Well I finally got around to creating a diorama for another 80's classic, Robocop. I mean what 80's kid did not fall in love with this movie. It had to be done. For this one i wanted it to be able to hang on the wall or put on a shelf nicely. So as a base/display case I used a deep shadowbox I got from Michael's Craft store. Enjoy! Click here to see the finished diorama
In part 2 we will complete the diorama by finishing off the sign, interior details windows and of course, spider-man! enjoy.
I've been wanting to venture into superheros for a while. The main reason it to me this longs is because there is already a large community of people creating superhero dioramas. But my research showed me that most of these dioramas are displays for action figures. Not exactly what I do. Once I decided I wanted to try it out I decided to start with, not my favourite, which is Batman, but my sons favourite, Spider-man. The scene I chose was spiderman atop a New York City brownstone. One of those old buildings you would see in Brooklyn or Queens. And some of those buildings, through time, have had advertising signs added to the rooftops. Now I knew early on that I would not be able to fit an entire ad on the roof. So I went with old school letter signage saying NEW YORK. But the word NEW is only visible in the diorama. This can be interpreted in many ways by the viewer.
I found the most details spiderman I could find online in the position I needed. I always look for details in the mould or carving as I always repaint my figures. Unfortunately when I painted the spiderman my camera was not working so I don't have any photos of that process, sorry. Enjoy the rest!
Work continues on the Ghostbusters Firehouse. At the end of this pos the diorama is pretty much complete. I have to add a few street signs to the light post which will be seen in the final photos. Enjoy!
There has been lots of buzz on my facebook page about the Ghostbusters Diorama and I have finally had the chance to get started on it. As most of you know by now I do lots of research. And that doesn't mean just watching the movies over and over , hehe. Lots of scouting online forums and fan groups of the movie. I decided to make the Ecto1-A in front of the Ghostbusters Firehouse. One of the problems a came upon in my research was the color of the firehouse door. Now in the movie it's red when they buy the building, but then when they renovate the door and even the brick is painted a matte black. Now I'm not sure why they did this. In my mind the firehouse door has always been red. Why? No clue, but what I noticed in the forums is that I was not alone.
So I decided to take some artistic liberty with this one and I will make the fire house structure based on the movie but the colors based on other information.
Another difference with this one is I started by weathering and detailing the car. Normally I do this at the end, but what can I say I was inspired.
In Part 4 we left off where I passed the wiring through the base. In the final part I will be installing the Van and Delorean in there final spots, welding the wiring and adding a switch and some final details.
So as I approach the end of this project all the small details start coming together. Here you will see the base being created and the LEDs going in. Enjoy!
In part 2 I will be painting the base and adding landscaping. Sorry I don't have more photos of the steps for the landscaping but its a very messy job and I cant grab my phone to snap any shots like usual. All the greenery will be airbrushed in Part 3 to add more realism. The paint will also help harden the bushes.
The Dukes of Hazzard was a TV show that I think most boys growing up in the 80's watched. I was no different. So when researching what diorama to make next, the choice was not hard. I mean who doesn't want to see the General Lee soaring off a bridge as it did many times on the TV show. Here are the first steps I took to create the brown down bridge.
Progress continues on the Delorean reveal diorama. I filled the coin slot on the van and started to build the inside as well as the ramp. While studing my diorama plans and display case I don't think I will be able to use real smoke. It will be too thin and wispy and not have the same effect as the film. However I am planning on adding micro LEDs which I have not done yet for any of the back to the future Dioramas.
So in this final part I'll take care of some final details such as the chairs that are seen in front of the Blast From The Past Store. Litter bug futuristic trash can, hover board and parking meter. These details were extremely small and difficult to make. Mostly made of styrene, a type f plastic made for model building. Simply cutting out the shapes I needed and combing them to make these tiny cool props. Hope you enjoyed his diorama.
So I've made some more progress on the Blast From The Past diorama. I had to make some layout changes to still fit the Delorean and the details on the side of the store. I was not getting the depth I needed to put in the US AIR poster and side door and this was an important detail. What I did was rip off the back I had originally made and put the entire structure on an angle. This way I get the depth I need on the left and road space to fit the Delorean.
So in Part 1 you read how I planned to make the Delorean reveal scene and how I would go about doing it. So today I received the van. First things first, confirm that the Delorean would fit inside....Prefect fit! It's like they were made for each other.
Second I had to cut the back off. Now this is a 1970 die-cast bank, not a plastic toy. I had to get the jigsaw and a metal cutting blade out for this. Not to mention some elbow grease. Once that was done you could see how perfectly the Delorean fits inside.
I then sanded and gridded off the old TISCO logos as they were slightly embossed due to thick paint. I didn't want it showing through.
Finally into the spray booth she went for a fresh coat of white paint. All the weathering will be done at a later date. I should also mention, once I had a good coat on I sprayed one coat of a matt sealant. As the van is old and used I wanted to lower the "new paint shine". She looks good so far!
While this dries I'll get working on the side logo.
So in Part 2 we finished off with the rough cut of the Cafe 80's exterior. Here you can see the next steps I took. Most of the work this past week was spent on getting the content of the display window done. Now I normally save these type of fine details for the end, however the way the window goes in and moulding get put on top of it I needed to get it done to be able to move on.
Now I just have to be very carful to not dirty or damage the glass while finishing off the rest of the miniature. Oh and if you find that the cafe 80's exterior is the wrong color, My base coat is always darker than the final coat.
So thats where I'm at for the moment. Not to bad. Will start working on more details for the Cafe 80's in Part Four. Stay tuned.
So I've made quite a bit of progress on my Back To The Future - Blast From The Past Diorama. I've been able to use my blue print diagram I made in Part 1 to start making the exterior structure of the store. I also got some details out of the way such as the sign and the door. Stay tuned for more updates.
So I was recently commissioned by Marc Schmid of Switzerland for a Back to the Future II Diorama. What intrigued me about Marc's request was that he wanted the Delorean hovering in front of the famous Blast From The Past store. I often have to refuse some project just because the idea does not interest me or the clients idea does not match their expected budget. But this one got me. So here is how I start a typical project. First I research...a lot! This can take hours or it could take days. In this case, because I myself am a huge fan of Back To The Future I knew exactly where to look and at what point in the movie to skip to. Now, what I do to help me is I copy the DVD to my computer, this way I can skip to the part or parts in the movie that I am recreating and forward frame by frame to take the snap shots I need. These are crucial to getting things right. (See below for just a few of the screen shots I used to create my blueprints for this diorama.
The one highlighted in red was key, and when I found it it gave me tons of information. It's the only fraction of a second that we see the storefront completely.
Once I have my research material what I do is take something I know, or can find exact measurements from. In this case I used a few. Like Michael J. Fox's height, length and hight of the Delorean, and measurement that are common such as that a doorway is almost always 36 inches wide.
I put all that together with my screen shots and get rough measurements for everything. I then calculated the scale. And after about 3 to 4 hours this is the result. This can be printed actual size and used as patterns or cutting guides.
Once I finished that I started to tackle some details. Which I will cover in Part 2. But I did start one, which turned out to be way more challenging than I thought. In the alley way next to Blast From The Past there is a poster thats says "UsAir Surf Vietnam". Now the challenge was that you do not see it straight on or fully in the movie. What I did find was a behind the scenes production still of Micheal J. Fox and crew standing in front of it. This was my best shot and getting this right.
I recreated all of it from scratch except for the couple and surf board. I had to take that from the photo with Micheal and fill in the missing parts. My guess is once this poster is about 2cm wide, these small imperfections should not show. Stay tuned for the updates!
So when I made the first three Dioramas, my phone, email and facebook page blew up. It actually made me realize how many Back To The Future Fans there were that were just as crazy as me. Back when I made the first one, Lyon Estates 1955, I accidentally ordered 2 Vitesse Deloreans. The other one has sat on my shelf in my workshop untouched. So I asked my facebook fans what diorama I should make with it. As most of you know I like original ideas, scenes that maybe not everyone would make. And one of my fans suggested the scene where we first ever saw the Delorean. Backing out of Doc Browns Van covered in a pillow of smoke.
The first step will be to do what I did with my 3 other Deloreans. Take them apart, clean them, repaint all the details to make it movie accurate. Though these models are great, they are still massed produced and lack tons of detail, especially on the interiors.
So I will take you on this journey with me while I create this next one. I wont say final one because I know myself, I may do many more back To The Future Dioramas.
I usually start my research by "What will be the hardest to make or find". Based on this I will see if its even possible. By far the hardest part was to find a 1980's style Delivery Step Van like the one Doc uses in the movie. The first issue i encountered was scale! All the 1:43rd scale vans that I found were too small to fin the Delorean in the back. I had to find a scale just a touch larger, but not so large that it would look strange. Ebay to the rescue. After a long, long night of surfing ebay I found a 1970 coin bank made of die-cast metal. I emailed the seller as the scale was not mentioned. Specifically I asked the width of the back of the truck. Perfect fit! The details in the metal were more then enough for what I needed, I could do the rest myself and with some paint once I strip it.
Next issue; the smoke. I'm all about realism and even though I've seen tons of tutorials on how to make cotton look real, it just doesn't fly with me. I might stuff the front end of the van with some cotton to make the smoke look thicker if you were to look inside, but thats about it. Thats when I found this beauty. This is a smoker for model trains. But it can be hooked up to a 9V battery and just one drop of smoke oil form the hobby shop will keep this baby smoking for a while. I'm hoping to have this one done by the time I have my Miniature Expo in November, stay tuned!