Yamamoto the end


Slowly reaching to an end, hey I just found back the missing pictures!
So here are more Fredericus Rex jungle plants. Really I don't know where they found some of their species so I didn't improvised much and set for sort of palm plants as I know some grew near the wreck.
The small ones were once again shaped using a modelling knife pressed fern by fern against a packet cardboard (very soft).
Another Frederics rex set, this time a green one (you have the choice between tan and green for colours but I made the mistake of not specifying the "right" one for my order)
So well, those bigger palm ferns, I put them into shape using the palms of my haand like shown here, and pressing my modelling knife against it. it's smooth enough to avoid any tearing up the fragile paper
The central nerve is done by overloading a brush with acrylic gel and then let it run at the right place! This is very important to figure that one.. And that's pretty hard to achieve the right result
Anyway, after all this work,  i call that 6 bllllooooodddddy months work (please read with teeth clenched) finished, fed up with it really, groundwork is hell!!
Ah, what was my goal at groundwork? like I think i told, in that book I mentioned there was something about downed pilots spending 1 week of walk to do 3kms, and how to be downed over the jungle meant sure death.
 HOW ON EARTH IS IT POSSIBLE? You can imagine something thick but well, you can walk through nature can't you?
I think that's by watching something on that Japanese Suicide forest near the Fujiyama that I might have an answer (but maybe you guys may have another one), 
You walk on something that is just not solid at all, just roots, leaves stuff like that so you fall constantly. this is what i wanted to overload the place with nature, even though the groundwork is not very high (and you will see why down that page) I wanted it to produce this overcrowded effect..
Anyway a few pics of the finished work -and don't forget to scroll down because the real surprise is below ;)
Note that the black base is sticked on some bit of wood

Some special kind of framing

Now the reason for my late, I had to buy a "router" not sure it's the right word, but that's a machine to carve wood.

Anyway, here are some sheet of wood cut in angle and painted in black.

They are fixed using that corner machine 

And I end up getting that case with a glass cover

Ridiculous leaves

aaah if you want a slightly ridiculous diorama, like you are in a 1970's movie, better use those 

Apparently you can find them only in Madagascar.

More leaves on the top!

On the first picture I absolutely realized at which point I only built some undergrowth, it really needed some extra bigger leaves at the top

like what's shown on the 2 other pics!


A Samouraï sword instead of a cavalry saber

 Thanks to my friend Kaiserine for giving me his Masterbox sword -like he told "I am building Japanese soldiers, not samouraïs", all the best for my diorama.

The painting of Yamamoto

Here is Admiral Yamamoto being painted. Nothing too fancy except that I again painted him in light green and brown green in the shadows areas. 

back to yamamoto!

Well, here I am a few months late, trying to resculpt that Yamamoto fig. first i adjusted all clothes better to the body, wiped out the paint and sanded thoroughly. He now looks a bit more realistic.

aah forget the lightsaber, I am going to put in his hand the sword from the masterBox japanese marines set. (what on earth am I going to do with the rest of the set?!!


Well i know I ought to have make another post before posting the completed pictures, but well really nothing much new could be told at that time.
i added a few flowers taken from a Model Scene box, those were glued on a small etched sprue sheet.
And then painting, painting again..
One interesting note is about how Yamamoto himself was painted.
"-If you see a white horse under a tree on a full summer day, what will be its colour?
-well white I suppose
-nonono, it will be green, only your eyes are trained to refuse the fact a horse can be green so you see it as being white, while he is in fact green"

So all the shadows on Yamamoto are a blend between green and brown..
If I had a final word about groundwork or "vegetation in modeling" it's "never again, it took me 2 months for THIS, sheesh.." 

Very big pictures in the gallery here

laser cut jungle

Okay, so I have been showing some bits of homemade jungle let's try now to show some factory made jungle.

You guys know diorama maker JBA? he's good with water and do all of his dioramas with water and you know one of the main reasons why? 

He perfectly knows that the one of the hardest things to do in diorama making is ground cover, because no matter what way you use, it will still take up to 1 hour per cm² to do something that you can call decent afterwards -while with water you can do -at least 2 or 3 cm² every hour of work..

Of all the (mostly worthless as a whole) stuff sellers try to sell us for diorama making, the single most important product to have seen the light of day these past few years has obviously be the laser cut leaves. 

For years we had photoetch leaves which I consider as being one of diorama making's capital sins -I have a great bit of smile when I see a diorama using those steel ultra stiff and thick leaves -and when you do,n't really care about what you are doing, you may even had one point of unpainted metal making it through the diorama and reflecting the lightning spots in modelling shows!

Yet I have yet to see one diorama using this paper stuff in a way I would find satisfying. Maybe there is one such diorama but I don't spend my time in forums and never go to shows -but what I saw was not much interesting and this is the reason why:

The stuff is really very expensive, so I guess John Modeler just thinks "well, I have been spending tons of money in this, it's got to be a ready made product, something that will look great with a minimum of effort."

To what I answer.


really, nobody who is after what looks like the real thing would allow himself to use the stuff without a lot of work on it..*because if you do, it will look as terrible as if you used some photoetch stuff* 

And here we go..

Here's the stuff I will use: 

on my left: Fredericus Rex lazer cut leaves, I have been buying those, expensive, look good, some leaves "trunks" are really too thick.

on my right Model Scene stuff. Somebody gave them to me (Thanks again Mr J.S.). I wonder if you don't pay a lot the packaging on those..

On first glance the Model Scene stuff is probably more expensive, but you have to really look carefully to what you buy because some of their stuff (like dandelions) are really MUCH to thick. But then no dandelions in the jungle 

The best of the lot was surely those Low Weeds honestly I found those *incredible*.

Okay here we start the work on them..

Let's face it, this paper really looks too thick, too stiff, here we're gonna destroy it a bit..

First the bit at the center of the leaf -I use a modeling knife and I press each leaf against a "corduroy cardboard sheet" (sorry for the lack of words)

Then, leaves are globally of a more "spheric" shape, so let's crush again the leaves, this time using some bowl kind of modeling knife

Well, good now they really start looking like something, but then this stuff is pretty fragile -first you won't be able to work on those low weeds if you don't separate each of the 5 branches one from another and then, THERE ARE SOME WAYS OF GETTING THE STUFF LESS FRAGILE...

coat the stuff with CA glue

After that you can start turning the leaves in their definite position using some tweezers and glue them on the ground after having applying some kind of undercoat (I used a dark brown, that's for the underside of the leaves to be okay.

Then the main reproach we can do to this stuff has not been addressed:

indeed the stuff is really 2 dimensional, no thickness on the branches.. so that's not a real problem on the Model Scene stuff, but it is on the Fredericus Rex stuff has some weed branches can be up to 1.5mm wide.

So let's apply some acrylic thick gel on the leaves, on the branches so that they can get just a bit of the thickness, and believe me it works

Now those model Scene weeds are simply *unusable* if you don't coat them with CA. Otherwise they sort of break and fall apart. 

the good way to put those to shape is using this kind of cardboard I use and simply press the center with a match or something similar and you've got a perfect shape

Fredericus Rex ferns, just try to individualize every branch, twist them in every sense, bend them with a modelling knife and coat them with CA..

So here is the scene with most of the plants with brown-green under-painting, the top right is actually in the process of being painted. I do want to create some kind of light patches here and there so the colours will vary a lot in the end.


Doing it all over again

Okay, the good thing with being away, spending nights at the hotel near a motorway far from home in an empty damp city for several days in a row, 2 weeks in a row, and probably a bit this week too is errr.. well there is no good thing about it but then when checking at this blog from other computers and thinking a bit, I realized that there was some good things about that dio (the plants, Yamamoto) and some really bad one: the wing.

Okay, am I in a hurry to finish that one? yes to some extent but maybe the real question is "can I allow myself to get away with it" and the answer is "well no".

bad painting, too visible rivets, no light effect, really, let's correct that wing again.

A déjà vu feeling perhaps? 

Please notice that the wing is now WAY greener and lighter near the destroyed tip.

And woops, nothing happened..

The colours are a bit crushed on that one but it's looking better -i also sprayed a lighter brown with a bit of red on the ground near the tip of the wing to do some light effect. Time for more earth and dirt on the wing, some pastels, and a lot of overpainting before adding new plants!