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By darthmac
I posted this over at Rebel Scum, but thought I would add it here too...

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_Bah’s in particular).

I’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 ‘big’ 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 5” 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 I’ve been able to get a very nice finish on wood with shiny black spray paint, sand paper and a lot of repetition - I’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 I’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. I’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.






Last edited by darthmac on Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
By stroebel83
Love the decals for the console, is that a played up naboo cannon?
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By darthmac
stroebel83 wrote:Love the decals for the console, is that a played up naboo cannon?

Thanks. Naboo Cannon? This cannon came from the 1970's Death Star Playset.
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By Paulskywalker
Wow very nice!

Can never understand why Hasbro didn't release the gun by itself.
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By YAK_Chewie
This is just brilliant, and a real shame that we can't get a new one from Hasbro... but we all know their stance on playsets...

The cannon looks great and the surrounding diorama is excellent. I'd love to have something like this in my collection.

Anyways, fantastic work and thanks for sharing it with us here... and you made the front page. :)

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By darthmac
Wow, I never expected to make the front page with this one. I guess sometimes simplicity rules over complexity. Thanks for all the compliments everyone.
By DarthSinizter
Darthmac, the diorama using the old DS playset gun is just plain old fantastic. Good to mix old with new. My DS playset while still intact was great when I was a kid but looking at it now, it was pretty basic. Having seen alot of other customizers build gun towers or rooms from the deathstar, not too many have build the actual gun displays themselve. I think is the only other customizer to have done this that I remember. You did a great job.

Darth Sinizter
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By darthmac
Updated top post with more pictures/different angles and some detail shots of the control panel.
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By Darth_Cuddles
Wow darthmac, great work! The whole thing is all kinds of awesome, loving that cannon and the control panel!

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