My Hall of Justice is really coming along. I thought I'd share a work in progress update. I've shown some of the art changes in a previous post including the awesome Alex Toth big door that will finish off this playset. This post focuses on one of the two side wings. Here's my concept drawing from earlier to show how it works.

And here's the work in progress in real life....

You won't get the full effect until it's all put together, but this is what you see when you drop the big door down. It's the facade of the HOJ on two panels that close together with a recessed magnetic clasp.

Then you fold the two panels sections out and have this nice reverse view of the arched windows and a city skyline. For me it's a real Ohh-Ahh moment. Expand, unfold, surprise...

So what happens in these side rooms? On the right we have the detention cell. On the left we have....well, that's a post for another day. For now, I'm freakin' psyched about this cell! I'm going to show how I made it to give you a sense of some of the customizing techniques I use to get the most out of Dida Displays.

Cutting the cardboard an vinyl is easy enough, but what to do about the loose , unsealed edge? Here I took a scrap piece of wall and cut through the back vinyl and cardboard but left a flap on vinyl on the other side. Then I insert my artwork, fold the flap over and hold it together with a thin piece of U-Channel plastic, just like those old report covers we used in junior high. This gives the edge a nice finished, plastic look and allows me to make custom pieces.

Now my jail cell bars. I painted some wooden Shish-kabob skewers black and used black duct tape to attach them to one of my die-cut cardboard support walls. Looks like crap, right? Mmm-hmm!

I then use some wider black plastic u-channel to cover the edges of the door and rivet the three pieces together.


Next, I take some 1 1/2 inch sealed vinyl tabs, scraps from making other triboxes, and cut one in half. Then I cut the inner cardboard even smaller, reinsert it in the sleeve and punch holes for the turnlock.

I fold the loose edge over on itself and rivet it to the connecting tab of the tribox. Mego of course would have had this piece made with a tool and sealed on all side, but that's too expensive and limits customization. In teh future I'd plan to put some artwork in it so it matches up with the surface it covers.

Next up, my attempt at a trap-door. I cut a section out of the triangle roof piece. I'm trying to limit the number of cut edges, so I cut along the seams of the side tabs and then make two cross cuts leaving extra vinyl to fold over and rivet closed.

For this one I made the hinge for the door out of more scrap from making triboxes. (Tri-boxes are to us like the buffalo to the Indians. We use every part and nothing goes to waste.) This is the underside view.

I really love the idea of a trap door on the jail cell. Dropping the villain into it would be fun and then you could play escape scenarios as well. I'm still working it out how to get the door to drop fast enough so the figure doesn't tip over before falling through the hole. You see here I'm using a string that allows you to pull the door down very fast. That's one thing, but I need a better way to hold the door closed as well. The other problem right now is you can pull the door back up because the figure is in the way. So I'm still experimenting. The goal is to do it in a way that is simple, easily reproduceable, and done with available parts.

But so far so good. I think it looks really fun and very Mego. Nothing against Spidey here. Sorry Spidey!

What's nice too is the side rooms can fold all the way around to make the whole thing easy to display on one shelf.

That's it for now. I'm off to perfect trap doors and get to work on the other side room and it's crazy gimmick.