Transformers Diorama Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by JJohnson, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks, man. I'm back to work this week so it'll be progressing a bit slower. I probably won't be posting pics every day at this point as there are days where it doesn't look like much changed with all the fill work going on. But there will be pics as things progress.

    Got one more order of slopes arriving either today or tomorrow and I should be all set for a good long while with that. I still need more plates to build out the overall landscape, but I figure I'd better give my wallet a break for a bit and concentrate on the mountain.
     
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  2. Agent 539

    Agent 539 Blackrock Gas Attendant TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good deal. Returning back to work is a good thing.
     
  3. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not when it's from vacation. I've been lucky enough to be working throughout the year with work from home for a few months and supported office work now with distancing and temp checks every day. Not complaining, but it's always a cluster when you take a few days off and then come back to a constant barrage of fires.

    Made some progress over the past couple days. Finally got enough brown/tan plates to go clear to the back wall, and as it turns out the plate sizing is just right to overlap the board and let me put locking bricks on the final plate to hold everything in place. Bonus. Then placed all the main pillars for the tunnel, along with the caps that will hold the mountain up once it's built around it. Still need to build the internal walls for the tunnel and the ceiling, which will use some fun Studs Not On Top methods to create the illusion of smoothness.
    mountain6.jpg mountain7.jpg mountain8.jpg

    Starting to ponder lighting a bit more seriously as it's getting a bit dark behind the front of the mountain. Gonna need something overhead from all angles. Thinking real seriously about lighting the perimeter of the chains with some LED Neon Rope lights. It'll definitely be LED of some type though.
     
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  4. Agent 539

    Agent 539 Blackrock Gas Attendant TFW2005 Supporter

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    That’s looking aces so far. The lighting is really giving a lot of drama to the display.
     
  5. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Appreciate it. Though I'm not happy with the current lighting. I have one big LED light in the room and you can tell by the shadows exactly where it is. So I ordered out some LED tape lights that should *fingers crossed* be bright enough to outshine the room light when fully cranked up, and have a nice dimmer for when I feel like seeing shadows. I've built up enough since the last set of pics that it's getting too dark to see my fill-in areas behind where I'm working.

    Pics once I finish up a couple features and then again when the new lights are installed.
     
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  6. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Minor update. I started a quick SNOT (Studs Not On Top) cave build that will hang off the front of the main mountain. In doing so, I used up most of my remaining dark bley regular bricks, and some of my slope types so it sits in this state until the next round of shipments arrives. The main idea here is that it will all tie back into the mountain at the top of the cave, and every level of the "walls" will be a different set of slop types, giving it a very craggy appearance in the end. The front will, when its finished, have large rock formations hanging off of it in various states that will make it appear a bit more natural than it appears right at the moment.

    This cave will eventually house either insect or spider type Transformers. They'll be the outliers of the diorama.
    IMG_0509.jpg

    A quick look at the first few layers of wall and the floor. The smoothest parts will eventually be mostly hidden by the rock formations at the front of the cave entrance.
    IMG_0511.jpg

    And now I wait for lights and more bricks. Seems like my life has taken on the pattern of build, wait, build, wait.
     
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  7. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    Very cool!
     
  8. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    And this morning I was adding a couple pieces to the front of it and realized how horribly unstable it is so it got tore down and broken apart. I'm going to rebuild it over the next couple days with some extra support in the middle of it. Probably use some technic beams to reinforce it and then cover those with greys to keep them from being visible. I want this sucker sturdy enough for bit bots to stand on in battle. This was not going to cut it.

    But at least a learned some new techniques in the process for building the wall structures and such. That'll come in handy.

    I think this makes four attempts at building out this cave now. LOL. The joys of Lego. It can always be rebuilt. And the builds come apart way faster than they go together.
     
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  9. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    At least you learned something from it.
     
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  10. Agent 539

    Agent 539 Blackrock Gas Attendant TFW2005 Supporter

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    The life of a diorama building. Discovery of better ways to accomplish a goal. I did like what you did around the chains. Will you alter the cliff shapes or try to keep it like the original design?
     
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  11. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    The basic cliff design will remain fairly unchanged. Upward reaching slopes with the odd slope criss-crossing to add some texture. But the cave, in the redesign, is undergoing quite the metamorphosis.

    I decided, as I worked out the framing, that I didn't like it being "head on" right into the face of the forward part of the mountain, and opted instead for a more diagonal design and have it sort of sit in the corner of the mountain. This should help break up the monotonous look of the mountain, and give some additional texture making everything look more natural.

    Someone far smarter than me on Eurobricks came up with a handy-dandy chart that lays out Pythagorean Triplets as adjusted for Lego stud placement in a plane. Essentially, if one angle of a triangle is 90 degrees, such as most Lego layouts, it defines what the length of the third side would be in studs.

    Original thread with some demonstration layouts of what's being discussed.

    So, I tossed some technic beams in as basic holding beams:
    frame1.jpg

    Those beams are just super basic framing that will be tied into as the floor of the cave is built with side-stud bricks shored up to the floor level. Speaking of which, this old-style technic holy brick (in blue so sort of hard to see here) will be the point where the cave transitions from floor to back wall:

    frame2.jpg

    You can see it angles back several studs from one side to the other. I'm thinking I might actually push it back a little further before I start building the floor and walls. I want this cave to be large enough to house some fairly good sized bots when complete, and I'm not sure the current layout will work for that.

    You can see my caps under the cave structure are just regular tiles on top of the standard lego stud pieces. Those tiles keep the technic beams nice and level all the way to the outside of their reach, and will also shore up my side-stud bricks when they get put into place to hold the floor up.

    I spent more time planning and drawing than building this morning, but over the next few days it should start taking shape.
     
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  12. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Progress this morning. A bit more fill work, and the support superstructure is complete. You can sort of see the steps in progress in these shots.
    cave.jpg

    cave2.jpg

    So the beams in my last shots got tied into side-stud 1x1s with red 1x however many were needed to tie them all together. Then the side-stud pieces were tiled to set them level with where my "floor" structure will need supported. The floor itself you can see starting to take shape on the left back, attached to the blue technic beam with small-stud technic pins. It'll mostly be 1x2 dark bleys, with the odd 2x2, 2x4, or 2x6 to help keep structural integrity as it gets larger. Extra studs will stick up here or there to tie the sideways slopes in that will help define the floor and eventually the walls. As you can see from the support structure, it's gonna be a lot bigger than originally planned, and I'll need to do more fill work on the right side before I build up that area, but I think I finally have something here I can live with that won't be a floppy mess when it's built.

    The chains will be completely hidden inside columnar sets of slopes as it gets built up. I've gotten in several thousand more bricks and slopes, so hopefully I won't be running out anytime soon. Now to just find the time to build it out. Feels like I've been stuck on this level forever at this point.
     
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  13. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Another behind the scenes shot, just showing how my modular system works to create just about any shape rooms and corridors.

    DSC07298.JPG
     
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  14. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    I really dig what you've done here. It's a great solution for someone that doesn't have the room to keep a permanent set-up, and the flexibility allows you to do all sorts of things with it.

    Made some small progress myself over the weekend.

    Filled in the right side of the mountain up to the height it will carry that side of the cave and started rebuilding the cave floor (with some side-stud bricks near the chains for the eventually build-up around the chains).
    cave3.jpg

    Another shot where you can see some of the stand-out bricks along the side that will eventually hold the "wall" build in place for the side of the cave.
    cave4.jpg

    And the real progress over the weekend: LET. THERE. BE. . .
    cave5.jpg
    LIGHT!

    No more dark shadows while working. It's four runs of eight foot long LED strip/tape lights. The tape doesn't stick so great to the textured ceiling, so I had to run duct tape along the sides overlapping the strip itself but not covering the LEDs. The kits come in rolls of sixteen feet each, each with their own dimmer and power supply so you can dim them right down to near nothing or all the way up like I have them here. If you need unobtrusive lighting for a decent sized area, it's tough to go wrong with them. They stick just fine to acrylic or glass like most shelving units, and even well painted wood isn't much of a problem. Some say they even stick well to smooth wood, though I haven't tested that yet.

    It's this setup here along with the connections kit they offer as an add-on so I could string multiple runs together. The little clips are kinda tricky to fit on the ends, but I did manage eventually. Quite the setup for not much dough. And very, very bright.

    It actually makes it much more exciting to be able to see what I'm doing even when working "behind" what's already there. With all the bricks and slopes I've got laying around now, progress should start picking up the pace.
     
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  15. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    A couple days, a few more bricks, and Optimus stopping by to check out the progress and help me do some stability tests in presumed weaker areas.

    The left wall and the beginnings of the back are starting to take shape. You can see the presumed "top" of the back of the cave with the frame I've put in place to build off of. Though the ceiling build won't happen until that back frame is built into the walls solidly to hold everything together. You can also see the beginnings of the build up around the chains. Those build-ups will overlap each other slightly at the floor, and the ceiling, then show gaps between them in the middle section giving a view behind them from the front opening of the cave when it's done.
    cave6.jpg

    Optimus noticed a bystander checking out the progress as well. Eroris, just hanging around.
    cave7.jpg

    Long ways to go even just to get the cave done, but at least it's progress.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many bricks goes into building something like this. I keep grabbing big lots of bricks, and keep just blazing through them. Over the last few days I know I passed my previous record for largest Lego build, which was somewhere north of three thousand pieces. While I'm not sure of my exact number at this point, I know I'm well over five hundred in just dark bley 1x2s, two hundred 1x1 bleys, something like 2500 slopes, and hundreds upon hundreds of red, white and blue fill bricks. This mountain is very patriotic under the surface. :lol :
     
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  16. Agent 539

    Agent 539 Blackrock Gas Attendant TFW2005 Supporter

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    That’s coming along nicely. Now you can see what you’re doing with all that light.
     
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  17. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    I'm truly curious to see the end results as right now I'm having trouble seeing where you're going with this, aside the side that reminds me of the mountain side in Krull.

    The number of pieces would scare the hell out of me should it fall... you're definitely in territories that I wouldn't fathom going.
     
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  18. Robyn The Dragon

    Robyn The Dragon Woman on the run

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    I have a bunch of WFC Siege/ER Figures that I want to display and was wondering if anyone had any stand recommendations that would be best suited for these guys? It looks like there are tons of options but I figured I could reach out here (Sorry if it's too off topic, I apologize if this isn't the place) and see if anyone could help me out with the info! Thank you! :D 

    Some of these Dioramas are simply amazing and I want to begin working on my own soon! Great job to those who posted. :) 
     
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  19. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    The lights definitely help when doing fill work behind the scenes.

    Well, technically, you haven't seen more than one tiny little section of the diorama as I'm working in one section at a time. In the end it will be eight feet side to side, twenty plus inches front to back. This mountain in the center section is actually just one of many features that will cover this entire shelf. There will be "regions" when it's done, this mountain being the primary split between the Decepticon and Autobot territories. But that's many, MANY months in the future at this point, if not years.

    A new order of 600 bricks was placed this morning as I began to run out of dark bley 1x2s and 1x1s yet again. This cave is a brick sucker. LOL.
     
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  20. Agent 539

    Agent 539 Blackrock Gas Attendant TFW2005 Supporter

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    The Flight Pose flight stands are the most popular types of stands everyone uses. For smaller characters, Tamashii Nations Stage Stands can do a great job as well. The ultimate decision will come down to how are youdisplaying them, and will you build the stands into your future diorama?