AT-TE on Geonosis
This is my $15, 3-day vignette.
The AT-TE on Geonosis diorama started out as me simply buying the F-toys AT-TE since it was the only one I didn't have. I love the detail on those kits, and finding one for $10 seemed awesome. After it arrived, I felt like it really needed some weathering. So, I added paint chipping of various shades, some streaking, oil shading, grease build-up, and dust/dirt accumulation. Also, I took some small drill bits and hollowed out the muzzle-brake of the main cannon, including the 4 side air-vents.
When I finished, I thought why not put it in a simple diorama. I bought a $2 picture frame, and used DAS air-dry clay as the base. To create the Geonosian spires, I used 5-minute Alumilite resin. I would use about 1 teaspoon of each A and B resin liquids for each spire. Using a small silicone bowl, I mixed them until the resin began to harden, at which point I lifted the stirrer out of the bowl. If I timed it right, the resin would cling to the stirrer and the bowl, thus creating little spires it lifted. I probably repeated this process 20 times to get the right looking spires, but the result is worth it.
After lifting the resin spires out, I would have to hang them someone to allow them to harden. The initial hardening process still left the thin areas a little flimsy. Usually a few hours in the air would cure the resin completely. Finally, I primed and painted them. I also sculpted a few flat rocks out of the DAS clay as I was making the terrain. All in all, I spent about $15 on everything, and I only worked on this over a 3-day period.
AT-TE's were a common sight on Geonosis right at the startof the Clone Wars, as well as during the Landing at Point Rain a year later. These infantry assault walkers proved invaluable at moving Clonetroopers across the open fields. Their six laser-cannon turrets provided an excellent field of fire, whereas the mass-driver cannon on top could knock out vehicles. Six legs gave the walker a smooth and stable ride.
On Geonosis, AT-TE walkers had to deal with Geonosian hives full of soldiers. These underground hives had spires that shot up out of the ground all over the surface of the planet. Each spire acted as a gateway for Geonosian soldiers to attack quickly and then vanish into the hardened clay structures. It usually took aerial bombardments to collapse these spires and cut-off escape routes for the soldiers.