Introduction: Star Wars Death Star Escape Book Nook
For a while I have been making dioramas and small scenes using model railway figures, and when I found out about book nooks or shelf inserts I have always wanted to make one.
So when the UK went into lockdown due the covid-19 I decided I would give making one a go.
I decided to make a Star Wars themed nook, I also decided to change it up a little and make the nook if in between my Star Wars DVDs.
Once those decisions had been made I was trying to think of scenes or dioramas I could make from Star Wars that would fit inside a narrow tall space.
The Death Star escape swing Luke and Leia made was the scene I decided to try and make.
***This instructable might be lacking in photos of each stage as I forgot to take photos at every stage. I will do My best to show or describe each step. ***
Step 1: Tools and Materials.
- 3D computer modeling software. I used SketchUp.
- 3D printer. I used an Ender3
- Measuring device.
- Paint brushes.
- Files and sand paper.
- Soldering iron.
- Wood saw.
- Craft knife or scalpel.
- LEDs, strip or singular or even string LEDs will work.
- Thin hard board or thing wood. (cardboard would work as well)
- Aluminum tape.
- Fine electrical wire.
- Scale figures.
- Tracing paper.
This is probably not all the items i used. Please read the whole instructable before starting to make sure you have things i may have missed.
Step 2: Designing the Walls.
I started by searching for images of the scene where Luke and Leia swing across a chasm in the death star to escape the stormtroopers.
I found a couple of images that showed the areas I needed.
For the walls I also searched for Death Star walls and found some nice reference images.
Using all these images I drew up some panels that I could repeat in different orders to make all the walls I needed for the whole diorama.
Using sketchup I built up the whole diorama and then sliced it up ready for printing.
Step 3: Designing the Ceiling Details.
Using the reference images from the wall building I took at a look at the ceiling details.
These pods are important as that is what Luke uses to swing from.
I drew these up in SketchUp. Due to the scale I was making the diorama I had to leave some of details out.
To get the pipes down the sides of the pods I used the filament from the 3D printer cut to the length and glued them into the pods.
Adding little details like that will make your model look more realistic.
Step 4: Printing the Parts.
Using my 3D printer I printed each flat wall section flat on the printer bed.
Cutting the 3D model into flat parts, and printing them lying on the bed makes the 3D prints a better quality as there are no overhangs that require support structures that need removing.
For the ceiling pods I cut them into two parts, so they would print separately. when trying to print them in one piece the print did fails a few times. so separating them and printing separately and gluing them together later was the best plan.
I separated the doors from the back of the main wall panels so they could be printed separately, I also removed the ledges to make them print separately, these parts will be glued into place later on.
Step 5: Sanding and Painting the Walls.
If you print your model in a filament that is the colour that the final item will be then you will only need to sand the texture off the prints (that is if there is any that causes problems)
I had white filament in my printer at the time so I printed my models out with white filament.
Sometime there is a visible texture on prints when they come off the printer so you may need to give the parts a sand before painting. I gave the flat surfaces of my prints a sand with a high grit sand paper.
Once i had the surfaces nice and flat (or as much as I had patience to do) I gave all the parts a coat of grey paint.
You can use Acrylic paint or rattle can spray paint.
Once you have a good covering of grey on all the parts you are good to move onto the next step.
Step 6: Cutting and Measuring the Box.
I measured the dimensions of the box in my 3D model.
Using those measurements i cut the 5 sides needed to make the box for my nook.
When I had all the parts for the box, I glued them together with SA super glue.
I did not attach the top part of the box and there is no front part. (In hindsight i should have left the back off as it would have been a little easier to do the wiring for the lighting later on with both the back and top off.)
I then glued two small magnets to the main box and two to the top of the box so the top can be removed at a alter date to change batteries or to make adjustments.
I painted the whole box flat mat black inside and out. Later on I put Aluminium tape in the bottom to give the effect of the walls continuing down to enhance the chasm effect.
I also put the tape behind the walls of the diorama to reflect the LED strips more than black or plain wood.
Step 7: Making the Lighting.
This is the stage that will have the least info and photos.
If you look at the plan (top down) view, you will see that there will be voids behind the walls of the diorama.
The left back will be where the switch and battery are going to be housed and the small void on the right will only hold some LED strip.
I used little sections of LED strips and glued them to the backs of the walls, this was done so they would reflect off the aluminium tape and back through the holes in the 3D printed walls. Using the reflection makes the light less focused and more like all the gaps had their own light source.
The Gaps in the 3D printed walls were covered in tracing paper to defuse the light even more and give them the light box style lighting i was looking for.
Step 8: Assembling the Parts.
This stage also will be very limited on photos and instructions. I will do my best to explain it all.
If you have any questions please ask.
Once I had all the walls printed and painted i glued the walls that form each side of the nook together.
This forms the 'corridor' that will create the nook.
The ledges were glued into the notches and the doors were glued onto the back of the openings. I left the Door behind the opening that Luke and Leia swing from a little higher to make it look like the scene from the movie.
At this point I had 4 wall parts, Two for each side. I glued them together each side together.
The light system is now glued to the back of the wall panels.
I installed the right hand wall section to the box first and glued them in place. Then the back and left hand sides were glued into place.
The ceiling pods were glued onto the underside of the top panel of the box.
Step 9: Making the Figures.
Unless you have a very high quality resin 3D printer it is very difficult to print figures at the scale this model is made (HO 1:87)
So with that being said i had to find figures that might look a little like the characters in the scene.
The three figures I needed to construct were: Luke , Leia and a stormtrooper for the back ledge.
Luke and Leia were made by cutting arms of the figures and changing the orientation of them to make it look like they were holding onto each other and the rope. I also bent one of Lukes legs and moved the position of the other to try and match the positions of the screen grab I had of the scene from star wars.
The Stormtrooper was a riot police figure that I sanded down the face and details of so you couldn't tell they were a human figure.
A lot of details for the figures are added when painting the models. Painting the stormtrooper black white with the details makes you think it is a model of a stormtrooper.
I then glued the stormtrooper to the rear ledge and the Luke and Leia figures together and then to a length of wire which had been wrapped around one of the ceiling pods.
Using wire instead of string means i can pose the figures to look like the are mid swin and not just hanging.
Step 10: Finished Item.
Once you have got all your parts built and assembled you are ready to insert the diorama into the shelf.
I chose to put my Book (DVD) Nook between the original and prequel trilogy DVDs on my shelf as they match each other with the black and gold spines and I liked the way they looked each side of the diorama.
Thank you for looking at my instructable. I apologise that there were not more photos for some of the steps. If you have any questions about the stages or anything at all please ask in the comments and i will do my best to try and answer them.
Please give this instructable a like, a share or a vote in the competitions. I would be very appreciative of any type of interaction.
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