Turtle Lair

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Turtle Lair

Taking inspiration from my recent Sewer commission I wanted to make a TMNT lair.  This piece is scaled to the 7″ Classic figures (based on the 1987 cartoon).


The diorama is made from insulation foam board, held together with magnetic tape.  Since I have used magnetic tape, it means its can be expanded upon at a later date.  Either adding in extra rooms or sewer tunnels.



Decided to etch in brick work to outside of one of the doors, followed up with brick work on the sewer tunnels. 


Finished the night of with some test shots of the Turtles facing down Shredder and his Foot soldiers.

With the door


 Grey acrylic base coat was applied to all the inside walls, floor and the one outer wall.


I washed over the entire inside of the model with a light brown which I applied using a sponge.   With that trying I turned my attention to creating one of the main pieces of furniture for any Turtle lair, the sofa!  Making this out of 10 mm foam board to fit two turtles.



Placing the sofa around the lair, I’ve realized I need to trim an inch off the sofa so it doesn’t look to fill the room as much as it does now.

I cut a couple of lengths of pipe which will run the length of each wall, as you can see they are only resting on top while finish off painting the walls before attaching them.



I applied a second wash of grey over all the walls, while they were drying I turned my attention to trimming an inch off the sofa and cutting the pipes down to size.


Using the airbrush to go round each brick and every crack using a light grey.  The sofa was given a coat of lime green (I know it looked awful!), this was quickly rectified and repainted over with a light brown.  Once it had dried I dry brushed a dark brown over to weather it.

I spray painted the pipes with a black base coat, followed with an aluminium layer.  They were dry brushed with Games Workshops Dryad Bark and Necron Compound.  The walls of the model were dry brushed with Games Workshops Longbeard grey.


All the pipes where fixed into place, I combined the Turtle lair with the sewer commissioned piece I had also recently finished together to build an awesome Turtle play-set which you will see in the final pictures.

Final Pictures



Eternia Ruin

Eternia Ruin

Keeping with the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe theme, I’ve put together another small landscape diorama drawing inspiration from the old Filmation cartoon series back in 1983.


This build I wanted to be a simple landscape diorama, I cut a piece of 10 mm foam board to act as the base.  Then another piece of 10 mm which will be a broken wall, I’ve added three tabs to the bottom of the all which allow it to be allowed to slotted into the base.

Eternia in the 80’s cartoon, wood land area had a lot of huge, twisty trees of all sizes.  To make one of these for the size of this piece, I have taken a cardboard tube and wrapped it up in tin foil with enough excess to twist to a point.  I rolled up two more lengths of tin foils and wrapped them around the trunk like twisted branches.  This will be positioned behind the wall.


Build upon this basic design, I added a horizontal wall behind the first wall, a couple of tin foil boulders into the foreground.




I was looking at the walls and realised one layer of 10 mm was not enough, I cut another piece the same size as the long wall. Glued them together and then sanded it down, I will do the same with vertical wall this evening.

 The vertical wall, I added another 10 mm layer of foam board making it the same width as the horizontal wall.  Using the round sander on my rotary tool to weather both walls, lightly touching the wall faces with side of the spinning sander.

I laid a piece of 6 mm foam board on the base in front of the horizontal wall, marking out 2″ x 2″ slabs before setting to them with pottery tools, scoring imperfections into the slabs.



Turning the attention to tree and the boulders, I watered down filler and coated the mixture over the objects.  I poured the rest of the filler down the left side of the base and around the back.  I inserted the tree into the filler covered the damp filler with sand.  



Coating foil covered objects with filler mixed with water, then covering the vacant floor area with it also. I painted the floor area with a yellowish brown and the stump of the tree. I then started to layer the the full tree with darker tones of brown, finishing off with a shade of Agrax Earth shade. The tile floor and walls have been given a base grey coat. When it dried I start layering them.


Sprayed the ground with a light yellow, the paving and walls with a light blue/grey. While they were drying I took a wire brush to the small floor behind the horizontal wall. Going with the grain of the foam and scoring it to look like worn floorboards. Shade with Agrax Earth shade and airbrushed with a water down black acrylic.


All stone work was then dry brushed with Longbeard Grey. When it had dried grass tufts and moss where applied on the tree and in places on the diorama.


All that is left to do is paint round the base and take final pictures of this.



Final Pictures




Castle Room 1

Castle Room 1

Started on a small diorama piece for Bradford Unleashed, drawing inspiration from He-man and the Masters of the Universe.


Made from foam insulation board, it’s scaled to fit Masters Of The Universe 5.5′ to the 7′ figures.


The external I’ve etched brick work similar to that of the 80’s Castle Grayskull play set. Internal I’ve etched my standard brickwork. The walls are made from one piece of board, cutting between the bricks to make two interlocking walls.


For the base I made three curved steps  leading towards the wall, then curved the corners.  A single pillar created and fitted into the corner.  With the external being based upon the 80’s toy, I’ve put in a small window for the Sorceress to view out of.  Stone slabs have been etched into the floor and steps.


Sanded down all edges and started playing with ideas on how this will look when it’s finished.



With the build completed, it is time to start painting.  The base coat for the walls and floor were applied using a watered done mixture of white/black and touch of blue, applied using a sponge. 


 With the base coats dry, sponged over the walls with a water downed burnt umber mixed with yellow, dabbing the paint all over.  


The floor was given another grey coat using my airbrush, random flags were sprayed a darker grey.  Once dry it was dry brushed with Games Workshop Longbeard Grey to pick out all the detail.

The inside walls I gave another coat of grey using the airbrush, once dry it was dry brushed with Games Workshop Longbeard Grey to pick out all the detail.


The exterior walls where sprayed with a grey/brown solution, then random stones where sprayed different shades of grey.  Once dry it was dry brushed with Games Workshop Longbeard Grey to pick out all the detail.

Sword Casting

Now the diorama build is complete, I wanted to decorate one wall with two hanging swords.  I took casts of both Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man and She-Ra’s swords, since the swords are permanently fixed to walls I took half casts of each sword using blu-stuff to make the molds.

When it was safe to remove the curing swords from the molds, I trimmed the excess off and left them to finish curing. 

I base coated both the swords using Abaddon Black and did the same to a spare MOTU 200x golden sword of power.  All three swords where then base coated with Leadbelcher, layered with Runefang steel and edged with Stormhost Silver.

Turning my attention to plaque the classic swords were going to be mounted onto, a circle had been cut into a piece of 6 mm foam board.  I used a wire brush to make it look like it had been made from a piece of wood. Base coated with Rhinox hide, shades with Agrex Earthshade and the washed over with Mournfang brown.  Both half swords where glued into place and then mounted onto the wall.


I created a stone plinth for the 200x Sword of Power to stand in and to be freely seated  in the corner.  Painted with Mechanicus Standard Grey and then edged with Longbeard Grey, the sword was embedded into the stone.


Final Pictures




AvP Outpost

Aliens vs Predators Outpost

This latest diorama I have started, takes influence from Aliens and Predator genres, it is scaled for the Kenner Aliens vs Predator figures made in 1991, scaled for 3.75  to 5 inch. I’ve done a lot of buildings and alleyway’s recently and wanted to do something and a little out of this world! 

To start, I have constructed the front of the outpost building using a combination of 10 mm insulation board and 5 mm foam board to build up the doorway and the front wall of the outpost.


While I was exhibiting at Bradford Unleashed February 2018, I carried on working in my AvP diorama. I cut out the base of the outpost, marked out a walkway around the front and right side.

Next I given the idea of sliding doors, I cut out a piece of foam boards and carved markings into the door. Using 5 mm foam board to add details to the reverse of the door.

With the doors made, it’s time to work on the inside wall. After cutting out the doorway, I’ve etched wall markings into the wall, adding a wall bracing. With these done, I can start adding extra accessories to the front wall before working on the side wall.

I carved in to floor 6 grill plates and then using the top of a bread knife ans pressed it into the foam board to make the slates in the grill plates.

Using 5 mm foam board for frame, 10 mm insulation board for depth. I used 5 mm board for the reverse wall, carving the wall slates to match the ones on the front wall.

Above the door I have added a cable run, moved the wall brace to the other side. Before I start fitting together, I will be adding a small wall on the opposite side to hide the join of the front wall.


I realised that up until now my Alien vs Predator diorama was missing a Predator, so let me rectify that with these test shots.


I created the third wall, using the same technique as I’ve used throughout this build, with the combination of 5 mm foam board and 10 mm insulation board.


 I’ve started reworking and sanding each of the walls, the left wall I added a layer of thin bolsa wood over the foam board frame. 
I also started to work on the cable run cage that runs over the middle and right walls.


Deciding this needed a roof for Aliens to drop down and pull marines up to their doom.


I cut a piece of foam to the size of the diorama, then evenly spaced squares were cut out, the frame edges sanded. To make it look like it’s a complete roof from the outside, I added a second layer on top of the frame, then two corners. The roof was sanded and glued together.


With the roof complete I started applying paint. I’ve reached the point where I need to paint each section individually before I can start gluing it all together. The first layer on the floor, doors and three walls with a combination of a dark and medium grey.


With the undercoat dryer, time to start painting the outside. Using a grey acrylic spray to coat the side walls I also applied a layer to front but unfortunately I hadn’t put treated the archway enough and the grey paint started to dissolve some of the foam.

The rostrum on either side has been painted silver, the archway and doors have been given a coat of gun metal grey. The slays on the side walls was given a coat of dark grey.

The inside left wall I have started highlighting it features with a light grey on the wall, the bolsa wood a coat of gun metal grey.


I applied some little paint tweaks to my diorama, the floor got a wash of gun metal grey followed by an aluminium wash to make it look more metallic. I mixed up a blue/grey for the roof and applied its first coat, I will darken the exterior border of the roof before weathering the exterior of the outpost.


After I finished with the roof I was looking at the inside and was not happy with how dark I had made it. I still had some of blue/grey left over and went over the squares on the front and right walls.

My double diamonds tread plastic card arrived, I cut into shape I needed to fit the walkway around the bunker, it was then sprayed grey.

While this is drying I went back to the roof, mixed up a medium grey and painted the top of the roof, then mixed some blue and repainted cross section of the roof.


I turned to the bunker, started to weather the outside walls before doing the same internally. Adding the Weyland Corp logo above the door, along with some little painting touches.


Painting is now completed, all pieces glued together.



Final pictures completed.





Last night I started a new little project, for 3.75” figures. Using insulation foam board, I’ve cut a piece 6” x 12” for the wall. Marked out and engraved the brick work onto the front. Cut out a doorway, made up a small wall to sit behind the door, used the cut out for a small wall behind the door. The base is another piece of foam board 9” x 12”.


The time has been spent bricking the floor then adding detail to all the brick work.  Taking an ordinary pen and cutting the of the end, this was placed through the outer wall to act as ventilation pipe.




I have given this piece and complete undercoat of black paint, now I can start to build on the brick work.

Mixing up a blue/grey acrylic, a coat was applied to floor. Then mixing some burnt umber with the grey, this was then applied to the wall. A lighter grey was made, this was used for several dry washes across the floor and walls. Gently pulled apart cotton wool was used as steam coming out of the pipe in the wall with a combination of grey and black paint dabbed into it.

Enjoy some action shots before the final pictures are added.

Final pictures of my Alleyway diorama for 3.75” figures.




The Lost Tomb

Built to fit 3.75 inch action figures and using the same size to the Arashikage Dojo, I took inspiration from SWTOR, Indiana Jones, G.I. JOE and even He-Man I am putting together a simple tomb/crypt diorama which can be used for any 3.75″ genre.  



I put together a sarcophagus to sit central in the tomb, adding another layer of slabs to raise it up. The tablet stone on the back wall, I etched a skull into it, with 6 Mayan symbols.  


I have spent time weathering the wall and adding more detail to them before applying the first coat of paint, a combination of a light grey with a touch of blue. Applied evenly over the floor tiles, sarcophagus, lid and tablet. This has been left to dry before a light coat of a light grey sprayed over these areas before diving out the door this morning.

Once it is dry, I will be applying the first coat of paint to walls, using a similar (if not lighter) tone.


The brick work was given a coat of grey. While this was drying I went to work highlighting the stone work, sarcophagus and tablet/door. Using a black wash over the sarcophagus and tablet/door and then a light grey wash to pick out the details. A dark grey for the cracks in the floor.


The tablet/door I am now undecided whether to use as a door or a tablet on the walls indicating the contents of the sarcophagus. I have taken a lot of pictures to try and get a feel to where it should go.


I have sprayed the back with black. One less thing to have to worry about.

The final touches where added to the tomb, highlights of the cracks in the wall and around each brick, a slight covering of Halloween cobwebs spread over the back wall, inside the sarcophagus and over the lid.  The odd small spider added for effect.