Here we have a 1:6 scale (6 feet = 12 inches) Wingback Chair toy furniture accessory. I've been wanting to make something like this for my dolls/figures for a while now and I finally got around to actually doing something.
I primarily based my design and measurements on this Collins Wingback Chair from a Late Fall 2013 Home Decorators Collection mail order catalog. I made some adjustments, namely increasing the height and decreasing the depth of the chair, to accommodate the proportions of the Mattel Barbie and Spin Master Liv dolls I used as my sitting models. I also replaced the more ornate legs on the original with similar, but simpler, tapered polygons. Finally, the rounded wing design was inspired by those found on a real chair in our living room at home.
This is what the chair looked like at the end of the first day of work. Everything you see at this stage is made from hollow cardboard shapes, created by folding/rolling them up and then gluing the edges together. It wasn't really necessary, but I also decided to make the seat cushion removable.
And this is what the finished chair looked like, just prior to painting, on the second day. If it didn't have lines, arrows, and other stuff scribbled on it, the natural brown color of the cardboard would make for a pretty nice finish all by itself.
I contemplated putting some kind of texture or pattern on the chair, rather than a solid color, but, I ultimately reasoned that a neutral hue (black matches everything) would be better, as that makes the piece more versatile for display purposes. In other words, a black chair can work with just about any doll/figure or environment, compared to, say, a pastel floral pattern. And, of course, if I ever change my mind, it'd be a relatively simple matter to "re-upholster" it with paint or decoupage for a different look.
Materials: Cardboard, newsprint, lined white paper, white glue, and acrylic paint.
Dimensions: 13.9 cm (5.5") wide x 20.2 cm (8.0") high x 12.3 (4.8") deep.
Life-sized "Water Well Key" item, from ASCII's 1993 Wizardry Side Story III: Scripture of the Dark Gameboy roleplaying video game.
This is one of several keys that the party must acquire during their adventures if they ever hope to succeed in their quest (original Japanese name: 井戸の鍵, which romanizes to "Ido no Kagi"; "ido" is Japanese for "water well", "kagi" means "key", and "no" is a particle denoting possession or a source). As you have doubtlessly gleaned from its name, said item opens a locked well, which can be found deep in the Southern forest. Removing the lid from said structure will then allow the party to enter a door that was previously unpassable, down on the sixth basement level of the nearby South Cave dungeon. The Water Well Key itself can be found on the first floor of the Temple, on an altar in a hidden chamber. When you first acquire it, the Water Well Key will be unidentified, just like all Wizardry items obtained in the field, and thus, just a generic-looking key with unknown properties, but, returning to town, and paying Mikela $100 to appraise it, or doing it yourself, for free, if one of your party members happens to be a Bishop, will reveal what it really is.
Here's a screenshot of the locked well (that I colored, as the original game is all in black and white). The romanized Japanese hiragana text says, "Kagi o ake ido no futa o torihazushita.", which I would translate as, "A key is needed to open the well's cover."
In the game, there's no image of the Water Well Key, so, all I had to work from was the name. I based my design, in part, on a real vintage key I own, as well as some photos of others that I clipped out of a magazine a long time ago to use as a visual reference for a project like this.
In keeping with the theme I started with the Wizardry Side Story IV: Throb of the Demon's Heart Gold Key (Kin no Kagi) item I made back in 2012, I wanted to incorporate the pair of kanji that means "water well" into the handle. Aside from looking cool, it virtually ensures that I'll never forget what the combination of those two characters mean. Speaking of which, I wanted to take a photo of the two of them together, but I'll be damned if I can remember where I put that Gold Key after I took my last group shot of all my Wizardry art projects. I also briefly considered modeling a cylindrical, brick-textured well for the key's handle, but, after making some sketches, it seemed awkward-looking to me, and it would have probably added unnecessary heft/bulk to the item (not to mention increasing the time needed to complete this piece).
Materials: Newsprint, cardboard, lined white paper, tissue paper, white glue, and acrylic paint.
Dimensions: 8.3 cm (3.3") in length x 2.9 cm (1.1") in width at the widest part of the handle.
Under Queen Papertiti's rule, Egypt's papyrus industry flourished. Unfortunately, her obsession with paper, and belief that it could be employed as a substitute for anything, ultimately proved to be her undoing. Her reign came to a tragic end immediately after she enacted an ill-advised new law that required her subjects to consume paper, instead of real food, and they revolted.
I began by measuring, and cutting out, one hundred one-inch squares of newsprint.
Then I crumpled those all up into a hundred little balls. Looks like dirty popcorn, eh?
Next I made a 3-ply cardboard and newsprint ankh form to glue them onto.
Finally, I glued all hundred of the crumpled paper balls onto the ankh's surface, completing the piece. I considered painting the ankh gold, but decided to leave it "natural" in appearance. Newsprint tends to yellow as it ages anyway, so, eventually, it will take on a more golden hue whether I want it to or not.
Papercraft Diorama (Mario vs. Goomba, Koopa, & 1-Up Thief)
For my seventh Nintendo Gameboy papercraft diorama, I picked the attic stage, from the Macro Zone (where Mario gets shrunken down to around the same size as an insect) in Nintendo's 1992 Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins video game (original Japanese title: スーパーマリオランド 2:六つの金貨, which romanizes as Su-pa- Mario Rando 2: Mutsu no Kinka).
This is a screenshot of the area that I wanted to make (the final version is shifted slightly to the left, to get both of the floating blocks on screen, and I swapped in a different status bar with a more realistic life count). As usual, I desired a bunch of stuff on-screen, to make the diorama more interesting, so, I picked a spot that had blocks, coins, book platforms, wall/window trim, and enemies. I particularly like the little 1-Up Thief--when you find an extra life (represented by a big heart in this game, instead of a green mushroom, because, as it's a black-and-white adventure, there would be no way to differentiate the normal red mushrooms from bonus lives) in this stage, one of the scoundrels magically appears and tries to run off with it--you have to quickly catch the larcenous little fiend before it gets away or you lose said bonus life.
Here's the sheet I put together of ripped and edited game graphics (feel free to save and print it out if you want to try making a similar diorama).
This is what things looked like on the morning of the second day. The background and base aren't glued together at this point, as I hadn't assembled the wall/window trim yet.
While I was working on those components I came to the unpleasant realization that, when I was separating said trim from the background in an art program, I had goofed up and forgotten to recolor the wall light gray and left it white (so, if you do use my sheet, I'd recommend using a fill tool to color in that big white box, in the top left corner, before you print it). Fortunately, I had a relatively easy fix for my mistake: I took my smudge stick (a pencil with a piece of tissue paper rubber banded around the end that's smeared with pencil graphite) and rubbed the white square down with that to darken it up.
I also made the three books at this stage, which are hollow rectangular cubes. I did contemplate making them solid and more realistic, with actual paper pages, but, because two of them need to hang out in the air, in defiance of gravity, I decided it was wiser to leave them as light as possible.
Here are the "floating" blocks and stacked books drying, with dice supporting them from underneath until the white glue sets. Speaking of which, if you've ever doubted the strength of white glue, note that, in the finished version, nothing is holding all that stuff up in the air but said adhesive and the vertically-orientated book!
The 3x3 group of coins was the most annoying thing to fabricate. I mounted them on a transparent plastic lattice and then glued the stem of that structure into a slit in the base to make them "float" (the red part of the illustration is what I cut out of said plastic). If I ever make another Mario diorama, I'm definitely going to want to avoid picking a screen with a lot of floating coins again!
I was going to do something similar, for the Proteus 911 starship, and it's two Options, in my Nemesis diorama, but decided not to, as transparent plastic tends to reflect light, especially a camera's flash, which detracts from the illusion a transparent support structure should provide. In this case, I felt that nine wire, or paper, supports would look even worse, so, I used the plastic instead.
The finished product:
Materials: Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper, white glue, newsprint, lined white notebook paper, permanent marker, pencil graphite (to darken up the white background that I forgot to make gray before I printed it), and transparent plastic (coin support lattice and figure/item stands only).
Dimensions: 8.4 cm (3.3") x 7.5 cm (3.0") [widest point x highest point]
For my sixth Nintendo Gameboy papercraft diorama, I picked an underground setting from the first stage of Konami's 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan video game. The sewers are the TMNT's home, so, that's certainly an appropriate environment to bring to 3-Dimensional life in this case.
This is the reference screenshot I worked from. The sprite layer has been disabled, for clarity/editing purposes, which is why you don't see a Turtle or any of his mechanical foes. I wanted to get an image that had a lot of pipes and masonry in it, and this certainly fits the bill.
Here's the sheet I put together of ripped and edited game graphics (feel free to save and print it out if you want to try making a similar diorama). I really should stop putting a bunch of sprites on there that I'm never going to use (i.e., I only made one figure of Mikey, so all the rest of them are just a waste of space that I could have used for his three brothers or something else instead).
Pictured is the unglued pattern/layout for the masonry and sewer water. The geometry for this piece was relatively complex, compared to the previous five Gameboy papercraft dioramas I've done. It didn't show up that great in the photo, but I colored the different facets with colored pencil to help me keep everything straight. You really have to pay attention to what you're doing when you're drawing up and measuring the blueprints for stuff like this--it's incredibly easy to screw things up if you don't think things through carefully. Everything worked out fine this time, but I've completely botched stuff like this on numerous occasions in the past.
And here it is all connected and glued together.
This is the magical part, at least for me; the dramatic change that occurs after applying the game graphics to the polygonal form always thrills me a little. Unfortunately, I didn't quite get all the bricks lined up correctly.
Test shot on the background. Time to play plumber and install some pipes next!
The finished product:
Materials: Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper, white glue, newsprint, lined white notebook paper, permanent marker, acrylic paint, and transparent plastic (figure stands only).
Dimensions: 8.5 cm (3.3") x 7.6 cm (3.0") [widest point x highest point]
Papercraft Diorama (Scorpion vs. Black Viper Snipers & Grunts)
For my fourth video game papercraft diorama, I selected the first stage of Konami's 1991 Operation C Nintendo Gameboy run-and-gun video game (original Japanese title: "Kontora", which is the phonetic katakana spelling of the English "Contra", and the moniker was changed yet again, to Probotector, when the game was later released in Europe).
The protagonist, Corporal "Scorpion" Lance (Sergeant Bill "Mad Dog" Ko, is AWOL, as Operation C is only a one-player game), is on the lower left, while the other four characters are enemy Black Viper troopers; a pair of snipers taking potshots at our hero from up high, and two unarmed grunts rushing him from the right.
Materials: Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper, white lined notebook paper, white glue, newsprint, two cotton balls, and permanent marker.
Dimensions: 8.5 cm (3.3") x 7.7 cm (3.0") [widest point x highest point]
For my fifth video game papercraft diorama, I selected a battle scene from ASCII's 1992 Wizardry Side Story II: Curse of the Ancient Emperor [original Japanese title: ウィザードリィ・外伝II:古代皇帝の呪い (Uiza-dorii Gaiden II: Kodai Koutei no Noroi)]. Said game was recently fan-translated into English--while I didn't do any work whatsoever on the actual hacking/reprogramming side of things (I don't know the first thing about that kind of stuff), I was credited with a consulting role, as the team utilized the monster and item translations that I had done, some time ago, for my colorized bestiary/guide for said title.
Materials: Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper, white glue, newsprint, and permanent marker.
Dimensions: 8.5 cm (3.3") x 7.6 cm (3.0") [widest point x highest point]
Time: Part of the day on June 22, 2014.
Here's the reference screenshot I worked from. Note that it's from the original, official Japanese version, the katakana characters, at the top left, マイルッフィク, spell out Maelific's name in Japanese phonetics, which romanizes as "Mairufikku". My party member's names are in English, because the game gives you the choice of using hiragana, katakana, or the English alphabet when you name them. I also edited out the plus sign, after BishopG's name, which indicates that he's equipped with an item that provides hit point regeneration, to give the party's names/stats a more consistent look. If you're curious, the "G" in BishopG's name stands for "Good", as in Good alignment. The Bishop character class must be of either Good or Evil alignment, not Neutral--the gods don't like fence-sitters--and I often create a Bishop of each alignment, for use in respectively-aligned parties, hence the "G" or "E" to tell them apart at a glance.
The decision to make this simple diorama was actually a result of my failure to make the steel latticed columns in my Operation C diorama the way that I wanted to. Because I ended up wasting all the graphics I had initially printed for said columns, trying out different designs, I needed to produce some more in order to finish that project.
As it would have been a waste to just print out nothing but the column graphics (two copies, in case I messed up again), I also put the components for this simple Wizardry Side Story II: Curse of the Ancient Emperor Maelific battle diorama on there, the fifteen characters, two pets, and three item drops from Samurai Shodown (熱闘 サムライスピリッツ or Nettou Samurai Supiritsu, which romanizes as Fierce Fighting: Samurai Spirits), and, finally, the twelve fighters from Fatal Fury 2 (熱闘 餓狼 伝説2 あらたなる たたかい or Nettou Garou Densetsu 2, Aratanaru Tatakai, which romanizes as "Fierce Fighting: Legend of the Hungry Wolf 2, The New Battle", which was never released outside of Japan). It took some creative arranging, but I squeezed all of that stuff onto one piece of paper!
As this was a relatively quick/easy project (start-to-finish, it only took part of the day), I didn't take any progress/construction photos this time. I separated the Maelific sprite into several layers/components, glued those back together, with spacers in between them, to give him some depth, and turned the party member names and hit points list into a box-within-a box to make it more visually interesting in 3-dimensional space.
Group shot of the five papercraft dioramas I've made so far:
Oh yeah, I also got some official recognition/love for these from Konami UK:
My newest B&W Gameboy papercraft diorama project is from a shmup (shoot-em-up), the third, Moai-infested stage from Konami's 1990 Nemesis (a.k.a., Gradius):
Here's a brief look at the construction process for this piece:
Original reference screenshot (sprite layer disabled for clarity).
This is the sheet of game assets I put together and printed out. I fudged things a little bit by sticking a faded-out SNES Gradius III stage 3 stone background in there, because, it is a rather plain-looking stage. I made the front/back of the Moai heads by editing the side view sprites, and likewise the top/bottom view of the Proteus 911 (which, for some reason, is what the Vic Viper is called in this game).
This is a shot of all the components that I made on the first day of work, the base, two of the Moai heads and the Proteus 911 starship. The Moai are a bit too blocky for my tastes, but I didn't want to spend a lot of time designing, and assembling, more complex geometry for them, so, it'll have to do.
Here's a closer look at the tiny Proteus 911 (a.k.a., Vic Viper). Rather than a flat 2-Dimensional sprite, as I did with the previous Christopher Belmont and Mega Man figures in their respective dioramas, I decided to make the starship 3-Dimensional (actually, it's more of a 2.5D affair, but close enough).
Here's a test shot on the background. The faded SNES rock graphics didn't print out well at all, so that was a wasted effort on my part (maybe I should have made them a bit darker, but I didn't want that design element too noticeable, as they technically don't belong there in the first place). I kind of like the idea of the ship flying out of the diorama, towards the viewer, but, for the sake of accuracy, I went with the expected side view in the final version.
Here's the finished product:
Materials: Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper, white lined notebook paper, white glue, newsprint, tissue paper, permanent marker, a brown paper grocery bag, and a wire twist tie (mount for floating elements only).
Dimensions: 9.1 cm (3.6") x 8.2 cm (3.2") [widest point x highest point]
Here are some sandals and glasses I handmade as accessories for my Spin Master Liv: School's Out Sophie doll, who stands 11.6" (29.4 cm) tall (without a wig). Please note that I only made the glasses and sandals, nothing else.
Materials: Glasses (wire twist ties, newsprint, white glue, acrylic paint, and transparent plastic) Sandals (cardboard, brown paper grocery bag, white lined notebook paper, white glue, and acrylic paint)
Time: Two days; the glasses on 6/7/14 and the sandals on 6/8/14.
Preliminary paper test pattern.
Test pattern on Sophie's head. The size checks out, so it's full steam ahead!
Wire armature with the arms of the glasses covered with strips of newsprint. Aside from providing support and defining the shape of the glasses, said wire is what allows the arms to bend/fold.
Test fit on Sophie's head. The arms are the proper length to reach behind her ears, so all is well.
Glass frames completely covered in newsprint. A second wire segment was added to create the shape of the bottom half of the lens holes. Aside from some sanding and final adjustments, they're ready to paint.
Final check on Sophie's head before finishing adjustments and painting. They're a bit asymmetrical, but the overall fit is good and she looks classier already! After the glasses were painted, I cut out lenses from a sheet of transparent plastic and embedded them in the frames, completing the accessory.
The finished product.
The first thing I did was trace the outline of Sophie's foot to make a pattern for the soles of the sandals. The bottoms of the sandals are 4-ply thick cardboard: three layers glued back-to-back, and then the sandal straps sandwiched in between that stack and one more layer.
In order to work on the shoes without damaging Sophie's feet, I covered them in plastic and transparent tape. That thin protective layer also ensures that there will be enough wiggle room so that the sandals won't become too tight after they're painted.
I wrapped strips of paper, from a brown grocery bag, around her feet to create the sandal straps, and then glued the soles onto those.
Here are the rough sandals on a doll's bare feet. The fit is pretty good--loose enough to slip them on-and-off, but not so loose as to fall off.
These are the finished sandals, with small decorative bows added to the front straps, just prior to painting.
My recent Castlevania: The Adventure papercraft diorama came out well, so, I was eager to get started on another one. This time I selected a scene from the Snake Man stage in Capcom's 1992 Mega Man 3 Gameboy video game (original Japanese title: Rokku Man Wa-rudo 3, which translates to Rock Man World 3 in English--Rock Man is Mega Man's original name in Japan, if you didn't already know).