Heavy/Scratch: W.I.P. G1 ARK Diorama

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Maximal Prime, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, when I set the Teletraan-1 on the back wall I just stared at it for a few minutes and thought, "that just doesn't look right".

    That's something I plan on doing when all is said and done. :thumb 
     
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  2. doomtron

    doomtron Hunter

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    Pretty dam cool :) 
     
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  3. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Got a little bit of building done this morning. I had originally thought about creating the walls in pieces, but I wanted something sturdier that was mostly all one piece. The closest thing I found on the cheap was a 48" longX21"highX24"wide cardboard wardrobe box at the local U-Haul for a couple dollars. The 48" length is perfect. Ideally I wanted the interior to be 24" high, but 21" is still plenty of ceiling height without feeling too cramped.
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    I did have to apply 8" extensions, where the ceiling will connect to the mountain base. I'm going to drill out some slots in the rubber tote on the right where I can put a connecting piece that will be an extra support for the ceiling. Since the 3 bases need to be able to separate, I still need to build the Ark interior in a way that it will all be supported and not collapse when it's apart. I have a plan for adding support struts behind the cardboard box out of sight. I was also able to pick up this giant plastic recyclable tray out of the recycling bin at work. I'm going to spray paint this and make this part of the ceiling where the LED lights will shine down.
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    I cut a hole in the ceiling and sized it to fit.
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    My next step will be to spray paint this part of the ceiling and a few other odds and ends on the interior of the Ark this week.
     
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  4. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Got some nice weather this morning and spray painted the ceiling and some other pieces.
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    I managed to pick up some LED puck lights awhile back that change color with a remote. They sized perfectly into the 3 holes in the ceiling piece. I mounted those and did a fit test with the ceiling. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but when the red light is selected, it gives off a pretty cool Star Trek-ish red alert effect that makes the whole interior glow red.
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    Now I need to start measuring the foam board for the walls, spray gluing the Ark panels to the walls, and the walls to the cardboard frame. Then I plan on anchoring the box permanently to the MDF base. Once that is done, there's a whole ton of little details I want to add inside:
    1. Stalactites and rock from the ceiling and walls, giving it a beat-up look like this ship crashed and parts caved in.
    2. Finishing the blast door to the tunnel.
    3. Adding "L" shaped brackets on the inside. Not only will it help support everything, it will add detail to the structure of the interior.
    4. Build the connector support pole from the box ceiling to the back of the mountain.
    5. Add a few more lights and finish off the area above the tunnel entrance.
    6. Finish adding glued details to Teletraan-1.
    7. Dry brush weathering details to the ceiling, "L" brackets, Teletraan-1 and modules next to it, and then clear coat it all.
    8. Finish adding a few more bushes and greenery to the exterior base.
    9. Finish painting the backgrounds on the exterior.
    10. Add a removable "top" to the volcano with the last can of spray foam I have and then paint that.

    When all of that is done, I can bring this beast outside one last time and finish spray painting the rest of the rock on the mountain.

    I feel like I'm finally nearing the home stretch with this project. 25% more left to do. :D 
     
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  5. THE 1

    THE 1 GUNFIGHTER

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    Oh Momma! Bring it!!!!:rock :rock :rock :buttrock 
     
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  6. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Built a wall this morning. Measured a few pieces of foam board and spray glued that to the inside of the box. I didn't want any bubbling or warping on the surface of the Ark wall. Once that was dry, I cut and measured the Ark wall panels and spray glued those to the foam board. Now I'll have to repeat this process for the whole rest of the interior of the Ark, including the ceiling.
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    I measured the panels in such a way that the four corner seam will be behind the Teletraan-1. It should provide for a slightly more seamless look.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
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  7. FandomsMJ

    FandomsMJ Member

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    Hiding the corner seams behind Teletraan is a great idea! I need to remember that trick next time I build a diorama for my Transformers.
     
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  8. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Made a little progress. I measured out the foam board for the ceiling around the light tray, and then it was the painstaking process of measuring every piece of Ark wall to fit seamlessly. I'm really glad I printed all these walls on 120# cardstock, they are flat as can be. Had I done these on paper, the spray glue would have warped and bubbled the surface horribly. The custom piece with the window was from a different file and as such, the color is slightly darker than the rest. I plan on running some small tubing as a pipe to somewhat disguise the difference between the panels. I couldn't really line up the graphics perfectly, but with the Ark walls being so detailed, from a distance it's hard to tell. Or I'm just a perfectionist and my own worst critic, lol
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    Brought the gang in for a mock-up. I still have to add the supports and connector piece in the next few days. But Prime is happy, the Autobots finally have a home!
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  9. JackKnife

    JackKnife Kitbashing Space Truck

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    You know...after seeing all the work you're doing, I'm tempted to make some..."additions" and such to my diorama. lol
     
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  10. THE 1

    THE 1 GUNFIGHTER

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    Oh.... my.... That looks freakin' sick. With the lighting and everything..... Wow!
     
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  11. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Do it! We need more dioramas in here! :thumb 

    Thanks! This summer is getting real busy, I'm itching to finish this bad boy but I don't want to rush it and get sloppy with stuff at the end. I've still got a few tricks left to add to it...;) 
     
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  12. FandomsMJ

    FandomsMJ Member

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    That looks amazing! Makes me want to make my own Ark for my figures.
     
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  13. roaddemon2001

    roaddemon2001 Mr. fixit

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    Don't forget the Escape tube for the satellite, that repaired the Decepticons, above teletraan! Explore , explore!! Repair, repair!! Lol. Looks excellent!! If I had time, I would find you and beg you to let me play too. Screenshot_2021-06-05-21-33-16.png
     
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  14. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    You just gave me an idea, I forgot about that!
     
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  15. TFtrial

    TFtrial Well-Known Member

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    This project gets more amazing every week. I can’t wait to see the final product but it might also be sad since I won’t get to see weekly updates. In the mean time, please keep the updates coming and we all get to enjoy the journey with you.
     
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  16. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much! Believe me, I can't wait to finish this and share it as a finished post and video.
     
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  17. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    Very small update:
    Very busy workweek and not much time to work on this. I did however manage to anchor the box frame of the Ark interior to the MDF base. I drilled out a few holes in the "L" shaped shelf supports to accommodate 5/8" threaded screw and anchored it to the box. I also screwed it in on the bottom straight to the MDF base. Once I get a few more screw/washer/nut sets I will repeat that process where the wall meets the ceiling so the corners are supported with minimal sag.
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    I also painted a few left over pieces of old PVC pipe I had laying around the house to use as pipework detail inside the ARK. I'm going to give them some paint weathering detail before I attach them permanently.
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  18. cwgall

    cwgall A warrior struggling to remain consequential

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    Love the pipe
     
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  19. Maximal Prime

    Maximal Prime Well-Known Member

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    This morning I was able to give the pipes some weathering detail. I've watched a couple of videos of guys who do phenomenal paint jobs on model train sets and tried to apply a few of the tricks and techniques they use:
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    For the longest time I've been kind of putting off the inside back of the Ark, I just wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to do it or really have it look. This morning I finally faced it head on and decided how I was going to tackle it. I found an empty cardboard box that was just the right size:
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    I started cutting more of those Ark panels and glued them to the box
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    Then I measured out and drilled a couple of holes and cut a few more Ark panels to line the inner top and sides of the tunnel:
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    Then I pulled some of the extra white Christmas lights from the pile that were being used inside the tunnel, and placed and taped them securely inside the new box.
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    I just have to adjust a few corners and then use some extra foam I cut off of bigger pieces of the mountain I saved to fill in a few gaps. The cool part is the box is removable, in case I ever need to get to the lights.

    Hopefully this week I can finally finish the blast door to the tunnel, as well as the inside wall to the left of the tunnel.
     
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  20. JackKnife

    JackKnife Kitbashing Space Truck

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    Your project actually led me to start using foam board for some of the internals on my base. I had passed on the stuff previously because I thought it would be too weak, but after using it for the inside of the Base's Medbay, it's surprisingly more durable than I had thought!

    Thanks for the materials upgrade!
     
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