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Thread: Display landscapes/creative setup discussion

  1. #1
    The Line of Eld Lioncourt's Avatar
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    Display landscapes/creative setup discussion

    I know there's a thread for pics, but this is more for discussion and exchanging ideas, partially because I can't see the pictures being posted.

    Last year I built a huge wood and glass display case for MotUC, which I plan to post pictures of this fall, after I move and do the final setup.

    I've been wondering if anyone has found some generic landscaping pieces, backdrops, etc, that work well with the MotUC figures in terms of scale and display options.

    For instance, on the case I built, the main shelf has Grayskull on one side, but the other half of the shelf has a few figures setup in combat poses. This leaves a lot of empty vertical space. Some kind of mountainous terrain to set the figures on to fill in some of that space would be great.

    Some forest-like backdrops would be great for the Etherian shelf, where the Horde are battling the rebels.

    Would love to hear about what some of you have done, where you may have found pieces to augment your displays, and perhaps even links to particular dioramas etc that you have used.

    Or am I the only one crazy enough to want to do this kind of display?


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  2. #2
    www.thecomixverse.com Flint's Avatar
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    This is a great thread. Can't wait to see what people post!
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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    ^ seconded ^

    You could always find a way to hang the flying characters up, maybe using fishing line, as I did.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Mern-Ra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholighkun View Post
    ^ seconded ^

    You could always find a way to hang the flying characters up, maybe using fishing line, as I did.
    Thirded that this is a great topic and worthy of it's own thread! I also hang flying characters, but I do it using the clear rubber bands the figures are packaged with:

    image.jpg

    image.jpg

    The rest of my displays are pretty basic, but I've found that old VHS tapes are perfect for adding some height and quite versatile when you need them to be. 2 rows gave my Preternia shelf some layering:

    image.jpg

    And really helped fit all of Skeletor's army onto one shelf with some good height variety:

    image.jpg

    This last pic really gives you an idea of how easy they are to stack and arrange--I never would have been able to fit Megator over Skeletor and Panthor without them:

    image.jpg
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  5. #5
    Master of Mix & Match Charlie Brown's Avatar
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    nice thread: it's always nice to see people being creative with their collections.

    well, here's my modest contribution (sorry for the bad quality pics):

    a 2 levels display originally meant for fairies
    WP_20140517_007.jpg

    schleich "oracle" display for dot sorceress
    WP_20140517_008.jpg

    marvel select silver surfer diorama (base+surfboars display) for king rakash
    WP_20140517_009.jpg

    marvel select thor diorama (tower) for serpos
    WP_20140517_010.jpg

    dc young justice batman diorama for sorceress
    WP_20140517_011.jpg

    tamashii stands (for saint seiya myth cloth ex) for flying pose
    WP_20140517_012.jpg

    dc young justice aqualad diorama for snout spout and roboto
    WP_20140517_013.jpg

    papa smurf's lab for orko and the other "small ones"
    WP_20140517_014.jpg
    Last edited by Charlie Brown; May 17, 2014 at 12:48pm.

  6. #6
    Defender of the Elders Red Trinity's Avatar
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    I've found lots of cool things in pet shops in the aquarium section. Little props that look like giant trees, bridges, etc. even jewels.

  7. #7
    Fake Casting Agent CocoaSmooth's Avatar
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    These guys at accessories for the universe have great stuff for displays
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by CocoaSmooth; May 17, 2014 at 10:12am.
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    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    I checked out there facebook page. Are those for sale? If so, how much? I'd never be able to afford them, especially as big as they are and getting them shipped from Germany, but I am curious.

  9. #9
    The Line of Eld Lioncourt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. Some good ideas so far.

    As I said, I can't see the pics, so if you could post some explanations of what you're posting when you do, that'd be great. (Blind.)

    Is "Accessories for the Universe" the name of a company? What kinds of things are you showing int hose pics. I was particularly confused by that post.

    I have used fishing line to hang some of the flying characters, although I've found it difficult to get them into natural poses with it. I plan on reworking the hanging bits of my display when I do the overhaul.

    Thanks guys! Keep the suggestions coming!

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  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior
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    Where is this

  11. #11
    Queer Sorcerer Telkan2's Avatar
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    I have a variety of hand-painted backdrops that work really well for my purposes. My talented mother makes a few for me each year for Christmas. All you need is a few cheap paints, and a thin piece of wood (which you can buy pre-cut and inexpensive at places like Home Depot and Michaels(?).

    380523_2807515499611_1323024157_n.jpg10272603_10203101298145921_3242312596970790712_o.jpg10305961_10203129339006925_6288270382761024138_n.jpg601187_3842505213707_968799225_n.jpg
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    Heroic Warrior
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    I would show you my shelves and case.and what I made.but I cant.. other than tell you to go to www.og13.com and go in the masters of the universe thread and near the last pages you can see pics. They are spread out. I made all my stuff.

  13. #13
    Fake Casting Agent CocoaSmooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lioncourt View Post
    Thanks for the responses. Some good ideas so far. As I said, I can't see the pics, so if you could post some explanations of what you're posting when you do, that'd be great. (Blind.) Is "Accessories for the Universe" the name of a company? What kinds of things are you showing int hose pics. I was particularly confused by that post. I have used fishing line to hang some of the flying characters, although I've found it difficult to get them into natural poses with it. I plan on reworking the hanging bits of my display when I do the overhaul. Thanks guys! Keep the suggestions coming!

    I showed pictures mainly of Accesories for the Universe dragonhiem. Imagine a two story castle pavilion that is congruent with the look of of castle Grayskull bricks. It has an extension big enough for a wind raider to perch on it. It looks like it can house about 15 figures without looking crowded. Accesories for the universe has a fb page and they are from Germany I believe and I think their work looks pretty expensive. This dragonhiem is huge but it looks like the best display option for heroes to hang out and look like its part of a bigger palace situation.
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    IMG_20140521_075331.jpg
    IMG_20140521_075319.jpg

    I've been using playmobil rocks to build some pretty decent Eternian landscapes. These ones are the "western" rock sets.

  15. #15
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Okay, my way is nothing fancy, and I try to keep things so the backgrounds don't detract from the figures, but here goes:

    For the foreground, I use a piece of foamboard covered with posterboard (the covering makes it look neater, as naked foamboard shows the foam on the edge, and that's especially rough if you have to cut it to size). I can then take small wood screws up through the foamboard into the small holes on the bottom of the feet to secure them. With some figures, I also use a little piece of 18 gauge wire bent at the top to cradle the figure's crotch for balance. For flying folks, I make a very small hole in the back (so many figures have this sort of thing anyway) and use REALLY tiny wood screws to attach a wire to hold them from above or below. I prefer this to thread or such as it keeps the figure completely stable and allows for solid posing in flight. I do cover the parts of the wire that contact the figures with a little cellophane tape to prevent anything from rubbing off (or in case the wire rusts over time). This way everything is basically fastened down and dusting is a lot easier (no worries about knocking things over, and I can move an entire display if needed without taking everything down).

    As for the background, I use foamboard again, this time covered with a background I've printed out off the computer. I don't use anything fancy here; I have a version of Adobe Photodeluxe from 1998 to re-size and adjust whatever picture I'm using, and then simply use MS Paint to print it out. I use regular paper and then piece it together with a glue stick on the foamboard like a jigsaw puzzle (I always print out with an extra inch on all sides to allow it to wrap around and over the edges). Once that is done, I use clear Contac adhesive covering to seal it up so color can’t rub off on a figure if one brushed against it. What I use for backgrounds comes from two sources: images on the internet (the Org has some nice backgrounds straight from the cartoon) or screen captures from DVDs. For the latter, I have a program that allows for captures, but I have at times simply played a DVD (or YouTube video) on full screen and hit “print screen” to copy it into Paint.

    Now, you can put the background on simple posterboard for the same effect, but I use the foamboard more for a couple reasons. First off, I often put a small shelf on the backdrop to raise up some of the figures in the back. Again, the shelf is foamboard covered with posterboard, with long wood screws holding it in place from behind, and supported by little metal right angle brackets screwed on from below with a nut and bolt (they use these brackets to repair door frames; they have a bunch of sizes right in Walmarts hardware section). Second, many of my displays go on the wall, so combining the foreground and background all on foamboard, with more of the aforementioned brackets to hold them together at a nice 90 degree angle, creates a little, self-contained mini-shelf I can just screw right into the wall (again, allowing me to move it as one piece if needed). For shelves in a bookcase, it’s a matter of making the background with two extra pieces for the sides, slipping it onto the shelf (maybe securing it with a couple of small screws in the back) and sliding the foreground in to complete the scene. My final step is to print out the logo for the property, put it on a piece of stiff posterboard, cut it out, sometimes back it with some of the 18 gauge wire for durability, and then place it where it won’t block something important. I like having the logo there because it tells whoever is looking at it what they are looking at if they aren’t fans, and it gives the whole display the feel of a Bronze Age comic book splash page.

    So that’s basically how I make my scenes. I don’t use complicated computer programs for the backgrounds (there are freeware programs like Gimp if you want to be creative), the materials I use you can pick up at Wally World, and the only really expensive part is the dang printer cartridges that don’t give you a quarter of the pages they used to. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time; I can do a nice sized shelf and have it ready for figures in about half an hour if I’m not distracted. And I like the fact that the backgrounds can be straight from the show or movie the property is based on without a lot of effort and searching. I do tend to keep it simple; I don't use a lot of extras like boulders and shrubs or other landscaping stuff because I don't want the peripherals to distract from the figures, vehicles and playsets. I have few little trees and ferns mixed in with my Dino Riders, and a couple wrecked buildings made from Legos and some Styrofoam for Godzilla, but that's about as much landscaping as I ever do.
    Last edited by scott metzger; May 21, 2014 at 09:29am.
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  16. #16
    The Line of Eld Lioncourt's Avatar
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    Thanks Scott! Some great stuff in there. I may look into stealing your foam board method in particular. I have a fair few figure stands, but not nearly enough, and there are plenty of times when they are not convenient for particular sections of the display. Really great.

    The backdrops you have going are very tempting to me, although I'd end up having to enlist a lot of assistance to get that done. I probably will try to find a few landscaping props, since I wouldn't be able to see the prints myself, but I totally understand the concern of them detracting attention from the figures themselves. That is something I also worry about, as well as things matching aesthetically from a visual POV.

    Thanks, that was a fantastic post. Of course, I expect no less from the grumpy old dragon.

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  17. #17
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    One note of caution with the foamboard, especially if you use the wood screws: with some figures, you have to be very careful not to screw it in too far, or it can cause stress marks or even come through the top of the foot if you aren't careful. I've noted the female feet of the MOTUC figures (as well as some Joes and Star Wars figures) have the hole up toward the middle of the foot and there's not much plastic twixt the top of the hole and the top of the foot, so I'm really careful with those; I slowly screw it into the hole just until it catches. I've found some REALLY short wood screws at Ace Hardware, and ordered some others online. I think the size is 6, and the length is 3/4 or less. I've not been able to find a bolt of the same size so there's no point on the end to poke through, but they may be out there. I have sometimes just used the screw to make a second hole a little further back on the foot, but on rare occassions that can pop the bottom of the foot loose or interfere with the rocker joint. I've had very few problems, though, in all the times I've done it, and I have a few hundred figures fastened down that way.
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    Court Magician
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    Has anyone considered using fish tank decorations? When I get the money, I'm going to go to Petco or something and get stuff like this:
    http://www.petco.com/product/120052/...Supplies_Decor

    http://www.petco.com/product/112313/...Supplies_Decor

    http://www.petco.com/product/122082/...Supplies_Decor

    http://www.petco.com/product/118879/...-Ornament.aspx

    There are tons more on the site and at pet stores and they are in-scale! I think they're pretty cool, let me know what you guys think.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior PantherCult's Avatar
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    Aquarium decorations can be GREAT for this kind of thing - but they aren't always cheap. They make nice underwater "scenes" to put behind fish tanks to hide the cords and equipment and make it look cooler.

    Also, there are some gorgeous pieces to decorate the bottom of the aquarium made to look like ancient ruins (Atlantis) as well as some great looking rock pieces. Again, aquarium decorations are often sturdy but somewhat expensive.

    An alternative I've used is some of the cheap background accessories found in the Chap Mei sets sold at Toys R' Us or the Animal Planet sets - they often feature some rock formations or shrubs that can be worked with. Lots of times that's the stuff from the sets the kids don't care much about - the animals are way more fun - so you can usually find it dirt cheap in yard sales and the like.

    Toy Biz used to include backdrops with their Marvel Legends figures and I always loved those.

    One other thing I've use in lieu of buying up a bunch of those Greyskull stands Matty sold was to take pieces of styrofoam that came packed with modular furniture or TV or whatever and use craft store paint that looks like weathered stone to make display stands that look like granite slabs or a sand stone ledge.

  20. #20
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PantherCult View Post
    One other thing I've use in lieu of buying up a bunch of those Greyskull stands Matty sold was to take pieces of styrofoam that came packed with modular furniture or TV or whatever and use craft store paint that looks like weathered stone to make display stands that look like granite slabs or a sand stone ledge.
    I used to use the smooth sides of those sort of things for computer consoles for my Megos (ah, the memories...). You could probably still do things like that, painting them metallic or silver and then gluing panels, buttons and screens on them you print out or get as stickers. THere's probably some other techy looking odds and ends you could glue on, as well (I used to stick Light Bright pegs into them for "alert lights' and such). Some stuff like that could become Man-at-Arms lab/workshop.
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