A Garage For A Y-wing PART 2: If At First You Don’t Succeed

May 2020

In the first instalment of “A Garage For A Y-Wing” I had realized I hated what I had just put together. The problem was I had simply built a box. And I used a lot of Project Bricks to do it. Seriously, a cardboard box with some paint on it would have saved me time and expense.

What I wanted to accomplish was to make a sort of homage to the the Rebel technicians that we see on Yavin, huddled over their controls. I love lighting my displays and it came down to just wanting a couple of figures lit from below, like in the Yavin scenes. To do that all I would need is a smaller room that would fit just three figures, and a small window to see them through. In this case Power of the Force Fleet Troopers. I measured out that footprint, made sure the window would still fit and redid the walls.

This was much better! The smaller space also made the two sets of LED string lights brighter. I used an orange set under the consoles and a purple set of Halloween lights to light up the room itself. There are two consoles that I repurposed from a couple of EVE-99 figures and the third is from a Star Trek toy (no idea which toy exactly, we don’t hock the The Trek here) that was sent to me from our friend, Chris Leddy of Sixth Scale Scavengers. I shoved the purple lights inside of an old coffee maker spill tray and it gave just the right amount of light.

I also added a ceiling to the room, which I hadn’t originally planned on. I thought I would keep it open for photo opportunities but covering the room meant the lighting inside was brighter. The smaller footprint of the room also meant having a ledge/balcony beside it (and on top of the garage). I decided to add a couple of gun placements on the roof and this “balcony.”

I had seen a really cool sketch in the Art of Rogue One book that I took as inspiration (I really liked the idea of an astromech droid being connected to the laser dish) and began collecting parts and greeblies. I also used some LEGO that I scavenged from my son’s old LEGO box.I was pleasantly surprised with the gun placements and ended up spending more time on them than the rest of the project.

CLICK an image for full-size slideshow.

Meanwhile I was second guessing the garage walls that started this entire project. Like I mentioned in my last article, I had wanted to use some cool looking packaging for the garage walls. I spray painted them grey, hot glued a string of LED lights and added a few tools and parts. It looked pretty good, not exactly what I had in my head but cool enough to continue. My thinking was that the material was scavenged metal that the rebels were using within the brick walls.

But when I put the entire project in it’s place on the Rebel base diorama it stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean, it served it’s purpose by letting me create a control room that didn’t take up space on the shelf but the yellowish coloured bricks and the grey packing material walls just didn’t look right together from the outside. So I added bricks to the outside of the walls to give the appearance that the garage had been added to the existing architecture when the Rebels moved in. I think it looks better now but…..

It still sticks out! The solution is to just transform the entire top shelf of the diorama with more and more brick walls but that’s a huge job (and expense because I’m cheap). I’ve decided that I’ll continue to add walls a little bit at a time, and maybe try using regular foam packing or pink foam insulation and make cuts into the material to simulate brick. I’ve never done that before so for now, the garage stays as it is.

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Rebel Base: Adding Runway Lights & More

May 2020

This part of my Rebel base sits on the floor of the Star Wars Room, and I had originally built it for the Millennium Falcon. It’s a smaller space than some of the other sections so it was a good candidate for parking the smaller-scaled Power of the Force X-wing Fighter. 

I had some runway lights, like the one’s seen in the entrance to Echo Base in The Empire Strikes Back, 3D printed so I could add more than just strings of lights around the diorama space.  They look really nice, although a brighter bulb would enhance things even more. 

This part of my Rebel base sits on the floor of the Star Wars Room, and I had originally built it for the Millennium Falcon. It’s a smaller space than some of the other sections so it was a good candidate for parking the smaller-scaled Power of the Force X-wing Fighter. 

I was also able to find a more permanent home for The Outrider, Dash Rendar’s ship from Shadows of the Empire as he visits the rebels, looking for an easy payout.  It’s a cool design and I’m glad to finally be able to display it where I want it.  The U-wing from Rogue One is a monster of a vehicle when trying to display it and like The Outrider, I think I’ve found a good home for it.  Still wish Hasbro would give us a better scaled one.  

The diorama isn’t 100% finished yet though. There’s an empty space in the back/middle that I want to turn into a small control room.  

CLICK an image for full-size slideshow.


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A Garage For A Y-wing PART 1: Expanding the Rebel Base Diorama

May 2020

The main focus in my Star Wars room is my rebel base display.  This started out with an X-wing, a beat-up vintage Millennium Falcon and a snow speeder years ago and slowly has grown again and again.  I’m pretty sure I’ve run out of space to add even one more vehicle (What will I do when the Rogue One General Merrick X-wing Fighter is released?.

My Rebel Base Around 2012 or so. Adorable, right?
My Rebel Base February 2022 – Just a little bit of expansion since 2012.

Over the years I’ve begun to add walls and control rooms and a pilot ready room (still need to finish that, now that I think about it).  But I’ve always kept things on the ground level, as it were.  Then a couple years ago I began buying Project Bricks and started building walls.  I even got brave enough to tackle an homage to the control room from the Disney Parks attraction, Star Tours.  Having this control room suspended from the display shelf above set off a light bulb in my head:  Start building UP instead of left to right.  

“Star Tours” inspired control booth

I wanted to add another control room to the display, this time on the top “shelf.”  But instead of trying to wedge one in behind one of the rebel starships I decided to put it ON TOP. So I picked up a box of Project Bricks and set to work.  

I guess the easy answer to my problem is “just add another shelf on top” but that would put things too close to the room’s window that’s just above the top of the display.  And besides, I had some packaging material that I really wanted to try out and this project seemed like a good way to do that.  (Shout out to diorama builders who see packing material as more than just packing material).  So, I decided to build a garage with a control room on top and I chose the right side, above a Y-wing fighter to do it:

CLICK an image for full-size slideshow.

I glued the walls together, began building the control room with the foam bricks, added some lights and……hated it.  

Absolutely hated it.

Check back next week to see how things turned out!

<Cue John Williams “End Credits”> 😉

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Return of the Jedi Droid Torture Room Diorama

May 2020

I mentioned in my Jabba’s Throne room article that in order to have the droid torture room (managed by the evil EVE-99) I had to settle for cramming Eve, 8D8, a droid brander and a few bits of greeblies into a corner of the Throne Room cardboard diorama.  Not ideal.

 When I decided to create a rancor pit, I discovered that I could have the pit and also a separate droid torture room next to it as well.  Making the rancor cave smaller made it feel more claustrophobic so that was a good thing and since the droid room as we see it in Return of the Jedi feels very small, well that was another plus. 

 There were a few things I wanted to try with this diorama:

 1. Have a permanent solution to the droid branding machine included with the 1998 Power of the Force 8-D8.

 2. Come up with some interesting scenarios using droid parts.

3. Start using some of painting tips and tricks I found watching videos.

For the walls I used 1 inch foam insulation for the first time.  I found a 3×3 sheet of it at Home Depot, cut two sections for the walls and experimented with some of the leftover.  I bought a foam cutter hot knife which works really well and gave me clean, straight cuts.  I painted the foam black and then tried my hand at another new-to-me technique: dry brushing and added burnt umber, gold and silver colouring to age the walls.  For the floor I used a stick on floor tile from a dollar store.

Originally I was going to use foam board for the walls but it looked very flimsy. This photo gives an idea of the size of the droid room compared to the Rancor pit.

For the droid branding machine I built a small platform and glued the Power of the Force accessory on to it.  I also used a repurposed fast food sauce container as a table.  For the figure of 8-D8 I just used a Comm-Tech chip stand to keep him upright.  Not ideal but I like having a hidden tribute to “POTF2.”  

I took the cage from the”Rebolt/Corellian Hound” 2-pack from Solo: A Star Wars Story and removed it’s three doors.  I added gold paint and glued them to various locations around the room.  I then did the same to the cage itself and instead of holding an angry space dog, it’s a dump bin of droid parts.


I used three-different sets of dollar store LED light strings to give me various levels of lighting from dark and creepy to full-on bright for photo taking.  


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