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Review of Spaces Walls - Star Wars 1/12th scale diorama

GTP Toys
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Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Introduction

I love Star Wars. I love dioramas. I love Star Wars dioramas. Pretty simple logic to get there, so when I heard a new company, GTP (Galactic Trading Post) Toys, was doing small scale wall panels based on the designs from the OT, I was sold. They are calling them 'space walls', but you know exactly what they are.

There are currently four panel designs, and each one is about 9 1/4" tall and 3 1/2" wide. That makes them just about perfect 1/12 scale, ideal to go with your Hasbro Star Wars Black 6" action figures.

They are initially selling packs of 9: 3 OIS (Oxygen Intake System), 2 ORS (Oxygen Return System), 2 LED (Light Emitting Display), and 2 MCS (Maintenance Control System). They will also eventually be selling these in packs of two and other combinations.  The pack of 9 currently costs about $95.

The original plan was to put a light kit in the LED panels, but they haven't managed to pull that off...yet. They still plan on producing the light kits, but the panels themselves are designed so any properly placed light will do the trick.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Packaging - **1/2
It's pretty basic stuff, but the panels are packed VERY carefully using high quality foam. There's no actual instructions, but you'll get the idea pretty quickly.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Sculpting - ****
As I mentioned, there are actually four designs. I've included individual photos of each, and GTP will start selling two packs of each individual panel design for you to better mix and match.  The first one you see below is the MCS, or Maintenance Control System. It, like all of the variations, is made from a very sturdy, very sharply defined ABS plastic. The panels are about 1/2" thick, and the theory is that this is large enough for them to stand on their own.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

Next up is the OIS panel, or Oxygen Intake System. I'm assuming the inset boxes at the top and bottom are air intake vents, although there's also a couple other small grids mid-way as well. There's a nice mixture of raised and inset details on all the panels, giving any diorama set up you come up with a more three dimensional feel.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

The next one, the ORS panel or Oxygen Return System, is similar to the OIS, but without the inset 'boxes' at the top and bottom. A couple other changes to the panels at the top and bottom make them stand out. If you pay careful attention, you'll notice that they took the center design from the OIS, swapped in the top and bottom panel design from the MCS, and viola - it's the ORS.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

Finally, it's the LED. It was a bit disappointing to learn that it wouldn't actually light up, but still wasn't a deal breaker considering the price matched the other panels.  The white insert is actually removable, and again, the entire wall is made from extremely high quality materials.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Paint - ****
They are gray. Big surprise there. There's no real detail painting, but there shouldn't be - the Empire wasn't known for its use of color in interior design.

More importantly, the gray is extremely consistent and mark free. The matte finish looks very realistic, with no rubs, stray spots, swirling, or inconsistent coloring.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Assembly - ***
The one area that bugs me is the 'assembly'. Each of the panels is supposed to stand on its own without any sort of added support. They do provide a sheet of clear stickers - stickers - of different shapes and sizes to attach them to each other and potentially the ground, but let's keep in mind that these are stickers.  They've got one or two uses in them before they give up the ghost, and they don't have the greatest holding power anyway.

The surface I use is slightly uneven. Slightly. I had no trouble getting the panels to stand on their own, but getting them to stand tightly and evenly together...that was a different kettle of fish. If I had a handy piece of black granite lying about, that would have made for a perfect floor. If you place these on a glass shelf, that would be good too - as long as the shelf is very, very level.

At this price point they should have provided basic plastic clips to hold the panels together. It would have allowed you to get a nice tight fit and perfect alignment, as well as provided additional overall support.  It's not a deal breaker - I plan on using paper clips or some of those small black clamps used for larger stacks of paper - but still should be something they consider including moving forward.

Any gaps you see between panels in my photos is due to this lack of clips, not to any unevenness in the panels themselves.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Light Feature - ***
Technically, there is no 'light' feature here. The 'LED' panels do NOT light up, but they do allow light to pass through quite convincingly. Just place a light source behind the wall, and you'll get the desired effect. The soft white light box plastic used in the LED panels works perfectly to diffuse the light source and provide a realistic glow.

BTW, I used two different lights in the first photo at the very top of the review.  To the left, you see it back lit by a white LED. To the right, you see a panel back lit by a standard wavelength CFL. This shows that whatever feel you're going for, the translucent plastic will pass the attributes of the light source through pretty much unchanged.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
While these might seem pretty static, designing new and different layouts to work with different scenes from the films, or to create new interactions of your own, can be a ton of fun for collectors and kids alike.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Value - **
Right now, the panels come in a 9 pack as described, which will run you about $95.  At about $10 each, the panels certainly aren't cheap, but these aren't cheaply made, either. The price will still be the biggest hurdle for most collectors, but you won't need a ton of these to create a pretty great looking display.

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. These are very well built, with no chance for damage or other issues through normal handling.

Overall - ***1/2
These are terrific diorama builders - just the thing to add some pop to your Star Wars Black 6" display.  Obviously, any 6 - 7" figure will work with them, but the Star Wars theme tends to make them pretty series specific. A set of 9 like this will wrap around and cover 32", easily providing background detail for a large shelf. If they had provided a systematic method for connecting the panels to each other, this would have been an easy four star review for me.

BTW, they have been discussing the idea of doing sixth scale versions as well.  I don't know about you, but I'd be on that like hair on a bear.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Assembly - ***
Light Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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Where to Buy 
Your best bet for picking these up right now is directly through GTP Toys' own online store, where the 9 pack will run you about $95.

Related Links -
Obviously, I haven't covered any other 'space walls' before, but I've covered plenty of the 6" Star Wars Black action figures that would work perfectly with these. The most recent was Captain Phasma, but other new film figures include the Target two pack of Poe and the Riot Control Trooper, the first Poe, the basic FO Trooper (along with the Disney die cast version), Snowtrooper, and Captain Zuvio.

For more old school characters, check out the earlier Black releases of Han Solo and his Taun Taun, Bossk and Trooper Han Solo, Yoda, the TIE Pilot, and the Sargent Clonetrooper, Luke and Vader, and Chewbacca and Sandtrooper. I've also covered the Biker Scout and Speederbike, the Clonetrooper and Anakin Skywalker. Before that there was Bespin Luke, the Stormtrooper and Obi-Wan, Slave Leia and Boba FettHan Solo and Greedo, and Darth Maul and the Sandtrooper, as well as X-Wing Pilot Luke and R2-D2.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Space Walls Star Wars 1/12th diorama by GTP Toys

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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