Special Modifications: Here we go again


It’s ok Threepio, I did not see this coming either.

A combination on a good price for material and an installer who is suddenly freed up means that we're about to redo the flooring in our downstairs. The Star Wars Room is down there so this means I have to pack up the collection until the new flooring is put in which could take a couple  weeks.


My wife and I are also going to look at what can be done to hopefully create more space for another bookshelf.  Although this is going to be a ton of work I wasn’t expecting (seriously, could this not have come up during my 3-month layoff this year?) I’m looking forward to yanking everything out and literally starting over.  

For the first time in twenty years I'm going to be starting the Star Wars Room over from the beginning.  When I first started setting up in this spare room downstairs there was maybe one bookshelf of Star Wars stuff.  Over the past fifteen years I've added shelving as I acquired it, wedging it into place.  It's kind of a pain to suddenly have to take down what I've spent months organizing (and writing about) but I'm choosing to look at the bright side of this and the possibilities it could mean. 

First of all we're going to paint the room. It hasn't been updated in about fifteen years so while the carpeting and furniture is removed we'll paint the walls--I'm hoping for a Death Star grey, maybe a dark blue for the ceiling to simulate outer space. We're going to completely empty the room of all bookshelves, tables and furniture so that we can start from scratch. I keep saying, 'we' as my wife has a good eye of keeping things symmetrical while making sure I can expand things so as to have a place for new Star Wars movie merchandise. (Yeah right, six movies in the works and I have maybe half a bookshelf to dedicate to this!)

Yesterday and today were spent emptying the action figures on each shelf into separate plastic  bags so they are at least sorted.   That way when I want to start a new shelf, the figures I need are ready to go.  It's funny though, as I was doing this I would notice how many different sculpts of R2-D2 I had on various shelves and began to wonder which were the best and should be included and which one's could maybe instead sit in the droid sockets of the various ships hanging from the ceiling. A little bit of panic set in too, as I began to wonder how I could improve the displays yet again.

My intentions are to take my time for many of my favourite displays as I would like to incorporate more background images and photos as backdrops.  A few articles ago I mentioned buying the Endor Battle set and actually, I never had the chance to put that particular scene together.  If I can manage to include an extra bookshelf, I'd like to spend some extra time with this display and maybe use plastic plants to recreate the Forest Moon.  Fellow RetroZapper Mike Conte did this with his Jurassic Park display and it looks great!

There are two main priorities with this big project, action figure-wise:  

1. My favourite diorama is my Rebel Base but I've always had to separate it into two different tables.  If we've measured things correctly, I should be able to combine these into one large display.  I won't know until I start bringing the shelving back into the room but I'm really excited about this.  My biggest focus in the room is my collection of Rebel characters and fighters and if I can make it fit it's going to look amazing!

2. I need to revisit every bit of merchandise that was on display from action figures, to toy lightsabers, to posters, to miscellaneous items.  If something hasn't seen light of day in years (I'm looking at you Phantom Menace pop cans!), it will be time to say goodbye to it.  The walls in the room were starting to get a little crowded and I would really like to make things flow a little better from wall to wall.  Other themes I need to revisit include:

•simplifying my Vader corner shelf which is a mix of large pieces and 3.75" 501st troopers.  The scale just looks dumb.

•reduce the Prequels shelf by maybe pulling figures for actual Prequel dioramas, something I don't have a lot of at the moment. I'm hoping I can make room for a Geonosis arena scene. At the very least I can toss Sebulba into my Jabba's Palace display a la the Special Editions. 

•my Star Tours shelf is busting at the seams so I'm hoping to expand it to two shelves (assuming I can get an extra bookshelf into the room). We're going to Walt Disney World in early 2016 and I'm sure being there just six weeks after The Force Awakens hits theatres and visiting Watto's Grotto I'll need the extra room for sure.  

Ideally in this situation it would be nice to do a lot of "special modifications" like LEDs or spotlights for the shelves, even replacing the mismatched bookshelves with identical ones but since this basement renovation sort of surprised us I'm going to have to make due with what I have for the time being as I don't have the storage space to keep things boxed up while I dream about the perfect collection.  

This isn't a bad thing though.  This is how a nearly 48-year old guy gets to keep on playing with his toys. See you after the paint dries! 


2018-05-21, 5)23 PM

With Star Wars Celebration coming up in mere days in Orlando, M spinning his wheels, waiting to see what he might come home wit his Star Wars room and how it will change him as a collector.

For as long as I’ve had a dedicated room for my Star Wars collection I have always had to contend with it being i constant state of “unfinishedness.” I would have an idea or two that I would want to do with some part of my c like expanding my vintage Kenner collection or hanging starfighters from the ceiling and suddenly find myself t to finish the projects.

I would always have a little voice in my head saying, “the room is a mess...the room is a mess...clean it up...put away...” Over the Christmas holidays last year I found myself spending more and more time in the room with n much a mission to clean it up once and for all but because it was becoming an actual refuge of sorts, my little b where I would go to unwind from a fairly stressful Christmas break. By the first week of January 2017, I actual f myself sitting in the room watching a movie and realizing, “I did it. There’s nothing left to fix.” It was a great feel was just enjoying what I had been collecting for the past twenty years.

But, as always, I began to get new ideas for my collection. This time it was caused by moving a discarded books from my daughter’s room into the Star Wars room. I started plan-o-gramming what I wanted to do; use the ne bookshelf to expand my Disney Parks Star Wars collection and find a more permanent home for some photos autographed action figures. One idea became five and as I literally had my hands on my custom made Manolo warrior helmet, ready to move it to its new home, I suddenly realized I shouldn’t, couldn’t touch anything in my collection.

It was like an Interdictor cruiser had yanked me out of hyperspace: stop what you’re doing, Celebration Orland a few months away.

Celebration Orlando begins on April 12, 2017, and it will be the first one I have ever attended and I don’t mind I’m scared and anxious. Of course, I’m looking forward to meeting Star Wars friends that I’ve only spoken to on media, heck I haven’t even met my co-host and good friend, Dan Lizotte in person and we’ve been recording o collecting show, The Sandcrawler, since last September!

What I’m anxious about is what will I end up bringing home from what will prove to be a smorgasbord of Starcollectibles. Did I also mention that my wife and I will be visiting Disney Springs at Walt Disney World a few tim are spending our Friday evening at Galactic Nights at Hollywood Studios? On top of what I would normally seek convention, I’ll also have an opportunity to load up on the latest Disney Parks merchandise (I’m looking at you r control Mouse Droid!).

I find myself at a bit of a crossroads as a Star Wars collector

I apologize if this falls under the category of First-World collector problems but it really isn’t about how much Ststuff I can cram into a suitcase when I fly home after Celebration. As Rogue One merchandise begins to fade aw myself at a bit of a crossroads as a Star Wars collector. Rogue One is one of those movies that was made just for big fan of all things Rebel Alliance, Rogue One gave me what no other Star Wars movie ever has: two+ hours of R action. As I write this, five days after Rogue One‘s digital release, I’ve seen it four times. This is MY movie. But witLast Jedi on the horizon this December, I feel like I will never collect action figures like I have in the past.

Rogue One feels like it was my last chance to add a ton of Rebel-related items to my collection and that didn’t re happen. How does a Star Wars movie that is set in the original trilogy era that is specifically about the Rebel Alli produce one X-wing fighter as part of its promotion? Where is my Blue Leader action figure? Where is that awe custom painted X-wing fighter that Saw’s army had on Jedha? How about a Black Series 3.75 Rebel Fleet Troope recreate Darth Vader’s savage attack as he tracks down the Death Star plans? After a fun Twitter conversation

hRogue One actor, Benjamin Hartley, I had to cannablize a Cloud Car Pilot for its head and a John D figure for its create a facsimile of the dashing Harb Binli, ace fighter pilot.

I’ll be changing how I collect

I just think I won’t ever be as excited about a Star Wars movie as a collector as I was for Rogue One, and with a s amount of action figures being released for each film, I’ll be changing how I collect.

One thing I would like to start adding to my room is artwork. Currently, I have four full-size movie posters and smaller versions of others, but I’m realizing as I slowly run out of space, I could reclaim some wall space by taki large posters down and replacing them with a variety of art and prints.

I’m not looking to spend a fortune on these but I keep gravitating to the art of Ralph McQuarrie and would like few pieces representing his work on the original Star Wars. I would also like to have the original Marvel movie displayed in a frame; issues one to six of the comic book series placed side by side.

What I’m realizing is that movie posters tend to represent the movie in a broad, generic sort of way and that th far more images from Star Wars that resonate with me more than a movie poster.

This doesn’t mean I won’t be coming back from Star Wars Celebration without any action figures, I do have my that I want to fill and I’m always on the look out for army builder figures like stormtroopers and Endor rebels a resist a cheap-priced POTF2 Emperor’s Royal Guard, but I plan on taking a good hard look while wandering the booths at Star Wars Celebration before buying, because it’s a new era for me as a Star Wars action figure collec


At some point in our home, the hope chest that my wife had kept in our bedroom for years had to be moved t Wars room (I’m thinking it was right around the time we discovered our dog, Jake, who sleeps in our room, was be of Wookiee proportions). Regardless of the reason, all I saw was an opportunity to move what was three ve and a handful of action figures crowding a bookshelf over to a much bigger display space–a rebel base table to

We placed the chest under the only window in the Star Wars room. It’s the first thing seen when entering. It loo pretty darn good and this rebel base table top quickly became the focus of my collection. I was able to spread vehicles, add a few more in fact, and even include a small “briefing room” setup using the cardboard insert froBattle Over Endor battle pack.

What I hadn’t accounted for was that the hope chest was still in use!

Every time we needed to store another family memory into it, I would have to move the figures and vehicles an reposition them again. I like rearranging my action figures but not as many times as this was requiring!

I decided to create a removable table top for the chest by adding a 6×3 sheet of plywood on top of the lid so th entire rebel base display could be removed when someone needed to get into the chest again. Most of the figu on stands, so I didn’t have to worry about them falling over either. It’s a pretty large piece of wood, but it’s allo display to expand in such a way that it even fit my giant Legacy Collection “Big Millennium Falcon,” which gave t

display a similar look to the rebel base on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back.

With the rebel base becoming the focal point in my Star Wars roo decided that it needed to look more finished than most of my oth displays

Since I’m always changing things, I’ve never committed to an expensive or permanent method of adding “atmo to my shelves. I’ve never bought “space walls” or 3D-printed accessories because I’m always changing things, a honest–I’m cheap. I’d rather spend the money on toys than expensive accessories.

The same applies to the Rebel base, but I at least wanted it to look a little more complete and that involved cov giant piece of wood. Cork board didn’t look much different than the wood’s original surface. I tried drawer liner with a funky gray-and-white marble pattern, which was an improvement, but it just wasn’t looking realistic eno

I hit the Internet and googled “Star Wars floor decking.” Everything from the reddish colored floors in the carbo chamber to the black and gray grating found in the Millenium Falcon and Death Star came up.

What I ended up settling on was a graphic that looks like concrete with patterns painted on it–like you might se airport or on an aircraft carrier. In order to allow me to change things down the road, I had the pattern printed Costco as large photo prints. This allowed me to keep my costs down.

Just by rotating the placement of the prints on the table I was able to cr an overall random look to it. It has both a metallic and concrete appear to it which I like as well.

To my eye, it puts the location either in a starship hanger or a more terrestrial base like on Yavin 4 or D’Qar. If decide to do something similar, make the prints “borderless” and with a matte finish that helps with the realisti A few of these prints that have a more washed out color. These were first printed. I decided to darken the grap the final product.*

You’ll also notice that there isn’t a background for this display, and it’s something I’ve been wrestling with since up. In the past, I’ve used the packaging found in the Legacy Collection Wedge Antillies’ X-wing and the 30th Ann Collection Y-wing as backgrounds, but they each have different cut out shapes and the uneven look just looks t sloppy for my tastes. I’m considering stringing together some screenshots using the Costco print method but

can get the prints to look seamless to each other. I may not do a background at all and use the space between room’s window and the display for photos, posters or as I’m doing currently, hang a few treasured pieces relat rebel pilots.

If Rogue One lives up to my expectations I may even put a few of the “character posters” in this spot

The diorama is a constant work in progress, with my current issue being what will I do with it once Rogue One h theaters? My hope is to be able to include figures from the new film, possibly interacting with characters from t films in an expanded briefing room that I’ve been thinking about adding. I’ve already moved the Millennium Fal make way for this possible expansion, and along with hopefully picking up Hera’s A-wing fighter from the Rebel rebel base display will change yet again.

Thanks to Rebelscum.com for their always excellent archival photos!