This is a 24-foot replica of the Death Star trench that I designed and built (with the help of many good friends) for the 501st Legion to use to raise money for charity at the Cincinnati Comic Expo. Patrons were invited to fly an radio-controlled x-wing down the trench and try to drop their proton torpedoes (two small pastic spheres lit with LED's) into the thermal exhaust port. As they flew down the trench, various motion and pressure sensors would play appropriate sound bites from the movie.

This project was an enormous undertaking on a small budget, and I learned a lot of new skills along the way. Several Air Hog x-wing toys were modified with new RC components and the addition of a working bomb bay to house the torpedoes. They rode down guide wires to their target.

The trench itself was constructed from wood and PVC pipe, and designed to break down and fold up for transport on three custom built carts. The surface detail of the Death Star was vacuformed from plastic in two foot square tiles, which were screwed to the wooden frame. The electronic sensors and audio system were contributed by Greg Spata, who likes to build robots in his spare time.

In order to create the 24-foot long backdrop, I built and photographed several Star Wars model kits and photographed them to provide high resolution images which I could use to composite the final artwork in photoshop.

The project was a great success and will return to the Expo again this year.

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