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Thread: Post pics of your Diorama displays

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    Post pics of your Diorama displays

    I hope the title speaks for itself. I am specifically trying to get ideas for how to do my Etheria (Whispering Woods) display. I have one for the standard MOTU heroes, and one for the whole of the NA bunch (heroes and villains) and a throne room for the royal family (the one I'm almost done with), but the Great Rebellion is next, and I want to try and find some inspiration. For me it's all about doing it on the cheap, but making it look nice at the same time. I also don't want it to have so much going on that it detracts from the figures. I want to incorporate a tent, since that's generally where they do their planning as I remember it, as well as a small area of water for Mermista to go when she gets here. I like the idea of maybe finding some relatively inexpensive plastic plants from aquariums or something, but I don't like the idea of something that will be impossible (or a major pain) to dust either.

    Any ideas? Can you guys please post pics of your dioramas if you have any?



    Here's my NA shelf. It's supposed to be the interior of Starship Eternia. It's done with craft paper from Michaels, foam board and some cut wood (the angled trim pieces, and the shelves). I want to refrain from too much woodworking, because my dad has to do it, and I don't like to burden him with this stuff if I can avoid it.

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (1).jpg

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (2).jpg

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (3).jpg


    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by nicholighkun; August 12, 2014 at 08:03pm.

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    Heroic Warrior jastiles's Avatar
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    Here's a couple of mine. This was my first diorama and I've gotten a lot better since then. I've learned a great rock building technique and I'm going to build a second Great Rebellion diorama in the next cubbyhole of the bookcase that features the Crystal Falls and then I'm going to redo this one.

    DSCN0165.jpg

    DSCN0168.jpg

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    Heroic Warrior T-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jastiles View Post
    Here's a couple of mine. This was my first diorama and I've gotten a lot better since then. I've learned a great rock building technique and I'm going to build a second Great Rebellion diorama in the next cubbyhole of the bookcase that features the Crystal Falls and then I'm going to redo this one.

    DSCN0165.jpg

    DSCN0168.jpg
    That is an awesome display!

  4. #4
    Is it Spring yet? MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jastiles View Post
    Here's a couple of mine. This was my first diorama and I've gotten a lot better since then. I've learned a great rock building technique and I'm going to build a second Great Rebellion diorama in the next cubbyhole of the bookcase that features the Crystal Falls and then I'm going to redo this one.

    DSCN0165.jpg

    DSCN0168.jpg
    WOW! That is awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    Here's my NA shelf. It's supposed to be the interior of Starship Eternia. It's done with craft paper from Michaels, foam board and some cut wood (the angled trim pieces, and the shelves). I want to refrain from too much woodworking, because my dad has to do it, and I don't like to burden him with this stuff if I can avoid it.

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (1).jpg

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (2).jpg

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (3).jpg


    Thanks guys.
    GREAT job!!!
    “Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ― Apple Inc.

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    Jastiles:

    Can you elaborate on your rock building technique? Also, the water turned out great. How did you do that?

    PS I love how you've covered Kowl's base with moss/grass to hide it! That looks great!

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior jastiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    Jastiles:

    Can you elaborate on your rock building technique? Also, the water turned out great. How did you do that?

    PS I love how you've covered Kowl's base with moss/grass to hide it! That looks great!
    The easiest way to make convincing rocks (and it's cheap too) is with styrofoam, expanding foam, and grout. On my Grayskull battle diorama (I'll try to get some pics up) I laid out random broken pieces of styrofoam and hot-glued them together. Then I took the expanding foam (Great Stuff is what it's called and you can get it at Home Depot, it's about $4 a can) and sprayed it in between the styrofoam. Once it cured I took a bag of gray grout for laying tile (about $10 a bag) and mixed it up into a past-like consistency and spread it over everything to fill in the cracks.

    Once everything dried I had just flat gray rocks so I mixed some black paint into a wash and spread it around. Then once that dried I dry-brushed it with gray and silver paint. It sounds hard and while you're doing it you'll think it's never going to look like rocks but it's almost foolproof. My Grayskull diorama is 6 ft x 6ft and it took me about a week of working nightly after work to do all that rockwork.

    The water was done two different ways. The waterfall was made from caulking, more specifically Dap Crystal Clear caulk (about $9 a tube for the crystal clear, but one tube makes a lot of water). I used a caulking gun and laid down about 5 streams of caulk side-by-side and then used a paperclip to make it look like falling water. Once it dried I dry-brushed it with some white and blue paint. You can peel it off the wax paper or just cut the wax paper and leave it as backing. I also used this same technique to make lava to flow out of the snake's mouth on my Snake Mountain dio except I painted it orange and yellow.

    The actual pond (you can't see it so well in the pictures) was made from acrylic water that you get in the floral department at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. You just mix it up and pour it and let it set, but the area you are pouring it into has to be able to hold water. Some of mine leaked out but enough stayed in.

    frightzone1.jpg
    frightzone2.jpg
    grayskull1.jpg
    grayskull2.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here are a few more pics of the Snake Mountain interior. (My apologies to Toyguru for the third one).

    snakemtnint1.jpg
    snakemtnint2.jpg
    snakemtnint3.jpg

    And one of the Snake Men diorama:

    snakemen1.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    WOW! That is awesome!

    Thanks MOTU Maniac!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    I hope the title speaks for itself. I am specifically trying to get ideas for how to do my Etheria (Whispering Woods) display. I have one for the standard MOTU heroes, and one for the whole of the NA bunch (heroes and villains) and a throne room for the royal family (the one I'm almost done with), but the Great Rebellion is next, and I want to try and find some inspiration. For me it's all about doing it on the cheap, but making it look nice at the same time. I also don't want it to have so much going on that it detracts from the figures. I want to incorporate a tent, since that's generally where they do their planning as I remember it, as well as a small area of water for Mermista to go when she gets here. I like the idea of maybe finding some relatively inexpensive plastic plants from aquariums or something, but I don't like the idea of something that will be impossible (or a major pain) to dust either.

    Any ideas? Can you guys please post pics of your dioramas if you have any?



    Here's my NA shelf. It's supposed to be the interior of Starship Eternia. It's done with craft paper from Michaels, foam board and some cut wood (the angled trim pieces, and the shelves). I want to refrain from too much woodworking, because my dad has to do it, and I don't like to burden him with this stuff if I can avoid it.

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (1).jpg

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (2).jpg

    NA shelf 8-12-14 (3).jpg


    Thanks guys.
    I really like that. I'm still trying to come up with something for my NA figures but so far I haven't been inspired.
    Last edited by jastiles; August 13, 2014 at 12:50am. Reason: To add pics

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Pottie's Avatar
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    WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Awesome displays!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  8. #8
    Master of Mix & Match Charlie Brown's Avatar
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    wow, amazing stuff, guys!
    thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior RafiS's Avatar
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    These are SO amazing. I love your WW display - and thank you for the tutorial What are those pink balls though - I see them around all the time but I don't know what they are - they look so amazing - different sizes and everything.

    And I agree - the Snake Mountain ones are brill too!
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    Heroic Warrior Blaster's Avatar
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    Jesus Jastiles! If I were rich I'd purchase all of that from you, it's Amazing!!
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  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior jastiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RafiS View Post
    These are SO amazing. I love your WW display - and thank you for the tutorial What are those pink balls though - I see them around all the time but I don't know what they are - they look so amazing - different sizes and everything.

    And I agree - the Snake Mountain ones are brill too!
    Thanks RafiS! The pink balls are just styrofoam balls that you can buy at any craft store. They usually come in a 4 pack and then can be painted pink. I also hollowed out a hole in the bottom of each and ran a short string of Christmas lights into each one so that I can light them up when I want to. It gives them a subtle glow and they look really cool with all the lights off.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Pottie View Post
    WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Awesome displays!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks Pottie

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Brown View Post
    wow, amazing stuff, guys!
    thanks for sharing.
    Thanks for the kind words!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaster View Post
    Jesus Jastiles! If I were rich I'd purchase all of that from you, it's Amazing!!
    I was keeping up with how much this was costing me to build for a while but then I thought it might be better if I didn't know, lol.

    Tonight when I get home I'll upload some pics of the palace courtyard, Fright Zone interior, and Snake Mountain exterior.
    Last edited by jastiles; August 13, 2014 at 09:45am.

  12. #12
    Evil Master of Mazes! Zargon's Avatar
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    These are all great. Love them!
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  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jastiles View Post
    I really like that. I'm still trying to come up with something for my NA figures but so far I haven't been inspired.
    I had higher hopes for it I'll say that. I still plan to try and make an elevator to go in the back right corner, and some mechanical details for the back wall. I don't consider it done yet, but then again, with 4-5 more shelves with nothing done yet, it may be quite a while before I get back to working on this one. I would love to have a mutant ship interior, but I don't have enough shelf space for that.

    I will say this to anyone who hasn't done anything like this yet, it can be very easy and cheap, if you do a little digging and thinking, and it can really up the visual impact of your collection. Having them just standing on a brown, or clear glass shelf gets old to me. Plus, since this is a project that takes a long time, you get to enjoy it in stages, which makes each new shelf being completed, a big refresh to your enjoyment of your collection.

  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior Seril's Avatar
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    very cool stuff guys! I have been wanting to make up some diorama pieces for my display shelves but hadn't quite figured out what I want to do yet. There is some good ideas on here though!
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  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior jastiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    I had higher hopes for it I'll say that. I still plan to try and make an elevator to go in the back right corner, and some mechanical details for the back wall. I don't consider it done yet, but then again, with 4-5 more shelves with nothing done yet, it may be quite a while before I get back to working on this one. I would love to have a mutant ship interior, but I don't have enough shelf space for that.

    I will say this to anyone who hasn't done anything like this yet, it can be very easy and cheap, if you do a little digging and thinking, and it can really up the visual impact of your collection. Having them just standing on a brown, or clear glass shelf gets old to me. Plus, since this is a project that takes a long time, you get to enjoy it in stages, which makes each new shelf being completed, a big refresh to your enjoyment of your collection.
    This is so true. I wouldn't say I was completely losing interest in my MOTUC, but I was really only interested on the 15th of the month when new figures arrived. But even then I'd open then, pose them for a few minutes, then they'd get put away on a shelf.

    With these dioramas I'm constantly re-arranging and making battle scenes. I guess it's as close as I can come to playing like I did when I was a kid. Right now the evil warriors are lined up to try and take Grayskull and unlike in the cartoon they are going to win this time Every week or so I advance the story and it's really keeping me interested in this line.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Zargon View Post
    These are all great. Love them!
    Thanks Zargon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seril View Post
    very cool stuff guys! I have been wanting to make up some diorama pieces for my display shelves but hadn't quite figured out what I want to do yet. There is some good ideas on here though!
    If you ever need any tips or advice I'd be glad to help. Building them is half the fun.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior illicitjedi's Avatar
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    Love the dioramas. I used to do some pretty intense dioramas, esp with my Star Wars figs. But the MOTUC have been relegated to ladder shelves/

    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c8...ps59e923bf.jpg
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    Heroic Warrior toyboys inc's Avatar
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    I love this thread! Jastiles, your Whispering Woods display is awesome, Im planning on doing one, too, so yours is going to serve as inspiration for sure

    Here's mine (my entire collection is a big display, haha):
    01.jpg
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior jastiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyboys inc View Post
    I love this thread! Jastiles, your Whispering Woods display is awesome, Im planning on doing one, too, so yours is going to serve as inspiration for sure

    Here's mine (my entire collection is a big display, haha):
    01.jpg
    That is so awesome. You have done a great job of conveying a sense of movement and battle with stationary figures. How did you do your rockwork?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by illicitjedi View Post
    Love the dioramas. I used to do some pretty intense dioramas, esp with my Star Wars figs. But the MOTUC have been relegated to ladder shelves/

    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c8...ps59e923bf.jpg
    Thanks, I think the smaller Star Wars figures probably lend themselves better to dioramas than the larger MOTUC figures. I like your displays though. There is something to be said too for clean, organized shelf displays.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Kreann'ot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jastiles View Post
    The easiest way to make convincing rocks (and it's cheap too) is with styrofoam, expanding foam, and grout. On my Grayskull battle diorama (I'll try to get some pics up) I laid out random broken pieces of styrofoam and hot-glued them together. Then I took the expanding foam (Great Stuff is what it's called and you can get it at Home Depot, it's about $4 a can) and sprayed it in between the styrofoam. Once it cured I took a bag of gray grout for laying tile (about $10 a bag) and mixed it up into a past-like consistency and spread it over everything to fill in the cracks.

    Once everything dried I had just flat gray rocks so I mixed some black paint into a wash and spread it around. Then once that dried I dry-brushed it with gray and silver paint. It sounds hard and while you're doing it you'll think it's never going to look like rocks but it's almost foolproof. My Grayskull diorama is 6 ft x 6ft and it took me about a week of working nightly after work to do all that rockwork.

    The water was done two different ways. The waterfall was made from caulking, more specifically Dap Crystal Clear caulk (about $9 a tube for the crystal clear, but one tube makes a lot of water). I used a caulking gun and laid down about 5 streams of caulk side-by-side and then used a paperclip to make it look like falling water. Once it dried I dry-brushed it with some white and blue paint. You can peel it off the wax paper or just cut the wax paper and leave it as backing. I also used this same technique to make lava to flow out of the snake's mouth on my Snake Mountain dio except I painted it orange and yellow.

    The actual pond (you can't see it so well in the pictures) was made from acrylic water that you get in the floral department at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. You just mix it up and pour it and let it set, but the area you are pouring it into has to be able to hold water. Some of mine leaked out but enough stayed in.

    frightzone1.jpg
    frightzone2.jpg
    grayskull1.jpg
    grayskull2.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here are a few more pics of the Snake Mountain interior. (My apologies to Toyguru for the third one).

    snakemtnint1.jpg
    snakemtnint2.jpg
    snakemtnint3.jpg

    And one of the Snake Men diorama:

    snakemen1.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -



    Thanks MOTU Maniac!

    - - - Updated - - -



    I really like that. I'm still trying to come up with something for my NA figures but so far I haven't been inspired.
    Wow. These are amazing. Really, really nice. I wish I had the space to recreate entire worlds like that!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by toyboys inc View Post
    I love this thread! Jastiles, your Whispering Woods display is awesome, Im planning on doing one, too, so yours is going to serve as inspiration for sure

    Here's mine (my entire collection is a big display, haha):
    01.jpg
    I spy a Filmation inspired Fright Zone. What's the story here?
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  20. #20
    Angast's #1 fan Bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illicitjedi View Post
    Love the dioramas. I used to do some pretty intense dioramas, esp with my Star Wars figs. But the MOTUC have been relegated to ladder shelves/

    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c8...ps59e923bf.jpg
    I want that Clawdeen and Classic Catra!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyboys inc View Post
    I love this thread! Jastiles, your Whispering Woods display is awesome, Im planning on doing one, too, so yours is going to serve as inspiration for sure

    Here's mine (my entire collection is a big display, haha):
    01.jpg
    Outstanding display! Please tell us about the Fright Zone construction.

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior jastiles's Avatar
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    I uploaded a couple of pics of my Eternos palace courtyard diorama.

    palacecourtyard.jpg
    theroyalcouple.jpg

  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    My Throne Room is finally complete. There is at least one accent that I want to add eventually (torches, or some sort of lights for the walls).

    Throne Room complete 8-18-14 (1).jpg

    Throne Room complete 8-18-14 (2).jpg

    Throne Room complete 8-18-14 (3).jpg

    Throne Room complete 8-18-14 (4).jpg

    Throne Room complete 8-18-14 (5).jpg

    Throne Room complete 8-18-14 (6).jpg

  24. #24
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    Not really a big diorama but for the space I have it's about as big as I want to get,

    Snake base,




  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    Did you sculpt that? The shape of the snake bodies are perfect! I mean it's all fantastic, but that is something that you don't see in a lot of snake art. Awesome work.

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