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JediDBM
01-15-2003, 12:26 PM
What did you use to build the perfect dirama? What materials have you used to build your dioramas? What works best for you? I am hoping for some great feedback from some of the artists out there! Got some great ideas already, but want to hear from YOU as well.

JediDBM
01-15-2003, 12:57 PM
Here are a few quotes from another thread that sparked an interest in what everybody else uses to build their dioramas.

Quote from OC47150: Have you thought of glossy paint on a piece of foam core? I did a Naboo diorama using the STAPs, Qui Gon, Obi-Wan and Jar Jar. I painted the board green and added the fake grass from flower arrangements for bushes. It doesn't look too bad.

Quote from OC47150: I spray painted a piece of pressboard black for the base. It's OK but it shows up dust.

Quote from JediDBM: I tried that when I had everything set up, even tried using a piece of glass, spray painting the back side (that was pretty cool looking) to give it a"shiny floor" appearance.

Quote from OC47150: I've been toying with a battle of Naboo diorama and was going to try like astro-turf/fake grass but I might go with the floral arrangement grass again. The grass is only $1 at places like Big/Odd Lots.

Rogue II
01-15-2003, 01:43 PM
Here is a thread about an awesome Dagobah diorama ACPin made. He talks about what he used. I am working on one like this myself. I just bought a Tree Stump from Petsmart(in the fish and reptile aisle for $10). It is the perfect size for 3 3/4" figures.

http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=153774#post153774

Here's another thread about using accessories:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14507

Lighting effects:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13691

Carbon Freezing Chamber:

ACPin's
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12340

Jedihunter25's
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13621

Diorama discussion:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4378

http://systems.figures.com/Features/index.html?show_feature=20818&dom=ss

JON9000
01-15-2003, 03:29 PM
There is a type of spray paint available at michaels that has a very rough sandy grain finish- would look great on Cantina walls or Jabba's Palace walls

Dark Knight
01-15-2003, 07:52 PM
Right now, I'm working on a mountain from Hoth. I'm using wire mesh and paper mache. The wire mesh is holding the shape very well. The paper mache is holding great and is cheap(flour and water). I sprayed the mountain with white paint and will cover in with spray snow.

OC47150
01-16-2003, 03:49 PM
How much does a can like that cost, Jon9000?

JediDBM
01-16-2003, 04:35 PM
Good Luck Dark Knight, I tried the wire mesh/ paper mache Hoth mountain(s). Mine failed, I guess too much paper mache, my mountain caved in. Let me know how yours turns out in the end. Post pictures if you are willing and have the means. I have been looking in hobby shops at their prefabricated mountains for train boards. Figured they would be easy to work with, then paint white for snow when ready.

JediDBM
01-16-2003, 04:48 PM
Some of the things I have mentioned in other threads. For my Death Star diorama, I took a sheet of glass, painted one side gloss black (spray paint) then flipped it over so painted side is on the bottom. It gives the appearance of a shiny black floor like what is seen in the hanger of the Death Star when the Emporer arrives in ROTJ. Also, just thought about this the other day, thought about buying the square foot tiles at Home Depot to use for the floor of the Death Star and sand colored tiles for the floor of Jabbas palace and the creature cantina.

Dark Knight
01-16-2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by JediDBM
Good Luck Dark Knight, I tried the wire mesh/ paper mache Hoth mountain(s). Mine failed, I guess too much paper mache, my mountain caved in. Let me know how yours turns out in the end. Post pictures if you are willing and have the means. I have been looking in hobby shops at their prefabricated mountains for train boards. Figured they would be easy to work with, then paint white for snow when ready.

I have a question on your mountains. What did you use to support it? I used a box and newspaper balled up to help support it. The mountain did not have the shape I wanted but will work. I post pictures maybe next week.

JediDBM
01-17-2003, 07:46 AM
In/ under the part that collapsed, I didn't have anything but the wire and wood, and the top caved in just like a cake. My paper mache Hoth mountain kind of looked like Mt St Helens after it erupted back in the early eighties. Next time I get to build my diorama, may still be a while, but when I do, I will use a little heavier wire and stuff balled up newspaper to support the inside.

Dark Knight
01-19-2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by JediDBM
In/ under the part that collapsed, I didn't have anything but the wire and wood, and the top caved in just like a cake. My paper mache Hoth mountain kind of looked like Mt St Helens after it erupted back in the early eighties. Next time I get to build my diorama, may still be a while, but when I do, I will use a little heavier wire and stuff balled up newspaper to support the inside.

Something I just thought of, did you have the wire stapled into the wood? I made the mistake of thinking I could have tape down the mesh and it would stay. I used trash bags ties to hold the mesh down.

OC47150
01-21-2003, 07:52 AM
I'm always on the lookout for common everyday stuff I can use for a diorama. I have a stockpile of empty film cannisters I'm going to paint and use as barrels/storage containers. I also have a huge box of stryofoam at home for some use.

I picked up some extra AOTC C3POs from the local comic shop for the blue plastic storage box he came with. (Someone had tried painting on 3PO; it didn't work out and sold them to the shop.)

JediDBM
01-21-2003, 09:54 AM
Hey everybody, I made a most excellent discovery this morning. I was putting my daughters barbie doll house back together for the tenth time. Anyway, For my situation, I have two of the Death Star playsets, been looking for a way to connect them, so I discovered this, if I buy one of these barbie playhouses, paint it black and grey, leave the roof off of it, it looks just like the hanger bay in the Death Star. Perfect parking place for a tie fighter or tie bomber.

OC47150
01-21-2003, 10:09 AM
Cool idea! There are sites on the web where you can print off wallpaper of the Death Star hallways.

JediDBM
01-21-2003, 12:44 PM
OC47150, very cool, I did not know that, a web site where you can print wallpaper of the Death Star hallways? You dont happen to remember the site do you? That would be the perfect addition to any Death Star diorama!!! :p

OC47150
01-21-2003, 01:50 PM
Go to niubniubsuniverse.com. He has a section on 'textures download." Once there, it's broken down to specific movies, and there's Death Star hallways.

JediDBM
01-21-2003, 06:40 PM
Thank you very much OC47150, that would be a good finishing touch to my Death Star

Dark Knight
01-22-2003, 12:26 AM
Niubniubsuniverse is an excellent source for information on diorama. He just finished up his Pap's office. Truely remarkable.

I have an question what is profile board and where can I get it?
Also I'm looking for a poster of snow mountains for my diorama any clues where I can get one.


I still haven't taken pic's on my mountain. Anyone else have pic's of their's diorama? I would love to see some. :D

JediDBM
01-22-2003, 07:27 AM
If you would like Dark Knight, I will look thru some of the posters at Walmart, Kmart and what ever else is close by for some snowy moutains. I think you might want to look at someplace like a Spencers, they usually have a pretty wide variety of posters.

OC47150
01-22-2003, 07:44 AM
I don't know how niubniub does it. His dioramas are the best. Something we all can aspire for.

Dark Knight
01-22-2003, 08:32 PM
Don't forget about ACPin. He has made a wide range of dioramas + he the mod for this section.

JediDBM I didnot even think about the stores. I have been looking mostly on-line. If you find a poster with a long view on a mountain range let me know.

Any clue on what is profile board. Is it just syofrom board?

Dark Knight
01-22-2003, 10:07 PM
JediBDM, I just found the perfect background poster. I found it at a railroad website. Thanks for looking out for me.

CloneTrooperMace
01-22-2003, 10:15 PM
Card Board And Tape

OC47150
01-23-2003, 04:14 PM
No offense was meant at not including ACP in a previous message.

Cardboard and tape? I think an explanation is needed there!

JediDBM
01-24-2003, 08:27 AM
Not a problem Dark Knight, I am glad you found what you were looking for, and when I am able to set everything back up, I will keep in mind the idea of using posters for a background.

Jargo
02-14-2003, 06:42 AM
I made tatooine buildings from corrugated card. used wood glue to fix all the rough bits together, styrene balls cut in half for the domes and then wall filer to smooth everything off. then i sprayed then with plasticote fleckstone spray which gives a smooth but rogh looking sandy texture. finally oversprayed that with a contrasting color to add some variation. It's dirt cheap to do and using old fruit cartons and wotnot the card is free. I also use mounting board for the doors and stuff. y'know that card they mount pictures in frames with? really cool stuff for modelling with but you need to have a sharp blade to cut it.

For my death star hangar floor i used plastic card from a modellers shop. It's in varying thicknesses and the black sheets have a shiny side and a matt side. Looks great though.

For the naboo plains i bought a roll of gras matting from a modellers shop that is usually used for railway enthusiasts displays. it comes in different seasons colors like summer and winter and you get a good meter by a couple of meters length on the roll. They also sell the stuff in the warhammer RPG range of gear but it's way expensive.

ACPin
02-14-2003, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by OC47150
No offense was meant at not including ACP in a previous message.

Cardboard and tape? I think an explanation is needed there!
None taken. :)


Originally posted by EMPEROR JARGO
I made tatooine buildings from corrugated card. used wood glue to fix all the rough bits together, styrene balls cut in half for the domes and then wall filer to smooth everything off. then i sprayed then with plasticote fleckstone spray which gives a smooth but rogh looking sandy texture. finally oversprayed that with a contrasting color to add some variation. It's dirt cheap to do and using old fruit cartons and wotnot the card is free. I also use mounting board for the doors and stuff. y'know that card they mount pictures in frames with? really cool stuff for modelling with but you need to have a sharp blade to cut it.

For my death star hangar floor i used plastic card from a modellers shop. It's in varying thicknesses and the black sheets have a shiny side and a matt side. Looks great though.

For the naboo plains i bought a roll of gras matting from a modellers shop that is usually used for railway enthusiasts displays. it comes in different seasons colors like summer and winter and you get a good meter by a couple of meters length on the roll. They also sell the stuff in the warhammer RPG range of gear but it's way expensive.
Any pics of these? :cool:

Jargo
02-15-2003, 06:02 PM
Well these pics are just buildings i tried as prototypes for when i finally get round to doing something more permanent. I tried to find simple buildings to do first, ones i was familiar with. Like this one of wattos shop. It's missing the awning and a few details are just makeshift solutions like the twin smoke stacks at the side, I just used twisted newspaper and filler to do those things but if I was doing it for real I'd mold them from styrene.

Jargo
02-15-2003, 06:19 PM
So wattos junkyard was just paper mache and card. This tower is literally just a card half tube I constructed using the card from inside a new bedsheet or three. I cut half circles and then stretched the wall piece round them like i was making a boat. Then it was just a case of cutting strips to make up the built up relief panels and the bulge under the tiny windows. The roof is made from a styrene embroidery ring thing i got from a fabric shop. Then on top of that is a flat piece of styrene cut from an old refridgerator packaging piece, and finally on top of that is a styrene half ball. The whole thingg like i said was stippled with wall filler and then sprayed with fleckstone spray to give it a sand finish. The final touch was the half open door with the ribbed door trim that is supposed to be electrostatic repulsing. I ripped apart a thin piece of corrugat card and carefully took off the top layer leaving the ribbed section intact. Then cut a strip of it and glued it round the door. Looks really effective. The door is a double layer of the same card i built the tower from but with panels cut out from one piece. The dirtying was dry brushed but i should have used anoily paint thinned down to make it look authentic. I need to work on the weathering effects.

Jargo
02-15-2003, 06:30 PM
This one is made purely from corrugated card and styrene balls. The cantina was something i really wanted to make and with little room to do the interior i went for the entrance area. It's not totally acurate in size or shape but it's close enough for a dummy run. it's allowed me to see where the construction problems lie like the dome on the side of the building being a part of the roof too but the moldings on the far side of the dome where it meets the wall are different than i did them. The little arch thing on the entrance roof is wrong too and the door where the jawas sit should be wider. My reference pics weren't too hot when i made this but I'll do better next time. It's just old fruit cartons made into little boxes and glued together. Glue half balls on top and bobs your lobster - one cantina! :D

187-Maul
02-15-2003, 06:37 PM
wow, those actually look pretty cool IMO, very nice:)

Jargo
02-15-2003, 06:46 PM
This slavequarters building was used several times by the ILMers in TPM. They moved the models around but i spotted this building six times in one shot alone. I made it purely from corrugated card and styrene. The arches are all card and the steps are styrene blocks glued together with wood glue like they were real dried sand blocks. The doors are just makeshift jobs because i couldn't be bothered spending time on them just for a test. I just dribbled glue onto card in star warsy patterns and let it dry. I like the overall shape of the building and how it turned out but i have no place for this so it's gone in the trash. It's just old cardboard boxes after all.
I wanted to post these images because it's not necessary to spend money to make stuff. Layered card works just as well as expensive modelling materials like sculpey. Niubniub uses so much sculpey and super sculpey it makes me marvel at how he can afford it all. I just layer up card and carve it like wood. mounting board is good for that. Foamcore is no good unless you want really dodgey edges and you want to make something big. Use thinner card glued in layers and carve it. It is after all wood and rag pulp dried. Carves up a treat once you get used to working with it. It's lighter than sculpey type stuff too.

And using wall filler as a smeared substance over the card will make it wet but if your mix is not sloppy and you work in a warm area it'll soon dry off enough to paint over.

Fleckstone by plasticote comes in various sandy colors. It's a clever spray thing where it has two nozzles combining. Two different paint colors in the same can spray out at the same time and you get a spckling effect that mimmicks stone. Sort of a 3D relief effect. I sprayed over any old color fleckstone with sand gloss spray so my models would have that plasticky look that would tie in with Hasbro products. No point going overboard on realism for plastic toys. Make the backdrop match the stuff your puting in front of it. :)

OC47150
02-17-2003, 03:41 PM
And you used fleckstone on all the buildings? It looks great! I might have to try that myself.

Dark Knight
06-14-2003, 02:18 PM
Question. Does anyone has directions to make a handheld wire cutter?

PLMK

Joe