Don't make me destroy you, Master.  Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Don’t make me destroy you, Master

Over a few of my recent posts I’ve talked a bit about locations. From climbing mountains to disused spaces. But this time I thought I’d build my own location. Welcome to Mustafar, where the weather is always warm and you’re guaranteed to leave with a killer tan.

I bought the Duel on Mustafar set a little while ago with something of a plan. Wanting to create a river of lava as well as some higher ground (sorry I couldn’t help myself). But I wanted to do it on the super cheap. Creating my own version of the ending to Revenge of the Sith on a budget.

How to build a river of lava

BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly

Step 1: I bought a sheet of clear orange acrylic from eBay. It was only £6. Combine that with a roll of black parcel paper for £3 and we’re certainly on the cheap side. I screwed the paper into various shapes to get all the creases and wrinkles in it before shaping it into the riverbanks and hillsides. I’ll explain why it’s sat on coffee cups in just a second.

BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly

Step 2: To create the lava I got some jelly, or jello for my American friends. I got various colours to try and create the uneven flow of lava. The red jelly was fancier so I did have to eat the fruit out of it before I started.

BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly

Step 3: Because the red jelly was a better quality I used it around the edges. It was a little firmer and held it’s shape better along with holding the yellow and orange jelly in the centre which was a little runnier.

BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly

Step 4: Using my usual lighting technique of pretty basic LED torches underneath. I had to find a way to uniformly raise the base, hence the coffee cups. They were to hand and did the job, and they were free.

BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly

Thoughts

The lights did come through the jelly as spotlights, but with the angles of the photographs I ended up taking, that was actually a good thing as you’ll see. I was able to reposition the lights as the shots needed. If I’d had a larger light source it would have given less in the way of colours and tones in the “lava” and provide less in the way of highlights and shadows on the minifigs.

On top of all the yellows, reds and oranges of the jelly I used my usual light up lightsabers as a further lighting source. I was really happy with the contrasting colours that comes by including that blue light. The shoot was completed at night, so only the lights in the diorama itself are used in the resulting photos.

Other than the lego set itself the diorama cost me less than £12. So I was really happy with the results for such a little cost. As Shelly has said to me a few times in the past, “Keep it simple, stupid”. I’m massively pleased with how the diorama came out with some pretty random elements used to build it. Where the idea to use the jelly as lava came from I can’t say, but it ended up being perfect for what I needed. Even if the house did smell a bit fruity for a little while.

The Resulting Photos

Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes. Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes
From my point of view, the Jedi are evil. Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
From my point of view, the Jedi are evil
If you're not with me, you're my enemy. Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy
This is the end for you, My Master. I wish it were otherwise. Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
This is the end for you, My Master. I wish it were otherwise
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you. Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you
Well, then you are lost! Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Well, then you are lost!
I have the high ground. Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
I have the high ground

Behind the Scenes

BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Mustafar – BTS
BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Mustafar – BTS
BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Mustafar – BTS
BTS of Toy photography by Tom Milton as part of the post Welcome to Mustafar: Diorama Building with Jelly
Mustafar – BTS