Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Strike Up The Band

In the back half of 2019, I started up a new project of putting together my first ever diorama. By this point, I had amassed enough characters in my collection to put together a nice Jabba’s palace display. It was a really satisfying build and I got to work with materials I’d never used before like foam boards, joint compound and 3D printed elements just to name a few. I couldn’t be happy with the end result but I knew it wasn’t close to complete. So almost two years later, I decided to revisit my diorama and work on expanding it even more.

The last element I added to my diorama back in 2019 was Jabba’s little sidekick, Salacious Crumb. Since I had missed the chance to get myself the only official Black Series version a few years back, I opted to go for the 3D printed route. And I was quite satisfied with the end result. That got me thinking, why not do the same thing with even more missing characters for my display. I figured that articulation wasn’t really that important so I set off online to see what was out there.

First on my list was Bib Fortuna. For some reason though the only decent looking model out there still seemed rather lacking so I decided to move on. In retrospect this turned out to be the right decision as not long after, Hasbro announced plans of releasing a Bib Fortuna later this year!

Anyway, next on my list was the Max Rebo Band. I mean you can’t have a proper palace display without the house band right? I figured that an official version by Hasbro was a longshot at this point, so it would be well worth the trouble having one custom built.

For starters I just wanted the original trio composed of Max Rebo, Sy Snootles and Droopy Mccool. And it wasn’t very hard to find 3D models of them online. From there it was pretty straightforward, I had them printed out and painted by my 2 local “go to” artists here in Manila and that was that.

I did end up with one slight problem as Droopy Mccool’s pipe was a separate piece and for some reason couldn’t be properly placed in his hands. I ended up snapping it in half. Frustrating but I managed to fudge something together.

Anyway getting the band members done was just one half of the job. They needed a stage to perform on of course! So It was back to the old foam boards. Fortunately I still had extra pieces from the previous work. My joint compound though had dried up so I had to get a new batch.

Since there wasn’t really any definitive online reference for their performance space that I could find, I decided to just use the piece I made for Han Solo’s carbonite display as the basis. So they shared similar design elements.

The main component of the display of course would be the stage. Fortunately, I also held on to the other piece of foam that I cut out to make Jabba’s arched throne backdrop which was just perfect for the stage!

If you read my previous entries, you know the drill on this one. First I assembled the actual foam board structure with a glue gun and toothpicks and added some texture with a tin foil ball.

Next came the joint compound and when that dried, I added the sand with some watered down glue. And when all THAT dried up, the last task was to paint everything up, base color, highlights etc. For the stage itself I opted to go without the sand layer and just paint it a darker brown and add some metallic elements, just for variety :)

Oh I did have a major brain fart in the assembly stage. My intention was to make this new section the mirror opposite of the carbonite section which had that slanting section on the right side. I ended up doing the same side for the new piece and only realized my mistake after I had applied all the layers and painted everything!

So...I basically had to rip apart my work and transfer the slanted part to the other side and re-apply all the layers to the newly exposed parts. It was a major hassle but hey, I’m only doing this once so might as well do it right.

And with that, my Max Rebo display is complete! But we’re not done yet! This wasn’t the only addition I had in mind for my palace display. In fact for my next project, I had something rather BIG planned.

To be continued

Models available at CGtrader
3D Printing done by Pampa3D
Paints done by Marvin Delacruz