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  • Couloir du Tantive 4
  • Casque de Stormtrooper
  • Casque de Dark Vador
  • The black Lord of the Sith

  • Darth Vader's forst appearence

The context

Darth Vader sur le Tantive IV

Star Wars
A new Hope

The princess Leia has just intercepted the Death Star plans onboard her vessel, the corellian corvet Tantive IV after the battle of Scarif. As the ship’s modem is out of order, she cannot send the plans to her base at Yavin IV and must absolutely go to… Tatooine to recruit Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was almost on the way, a few dozen of light-years detour, barely an inconvenience.

But Darth Vader and his imperial stardestroyer Devastator manage to locate and catch the Tantive IV. He is here to get the stolen plans back. Well, I won’t tell you anymore about this story, I would not spoil you if you haven’t see the movie yet.

The diorama I made features the mythical scene of Vader’s arrival onboard the Tantive IV, juste after the skirmish between the imperial stormtroopers and the rebel fleet soldiers. Vader is walking inside the ship on the genius John Williams music at the background (wich is not the Imperial march). How could I forget this scene ?


Le projet

  • Length : : 22 cm
  • Width : : 30 cm
  • Height : : 23 cm
  • Materials : : Wood, plastic
  • Scale : : 1/12

I will keep it in short on this assembly which is not very complicated. The four kits I used here are all from Bandai. These are figurines designed like models. Two models in this diorama : Darth Vader and 3 stormtroopers.

The concept is very interesting : the figurines’ assembly is very like a model kit one. Many parts to assemble together, a large scale allowing a model kit paintjob. I’m not really a good fig-artist like philigore. Therefore I really liked this idea consisting of assembling a figurine like a model kit. Finally, I can insert quality figurines in my dioramas.

Here are the two boxarts of those models :

Stormtroopers assembly

The building is quite long, there are really a lots of parts for a model of this size. Bandai arrange this very well, the fig is fully articulated : elbow, wrist, knees, neck… Everything can be oriented where you want.

Here ares the parts :

Diorama le seigneur noir des Sith : grappes des modèles bandai de stormtrooper.
Many small parts allow to articulate the entire figurine

The challenge is to choose a pose for the figurine and then I immobilise it. Why immobilising, you’d say ? First, know that I don’t really like people asking tactless questions like that. Who do you think you are, mmmhh ?

Well, where was I before I got interrupted so roughly by myself ? Ah, yes, why immobilising the figurine. Note that it is not unavoidable but if you don’t do it, the joints will remain noticeable and unrealistic. Therefore, I had to drown the joints into a sculpt putty, the Magic Scult. It is a 2 components putty, a resin and a catalyst. You may find it at the excellent adress : Green Stuff World.

You must first mix the two components by beating them during quite a moment.

The result is a easy-to-sculpt putty. It can also be smoothed using water. I have this putty for years now and except the yellowing of the catalyst, it’s in perfect shape.

The main difficulty consists of grouting the joint and the rest of the arm or leg.

The stromtroopers have 3 different poses :

  • A dead, deceased, lifeless, liquidated, perished, defunct one
  • A stormtrooper in firing position to bring cover to the dark lord of the Sith. No danger at all for anybody.
  • The third is walking to reach his firing position behind Vader

Assembly of Darth Vader, the dark lord of the Sith

If this is a consular ship, where is the ambassador ?

Darth Vader

Well 30 years after seeing the movie for the forst time, I still don’t know what “consular” means. But I could assemble this Vader model anyway. The most difficult part was to thread the electrical wires to enlight the two small green LEDs in the belt :

Darth Vader, le seigneur noir des Sith, ceinture éclairée

Surprisingly, the wires don’t go threw the legs as you could think at first but in the thickness of the cape.

I had to rework the cape itself with wet glued paper to get a fabric effect. Unfortunaltely I couldn’t make it look slimmer. I’ll do better next time.

Darth VAder : jointures des coudes

The work on the joints was more complicated since I had to recreate the bumpy leather texture. the result is satisfying.

I used Magic sculptu again with a sort of rubber paintbrush like these.

The decor

Nothing complicated here, just a wooden structure and a plastic casing. The main tint is a white lightly colored in purple.


A nice little diorama I exposed 2 or 3 times in Migennes and Cusset. It made me want to try others figurines in this serie since they are a very interesting concept.

by petersteven