A Quiet Afternoon In Jabba’s Throne Room

It’s kind of amazing what happens when you take all the toys out of the display, replace all the batteries in the three sets of LED strand lights, and do a little rearranging. Obviously I’m going to put all the scum and villainy back in the display but I’m diggin’ the vibe at the moment.

A Jabba’s Throne Room diorama featuring The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Palace Adventure Set, the Star Wars Power of the Force Jabba’s Palace 3D Diorama and a few custom additions of my own. Music via Return of the Jedi soundtrack, “Jabba’s Baroque Recital.”

Adding Some Colour To The Haslab Razor Crest

After watching Adam Savage’s video (see bottom of article) where he does some weathering on the Razor Crest (Hasbro Star Wars The Mandalorian Razor Crest Haslab Crowd Funded Project) I decided to give it a go. I probably watched the video 5 times before I got enough courage to start. I’m not as concerned about modding a one of a kind Star Wars vehicle as I am about just screwing it up. But, Adam’s video is very straightforward and there looked to be little chance of me making a mistake since I’ve been doing simple weathering to my Star Wars toys for awhile now.

Read more: Adding Some Colour To The Haslab Razor Crest

Adam uses Rub n Buff paint, Vallejo Black Wash and air brushing throughout the video but I tried doing just the Rub n Buff portion of the video. When I move on to other areas of the ship I’ll try out the Vallejo Black Wash.
You may be asking yourself, “why would this guy modify an expensive and limited edition collectible????” Well, as amazing as the Razor Crest is it’s lacking in paint apps in a few spots, namely:
-engine compartments
-landing struts
-chin guns and rear cannon
-side ramp

Here is a look at two engine compartments on one of the Razor Crest’s rockets. There is zero weathering done to these areas and they look very plasticy. I tackled the engine compartments for this article and will weather the other sections at some point.

I used two different colours of Rub n Buff – Silver Leaf and European Gold. It was super easy to do; all that’s required are a few long crafting cotton swabs and a tiny amount of Rub n Buff.

In the video Adam uses only silver but I had the gold colour on hand as well so I would apply that in different areas. The result was a multi-coloured, multi-shaded engine compartment instead of one boring dark grey colour: It made things POP. The Silver Leaf brought out the details in the area and adding some of the European Gold , which has a dark, almost rusty appearance, added some “age” to the area. It now has a sort of three tone effect and it looks great.

This is a look at one of the two compartments: the left compartment is unpainted.

Here are some close up shots of the compartments after painting them. I love how the gold paint looks worn or even rusted in spots.

The second job I tackled was to use silver Rub n Buff on one of the included carbon freeze blocks, as Adam also did in the video. Again, this was super easy to do. I used a sponge paintbrush and a small amount of the paint and just dabbed it all over the carbonite block. The results were instantly apparent as you can see. After letting the paint dry I then buffed the entire block with a paper towel to bring out some shine. I really like how much brighter and metallic it looks now.

I may or may not paint the other blocks because I realized just how different the paint apps have been over the years on carbonite blocks and rather than have them all look the same a little variety could be nice too. Here’s a look at six different carbonite blocks, the last two being from the Razor Crest.

You can watch the entire Adam Savage: Tested video below, not only to see the techniques I tried out but he goes into alot of detail as he discusses model making and shooting models for movies. It’s super interesting just on it’s own.


It has been a very long time since I did this much writing about my Star Wars room or Star Wars collecting in general (although my podcasting mic is always ready to go).  I’ve put together a series of articles highlighting changes I’ve made in my room over the past year.  It’s kind of a time capsule about what was important to me last year as a collector.  Tons of changes but not necessarily a ton of new action figures is what 2022 meant to me.  Thanks for taking a look!


2022 Year In Review

Star Wars Room 2022 Gallery

2022 Rebel Base Upgrades

As 2023 begins and with prices climbing steadily for Star Wars figures it almost feels like when I was collecting in the period after Revenge of the Sith in 2005 but before The Vintage Collection 1.0 in 2010.  Back then I was buying mainly favourite characters or certain focuses and leaving many figures and vehicles on the store shelf.  I have never been a completist collector and I can recall passing on many figures mainly because I had a previous version of it. Once The Vintage Collection hit in 2011 I was buying more than usual because the figures in most cases were a much better quality.  When you’re paying $10 or less for one 3.75 inch action figure it’s obviously easier to justify buying more. Now that a single 3.75 Star Wars figure costs anywhere from $17.99 to $22.99 CDN I am back to cherrypicking which figures to buy because it’s just become too expensive to justify anymore.  

What does this mean for me as a Star Wars collector in 2023?  It means I will be focusing more and more on the large collection I have already and continue to experiment with customizing and building dioramas.  Have I hit that ceiling where I’ll just say NO to new Star Wars figures? I don’t think so but I have to believe that I will soon.  

Either way I intend on continuing to enjoy my Star Wars figure collection for years to come and as I write this in mid-February I’ve already made some fun changes in the Star Wars room.

Always in motion….

The Star Wars Room: A 2022 Year In Review

2022 was a very strange time for me in the Star Wars room and as a Star Wars collector in general. It was the first time since I started collecting in the 1990’s that I actually felt like something was wrong in my collecting world. In retrospect I can blame it on one big reason: way too much time off from work. I work in the automotive industry in Canada on the assembly line. Since 2021 thanks to COVID and the worldwide microchip shortage I have faced a ton of layoffs on a week to week basis. What this has meant is that I have had all the time I could possibly want to spend in my Star Wars room. Add to this the fact that I’m not bringing home a regular paycheque week to week which means buying less figures and supplies for dioramas. All of this downtime should be a dream come true, right? Well, like Bruce Springsteen once sang, “with every wish there comes a curse.”


The Star Wars room should be a place of fun, a place of refuge even. It should be a place where I can forget about my troubles and the real world and have some fun with my Star Wars figures. But what happens when you literally NOTHING BUT TIME on your hands? Your hobby becomes boring. Yes, it’s true. I discovered that I could spend too much time in the Star Wars room, to the point where I didn’t WANT to go near it. For weeks I would walk past the room, on my way to the laundry room, give it a cursory glance and continue on. I was discovering that having unlimited access to it was taking the fun out of it altogether because I couldn’t think of anything to do in it. Of course there is always cleaning, dusting, reorganizing, cataloguing and building to do but for me I need to feel inspired to do these things and I found that inspiration usually hit me while working on the assembly line. The monotony of my job means I have ALOT of time spent in my own head. When I would come up with a new idea or project for the Star Wars room I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. When you are home as much as I have been you discover a lot less opportunity for inspiration.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t do anything with my Star Wars room in 2022 but on a day to day basis things had changed for me. It wasn’t until I had a decent stretch of constant work beginning in the middle of October did I begin to re-appreciate my hobby. I needed a regular routine where the Star Wars room once again became a source of fun. That’s what the rest of this article is going to be about: new pickups and new changes in my Star Wars room.

Hasbro Pulse “Haslab” Razor Crest
Talk about the elephant in the room! The enormous vehicle from The Mandalorian arrived on my doorstep on February 24, 2022. It is gorgeous, absolutely beautiful! You can check out my review of it HERE. I can’t believe I own one! The detailing on it is incredible and yet I find myself actually wary of doing much with it. There’s the practical reason of the vehicle’s interior being too small for adult hands but more than that I sometimes feel like (read in Will Smith’s MIB voice) I’m gonna break this damn thing! As you can see below I have it displayed prominantly in the center of my room, perched on a small IKEA glass table. So maybe that’s on me for using glass as a load bearing weight but I had to display it somewhere! I have had one encounter where I stepped off of a foot stool, pivoted and nearly fell right on top of it, my one hand actually resting on an engine for support. I also find the removable panels to be flimsy so I use an incredible amount of care when i remove them. Having this albatross stare at me from the centre of my collection as I walk past definitely gave me an Anakin “what have I done” feeling from time to time. Whining aside though, I love it.

Vintage Kenner Display Project
You have to love when you have a spouse who is always looking out for you, even when it comes to collecting Star Wars figures. Mrs Tarkin spotted a nice looking shelf while we were at an antique mall and thought it could work in the Star Wars room. When I suggested I could move my vintage Kenner figures to it she said she would paint it for me. We agreed that giving it a vintage Kenner card back look would be just the thing. I love how it turned out. The yellow is super bright and stands out great in the room. I rearranged two IKEA Billy bookcases in order to create basically a vintage Kenner corner, all thanks to a cheap antique find! I also managed to knock 4 or 5 more figures off of my Kenner list in 2022. I’m by no means a completist with the old Kenner line so it’s always fun to add something to the display.

Star Wars “Research Library”
In another case of “Star Wars spousal support” I wanted a way to pull all of my Star Wars book together for easier access. My books were scattered in multiple locations in our house; some on our large bookshelf, inside the TV stand, under an end table in the bedroom and in the Star Wars room itself. The trouble with this was having to search for what I was looking for. You know what it’s like, you suddenly think to yourself, “what was that box thing Chirrut Imwe wears in Rogue One?” Then you have to think about where the book is stored and whether or not there are other books to move to get to it. And make sure when you pull the book out that there aren’t any chochkis that could get knocked over. Just a pain. (BTW,the box Chirrut wears is an “Echo-box transmitter.” – Source: Star Wars Rogue One The Ultimate Visual Guide – Page91. Thanks, Pablo:) )

So my wife and I decided on moving some furniture around and I picked up a bookcase that complemented the one we already have. Now my books are in one place with only a few pieces of Star Wars “stuff” to accent things including a vintage flashlight that looks very much like a lightsaber; my first adult LEGO set, the Trench Run and an MPG model display of R2D2/C3P0 (Mrs Tarkin knows when I really LOVE something from my childhood).

“The Arrowhead” Turbo Tank
I had managed to pick up two incomplete Clone Wars-era Turbo Tanks in the past few years. The prices on them were so good I had to have them. After realizing that the second one was more of a “couldn’t resist the price” rather than than a “had to have two” sort of thing I decided to modify one of them. I had never tackled a project involving painting of this size before but since I had paid next to nothing for the second tank I thought it was a good way to test my ideas. I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out and have even come up with a crew and backstory for this huge vehicle. Now the Turbo Tank is “The Arrowhead” and is part of a Rebel strike team known as “Boreal Squad.” As an avid camper and action figure outdoor photographer I can’t wait to bring this beast on vacation and show it off in the woods of Northern Ontario.

CLICK the image below to see the steps of the project:

Expanded Rebel Base
As long as we’re talking about customizing, the pride of my Star Wars room is my huge rebel base diorama. I have added to this diorama over the years and I have to admit that I was running out of expansion ideas. My buddy Ryan helped with the first expansion step: Add another section on the floor. I had used a wooden crate to support the display above this area because it seemed like any set up directly on the floor would be hard to see. I decided that I would be able to figure out some way to display things there so Ryan helped me add legs to the display and pull the wooden crate out. This turned out to be a good spot for the Legacy Millennium Falcon which is enormous. I treated it like it was a movie set piece where only part of it would need to be visible and added a couple of styrofoam walls to either side. It looked great.

In July 2022 I picked up my second of two Antoch Merrick Blue Leader X-wing Fighters and once again space was an issue. I could have hung one of these X-wings from the ceiling as I have many fighters up there already but I really wanted to have both on display in the rebel base. Buying the glass table for the Razor Crest turned out to be part of the solution to my space problem. I was able to move my Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon to the bottom shelf of the glass table (having the two largest Star Wars vehicles together looks amazing) and after a few more moves I was able to add all three of my new X-wing fighters to the top shelf of the display. I even took it a step further and made a small garage that I could park an A-wing fighter inside while parking a B-wing fighter on top. Check out more details on my Rebel Base by clicking the image below.

With new vehicle releases from Hasbro becoming less and less frequent I ‘should’ be ok for the next while. But I’ve said that before….

GI Joe Accessories
A friend gave me a huge amount of accessories from his GI Joe collection. I have always resisted going outside of the Star Wars universe when it comes to action figures but there were so many accessories and greeblies that he kindly gifted me that I couldn’t resist. Suddenly I had tool boxes, walkie-talkies, search lights, ladders and spare heads for customizing figures. Much of it went into the projects you have just read about and really took things to the next level. Thanks, Eddie!

New Action Figures
I had originally intended on doing a seperate article on some of my favourite action figure releases of 2022 but most of these are on everone’s favourites lists anyway so I’ll just list them briefly here:

The Vintage Collection Deluxe Boba Fett (Tatooine): I can’t believe I paid $42.99CDN for this figure but it is a beautiful thing.  Great articulation, an awesome head sculpt, and some fun accessories are what makes this figure just a joy to interact with.

The Vintage Collection Scarif Trooper: I never had a chance to pick this up when it was originally released so it was great to get the Hasbro Pulse 4-Pack set.  It’s my favourite Imperial trooper and it’s great to finally get super-articulated versions of it. 

Officially it’s called the Star Wars The Vintage Collection Gaming Greats Lando Calrissian (Star Wars Battlefront II) but it will always be “Hawaiian Shirt Lando from Solo” to me.  I don’t care if it’s just a repaint, the fact that this figure was even released is a miracle. Just look at that shirt!  As someone who loves Solo: A Star Wars Story it is great to have a Lando figure looking just like he did when he lost the Falcon to Han, “fair and square.”  Time to start a Sabbac diorama, I think.  

Answering the question, “can you ever have too many Darth Vader figures” comes Star Wars The Vintage Collection Darth Vader (The Dark Times).  I was going to easily pass on this figure because what could they do that would make getting one essential?  But after looking at one a friend had picked up I knew I had to have it. The neck articulation is amazing and allows for so many more expressive poses from Vader.   

So that’s how things went for me, Star Wars collecting-wise last year. I know for 2023 and onward that I’ll be buying less figures as prices continue to sky rocket and I’ve come to terms with the reality that the hobby has changed. What hasn’t changed is my love for collecting and displaying Star Wars figures and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

To see a gallery of my Star Wars room CLICK the image below:

ReturnTo Main Star Wars Room Page

Star Wars Room: 2022 Gallery

Here is a look at my Star Wars room at the end of 2022. Be sure to check out the Star Wars Room page for more!

CLICK on an image for full-size viewing

CLICK on an image for full-size viewing

ReturnTo Main Star Wars Room Page


In a word, the best way for me to describe my Star Wars Rebel Base diorama goal in 2022 would be: EXPANSIOIN. At the end of 2021 I found myself with two new X-wing fighters that I needed to find room for. By mid-2022 that total became 4 as I added another X-wing and decided on displaying a B-wing fighter as well. In order to do this I had to expand things: I did so by adding an entirely new section and a second, smaller “building.”

Here’s a look at the diorama in mid-2022:

You’ll notice that grey crate in the bottom right of the photo. This crate is holding up the display “shelf” above it. In the past I had decided that any display that was set up directly on the floor in that spot would be wasted there because the sightlines are bad unless you’re looking at it from floor level. I also set it up this way to sort of reign in any more expansion; I always try to feel like “less is more.” I also always never stick to this motto for very long.

So the plan was to replace the crate with legs to support the “shelf” that was resting on it. My buddy Ryan came over to give me a hand. He cut some legs (that I’lll have to paint someday) that kept the same amount of height as the crate. Then I created a “garage” space with a piece of thin plywood and some styrofoam walls that I could slide in and out of the legs. First thing to do was to move my Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon to this new space.

I treated it like it was a movie set piece where only part of the Falcon would need to be visible and added a couple of styrofoam walls to either side. It looked great (even better when not at eye level). Then it was just a matter of moving the rest of my vehicles around until I was happy with the layout.

As it turns out I couldn’t get the layout of the vehicles in a way that I liked and the problem was that the B-wing fighter has a giant footprint; it takes up alot of room because it’s basically the same length as an X-wing but much wider. Standing it on end wasn’t really an option since I don’t have that kind of height on the rebel base so I came up with a mini garage that I quickly threw together using pink insulation and paint. I sat the B-wing on top of it as if the “roof” of the structure was a landing pad and moved an A-wing fighter inside. This freed up a ton of space and I was able to set up the three new X-wings easily.

Here’s a look at the entire setup with the B-wing pad/A-wing garage in the top left and the new home for the Falcon, bottom right:

But of course “always in motion is the Star Wars room” and I decided a few months later to move the Millennium Falcon completely out of the Rebel Base so it could be displayed with my Haslab Razor Crest. This also allowed me to juggle things around again and hopefully create a little less clutter and chaos for the Rebels.

Here’s a look at the entire rebel base:

This set up lasted me until the end of 2022. And as I write this in February 2023 I’ve already made more changes: Stay Tuned!

Other “Rebel Base” articles you might enjoy…!

Rebel Base Expansion: 10 Years In 25 Seconds

Adding Runway Lights & More

A Garage For A Y-Wing

3 Big Additions

ReturnTo Main Star Wars Room Page

Stretching That Star Wars Collecting Budget in 2023

When prices really started climbing for Star Wars figures I knew something had to give. I couldn’t continue to buy like I used to with a clear conscience; after all it’s a hobby. One of the first things that I stopped doing was army building. Not that I would go out and buy 10 of the latest trooper, but I would get at least enough for a small squad. Or over time buy one or two and have the troops grow that way. For years it worked with stormtroopers, cantina aliens, Jawas, tusken raiders and rebel pilots but now when figures are costing $23CDN and more I have to be extremely picky.

With the Din Djarin and Migs Mayfeld Transport Trooper figures (VC251 and VC229), I decided that I would settle for two and at least have a driver/co-driver. In fact I bought one and waited a couple months before getting the second. Not wanting to waste the heads underneath, especially the ONLY Migs head we have, I used some beater GI Joe heads so the helmets could be used and repurposed the Migs and Din heads for quick customs. Now the troopers can pilot an Imperial Troop Transport or act as a guard for a random imperial.

Not ideal but that’s modern StarWars collecting.


Big thanks to Diorama Workshop for featuring my Echo Base-Bacta Tank diorama! Diorama Workshop is an indispensable resource for Star Wars diorama builders. I’ve been using Frank’s FREE templates and print outs for years and it’s a thrill to be featured!

CLICK the image below to visit the gallery:

Custom Clone Wars Turbo Tank

In the past few years I have been able to pick up, on separate occasions, two massive Clone Wars Turbo Tank vehicles. Both of them are incomplete and I only paid maybe $20 for each of them. I couldn’t resist the price and it is a truly impresive vehicle. But I had never come up with any plan for one of them, let alone two. Apart from using one as a background for taking some action figure photos I basically brought them home and parked them under a “garage” at the bottom of one of my Star Wars room displays. I was actually considering selling at least one of them when a completely different project suddenly occupied my brain.

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A few years ago I had painted a custom Mon Calamari officer using a Power of the Force 2 Admiral Ackbar. Now the Mon Cal was one of Admiral Raddus’ staff as seen in Rogue One. Recently I had an extra Ackbar figure on hand and thought I would paint a second officer for Admiral Raddus. But as I began setting my desk up for some painting I suddenly lost interest in the project. I dont love painting entire figures and I’m not that great at doing it. Wethering, yes. Full repaints, not so much. The thought of starting this new figure was just not interesting to me so I put the figure aside and looked at my “Star Wars room to do list” that I keep on hand. I had a note that just said, “more Endor soldiers.” Hmmmm….I started rummaging through my greeblies and accessories and found a spare cloth Endor soldier trenchcoat. I put it on the Ackbar figure, thought it looked pretty cool and came up with a big idea:

Finally do something with the Turbo Tank AND assemble a team for it.

So that’s what I did.

This turned out to be one of the biggest custom projects I had ever tried as the plan was to paint the tank, customize it’s overall look by removing the rear section from it, add a bunch of greeblies to it and as I said, create a crew for it. I was worried about how the painting would turn out but since I had two vehicles I could afford to ruin one of them.

After removing the tires (They’re designed to be removed and reinstalled, a fun little add on feature for when your Clonetroopers need to change a flat tire) I taped off the chassis and bare wheel axles with painter’s tape. I also covered some of the more interesting sections of plating so that they would contrast with the green paint I would use. I think I ended up using a hunter green mixed with a little black.

I used an orange/brown mix of paint for the bottom portion of the tank to give a similar appearance as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with the AT-ACT and cargo ship. Next I added various shades of weathering. In fact, except for some silver and red paint pens the entire project was done with regular dollar store acrylic paint.

I wanted the Turbo Tank to be more than just a new paint job so the next plan was to begin adding accessories and greeblies. A friend who used to collect GI Joe and Jurassic Park toys gave me a ton of parts he didn’t need and this is where I went to town, adding all sorts of accessories.

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I added sections of handrails that fit just perfect along the top of the vehicle.I drilled holes into the tank for the handrails to fit into. I added more railings and a few search lights in a few other spots too. It gave it a nice, junky look, much like the AT-TE that “old Captain Rex” and his fellow clones used in Star Wars Rebels.

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It’s all about the greeblies

Continuing on the outside of the vehicle I added extra laser cannons, a Kenner Millennium Falcon radar dish and two different action figure versions of the red tank that Baze Malbus has slung onto his back in Rogue One.

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The rear of the Turbo Tank has a removable module that can act as a sort of shelter. I removed this in order to add some extra firepower. I have had in my collection the quad guns and gunner’s chair from the Kenner Millennium Falcon and really wanted to use it so I glued it in place where the module would have been. I then added some paint and weathering to it. The new green colour of the tank had me thinking of “camoflague” so I added a few pieces of weathered “netting” to cover the gun turret. The material is actually anti-slip padding for carpets.

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Vintage Kenner Quad Cannon & Gunner’s Chair

Inside I added various data pads, laptops and even a clip board and coffee mug to help fill in the fairly empty interiors. These various accessories were usually grey and monotone so I added red, green and yellow paint for buttons and lights.

The last bit of customizing was to add a few Rebel Alliance stickers I bought on eBay.

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It was daunting to take on a job this big but I’m very happy with how things turned out, especially when I took it outside for some photos.

Next step: put together some teammates to go along with my new Endor Mon Cal figure.

Stay tuned!