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Diorama- good idea?

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I was wondering what you guys thought of this idea and if you had any advice



Our campaign is ending and I was thinking it might be cool to immortalise our minis in a diorama type setting. I thought maybe I could make like a dungeon using Hirst Arts moulds (don't own any, I'd have to buy anything I used for terrain) and get the Pit Fiend mini reaper makes, since that's the final boss we'll be fighting. A few of the characters have painted reaper minis and a few use the D&D ones, but I could put them all in there fighting him and put the whole thing on a shelf in the room we play in. I guess my questions are


Have any of you ever done anything like this?


What would you recommend for the terrain since we'll never be using it again (ie- don't want to waste money)


Ok to use D&D minis with reapers in something like this, or should I go all out and get everyone nice ones? The minis would never actually be used for play, so that would add to the cost of just the diorama...


Should I put it in some sort of display case with glass or just sit it down? Ideas on that? It's another 100 bucks, probably, I don't know how classy I should make this ESPECIALLY since it'll probably become a tradition now, I can do it with each campaign.


Should the minis be attached to the diorama? Removable for use or just a part of it, and left to not be messed with?




Sorry for asking so many dumb questions on here, but my friends are pretty apathetic about the mini/painting scene so I get no feedback over there.



edit- And how big is the Reaper mini "02895: Agramon, Pit Fiend", I'd like it to be the same size as the one in the D&D 3.5 monster manual.

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I think this is a cool idea - but it really comes down to "Do you want to do the work?" and "Who's going to enjoy the fruits of your labor?"


If you beleive you will enjoy putting this together, and the resulting piece will be in a place where it will be appreciated (even if only by you), I say "Go for it!"


I haven't done anything like this yet, not because I haven't wanted to, but because until recently, I haven't had any place to display such a piece.


You do not have to go all out and buy Hirst Art's molds to do the diorama. In addition to alternate construction methods, there are places you can buy just the pre-cast components you need. There are lots of resources around the net for building dioramas.


As for display case - my advice is to put it in one, otherwise, the dust will simply accrue on it. This can be a simple china/trophy case that you display other items in, or a "custom" case for the diorama on it's own. I would suggest purchasing the display case first, as then you will be able to maximize the use of space within it. There are many types of display cases at all sorts of different price points - you should be able to find one that works for you.


Re: Minis - whether you purchase new ones, or simply use the ones you have is up to you. In order to fit the DDMs into a good looking diorama, you will probably want to repaint them, possibly even convert them to more truly represent the PCs. For some of the PCs, it might be less time consuming to just start with a different pewter mini in the first place.


And finally, I can't help you with the Pit Fiend size, but depending on the scale of your "final battle", you could consider modelling it in a smaller scale. Yes, it reduces detail, but you can still do dramatic scenes at the smaller scales -for a smaller price, too. I'm sure that whatever size the Reaper pit fiend is, it will look more menacing threatening a group of 15mm PCs versus 25mm (or 28mm) ones.

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Thanks for the reply.



Where can I buy pre-cast terrain? Like, someone casts the hirst ones and sells the pieces because that'd probably be perfect, save me some money and time...



I don't think I'd scale it down because some of the minis are already made for the game and I want to use them. Not all of us use reaper ones in this game but from now on we are, all other games and the new one have nice painted ones by me so it'll be easier/cheaper to do next time, as the minis will be done. I'd like to keep them all alike, if I do them. :)

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Itar's Workshop sells pre-cast pieces that are ready for painting.


I know he's got a ton more than what's on the site, waiting for painting and pictures before he puts them up. So contact him and see what he's got to fit your idea.


Personally, I don't know about making a diorama but that's because I don't like set pieces. I'd rather just keep the minis available for use in other games.

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I have several mini-dioramas like this...nothing that's actually a scene from the game, but similar.


For our longest-running game, I painted up all the PCs (nobody had painted PCs durin the game itself, but when I found the hobby I decided a memorial to this game was a good idea) and we built a HA temple. The minis live in the temple and periodically get moved around, and are not attached to the floor.


For another game, the PCs were all members of an adventuring guild, so we built the guildhall for those minis to live in. A current game just has basic floortiles set up as a Shrine to Dead PCs.


Really, what I have is several little backdrops in my larger display cabinet. They're pretty easy to deal with, and if you want to include a particular NPC or villain, it's easy to add that mini to the mix. The really nice thing is that both the minis and the terrain are unattached to anything, so they can both come out for use in other games...which is always fun when players see their old PCs becoming high-level NPCs in a current game, or when old familiar locations are used again.


We do use HirstArts blocks; if you like building your own stuff I'd definitely get a few molds, but if it's just something you'll want for an every-now-and-then sort of thing, getting premade blocks is a much faster and less messy way to go.

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having just done something similar. . .


Depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it.


I made my diorama out of a piece of craft plywood from Michaels, the 2" pink insulation foam, dry wall compound, and a bunch of flocking (and some paint). I don't know how much the insulation is, since my Dad had some around for another project, but I probably spent less than $50 on all the stuff (including craft paint, the flocking, etc.)

I painted 20+ figures, mainly Reaper, with some Lance and Laser thrown in. There may have been some other brands as well, I forget. I'm sure that the metal cost WAY more than the diorama materials.

My figures are not attached, a) because I didn't know if the diorama bit will be too big for my DM and b) it's more fun to be able to move them around as you want. Plus, it makes transport easier (you can wrap up each mini individually). I think he was a lot happier because he looked at the figures and is considering bringing them in for the last battle, just because he likes them too much.



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Oh thanks, I saw your post a while back and that's sort of what got me thinking on the whole thing, that is making something to remember the campaign.



That's a good point, about not attaching them. I was thinking of chopping off their bases and making it all one big thing but I think whether or not I do that will depend on whether this is a 'toy' or 'art' in the end, if it turns out looking REALLY cool and costing me bank I might just get the glass case for the top (i work in a frame shop so that's easy) and maybe sticking a brass plate on it... but if it's just a fun little thing it might be nice to reuse the minis for other campaigns.. :D



Thanks for the tips all y'all, it's really helping. When/if I do this I'll be sure to put a WIP up.

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I'd recommend not mixing D&D miniatures and Reapers; they're very different scales and the sculpting styles aren't particularly compatible. This doesn't show up so much in regular play, but in a diorama, you'll notice it much more.

Doug makes valid points, but I have to disagree. If those are the minis that were used in the campaign, those are the ones that should be use in the diorama.


As for the Hirst Arts blocks, drop me a PM. I've got a wee bit of experience with them and would be happy to help you out.



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