures would present better at a larger size.

I'm no expert on this particular forum, but are you copying and pasting from photo bucket or similar hosting site?
 

TXarmory

Active Member
I'm no expert on this particular forum, but are you copying and pasting from photo bucket or similar hosting site?

I am just uploading the pictures from my computer using the forum editor for INSERT IMAGE.

April 23, 2015 UPDATE: I think I have solved how photobucket works. I am going back and updating the original pictures with the larger format photobucket hosted pictures.
 
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TXarmory

Active Member
Just remember that in the models the figures are cut off at the waist so they didn't have to fit a whole body.

Division, what an appropriate name for the topic. If I cut conventioneers' legs off then I wouldn't have to worry about the leg room.

Actually I think its going to work out fine. There is a good amount of room inside the cockpit and under the canopy. A little smoke and mirrors, dim lighting and some movie magic and all will be fine.
 
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Sith Lord

Well-Known Member
I am just uploading the pictures form my computer using the forum editor for INSERT IMAGE.
If you use photobucket (or similar) you can copy the IMG location, or Direct Link and paste directly into your reply, which should allow it to be seen full size/page width. I haven't tested the theory personally on THIS forum, but I see others have full screen pics, and photobucket is the way to do it on other forums. I'll test it later tonight for you...
 

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TXarmory

Active Member
Star Wars Celebration 2015 in Anaheim, April 16 - 19. The Falcon Cockpit was supposed to be there on display. Chris and Greg were just told that there is no room for them and that they were dropped from the event. We at Real Movie Toys were also going to display the Landspeeder, and the Snowspeeder - that we are building especially for SWC. As of today, I have not yet heard anything from the organizers about if we are still on or are also being dropped. I have an email and phone messages left for the staff to let me know our current status.

I'm afraid if they won't make room for something as truly awesome as the Falcon Cockpit, then they won't give up the square footage for my two land hogs either. And our three vehicles are just the only ones I personally know about. What if other cool things that are fantastic, but too inconvenient, are being dismissed. We want more from our Celebration than just isle after isle of comic books and T-shirt booths. (no offense guys.) We want the incredible. We want to celebrate Star Wars!

 
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