(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:
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).
8.4 cm (3.3") x 7.5 cm (3.0") [widest point x highest point]
Three days: July 3-5, 2014.