Bleau Aquino's Darkest Knight / Gotham After Midnight Diorama @ The 8th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention 2009


Yes, the above image is a 1/6th-scaled diorama shot with Hot Toys' Batman and Joker. Please do not worry about picking your collective dropped-jaws off from the ground - they would be perfectly fine lying right next to mine. Seriously.

The image above is titled: "Darkest Knight" - which won Bleau Aquino the First Prize for the "Toy Clicks"-photography contest at last weekend's 8th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention 2009 [www / blogged]. And the diorama built and presented by brothers Ryder and Bleau Aquino (for said photo) titled: "Gotham After Midnight" = won them the First Prize in the "Toy Diorama Contest"! (Ye gawds but I heart dioramas)

/// CLICK THRU for more images of the diorama - along with some words pilfered from Bleau's Multiply-post. And you are advised to proceed post-haste to Bleau's Multiply-site to witness: (A) More jaw-dropping images, and (B) More QuickTime VRs = where you can pan and zoom around the featured photo from different angles! *Seriously AWESOME-Cool!*


Bleau-wrote: "I’ve seen a lot of takes on these figures from various toy photographers as I scoured the Internet for source material. I drew inspiration from their shots and I was suddenly engulfed with a ton of creative passion to make my own scene interpretations for the Hot Toys DK line. But the challenge for me was to find the right location to shoot.

I didn’t want to super-impose my shots on stock image backgrounds … it just didn’t feel right to do so for what I’ve envisioned for this particular set. Simply put, I wanted my figures to be physically immersed in the scene. However, finding a secure and controlled location proved to be too cumbersome as my set-ups required several days to prepare & photographer. Eventually, I ended up shooting at home so I could have full control of the lighting conditions without having to worry about leaving my set-up."


Bleau-adds: "With an ounce of ingenuity and a ton of improvisation, I was able to build a diorama that had all the fine details I wanted for my shots. With some help from my brother and a couple of friends, we were able to create a Gotham National Bank back alley scene that had a fenced GNB building, lighted signage, illuminated lamp posts, vandalized dumpster, trash cans, bottles, newspapers, Harvey Dent streamers and billboards. Best of all, since we built the elements in the diorama, everything was now in scale with the figures, which made the figures look like they were really in the scene."

[Read the rest of Bleau's entry via his Multiply / Diorama snaps via Bleau's Multiply / Used with kind permission]

This is what Bleau had to share with us about his personal thoughts about the win for both contests:

BLEAU AQUINO: I’m really ecstatic about the recognition we garnered at Toycon 2009. Two First Prize awards for the same source material would definitely leave an awesome feeling of elation for the creator. The appreciation, praises and attention garnered from my Multiply, Facebook, and Flickr communities are all heartfelt. Hot Toys did a splendid job in making these action figures into marvelous works of art. The stark realism of the sculpts are a testament to the greatness of Asian talents when it comes to fine arts. I believe keeping these collectibles boxed up in mint condition is a sin, the sheer awesomeness of the figs details definitely needs to be showcased. I’m glad my brother and I were able to pull-it-off and make the collectibles look even better by putting them in an action scene for further appreciation. This is my first time to build a diorama and it feels great to have confirmation that you did a fine job. Godspeed!

ADDED: Quicktime VR!

Control Guide:
(Shift) - Zoom In on any frame

(Ctrl) - Zoom Out on any frame

(Option + Mouse Over Object + Left Click) - Drag Zoomed Object

(Mouse Over Object + Left Click) - Grabber / Pan left or right

["Flash" Diorama-images used with kind permission from Miko Punch]


Zetman said…
OMG, looks so amazing, god what an artist.
axilog14 said…
I actually got to see this diorama in person at the Toycon, and if you look real closely, one of the newspapers on the ground actually bear the headline "WHO IS SPIDER-MAN?"

One of my favorite easter eggs from this already-breathtaking piece.