Friday, May 10, 2013

Star Wars Special Forces - Episode I

It felt really good to finally finish that Chevy pickup, and am so humbled by the response I got from it. Thank you all for your support. But now its time to get back to the "combat" nature of this blog. Enough of this civilian stuff, lets resume building subjects that shoot things, shall we?

I haven't done an action figure diorama since the end of last year so I think its high time I did another one. I'm  a huge Star Wars fan, and honestly I don't know how any one couldn't be. It has great action, fantastic cinematography, humor, even a love story for the ladies out there. The following project, if you care to follow along, is inspired by my intense passion for the Star War universe as well as my enthusiasm for the military. If you hope that I'll be replicating a scene from one of the movies or adhering to the Star Wars canon, well, I hate to disappoint you. For this project I'm blending the lines between the universe created by George Lucas (before he ruined it, that is) and our very own. No, instead of creating a diorama straight from the silver screen, I'm taking images we are familiar with in these modern times and applying them to their Star Wars counterparts. Just trust me on this one.

Do you remember those commandos who played such an important role in the capture and destruction of the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor in The Return of the Jedi? I don't remember them much either. For a bunch of elite special forces operatives, their intel was terrible, failing to see the Emperor's set up, and failing to even put up a fight before surrendering. If it wasn't for those furry little Ewoks coming to their rescue the movie would have been over before you could say "it's a trap!"

Despite their short comings, the good guys did prevail in the end (Bit of a spoiler there for ya, sorry). But it is a shame that the commandos got over shadowed by a bunch of Care Bears, two droids, a smuggler, a Sasquatch, and a princess. In today's day and age, Special Operators are the rock stars of the military - the best of the best. They image is iconic, and their actions are ever more frequently being noted by today's media sources. Every one knows who SEAL Team 6 is. But these Rebel Commandos are sorely lacking something. They don't look cool. They wore huge ponchos and goofy batting helmets. But worst of all....they don't have sunglasses. Special Operators need sunglasses.
So, I'm giving these commandos and update. Hopefully when I'm done, they'll have a look worthy of their Spec Ops title.

First, lets take a look at the main character. I'll be using a Rebel Commando action figure for this project. I got him from a local $5 and Below shop. At $5.00 a piece, I could not complain. In fact, I bought nine figures that day for around $50. I love taking the figures out of the box when I get home to see what exactly they look like, how they move, and what accessories they come with.
This particular figure comes with a range of items - a large camouflage trench coat (more fitting for a Central Park streaker than a commando), blaster rifle, side arm, back pack, and removable head gear.

I don't like the coat, so that will not be staying and fortunately, it comes off fairly easy. I also will not be incorporating the backpack or the helmet into this particular figure.
Once I removed what I didn't want to keep, I cut off his belt so I could begin working on customizing his appearance a bit easier.
I'm trying to replicate an image of Special Operators that we are familiar with today, and the image of the man disguised behind a large beard, sunglasses and backwards ball cap is the one that sticks in my mind...

He looks like he could take on the whole Empire himself. That is what I'm trying to get at here. So, my little commando needed some body armor and a hat. Considering what I had learned after sculpting the dog for the Chevy project, I decided to apply it here as well. Seems easy enough. Milliput, and about an hour of work finishes this round of sculpting. Flak vest and hat complete...

As you can see, the action figure comes with the goatee already painted on. Its pretty lame when you consider my inspiration. I intend to give him a larger beard, more worthy of his occupation. And sunglasses. He will need sunglasses.

Since his vest looked a bit more like a life jacket than a flak jacket I had to add some visual interest. Therefore, I used blue masking tape to make it look like the typical MOLLE type vest you would see on today's soldiers. I will also be adding pouches to it, and maybe a CamelBak. Though I don't know what sort of kit a Rebel Commando would carry, it doesn't matter...tons of pouches will automatically make him look cooler. And sunglasses. Don't forget the sunglasses!

Here's a comparison to the real thing...

So that is where he stands at the moment. Obviously there is more work to be done (sunglasses), but I hope you think its coming along nicely. I also hope you'll continue to follow along, because it will get better, I promise!

Quick tease....

That is the concept I'm going for. I just realized I broke diorama rule #1 by squaring off the edge of the base with that piece of rubble...never have items run parallel to the base! Stupid me. I'll fix it.
Any how, I'll update about the Speeder Bike at a later date. You'll just have to wait.
Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. The Army Ranger with the beard is a mutual friend of mine he has over 200 confirmed kills.