Underwater Dystopian Cityscape

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Have you ever wondered what earth would look like after an enormous natural disaster or a tremendous apocalyptic event leaving the world void of human life? If you have, you have got one heck of an imagination! In today’s instructable we bring this haunting thought to life by creating our very own Underwater Dystopian Cityscape inspired by Tested which was inspired by a Japanese guy. Anyone can do it so let’s get to it!

Step 1: Assembling the Materials

In order to make this project you will need:
- Fusion 360 modeling software
- Access to a 3D printer
- Spray adhesive
- Craft store Moss
- Black and Brown acrylic paints
- Paints primer (may not need depending on what color filament you use)
- Blue food coloring
- Crystal Clear Epoxy Resin
- Optional: Mini model sea creatures
That’s it! Let’s get started!

Step 2: Modeling the Cityscape

You could buy a mini model city on some Japanese website and oh 15 dollars in shipping alone, or you could just make one on your own with a little help from some 3D modeling magic.

Available for purchase on my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/704831401/3d-miniature-cityscape?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=3D+miniature+cityscape&ref=sr_gallery-1-3&organic_search_click=1

This is really where you can get creative with your design. If you are new to modeling, this is a great project because buildings are really just big rectangles :). I made mine about 3 inches x 3 inches so it is a pretty small city.

Once you are finished designing your very own abandoned city, print it off and get ready for painting!

Step 3: Damage, Priming and Weathering “Oh My!”

Now we want are buildings to have a little bit of wear and tear. This is the fun part because now you get to damage the buildings you worked so hard to 3D model! Potential damaging techniques could include but is certainly not limited to, drilling holes, dropping the 3D model from a high spot, taking the back end of a hammer to side, etc. While you can get crazy when creating the damage, don't be careless and hurt yourself. The damage is one of the best parts because it tells the story. Did your city go up in flames then go underwater? Did it get hit by a plane or a meteor? The damage and weathering you give to the project can tell that story!


After that, prime the buildings with some gray primer. (If you have gray filament you can just skip this part)

For the weathering, you may want the buildings to be seemingly abandoned for a long time. Over time, the buildings would get dirty and would start corroding. Adam savage has great tips for weathering. He says you want to dirty up the object as best you can and then clean it the best you can thus leaving a weathered-over-time look.
I find that by mixing some black and brown acrylic paints and watering them down a bit, it makes a good weathered color.

Step 4: Moss / Plantlife

Over time , nature will take overwhelm humans are gone! For our buildings, we will have them be invaded by moss. You can pick this up at any craft store. I think the best way to attach the moss without massive gobs of glue is to use spray on adhesive (be sure to use all paints and adhesives in areas with proper ventilation). This way, the viewer isn’t distracted by obvious glue marks. I like to spray initially on the surface, attach the piece of moss, and then spray it once mildly again on top for good measure. Add moss to your liking. Also, play around with other dystopian scenarios like buried in sand, ice or even radioactive explosions! For mine, I played on the meteors striking the buildings idea. So I found several small rocks and attached them to the city in various places.

Step 5: Mixing and Pouring the Resin

Be sure to read through the instructions thoroughly in order to avoid injury or a failed pour. The clear resin I am using is a 50-50 ratio which is easy to remember! Also, there is no need for a catalyst like so many resins require. If you go to craft stores they almost always have a coupons that allow you to take a considerable amount off so don’t pay full price for this stuff.


Once I mixed the resin, I then added the food coloring. I found (as you can see from my pictures) that the water was a bit darker than expected. In fact, it even had a dark blue - purplish color to it. What I would do if I were to go back and do it again would be to take a toothpick or something and just grab a tiny bit of blue and mix it so it is an extremely light blue and add color from there. I still think it looks cool, but it definitely obscures the view into the rest of the city. To be able to contain the resin, you will want to build some walls around your buildings. You do this with plastic sheets or even glass. Even if you choose a lighter paper based product like cardboard it will stick to the sides and obscure the "underwater" view of the cityscape. Be sure to seal up the edges of whatever material you are using with some basic hot glue. This will allow you to pull apart the plastic/glass easily so you can re-use the material at a later time.

You may have noticed that my plastic has some cracks and pieces missing. This is where I highly recommend you purchase some $4 plastic cutters because if you don't, you will end up like me and have a really difficult time cutting through it. So do your self a favor and use plastic cutters that will give you clean-cut edges.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Once you have pulled off the walls and have let the resin cure, you will want to make sure every final detail is in place. Whether that be one more tree on top, or a spot that didn't get weathered properly, make sure you get it done. Also, you will want to trim the edges of any excess resin that started to seep through the cracks (Picture 1) If there aren't any other modifications, you are 100% done! Now you can display this fine, thought-provoking piece for all of your friends and family to see. Thank you for checking out this Instructable! Leave a comment, a like, and a vote for the Big and Small Contest! See you on the next one!

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    6 Discussions

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    PetrosM709

    Question 6 weeks ago on Introduction

    Awesome job! Any chance you would be able to share/send the .STL file of the building you created? I have a 3D printer, but don't have the know how to create that file from scratch!

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    Mastering Mejessyratfink

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thanks for the comment! They are so cool!! Loves your class by the way. Starting a mini business is on my list for 2019 :)

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    Uncle Kudzu

    4 months ago

    Reminds me of a Lovecraft story in which an ancient city is thrust up from beneath the ocean. Madness and carnage ensue, of course.

    Anyway, this a cool - if dark- little tableau. I know nothing about the printers and materials used, but you certainly put them to interesting use :)

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    Mastering MeUncle Kudzu

    Reply 4 months ago

    Interesting! Yup it definitely is a story worthy piece! Thanks for checking it out!