Moderators: YAK_Chewie, Yakface.com Staff

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By EMPIRE
#130011
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Let me start off by saying.....I hate foamcore. Don't get me wrong, I'm in awe of all the amazing foamcore based dioramas I've seen here but I personally despise working with the stuff. It's perfect for true shelf top display pieces but the stuff I make is on the far end of the PLAYset side of the diorama spectrum. I have 2 boys ages 6 & 9 and I wanted to make them a ginormous city sized spaceport and I needed the thing to last thru not only their adventures but also those of their cousins, friends and well, me.

About 99% of the entire structure is wood, mainly a mix of 5/8" plywood for the actual buildings and 3/4" for the landing platforms. Most all the piping, panels, circuit boxes, furniture, cabinets and other greeblies are wood also. I can usually do the construction of a building within an afternoon but the interior layout, painting, details and props/furniture can take a week or so.....usually longer because I work on about 6 different sections at the same time plus I don't really draw up any plans ahead of time. Each building can be removed so the whole playset is basically modular. By the time I had built the 3rd or 4th building I realized the whole thing was pretty much going to be a 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle. So far, it all measures about 6 feet long, around 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall.....yeah, it takes up a little bit of space but several kids can play on it at the same time.

This spaceport started out with the idea of being basically a nexus of all sci-fi worlds. My kids play this way anyway (I do too) with mixing all their 3.75" toylines into their adventures. If every sci-fi universe were a major city then this spaceport would be a back roads truck stop where they can all converge, refuel, pick up supplies, get drunk, have an alien tryst, and get into a gun fight. This also frees me from anything needing to be screen or story accurate. Basically anything goes when it comes to the design theme of the whole structure. I wanted something along the lines of Mos Eisley meets Blade Runner meets Deadwood. I thought the name "Rot Gut Station" sounded great for this.

Here are a few quick cell phone shots of most of the exterior.

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By EMPIRE
#130012
I'm currently working on the new side mounted lower level section which will feature a garage/landing platform, a police station with jail and a cargo bay with loading dock.

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By EMPIRE
#130014
Here is the diner you can access from the back of the bar. It's all a marketing ploy, place the only true restaurant on the station where you have to walk past the bar to get to it. However, they do serve actual waffles there.

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By EMPIRE
#130015
This is the Robomart on the roof of the bar. They offer droid sales & service and where else will you find a Ferengi selling Twiki and a Cylon?

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By EMPIRE
#130016
Here's the med center.
The station used to have functioning bacta tank but they converted it into a whiskey still so now it's all old school butcher doctoring done here
This one was fun to do, it comes equipped with a miniature bottle of Pepto Bismol and a bedpan.

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By EMPIRE
#130018
This is what happens when I build without planning......it actually turned out pretty cool tho. I needed something with an antenna array/DirecTV dish whatever to sort of top-off the center of the tower platform. So I built this open info-desk stand sort of thing but I had no idea what to have them actually sell out of it, if anything. My wife mentioned turning it into a mini-convenience store/newstand which did make sense with having random travelers coming and going thru a spaceport. I don't think the 7-11 company actually operates a kiosk but if they do then I hope it looks like this.

This also gave me the idea of this particular landing platform looking like it had been converted into a sort of market pavilion.
Which in turn forced me to make more shops.......it spreads like a disease.

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By DanOfTheDead
#130023
So wonderful.

How do you tackle a project like this? Do you just start building and add on room and platforms, or is it precisely planned out? Would LOVE to something like this, but I can't imaged where one even starts!
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By EMPIRE
#130035
DanOfTheDead wrote:So wonderful.

How do you tackle a project like this? Do you just start building and add on room and platforms, or is it precisely planned out? Would LOVE to something like this, but I can't imaged where one even starts!


There was a bit of planning involved but it was basically just "I want to make a small town type spaceport with a bar and a bunch of random shops and this and that and see what happens." The first building I built was the Motel (well, 3 room motel) and it was going to be just a stand alone playset with a landing platform. I intended for the kids to just be able to place it on the floor whenever they wanted set it up and maybe I'd make a few more random buildings so they could layout their own small city. But I figured they'd have these 15-20lb boxes of wood spread all over the floor. They had a Thomas the Train Engine track table that they out grew and I decided to just build on top of that to keep it sort of contained. It reminded me of an oil platform and I thought that would make a neat idea for a shanty town built atop some giant abandoned mining rig. I figured if I built the buildings completely separate of each other with out test fitting then it might give a bit more random haphazard appearance as I wanted the spaceport to look. Once the large buildings were in place then I could see what gaps I had available to add more structures. Since I started running out of space, the whole playset grew upward in levels and I could start bridging platforms with stairs and catwalks. It was really more of a free build situation and just see what happens.
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By EMPIRE
#130037
Here are the 2 shops I made so far with a 3rd in the works to sort of finish off the "shopping mall" area.
I knew I wanted a hotdog type stand somewhere in the city and it eventually became a taco shack.

The Men In Black 3 Mr. Wu figure made a perfect fit to be the owner of Wangs Tacos.

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By EMPIRE
#130038
I had no intention of turning this into toy store but it turned out to be my favorite building. My kids went ape when they saw it.
They were mad tho when they realized all the toys in the store are permanently attached.

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By YAK_Chewie
#130049
Well, this is without a doubt, one of the most impressive Star Wars works I have ever seen anyone make.

The size is insane (insanely awesome!), the details are beyond belief, the playability is outstanding, and the creativity is off the charts.

Your kids and their friends have got to be in absolute heaven playing with this - heck, I get lost in a childlike fantasy just imagining all the battles and fun themes one could have playing with this.

Thank you for sharing this with us here. I know our readers will love looking at this.

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