Tag Archives: diorama

Hot Wheels motorcycles for MiniMates

I wanted to see if there were Hot Wheels vehicles that would fit in with the scale of MiniMates. Of course, the only vehicles that had a chance of working were the motorcycles vehicles. Since Hot Wheels are made based on size in the packaging rather than actual 1:64 scale, the smaller the vehicle, the bigger the scale when being made into Hot Wheels.

First off, Nova is riding the Honda Monkey Z50. A strange bike to be sure. It is a goofy bike, so it looks okay being on the small size. The really nice thing about this bike is that it has flat tires, so it can stand on it’s own. This bike can easily be a background piece to a diorama, and it would fit in just fine.

Captain Marvel is riding the 4 Wheeler. This one I was pretty sure was going to be too small, but it was part of a Parks Department set I had, so I figured I would give it a try. It is too small. She can ride it okay, but quad bikes are generally a whole lot bigger than this. Definitely a kid’s size for the MiniMate scale.

The UNSC Gungoose from HALO was really the bike that got me thinking about Hot Wheels vehicles working in this scale. The seat seemed narrow enough to fit the sitting pose of the MiniMates, and it seemed to be quite big. It is a whole lot bigger than the 4 Wheeler, and it’s bulk is helped by the rubber wheels. Silver Sable is sitting on the back for cover. It actually works quite well. It is another vehicle that looks good sitting as a prop piece.

Luke Cage is riding the HW450F. This dirt bike is about as perfect a scale match as you will find with the MiniMates. The only problem is that it cannot stand on it’s own. You will need to find a way to assist the stance. A wire behind would probably do the trick.

This was a fun experiment. The dirt bike (HW450F) works the best for scale, and at only $1.00 a piece, you can outfit a whole squad for not much money. A bit of paint, and you are good to go.

The UNSC Gungoose is a good choice too. They are a bit on the pricey side, since they are a part of the Entertainment series with metal parts are real rubber wheels. I would not expect to see a whole bunch of versions of this vehicle to come out. But the machine guns on the front, and seating for two make for a story all their own.

The hunt will continue for the best accessories to find to make dioramas even more dynamic.


New Wolverine and Phoenix – Marvel Minimates Wave 6 (2004)

Two teammates just hanging out on the street corner.

In the second year of the Marvel Minimates craze that has lasted for 15 years now. It is fun to look back the the beginnings of the line. Not many lines can boast a run like this, but we are 75 waves in, not including all of the exclusives, including 25 special movie waves at Toys R Us, 25 regular exclusive waves at TRU, and 8 waves at Walgreens. And that is just Marvel. There was a short lived DC line that was great and countless other properties that were tried as well.

“Hi Mary Ja-* Sorry, wrong redhead!”

All in all, Diamond Select and Art Asylum have really made a great set of figures, and it has given me one of the best scales (2 inch) to play with when diorama building. Lots more to come!

Sigma 6 Vehicles in scale with MiniMates

If only I could time-travel back to 2006, I would have stocked up on the small scale Sigma 6 G.I. Joe vehicles. I loved that line, and I have most of the larger 8 inch figures, but I skipped most of the smaller vehicles. I am kicking myself now that I can see that there is not a lot of difference between the 3 inch Sigma 6 figures, and the 2 inch MiniMates.

Not only were there a number of vehicles that came out that would work for pretty close scale, but there were also a couple of Mechas. And, since Mechas are a made-up vehicle, the size can be off for the scale to still work. In this case, the Iron Hammer is a great example. It is a big vehicle that can fit into the scenes with the MiniMates. Better yet, it has a cockpit that can fit a MiniMate. That can’t always happen with the strange dimensions of MiniMates, but when it works, you do NOT want to pass it up.

Interestingly, there were a lot of vehicles from Sigma 6 that were repurposed into the standard 3 3/4 inch G.I. Joe line. So, if they can go up in scale, I can go down in scale. That means, keep your eyes out for other vehicles that fit the bill. If they are not a standard vehicle, they may very well fit into scale.

Aside: I was having fun today, since I made 6 more explosions, I wanted to see if I could make it look like the windows were being blown out of the building. I also made a smoke trail for a missile. I think they are very convincing, and I am looking forward to my next project. What that is, I don’t know yet, but I am sure it will be fun.

In an effort to up the dynamics of my photoshoots, and give a little extra something to play with. Yesterday I glued cotton balls to my newly acquired battery-powered tea lights.

Today I added paint with an airbrush. Light coats of black around the whole ball, building up the dark layers on the outside. Then I added red, followed by orange, and finished with yellow. I dusted the colors across most of the explosion, save for the top that I left nearly white.

I made four to start, and see how it went. #1 is a short pile of cotton balls. #2 is the same as #1, just pulled up a bit more. #3 has added cotton balls on top for added height. And #4 has two tea lights inside for a wider explosion.

One of the goals I wanted to have was to be able to move them around, stack them up, or whatever the scene needed. I stacked them up, and the explosion is HUGE! It worked better than I hoped.

And now we get to blow up the Marvel/TMNT crossover team. One of the other goals I had hoped to be able to do was have the buildings explode. I used the tall #3 explosion, and it looks like it is rolling out the door, and then the other three look like the explosion is carrying across the street.

Oh, I am definitely doing more of these. This is great for MiniMates scale. It will be a bit small for Marvel Legends scale without stacking them up. So, I am going to need a few more of these explosions.

2017 Ranger Rescue 5-Pack (Matchbox)

This 5-Pack called Ranger Rescue is a new set for Matchbox. This is a team sent in on rescue missions on behalf of the National Parks services.

The first model is the 4 Wheeler. This is only the 7th time it has been released since it’s introduction in 1999. The first 5 version all had a rider. The rider was removed for the 2013 version and has remained off. This is a solid casting with a metal body and plastic top. Much like the 1:1 version would be.

Next up is the Water Hauler. This one has also seen limited release, but it is a much newer casting, coming out for the first time in 2012.

The 4×4 Chevy Blazer has been a fan favorite since the initial release back in 1984. The mold still holds up so well. The lines are so nice and crisp. You can’t beat the big wheels tucked under this guy. This is the non-aerial antenna version. I do love the giant antenna that we have seen in many versions of this truck.

When the time comes for a water rescue, call on the Rapids Rescue. This is only the fourth time we have seen this truck in it’s short few years of existence. I don’t know why they decided to go with a different color on this truck. It does not fit in with the rest of the team, though it does have all of the correct markings.

The Pony Trailer is an updated version of the original that saw life back in 1968. It only showed up a few times over the years. Matchbox has had a long history of great trailers, but we don’t get to see them all that often. This new version does not have an opening back, but the details are fantastic.

The big excitement for this wave is getting a trailer for the Blazer. Well, as you can see, the Blazer’s trailer hitch sits WAY too high for the trailer. So some modifications have to be made for this all to work together.

I decided I wanted to make a trailer hitch that would be able to be added to the model without having to make it a permanent part of the truck. I want to be able to move the hitch to another Blazer if need be. I used about 20 different pieces of styrene plastic cut to shape and glued.

I test fit the pieces many times as I worked through the process. I needed the hitch to sit straight, look fairly realistic, and be able to actually work, as in allow the trailer to be towed by the truck when driving it around.

When all of the work was done, I painted the hitch a matte black and added some trailer chains. Now the Rangers are ready to grab the horses and head out on their mission.

This was a fun build to do. It only took a few hours, but really upped the function of both vehicles. Now this set really makes me happy.

New Diorama in a new scale

A few nights ago it was window frame building night. Lots of windows in those old brownstones. My MiniMate diorama has begun.

I have been working this time to create a more multi-dimensional diorama for my figures. Since I am making this one for MiniMates, a lot of the pieces are smaller than I have been building in the 6 inch scale. Since I started the window frames, I have moved onto the stairs. I wanted this particular house to have a set of curved stairs to a landing and then a second set of stairs up to the front door. I think it is a cool architectural touch, and a potential for some fun photography in the future…if I ever get this thing built. I have since added the side railing, which is drying in the garage.

1/64 scale diorama complete

A long time in the making. I have 2 dioramas for 6 inch figures, and one more for Transformers. What I was missing was something in the 1/64 scale range to take proper pictures of diecast cars. The work is over. Time for photo fun.

The diorama is set on two walls. The left wall is a receiving dock for a warehouse. The idea behind this was to have a place that looked industrial with lots of concrete. I made to dock wide enough for a standard 1/64 scale vehicle for when a chase scene happens. I added a fence in the front for some texture to the pictures.

The back wall is a large block wall. It is intentionally a different material than the warehouse wall so the two buildings look like they are together but not the same building. I wanted to be able to add different textures to this wall, and a different color scheme.

Down in front of the block wall is a new car dealership. There are skylights on the removable roof, as well as big front windows to display the cars. There is a concrete display in the front to show off the newest delivery. I am planning to add a sign for the dealership. I am working on a way to make the sign changeable, so I can create different looks depending on what cars are on display in the showroom.

Enjoy some behind the scenes looks of the building process, and how it all came to be, from the initial drawing all the way to the final product. There were a few changes from the initial drawing, but much of it has stayed the same.

design drawing with scale for roads.

Trying to figure out the size for the loading dock. I used pink insulation foam for the big walls.

The road was made with plaster of paris to give a used look. There is a new car dealership, but it is in an old industrial part of town.

The road is painted and the sidewalks are being made. I used pressboard for the sidewalks. It was hard to find a material that was tall enough to be a curb.

The warehouse is getting some art deco style design work to make that massive wall more interesting. I used sheets of soft art foam for the details. Once in place, it all got a coat of Modge Podge to make sure it was nice and strong.

Next up were the warehouse doors. I also added windows and a door to the far right side. The back wall has the blocks scribed into the foam.

The back wall is painted. The floor of the car dealership is cut and glued from illustration board, which is what 95% of the finished car dealership was made from. In the foreground, I carved some foam into a small rise to add some height to the scene. It does not interfere with the angles for taking pictures. Road signs have been made and added too.

The walls of the car dealership are drawn and cut to size on illustration board. From there it was adding the million details and paint to get this store ready to open.

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