Darth Vader and Amidala Wedding Cake Topper

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The words Darth Vader, flowers, and wedding don’t often come together, but in this instance they make perfect sense. :)

On the heels of my earlier Star Wars Wedding Cake Topper, or more accurately because of it, I was asked to create the iconic symbol of the Dark Side Darth Vader and his lovely bride Queen Amidala standing in a field of flowers.

Vader and Amidala on Flower Patch 1a

Okay, so Anakin married Amidala before he became Lord Vader, but heck Vader’s cooler than Anakin any day. :D

I really wish the picture showed Vader better, but I still don’t know how to properly capture a black model. Even with extra lighting, it still mainly looks like a lot of black and you can’t see all the very cool details.

Vader and Amidala on Flower Patch 2

Even so, I can say that I’m much happier with my version versus the official on that is on display at LEGOLAND California

DSC_7069

Although I have to admit I didn’t design the Vader helmet, that credit goes to my brother Mike Asanuma who also made the Stormtrooper helmet. He made both quite a while ago, and then challenged me to make the bodies. It just took me a while, and a request from clients, to get around to it. ;)

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2 Responses to “Darth Vader and Amidala Wedding Cake Topper”

  1. Purple Dave Says:

    When doing studio shots of LEGO models, there are three things you need to do. The first is to turn off the flash. It’s bad on shiny plastic things. The second is to turn off the flash, because it’s _really_ bad on shiny plastic things. The third is, because you just turned off all the lights, to properly light your subject. I actually had to learn to do digital photography on a mostly black model, and I took over 500 shots on the first day and had to delete every single one. The next day I went out and bought some study lamps and the softest focus mini-spots I could find. They actually had a fibrous coating on them, which really cut down on the glare. Then I positioned them so that one was aimed in from each side at a 45 degree angle, and the third was aimed down from a 45 degree angle right above my camera. Use the LCD screen to see what the photo will look like (here’s where not using the flash is so important, since it will always have unpredictable results). If you see any bright patches of glare on the model, either reposition the model slightly, or move the offending light a bit until it’s either gone or reduced enough to not be a problem.

    When taking the actual photo, put the camera on a tripod. Always. If you’ve got a time delay, use it, and make sure your hand is not touching the camera when the photo is taken. Image stabilization is a great thing to have for photographing LEGO models, and if you have it you can also set the aperture time as long as possible. Being able to set it for burst shots is also a plus, as it’s a lot less tedious to compare a group of shots instead of checking one shot at a time and reshooting it if it didn’t turn out as well as you’d like. After all, even with image stabilization, if the camera is swaying or jiggling a bit on the tripod, you might get two blurry shots and one clean one. Shoot the maximum size and image quality your camera is able to handle, and edit the results down to a more web-friendly size.

    Finally, judging by the somewhat grainy look of your photos, it might be time to get a new camera. My first digital took passable photos (not as good as yours, but better than current camera phones or webcams), but my new one blows it away without breaking the bank. I think I paid around $200 for it where my first cost $300. Presently, I’d think you should be able to find something comparable for under $150.

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