client: Graduation Piece

Image of Futurama diorama, side view with Dc Zoydberg

The project

Before leaving France for the UK I studied model making for a year. This was a sandwich course and I was working part-time at Iveco Iris Bus, Group Fiat, as a model maker while not in the school. 

This model is my exam piece, a reproduction of Futurama cartoon main building. The most important thing for me was to give the cartoon atmosphere through a physical model. The final painting did not give a lot of place for error. A clean paint job was necessary to give the impression of all pieces being drawn.

Image of Futurama diorama, inside Image of Futurama diorama, back

My role

– CAD realised from screenshots
– Bill of materials planning
– Model conception planning
– Parts production, finishing and assembly

Image of Futurama diorama, back details inside Image of Futurama diorama, back detail before painting


Image of Futurama diorama, back details after painting

Technics and precision:

It was important to use most of the prototyping technics I learned: CNC, vacuum forming, vacuum casting, turning, painting …
In such a model you don’t need to over detail every single piece but to choose where you want the viewer to focus and make sure those parts are made with a great level of refinement and precision.

Image of Futurama diorama, tower first step

The right angle:

Some pieces required extra care and thoughts before being made. The tower base was a complex part assembled from 30 pieces that were all cut at a precise angle to form a cone. Choosing the right tool, using the right settings and sometimes making special rigs are needed to achieve the result wanted.
The finished tower is made of pieces, hand cut with a circular saw, vacuum formed, engraved by hand, some are made by CNC, other turn on the lathe…

Image of Futurama diorama, adjustment test


When making a model at this scale with lots of small details, you have to make sure your work is planned accordingly. The assembly order really matters, you cannot paint some pieces when they are glued and vice versa, so organisational skills are critical.

Image of Futurama diorama, figurine sculpture Image of Futurama diorama, truck Image of Futurama diorama, view from the top