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Boonetown Sixth Scale Diorama
Triad Toys

Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys


Regular readers know I love dioramas, which is ironic since almost none of my collection is currently on display. There's perhaps two dozen Premium Format statues in the bar, and a fair number of prop replicas as well, but the meat and potatoes of the collection is still in boxes. That will be finally changing this summer - I have one more house project to finish before I can start on my display - but until then, I can only dream about how good the various available dioramas and environments are going to look on display.

When it comes to sixth scale, I like a lot of what Triad Toys does. But their very best work is in the area of dioramas (called "Triaramas"), where they produce cool pieces that are high quality, add a lot of visual pop to the shelf, and are reasonably priced. That's a combination that's almost unheard of on the market right now, and is tremendously welcome.

Their latest sixth scale diorama release is "Boonetown", designed to work with your western themed figures. Sadly, all of mine are in those damn aforementioned boxes, but I did crack out a couple other more recent Hot Toys releases to give you enough information on scale.

Boonetown is available directly through Triad for $120, and is in stock right now.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys
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Packaging - **1/2
The only real complaint I have about this environment is the packaging - and considering how low I usually weight packaging, that's a good thing overall.

This set comes in a very large, plain white box. There's a small sticker on the front showing you what's inside, but that's it. I have no problem with simplicity - this isn't a collectible that would stay in the box anyway.

However, the foam used inside to keep things safe and sound is the cheap low density stuff - it's all over the room in about 10 seconds. Since the pieces are packed in three levels, you have to handle the foam even more than usual, and every time you touch it more little snowballs are on the floor, table, diorama, your clothes, your hair...everywhere. I was picking little pieces off Boonetown the entire shoot, and I seriously doubt I got them all. I hate this stuff.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a very large diorama - no skimping on the scale. It is intended for sixth scale figures, and it works quite well with most figures from companies like Sideshow, Enterbay or Hot Toys. I've included a couple shots with Indy and Sly for comparison.

There are two main pieces to the set - the back wall and the floor. The back wall slides into a sculpted track on the floor, but this is the one area which drops the score down from four stars. The fit isn't quite tight enough, allowing the wall to lean slightly. You can slip a thin piece of foam or plastic inside the track and straighten it up though, making it a relatively minor issue.

There are also several additional pieces - barrel, skull, signs - to complete the overall western look.

The top of the back wall hits about 17 1/4", and it's about 12" wide. There's plenty of room for at least a couple figures on either side of the wall with a little room to spare.

The textures on the wood, plaster and brick look fantastic. Every surface emulates the proper material, and gives the overall diorama an extremely realistic look. They also paid attention to the small details that others might overlook. For example, the boards run front to back on the sidewalk side of the saloon doors, just as you'd expect if you were meandering down the boardwalk. On the inside of the saloon, the boards run in the opposite direction, giving the two halves a nice distinction.

To the left of the doors is a small four pane window. The plastic looks just like old time glass, complete with swirls and imperfections, and even a crack in one pane. While the window is dirty and scratched, you can still see through it - check out the final photo for an example.

Paint - ****
Each diorama is hand painted, given a weathered appearance that makes the texture and detail pop.

The plaster looks dirty and worn, with the brick below showing through. Colors are consistent and realistic, giving the overall diorama almost a tin type feel.

The majority of the environment is wood, but they've used a nice mix of browns to create a rotted, rough hewn look to the boards and posts.The colors and tones seem very natural. Chaos can be very realistic when done well - this is an excellent example. 

While much of the paint work is intended to create a realistic impression of different building materials, there are some small details that add that little extra something. For example, is that rust or blood on the straps of the barrel? Things that make you go 'hmmm'...

Articulation - ***1/2
Articulation on a diorama? Why, yes! You can't have saloon doors if they don't swing, it would be against all things natural.

These doors have real metal hinges, a bit on the large size but very sturdy. The doors swing both ways, but they don't snap back into place. Hey, that's a pretty minor quibble considering everything else.

Accessories - ****
It's odd to mention 'accessories' with a display environment like this, but they've included several extras to add to the overall value and potential.

There are two signs that hang on metal hooks above the doors on either side. The most popular will be "Saloon" of course, but there's also one that says "Bank". You can swap these on one side, or you can put one on each side, useful in a display area where both sides can be seen.

If you'd rather just stick with the saloon theme, you can swap out the Bank sign with a large, bleached long horned steer skull. The sculpt and paint are excellent, and it's a very realistic scale.

All three of these hang very securely with a metal loop that slips over a metal 'post' above the door.

Finally, for outside the doors there's a large barrel, complete with removable lid. Again, the sculpt and paint are very realistic, and extremely well done. The texturing and weathering look great, although the lid itself is a little plain. If you're not a fan of the lid though, just flip the barrel over, as the base is completely sculpted and painted as well.

The only other extra I would have liked - and making it removable would be best, but not necessary - would be a wanted posted on the outside wall of the saloon/bank. I suspect I'll come up with my own at some point.

Value - ***
At $120, this diorama isn't quite as good of a value as some of the smaller Triaramas. But let's not forget that this thing is SOLID polystone, no plastic here! It's very heavy and sturdy, and this means it looks far better on the shelf than cheaper plastic would. If you look at something comparable, like Sideshow's Lab Environment that was almost $100 and much smaller in size and complexity, you can appreciate where the money went.

Things to Watch Out For -
This is a polystone display - that means things can chip and break. If you don't glue the wall to the base, remember that when you're moving it from one spot on the shelf to another. You'll want to hold both the base AND the wall - it's too easy to topple the wall off otherwise, and no one wants to see a grown man cry.

Overall - ****
Some people are blessed with the ability to create their own very lavish, very detailed, very complex environments and dioramas, and I envy them. Sadly, that's not my particular talent.

That doesn't mean I don't want such things for my figures - I very much do. Triad has been doing a great job giving us non-license specific dioramas at reasonable prices, something that I really appreciate.

This is one of their best, with a ton of extras and some of the best paint and sculpt work I've seen on such a beast.

It also helps that the scale is pretty much on target. Too often, sixth scale dioramas are much too small, but that's not a problem here.

Even if you don't have western figures - not a problem for me - this diorama can be used with other action characters (like Indy) with some success.

If you're looking for any sort of lower cost environment for your man dollies, I'd highly recommend checking out their Triaramas in general. I'll be reviewing another of their recent releases very soon as well.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
You can pick this up directly from Triad for $120, and other online choices include:

- Big Bad Toy Store has it in stock for $120.

- Things From Another World has it for $127.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other dioramas include:

- Triad also did the Firefight, and I looked at two of the other Triarama Dioramas here.

Other sixth scale dioramas include:

- Sideshow's Lab Environment, the Shrine of Dagon and Temple of AnubisRecon at Waypoint (for Joes, mostly), and Reactor Station Alpha.

- other more license specific environments include Hot Toys T-700, the Ark that came with Sideshow's Toht, the Fertility Idol environment that came with Belloq, the Jabba Throne, and the Han Solo in Carbonite.

- and if you want to get a bit more old school, don't forget the Freddy Kruger furnace Sideshow did years ago.

- and in the 8" scale, there's the nifty Phantom's Throne.

Discussion:
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Boonetown sixth scale action figure western diorama by Triad Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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