How I Made the X-wing Miniatures Death Star Trench

A couple of people have asked me about the dimensions of the Death Star Trench playmat I made a year ago. The image below shows the board both flat (with all measurements labelled) and with the trench folded down (with width measurement labelled only).

x-wing trench

I bought two triple-packs of 20″x30″ foam boards from Staples, giving me six boards in total.

The board is made up of three separate pieces: two identical side pieces and one center piece.

The two side pieces are each made of one 20″x30″ board taped to another 20″x20″ board, resulting in a foldable 20″x50″ board.

The center piece is made of one 18″x30″ board taped to another 18″x20″ board, resulting in a foldable 18″x50″ board. The center piece was also scored lengthwise into three, equal sized, 6″ wide segments. These segments can then be folded to make a trench 6″ deep with 6″ high walls.

After the boards were all cut, taped, and scored, I printed out multiple pages of the Warscapes: Star Base Trench-Run PDF and used a high tack spray adhesive to affix the pages to the board. I stupidly tried using white glue at first, but the glue severely warped the boards after it dried. The spray adhesive just left a sticky surface to which the pages stuck nicely. To help place the printed pages, I used an extra-thick marker to draw a grid onto the board where the edges of each page would be. This black line also helped hide gaps between the sheets.

To raise the side boards to give depth for the trench, I just bought several plastic containers that were about the right height. You could use books or whatever.

The turbolasers were made out of this “paper-craft” turbolaser printed onto cardstock. The barrels of the turbolasers were made with spray-painted straws.

A Good Movie Trailer

Most movie trailers are garbage. They give away to much of the plot (often the plot of the entire movie), show the best parts, reveal a twist, etc.

But here is an example of an excellent movie trailer:

Everything about this trailer is perfect. In fact, the trailer itself works as its own little piece of flash fiction. It has its own thematic subversion (what appears to be a happy family inside a home at the beginning turns out to be something else entirely), foreshadowing (Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s reaction during the scene where John Goodman’s character is ‘dancing’ at the jukebox), mystery (what’s causing the earth tremors?), danger (the reveal of the pistol), and cliff-hanger ending. The soundtrack, too, is perfect in both lyrics and in the way the song ‘breaks down’ in the same way the picturesque story does as the trailer goes on.

I wish more industry people were as skilled at making movie trailers as the people who made this trailer are.