Tutorial: How to make a cheap& easy wall Dio (lots of pics) [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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zebraten
09-03-2010, 01:14
Hello, folks. Ian (Idreamoftoshiba) recently asked me if I could make a tutorial on how to make the wall dio's I use for many of my figures. I procrastinated but eventually I finished said tutorial.

I think diorama's really add an extra "something" to a figure. It can add to the whole story of the figure, if you will. But store bought dio's are usually costly and shipping (especially if it's coming from overseas) can make it prohibitively expensive.

So making a dio appeals to two of my personality traits: I like making stuff and I am cheap. Most of my dio's probably cost about 3 or 4 dollars in materials. The only real expense is time. And the little dio's (like the one this tutorial covers) don't take more than about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to make.

Plus in the grand scheme of this hobby, they are easy to make. This isn't like a gun mod like Sir eaton flipflop or Pemgreene make or a Flanela Starcraft Marine.

Enough prattle, on with the show.

For this tutorial, I want to try and copy a dio offered by SCALE STORE 1/6 12" ACTION FIGURES (1/6th scale vehicles and figures model) (http://www.asiascalestore.com)

here is a pic of that dio. Looks cool, but I dont like that root thing and I can find no price for it. But I bet it costs more than 3 bucks, especially in shipping from China. I'm not knocking this company at all. I'm glad someone is making bases now. It's about time and they do look very nice.

http://www.asiascalestore.com/uploadfile/42/2010072311292616.jpg

What you will need: Some All purpose Flexall or other "filler" material. I got this at Lowes for about 15 dollars and it has lasted for over a year, Styrofoam sheet, ruler, wooden skewer, cutting instrument, plastic knife, that yellow spackle thing and a marker

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/19591ccd.jpg?t=1283492854

Measure the base you want for your dio. Mine is a 6"x 6" square and cut it. The wall of the dio is in two pieces. The wider one is about 6" high and not as wide as the base by about 2". Use a ruler and marker and cut the wide portion of the wall.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/16833ab5.jpg?t=1283493286

Cut out the tall and skinny piece of the wall. It's about 12" high and 2" wide. Here is the entire base. Now we have to secure it.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/b3e49d5b.jpg?t=1283493702

Break up the wooden skewers and push them into the wall pieces, joing them together. Offset the walls a bit by having the taller piece a bit forward, so it looks like a pillar.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/cc13396d.jpg?t=1283493840

I used three pieces of the skewer. The walls are now joined.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/ab602de2.jpg?t=1283493908

Slather a decent amount of the filler on the base portion of the dio. The dio I'm using as a reference shows that the dirt/sand is pretty deep, so I use a moderate amount. Scrape off the excess and try too make it look uniform-ish. Since I used a good amount of filler, it will have to dry for a few hours. The wall will dry in about 30 minutes.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/6569a173.jpg?t=1283493976

Cover the wall portions with the filler but scrape off a lot of it. Here is a pic before I scraped off the filler.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/3bbe9b86.jpg?t=1283494163

Here is the wall after I scraped off a lot of the excess. You just want enough to cover the styrofoam. This dries quickly. Once it dries, the two portions are now stuck together.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/e62fa18d.jpg?t=1283494268

Two more wooden skewers to join the wall to the base. Do this while the base is still a bit mushy, so the wall and the base will dry on to one another.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/998e7865.jpg?t=1283494472

Our unpainted wall dio.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/f9952612.jpg?t=1283494572

This part is optional. get some sand. It will add to the overall effect.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/af9cacbf.jpg?t=1283494618

Sprinkle sand on base while it is still wet/mushy.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/be19eb44.jpg?t=1283494689

Get some spray glue. or better yet, get some elmers (white glue) and add water and get a spray bottle. Cheap, cheap. Spray the sand, gluing it to the base.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/7824d169.jpg?t=1283494741

Here is the (now) dried, unpainted base.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/8d445d03.jpg?t=1283494910

Make some indentations on the wall with the back end of a paint brush, pencil, etc.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/43249fdc.jpg?t=1283494995

Paint the base. This took me about 15 minutes to paint. I used a white/tan/grey/and a little water mix for the base color for the wall. Then I just drybrushed the wall with some darker tan and brown. For the ground I used a mixture of "desert tan" and "cocoa" and a little water. I'm not a painting ninja, so believe me when I say it's not that hard.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000742.jpg?t=1283495316

Here is the store bought one again

http://www.asiascalestore.com/uploadfile/42/2010072311292616.jpg

Now mine, with a figure on it

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000743.jpg?t=1283495434

Here are some other bases I've made using the exact same method.

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000744.jpg?t=1283495536

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000745.jpg?t=1283495603

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000746.jpg?t=1283495665

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000747.jpg?t=1283495732

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000748.jpg?t=1283495800

Sorry for so many pictures. It took me longer to make this tutorial than it took me to make the dio. They are fun, cheap and relatively easy to make and they add a lot to the overall appearance of your figures.

Thanks for looking and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Doug

cowpehcowbu
09-03-2010, 01:22
THANKS Doug. Your dios are simply breathtaking in its realism & you made it look as if it's really easy to execute. THANKS again for sharing, it's really very much appreciated :)

KMok15
09-03-2010, 02:13
This is fantastic! Need time to try it out, which i have little now:(

still...idreamoftoshiba
09-03-2010, 02:24
superb absolutely frick'in superb! I know what I'm upto tonight:hifive Thank you very much for this Doug! Oh, I'll have to go to the hardware store first though:lol

Tiger
09-03-2010, 02:27
Thank you very much, man I really going to give this a try!

Niels

uramegak
09-03-2010, 06:10
Great tut! Thanks for sharing!

GIJOHN
09-03-2010, 06:29
Good stuff! Thanks...

gaiagear
09-03-2010, 06:36
Fantastic tut Doug, thanks boss. :thumb

tang
09-03-2010, 07:22
:thumb
:thumb
:thumb

dadrab
09-03-2010, 08:16
Well, shoot... That's pretty damn good.

Thank you, sir.

Oh yeah...almost forgot...if you're having trouble getting those skewers to go into the foam with a blunt edge, stick 'em in a pencil sharpener and "point" 'em up.

mgbb
09-03-2010, 08:39
Nice! Like the tilt one.

steve74
09-03-2010, 08:51
sweet man thx for the know-how

oazen
09-03-2010, 09:48
great ))))

Shakey.
09-03-2010, 09:52
Thanks for sharing, that is much appreciated.

siamese1966
09-03-2010, 10:27
:thumb Great Tutorial & Thanks for sharing, there are a lot to know...and this is a shot cut!

OLD TRAVELER
09-03-2010, 10:35
:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap

THANKS DOUG         

fantastic

Mickey
09-03-2010, 10:38
great work! very informative!

the tarman
09-03-2010, 10:54
tthanks for the great how-to. i love the one with the bio-hazard symbol

CustomCreator
09-03-2010, 12:28
Not to jack your thread, but I have had a lot of luck with Sno-Tex fake snow.

http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww189/CustomCreator2009/IMG_3162.jpg

zebraten
09-03-2010, 13:13
Well, shoot... That's pretty damn good.

Thank you, sir.

Oh yeah...almost forgot...if you're having trouble getting those skewers to go into the foam with a blunt edge, stick 'em in a pencil sharpener and "point" 'em up.

Great "tip". :wink


Not to jack your thread, but I have had a lot of luck with Sno-Tex fake snow.

http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww189/CustomCreator2009/IMG_3162.jpg

No worries, the more info we share, the better. Your work is fantastic!

Auret
09-03-2010, 14:17
awesome Tutorial....

now i just need to find the time and energy to make something...

Argus
09-03-2010, 19:12
This looks like a fun way to spend some time on the hobby. Thanks for sharing your method.

ryan1982
09-03-2010, 23:27
Great stuff Doug. Good tips in here.
The paintwork looks great for not being a "painting ninja" :)
What do you use as a backdrop/ photobox thingy to take your photos in? i need a new setup and yours looks cool.

zebraten
09-04-2010, 00:00
Great stuff Doug. Good tips in here.
The paintwork looks great for not being a "painting ninja" :)
What do you use as a backdrop/ photobox thingy to take your photos in? i need a new setup and yours looks cool.

Thanks, buddy. The light tent I use I got from Amazon. I think the brand name is Giottos. It folds up into a carrying case for easy storage. I think you can get an idea of it's size by looking at the last picture. I had to keep the top open for the last picture (it normally can be velcroed closed) because the dio was so large.

I use three lights: 2 halogen work lights that I got from Home Depot cheap (like 8 bucks each) and a third desk lamp that I place on top.

The rest is just photobucket brightness and contrast...

ryan1982
09-04-2010, 01:43
Thanks, buddy. The light tent I use I got from Amazon. I think the brand name is Giottos. It folds up into a carrying case for easy storage. I think you can get an idea of it's size by looking at the last picture. I had to keep the top open for the last picture (it normally can be velcroed closed) because the dio was so large.

I use three lights: 2 halogen work lights that I got from Home Depot cheap (like 8 bucks each) and a third desk lamp that I place on top.

The rest is just photobucket brightness and contrast...

awesome. i'll check that out. thanks man. the bed sheet and foam board box i've been using isnt really cutting it anymore.

Scimitar
09-04-2010, 02:38
Great tutorial Doug and very nice work. I've got to get some materials and try this out. I just recently started making single figure bases using cheap picture frames. Those turned out much better than I expected. Now I would like to try something a bit more complicated.

menlojames52
09-04-2010, 02:59
Great Tutorial, Thank you so much for Sharing!:thanks

Leatherneck
09-04-2010, 13:03
Fantastic tutorial - I thought it was so useful that I created a short cut to it on my desk top.

Cpt. Price
09-04-2010, 13:06
Looks simple enough I will try this out.

zebraten
09-04-2010, 13:08
Fantastic tutorial - I thought it was so useful that I created a short cut to it on my desk top.

That's great! I'm glad you liked it.

The Ulsterman
09-04-2010, 16:50
You're a master at these bases Doug, they look excellent.
I have threatened to have a go at one for a loooong time now, i really must have a go.
Thanks for the tutorial.

Neil.

Artoo
09-04-2010, 18:26
Will definitely use this in the future!

Rosco
09-05-2010, 11:04
These do look pretty nice. Anybody got any tips on how to make brick walls?

DarkArticulation
09-05-2010, 11:27
Wonderful tutorial!! Thank you very much!!

Once I get materials, I'll have to give it a go!

:thumb

DrJackManson
09-05-2010, 12:11
Thank you so much for the tutorial, sir!:thanks

I'll give it a try one day.:thumb:thumb

menlojames52
09-05-2010, 21:28
I Just want to Thank Zebraten again for this fantastic Tutorial. I bought some Flexall yesterday and made this small Dio as an experiment. I have always wanted to make something like these for my figures and now thanks to Zebraten I can. Thanks again!
http://a.imageshack.us/img52/3626/img0311gn.jpg (http://img52.imageshack.us/i/img0311gn.jpg/) Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)
http://a.imageshack.us/img52/3150/img0310t.jpg (http://img52.imageshack.us/i/img0310t.jpg/) Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

zebraten
09-06-2010, 01:42
I Just want to Thank Zebraten again for this fantastic Tutorial. I bought some Flexall yesterday and made this small Dio as an experiment. I have always wanted to make something like these for my figures and now thanks to Zebraten I can. Thanks again!
http://a.imageshack.us/img52/3626/img0311gn.jpg (http://img52.imageshack.us/i/img0311gn.jpg/) Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)
http://a.imageshack.us/img52/3150/img0310t.jpg (http://img52.imageshack.us/i/img0310t.jpg/) Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Hey, that's great! Your dio turned out wonderfully! I'm glad that I could help.

Yujin
09-06-2010, 01:53
I gotta give it a try. Thanks for this! :D :thumb :thumb

major.rod
09-06-2010, 12:42
Awesome info! I do custom dios for my clients all the time. I like your
approach because of weight. How durable is foam? I often have to ship these.

zebraten
09-06-2010, 15:37
Ive sent several in the mail, so far with no problem. I think as long as it's packed securely, you should have no problem. When the filler dries, it really makes it sturdy.

Chaos_Zero
09-06-2010, 18:23
I was wondering how you made the square shingle thingies on the left side of the wall here that are breaking off. Great tutorial!

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000745.jpg?t=1283495603

zebraten
09-06-2010, 19:03
I was wondering how you made the square shingle thingies on the left side of the wall here that are breaking off. Great tutorial!

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee82/penguinsknees/P1000745.jpg?t=1283495603

Cardboard! Some cardboard boxes have a side that's white and glossy. I just drew a bunch of squares on some white cardboard and cut them out and stuck them to the wall while the flexall was still wet. Then they dried to the wall. After they were on, I drybrushed some brown for dirt effect, etc.

Chaos_Zero
09-06-2010, 19:20
Cardboard! Some cardboard boxes have a side that's white and glossy. I just drew a bunch of squares on some white cardboard and cut them out and stuck them to the wall while the flexall was still wet. Then they dried to the wall. After they were on, I drybrushed some brown for dirt effect, etc.

Very cool. :) Thanks for the info.

hqpham
09-19-2010, 11:36
very cool tutorial! I've been saving foam like that from work on and off for a couple of years but never got around to using them yet. I like the tip with the spray cement..I did not even know that was made!! I've used the drywall filler/spackle on a couple of dio's I gave to people but your tips will help me add a fine touch and I can't wait to try them out. And lastly, what colors are you using from what brands? And are you using an airbrush? The colors look great!

zebraten
09-19-2010, 13:47
very cool tutorial! I've been saving foam like that from work on and off for a couple of years but never got around to using them yet. I like the tip with the spray cement..I did not even know that was made!! I've used the drywall filler/spackle on a couple of dio's I gave to people but your tips will help me add a fine touch and I can't wait to try them out. And lastly, what colors are you using from what brands? And are you using an airbrush? The colors look great!

Thanks for the compliments! All the colors I used are acrylics. I get all my paints from Michaels, although any crafts store will have them. I buy whatever is on sale. "desert tan" "mocha" grey, light grey, mixed with some black, etc. I tend to add a lot of water when I paint thos walls. It makes the paint go further and last longer.

cave canem designs
11-27-2010, 02:50
great tip!!!

Aneses
11-27-2010, 06:16
Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!!!

jessica
11-27-2010, 12:29
excellent stuff. most excellent!

hotmitts
11-28-2010, 04:26
Thanks so much for this excellent tutorial. So useful.

Shortcut added too!

The dio with the broken tiles and floorboards - love it!!

drunkpunk
12-06-2010, 06:07
great tutorial. thanks for sharing! cheers!



regards,
jake

nyricanintx58
12-26-2010, 19:39
Great setups. Easy instructions. I will try these soon to display my pieces. The pics were cool to show the info.

WWIIfreak95
02-12-2011, 12:14
Can you use any kind of styrofoam?

gr3nd3l
03-16-2011, 10:18
Thanks for sharing doug! Wanna try to make me one of these

FrogmanStudio
03-16-2011, 11:10
Very nice! Will definitely be using some of these techniques myself!

claymore_1724
03-17-2011, 01:16
great work :D do some more dios :D

smalltroops
03-18-2011, 03:49
Nice tips and Thanks for sharing :)

rollotomasi
03-22-2011, 09:05
Cool stuff! Thanks for the info!

riddick2k9
03-23-2011, 01:14
awesome stuff..thanks for sharing...

Broadshore
03-23-2011, 16:51
In terms from the Guinness Commercials

http://twistedsifter.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/guinness-brilliant.jpg

Thank you for a great Tut man!!!!

djskeld
03-25-2011, 10:13
nice!

gyzer2112
04-02-2011, 12:13
Nice!

rokmunky
04-27-2011, 20:13
Hey... thanks for sharing. These look nice, yet are simple to create.

nos4a21871
04-28-2011, 10:50
Great tutorial. I actually use the same method of styrofoam and filler to make gravestones for halloween but never thought about it for a dio, thanks for the idea.

glenning
05-10-2011, 16:35
Great tutorial - thanks!

paintedhead123
05-14-2011, 03:47
I can't wait to start making one of these, thank you for showing how its done it looks great.

Cheers

Jason

thanatos
05-16-2011, 10:10
Thanks for showing us. I have started to make some using your method so hopefully I'll do a good job just like you.

Emma

zebraten
05-19-2011, 20:31
Can you use any kind of styrofoam?

Sorry I saw this question a bit late....any kind of styrofoam will do. California has some of the toughest environmental laws and the styrofoam here kind of sucks. So I think anything you can get your hands on will be just fine...

Just make sure it's thick enough to suit your purpose.

Dicky Mint
12-15-2011, 12:20
this is great!!!!

I have yet to decide on what sort of diorama I will be making - but have the COD games (MW1, 2 & 3) to get plenty of ideas......!!!

Mac Workz
02-05-2012, 12:51
thank you!

rokmunky
04-27-2012, 07:25
Zebraten,

Great tutorial! After viewing this, I gave it a whirl and have had some good results. Thank you for sharing. I'll post pics soon.

TheRiddlersMind
11-10-2012, 06:14
Very nice simply love the feel to them keep it up

Starkiller
11-27-2012, 17:01
Great pics and tutorial . I use a similar technique on my dio's , but use compressed paper ceiling tiles ( the type you see in offices etc . ) I also pick up "tester pots " of emulsion paint from hardware stores and this keeps the cost right down ! :thumb
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g55/thundergod_photos/DSC03404.jpg

romo
05-01-2013, 16:45
Brilliant I love it

cmw0079
05-03-2013, 16:58
very cool & helpful.

Sleepy29
06-18-2013, 01:08
Great stuff Love the tutorial Doug! By the way, what's a filler? Where can i find one?

Tigerace007
06-18-2013, 08:31
What a great Tutorial, thanks for sharing, i will definately give that a go:applause

Stu.

zebraten
07-01-2013, 15:05
Great stuff Love the tutorial Doug! By the way, what's a filler? Where can i find one?

Sorry, just saw this. Filler can be found at any decent sized hardware store. OSH, home Depot, etc

kallan
06-21-2020, 19:37
awsome!!!