Elementalists at War (easy Silicone/LED Diorama)




Introduction: Elementalists at War (easy Silicone/LED Diorama)

About: Astrochemist with lot of hobbies

I have cabinet full of painted miniatures. It is time to nicely expose them in it.

Since it is my first instructable (hello :)) - I decided for the contest theme - therefore - the elements.

Or - elementalists. Wizards and sorcerers who bind elemental forces to their likening.

As I wanted my elementalists to be able to fight either each other or some other opponents - I placed them in the corners of their small dioramas, so I could turn them around as I like.

Each one of them is in the middle of casting the spell

Earth elementalist is casting "cracked earth"

Fire elementalist is throwing fireballs (one big one and one very hot, small one)

Water elementalist is protecting himself behind barrier of ice spikes

And air elementalist is preparing a tornado

Step 1: Materials


1. polyurethane foam (for building insulation)

2. colorless silicone (one bottle will do)

3. paints

4. LEDs for 12V power supply

I used 4 green ones (for earth elementalist), 4 blue ones (for water elementalist), 2 yellow (for fire elementalist) and 4 white ones - three for air elementalist and one for very hot fireball of fire elementalist

5. 12V power supply, cables

As for LEDs I made it very easy for myself as I bought a set of glass shelf-lighting which included: 12V power supply, splitter for 6 clips and six plugs (6 stripes of 3LED each).

I also bought additional clips with cables. I want to make a lot of those small dioramas (each one of them with few LEDs of a particular color connected to a cable with clip) to be able to reconnect and move them as my mood will guide me.

6. miniatures

The best part of this project is that you can use and display your favorite board game miniatures. And as they are removable – you can still take them out and play!

7. copper wire (frame for tornado)

8. universal glue

9. a bit of sand, small pebbles, fake grass, painted sisal (for tree and bushes) - all for finishing touches


for foam: scalpel,

for silicone: spatulas for modeling, bowl with water and dish soap

for LEDS: soldering iron, soldering wire

Step 2: Plan and Foam Cutting 1

I bought 3 cm (~1.2 inches) thick foam. I cut out four 10 cm x 10 cm (~4 inches x 4 inches) squares out of it.

As I needed a space for cables, each of squares I cut in half, removed the central part and glued frame again to the foam with universal glue.

Step 3: Foam Cutting 2 - Earth Square

With scalpel I cut a cracked pattern in the foam (all the way thru).

As I wanted the miniature at the level of the ground (without protruding base), I cut out the circle in foam and I trimmed this circle a little.

From leftover foam I cut stones and glued them to the stand.

Step 4: Foam Cutting 3 - Air, Fire and Ice Squares

For air square. I only had to make two small holes in the foam for tornadoes. For tornado base I wrapped a thick, copper wire into cylindrical shape and painted it grey

For fire square- I made a ball from silver foil and folded it into foam to make a nice cavity. I also added a few foam stones.

Unfortunately, I have no ice square photos, but I just cut out a big, crescent shaped, shredded hole in the foam.

For all three I again cut out the circles and trimmed them so the miniatures bases wouldn't stand out.

Step 5: Fun With Silicone 1 - Earth and Water

I used this recipe:


For ice spikes - Firstly, I covered the bottom of the hole with silver foil, to provide a place for my LEDs. Then, I mixed silicone with some white paint and formed it like a soft clay in a bowl with water and dish soap into icy spikes.

For cracked earth, I mixed silicone with some yellow and green paint and stuffed the mixture into holes.

I removed excess silicone with spatulas You can also wait for it to harden and remove it by hand.

Silicone is stiff after a few minutes (probably the drying rate depends on the dishsoap concentration).

Step 6: Fun With Silicone 2 - Air and Fire

For those you need a bit of patience.

Firstly you have to solder your LEDs to the cables. Then you can build up silicone.

For big fireball – I covered orange LED with a bit of yellow silicone (colorless silicone+ yellow paint). In bowl with dish soap I squeezed it into a ball. Waited for it to be hardened and dry. Then, I put a bit of orange silicon (colorless silicone+ yellow paint+ red paint) on my fingers and I distributed it unevenly from 1/3 of ball making something like comet tail. Waited for it to be hardened… Building it further with red, dark red and black colored silicone.

For small, very hot fireball, I used white LED and only yellow and orange silicone.

For tornado I covered grey wire unevenly with white silicone (to get some color depth), inserted white LED and covered again (this time closing tornado cone fully) with colorless silicone.

I decided for two tornado spells. One cone-shaped going forward and second one (spell still in preparation) going upward. Thanks to this second one, my wind-binder is very nice lighted. It looks great in real life - unfortunately -- it also messes my photos -_-

Step 7: Squares Ready for Soldering

I also added a bit of silicone surrounding the bases of miniatures

Step 8: Make It Glow!

As I have said before-
I made working with LEDs very easy for me….

I used 12V power source, and 12V LEDs, so I didn’t bothered with resistors.

I just connected all + and all – together in each square, and soldered them to + and - parts of cables (cables ended with clips).

Clips are going to power splitter. I have splitter fited for 6 plugins so I can play with two more squares if I want to with the same setup.

Probably later I will add metal element- like a group of engineers with gunpowder weapons - and I will set them up against elementalists.

Science against magic - buahaha! <evil laugh>

Step 9: Finishing Touches

1. Paint the foam in earthy tones (i have chosen shades of brown/green/red/black).

2. Highlight the foam stones (just the edges - with some light color - white and grey)

2. Paint universal glue evenly on the ground.

3. Sprinkle some fake grass/sand/pebbles.

Add a tree or two

(I make trees from wire - twisting wire, painting whole thing in brown it and adding painted sisal as leafs)


Step 10: Play With Your Miniatures :D

This is how it now looks now in my cabinet. With other miniatures.

Tree bends in the wind.

I also put a nice fantasy poster on the cabinet back wall.

The battle continues!

Brave the Elements 2016

Second Prize in the
Brave the Elements 2016

Make it Glow Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2016

First Time Authors Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Authors Contest 2016

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    7 Discussions

    Really cool! What games do you play with the miniatures?


    Reply 3 years ago


    To be true - I don't play (even though I want to, I still feel to old to join as a newbie). For now, until I gather my courage, I am painting them as a hobby. And I paint various collections - although mostly miniatures from Warmachine and Hordes, I have plenty of miniatures from Warcraft, Warctraft 2000, Avatars of War, Kings of war etc... Even some Discworld ones ;) And indeed I forgot very important thing. The credit for miniatures presented in this instructable goes to Privateer Press. They are part of their "Hordes" line.

    Modern Rustic Workshop
    Modern Rustic Workshop

    Reply 3 years ago

    Well I would encourage you to try some (No way you could be too old! That's crazy!), and they are gorgeously painted!

    Dray Co
    Dray Co

    3 years ago

    Wow this is amazing! Though I haven't tried it yet, I know that this must be truly amazing!???????


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you ^^ Diorama indeed looks nice. And makes nice conversation starter (checked).

    It is also very easy to make ^^

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    That is awesome! In my opinion, this is the perfect entry for the Brave the elements contest. I am very impressed with you skills setting up miniatures.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you! Indeed spells has been inspired by the contest theme. Now I plan to play with other spells (and silicone). I am waiting for "bringing dead to life" or "restore mana" contests ;)