Instructables

Mini AT-ST Popsicle Stick Model

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Picture of Mini AT-ST Popsicle Stick Model
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Hello everyone!  Another project from the Star Wars Universe - A mini All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) popsicle stick model...

The "chicken walkers" were more of a challenge to build compared with other fictional crafts since the mini AT-ST has to balance on two really skinny mechanical legs.  That said, together with the very slow curing time of white glue combines for a rather difficult project.
 
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

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As with previous popsicle stick model projects, tools used were basically carving and sanding tools.

Below is a list of tools used in this project:
  • Dremel minimite with the following attachments/bits:
    • Drum sander (course & medium grade)
    • Disc Sander (fine grade)
    • Reinforced cutting wheel
    • Grinding Stone (small, drum-shaped)
  • Olfa Handsaver art knife (with standard blade/s)
  • Elmers multi-purpose white glue
  • handy clamps
  • fine tweezers
  • ruler and mechanical pencil
  • vinyl cutting mat
The cutting wheel bit was handy for carving slots in the walkers legs and main turret blaster housing.  Again, I highly recommend handling the moto tool and art knives with care... Specially for carving and cutting small parts..

Materials used were varying sizes and types of popsicle sticks, wooden coffee stirrers and toothpicks.  The colored 'tongue depressor-sized' popsicle sticks were used in the final assembly to prop up the engine drive assembly at the same level with the mechanical walkers' legs.  A piece of bamboo chopstick was used for the gyro system connecting the main turret with the engine drive assembly.  Also useful were bits and pieces from my 'spares' box for tiny parts like the simulated mini blaster and concussion grenade launcher mounted on the both sides of the main turret. The 'spares' were leftovers from other popsicle stick projects.

Step 2: Schematics

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Schematics for the AT-ST was from the site The-Bluprints.com.  It hosts some of the largest collection of free schematics and this project was definitely not possible without them....(thanks guys!!)...

For anyone who would rather go straight to the schematics, the image URL is :   http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints-depot/sciencefiction/star-wars-imperial/at-st2.GIF

The image was reduced to 80% of the default GIF image and printed on paper to serve as blueprint for the build.  The reduced size of the main turret should match the size of a regular popsicle stick.

Step 3: Main Turret

For the main turret, I cut six (6) pieces from regular sized popsicle sticks to match the size of the illustration in the blueprint.  After the glue has set, I used a drum and disc sander attachment to grind and shape the turret based on the schematics.

The front armor housing the main blaster and command viewports were separately glued and sanded into shape.  The slot for the main blaster was carved using a reinforced cutting wheel from Dremel.

Tiny parts for the command viewports, ingress/egress hatch, mini laser blaster and concussion grenade (and their mountings) were cut from various parts from the 'spares' box and sanded to its final shape using a fine disc sander attachment.


Step 4: Footpad and Leg Assembly

The two (2) footpads of the walker were cut and carved into shape from wooden starbucks 'stirrers' using a fine disc and drum sander attachment.

The simulated fence cutting blade was carved from a toothpick, sliced in two and glued to the two (2) dome-shaped footpads.  The length of the fence cutting blades were intentionally lengthened to act as a 'foot' extension.  The extended length increases the footprint of the walker and acts to counter balance the weight of the main turret when mounted in the final assembly.  Equal sized toothpicks were cut and glued to the footpad assembly.

For the AT-ST's legs, wooden starbucks stirrers were slotted using a reinforced cutting wheel.  The slots should fit the toothpicks in the previous footpad assembly.

For the AT-ST's 'thighs', regular popsicle sticks were used, carved and shaped according to the size and specs in the schematics.  Barbecue sticks from the 'spares' box were cut to form the main joints.  Spares were again used for the joint covers of the AT-ST 'thighs'.

The legs and thighs were then glued based on the bluprint and allowed to dry overnight.  The footpad assemblies were then inserted into the walker's legs and glued in place.  The completed sub assemblies must now be able to stand on its own..


Step 5: Main Blaster Cannon

The main blaster cannons were the tiniest parts in the build and required a very delicate sanding 'touch'.  A toothpick was initially sanded to a small cylinder-shape to represent the barrels and tapered towards both ends.

Spares were used for the gun mounts and a piece of barbecue stick for the blaster counter weight.

Step 6: Drive Engine & Gyro System Assembly

For the walker's drive engine, a two-layer 'sandwiched' wooden stirrer was used.  The flat octagonal shape of the drive engine was carved using a fine drum sander attachment.  Side slots for the drive shafts were cut using an olfa cutter.

A bamboo chopstick was tapered using a drum sander and cut to the desired length based on the gyro system illustrated in the blueprint.  I highly recommend cutting the bamboo chopstick a little longer since it'll be easier to shorten it in the later stages when mounting the main turret.  With the lengthened gyro system, you'll have the option to position the main turret facing up, down, left or right. The bamboo stick gyro system was then glued on top of the drive engine and set aside to dry.

Two (2) drive shafts were fabricated from scraps and mounted in the slots cut in the sides of the drive engine assembly.  After these were allowed to dry, a drum sander was used to shape the end of the drive units parallel to the drive engine assembly.  This increases the contact area where the drive shafts meets the leg assemblies.

Step 7: Put it all together....

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For the final assembly, I fabricated a temporary jig using colored 'tongue depressor-sized' popsicle sticks and oddly shaped 'scraps' to prop up the engine sub assembly with the same level as the walker's mechanical legs.  The legs should line up with the engine drive shaft from the previous step.

While waiting for the engine and leg sub assemblies to dry, the blaster cannon assembly was glued to the blaster cannon 'slot'  in the main turret.  You have the option to mount the cannon pointing upwards (to blast Ewoks in gliders!) or downwards.

Finally, the completed main turret assembly was glued to the desired position on the engine/gyro system sub assembly.

Fabricate a squad of walkers and go after those pesky Ewoks!!!
Blaise_Gauba9 months ago
By the way, taking the time to take so many pictures of every step is awesome. Not very many Makers do that. I try and document everything I make in as many of the steps as possible. Again, I commend you on you thoroughness in documenting every step.
Blaise_Gauba9 months ago
I also use the chuck in my Dremel or a Screw Gun to use to turn small wooden, brass, aluminum and Acrylic parts for projects that I do. Comes in really handy to do it that way. I like you method as well. There is nothing like hand made. You Walkers are spot on! Good job!
mdelray1 year ago
Cool huh......
Guarding the bunker 2 e.jpg
popsicle_mini-models (author)  mdelray1 year ago
Amazing!:)
mdelray1 year ago
I know exactly what you mean when you said about them standing on their own legs. I built four ATST's in 1:6 scale, with 22 points of articulation.... But the final product was really cool....
See them at my flickr sight by googleing TnT's Little things in images.
When/if one breaks you should burn it! Make a snowy background and film it burning as if it were a recreation of the movie. Of course you should then put it on YouTube. If I made one of them I would use it for a Monopoly game. Thanks for your Instructable.
juz4kix1 year ago
Beautiful!!!
And I don't need a laser cutter or CNC machine to do this.
Again Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
tjesse juz4kix1 year ago
No kidding, What happened to the humble scroll saw. Seems like you need a laser cutter for everything. Its carpentry for rich graphic designer hipsters (unless I win one, then its cool).
juz4kix tjesse1 year ago
true. I probably would love one too. But until then they are for non-calloused people who don't want to get their hands dirty. :P
imperio1 year ago
Beautiful model! constructor has infinite patience!
ossum1 year ago
Incredible work! Have you painted any of your models?
dixons1 year ago
Mad props.
rocktman1 year ago
Pretty sweet!
Wow that is freaking amazing. I've worked with p-sticks before, it's not that easy. They're not exactly precision building materials. Very nice work!
stumitch1 year ago
excellent! my son will love this...
This is great and timely as I have been thinking about building some mech-warriors for a print-and-play game I found the other day. I have been exploring materials to use, cheap and readily available being key criteria, and it never occurred to me to use popsicle sticks. I have boxes of them! Thanks for the detail photos for the steps.
Alderin1 year ago
Now to build a motorized one in the same scale.

What? Too ambitious? :-)

Awesome job! I may have to try this, it fits in my currently limited space. :-)
grey_starr1 year ago
That is amazing!! Fav list!!
impressive
Browncoat1 year ago
I would seriously NEVER have the patience/ability to make this. But it's still made of win!! (Along with being made of patience & ability!)
J-Five1 year ago
Two words "PURE GENIUS!!!"
cooooooool
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WOW!
Tomdf1 year ago
Incredible!
wow!
Thrasym1 year ago
I really liked your other instructables but this is my favourite! Really takes me back to the first couple years Star Wars Galaxies was live (you know, before they revamped it and ruined it) and I lived on it. Loved that game, miss my AT-ST, it killed rebels so good.
swisel1 year ago
this is awesome!!!!
Hmm... I'm more of a MechWarrior fan, so maybe... MadCat? Warhammer? Atlas?

Worth a shot...
sunshiine1 year ago
How cute! You are tempting me!
I really want to make one, but seeing how usually I either give up halfway through, or it looks like the remains of a crushed bug, i'm debating whether or not it's worth it.

Really cool and lots of detail! Gets me inspired to start plugging away at other fantasy models!
All thats left is a few Ewoks and Startroopers!
laxap1 year ago
I like them!
Mr.Sanchez1 year ago
Nice weekend project !!! Thnx for share.
Wow
Awesome!!! I love it!!! :-)
jimmyb0nz1 year ago
Amazing job. I have to make a few of these now!