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TOPIC: Diorama Dabble...

Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #1

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First go at creating a diorama. I used plaster of paris, paper mache, stones, greenery from local bush, dust and paint. Definitely room for improvement but a good exercise for me...

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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #2

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Nice painting Paul,looks very real :)
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #3

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Looks great PJ, especially for a first attempt.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #4

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Wow, great base colouring there. Can you tell us what colours and type of paint you used for this, brush types you applied the paint with etc.

With thanks
Steve
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #5

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Lots of tones an textures there, I really wish that I had the skills for dioramas. One of those modelling disciplines that escapes me.

Great work going on, keep the updates coming.

Ian.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #6

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Its a good start........what will it be used for ?
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #7

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Maarten wrote: Its a good start........what will it be used for ?


Indeed . . .

and - [Wow, great base colouring there. Can you tell us what colours and type of paint you used for this, brush types you applied the paint with etc.
With thanks - Steve]

I would like to know both please Paul. :) ;)

I do hope you sealed the base-boards over which you have plastered/papier mached :P and provided some form of Key for that ground work to adhere to. :silly: :whistle:
Sometimes, on unsealed timbers, especially compressed particle types of board, but on other timbers as well, I have found that if the base is not sealed, the moisture from the plaster/ground forming product seeps into the base material. This is not ideal in compressed particle types. With the moisture moving from the ground-work material, that can lose adhesion from the base.
I use a product called Sculptamold for making my groundwork. It is a plasterised, dried/powdered paper which you mix with water and which dries extremely hard and very light. This helps keep the weight of dioramas down. :cheer:
I always use a sealer/primer on my timber bases and, depending on the size of the dio, drive in a number of small brads across wherever I'm going to apply the groundwork, leaving a couple of millimetres proud of the base. This acts as a sturdy Key for whatever material you're using for the ground work to grip on to. Before adding any sculpting material I also add a thickish layer of PVC and lay my sculpting material straight on to that while it's wet. Layers and layers of base adhesion. ;) :whistle: I also add a little PVC into the sculptamold mix in the first instance. I have a couple of dioramas that are several years old and show no signs of cracking or movement whatsoever. I hope I haven't just prattled on and you find some of this info useful Paul. :dry: :whistle: :lol:

What you have done looks great ;)

D1
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #8

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I pinched an idea from youtube and use premixed tile grout for bases, gives a nice ground effect, adheres well to the small bases I use (i would follow D1's advise on larger stuff)
The stones look great, id be keen to know what you did to coat/paint them
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 6 months ago #9

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Thanks for the feedback guys. It was fun playing with this little scene and I'm generally pretty pleased with it for a first attempt. I noticed the colour scheme evolving and morphing all over the place because I didn’t have a reference picture to start with. The flavour went from granite type cliff face, to dusty hillside, to green hillside with dusty rocks… So I think a basic ref pic is essential if I really want to create a specific terrain.

Steve, I have recently looked at quite a few how-tos online regarding dioramas and tried to take my lead from them but once I got started it just kind of did it'sa own thing!. I used numerous colours and paints, all fundamentally 'earthy' tones. After painting the shell with a thick coat of Resene green I applied a wash of waterproof black india ink to try and create some shadows in the crevices. Then I started in with various Golden brand fluid acrylics, Tamiya acrylics and some watercolour paints / inks, specifically Schminke Aero, Magic Color, and Dr. Ph Martin’s. These are all pretty good artist quality paint so I knew they would layer and integrate together well (hold their colour and composure) as I built up the various tones. As well as trying to create a variety of colours/hues I also tried creating a variety of tonal values (darks and lights) to accentuate the form of the hillside. I then sprayed Tamiya clear and matt clear to seal it. I used a large brush for the green primer then small to medium round brushes to build up the other colours. I also used a stiff bristled flat brush and a sponge for ‘dry brushing’ effects and a soft make up brush for dusting away excess dirt etc. Airbrushes were Badger 150 for general colour build up and Iwata HP-CH for some of the tighter areas and subtler tones. I’ve attached a picture of the materials and equipment for your info.

Maarten, I started with the idea of maybe using it as a backdrop for a Sherman Firefly VC that I got from Gary. But I suspect it will end up as just an experimental piece. I may add some more greenery and perhaps try creating track marks on the flat area.

Thanks David, very good info. Pic attached re materials and equiment I used for painting.

Hi Webby, The rocks started out as pictured in material pile. They changed colour about a million times during the process, via conventional brush and airbrush using various colours and washes. Many unintended - just overspray as I painted the hillside :) I think using many layers and hues createsd a more rich, believable and interesting affect whther it be a rock a hillside or a tank (eg colour modulation on military vehicles). It is quite amazing but in nature a rock has many many various hues and tonal values that create an overall affect to the eye. Hence I try to reproduce a similar multiplicity of nuances by lots of layering. Thanks

A couple things I would do differently next time -
Have a reference pic to start with
Embed the boulders in the ground so they’re not just sitting on top
Make the rocks at the bottom of the cliff the same type as the rock in the hillside
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #10

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Here I have added a little more greenery / rocks / stones. The rocks still look a little too stuck on. I'll have to incorporate them earlier on in the ground work process next time. I tried out some static grass that I got online but when it arrived it was sparkly bright green :( So that took quite a bit of paint to look a bit more natural. It doesn't remain standing up very well after pounding it with a lot of dry brushing. I need to get some decent quality grass and an applicator. A big thanks to Glenn for lending me his Shepherd Paine Diorama book which I'm finding very interesting...







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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #11

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Thanks for the explanation PJ. I really like the the choice of colours used and the blending. It looks so natural.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #12

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You're welcome Viper and thanks for the feedback.
Here I've had a go at creating tyre tracks..
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #13

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Tyre tracks looking good Paul. You will need to blend that ground colour in to what you already have created though.
Only real problem I see currently is the issue of scale; Your background is SO big that much of what you will place on it may tend to be overshadowed, so to speak. :P
I'm sure that Shep Paine mentions this in that book too . . . The Prime Focus of a diorama/vignette should always be the action/vehicle/s; figures before the surrounding groundwork, buildings or where/however the scene is set. ;) And don't forget the age old adage . . . Less is more. :silly: It usually holds true.

Damn nice ground work though . . . :cheer: B)

D1
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #14

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Great ground work Paul.
As you mentioned, with your next attempt bury the rocks in it dose make a huge difference to the overall look.
Pretty cool well done :)
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #15

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I'm no authority whatsoever on diorama & vignette modelling, but I do recall reading in a number of books & guides that the focus of the project should always be the vehicle and/or the figures. Like Dave says, I'd be looking for something with more 'presence' as the focal point, that wee armoured car does look a little lost, imho.

Ian.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #16

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I think there is room to be more flexible than following that classic 'rule' (though it does apply in 90% of cases). It depends on the story being told. A big scenic piece where you can spend ages looking over it and finding little things that tell a great story could be a lot of fun for a change from the usual 'diorama as frame for model' approach.

On the rocks, the reason they look odd is, I think, that they are weathered boulders which implies they have been there a long time (so should have integrated into the groundwork). If they were fresh rockfall so all jagged and broken they would look natural, but would expect in that case to see similiar rocks at the top of the cliff. What could look great would be a convoy of vehicles finding their route blocked by these fallen rocks!
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #17

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David, Tiger, Ian, Shaun, thanks for all the feedback. 'Yes' to all comments - all very valid. Yes a diorama needs a focus however sometimes there may be room for flexibility whether its the landscape or the vehicles etc that provide it. Yes the little armoured car is lost in this scene - it was just what I had handy try and create tyre marks. Yes a convoy stopped short by a rock fall would be a great scene. Yep the round boulders don't match the more jagged style of the rock face, plus they would look better in the ground rather than on top of it. Basically this little scene has just evolved as Ive tried various things for the first time e.g. using screwed up newspaper coated in plaster and mache to create hill shapes, how to coat the hills, then painting techniques, adding rocks, grass, foliage, and making tyre tracks. Shows me the importance of trying to plan ahead all components plus the value of experience (of which I have little) in how things will go together. Meanwhile I've started dabbling with yet another diorama because I wanted to try polystyrene as the ground shapes plus try a water feature and a tree. So easily sidetracked....will I ever get round to building a kit......?

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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #18

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Pretty good for a "dabble" PJNZ, I reckon, and you've started an interesting thread here.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #19

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The best way to learn is to do. I find all the tips I read and watch being repeated by the lil voices most often while I'm actually at the bench.
I guess that way of thinking and doing is why my golf swing is so inconsistent :-)

And if you have the time and materials I'll be happy to keep checking back on progress.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #20

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Great start on another base paul :)
So many ideas and only so much time,,,,I think we all suffer from this :lol:
Practice practice practice :cheer:
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #21

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Wally wrote: Pretty good for a "dabble" PJNZ, I reckon, and you've started an interesting thread here.


Ya watching and learning B)
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #22

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Tree in progress...
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #23

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Yep seen that done before, it's very, very effective.

Ian.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #24

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This is a great thread. The more you experiment the more you'll inspire everyone else. One trick is to be sure of what your environment will look like and keep your colours consistent. The first example reminds me immediately of the PTO. I'd be putting a IJE tank or Sherman on that in 1:35. It looks like mossy rocks and sanding beach road in the Pacific. You're going to end up an expert. This is one to watch closely. Love that tree.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #25

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Regardless of the outcome, if you enjoy what you doing and having fun then it's all good.
Like your new dio there, and your tree is looking like it will be a goodie.
Hmmm reminds me I have a tree half done somewhere, i'll dig it out.
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #26

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Thank you Ian and Tiger for the feedback. Yes ultimately fun is probably my main attraction to modelling! Tiger, I'd be keen to see that tree.
And thank you Tony for such encouraging words - coming from you they are extra valuable! :)

I've had a go at creating a stream bed, which I built with gesso and various stones and sand - then coloured around the 'rocks' with watercolour paint through airbrush. I will try pouring in some kind of clear resin to represent water. Not sure how my ground materials will stand up to the resin but we will see.
Also had a play with rope fibre as tussock grass.







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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #27

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Have just added water to the stream bed via some Kraftex Pratliglo that I had lying around from about 7 years ago. Although the clearness is nice it has crept its way up the rocks and banks creating a wet look above the waterline which isn't ideal. All in all though an interesting exercise so far...

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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #28

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another tree experiment... 90mm from top to base of trunk.

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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #29

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Thats really nice, and very characterful

if it was up to us modellers there would be no boring straight trees in the world ;)
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Diorama Dabble... 4 years 5 months ago #30

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REALY like your tree........ Top job!
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