Final Model Shot

On this day in 1980, The Empire Strikes back received it’s World premiere……

On this day in 1968, i was born…….

And, on this day, the very final model created for ESB:R is being filmed. Just a few finishing touches to the miniature set, like straightening out the ceiling lights and getting the Falcon into the correct position, and it’s ready to go. The miniature will be mixed in with the original set in post, which is why you can see certain uncompleted sections of the model.


We are so close to the end now. After this, all that is left are the Wampa shots. The mouth mechanism has been sorted, so filming the Wampa is back on. 🙂 Fingers crossed that the completed version will hold up on camera and work in the final version.

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ESBR Coming June 2017

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Echo Base Finishing Touches

Just adding the finishing touches to the Rebel transport hangar ready for filming tonight. A bit more snow to add to the floor in places and then finalise the lighting of the set. It’s lit by the daylight coming through the window in these pictures and will look a lot different one the proper lighting is sorted and the smoke pumped into the room.

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March 2017 Update

Today i’m putting the finishing touches to the transport hangar miniature (well not that miniature with it measuring 9ft L x 6ft W x 3ft H 😉 ) Just the cosmetics now like adding the snow to the floor, adding the ships, cargo and other set decorations etc. Testing out the lighting before everything is pieced together and found one of the ceiling lights died, so had to rip that out and replace, but the rest seem fine. Filming this set should be happening in the next few daysnow the Wampa is proving to be a bit of a B*stard. The cabling system for the mouth has stopped working for some reason now it’s installed. In tests it worked fine but now the mask is ready for installation, its snagging somewhere as the cable has become too tight to pull. But i just can’t see what is causing it. The cable is running freely through the outer casing, the mouth hing is moving freely and is able to be moved with just a very light touch, but once you pull on the cable it just won’t move. But i’ll figure this out. If not then it could mean scrapping the Wampa, which i don’t want to do, because the mouth movement is essential to this. 

So i should have both the hangars filmed by the end of the month/ first week in April. A few weeks worth of work adding all of the extra stuff in the composition and it’s then just the wampa. So the end is very close now. Once i have the hangars finished and added to the editing timeline i will finally have a good idea of a release date, so check back sometime in April for that 🙂 

Because there won’t be much to update you on in the mean time, the next update will be mid to late April (apart from maybe some pics of the hangars). But that will be an update you won’t want to miss 😉

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February 2017 Update

Started layering the fur onto the mask. A very time consuming task as this has to be done in small sections at a time. I’ll be gluing the fur onto the mask as much as possible and then hair punching the rest to blend in the edges to give a more natural look.

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In other news, based on Rogue One, Adywan will making all X-Wing engines have a consistent pink glow, as opposed to the red he was planning on.

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New Laptop & A Change Of Plans

A huge thank you to everyone that donated. I got the laptop today [yesterday].

Getting everything set up now ready to start filming. Reassembled the Transport hangar set and now installing the ceiling and floor lighting which should be complete by monday. Then i just need to add the snow covered floor and dress the set with the ships and accessories and we’re good to go. Shooting should be complete for the hangars within 2 weeks. Then its time to rip the sets apart and make way for the wampa cave set…I’ll also be adding the fur and horns to the wampa this week and finish the body suit. Again a couple of weeks and that should be good to go. 

One thing i won’t be doing after ESB:R is completed and released is taking any sort of break. I will be starting ROTJ straight away. Cockpit shots need to be filmed this september and there is a LOT of work to do to get everything ready for that deadline. It’s a deadline that needs to be met. 

I have changed plans about how i am doing the rest of the saga. Originally i was going to do the remaining ones all at the same time, but i have decided to concentrate on ROTJ and do only the planning and some light work on the prequels to start with. As ROTJ progresses i will have more time to work on the prequels. All the work done on ESB, with the models, costumes etc, has given me a much better idea of what can and can’t be done on a limited budget and resources, so i can now begin to work around that when planning what needs to be done

So, not long now…..

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January 2017 Update

Well it’s obvious by now i didn’t manage to get this finished for a 2016 release. One problem after another put paid to that. I’m sure now this thing is cursed. 😉

So, what happened? Well mostly it was down to certain sellers i purchased items off being, lets say, less than honest. I ordered a load of styrene tubes in October that i needed to complete the hangar sets. These were needed so i could attach the lights to the ceilings and have the wiring easily thread though the polystyrene sheets used to make the ceilings. For some reason it was almost impossible to find 4mm rods here in the UK that weren’t either A – vastly overpriced or B – in stock. Mainly it was the latter. Found a stockist that had them in stock at a very good price and had enough of them for what i needed. They only offered economy delivery and would take over a week to arrive, but that wasn’t so bad as i could continue with other things in the mean time. 2 weeks came and went so i contacted them and they said they had tried to contact me and there had been a mix up with the order and they had now rectified it and had sent them out and i should receive them within the next week or so. That also came and went and by this time i had had enough. Contacted them again and it took them a few days to reply but was then told that they had sent them out but couldn’t replace the ones supposedly lost in the post because they were now out of stock . By this time it was coming up to the end of November. still nowhere had this size in stock unless i ordered from outside the uk but delivery times were weeks and , with Christmas coming up, this was a no go.

So i completed what i could and then had to dismantle the hangar set and store it away so i could get the dining room back into use for Xmas. Finally managed to get the rods now though and have them all in place. But that wasn’t the only problem with filming the hangar sets….

Now i use my laptop as a monitor , using the software supplied with the canon camera, with a clear acetate sheet stuck to the monitor which has a line drawing of the original hangar from the shot in the film. This enables me to match exactly the angles and scale needed for the miniature to match with the original when it is added to the composition. Well in November the laptop decided to pack up. Not very long out of guarantee and the screen became blank even though the backlight was working. It was a shop display one from Staples but it was a bargain at just under £200 ( or so i thought) for a 15 inch touch screen 1080p i5 laptop . It had some cosmetic scratches but worked perfectly fine. My old laptop was on its way out ( it was so old the writing was in Latin 😉 ) so i used it as part exchange for this one as there was an offer on at the time. Well Staples refused to do anything about it as they claimed that the laptop had been dropped because there was a slight crack in the case. but this was there when i purchased it. Its a hairline crack in the corner and had never been dropped since i got it. So my only option was to take it to be repaired. But the diagnostic came back that the graphics card was dead and the board would need replacing. Forget that. It was going to cost more than the laptop cost me anyway. So now my only option is to use the wife’s works laptop Which i will only have access to when she is at home and not using it. So i now have to plan the filming of the hangar around these issues.

Then you have a seller that claims to be based in the UK so you purchase some silicone & resin from them only to find out weeks down the road that your items are being held in customs because you can’t import chemicals into the uk without a licence. The waiting weeks for PayPal to refund you the money because they classed it as the items still being in transit. And with Christmas coming up i was not going to get the replacements before the postal service holidays.

The Wampa was coming along fine. A few problems but those were sorted. The Horns had been sculpted and ready for casting. The face and mouth was finished and ready to be painted. Unfortunately it seems one of the silicone pigments i have purchased were old stock and had dried up. Thankfully the place i got them from were great and they replaced it without problem, but that delayed things a bit.

So thankfully 2016 is over with. things are running more smoothly now (touch wood) . painting has begun on the Wampa, The transport hangar is reassembled and i’m now putting the finishing touches and wiring up the last few things like the ceiling and floor lights. Then i will just have to wait until i have a window of a few days when i can use the wife’s laptop to film both hangars ( the falcon one is 100% complete) then dismantle them and build the section of the Wampa cave. If i’m able to use the laptop then the hangars should be done and out of the way in a very short time.

If all goes according to plan i will be announcing the release date at the end of this month/ first week in February. And i will also be posting some more progress pics soon

Thank you for your patience yet again. And to those that have been trolling here and other places like my youtube channel saying that this project is dead and that its never going to be finished because i have forgotten about the project etc etc, then you are going to feel pretty stupid very soon 😉

Update:

Well it looks like i won’t now have access to the wife’s works laptop. Turns out she is not allowed to install any software on it that isn’t approved for company use. So there is no way i can use it to shoot the hangars as i need to have the canon software installed so i can monitor it to enable me to match the original angles when filming.

Not sure what i’m going to be able to do now, so i’m going to forget the hangars for the mean time and concentrate on the Wampa and hopefully be able to source a laptop to use within the next couple of weeks.

I told you this was cursed…..

Update 2:

After my last post i am amazed at how many have either contacted me direct or have commented with offers of help with funding the laptop. So I will, for the final time, open a donation drive.

While looking online at the stores near me ( very reluctant to buy from online retailer in case anything goes wrong) The price range for a half decent laptop that can handle what is needed for not only the last few shots of ESB but will also be able to be used for the more demanding things when I start ROTJ & the prequels , is around the £350 mark.

If you can help out towards getting the replacement laptop then you can donate through PayPal using the buttons to the side of the page.

Again thank you all so much for your continued support. It really does mean a lot to me. As soon as the target is reached then i will close the donation drive

I can also no longer reply, personally thanking anyone who donates. PayPal have changed the notification emails sent and they now come direct from PayPal and don’t contain the donators email address. Sorry.

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