While we’ve been enjoying the incredible Light & Magic documentary series about the history of ILM, we dive into the storied history of Star Wars action figures with three books that catalog those iconic vintage toys. From comprehensive visual guides to prototype deep dives, these are coffee books we’re happy to get lost in!
Adam assembles the most beautiful garage kit he has ever seen: a studio scale AT-AT Walker inspired by the stop-motion miniature used for The Empire Strikes Back. The resin castings are impeccable given the complexity of the parts and the molds required to make them, and the whole kit is an absolute delight to put together. Adam of course adds his own customizations, and has a few mods in mind for future builds to fulfill its destiny as a tabletop diorama!
Adam first completed his R2-D2 astromech replica over 17 years ago, and it’s finally time to take it a part and give it some much-needed upgrades! Adam is rebuilding the lighting and electronics of the dome, starting with the fiber optic data displays (aka “logic lights”) that shimmer as R2 is data processing. It’s the start of an epic prop project, and Adam’s motivator is running in high gear!
Adam unboxes the Max Rebo concept maquette replica that’s part of Regal Robot’s new Star Wars Archive Collection! This recreation of Phil Tippett’s original sculpt of Max Rebo was created using digital scans of the original artifact, and a great example of the kind of concept sculpture used for production. Adam admires how beautifully it’s painted, and its wonderful details from top to bottom!
We check out the prototype for Hasbro Pulse’s new HasLab Star Wars FX Elite Lightsaber from Obi-Wan Kenobi! Product Designer Manager Chris Reiff walks us through the features and construction of Reva’s double-bladed lightsaber and the effects his team is able to incorporate into its design. Plus, we geek out about the other Star Wars projects he’s been able to work on, including the Razor Crest model we’re currently modding!
Adam visits Prop Store ahead of their upcoming Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction to get a rare up-close look at one of the few surviving X-Wing miniatures from the making of Star Wars: Episode IV. Inspecting the paint finish and preserved surface of this gorgeous filming miniature is like a looking into the early days of the ILM model shop, with every detail revealing first hand the care and attention that went into the first Star Wars movie.
One of our favorite things we saw at this year’s Star Wars Celebration was Mike McMaster’s remote-controlled Imperial Probe Droid. This life-size recreation of the menacing Viper droid as seen in The Empire Strikes Back was 3D printed over the course of a year, and wired with servos, motors, lights, and sound effects all remotely controlled by McMaster and his son. We catch up with Mike to learn about the build of this incredible robot and how it’s being stress tested at the convention!
In Adam’s past experience, small batch garage kits made by fans vary wildly in quality, and castings can often suffer from deteriorating molds of complex parts. That’s not the case with this studio scale Walker garage kit Adam unboxes today–he is left speechless by the quality of these parts and detail retained in the castings. Rest assured it’s already in the process of assembly for a future One Day Build!
This week’s LEGO build takes the newly released Star Wars Death Star Trench Run set and converts it into a piece of automata by remixing it with the LEGO Pursuit of Flight set. The result is a miniature scene with Vader’s TIE Fighter in animated pursuit of Luke’s X-Wing, against a backdrop of LEGO greeblie paneling. We also add LED lights to the diorama and the finished piece looks amazing!
The Haslab Razor Crest has landed! Over a year after we pre-ordered it, Hasbro’s 1/18 scale model of The Mandalorian’s chrome starship arrives at our studio for an unboxing and review. Norm examines the nooks and cranies of this massive playset, from its assembly and interior detail to removeable paneling and paint job. And all throughout, we’re thinking of ways to add more weathering and modify it in a future build!