Zombie Squad

Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas
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Author:  willc453 [ Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

Was looking to see if anyone built models and if so, zombie/apocalypse type dioramas or vehicles? After 15 years of not modeling, my modeling mojo started coming back and with the popularity of TWD and other zombie/apocalypse type movies/tv shows, wondered if anyone was building these type of dioramas. Checking Youtube & Google, was really surprised not only in the amount of dioramas, vehicles being build, but great paintings of cities, towns, people, etc. Been hooked since last year.

Most of my stash are aircraft models, but I do have military figures and vehicles from WW 2 to the Vietnam era. Should be no problem in having these era vehicles as military surplus, but also been buying a lot more modern stuff that's also been sold as mil surplus. Biggest problems were figures and civilian vehicles. SLOWLY converting military figures to look like civilians and as to resin figures, they run from $10 to $30 each and when I'm looking at having up to 2 dozen figures in 1 diorama..... So been modifying the plastic figures as 2 parts so I can cast additional body parts in the hopes none of them look the same. Then Master Box came out with Zombie Hunter and The Skull Clan. Trumpeteer came out African freedom fighters which REALLY opened a whole new set of possibilities. The other problem was women....or lack of 'em because it seems all are dressed either during or post WW 2. Then Master Box came out with pin up girls and now I've got a lot of possibilities for their use.

As to civilian vehicles, went to 1/32nd & 1/36th diecast as there's simply few 1/35th scale kits available. They look great on the outside, but need a lot of detailing on the inside, especially when I show opened doors/trunks, busted windows, etc.

So, anyone else into doing this kind of modeling? I'd of posted some photos, but no idea what a url thingy is.

Author:  majorhavoc [ Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

ETA: If you have completed dioramas, I'd love to see them. Upload the pictures to a picture hosting site and then paste in the image address using the [Img] function in edit post mode.

McFarlane makes some awesome TWD figurines; I have Merle and Daryl Dixon. I'd suggest something along those lines and then either kit bash some larger scale model vehicles or maybe even use a toy RC vehicle as a starting point. Or if you want to be totally true to TWD TV universe, a suspiciously pristine-looking current model Hyundai. But I'd go with a sweet up-armored car or truck that a self respecting zompoc survivor would actually be proud to ride around in.

Those elements in a diorama with some devastated post apocalyptic background would be so cool.




Author:  willc453 [ Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

All dioramas will be 1/35th scale since that's what my military vehicles/figures are. The photo of the car/destroyed homes is one of that I copied for future reference. Not interested in the TWD figures as they aren't 1/35th scale. The other is I don't want mine to look like everyone else's TWD dioramas with Rick, etc. in them. Kind of like 2 ladies showing up at some party wearing the same exact dress, shoes, etc.

Right now modifying military figures to look like civilians and taking apart a couple of diecast cars for detailing. Also trying to modify/use HO and G scale figures to represent kids/teenagers. I've got at least 22 dioramas ideas written down and the majority of them are small....like 18"x18" or smaller. As to the pinup women, attempting to make molds of various military figures from just above the knee and downwards so the ladies are wearing boots or shoes instead of high heels. Got 6 different kinds (total) of boots/shoes/
sandals. Basically it comes down to me working on a bunch of projects at the same time so I don't get burned out, along with having a bunch of things made/ready to go. Down the road, I plan on building 2 different types of school buses and a Winnebago type RV, BUT maybe make a 2 part silicone mold of them so I can cast additional copies of the bodies. Thanks for the photo tip...somewhere on the net, got a bunch of photos of the kits I've bought/will be using. Got several hundred street signs/warning posters ready to go while also working on street/traffic lights, electrical junction and mail boxes. Tried 3 different ways of making a wood fence (pool party interrupted is the name of that diorama)....all plastic, all wood and wood/ plastic combo. Haven't painted them yet to see which is best.

One thing I want to avoid is the T&A look of women in a lot of paintings I've seen like The Skull Clan figures or what's her name from Resident Evil movies. Also, no vehicle will be carrying a 1,000 pounds or so of steel plating simply because as a truck driver, I KNOW how something like this will affect handling alone. The photo of the pickup is an excellent example of how a truck should be.

Author:  Asymetryczna [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

You might look at smaller scales. I can see one diorama, plus brushes and paints and accessories, but beyond that you are going to have to drop some important stuff from your pack.

Author:  ZombieGranny [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

You might consider basically swapping male heads for female heads on any slightly smaller bodies.
Perhaps add slight bumps in front, or a ponytail in back but really they don't stand out. When dressed up completely in gear, it's hard to tell male from female except by height.

For small amounts of color, try nail polish.
Yes, nail polish - unless you get the new gel ones they're just enamel paint.
Tons of colors at the dollar stores, and they even have matte ones if you don't want shiny.
Also, cheap nail polish remover from there is just acetone. Quite a lot cheaper.

Author:  Asymetryczna [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

You are new; so, apologies for the sarcasm. Dioramas are a challenge if you move around a lot so I do not have any left. Additionally, they gather dust and tend to take up space and get in the way after a bit. In terms of modeling, I am always surprised that it is not bigger in the U.S. I happened through a town in the UK a while ago and saw that there was a miniature war gaming convention/show over the weekend so I stayed. There was an entire recreation of the Battle of Waterloo that took up a squash court, with referees and such. The scale was small as you might guess. I spent the entire day there. In the vendor area, people came from all over Europe to sell their wares...lead, resin etc. I saw only one table of zombie related stuff but it included all of the characters from TWD TV Show, some of which are English as you might know. Anyway, I collect and paint individual historical soldiers mainly of a specific skill set just not as frequently as I once did. I find it relaxing. When the winter clock starts and sundown starts right after lunch, I'll start back up.

I have no interest in the zombie genre as it relates to this hobby, but I can tell you that there are likely hundreds of Asian and European manufacturers and this means there are an even greater amount of pictures, forums, videos, etc. online that will help spike your interest and allow you to pursue your hobby. (Yes - I used googly real quick to look for that E-place where people buys/sell stuff and quickly found 755 entries for "zombie miniatures." Also, see Dragon and MAIM).

As ZombieGranny (politely, much more) alludes to is that you are probably going to have to develop your creative side and work many conversions – and this is what will truly draw more people to it.
Good luck. I hope to see you make this into a ‘thing’ here and continue to post updates.

This from: http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/5/t/167909.aspx

Lastly, there is a Japanese artist that creates a really tiny diorama daily using everyday objects. The name is Tatsuya-Tanaka. Look up the name – you will find it interesting.


Author:  Asymetryczna [ Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

I found another picture that might give you some ideas. If you find a miniature convention or show near you it might be an idea to attend. You will find other people with the same interests. I attended Historicon last year when in was hosted in Fredericksburg, VA. In some areas war games are being played and in a very large area all of the vendors set up to display their wares.

Author:  willc453 [ Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions/ideas/photos. Sticking with 1/35th scale as that's what I've got a large stash of figures in, along with military vehicles. As to REALLY getting into this zombie/apocalypse diorama kick, been doing A LOT of downloading of photos and Youtube videos. Got so much that the photos are on 1, 30GB thumb drive and it's at 19GB. Think I have 10-15K's worth of drawings & photos. The photo of the bus "we don't need help" is one I copied awhile back. The videos cover putting led's in vehicles (and that's WAY down the road), making roads, waterfalls, foamboard buildings, etc. I've already printed out about 300 traffic signs, put them on cardboard stock & thin plastic, so they're ready to go whenever.

Got a dozen figures being modified (not counting a couple of women), at which time I'll start making molds of them. For smaller figures, got several of Tamiya's WW 2 Japanese troops which still wait to be modified, etc. Have about 30 separate heads to give me a wide variety of people, along with expressions, hair style, etc.

20 some years ago, built an Italeri Humvee, the one with a TOW on the roof. It was okay for the time, but as mil surplus, no tow. So took it apart and things haven't quite gone as planned. Made several castings of a tire, 1 out of 3 was good. The other 2 will look like the tires blew & rims damaged. Since I want my doors open on this one, been scratchbuilding the frame work that the doors attach to. One that's done, will make a mold of both sets as I have several of these kits in my stash. In checking Youtube, there's only ONE Humvee kit with the option of open doors and it's going for $35 plus shipping? Have a couple of photos of one Humvee with a motorcycle rack, another with gas can rack, both on the tailgates. And the tailgates have changed, so scratch built a new one. Have the Hobby Box Meng Shi 1.5 ton light utility vehicle about done. This is a Chinese military used vehicle, but figure on using one of my dioramas, but adding a roll cage/bar to it.

Have a bunch of aircraft photos on Flickr that I took while in the Air Force, so will see about downloading my build/diorama photos there and trying to post them here. Have about 2 dozen diecast cars/trucks, plus maybe 6 plastic kits. As said before, outside of the diecast stuff is great....it's the interiors that need a lot of work and I have VERY few copies of the same vehicle. The diecast trucks...they're a joke as the beds of these things are maybe 6-9" deep scale wise? Working on making a mold of an Afrika Korps figure from the knee down as it looks like I can match their leg/boot to the pinup girls figure set without too much trouble. If it works, there are other figures wearing different kinds of boots, along with some military women from WW 2 with shoes.

As for accessories, got lots. Several hundred weapons (rifles, pistols, shotguns, AR's, flamethrower, etc.) from WW 1 to present. Also, sun/regular glasses/wrist watches that are photo etch in 1/35th scale along with about 30, 50 gallon fuel barrels, coolers, smaller gas cans, compressors, fire hydrants, water bottles, etc. And let's not forget the beer during this time of crisis....via the doll house people, have made printouts of beer labels & cartons....and those were a lot of "fun" in making in 1/35th scale as the doll stuff is usually 1/24th or bigger scale. Bought 4 molds for making brick walls along with a sewage gate and cover mold. Made 3 different 8' sections of wood fencing: all styrene, styrene/balsa wood & balsa wood. Haven't painted/stained them to see which looks better/more realistic.

I don't like doing something willy nilly, so when I go to building my dioramas, I've got everything ready to go instead of having to scratch build something like a fence or casting sections of a brick wall before being able to continue. As it is, IF the extra legs molds work out, hope to have 2 SMALL dioramas built rather quickly. I also have a 6'x5'x3' display case that many of my build models are in and there's still room for more.

Author:  Finnell [ Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

I love that zombie bus. Very detailed. What do you think the 'we don't need help' sign means? It's an awesome touch, regardless.

Author:  willc453 [ Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

Sorry everyone....I simply forgot I haven't done an update on my projects. Yeah, working on 2 of 3 of them off and on the past few months. The REALLY bad thing is I've forgotten how to load photos, but give me some time, it'll come back. The dioramas will be named The Fountain, Childhood Lost and The Alley....or maybe, zombies can't jump. That one's in reference to the movie about the white guys hustling people on basketball courts, a movie I haven't seen other than the trailer for it.

From DM's Craft website, got a tip from someone about using blister packs as a mold for various shapes, using plaster of paris. Which got me to thinking about all the plastic containers used for food, but also the lids. I used 2 different sized sour cream lids for the fountain....an outer ring which is 6" in diameter, while the base part where the fountain stands is about 4" in diameter. Total height is just over 6". The fountain is a cut up, plastic wine glass which gave me a half round piece for the fountain part to sit on and fountain will have 2 levels. Been looking for miniature children praying on lower level and an angel on the top level. Checked Ebay, etc. for figures, but 99% of 'em are simply too big. The children are usually 2 1/2 inches tall which I consider way out of scale and of course, I'd have to double the size of the angel. Buying 2 different sets children praying in hopes this will work out. Need to modify a Masterbox pinup girl who will be resting against or on the fountains edge with her weapon, pack and dog next to her. For the pavement, made a hexagonal piece out of styrene, cast a couple of copies using plaster of paris, then made a mold of them. Thing is, I'd need at least 50 castings, so dug out Hirst Arts cobblestone mold and after gluing a couple of pieces together, made a mold of them so I'd have a much larger casting done each time. The fountain was shot with Krylons fine stone canned spray paint and to me, it looks just like granite.

Childhood Lost has parts needing to be painted, along with modifying a figure who has a dog with him. He'll have a fire and looking at modifying a rabbit that will be on a spit. This will be an abandoned and overgrown and weed covered playground. Fence made of nylon bug screen and tube styrene. Merry go round, swing and jungle gym aka monkey bars along with 3 dinosaur "horsey" rides are done. Have the material to make a static grass applicator, but simply haven't gotten to building it. Hardest part was finding my soldering iron which, along with other modeling stuff, was in "The Shed" which is kind of like a black hole. I know I got stuff there, but finding it? Base is stained and paper mache used for ground cover. Still need to get outside to get a bunch of leaves as I have 2 punches which will make up to 8 different kinds of leaves for 1/35th scale use. Will shoot the leaves with Mod Podge sealer, then punch out the leaves as I'm looking at using at least 100 of 'em. Also have some D&D small skeletons to represent bodies of kids.

The Alley has (I hope) a 3 story tall building w/fire escapes. There is a metal stair case kit available, but they run $15 each plus shipping. So going to try scratch building my own. Using a section of cork for the asphalted alley way and have built a dumpster and grease container. Several people will be in the dumpster, while (hopefully again) I can have a guy making a leap for one of the ladders to the bottom fire escape. Because of the cost of resin women, Masterbox's pinup girls will be my choice for basically all women. However, but 2 things to deal with: they're all wearing swimming suits and all but one have high heels....NOT conductive to survival in this situation. Found some Africa Korps figures in shorts and believe I can make molds of their legs from just above the knees and then glue/putty then onto the girls. Waiting for more silicone to be delivered. Have a bunch of 1/32nd and 1/36th scale diecast vans and will use at least one of them in the alley. But need to take it apart to really detail it.

Since yesterday, been making 1/35th traffic barricades using Mengs highway barricade set. One of the pieces you can clamp the 2 parts together, pour your plaster of paris into and an hour later, pop the piece out. Add lift rings from fine wire, paint it and you're ready to go. This is for some future dioramas I have ideas on. As you can tell, I'm easily distracted which is why I haven't finished a diorama yet. Until I figure out/remember how to post photos here, you can see photos of my first two in progress builds at modelers social club forum under dioramas, zombie/apocalypse build/thread. If I've repeated myself, sorry and will work at keeping everyone more up to date in the future.

Author:  willc453 [ Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modeling, apocalypse/zombie dioramas

Finnell wrote:
I love that zombie bus. Very detailed. What do you think the 'we don't need help' sign means? It's an awesome touch, regardless.

Yeah, that's one heck of a diorama. Been looking for a school bus, but haven't found one yet. Tried 1/35th, 1/32 & 1/36th scales and nothing. That includes plastic kits and diecast models. Bought several buses via Ebay which said they were 1/35th, but actually 1/72nd and 1/48th. Only other buses I've seen in 1/35th are those tour buses like the gambler specials use.

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