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  1. #1

    First Diorama: Cantina WIP

    I've been working on this for 8-10 months on and off...well mostly off...I haven't touched it in 6-7 months until recently. The prospect of getting more cantina figures in the current wave got me excited about it again. I was kinda "stuck" in the building phase partially and I was just tired of working on it. I'm back in full swing working on it and I have since found these forums and all of the great work that's done here and thought I'd share and also allow some critique to help me along the way.

    Let me preface this with the fact that this is the first diorama I have built and I didn't find very many resources as to how to do it so I've been more or less "winging" it since the beginning so keep that in mind

    The idea is for it to be the full cantina, inside and out scaled to the figures. Each wall of 3 alcoves will be removable, as well as the roof and possibly the dome over the foyer will be removable to be able to see in and take pictures etc.

    I started out with the floorplan as drawn by Jason at Cantinacustoms. That site has been my "go-to" source for all things cantina related from the beginning of this project. I scaled up the floorplans and then photoshopped a 1" by 1" grid over the top so I could line it up correctly. I then printed it out in sections. After cutting out where I needed to trace (I sometimes needed to print the same section more than once to cut different sections out for this) I traced the whole thing onto 4 20x30 sheets of foam core; which makes the base 40x60, with some room at the front for the outside as seen in the movie.

    After getting the whole thing traced, I then glued down sand (very amaturish compared to what I've seen on this site, I know) everywhere inside the cantina where the floor would be and then glued the plastic grate (the same sewing form that Daigo_Bah and others have used) over the top of the sand. I also built the steps leading up to the foyer and the foyer itself higher using foam core.

    From there I started building up the walls of the foyer and some of the outside using styrofoam.

    I think that brings us up to the first set of progress pictures. The descriptions are above the picture it corresponds to:

    Here you can see the grate glued down over the sand and the built up foyer area.

    and an arial view to see the most of it traced out with the grateing glued down over the sand. At this point not all the grating was down. Also you can kindof see where I elevated the bandstand a little.

    here's a close-up of the grating with the sand under it. I stuck Ponda in for scale reference and to see what the arm would look like on it after it's cut off. I plan on pooring more sand to fill in the holes a little and then spraying some sort of adhesive over the top to hold it in....eventually if I ever get done with the rest

    here you can see the beginning of the structure of the foyer and parts of the exterior.

    here is the beginning of the exterior including the front door

    more of the exterior including the curved are. You can see drawn onto the base where the jut outs of the wall will be where the pack animal is tied in the movie. Those will be added to the exterior stucture later.

    here's the start of the back/right 2 alcoves including the bandstand and the one luke gets knocked into. I've stuck a couple of bith in for scale reference and to see how it looks. You can also see Greedo sitting on the outcropping of the's the wrong alcove but he's there just for reference.

    here you can see how the structure of the alcoves is made.

    here you can see how the section of alcoves lifts up

    the inside of the section of alcoves...the inside arch in one of the alcoves was not in place yet

    that was virtually all the progress that was made up until recently. I had made part of the back wall, the angled alcove on the same wall, and the other 3 alcoves, which because of how they were stored for 6ish months had to be rebuilt anyway.

    The next post will show the progress I've made since restarting to work on it.
    Looking for the following, loose or carded:
    2X Feltipern Trevagg. Multiple Jawas. Multiple Sandtroopers (any non-buff). Swoop. Dewback. Moisture Vaporators

  2. #2
    Here you can see where I have covered the foam core in dry-wall spackle and painted it, including the stripes which have been misted over, a technique I stole from Daigo-Bah. I've also started the preliminary work on the bar itself and the base of the distillery. I've also stuck some figures in for scale and because I wanted to see how they look. You can also see the PVC connector pieces I'll be using for tables.

    different angle

    part of the back wall this is with the "han shoots greedo" side alcoves removed to see in for better angles. You can see part of the inner workings of the "working" back door that slides open. Also there's my first custom that I've made for the cantina; the infamous "cantina dude"

    different angle of the bar, you can see into the back rooms as well as one of the stools and the start of a table.

    another angle

    another angle. here you can see the start of the archway into the foyer, I again stole the texture of the arch from Daigo-Bah.

    a shot looking down into the cantina...the one side is still removed

    the "han shoots greedo" side removed, by itself. You can see the "chair rail"/molding above where the chairs will be on the inside of the alcoves.

    this shows having both sections of removable alcoves in place. You can see the backdoor area with the door closed and parts of the inside of the structure of the alcoves still open for access to install the lights when I get to it.

    a more arial view, you can see pretty much everything that's done up to this poing

    a view towards han and greedo. Han is sitting one of the stools that ben and luke use during their negotiation with Han (since the chairs aren't made yet). Greedo is where he is supposed to be, on the outcrop of the arch. You can see the thickness of the walls is scaled to the size of the figures based on Greedo sitting there.

    a view from the front to the back

    a different angle

    That's all the pictures and all the progress I have to this point. Over the weeked I'd like to try and get the bar and the base of the distillery done, get the tables made, string the lights for the tables, and start on the foyer. How much of that gets done who knows but that's the plan for now.

    Let me know what you all think of the progress so far. I know I've got a long way to go and there's a lot of clean-up work and touch ups that need to be done, other than that critique away! I'd love some suggestions as to ways to improve and what other next steps I should take. Like I said, this is my first dio I've built so keep that in mind
    Looking for the following, loose or carded:
    2X Feltipern Trevagg. Multiple Jawas. Multiple Sandtroopers (any non-buff). Swoop. Dewback. Moisture Vaporators

  3. #3
    Registered Kidhuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Dr. Ventures Yard Sale
    Looks real nice
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
    SSG Pro Football Pick em and Bowl Pick em Champ 2006. 2007 NCAA Bracket Champ
    #24 - Gone but not forgotten

  4. #4
    that's some really cool work. nice job
    Looking for CW 2010 Sidious and TX-20...if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated. thanks

  5. #5
    That's awesome! I hope to do a much more simple cantina diorama myself someday. I will take almost a diorma view, where the wall is removed from the outside and you're kind of just looking in and everyone just so happens to be looking the same direction so you can see the front of the figures.

    Let me know how you make the distillery. If Hasbro never produces one, I intend to.

    Please keep posting pictures of your progress.

  6. #6
    Holy carp! That things ginormous.*

    *that's what she said...
    Up, up, and OKAAAAY!!!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Slicker View Post
    Holy carp! That things ginormous.*

    Looking for the following, loose or carded:
    2X Feltipern Trevagg. Multiple Jawas. Multiple Sandtroopers (any non-buff). Swoop. Dewback. Moisture Vaporators

  8. #8
    mabudonicus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Protecting my secret identity
    Pretty solid so far, can't wait to see it once you've smoothed out all the rough. Once you get moving on it, this kind of thing gets easier and easier. Keep us posted!!
    THAT will be a PLAYset
    Something about him reminds me of my older brother, Rex.

  9. #9
    pbarnard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    w/Capt Kirk F. on the starship Hawkeye
    One thing I found that works better than sand and plaster or spackle to make stucco look is "popcorn" ceiling paint. Gives a nice rough texture, applies to most surfaces, and it takes spray paint so you have a pretty limitless color palette.
    Star Wars & GI Joe Customs
    HAVES: HK-50 Head, Capt Typho & GI Joe fodder available still
    Wants:L8-L9 Head, YVH-1 Complete (as possible),R7-T1 Complete (as possible),R7-Z0 Complete (as possible)

  10. #10
    I actually thought about using that, but couldn't find it at walmart when I was ready to start doing it. The thing is, if I would have waited to find the paint elswhere I may not have gotten around to working on it for months...just the way I am. When I put my mind to something there's no stopping me; but it's the putting my mind to it that's sometimes the issue .

    You are right mabudonicus, the more that gets done the easier it is to work on since the finish line gets closer and the whole thing is easier to visualize as done which just spurs you on to do more.
    Looking for the following, loose or carded:
    2X Feltipern Trevagg. Multiple Jawas. Multiple Sandtroopers (any non-buff). Swoop. Dewback. Moisture Vaporators


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