Hoth Planetary Defense Radome
A handful of years ago, I was lucky enough to find myself perusing a small stack of paper ephemera belonging to an ILMer who worked on The Empire Strikes Back. Amongst the "Chapter II" paperwork, scribbled notes about Probe Droid miniature construction, and general to do lists, was a thumbnail sketch that was unsigned, but immediately struck me as a Ralph McQuarrie. We knew it was ESB era, but didn't know what it was for. It could be Hoth? It could even be Bespin. But it sure felt like a McQuarrie.
My friend Gene Kozicki, an expert on pretty much everything when it comes to stuff like this, posited that it could be from an unshot (but at some point scripted?) scene on Hoth that would have possibly needed a planetary defense radar (a third piece of gear alongside the Ion Cannon and Shield Generators). That was enough for me, and my imagination ran with it. The image stuck into my brain, and would not go away, so in 2024 I finally decided that I needed to pay homage to this thumbnail sketch and build a little maquette. The base is eight inches square, so it is a lovely size for what it is. It debuted at the 2024 Wonderfest in Lousiville, Kentucky.
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