Disneyland STAR WARS Launch Pad – Photos from Madison Kuhn, Mark Ross and Kuhn Global (Kurt Kuhn)

As everyone knows, late last year Disneyland opened their new Star Wars Exhibition area in Tomorrowland, while they are building their Star Wars Land toward the rear of the park. There is also an Exhibition showing at Disneyworld with doubles of everything you see here today! This new Exhibition is called Star Wars Launch Pad and is located in a building that has housed many famous Disney presentations…. the latest having been where the Marvel Characters  are located. Taking up the entire bottom floor of this massive circular building, this area opens with the success we know it would have. As you enter facing a mammoth display, turning your head left and right, you realize there are displays in every direction. To the left, beyond the displays are where the Star Wars shop is. A place where you may purchase everything…. and I mean everything… that is licensed through Disney that is Star Wars! eFX, Anovos, SideShow, Hasbro.. are a few license holders that one notices right away. I noticed that many of the Anovos helmets and full sized armor and costume displays were being shown as FOR SALE. Knowing that Anovos is still working on most of these items, and they have yet to be released, I inquired with a Disney Cast member that if I purchased today, would I be walking away with the item in my hands. Their reply was sadly, an obvious “No”, followed with that everything sold is drop-shipped as the product becomes available. Basically… there is nothing of the real cool factor for sale that one can pick up yet.

Kurt Kuhn at Launch Bay Entrance

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That stated, going back toward the entrance area, since to the left of the entrance was the SALES AREA, to the right of the entrance there looked to be lines of people waiting to see what Star Wars Characters are present that day, and great display cases full of wonderful studio models!! There is also a small and opened theater area where one may rest ones feet while watching exclusive behind the scenes footage, and interviews with the Star Wars Cast and Creators. To the left of that theater is something hard to miss…. Rey’s FULL SIZED Speeder, with the full sized BB-8 at it’s side…. beautiful!!

To the left of Rey’s Speeder, as mentioned before, there are areas for one to meet several Star Wars Characters… like Chewbacca, Kylo Renn, Boba Fett,… and obvious others. It was those mentioned that were the three present when I was cruising through in the only two hours I had to visit Disneyland that day.  The lines moved quickly, and each character was behind a wall in their own private area that they may specifically interact with you! A very personal, and awesome experience for all.

Now… on to the model area… (named Starships of the Galaxy) which all of you know is my true reason for being there… lol. We have three sets of photos taken at various times. The first set was taken by Mark Ross on the Exhibit’s opening day! (Of Note: It just so happens that artist Steve Neisen was present opening day as well! Imagine that! One must wonder… lol)(Newly added photo below). Moving on, the second set was taken in the beginning of 2016 by my own daughter, Madison Kuhn. The third set were taken by me. Unfortunately I did not think to bring my tripod with me, as mentioned, I was rushed that day to visit Disney for this purpose, so my own photos came out somewhat challenged due to the darker lighting of the areas the displays are set within. To get a true, amazing shot in that lighting, I would have needed to remain still, with my F-Stop turned high, allowing for the detail light to enter the camera. Blah Blah Blah… enough stated there. You will see some with no flash, and some with flash to view certain areas of the model, and then of course some a bit blurry from my hurried-ness. OK.. that is not a word…. but I said it anyway. LOL. These photos came out much less quality than I like to show, so I will be going back soon. Something to be aware of if you visit, all the models were behind glass, and reflections are present.

Model Maker Steve Neisen (of NICE-N Model Designs) on Opening Day

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Of the models, the first I visited were those from 1977’s Star Wars… my favorites. I must state that the model makers who made these replicas did a fantastic job! You know who you are… and I thank you greatly! YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Unfortunately due to the ever present signed NDA, those names cannot be revealed at this time. We shall have to wait for Disney, or one of their license holders to do so. That stated, please note that many of these artists are shown on Modeler Magic today. And those that are not, we of course invite them to do so.

Of great compliment to these artists are the comments I overheard from nearly everyone that stood next to me, asking…. “Are these the original filming models?” For a studio model replica maker… these are words they wish to hear. They certainly achieved that!

Some interesting things I noted of the models…. The T-65 X-Wing displayed looks to me to be the EFX Model Replica… which is not surprising since they hold the license for studio model replicas. The TFA T-70 X-Wing was clearly not 1:24 scale, and is much larger…. I estimate 1:20 to 1:18 scale. Plus… somebody please open those wings!! For whatever reason, any photos I have seen of this replica, including it on display in my own photos, the wings are barely opened, and do not show the true aggressive beauty of the design, or the model. I call upon you Disney to fix that post haste please? Another observation was the TFA Falcon on display. It is clearly much larger than the 32 inch studio scale version, but not as large as the 5 foot version. With it on display behind glass, and the tilt it is on, I estimate it to be about 40 inches long… which I admit is kind of a cool scale to view. The Devastator replica was quite fantastic in it’s original, bare look of 1977, as was the 6 foot Blockade Runner, and all the other models on display from all the Star Wars Films. The full sized Trooper displays were also well received.

Something I noticed from Mark’s and Madison’s photos, to my own being taken most recent, are that some of the displays their photos show were no longer displayed when I took my photos. One wonders if we will see them again.

I wish to thank Mark and Madison for allowing Modeler Magic to show their photos. You are bringing smiles to tens of thousands of our viewers around the world that have yet to be able to visit Disneyland, or Disney World.

All in all…. Disney hit a home run with this decision!

Getting back to the models and displays…. and once again…. KUDOS to ALL those artists involved! If one knows what to look for, one may possibly identify whose work they are viewing. So.. take your best guess people!!

Enjoy!

Kurt Kuhn
Kuhn Global, Inc.
Modeler’s Miniatures & Magic

 

Mark Ross Photos

 

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Madison Kuhn Photos

 

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Kuhn Global (Kurt Kuhn) Photos

 

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