As my ever growing imperial army has grown, my space to display them has gotten tighter. So I decided that I needed a display piece that would accommodate several imperials. As my dream of a ultimate Death Star display has gone on the long term back burner, I wanted to do something on a much smaller scale. One set piece that I have seen a few of that I liked a lot was the imperial turbo laser gunning station (Daigo_Bahâ€™s in particular).
Iâ€™ve always liked, but never had the vintage Death Star play set and have always been impressed with the laser gun that was included in this set. It has always seemed to me to be one of the finest sculpted pieces of the vintage era. So I managed to get my hands on one off Ebay.
The only â€˜bigâ€™ flaw with the gun is the gunner seat, which is no where near screen accurate, but a very nice chair in its own right. Once I had the gun cleaned up and removed the smoke odor, I took it down to the shop for some surgery. After a slow and careful ride over the table saw, the chair was removed from the gun base, leaving a fairly smooth edge. The chair itself which is not part of this display required a bit more work to make is ready for display, but that is for another day.
A great travesty of the vintage gun it that it was never painted, it just sat there as a flat blue gun. So I gave both the gun base and the gun itself a base spray paint layer - gray primer for the base and metallic silver for the gun. It was quite tempting just to leave the gun silver as it truly brought out the details of this magnificent sculpt. I did not put a primer layer on the gun as I wanted to minimize the number of paint layers to preserve the small details in the ￼sculpt. Next I hand painted the details into the gun. Over the various parts of the gun I added flat black, flat gray, shiny red and shiny black. I left several parts of the metallic silver exposed to give a more metal look. With both parts painted I permanently glued the base to the gun. Finally I squeezed two cord bundling tubes in between the base and the gun, this had a two fold effect - it filled the open space in the front of the gun and forced the drooping gun to remain pointed up.
For the base I used a 5â€ round and a larger scrap of plywood I had laying around. I decided to use a lazy susan hinge I had laying around to make the turret swivel (sourced from the carcass of the rotating display). In hindsight I would not do this again, as it made the project far more complicated and is unnecessary. To make the round appear flush with the floor (the lazy susan hinge raised the round up a bit) I routed out a circle in the main floor.
Next both parts were off to paint. A quick primer layer then several rounds with black. In the past Iâ€™ve been able to get a very nice finish on wood with shiny black spray paint, sand paper and a lot of repetition - Iâ€™m done using this technique. I ended up gluing some shiny black card stock I found at a craft store down on the floors - much easier. For the edging I used spray painted cross hatch plastic sheets I found in the cross stitch section.
Overall Iâ€™m the most pleased with the outcome of this project than all my previous efforts. If I were to go back and redo this I would forgo the rotating platform, which would remove the need to use the router at all. Iâ€™ve elected not to permanently mount the gun to the platform allowing for more compact storage of this display. I still have a few parts to finish on this one, most notably the gunner seats.