Toys / Toy Collecting

Scrap Car Scene 1/12 Scale Diorama Base


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By Hervé St-Louis
March 27, 2022 - 14:48

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Scrap Car Scene A
Dioramas have always existed as part of miniature arts and craft. In action figure collecting, they have become very important in recent years. Dioramas were usually bigger play sets, like the G.I Joe headquarters, the Super Friends’ Hall of Justice, or the Ghostbuster’s Firehouse. In the six inches / 1:12 scale, dioramas were more popular in over seas sets but early Marvel Legends from Toybiz, some DCDirect action figures, like the Silver Age Batman and Robin set, or the Silver Age Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl set each had some. Marvel Select would create intricate dioramas for its seven inches action figures that were memorable. Enter Twelve World and its series of resin-based dioramas. How do they stack up?

Twelve World appears to be a Chinese producer that specializes in the difficult to produce 1:12 scale dioramas. The world of 1:12 dioramas is complicated because the scale increases costs and limits what once can do. It’s the same reason why vehicles are a bit more complicated in that scale than with 3 ¾ inches / 1:18th scaled toys. And where do you put this stuff at such as scale? More about that below.

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Scrap Car Scene B

Twelve World specializes in making dioramas for 1:12 figures based on an industrial look and post apocalyptic themes. Thus, their dioramas will fit with most contemporary action figures, although having using them with Mythic Legions, Combatants, Articulated Icons, and Master of the Universe action figures will be a bit more problematic. I got two of their Scrap Car Scene dioramas (each sold separately) to use for my own displays. There are six parts in all which can all connect with one another. I did not want the other parts because much of their footprint contains large pieces or car scraps that take away the space that would be used for a figure or a vehicle.

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Likeness

The sets are unique and do not represent any fictional world’ environment. In fact, the sets don’t fit with Twelve World’s Japanese samurai figure line. It’s mostly dirt, track threads, grit, and rust. The sets feel like they belong in a desert where little grows on them. The details on the sets are incredible. Everything is moulded and then painted over with and array of colours. If you wanted a base upon which to put your various figures, this one is the good for that.

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Sculpt

The sculpt is the most detailed part of the sets. First, there is mimicked water in the skids. It’s like water accumulated there. What the sculptors did, is make the inside of the threads smooth and reflective, which makes it look like water. It’s great looking. There is more than enough variety on the sets to pose several figures at once. The surface is not always smooth and the reason I picked these two parts and not the other ones, was because I wanted to have as much space to put figures on, and not just as a backdrop.

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Twelve World, unlike many other commercial diorama makers creates resin-based sculpts and not just thin plastic fronts or cardboards. Each has its place in the marketplace, but I prefer having the heft of the Scrap Car Scenes. Set A and B do interlock but there is not way to hide the seam between them. You’ll also need a flat surface to put the two parts next to one another. Of course, you don’t have to interlock them if you don’t need to. They can be used separately.

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Paint

The paint is okay, but I admit that it is not perfect. It feels like thick layers of gouache was applied in both sets so although there is a lot of grit and shading, the sand base does not look as realistic when you look at it too closely. It feels like the paint has not dried yet when it was fixed to the resin with a coating. I like the rocks and their backs are painted, even when they are on the edges.

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Scale

The scale surprised me, even though the specs before ordering them. Both set A and B are 11.61 x 9.65 inches (29.5cm x 24.5cm). The sheer size of these things surprised me. I did not think this through and expected a diorama that could accommodate at most two figures. You can put more than that on these sets. They are massive. You can even put a smaller 1:12 vehicle like a motorcycle on them, and have the rider stand next to the bike. With both sets side by side, you may not be able to store them in shelves.

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Of course, Twelve World made the sets for six inches figures like Marvel Legends, G.I. Joe Classified, Power Rangers but other 1:12 lines will fit well, like Star Wars, Ghostbusters and even McFarlane’s Last Airbender toys. Seven inches toys like Combatants will also fit, of course. Smaller lines like the G.I Joe Retro and vehicles can also fit on the sets. The right fit has more to do with the thematic feel, so Airbender, and Combatants look less at home there than G.I. Joe Classified, Ghostbusters, or Marvel Legends. Star Wars will fit with the Scrap Car Scene B even though it has a big pierce of metallic hunk. Unlike the other sets, the metallic junk is not clearly a contemporary car or a truck.

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Stability

The sets are forgiving for figures who fall often. For example, my Aang figure can barely stand on its own without using the glider stick as a crutch. There are enough uneven shapes on the Scrap Car Scene to put and pose an action figure and they will stay put. Like I mentioned above, I chose these parts A and B because they offer more surface to put an action figure. I like having dirt and junk, but when that takes all the room in the diorama, the question is where or who can I pose the figures on the set?

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Articulations

Like I wrote, the parts do not peg into one another. They are uneven at the meeting seems.

Plastic

Twelve World makes all its dioramas in resin. Resin is a bit more expensive than ABS or PVC and this set will keep its shape for years. Thus, it is a good investment. The sets are thick and heavy. There are about one to two centimetres or close to one inch thick.

Packaging

The sets come packed in a huge box. Inside the box, they are contained in a thick Styrofoam box with a taped lid. Inside the Styrofoam box, the sets are inside a plastic bag. They are well wrapped and protected before they arrive at your place! There is no box art, and it does not matter.

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Cost

The sets are $39.99 USD. It’s a bit pricey, considering Toybiz and Marvel Select used to include dioramas as part of their action figures for less than $25 USD. Yet, these are huge pieces made of superior and durable plastic. These Scrap Car Scenes are not for every collector. Do factor the cost of shipping and the import duty if you are not based in the United States.

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Availability

The major store that had these in stock was BigBadToyStore. I have not found any other retailer who sells these, whether in North America, Europe, or Asia. As a Canadian, it is a bit pricey to buy collectibles from BigBadToyStore because of the shipping and the duty. Previous Twelve One dioramas have sold out from BigBadToyStore. I could not find the original website of Twelve One, so ordering from them seems like difficult too. This is the kind of collectible that will not sell out quickly yet will not be able to find nor purchase once it is gone. I can’t even find it on Ebay. As usual, if you want this., get it sooner rather than later.

Rating: 9 /10



Last Updated: March 27, 2022 - 14:53

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