Death Star Shadowbox

My goal for this project was to build a shadowbox diorama of the Death Star.

The first thing I did was build a couple of Bandai 1/144 scale Tie Fighters.

For the Death Star, I explored the possibility of using half of a vintage model kit, but the only existing kit was a poor replica and would have made the shadowbox too deep. I wanted to keep it all under four inches in depth. I eventually decided upon painting the space station myself on the surface of a disassembled security mirror. It took a lot of masking...

Once painted, I airbrushed a shadow detail on its surface. Final detailing was done with colored pencil and a toothpick dipped in white paint.

I attached the space station to a piece of scratchbord and used a small hand drill to make the stars. I persuaded my father, a woodworker, to build the shadowbox itself. (building frames is very much an art in itself)

The TIE fighters were attached by drilling angled holes into the board and mounting them with some carbon fiber rod. (which is light, stiff and very black). The shadowbox was given an approriate paint job, including the distinctive interior lights seen everywhere in the Death Star, which were simply masked with vinyl and painted on.

I finished it off with framing hardware and some protective glass. I did not feel like spending the extra money for non-reflective museum glass, since I planned to transport it to Wonderfest (where it won a Gold!), so I used ordinary glass. This caused me a lot of grief trying to take photos of the finished product. I finally gave up fighting the reflections and decided to make them work for me. For once, the Stormtrooper makes the shot!

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