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Abandoned Refuge

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by Dimitri Kaliviotis

Scale: 1/32

This entry is a heavily modified ATATRON kit. The ATATRON kit is a garage kit which is not commercially available but a few models have been made over the years. I managed to get hold of one because I was commissioned to put some finishing touches on the prototype model and to make the molds for it, so later I was given one of the castings as a “bonus gift”. However the ATATRON I got was one containing mostly reject cast pieces. So Instead of repairing the reject/miscasts I decided to use those imperfections in my favor.

With a few extra modifications and heavy weathering I finally put together a battle damaged and abandoned AT-AT. To give more depth to the scene I added another layer of time by building a primitive refuge that utilized the already abandoned AT-AT. To make things even more layered I made the newer refuge abandoned as well.

It did not bother me that the more primitive inhabitants of this later refuge would make the decision to build a refuge in and under a battle damaged AT-AT. The StarWars universe is filled with crazy and impractical things that are simply there because they look cool. One of those sinfully cool things in the Star Wars universe is the AT-AT it self which of course is arguably the most important component of the best SFX scene ever made.

The defense station/refuge could have been abandoned for many reasons but most likely because the AT-AT had been deemed to unstable/unsafe after sustaining more damage from attacks and from natural corrosion of both the AT-AT and the ground on which it still barely stands on. I had the primitives building wooden support structures which would aid in the prolonged standing of the wrecked AT-AT.

The stone structure on the ground was carved out of balsa-foam, then sealed with shellac and then painted and weathered with acrylics.

The added wood work on the AT-AT is of course made with natural tree branches and tied together with weathered string. And... nothing says real rock, like... real rock, so the rocks (and dirt) in the diorama are all real as well. The biggest rock that sits on the edge of the diorama was sanded flat were it meets the flat edge of the diorama base in order to give the sectioned cut of the terrain a more credible look.

Since the beginning of construction I wanted the AT-AT to stand only on 2.5 legs which was also a great excuse to put in the primitive refuge wood work for added support (I don't want the model actually collapsing on me). But even if the the wood work is in there, the front leg is still only half there, so I though it wise to insert a steel skeleton in that damaged front leg assembly to keep the plastic from bending and buckling with time.

Image: Right/rear view

Image: Top

Image: Front

Image: Lower

Image: Rear

Image: Left/front

Image: Left side

Image: Right/front

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