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So I really want to keep folks in the loop as production begins (or continues as the case may be) for my final dio-story installment, Darkness Falls.  Well, over the past few days I’ve begun design and production on one of the various diorama sets that are required for the story.

One of the main focus points of the story features a battle in an underground cavern converted into a base of operations.  Obviously, without giving too much away, I wanted to just sort of show off where I am so far.  I did some rough sketches of what I wanted, based on what the story called for, plus what my dio building capabilities are.  I am NOT an expert by a long shot.  In fact, I’d say everything I know I just stole from Capolan over on JoeCustoms, and I don’t do it nearly as well as he does.

Regardless, for better or worse, I’m pressing forward and just hoping what I come up with is good enough to not draw anyone out of the story, since the sets are merely a compliment to the story itself.  They should not be the focus.

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This is the very rough, early stages.  For what you see above, the following was required:

  • 3 Sheets of Foamcore (30″ long by 20″ wide)
  • Scrapbook Paper – Nostalgiques “Rough Pavement” (for the floor)
  • Scrapbook Paper – ProvoCraft “Texture Copper” (for the walls)
  • Glue Stick (for the scrapbook paper to the foamcore)
  • Hot Glue Gun (for gluing the foamcore together)

Both scrapbook paper patterns were found at a Michael’s Craft Store.

I did some rough measuring, leaving the foamcore at 30″ long, since a lot of action takes place on scene.  Cut down the back and side walls a bit, and then cut the door designs using a straight edge and a roll of packing tape.  :shifty:  Very important to have a sharp knife blade to cut clean, and another VERY important thing is to cut straight down through the foamcore, and not on an angle.  You want as clean and straight an edge as possible for the hot glue to seam.

So I cut each sheet and marked it as needed, then glued the back and two sides to the bottom to get the frame for the typical “3 wall stage” set up.  Obviously you keep on wall either off or removable so you have a place to shoot pictures.  I’ve found that gluing to the outside of the bottom frame creates a more durable seal as well (instead of gluing everything to the top of it and using it as a true base).

Then I took another piece of foamcore and cut it down to match the height of the others, and cut out the arches (again using the straight edge and trusty packing tape).  I put the scrapbook paper down on the base and the two walls partially in preparation of the other wall.

And that’s pretty much it so far.  This doesn’t take very long, and really, it’s almost more a matter of finding the right material rather than the work itself.  Measure twice, cut once.  :shifty:

Some folks have also expressed interest in seeing my collection and my work area, so I shot a few pics of that, too, while doing pictures for the in progress diorama shots.  It’s a mess, and it’s in my garage, which is unfortunately unheated (so it’s tough to work out there a couple months out of the year), but it gives me a nice space to spread out and do some work.  It’s also the only place I currently have to showcase my Joe stuff, though it’s not as nicely displayed as I’d like.  Check these pics out below…the screw drawers are all full of vintage Real American Hero figures.  On the other wall of the garage I have about 25 or so other cabinets as well.

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