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View Full Version : I Should Be Bringing Home Display Cases To Make Some Dioramas Soon



Tycho
02-08-2010, 06:06 PM
I think I will be moving display cases out of my storage to help me consolidate space.

That being said, I can use the cases to make the following 7 displays:

1) The Pod Race Arena as the race starts, with all the characters in the grandstands.

2) Mos Eisley Spaceport with the Cantina (previously built, this time improved)

3) The Battle of Hoth (previously built, this time recreated exactly as before)

4) The Battle of Kashyyyk (with Droid Gunship by the time I make this)

5) The Battle of Endor (previously built, this time recreated the same as before)

6) The Death Star (previously built, recreated the same as before)

7) Coruscant Speeder Chase (with Padme's apartment, Club Outlander, Dexter's Diner)*

* The point-perspective construction approach to this one will be most difficult and challenging. Additionally, I'm going to pay for the buildings to be made of hard PVC plastic so the figures weight won't collapse them. They'll be cut-away at angles so you can clearly see inside of Club Outlander, etc.

It should be fun.

I can't do scenes with the Republic Gunships because the wingspans are too wide for these 18" deep cases. I will have to have new cases custom-made in the future, but have no need to spend on that just now.

I also don't know if I'm going to bring my custom Blockade Runner home. Possibly.

DarkJedi5
02-08-2010, 09:51 PM
Hey Tycho, just a though about the gunship issue, what if you popped off one of the wings and then made a dummy wing as a replacement, one that was shorter but gave the impression of a wing and then just put that side to the back? Just an idea. Can't wait to see you put these together. You'll take pictures as you go for us right?

Tycho
02-09-2010, 01:44 AM
Oh yeah I'll take pictures! I need to have them recorded anyway because when I do eventually move, I'll want to set up things exactly the way I had them before.

Your suggestion about the gunships is a good idea, however, I feel resistant to it at the first suggestion, because I'm a fan of the toy and want to display it as it's meant to be. I will think on that however.

I also would appreciate the space a larger case would give me, so the two gunships in the Battle of Geonosis display won't be riding in each other's field of fire.

One gunship will have Yoda, Mace, Ki-Adi, and Kit Fisto aboard. The rear one will have Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme aboard. The AT-TE goes underneath. One solution to this - and how to get the heavy gunships to fly where fishing wire that could support the snowspeeder will break under the weight of the gunship, is to have a large plexiglass box built that turned upside down, completely covers the AT-TE with some space vertically going above it. Then the action figures, like Clones and Jedi leading them, such as Aayla, will be underneath the plexiglass box and AT-TE as well. On top of the sturdy plexiglass, well-supported, will be the gunships. I'm pretty sure that is the way to go. Terribly thick fishing wire would be too obvious and ruin the aesthetic further.

Additionally, the Homing Spider Droids are wide at the base where the feet stand. And I need to put a Hailfire in there, sort of between two Homing Spiders, so the bigger fixture works in this case.

If you like to see my scene pictures, there are the Curio cabinets that I pictured hosting Episode One Tatooine scenes (like the Mos Espa fight between JarJar and Sebulba) and the Episode Two Tatooine scenes (like the Lars homestead with young Owen and Beru.). It's in this forum.

I think the titles are "New Pics: Glad they made so many podracers" and "New Pics: Glad they made Owen and Beru, Now we need Cliegg."

DarkJedi5
02-09-2010, 09:18 AM
Yeah, I'd seen the curio cabinets and was pretty impressed with what you were able to throw together even though it probably didn't take hours and hours. If you do end up going with the larger case (as it sounds like you must to display the entire battle scene you have planned) what about instead of have a box made, how about two platforms? They could look more or less like dumbbells with a sturdy clear plastic base and platform on top of a nice sturdy plastic rod. Not too sure but it seems maybe a little easier and cheaper than the box and you wouldn't have to take everything apart to adjust the figures under the AT-TE (we do live in earthquake country and figures don't always resist shaking very well).

Tycho
02-09-2010, 02:35 PM
Great idea - an "H-frame" or such, if you will. (Turned on its side)

Darth Jax
02-09-2010, 06:25 PM
I also would appreciate the space a larger case would give me, so the two gunships in the Battle of Geonosis display won't be riding in each other's field of fire.

One gunship will have Yoda, Mace, Ki-Adi, and Kit Fisto aboard. The rear one will have Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme aboard. The AT-TE goes underneath. One solution to this - and how to get the heavy gunships to fly where fishing wire that could support the snowspeeder will break under the weight of the gunship, is to have a large plexiglass box built that turned upside down, completely covers the AT-TE with some space vertically going above it. Then the action figures, like Clones and Jedi leading them, such as Aayla, will be underneath the plexiglass box and AT-TE as well. On top of the sturdy plexiglass, well-supported, will be the gunships. I'm pretty sure that is the way to go. Terribly thick fishing wire would be too obvious and ruin the aesthetic further.


i haven't had any trouble with fishing line supporting my gunships.

Tycho
02-10-2010, 04:02 AM
i haven't had any trouble with fishing line supporting my gunships.

That's good to know.

The gunship is heavier than anything I've hung before:

original Millennium Falcon probably being the heaviest;
starfighters are obvious
the vintage Rebel Transport - but I think the original Falcon is heavier.

I also want to hang the Imperial Shuttle but that too is lighter than the Republic Gunship I'm fairly certain.

I just don't know about trusting the gunship to fishing wire. In addition to that, I use plexiglass crossbeams to straddle display case fixtures (under their glass lids) to suspend the ships for mostly ground combat scenes. I think they'd snap under the weight of the gunship. Snowspeeders are OK - but I think I'm asking for trouble if I try to handle the gunship in that manner.

Darth Jax
02-10-2010, 07:32 AM
initially i was concerned that the gunship would be too heavy also. but after what 4-5 years haven't had any problem.

i have my ships hung directly from the ceiling (except the falcon, which i thought would be too heavy). they're slightly nosedown so you can see the pilot and the detail on the top of the ship, instead of just the underside of them.

dr_evazan22
02-10-2010, 08:02 AM
I've also had my gunship hung with fishing line as well with no problems. Used the same line to hang my original Falcon (vintage, this was back in '95 - '96), again no prob's. Had it hung on its side, like it was going thru asteroid canyon. I should add that at first I was quite concerned at first, and the apt I was in had radiators, as opposed to a forced air heating. Apt I'm in now has forced air, with vents in ceiling.

Besides fishing line, home centers should have clear plastic line for hanging paintings.

Ando
02-10-2010, 10:19 AM
I also want to hang the Imperial Shuttle but that too is lighter than the Republic Gunship I'm fairly certain.

Really? I'm not so sure about that... The Imperial Shuttle is a BEAST. The wings are bigger and there's more plastic in the shuttle. Plus the plastic seems thicker and denser on the Shuttle vs. the Gunship.

I haven't looked at my shuttle in a while, but I think the Republic Gunships are lighter than the Imperial Shuttles.

I will have to dig it out and check.

I can vouch for the fishing line as well. Just make sure you get the higher test line if the display is going to hang for a while. It'd be a bummer to have the line fatigue and fail in the middle of the night and scare you half AND have a bunch of broken/bent toys laying on the ground when you stumble into your living room to investigate.

(Please post pics when you're all done!)

dr_evazan22
02-10-2010, 10:48 AM
I had my shuttle hanging as well, had the line rigged around the fuselage.

Tycho
02-10-2010, 10:56 AM
As I said before: "In addition to that, I use plexiglass crossbeams to straddle display case fixtures (under their glass lids) to suspend the ships for mostly ground combat scenes. I think they'd snap under the weight of the gunship. Snowspeeders are OK - but I think I'm asking for trouble if I try to handle the gunship in that manner."

Mad Slanted Powers
02-11-2010, 07:05 PM
When you consider how much tension a fishing line might have when you are actually trying to reel in a fish, I would think that it should be able to hold well. Then again, I've not actually fished with a rod and reel myself.

Tycho
02-16-2010, 09:50 PM
No one's hearing me that a plexiglass crossbeam spanning the top of the fixture would break under the weight of the gunship, no matter if the fishing line did not.

There is no top to the fixture, save for the glass you replace after you've set up your diorama. You want to be able to get in and out of there, without gunships dangling from it.

So where it came to snowspeeders, much lighter, I used plexiglass crossbeams. They only rest on their extreme ends, but are strong and flexible enough, to support snowspeeders tied to them.

The gunship is the heaviest vehicle I own which I care to display "flying" in such a glass case environment.

clone157
02-16-2010, 10:47 PM
I had lost my spool of fishing line when last setting up my Kashyyk dio. My wife set me up with something called tiger's tail. It is a little coolerin some respects. It is elastic, so I can get a good bob effect on my Gunships, however the problem is that it is elastic so it is hard to see just how low it will hang. You can find it in the jewlery section of hobby shops.

Mad Slanted Powers
02-17-2010, 12:33 AM
No one's hearing me that a plexiglass crossbeam spanning the top of the fixture would break under the weight of the gunship, no matter if the fishing line did not.

There is no top to the fixture, save for the glass you replace after you've set up your diorama. You want to be able to get in and out of there, without gunships dangling from it.

So where it came to snowspeeders, much lighter, I used plexiglass crossbeams. They only rest on their extreme ends, but are strong and flexible enough, to support snowspeeders tied to them.

The gunship is the heaviest vehicle I own which I care to display "flying" in such a glass case environment.Perhaps you should have a case made that has a top that is strong enough to hang a gunship from it, and have the front or back be a sliding door that would allow access.

Tycho
02-17-2010, 12:49 AM
All the cases I own have back sliding doors. When I put the cases against the wall, I can't get in them that way, so I pop the tops off of them, as I can get my forearm through the back to raise the glass top.

But I can't set stuff up and then move them. Even on stands the figures wouldn't be shooting at each other, posed the right way any more, once they were shaken as the cases were moved.

And no glue! I keep everything loose but mint except where I venture to customize on rare occasion.

If the fishing line was hung from the glass, it would fracture. Across the top the gunship's weight would be distributed along the whole vehicle. Hung by wire, it would be concentrated, pulling, on one place.

Furthermore, Geonosis for example, requires TWO hanging gunships, (Anakin's and Yoda's) putting pressure of that sort in two different places.

I lost a glass top once - over the Hoth scene (and replaced it) but the weight of the 12" Han Solo on TaunTaun, and 12" Luke Hoth w. Wampa, plus my cat jumping up there - made the glass shatter all over my Hoth diorama. That was really fun to clean up (happened years ago - maybe 2001 or 2002). Anyway, my heating and air conditioning surely had something to do with that as well.

If the plexiglass is weighted, it will first bend. Next, if it breaks, it's a $10 cross-beam versus a $50 piece of glass - and the plexiglass will break on its fold into two pieces, not shatter all over the AT-AT etc.

Finally, the plexiglass is see-through, so it doesn't ruin the look of the diorama, and it is thin enough that it can fit underneath the glass top as a cross-beam, whereas a real glass piece placed there would stress the glass top as well as itself.

And the bottom line is, I need a 6 foot long case to showcase the AT-AT and AT-ST on one side (with Probot and snowtroopers) versus Luke's crashed snowspeeder, and Wedge and Hobbie's flying above (hung), and the vintage Turet and vintage Attack Base playsets - with room for "no-man's-land" in between them.

For Geonosis, it's even worse (the space needs): two Republic Gunships and Adi Gallia's starfighter flying over the AT-TE, with clones and Jedi beneath, versus (after a no-man's-land space) the Hailfire Droid, two Homing Spider Droids, 2 Dwarf Spider Droids, columns of Battle Droids and Super Battle Droids, and Dooku's speeder going the opposite way with 2 Geonosian Fighter escorts while a Droid Fighter 3-pack is covering their escape.

This is a big one since there are more than 3 types of vehicles to showcase (AT-AT, AT-ST, snowspeeders in Hoth's case). And as I said, the Gunship's wings will not allow it to fit in the standard case.

I could leave glass shelving inside however, and put the gunships on those - if they rested high enough that I could get the AT-TE underneath them.

Ando
02-17-2010, 10:39 AM
No one's hearing me that a plexiglass crossbeam spanning the top of the fixture would break under the weight of the gunship, no matter if the fishing line did not.

Tycho, try this:

Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get some Lexan Polycarbonate sheets. It's the stuff that stops bullets.

It's expensive, so you might want to go with the generic stuff instead of the Lexan brand name stuff, but it WILL HOLD UP.

You can also cut it to fit the top of the display case. You can drill into it to run the lines for the Gunships and cut them down into sections so you don't have to have just one long piece, but multiple pieces that are more managable so you can access your display. They sell the cutting tool in the same section. If you don't want to cover the entire display, just make the cross beams you want and double/triple them up.

It'll hold together.

My wife and I put it over the glass panes in our apartment doors to keep prowlers from being able to pop out a pane of glass in our front or back door and letting themselves in to take our stuff. I actually used it to replace one of the panes when my wife accidentally broke one last summer and you can't tell the difference between it and glass.

Just a thought. I love the stuff and wish I had more places to use it.

Tycho
02-17-2010, 06:12 PM
Thanks Ando. I will look into that when the time comes.

I also hope that Home Depot will cut the plastic for me versus me having to buy the tool. However, if I must, the tool will come in handy, as I'll only be making one display at a time.

pbarnard
02-17-2010, 06:13 PM
Thanks Ando. I will look into that when the time comes.

I also hope that Home Depot will cut the plastic for me versus me having to buy the tool. However, if I must, the tool will come in handy, as I'll only be making one display at a time.

Dremmel and a cutting wheel will work. That's usually in the customizing tool chest.