Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

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Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:42 am

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So I don't know about you all but one thing that often bothers me. Is the concept of having all of my Transformers lined up shoulder to shoulder, when they were really made to fight and be played with. Having watched many of the cartoons, animated, and movies there is definitely a level of action these toys lose when they get lined up.

With that the topic here is what do you do to break the monotony and making your collection more action packed and so forth...

One of the things I am starting to gather materials for is to make my displays be more "realistic" recreating a Cybertron, Desert, City, and so forth to give them a bit of a landscape to fight and show them off more.

Ill post some of my findings after the break...
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:44 am

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Here is a video I found when looking up "Mechanical Chain Bases." Basically the guy takes VHS tapes, cleans them up spray paints them and glues them into sections. It works out fairly nice, and the cost of this appears to be less than a large "Chain Base."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNVkKciYwbQ
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:12 am

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Thanks for sharing.
That is an awesome, cheap and, and fun, solution.
I'm totally going to do that.
:grin:
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:16 am

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I am somewhat anxious to go hunting myself for VHS's and anything that might resemble metal after being painted.

I did some appraising of even making plastic plates 3D printed... To say the least printing a 6" x 6" plate would cost any where from $15-$20 is saying the least... Brings a whole new meaning to shopping at Goodwill, and junkyards... Amazon even has some VHS tapes at $1.50.

I might take this a step further and utilize some foam to do more complicated pieces.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:27 am

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KnightAero wrote:I am somewhat anxious to go hunting myself for VHS's and anything that might resemble metal after being painted.

I did some appraising of even making plastic plates 3D printed... To say the least printing a 6" x 6" plate would cost any where from $15-$20 is saying the least... Brings a whole new meaning to shopping at Goodwill, and junkyards... Amazon even has some VHS tapes at $1.50.

I might take this a step further and utilize some foam to do more complicated pieces.


This evening,(when I have more time) I will post some pics of stuff I've made for my Star Wars collection. In the past I have used it for TFs also. Point being, the material I used is inexpensive, a breeze to work with and, weighs nothing but can support a ton of weight.

Don't bother with Amazon. I'll bet Goodwill or any thrift store has VHS for $.50 - $1.00. And no shipping. And who cares if it's Barney's Christmas Sing Along, paint that shtuff! :lol:
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Agamemnon wrote:Let's get back to talking about Burn's mammoth snout flopping... :-s

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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby DISCHARGE » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:20 pm

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The cardboard inserts with TFs that voyagers come with sometimes make nice dioramas. The DOTM stuff actually came with real backdrops involcing explosions and other various senarios.

Also on the VHS tapes, goodwill near me sells them 2 for .88.
You should b able to pick them up way cheaper than 1.50.

Also there are websites with printable designs based on scenes like the Ark and the Nemesis, probably more. They often dont cost anything.
Get some glossy paper and print away.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:12 am

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These are the things I built for my Star Wars stuff. I like to rotate my things in and out, so I've used these for my TFs too.
I used to work for a window display design co. and we used a material called Gator Board to build all kinds of ridiculous things. We even made faux furniture we could actually sit on. It's industrial strength foam core. It weighs nothing. It comes in 1/4 and 1/2 inch 4'x 8' sheets. I believe it comes coated in all sorts of colors and finishes, even metallics. We only ever used the kind coated with brown craft paper, witch can take any kind of paint. It can be glued, or screwed, etc. And it can be cut simply with a utility or exacto knife.
It can be bought at most hi end art supply stores, like Blick or Utrecht. It's a little pricey, but worth it.

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I also like to use the plexi or Lucite display stands. They come in a huge variety of sizes, can be found anywhere, and are cheap. the Lucite are much more rigid. I'm currently trying to find some in translucent colors, but may have to look into having them made. I also made some sheet metal ones for my Microman, because a lot have cool magnetic features.

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Agamemnon wrote:Let's get back to talking about Burn's mammoth snout flopping... :-s

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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby robotmel » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:06 am

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Cobotron wrote:Image
This looks like the sweet little baby Jeebus nativity scene! :lol:
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:18 am

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DISCHARGE wrote:The cardboard inserts with TFs that voyagers come with sometimes make nice dioramas. The DOTM stuff actually came with real backdrops involcing explosions and other various senarios.

Also on the VHS tapes, goodwill near me sells them 2 for .88.
You should b able to pick them up way cheaper than 1.50.

Also there are websites with printable designs based on scenes like the Ark and the Nemesis, probably more. They often dont cost anything.
Get some glossy paper and print away.



Great ideas! I actually have some very large "City" photographs that I am going to look at getting printed on some high-quality paper. My only thought about doing "glossy" paper is that if doing photographs the paper might "reflect" light back. Which is why I am looking at a flat/non-glossy and even putting a transparent screen of some sort that may reduce reflection. (Still researching before I start investing money...)

----

Cobtron- That looks great! I happen to have a lot of 8' by 4' insulation sheets in my garage I am looking at doing something with in the near future. YouTube has tons of videos of people sculpting and manipulating these sheets. The only issue with these sheets is you can't just paint them or glue them with anything (melting issues yikes!)
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:40 am

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This is 2 in. pink insulation foam.
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Hot glue and spray paint will melt right through this stuff and the fumes can be really toxic.
I used screws and wood glue. There are pencils inside those spires. I painted it with latex primer, than more latex house paint and acrylics. If you prime it first you can use hot glue and spray paint, but it doesn't sculpt as well.
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Burn wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:Let's get back to talking about Burn's mammoth snout flopping... :-s

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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:42 am

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robotmel wrote::D This looks like the sweet little baby Jeebus nativity scene! :lol:

:lol: merry Xmas baby Luke :lol:
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Agamemnon wrote:Let's get back to talking about Burn's mammoth snout flopping... :-s

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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby VioMeTriX » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:15 am

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http://toystages.com/mainmenu/index.php

don't know if these guys are being sued or what not because there site is "under maintenance", but they make some super awesome backgrounds for gi joe, transformers, he-man, star wars etc
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:20 am

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VioMeTriX wrote:http://toystages.com/mainmenu/index.php

don't know if these guys are being sued or what not because there site is "under maintenance", but they make some super awesome backgrounds for gi joe, transformers, he-man, star wars etc



Hey thats pretty cool I found going to their main link:

http://toyhax.com

Then clicking through made their site work. Prices are a bit pricey... Starting at $10 then working up to $35 for a large print. 12" tall by 36" wide...

I think I can print with mpix pro and get double that size for about the same.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby leakin' lubricant » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:36 am

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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:13 pm

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leakin' lubricant wrote:This thread over at TFW2005 may interest you.

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/979397-g1-toon-backgrounds.html


I think I ran into that a long time ago... When scrolling through the posts in this too I found this other person has done some hi-res Tel-Tran 1 graphics you can print and build...

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/tutorials ... n-1-a.html

There is also some really nice Deception base graphics also.

Thinking between the VHS concept, and having some of these printed along with "filtering" and making a smooth transition between the two could make some pretty impressive displays.

Another thing I am looking at working with is LED lights. There are tons of tutorials on how to solder and wire them up. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... s+together

Gotta love this era we live in... Long as you have an imagination you can pretty much do anything.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:19 pm

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leakin' lubricant wrote:This thread over at TFW2005 may interest you.

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/979397-g1-toon-backgrounds.html

Thanks for this heads up. these are really great. I down loaded a few and opened in Photoshop to check there specs. Their dpi are all great for printing, but their print size is a little small. Really cool though.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:24 pm

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Cobotron wrote:
leakin' lubricant wrote:This thread over at TFW2005 may interest you.

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/979397-g1-toon-backgrounds.html

Thanks for this heads up. these are really great. I down loaded a few and opened in Photoshop to check there specs. Their dpi are all great for printing, but their print size is a little small. Really cool though.


The latest Photoshop might be able to upscale these a bit more too... Also thinking that because they are more "painted" even if they are a bit more blurred when blown up it will give it a more "distant background" vs near...

I am looking at some set designs from even movies and such where they "Layer" stuff just like this but usually use a Green Screen instead (in todays era especially...)

Taking something like a Chain Base for Gundams or the VHS trick here along with Foam being sculpted to fit in and painted to fill in areas that can't be "blocked" but rather odd shaped doorways and such.. In the distance then taking a printed background to give a "completed scene..."

Hoping to start piecing all this together after the Holidays here.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby leakin' lubricant » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:37 pm

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Cobotron wrote:
leakin' lubricant wrote:This thread over at TFW2005 may interest you.

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/979397-g1-toon-backgrounds.html

Thanks for this heads up. these are really great. I down loaded a few and opened in Photoshop to check there specs. Their dpi are all great for printing, but their print size is a little small. Really cool though.


Its been a long time since I went throught that thread in any detail but I'm pretty sure he re-did some backgrounds at a higher resolution, and also edited them in Photoshop to enhance them.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:43 pm

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KnightAero wrote: Hoping to start piecing all this together after the Holidays here.


Can't wait to see what you come up with. Have fun!

leakin' lubricant wrote:Its been a long time since I went throught that thread in any detail but I'm pretty sure he re-did some backgrounds at a higher resolution, and also edited them in Photoshop to enhance them.


I'll go back and dig some more. Thanks again.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby leakin' lubricant » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:51 pm

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Cobotron wrote:
KnightAero wrote: Hoping to start piecing all this together after the Holidays here.


Can't wait to see what you come up with. Have fun!

leakin' lubricant wrote:Its been a long time since I went throught that thread in any detail but I'm pretty sure he re-did some backgrounds at a higher resolution, and also edited them in Photoshop to enhance them.


I'll go back and dig some more. Thanks again.


No worries.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:10 am

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At Mom's house for Thanksgiving, Mom said, "Can you go through this old box of video tapes, and see if there's anything worth keeping?"
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:21 am

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Nice! I still haven't had the time to go out and look. I did draw some designs for a Star Gate / Space Bridge... My new concept is to have a bridge between "Cybertron" and "Earth" to break up the displays into parts.

Ill post some stuff later that I found recently on this "Space Bridge" idea...
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby Cobotron » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:11 pm

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KnightAero wrote:I think I ran into that a long time ago... When scrolling through the posts in this too I found this other person has done some hi-res Tel-Tran 1 graphics you can print and build...

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/tutorials ... n-1-a.html


KnightAero, this is awesome. I glanced over it the first time you posted. I down loaded it last night. Thanks.
What scale are you going for? This prints at a size that is perfect for MP's and Alternators, but I'm going for Classics scale-ish. You wouldn't happen to know anything about sizing in photoshop, would you? I use it all the time to draw and paint,but unfortunately I know very little about sizing things.

I'm also wondering about plug in power sources for LEDs. That vid you put up used a PC power source, which is a good, cheap method, but the thing takes up a lot of shelf space. Any insight there?
KnightAero wrote:Nice! I still haven't had the time to go out and look. I did draw some designs for a Star Gate / Space Bridge... My new concept is to have a bridge between "Cybertron" and "Earth" to break up the displays into parts.

Ill post some stuff later that I found recently on this "Space Bridge" idea...


This sounds AMAZING.
I was thinking about a space bridge too. I definitely want to have a door in the back. I was thinking either one of those cool toon backgrounds or trying to find a screen grab of the Space Bridge from the Prime cartoon. You know the way it opens right in the doorway of their base? Also thought it would be cool to print the image on acetate or heavy paper and back light it with an LED.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby KnightAero » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:19 pm

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Photoshop to printing is fairly challenging... If your wondering about print sizing for "precision" go here: http://auctionrepair.com/pixels.html
I have seen all sorts of things printed and what usually stands true is anything at 300 DPI with width of over 1000px X 600px can be nearly printed at any size... The Teletran stuff is sitting at 200DPI so should easily work even as big as 20"x30" or even bigger... (Resolution is over 3000px wide on some of these...) I would recommend if your really going for quality do it through a good printer. MPIX Pro or even attempting at home on a nice laser jet... (You can get paper that prints larger than 8x10's...) Walmart/Walgreens/SAMs tend to skip colors and often times reduces quality before printing...

I am probably going to look at two scales... With the unfortunate nature of Transformers Scale seems to be in three fold. Legends (Works well with Metroplex...) Deluxe (Which happens to me more favorable to me...) and then Human Alliance / Leader / Master Piece (Seems to fit on its own scale)

So yea probably do a Deluxe scale, and then a Leader / MP Scale. Though I may change the colors a bit to be more grayscale / more metal based.

What I want to avoid in my displays is making the "Toys" seem "Fake" or not "fit." Having seen them stand up against Styrofoam painted, and other sets that are way to "real" makes the toys look really fake, and even cheap... There is a guy on Transformers Columbia who has an awesome display that he has been working on that he has made out of Styrofoam and other materials, but my only compliant is G1 Omega Supreme looks really bad up against it. (In my opinion most of the G1 toys look pretty bad due to lack of paint / color choices... Which is probably where something like the backgrounds on tfw2005 would help...)

I am going to look at taking two fold routes here -
1) Plastic such as VHS tapes, Chain Bases (For parts that need more details)
2) Styrofoam for more detailed sections but painted with a heavy metallic paint.
3) "FLAT" paper printed (Glossy might shine to much if photographed or to much light is thrown at it...) using this for backgrounds and certain details...

I am still researching LED's I did just purchase 500 LED's for $8.50 (Thank you Hong Kong / Ebay!) Power sources are a bit funny when it comes to electrical. I have a few electrician friends, and engineering friends I am going to hit up on this very subject. Whatever I make needs a power source with a few switches... Initially thinking sticking with 9v batteries as that way I do not risk burning my house down to badly...

For my Space Bridge I am looking at couple options at the moment (Thinking BIG... 12" - 18") A company sells a liquid material that is for model kits that you can do all sorts of work with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BX4OI9rtk
I actually had similar idea as you to start with a base graphic and then use this liquid on top of it to give it a bit more "depth." Along with placing an LED light source (Even defusing it so floods the whole water/interior piece...) and some sort of rotating motor (not sure what I will use yet, but there is some kits out there that can accomplish this...) Concept would be to be able to remove this piece in the event I do not want the bridge "on."

The bridge structure part I am looking at card board or styrofoam.
Picture below is first draft at it. Thinking about doing more "points" to go from 1 to 9. (Cybertronian numbers...) In the picture I did 1, 3, 5, 6, and 9... I need to pick myself up some graph paper too line up my straight lines a bit better... (This is what I do when its coloring time with my kids!)

Image


Cobotron wrote:
KnightAero wrote:I think I ran into that a long time ago... When scrolling through the posts in this too I found this other person has done some hi-res Tel-Tran 1 graphics you can print and build...

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/tutorials ... n-1-a.html


KnightAero, this is awesome. I glanced over it the first time you posted. I down loaded it last night. Thanks.
What scale are you going for? This prints at a size that is perfect for MP's and Alternators, but I'm going for Classics scale-ish. You wouldn't happen to know anything about sizing in photoshop, would you? I use it all the time to draw and paint,but unfortunately I know very little about sizing things.

I'm also wondering about plug in power sources for LEDs. That vid you put up used a PC power source, which is a good, cheap method, but the thing takes up a lot of shelf space. Any insight there?
KnightAero wrote:Nice! I still haven't had the time to go out and look. I did draw some designs for a Star Gate / Space Bridge... My new concept is to have a bridge between "Cybertron" and "Earth" to break up the displays into parts.

Ill post some stuff later that I found recently on this "Space Bridge" idea...


This sounds AMAZING.
I was thinking about a space bridge too. I definitely want to have a door in the back. I was thinking either one of those cool toon backgrounds or trying to find a screen grab of the Space Bridge from the Prime cartoon. You know the way it opens right in the doorway of their base? Also thought it would be cool to print the image on acetate or heavy paper and back light it with an LED.
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Re: Toy Displays - Making them more realistic.

Postby shajaki » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:41 pm

Motto: "A man who wants nothing is invincible."
corn on the cobo! those SW displays are certifiably amazing! with your skills have you though of making an ark jetting out of a mountain?

i might be one of the oddest collectors out there. i currently have... oh i dunno 300+ TF's, 95% of which are residing in boxes. i have some half assed displays scattered around the house, but my collection sits in wait of the day i finally get off my ass, and get to work.

theres two spare rooms in my house. upstairs next to my main which is pretty small and currently housing my comics (80 or so boxes). the other is in the basement which is pretty big, but is in a state of disrepair due to a flood. its clean, and theres no risk of flooding anymore, but even when i do put it all back together i dont know if i want to put valuables down there again. cause thats where my comics were. and lemme tell ya, running 80+ boxes of comics up the stairs while your basement fills up with water aint my idea of a fun night.

how i want my figures displayed is all planned out in the ol noggin though. i want inclosed glass cases, and lots of lighting. not much imagination i know :lol:

sorry if this whole post was an off topic ramble..
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