As a kid i used to love building playsets for my action figures, from space stations to sewer lairs, as an adult i still like to recycle old toys and find ways of using bits and bobs to make props and like to do it in such a way that children could replicate it with a minimum of adult supervision.
In this instructable I'm going to show you how to make a low cost command center for toys/action figures/dioramas complete with light up function
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Cardboard (I'm using some scrap mounting board. its handy because its already black on one side but an light weight card will do i.e. cereal box card)
straws with the bendy bit
Tic -tac boxes (I am also using a larger box that thumb tacks came in)
Black insulating tape (optional)
Black paint (not pictured)
Glue gun and glue sticks
Double sided tape/glue dots
Battery operated lights (pound shop ones are perfect)
Step 2: Getting Rid of the Stickers
Simply soak your Tic-tac boxes in some soapy water and peal off the stickers. you may have to scrub some of the residue off.
Step 3: Lets Make Some Monitors
Take your card and lay one of your newly cleaned Tic-tac boxes on it and draw round it with a pencil
Repeat as necessary.
Cut these squares out.
Mark where the white part of your Tic-tac box comes to. this is so that you dont have any of it blocking the light feature.
Draw out a monitor screen shape and cut it out with the craft knife. You may want to use the first one you cut out as a template for the rest.
Step 4: Screens
Using one of your cardboard monitors as a template trace around it on the tracing paper.
Repeat for each screen.
Using your colouring in pens draw up some visuals on the monitors (I'm a TMNT fan in case you hadn't noticed)
Cut them out remembering to cut inside the lines to make it smaller. you may need to try them for size and trim them down as appropriate .
Slide your screen into the tic-tac box (remembering to have the side with out the black text as the front)
slide the white part of the box in to hold the tracing paper screen in place.
attach your monitor shape using double sided tape, glue dots or normal glue.
Step 5: Riggin It Up and Lightin It Up
Use some hot glue to attach two straws vertically. This will be your top screen.
Attach the lower screen below the bendy bit.
Remember to leave the length of the vertical straws intact for the moment
Trim down four straws using the bendy bits to create your horizontal screens by hot gluing them coming off the side of the top most monitor.
Now the time consuming bit.
Hold the lights against the back of your monitors and place a liberal amount of hot glue around it to seal it to the tic-tac box. I had 20 lights on this strand so i allocated for per smaller screen, six to the larger and then attached two below the big screen to act as desk lights.
This takes time as you need to hold the lights in place until the glue cools down
Step 6: The Desk
Fold a piece of card into a right angle ( I cheated here and used a preformed bit) and glue it to your two vertical straws and then trim off the excess.
Glue the battery pack of your lights against the back of the desk, keep it tight against the top and this will act as a support.
You may find that the top most monitors lean forward a bit so if need bee trim down a bit of straw and glue it in between the two center monitors.
If your card is thick enough glue your two lollipop sticks in to act as feet. if it isn't thick enough glue it to the battery pack, just be sure not to glue the battery pack shut so you can replace the batteries.
Paint it up (again i cheated a bit here and used spray paint but acrylic paints will do)
Note: If need bee you can use the black insulating tape to cover any "gaps" that light mat be escaping from
Step 7: Done
and there you are, your command center is up and running.
as you can see from the pix i added a few panels to make it look like a keyboard etc so feel free to add to it with whatever takes your fancy.
You could also print out what you would like on the screens onto acetate for a cleaner look but this way is low tech hopefully making it more accessible.
Enjoy and take care