Friday, March 20, 2015

Death Star Trench Gaming Board

I've mentioned it before - I am a big fan of Star Wars™ X-Wing Miniatures Game...
For these games I am going to build a new Death Star trench. To start I am going to make use of a game board/chalk board I had made a while ago.

This board is 2-feet by 4-feet and is a good size for playing the game on.

I plan on making some game board inserts that fit into the frame of this chalk board, and is easily removable.   Before making the trench I first made a star field which worked out quite nicely.

 Time to move onto the next game board - the Death Star trench!  Followers of my blog may remember the first trench I made.

This was a great game board, but it had a few problems.  The first being it's size.  This thing was over 6-feet long and when not in use it was difficult to store.  I wound up keeping it in my garage which was a mistake since the hot Arizona summer heat had peeled the printed surface off of the foam trench I built.  I wound up taking it all apart and using the foam for other projects, but now it's time to build one to fit my chalk board frame.  Like the star field I used a piece of Masonite which I trimmed down to size.

This time instead of using insulation foam, I'm going to use foam core.

I took some measurements and decided the width and height of my trench.  Then I marked and drew guide lines on my foam core.

Then I cut the pieces to size.

Then assembly began.

After the trench was built I used the remaining pieces of foam core to add various levels to the surfaces.

Then I placed it in the frame to make sure it fit well.

The next steps will involve cutting, gluing and shaping cardboard to reinforce the trench, plus add a better look.  I could cut all the strips I need with a knife and ruler, but I think getting a paper cutter will be faster and easier.  So I put the trench on pause until I could get the paper cutter.  At this time I decided to take a little breather and work on another related project.  Back when I made the first Death Star trench I 3D printed these 2 turbo laser towers.  

I really liked these, but was not happy with the paint job.  So I decided to repaint them - but I figured I ought to make a good Exhaust Port for the trench as well, and paint it at the same time as the towers.  So I designed a little exhaust port...

...and I 3D printed it.

Then I went a little 3D printing crazy and started to print 2 more laser towers.

1 exhaust port and 4 towers!

But why stop there?  In both the Star Wars and Star Trek games certain ships can drop mines or bombs.  These bombs are simply small pieces of cardboard you place on the game board.  So I decided to 3D print one of my own.  This bomb came out great and I even printed a stand for it.

...but I felt the bomb was a little too big... I printed some smaller ones.

Then I began to repaint them.  First was a coat of dark gray primer...

...followed by light gray primer.

Then I painted on some details.  One of the larger towers did not print so well, so instead of scrapping it, I simply painted it up to look a bit battle damaged.  When the details were all dry I then added some clear coat to them.

...back to the trenches...
After looking at paper cutters I decided they were too expensive simply to use on this project, so I simply cut strips with my knife and ruler.

I also cut some folded pieces of cardboard which helped strengthen the corners.

I used the strips mostly to cover the exposed foam from the foam core.  But I also did add a lot of decorative pieces.

In addition to cardboard I also used some thumb tacks and small pieces of crafting wood.

After a long time cutting and gluing, this thing was complete.

Next  I gave the whole thing a base coat of black paint.

When the black dried I sprayed on some light gray primer.

I did many light coats, and in sporadic patterns so that the coverage wasn't even.

This makes it look a bit more like what you see in the movie.

To add to the look I sprayed on little bursts of black.

Next I sprayed on clear coat.

Then I glued on the exhaust port.

I brought the whole thing inside and fit it in the frame.

And I'm done!  I added the Laser towers.

I even cut a few pieces of plexiglass so that ships can fly over the trench.

This thing is awesome!

Soon I'm going to make up some rules for playing a Death Star Trench Run game.  Below are several shots of the ships in and around the trench.

I'm glad I finally rebuilt the trench plus built a star field game board.  I plan on having fun with these.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Do you have the files for the bombs and laser towers available for download?

  2. If you give me your email address I will happily share my files with you.

  3. Do you have the file for the Exhaust Port.?

    1. I do. Send me your email and I can send you the sketchup file or if you have a cube I can send the cube file.

  4. I am very interested in your exhaust port and turbo laser files, impressive work! Unfortunately your contact info/website appears down.

  5. Hello Mark. I'd be happy to share my files with you. Send me your email and I'll send them to you.

  6. why not put the stl file up on for every one to print

    1. I tried sharing the file about a year ago with someone, but my file became corrupted due to an external hard drive failure. Sorry.

  7. Were you ever able to repair the exhaust port file? I’d be interested in it as well if not. I may attempt I model it up based on your work.

  8. I have my original sketchup file as well as a skb file that I can share if you'd like.