Painting the metal sheet

So Valejo air + masking tape, you get that, but that's only the beginning of the story

CH-53 engine burnt out in scale

Here are the colours I used to paint the engine, and the mostly the same for the fig and the groundwork, ity's important to show this because notice the use of the blue and red. Notice that the colours are actually blended together. Never underestimate the importance of actually COLOURING the scene!


Then I overpaint the metal sheet using the usual wet on wet technique, blending paint with pigments (Okay, MIG pigments..).

One good thing, rub the pigments covered surface and those just stick in the crevices, you can tone down the effects with wetting and putting a bit of paint later.





The plaster base for the fossil diorama

Now this terrain technique is the same my friend JBA used to do hie the Womb diorama: that's a  plaster rectangle on which was put some veruy thin plaster sheet that you can find at the bottom of used plaster cups if you see what i mean. This is very thin plaster that is then sort of fixed using some VERY diluted plaster on the top.

So here will be the proportions of the scene after the metal piece is placed, I think I can start the paint now..

How dark can you get?

First let's build a wire oputline and cover it with some Duro, that's the ideal medium to make all the pieces of the body to stick together.

Duro and wire to make the outlines

Then, let's trim the Duro body and then add some details with a mix of magic Sculp and Duro (70/30)

I have a helicopter helmet to build, so i roll a Duro/MS sphere over one of muy modeling tools and let it dry.

I also apply a thin coat of Duro on another dried up sphere I had prepare before hand. When it's dry, I can trim it so that in the end it looks like the sun glass part of the helmet

Sculpting the body with Duro and Magic Sculp

In then end I get all those pieces -I of course re-sculpt and trim the helmet to get its distinctive shape

That I assemble together to get this:

I might have to thin up a bit the arm but lobally i am where i wanted to be, painting is gouing to be fun


The use of lead foil

Well, why then did I built that nonsense above? The answer is that I use it as a form so that I can emboss a shet of lead foil over it -indeed I want the shape to be completely hollow.

So here we go, I first place the lead foil over
lead foil over form

I adjust ii on  one end

lead foil over form one end

And then on the other

lead foil over form the other end

In the end I have this.
it will soon be time to reinforce the inside of it because the slightest touch over it will deform the shape

back again

No? yes! I have been takking the best of the tru bad weather we have right now to make a short diorama SBS. Complete size 12cmx8, this will bne a small one.

It's called Fossil.

First, let's find some reference and good plans and then let's cut all those tiny bits of paper

Cutting bits of paper

Then glue them on 2mm thick plasticard

cutting plastic

Then let's cut them and assemble them with some plastic "corners" so that the whole could stand real straight

Then let's use some Apoxie Sculp (I hate the stuff but I had some in advance, so I used it as the job doesn't need to be too fine) and fill the shape

Filling the shape with Apoxie Sculp

let's try and smooth the shape a bit..

Smoothing and sanding


Paster sculpture

After having doing all those fortress walls, I needed something finer to complete my the stoney parts of my diorama. And then you can't beat those late XIXth century ornaments. of course there is no way i could sculpt them in plaster, by rather making a form agin. So I assembled a few plastic bits and sculpted this out of Duro.

sculpted wall with duro

Then I did a silicon form -blame my poor camera

silicon form for plastertry to avoid the trapped bubbles! use an old brush to push the plasetr in every detail..

And in the end you get that.. quite nice :)

plaster sculpted

Wife sculpting

After sculpting my ownself, I tried to sculpt my wife. of cours ethis is not the kind of sport where you can allow your self to fail..

So first let's put some Duro over 1mm thick brass so that further sculpting attemps can stick on something. Wife sculpting 1/35

Wife sculpting in 1/35

One leg! then 2! not the greenish colour, I now mix Duro with MS, it glues better on wire

Wife sculpting in 1/35

Now a beautiful dress

Wife sculpting in 1/35

feet and hands

Feet in 1/35

Wife sculpting in 1/35


The head! Yes I have some Hornet heads not far away when i sculpt mine. It really looks like my wife :)

Wife sculpting in 1/35

Wife sculpting in 1/35

And now some extra pictures taken on a very low light outside. Some extra trimming will be needed

Wife sculpting in 1/35 Wife sculpting in 1/35 Wife sculpting in 1/35

Sculpting myself

That's another self portrait.

JBA Diorama self portraitNow don't think I am doing those (Galilée, Sokol etc.) because I am a self obsessed git, i am doing those because those dioramas are telling about my life. Really, boats as well as history are some sort of not very important background to my dioramas, what matters is the figures and the stories they tell.

Whatever, I did that one and have a few comments to do about theb techniques involved.

First I made the mistake of assembling various bits of Dragon and Tamiya figs in the right position and then to trim them to let me apply some mastic afterwards.

That's a stupid thing to do, really the Magic Sculp doesn't hold very well to the plastic and it tends to produce too much bulky sculptures.

Anyway I did it. Afterwards I use pure Duro/Green stuff to do all the wrappings at the extremities -end of trousers, jackets etc. I try to be careful not using too much Duro because you can't sand it that well when it is cured.

JBA Diorama self portrait

then  as the Magic Sculp wasn't really holding too well, I mixed it with some Duro (I saw some totorials about that) and well, now it's a fantastic trick because the MS gets way more sticky this way!

JBA Diorama self portrait

Anyway  here is the final result. The greenest the parts the more stickiness i needed, the more Duro I mixed with Magic Sculp..

JBA Diorama self portrait

In the end the hands and ...ears are Hornet, the feet are Tamiya and the rest is me. It *does* look like me, except I granted myself a bit more hair than in reality. i can lie even more than on facebook with my own sculpting.

The grey stuff is Mr Surfacer to try and get a smoother finish when needed.. not a full success here

JBA Diorama self portrait

Oh yes, I am quite long limbed by the way :)

Now i will try and sculpt my wife, that's going to be another story!

More plaster fortifications

Happy new year to all of you!  I spent some time in front of the computer lately, fixing one thing or three with that very website -notice now how I have been including 4 years worth of archives. Some of those posts are of various quality, but there are some okay tricks to be learned here and there.

Here we go with a big fortification wall. let's first do some more detailed form out of thick plastic

Big wall form



Then let's do the rest of the form out of plastic and plasticine for kids. here is another use of the hairspray I use to weather the boats :) It's of course heavily greased.

Fortification plaster wall



With the current weather, the plaster doesn't dry so fast which is a very good thing.. One of the most important tricks to remember with plaster is that *you don't sculpt the same things when the plaster is wet than when it's ultra dry*. The other one is *use different qualities of plaster*

Here is the plaster wall straight after unmoulding. plaster fortification

Of course the problem right now is that the plaster was still so fresh that most of my little bits under the corniche went when I unmoulded the form. Whatever, let's use the moments when the plastyer is still very wet to sculpt roughly all the different stones blocks, trimming here and there -and adding again the small blocks under the corniche by just applying some fresh plaster and then cutting them out with an X-Acto.

first plaster sculpt for the fortification

Notice the buring traces. i have been forgetting the wall on a very hot radiator... The plaster then gets very brittle, you carve really huge when you want to sculpt it.. all the best then.. Look at the final result -the inner bricks were done in a much better quality plaster and the drzawing of different bricks is a lot finer. the point ifs to show some walls of different ages..

You may also notice that stones are getting mroe or less scarteched on the surface, more about that later.

finished plaster walls in 1/35

Finally, may I insist about the fact that what i have just been doing is actually quite a simple job? that's not Xtreme modeling or whatever, everybody can do that.

Ah well, time to raise the level a bit :)

Past Blogs -clic on the links to access to the blogs

This new section regroups all the past blogs I have been running on this site under its various incarnations. The content is quite variable in quality, I hope you can fetch some good info nonetheless.