LightSword's Corner: A Tour of my Collection

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Thanks again to all of you fine folks/friends that've taken the time to comment, PM, offer a like and your support. While the issue with my Dad is way from over, as some of you know, I've decided to start posting here again. I think it will help with my thoughts and sadness. Life goes on, and the memories of the good man my Dad was will last a lifetime. I just hope I can one day meet everyone of you and shake your hand in gratitude for your kindness. As I used to say back when my beard wasn't gray: You rock! :)
 
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Thanks again folks for all your condolences through here and private messages. Dad was buried last week on Thursday and I got to see him and talk to him one more time before the casket was closed. I would never dare to impose my religious beliefs on anyone, but as a Catholic I live with the hope of seeing my Dad again when my time comes and that brings me joy. I do thank my God for having gifted me with the person, the father figure, and the friend my Dad was. One last time: Thank you folks for your support and kindness.
 
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Julian, I’m sure you’re busy packing things up. Hope you fair well with Ian

Thank you, Brad. Luckily for us down here in Miami the effects of Ian were minimal. Other than some moderate rain and wind, flooding in some low areas and some power outrages, we really did not experience any sort of devastation. I did close all my doors and windows with the hurricane shutters we installed last year just as a prevention in case of any flying debris, but we really didn't get any of it either; the lights didn't even go out in my area. I didn't have to pack my collection this time around, which was a great relief considering all the stressful time my family has been through lately as you know.

I do want to wish all the folks on the Gulf Coast of Florida, mainly those in the Naples/Fort Myers areas where the hurricane hit the hardest, the best outcome after the passing of this monster and for those folks still within the path of Ian, please be prepare and safe. Best wishes, folks.
 
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Thank you, Brad. Luckily for us down here in Miami the effects of Ian were minimal. Other than some moderate rain and wind, flooding in some low areas and some power outrages, we really did not experience any sort of devastation. I did close all my doors and windows with the hurricane shutters we installed last year just as a prevention in case of any flying debris, but we really didn't get any of it either; the lights didn't even go out in my area. I didn't have to pack my collection this time around, which was a great relief considering all the stressful time my family has been through lately as you know.

I do want to wish all the folks on the Gulf Coast of Florida, mainly those in the Naples/Fort Myers areas where the hurricane hit the hardest, the best outcome after the passing of this monster and for those folks still within the path of Ian, please be prepare and safe. Best wishes, folks.
Good to hear Ian had minimal effect, there where you live Julian! Saw the destruction that hurricane caused last night on the Dutch television. Wishing all my American fellow-collectors, who get to deal with Ian the best, stay safe!
 
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Thank you, Brad. Luckily for us down here in Miami the effects of Ian were minimal. Other than some moderate rain and wind, flooding in some low areas and some power outrages, we really did not experience any sort of devastation. I did close all my doors and windows with the hurricane shutters we installed last year just as a prevention in case of any flying debris, but we really didn't get any of it either; the lights didn't even go out in my area. I didn't have to pack my collection this time around, which was a great relief considering all the stressful time my family has been through lately as you know.

I do want to wish all the folks on the Gulf Coast of Florida, mainly those in the Naples/Fort Myers areas where the hurricane hit the hardest, the best outcome after the passing of this monster and for those folks still within the path of Ian, please be prepare and safe. Best wishes, folks.
Good to hear the hurricane did not cause much problems in your area and the collection remained in place. (y)
 
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While not Star Wars related, I wanted to add these images of my The Twilight Zone retro action figures to the thread as they are part of what I collect. I'm only five Black & White figures away from having all the ones produced so far since 2014, and I need to get some clamshells to protect them. Except for the set that was released this year, most previous ones were limited releases and are numbered on the back. There were other figures released for the 3 3/4" scale as exclusives that were colorized, same sculpts as some of these however, being the show purposely maintained by Serling as a Black & White series, I'm only interested in those Black & White versions.

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May 1977 at a movie theater somewhere ...

Audiences are coated in the pitch-blackness of space with bright stars all around as the camera angles down calmly to the blueish glow of a planet, its surface amplifying as far as the eye can see. John Williams’ music muzzles to a whisper, allowing the audience just a short moment to appreciate the calmness of the scenery then suddenly being interrupted by a small and somehow ramshackle looking vessel, the Tantive IV, with huge engines awkwardly strapped to its narrow hull, pursued by the sound of laser fire. As Williams’ music builds up, another ship, one sporting a gigantic and edged shape that recalls the tip of a spear shows up on the screen; an Imperial Star Destroyer. It's light color and displacement is ambiguously evocative of an Arctic wolf after its prey as it fires upon the small blockade runner. It's the ideal visual depiction of the miniscule Rebellion against the powerful Empire.

Like all great films, the audience could fully ignore the previous scene-setting scroll up of text and still get an idea of what Star Wars was all about from that single image, without a word being spoken.

Princess Leia's Tantive IV vessel, carrying within the finicky and worry-prone C-3PO and his companion, R2-D2, is plunged into a battle as the princess flees from Scarif to Tatooine with important information in tow. Darth Vader's forces promptly attack and board her ship. Moments before being captured, the princess stores this vital information, plans to the Death Star, with the hope that a weakness to the fearsome battle station could be found within them, in R2-D2's memory systems. Unbeknownst to C-3PO, R2 is sent out on a mission to deliver the schematics to Obi-Wan Kenobi on the surface of Tatooine below.

Running for their mechanical lives from Vader and his Stormtroopers, the droids activate and board an Escape Pod, shoot out of the docking bay opening of the Tantive IV, and fall toward the desert planet where it crash lands, leading them on a journey that would change the fate of the Star Wars galaxy forever.

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HOW THE ESCAPE POD CAME TO BE

Sometimes the most recognizable designs have the simplest origin. The ILM modelmakers responsible for creating the conical form for the filming model, took some empty, greasy, Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets and filled them with expanding two-part urethane foam. Once the foam had hardened, the paper buckets were peeled away and the resulting shapes wrapped with sheet styrene plastic.

The iconic look/details of the original model was due in large part to the extensive use of detail parts scrounged from plastic model kits. There are photos from the time showing floor-to-ceiling stacks of model kits being used for these parts known colloquially as “greeblies”. For instance, the side mechanical details on the Pod might have been intended as some sort of deployable control fins for use in the upper atmosphere. On the original model, these were actually wing parts from a Phantom jet kit. The engine nozzles were made from parts taken from a vintage Saturn V rocket model kit. The four grey C-shaped parts on the back end were parts from an Aurora Sealab model kit. One of the rarest of the vintage model kits, the Sealab can sell for over $600 on eBay when one shows up.

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THE ESCAPE POD LEAVES THE REBEL VESSEL
- Late May 1976

The short, couple-second shot of the Escape Pod leaving the Tantive IV was a historic one as it was the first visual effect ever completed by the fledgling Industrial Light and Magic team. The story goes that executives from 20th Century Fox were growing increasingly concerned over the amount of time and money being spent on the unproven visual effects department which had so far failed to deliver any footage. Fox threatened to shut them down if they couldn’t show some progress.

Led by visual effects supervisor John Dykstra, model shop supervisor Grant McCune and visual effects cameraman Richard Edlund, the ILM crew hurriedly assembled the model of the Escape Pod, suspended it from the ceiling of the stage over a plain black backing below and filmed it dropping away from the camera in slow motion. A few flakes of mica were tossed in to recreate the look of ice crystal sparkles seen in NASA footage and a classic film moment was born. The shot was what is referred to as being done “in-camera”: no motion control, no composites, just shoot it and done! The executives at Fox must have liked what they saw because the rest is history.

Grant McCune recalls: "George [Lucas] had gone to England and John was busy so Richard Edlum designed this whole shot and Jamie Shourt and I stuck it all together. We took the Escape Pod and tied the entire box that held the tub and took it up to the roof of the building. Then we took a great big volleyball net, with four guys holding it. I had a trigger to push the electronic pulse through the whole system. Richard took the high-speed camera that was mounted on top of the box, and we said "We'll try it and hope that the pod doesn't break when it hits the net." We dropped it twice that day. When we got the film back the next day, the first shot was perfect - just exactly what they wanted. For three or four months, that was the only shot that the shop was able to put out, so everybody was real happy about it."

Grant McCune recounts: "We took electric solenoids and put three of them inside the tube that held the pod. The pod had a ring around it where these claws would hold on to it, which were connected to the solenoid, so that when you tripped the button, all three claws would pull out and drop. Down lower in the tube, we put three-inch aluminum tubing in it with a number 44 flashbulb that lasts for 1.7 seconds; at the end of the tubes were the flashbulbs. Closer to where the pod was, we'd cut little square tables out and laid fish scales and mica dust on it, and we'd put air jets in with an air solenoid - so the final effect when it fired was the pod dropped through the tube, the explosive bolts would go off and then all the junk that was sitting around it that got exploded would float around in space right behind it."

Star Wars was an old-fashioned tale of good versus evil retold with then cutting-edge special effects thanks to the great talent and creativity of the many people that worked on it.

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Pictured below is MYC's take on this iconic vessel which, while not precisely studio scale, is a beautiful representation of the Pod, sporting great details and weathering. Only 60 pieces were made.

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Incredible, Julian!
Really really appreciate the informative history of the model you have written.💯

Thank you very much! I'm glad you appreciate the history of the model. It surprises me to this day how talented and creative the whole Star Wars team was back in those days of the Original Trilogy, utilizing primarily practical effects and camera techniques to achieve iconic space moments, places, vehicles. The very limited and rudimentary animation ( the corridor Luke and the rebel pilots will have to navigate, etc. ), is also some of the first computer-generated imagery in film. While the CGI was brief and seems dated in retrospect, the animation was a landmark accomplishment for the time. Lucas realized the need to further push CGI technology forward as you know, later creating the division of Lucasfilm. Personally, I see this mixture of basic model making techniques and CGI principles as inspiring elements that helped turn these films into the cinema classics they are today.
 
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Thank you very much! I'm glad you appreciate the history of the model. It surprises me to this day how talented and creative the whole Star Wars team was back in those days of the Original Trilogy, utilizing primarily practical effects and camera techniques to achieve iconic space moments, places, vehicles. The very limited and rudimentary animation ( the corridor Luke and the rebel pilots will have to navigate, etc. ), is also some of the first computer-generated imagery in film. While the CGI was brief and seems dated in retrospect, the animation was a landmark accomplishment for the time. Lucas realized the need to further push CGI technology forward as you know, later creating the division of Lucasfilm. Personally, I see this mixture of basic model making techniques and CGI principles as inspiring elements that helped turn these films into the cinema classics they are today.
Yes, it is indeed amazing the way Star Wars was pioneered by a small rebellious crew.
Please tell me you have watched the series "Light and Magic" on Disney plus?
 
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Yes, it is indeed amazing the way Star Wars was pioneered by a small rebellious crew.
Please tell me you have watched the series "Light and Magic" on Disney plus?

Unfortunately I do not have Disney+ as part of our cable package at this time. Something we might be adding in the future. I'm sure the series you've mentioned would be something I'd enjoy watching, even more of it deals with how things were created for the films. I'm always interested in getting to the root of things. Thanks for pointing it out!
 
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Unfortunately I do not have Disney+ as part of our cable package at this time. Something we might be adding in the future. I'm sure the series you've mentioned would be something I'd enjoy watching, even more of it deals with how things were created for the films. I'm always interested in getting to the root of things. Thanks for pointing it out!
It's got all those things and a whole lot more, quite an insight into the world of ILM.👍
 
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I also feel Rogue One was a great story, the best Disney-produced movie so far, in my view. I'll have to give Andor a try soon. Thank you for the recommendations, folks! :)
 
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I also feel Rogue One was a great story, the best Disney-produced movie so far, in my view. I'll have to give Andor a try soon. Thank you for the recommendations, folks! :)
You are in for a treat! You'll also have the luxury of binging, I can't wait for the next episode 😊
 
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LS, I read somewhere the shipping for these vehicles is a bit on the expensive side. Would you mind sharing what the cost of shipping was for your Escape Pod and how long it took to receive it? Thanks.
 
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Prices have gone up everywhere as you know so yes, it was not cheap. Shipping prices overseas from anywhere in the world since Covid showed its ugly face have escalated. Before Covid hit, MYC did import all items and shipped from the USA, but since the pandemic, container prices went sky high and he was no longer able to bare the costs. That being said, there is really nothing MYC can do to control shipping costs as the collectibles get shipped directly from China to the collector/consumer here. It cost $145.00 to have the Pod delivered to my house, but when you compare it to what other makers are charging, they are still offering one of the less expensive shipping options that can be found. I chose the Escape Pod to be sent by sea (boat). Sea is safe, it just takes a little longer to get to you than other options which will cost you more and you also won't see any tracking until the goods are handed over to UPS after the vessel arrives at port and has cleared customs. The Pod reached my porch within 18 days, much less waiting time than anything GG mention to be on a boat. It was shipped in a reinforced cardboard box as sturdy as wood and nicely cushioned inside.
 
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Prices have gone up everywhere as you know so yes, it was not cheap. Shipping prices overseas from anywhere in the world since Covid showed its ugly face have escalated. Before Covid hit, MYC did import all items and shipped from the USA, but since the pandemic, container prices went sky high and he was no longer able to bare the costs. That being said, there is really nothing MYC can do to control shipping costs as the collectibles get shipped directly from China to the collector/consumer here. It cost $145.00 to have the Pod delivered to my house, but when you compare it to what other makers are charging, they are still offering one of the less expensive shipping options that can be found. I chose the Escape Pod to be sent by sea (boat). Sea is safe, it just takes a little longer to get to you than other options which will cost you more and you also won't see any tracking until the goods are handed over to UPS after the vessel arrives at port and has cleared customs. The Pod reached my porch within 18 days, much less waiting time than anything GG mention to be on a boat. It was shipped in a reinforced cardboard box as sturdy as wood and nicely cushioned inside.
The way MYC is shipping these models and statues is excellent, I think. Just as you described Julian. Shipping has gone up quite a bit, and I think the world-situation at the moment, doesn't make it any better. But when I get a product that is worth the money, I understand it just a little more, and I happily pay the shipping fees.

Besides quality for your money, their customerservice is topnotch! My first statue I ordered from them arrived broken, thanks to customs, who got every part out of it's protection, and then apparently did forget how to put it back the right way. Contacted MYC about it, and they got me a replacement made! Now that's the kind of customerservice that puts a smile on my face! So different in approach than I'm used to with GG!

Great to read Sith_apprentice and you are as excited about this company and it's products, as I am!🙂
 
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I agree with you, Peter. Personally what I enjoy the most as basically an OT collector, is the amount of OT vehicles they are producing and those on the way. I understand these vehicles are not inch by inch as exact as the original props, but they come close enough to call my attention and get me into buying them. They are pretty much on par with what Master Replicas produced, which unfortunately no licensed company is making these days. Also, their prices are not out of this world. Comparing it to other makers, I think they are very reasonable for what you get in return. Without mentioning names as it isn't my intention to put down anyone, I contacted a certain builder in the RPF about three years ago about making a Escape Pod for me (I've always wanted to have one). His Escape Pod is studio scale and very, very detailed however, this person wanted around $12,000.00 to make it for me, which was definitely something I wasn't willing to pay so I respectfully declined the price. Some time after I saw MYC was on its way to offer the Escape Pod and other vehicles I missed during the Master Replicas years at reasonable prices, and I went for it. That said, folks out there deep into exact replicas and willing to pay higher prices, I applaud them for their willingness because is what they like/demand and as collectors we should get what truly makes us happy. Another thing about dealing with MYC is the ease of access to get in touch with them. Any questions I have get answered within 24 hours or less, and things get explained without feeling you are being rushed. I'm not polishing apples here, nor I do any type of work for them to compromise a praise, but I'm being rather as objective as I can be on what I see as proper ways to treat customers and offer a product I feel has the quality I expect for what I pay, good enough to have in my collection. I wish I could say the same for GG these days but ...
 
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No need to apple-polish here Julian. As I said before; there's praise when praise is rightfully earned. And MYC has earned it in more than one way, in my opinion.

The way the statues are executed, is what drew me to MYC in the first place. There are quite some great likenesses and very nice details to be found in their work. And with the payment-plans they provide, their products are quite affordable, I think.

I love the vehicle-line too, and the snowspeeder and AT-ST were really tempting, but for now, I stick to the OT-characters only (as there have to be bills to be paid too!)😉
But that might change in the future, as I've already seen some ships I wouldn't mind adding to my collection...

As for GG, I really hope the Biggs- bust will come out, as great as they have showed it to us. And in that case, I'll be one of the first to compliment them. Would be a nice change for once, after so many dissapointments lately. Keeping my fingers crossed!
 
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A while ago I went the FanBoy Expo Convention in Orlando, here in Florida. My objective was to get Billy Dee Williams signature for my MR Millennium Falcon, as he was part of the celebrity guest list. I contacted Ariel Martinez on Ebay (the best plaque maker around in my opinion) and had a MR-style signature plaque and stand made for the event. I was also looking to meet Mike Quinn who played Nien Nunb, and brought along my GG mini bust of the character to have the base signed by the actor.

I can say I was extremely pleased to have met Mike. He was joyful, friendly and more than willing to pose for pictures, tell stories about his experiences in the Star Wars movies and sign my mini bust. In all, a very down to earth actor that took time to talk to everyone and made every fan feel care for.

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Unfortunately that was not the case with Mr. Williams. As I have a read in other forums throughout the internet, many of the people that have met him before, just like my family, felt they were pretty much ignored. While I do respect Mr. Williams as an actor and the work he's done, I have to be honest with what myself and other fans that waited in line to get to meet him experienced. First off, he was over a half hour late. Once he got to his table he did not say hello to anyone and limited himself to stare at his cell phone. While the line grew bigger, finally his agent from Coolwaters Productions showed up, and the signing started. Mr. Willians would put down his phone signed whatever was put in front of him, say nothing and he would grab his phone again until it was time to sign another item. His handler from Coolwaters Production was rude as well. We asked if we could have a picture taken of Mr. Williams signing my plaque and he yelled "No pictures!" then he rushed to sell me a Beckett certificate of authenticity for the signature with a sticker he said it was to attach to the plaque. While I did buy it, when I asked him what size the sticker was, he just placed it on the tip of his finger and practically shoved it on my face. I don't want to sound like a whiner, but if Mr. Williams is getting paid $200.00 for each signature, if fans drive or fly for hours to get to the convention to meet him, if fans have to be standing in line for almost two hours to get an item signed, I think they should get a little more attention from the actor and at least allow for a picture signing the item. So, while I was glad to have met Mr. Williams and get my plaque signed, my wife, my son and I were very dissapointed on about the way we were treated. My son was however able to sneak up a picture of Williams signing, not very clear, from a few rows away.

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We also met Tia Carrere (Wayne's World, etc.) a very nice an friendly actress. She even asked to see my plaque and asked me to get her in touch with Ariel to get some plaques made for her. She signed a poster for my wife and was more than willing to let us take a picture. Very nice lady. We also met Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man) and Heather Thomas which were also very happy to talk to us.

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Sorry to hear about your experience with BDW. I had similar experience recently standing with my son at Mr Glover's table. He completely ignored us and in the end I turned & walked away, it's true what they say never meet your heroes/idols.
Agree with Ben the Falcon display looks awesome!⚡
 
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That Falcon display looks amazing. I've had two different experiences with BDW. The first time he was nice and pleasant (it was a smaller con) the other he was kind of short to the point, sign the object and moved you on your way. Each experience was about 10 years apart from each other and the last time I saw him was over 6 years ago. Who knows, maybe getting cranky with age.
 
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Sorry to hear about your experience with BDW. I had similar experience recently standing with my son at Mr Glover's table. He completely ignored us and in the end I turned & walked away, it's true what they say never meet your heroes/idols.
Agree with Ben the Falcon display looks awesome!⚡
That Falcon display looks amazing. I've had two different experiences with BDW. The first time he was nice and pleasant (it was a smaller con) the other he was kind of short to the point, sign the object and moved you on your way. Each experience was about 10 years apart from each other and the last time I saw him was over 6 years ago. Who knows, maybe getting cranky with age.

Thanks, guys for the praises about the Falcon!

As far as Mr. Williams go, it is unfortunately the experience I had. I also thought it could have been just his age so I did a Google search on experiences meeting the actor. While there were some comments that did praise the meeting, most of the ones I found were fans feeling the same way as we did. I'm talking about as far back as very early 2000's. What I take from that is that it seems to be a reocurring attitude. Yes, it could be a "senior moment" he was having, etc. but he did seem very happy to interact with some guy that paid $1,800.00 for a poster he had worked on that was behind him on the wall. I don't know; Lee Majors is 83 and he was super nice and friendly, being just two years younger than Williams. I can only speak for myself and the people in line that day that also felt pushed aside. In any case, I'm still glad I got to see Lando face to face or face to cell phone to face and my Falcon now has its signature. :)
 
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Oh man, first I'm seeing of the Falcon in your collection room, Julian...AWESOME!

Thanks, Ben!
I have pictures I was going to post a while back, but due to the passing of my Dad, I forgot all about it. Here are some I took. Again, I have to thank Sven for his advice building the stand, which is really heavy but I did not want the Falcon to sit on anything less secure and fall right through it. I first built it using the same height as Sven's stand. I put it all together in my garage and painted it there. Because the colors of my collection room and house are basically earth tones, I chose a medium chocolate brown paint and gave it a light layer of Stone-effect paint which added a few light speckles to it. The brown bolt caps on the front are just for decoration they down hold anything and the metal poster on the front of the stand I got it off Ebay. The problem was when I put the stand in the Star Wars room, it was too tall and was blocking the view of a good chunk of my collection. I had to put it back on an appliance dolly and wheel it back out to the garage, cut off a few inches from it and got it to a point where I felt it went better with my set up.

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Thanks, Ben!
I have pictures I was going to post a while back, but due to the passing of my Dad, I forgot all about it. Here are some I took. Again, I have to thank Sven for his advice building the stand, which is really heavy but I did not want the Falcon to sit on anything less secure and fall right throught it. I first built it using the same height as Sven's stand. I put it all together in my garage and painted it there. Because the colors of my collection room and house are basically earth tones, I chose a medium chocolate brown paint and painted again lightly over it with stone effect paint with added a few light speckles to it. The brown bolt caps on the front are just for decoration they down hold anything and the metal poster on the front of the stand I got it off Ebay. The problem was when I put the stand in the Star Wars room, it was too tall and was blocking the view of a good chunk of my collection. I had to put it back on an appliance dolly and wheel it back out to the garage, cut off a few inches from it and got it to a point where I felt it went better with my set up.

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And the award for nicest looking display room goes to...
 
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And the award for nicest looking display room goes to...

haha! it goes to ... everyone that has made an effort into displaying their own collection. I think that's a good thing about collecting and seeing how every person chooses to display his or hers items. It's like making a good stew. We take a little inspiration from everyone, put our own "sauce" into the mix and ... voila! :)
 
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That's just killer, Julian. Such a classy display w/Falcon flanked by Escape Pod and Probe Droid. And amazing work on the Falcon's stand!
I think you used to have your SS McQ statues there...did you find another spot for those?
 
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haha! it goes to ... everyone that has made an effort into displaying their own collection. I think that's a good thing about collecting and seeing how every person chooses to display his or hers items. It's like making a good stew. We take a little inspiration from everyone, put our own "sauce" into the mix and ... voila! :)

"There's still plenty of meat on that bone. Now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you've got a stew going!"
 
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That's just killer, Julian. Such a classy display w/Falcon flanked by Escape Pod and Probe Droid. And amazing work on the Falcon's stand!
I think you used to have your SS McQ statues there...did you find another spot for those?

Thanks a lot, Ben. I put the statues back in their boxes and they are in the warehouse/unit I've been renting. I had to do the same with the Code 3 Millennium Falcon I had in one of my Detolf and replaced it with Vader's TIE. But the statues are so nice I really dont want to get rid of them, so here is hoping we can move to another part of Florida and get a house with a bigger room to display those and all the PT stuff I have plus the Action Fleet collection. We have a realtor looking into this for us. The value of my house (most houses in Miami) has tripled within the last 2-3 years so we could probably move to another part of the state, more up North, where real estate prices are less and just pay off our next house with the money we make selling this one. Those are the plans, somewhere near the Orlando area. We'll see.
 
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