Diorama Workshoping


For a long time now I’ve wanted to be able to display my figures in suitable settings, this has lead me to create multiple backdrops to different degrees of success, but I’m happy to say that each iteration has improved on the one before.2014-04-20 10.36.57

First it started with all cardboard, just printing off images for backgrounds from the web and trying to prop them up with some questionable stands behind them, they were rough, but these pieces had their charm. This was my first attempt for pictures on this site. I really liked it, but sadly it was thrown out with my last move.

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Following this I became tired of the crude card backdrop as I found it impossible to block gaps between the walls as they wouldn’t stand up perfectly straight.SpaceNinja

So with that I put a little more effort in and make free standing walls that could make a somewhat more convincing set, this set up really suited me for the last long while. These were a combination of layered card and plastic.2014-07-22 22.40.18

It was simple but effective, though as time went on I was a bit put off by it’s lack of detail, it was all a bit flat, there were features in it that I really loved like the opening doors and such that I wanted to move into my next version.2014-10-19 22.33.06

Diorama building has always been of interest to me, I feel I’m not the only one to feel like this either. I think it stems from a love of old school playsets. There are a few requirements for me when building a set that I like to adhere to. Cost is king, so it has to be as cheap as possible and ideally it needs to be modular so that I can use parts I’ve built to work on other pieces through development. I enjoy using 3D programs and have been developing something to address this for the past couple of months.standard wall print orientationstandard wall print assemblywalls4walls5walls6

The idea is a set of modular wall frames that can be connected in various configurations as desired. These pieces are 3D printed. Making them a frame saves on print material keeping the cost per section down. The frame can then be filled with a printed background. Another benefit of it being a print item from a file saved on my computer is that one can always have more printed.
12208007_10206862055083197_1619010055_n12207987_10206862060883342_338316443_nEach section comes as a kit that needs to be assembled and painted for the desired look. There are sections that act as plain walls and others that act as functioning doors. IMAG1640 IMAG1636

Thus far I’ve had one test print created as pictured and await the second iteration of these which I’m really looking forward to as it’ll enable me to create functioning double doors. The new prints will also allow the wall sections to be stacked for taller sets. I’m considering a way to get these files out to folks at present, if you search for 3D printing hubs you’ll find printers who may do this work for a reasonable price, stay away from Shapeways for something like this.2015-11-21 22.42.20

I’ve also been developing another stream on this and await the prints as well, this will be solid walls and connectable floor sections. These I’m hoping to develop for sale, once I have a good prototype I’ll have them molded in resin for batch runs. It’s a little project to keep me busy while I wait for my paperwork to go through.corner

Once I get the next round of prints cleaned and painted I’ll do a follow up. In the meantime I’d certainly be very interested to hear any feedback on this that others may have.

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7 Responses to Diorama Workshoping

  1. Tony says:

    That looks great,Derek.It’s funny because I’ve always had somewhat this same idea ,but for peoples homes.Instead of having to paint all the time,walls would be framed with rails that would hold sections of colored paneling.That way If you get tired of the color,all you’d have to do Is slide the panels out and replace with another color.Getting back on topic,playsets are so darn expensive so projects like this are just what the doctor ordered.I’m always looking for new ideas.

    • Orniphus says:

      That’s an interesting concept Tony, itd be novel.
      With these the idea is to let someone decorate a shelf or display for figures. My real hope is to make it affordable, I’m getting some of these printed by a local printer for around $5 per section which I think is reasonable, even having 3 of them makes an effective display. Plus having the files saves me from having to start from scratch again.
      If ever you were interested in getting them printed for yourself just let me know and I can have the files shot over to you.

  2. hobgoblin238 says:

    Wow. Since I have been doing playsets lately I can really appreciate this.

    • Orniphus says:

      Many thanks Hobby, what keeps me going on this is that it’s fun and I’m doing it for myself, no stress to deliver anything for a client, even if it doesn’t all come together perfectly the pieces I’ve produced can still make for impressive displays. I’ve been working on this more and have updated prints to show off very soon. I might have to get off my arse now and get it up.

  3. JoelF says:

    Looks awesome!

  4. Paul Balint says:

    These look like they would be amazing with the upcoming Hell Screamerz. How’s the project coming along?

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