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In case you hadn’t noticed, I’d officially announced the begin date of my next Dio-Story “Darkness Falls” via YouTube, and I’ve been working hard continuously since then to make sure that deadline is met.

If you’ve been wondering why some FSS Reviews have lagged behind, well hopefully that provides some insight.  🙂

As part of my work on the Darkness Falls dio-story, I dove headlong into set building once again, which was something I only touched on briefly in previous stories.  This time around I ventured into the Facebook Group depths, hitting up the DioStructure group, and immediately was inspired.  I posted this article over on JoeCustoms first, because I’ve been soliciting advice from many of those great customizers, and I think they helped me develop this Cobra Compound into what it is.  But now I think enough time has passed that I can post it up here as well in case anyone has missed it.  Read the full story to see the run down!

My first inspiration for this project actually came from a toy lightsaber on clearance at my local Wal-Mart as well as an oatmeal container.  From there I decided to do my first project using insulation foam, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to foamcore again.

The below start to the dio featured the lightsaber and oatmeal cannister as well as my insulation foam base.

In those top images, you can see some grooves I cut in the insulation foam (which is one of its largest draws). Because of the material and the thickness, you can “groove” lines into it to simulate texture. Many people do it for brick, I was trying to approximate metal plating.

I had envisioned a blue/gray metallic floor with gray metallic walls, and I will admit I wasn’t sure it was going to work.

Along with this, I added some wooden catwalks (held together by painters tape while the carpenter glue dried).

You’ll notice the “rivets” on the floor… those were recommended by zombieguide, who mentioned using craft story “Googly Eyes” to get the raised surface. BRILLIANT.

Thankfully after a healthy black wash (which drips into the cut grooves, adding some really nice texture detail) and some silver and black dry brush, the floor color dulled quite nicely and started to come together a bit better.

The paint was done in the following order:

1 – Black wash thinned out a lot by water
2 – Blue paint (Apple Barrel)
3 – Silver Dry Brush
4 – Black Dry Brush

Also as seen above, I used wrapping paper rolls to cover the wall joins, but the cardboard wasn’t holding shape very well.

I went over the walls with thick layers of gray, silver, and black wash, and finally the metallic texture was starting to come together. I also cut a “monitor” screen hole in the far wall as well as the doorways.

Now, for the monitor in the far wall, I also hot glued a “rack” on the back which holds an iPad.

So that gives me the option to customize a computer screen for Cobra’ nefarious plans.

You can also get an idea of the scale of this thing below.

So, realizing that some space needed to be filled in, I went to eBay and dropped some cash on some extra Terror Drome computer consoles, as well as a Tactical Battle Platform computer. They were actually less expensive than I thought they might be, but the only catch is the Terror Drome computers especially needed to be filled in.

I used some common backpacks for “Tech Detail” (trademark and copyright joemichael70) and then went over them all with paint.

As a last step, I built up the TTBP computer with insulation foam, then got glued them all in place.

Also, as recommended by drbindy, I started building up a second elevated walkway into the compound.

You can also see that I built some more wall monitors using foamcore, black/silver dry brush, and some print outs from online sources. Also grabbed a computer screen template from Build-A-Rama:

I used some PVC pipes from Home Depot around the wrapping paper rolls in the corners, too, to try and hide the messy cardboard edges.

Lastly, I also picked up some super cheap Cobra logo t-shirts and cut them up for some nicely hanging flags for the blank walls.

At this point, things are pretty much done.

Here are some images of added wall detail with the doors installed. There was just some work needed to finish the second elevated walkway…

The railings and stairs are all from a company called “Plastruct” which makes styrene accessories for railroad enthusiasts mostly. They do 1:24 scale items, which aren’t perfect, but work well enough. I think they call it “G Scale”.

Hand Rail



The finished product!

Keep in mind when looking at these pictures that I have never worked with insulation foam before, and certainly never really built anything at this scale. If I can do it, anyone can! Just dive in and give it a try.

The Darkness Falls Dio-Story hits the same weekend as JoeCon! Check out a trailer below.