LIFESTYLE - CULTURE

Super Mario dioramas



super_mario_level_1-1.jpg

 Wuppes (wuppes.tumblr.com)

Art: Luxembourger hobbyist Wuppes makes detailed 3D reproductions of classic video games… in paper, cardboard and foam rubber.

A Luxembourger hobbyist is making an international name for himself with his original and detailed pieces of art. For the past year and half “Wuppes” has been making faithful 3D dioramas of classic video games. Delano spoke with the father of two, whose “real” identity is Alain Wildgen, a communications technician at Post Luxembourg who grew up on an ostrich farm.

AG: How did you get started making 3D dioramas?

AW: Early last year, I started making some gaming figures with paper, which I saw on an internet site. There I came across a picture of a Super Mario level and decided to copy it. The result was the Super Mario Level 1-1 picture.

Cutting out the individual boxes with a scalpel from the paper and sealing it together with adhesive was very time consuming; about 30 hours for the planning and crafting.

Now I had my Mario picture hung in the party room [in the cellar] and thought: ‘So, what can I do next?’ Immediately, I had the map of Zelda A Link to the Past in my head. I tried it at first with thin cardboard for the layers, which, however, was not good at all… it was very inaccurate in cutting out with the scalpel. So I started looking in a craft store, Cactus, for better material and came across the Moosgummi foam rubber paper by Rayher. This is a kind of sponge paper and is very precise when cutting with the scalpel.

After finishing the Zelda map, I was motivated to do more dioramas of my favourite childhood games. So I got started.

AG: What is your inspiration and how do you get started?

AW: First, I look for some screenshots [online] of the game that I want to do, for example, on The Spriters Resource , VGMaps.com or Google.  

Then I edit the images with an image editing program, Gimp2, print it out on paper and start putting stuff together.

On average I need 15 to 20 hours per image. Most frames… I buy at Ikea.

For BubbleBobble I cut the frame into one piece of Styropor.

My motivation? The love of the medium!

AG: We saw the article on Japanese website RocketNews24.com; have you been featured in other international forums? 

AW: After I finished 18 dioramas, I made a Facebook and Tumblr page to share my dioramas. I also posted a tutorial with templates of the Zelda map online, so everyone can remake it for his wall. A lot of international forums asked me for an interview about my hobby. This month, I made it in the Official Nintendo Magazine.

AG: Do you plan to promote your work? Are they even for sale?

AW: This year, I exposed my dioramas at the LuxCon in Tétange, which was very amazing. I hope they ask me next year again for the second edition of the LuxCon!

I got positive reactions and a lot of people were asking if I am selling my dioramas. But for now, it’s just a hobby, for my party cellar.

I don’t sell my dioramas. It’s just a hobby for me and I’m happy to inspire people to make their own game dioramas.

AG: Why are they only handing in your cellar?

AW: Because of my wife. She is not a gamer. She only likes Bubble Bobble.