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Custom Vintage Tauntaun Trophy for Jabba’s Palace Display

October 1, 2013

vintage_tauntaun_trophy1As I have mentioned in the past, Jabba had the head of a tauntaun hanging in his palace (as well as a jerba), similar to how someone might have a deer’s head mounted on display. I’ve always assumed that this was a leftover tauntuan from Empire Strikes Back rather than something they made specifically for this purpose, and indeed it was only seen fleetingly. Many people are not even aware of it being in the film, but here it is in the background behind Sy Snootles.

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I decided to make a version of this for my vintage Kenner figures using the vintage Kenner tauntaun. I got a really beat-up tauntaun on ebay for cheap — one that I didn’t feel too bad about decapitating. I had originally hoped to just keep the factory paint job, but it turned out to be too difficult to get a good looking join to the base that way. Plus it was rather yellowed and ugly. So I repainted it completely, but resisted the urge to go full-on realistic and instead just kept it simple like the original figure.

It’s not clear whether the tauntaun in the film had any sort of backing board on it, but I think it looks better with something there rather than just having the head stick out of the wall. I scrounged around the basement and found a metal disc that was the base for a (rather terrible) Farscape figure. It was just about the right size to use as the backing board. I added a plaque at the bottom (actually a repurposed PADD from a Star Trek figure) and wrote “Tauntaun Hoth” in Nal-Huttese at the bottom. It just seemed to be missing a little something without the plaque at the bottom, and there was a hole in the base that I needed to cover as well.

vintage_tauntaun_trophy2

Here it is unpainted. The green parts are epoxy putty that I used to both attach it to the base and to sculpt some additional fur around the sides to make it less of a harsh edge where I cut it off. I’m thinking of doing something similar for the 3 3/4″ figures and the 1/6 scale figures.

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