Space Invaders!!

Completed October 2021

One of the reasons that I I really enjoy making dioramas as that it affords me the opportunity to add loads of details and extra things. However, the question of when to stop, is always a challenge!


Just before starting this one, I bought my first 3D resin printer. This opened up a whole new world of opportunities, accompanied by a learning curve that was really frustrating at times!


Ever get that feeling that someone is invading your space when they come into your workshop? Well.… meet Joe Chang. This diorama reflects his workshop.


A short while after I started on this, I was challenged to make a diorama within a diorama. Always taking things a step further, I made a diorama in 1/12. Then inside that, I made not one, but two dioramas in 1/12, (therefore 1/144th scale), and inside that, two dioramas in 1/12 (therefore 1/1728th scale!). I decided to stop there.  As always, I really had fun making this diorama and what made it easier, was that I could find references in my own workshop, those of pals, and also in my own mind. With so many references around, how could it be anything but fun?


Right. On with the build.


The idea for this build started when I bought a really tiny helicopter once. (It was really tiny).


The initial idea was to make a diorama of a radio control (RC) modeller’s workshop and so I started gathering 3D files, references, photos, measurements, etc (i.e: the things that I usually do when researching for a detailed diorama). Finding suitable RC stuff got confusing because one gets RC planes, boats, cars ,etc, etc…  and I got confused as to which genre my guy would be into. When I discovered that RC guys also build static models, I started collecting things for that genre too. This was easy to do but it wasn’t long before the diorama totally shifted in that direction and my guy ended up being purely a diorama and static model builder. (Whenever I referred to “my guy” in conversation, my wife would say “you actually mean YOU?” hahahahaa!!)   

….. and finally, the reading/research area……

Thus far, everything had been in 1/12th scale - except for the models in the display cabinet, which are all in 1/144th scale. 

Up for the challenge, I built a diorama in 1/144th scale. Then to prove a point, I built another - this time, of a model builder's workshop (so I now had a 1/12th workshop in a 1/12th workshop).


I then took it a level further and made two dioramas in the workshop in the workshop! (No typo or duplication in typing). The detail is not crisp at 1/1728th scale, but the idea is clear. 


I definitely used my Optivisor with its largest magnification.

The final build

Then Mr Joe Chang had visitors – a freelance journalist babe and her son. He was not amused.

He watched that kid with hawk eyes and couldn’t wait for them to leave….

I started with the furniture, including a 3D printed chair, and from there, I made the outer box and added the floor and walls based on the size of the  furniture.

I have always wanted a computer gaming chair, so obviously, my guy had to have one!
Then, I started filling up from the right, treating each area of the workshop in isolation.

The first to be completed was the display cabinet with all its models. The diorama is in 1/12th scale, and these models were in 1/12th inside the diorama – therefore 1/144th scale. 

Needless to say, but I was very impressed with my newly acquired 3D printer!

I had so much fun doing this build, that I did not take photos of everything.


My various model building buddies sent photos and measurements of kit boxes to me and I made just over one hundred 1/12th kit boxes. I printed them on a laser printer, then cut them out and glued them over the correctly sized piece of wood as this proved to be the easiest way to do it. I stashed them the way I would have, had that been my own workshop. First on the shelves, then in the cabinet, then anywhere I could find a gap to!! (You’ll see where I put them as I show the build photos…..)


Then I constructed the desk area. Kits everywhere....

......... followed by the 3D print area (after all, I had a 3D printer myself!)

….. painting area and then on to the main workbench…… (In hindsight, I should have taken more photos. I made 1/12th bottles of Tamiya acrylic, MIG and AMMO pigments, as well as Vallejo acrylic paints - all of which I personally use!)

….. And then various items for the shelves…… (I'll also show the tools board pictured above)..

If I had ever doubted my 3D printer's capability, this build had removed all doubt! (Maybe I need a better camera though?)