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Dioramas: Buildings & Ruins
Ruined buildings and city scenes.
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What's in the box?!
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 12:43 AM UTC
Hello fellow model builders.

I'm doing some testing for my next build - it will be urban, and wants to be "dark", as in not bright light, with a sci fi feel. I want to use natural light, and not "wire" it up with LEDs etc. I've figured out that this might be easier said than done.

I started by making the following natural light test box - yes - strictly on the cheap - nothing fancy at all, but with a few elements I was hoping to test out, relative to the their effect on lights, shades, reflections, patterns etc.

So, this is the box:



nothing fancy - but, if you look you'll see various treatments on the top - simple slits cut in, sheets of colored transparent film, and different type of louvers -

Next, in order to garner any useful, or repeatable results (ie what colors, shapes etc work/don't work), I built, painted and weathered a "complicated" test wall, with the rest being fairly simple, but with some detail - anyway, the more interesting wall:



and also "inside the box" are two kits - the first a modified hobby boss CV9030 coupled with an Industria Mechanika "Rook":



Yes, going for a sci fi look - I like the lines of the CV - seemed a good base for some mods..

Next, another Industria Mechanika kit - highly modified:



And, on to the experiment - I tested the box indoors and outdoors - by the way, the pics don't look the same on any of the three different screens I've looked at them on!

Anyway, a few from inside my place, with ceiling lights:













There you have the "inside" light effect - I'm not sure how each of your screens will reproduce this, at work, this looks very dark - at home, clear an nice....oh well - you can see the various effects at work. Again, the success seems to vary monitor to monitor!


Next outside - that is, in my traditional neighborhood park photo location:









Above, you can see the real effect of ambient light! These were taken on a cloudy day and, well, aside from nice clear pictures, nothing too "mysterious" or unique about the setting - in fact, the "box" didn't seem to matter much at all - at one point, a put my jacket over the top to ensure no light at all from the top -- not much difference.

The pic directly above this, at least shows the effects, they just need to be viewed directly.







The last three, one out door, and two indoor show the effects directly. Before I "toss the box" I might do a few more experiments - maybe cut a few more holes in the roof and see if any light shines on this idea!

Thanks for checking it out - any ideas? the goal - cool and mysterious ambience - but, not electric or powered lights on the dio! I think I'll try mirrors and reflectors/diffusers next!

cheers

Nick
iowabrit
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 02:28 AM UTC
I think the colored filters give the whole thing a very cool look
clovis899
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 03:00 AM UTC
Nick,
That looks great and offers a unique, and very SF, look to what you are doing. If I could make any kind of suggestion for the lighting, do you have a way of adding any colored transparency lighting to the walls? Looks great coming from overhead but maybe a vertical surface would add even more?
Again, thanks for sharing and it looks great.
Cheers,
Rick
alewar
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 04:45 AM UTC
Maybe a some stains in the floor?.

Regards
Alvaro
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 07:20 AM UTC
Light years ahead of any idea I could come up with!!
Heheheh,see what I did there?
J
justsendit
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 08:14 AM UTC
Brilliant work Nick! ... Next stop, 'Weta Workshop!'

ómike
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 10:51 AM UTC
Hey guys - thanks for checking this "test" out -

Iowabrit - yes, you get the concept! Now, I need to keep refining it to get it to look cohesive - at least a bit "stronger"

Hi Rick - thanks for the idea - vertical eh? I wonder if, instead of flush cut openings in the ceiling, maybe I start with a flush cut in the wall, but then add some sort of deflector or baffle? And try the colored film....hmm???

Hi Alvaro, thanks for having a look and comment - good point! That floor is looking too clean!!

The purpose for doing this test is to see how I can make a dimly lit street scene - including wet streets - and at least one or two places with bright lights - like a cafe or bar, a few neon signs, a few "mysterious" colored lights in the recesses, and some amount of ambient light - piece of cake! And, the grime found on the streets...

Hi Jerry - haha!! You mock the experiments!! It occurred to me before I dove headfirst "into the light" I ought to have some clue what I was actually in for! You know.....the optics from that cool opti-visor Dave posted on your thread....maybe I could magnify the err, light....wait a minute! That would light it on fire!

Mike - you nailed it! That's the effect I want, but not in an electronic simulation - in a model! But how will I do it??? Maybe these "real" light effects, plus a string of those battery powered mini holiday LED lights...?...

Ok - if any other ideas are out there - please share them!

Cheers
Nick
Armored76
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 12:53 PM UTC
This is absolutely AWESOME, Nick!

As Rick suggested, maybe add some horizontal lights. One option that comes to mind is to place it behind the green glass on the balcony. Alternatively, place a light source and/or mirror in a hidden spot on floor of the same balcony to have the light reflected on the back wall.

Cheers,
Cristian

PS: You made me look up the Industria Mechanika kits. I heard of them for the first time today and your reference was already the second one for the day.
matt
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 05:08 PM UTC
I finally found this thread.

You'd be surprised what you can do with Fiber Optics, and other miniature lighting.

Yeah, the LED Christmas lights could work.....

there's always:

http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/Models.htm

http://www.thefiberopticstore.com/FOS-mainpage.htm

http://www.voodoofx.com/fiberfx.htm

http://www.evanslighting.com/

http://microlumina.com/store/

http://put.url.here

for starters.....
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 07:42 PM UTC
Being serious now,what impresses me about this project here is how you have decided not to build a new version of your last few projects. This is a radical departure and I love the goal of doing something completely different from your past work!!
Have you thought about maybe you did too many light experiments in such a small area? Maybe it diffuses things because of that?
Robert Fripp,one of the most brilliant guitar players ever,has his students start with him by listening to the sound of one note until they can hear all of the nuances portrayed therein. They then,hopefully,build from there?
J
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 10:42 AM UTC
Hey guys - thanks for checking in.

Christian, thanks! Glad you like this concept - your ideas about floor mounted mirrors is interesting - might be a good way to "light up" the corners, and hidden areas.

Hi Matt - very good recommendations - thanks. I emailed one of the sources, but no word back yet. The optic fibre is really interesting....hmmm

Hi Jerry - I appreciate your comment. I think I've seen enough pink foam to last me through a build or two. You might be right about too many openings etc too. I didn't glue the roof on, so maybe I'll try another version - at this point just to try other ideas - maybe as Christian suggested, a mirror or two? Or as Rick mentioned, a few openings in the walls?

As for the actual project, I've spent the last several months pulling together parts - several cars, a couple of MATVs, a few of the more sci fi-like live resin CROWs-like weapons systems, and a unique collection of figures. I'm still working on the layout and, well, story - I like the move Bladerunner, and that's the urban look I want...

We'll see how the whole thing works. In the meantime, I might try a few more modifications to "the box" before I close this thread and hop into the "real" project

Cheers
Nick
matt
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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 03:36 PM UTC
mirrors in the floor... disguised as puddles (which do reflect light) could help.....

Combinations of LED's and Fiber optics could work if you're trying for different colors in different areas.
Armored76
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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 06:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

mirrors in the floor... disguised as puddles (which do reflect light) could help.....



I like that idea...
ColinEdm
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 06:49 PM UTC
Wow, very cool! I really like the effects you have achieved.
KoSprueOne
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 01:17 AM UTC
This is a fantastic idea and I like your style of going all the way with testing.

Along the fiber optics idea, Maybe try with some clear rod of different diameters. The light source can remain natural sun light. Spots and bands around the rod can be sanded opaque to let the light source out. Spots and bands can be masked (taped) off the block light and disguise the, plastic clear rod.

These can be entering the 'box' from the ceiling or the walls, vertical and horizontal. If not sanded or masked, they might create a sort of prism light effect.

Are the tiny red and green control panel lights in the elevated control room from natural light through holes in the wall? Those are very effective.




Trisaw
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 05:52 AM UTC
The kitbashed dune buggy looks wicked! What kits did you use to enhance it? If it was sold as a kit, I would buy it because it looks very original. Really, that's what the iMech dune buggy kind of needs...armor, weapons, and more detail.
matt
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 07:37 PM UTC
Peter,

This is the base kit Nick used:

http://industriamechanika.com/shop/land/27-the-dustbuster.html
Trisaw
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 10:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text



Thanks, Matt. I do have the Industria Mechanika "Dustbuster" in my stash. I'm just wondering what he added to the rollbar frame.
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 11:43 PM UTC
Hi guys - thanks for checking it out! And, so many good ideas - I'm going try a few of them this weekend

Peter and Matt, yes, the base vehicle is Imek, but, to Peter's question, it has received many modifications. While I liked the idea of the original kit, like Peter, I thought it needed something more - likely because I mostly built AFV's, and there is almost always more detail....I'll look around for a WIP picture or two and will post them next week.

As to the project at hand, thanks for so many interesting ideas! I'm going to try some of them this weekend - if I can find a mirror, or reflective surface, I'll try it!

Colin - thanks! Glad you like the progress!

KoSprueOne, thanks - I've finally figured out that for a big project, with ideas I haven't tried before, the detailed test seems worth the time. I appreciate your ideas for clear rod - I'm going to try them! I'm glad you noticed the control room "lights". Those might be the most effective part of the whole test. I drilled uniformly aligned, but random holes in the walls. Then pushed segments of plastruct "neon" rods through, and cut them off on the outside. The results almost always work - indoor or outdoor lighting.

Ok - have a good weekend - happy model building

Nick
Stickframe
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Posted: Monday, June 01, 2015 - 01:17 AM UTC
Hi guys -

I took a pass at making some changes to "the box" with some better and some mixed results. The wall "light" probably offered the best cool effect - realizing that just gluing film to the wall would likely be a very bright/hot light source, I built a little deflector; very high tech (haha), including a few pieces of styrene lined with aluminum foil to reflect light within the shape -

Next, I don't have any fiber optic rod, but I do have some short segments of clear acrylic. I tried sanding along a side - and leaving the top open for light - this worked just OK with acrylic, but i'll bet it works well with optic fiber. I also did some of the more obvious, adding some skylights and covering some up.

The overall results seem to be better than before - please take a look. Oh, yeah, these were all taken indoors.





As you'll see in the rest, the source and direction of the lighting makes a big difference! (uhh, yeah, very obvious point) less obvious point tho might be remaining aware of these differences and using them to set the "mood" you're looking for....



As for above - I wanted to see that graphic on the top of the turret - so, fool around with the light to make it do what you want it to -







It's surprising to me just how many variations you can achieve within the exact same setting -

I'll keep the box - I want to try something with optic fiber

Now, on to the buggy - Yes, as noted, an Imek kit - which is more or less fine, but the scale is likely bigger than 1/35 (though its said to be), by armor standards the detailing is light, and once I really looked at it, I was dubious of the structural integrity of the design of the frame (In my "colorful youth"...I was quite the off road racing enthusiast....) So, I changed it:







As you can see above - next to a highly modified 1/32 scale truck....the buggy is huge! That big size did allow me to convert the engine to a V8! if you look carefully through the various pics - you'll find a few views of the headers, made from bent brass tubing...



I think the testing is done - time to get serious about a build!

Cheers, and thanks for checking it out -

Nick

Trisaw
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Posted: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - 04:52 AM UTC
Thanks for posting WIP of your iMech dune buggy. Wow, that looks great and the improvements really make it unique. I doubt I have the skills to follow what you did, but I really like the outcome of your buggy!
kurnuy
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Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2015 - 02:46 PM UTC
Hi Nick ,

waaaaaaawww.....something brand new and completely different than your other builds. I am not an employee of a space organisation hahahaha but this gives me a special feeling , a sci fi effect so you are right on about the effect on the diorama.

I love it .....

Kurt
Stickframe
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Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2015 - 01:01 AM UTC
Hi Peter, glad you like it! As you mentioned here or elsewhere, while an interesting and good kit - the actual design of the buggy well, is certainly fantasy based - the more I looked at it, the more dubious I was. On the recent posting about the Chenoweth sand rail....that company builds some of the best high speed off road racers around and have for a long long time - unfortunately for the IMech kit, I am aware of the "real" thing - so, it had to be made to at least generally look right!!! Haha! Thanks for having a look....

Hi Kurt, nice to hear from you! Yes, I'm on a bit of a quest to try something different. I'll be back to armor, but for a while want to do something else. It will be sci fi, or at least some sort of alternate future....whatever that is! Hard to say as it's not here yet!! Hope all is well with you -

Cheers
Nick
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2015 - 07:59 PM UTC
New lighting-check!
New vehicle-check and check!

Lots of great progress from your ever futile imagination brother.
J
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