Well, first there's at least one diorama capital sins associated with groundwork, and it's the use of photoetch, so we will pass on that one.
I will be mainly covering 2 themes in that SBS, the use of the laser paper cut leaves, and what you can do by yourself with your own hands.
First I needed to have a look and feel of that islands jungle, doesn't look the same as the Vietnam one I studied for my Rolling Thunder diorama. there are weirder plant species, closer to what you can find in one's flat as ornament plants..
Well, i was fortunate enough to fall on a series of pictures showing Yamamoto's plane and had a good look at the jungle there.
Unfortunately I didn't keep the URL so i put a "discussion only" tag on it.. credit to the original poster etc..
So first I worked those sort of palm trees, handmade of course.
I covered a sheet of cigarette paper with CA glue (take care of the fumes) and let it dry. Then I cut some individual leaves.
Then I dipped those in paint .
You may notice at this point that the cigarette paper totally shrank, became twisted etc, which now bears an uncanny lookalike of the FALLEN leaves, and the dead ones that you can find at the bottom of each palm tufts (look at the top of the ref pic)
Then I had to do the same again -cutting some leaves on CA covered paper, but this time using a regular typing paper as the paper is much thicker, the CA glue didn't deform it, and I now had some perfect shaped plam trees..
now mix up the 2 kinds of leaves and you get this..
Thanks to the usual strikes and a rush in the "day job", I won't sadly be able to post anything new in a few days, so I hope you enjoyed that one
 the brown colour you see on the plant is actually some sort of underpainting as I all the greens/highlights will be added once everything is embedded in the scene
Well, on the aforementioned book I read about a guy being shot down at 3 kms from his base and the rescue party taking one week to find him, of how when you jumped in the jungle you had almost no chance to survive etc.
Conclusion: I had to do something like a very thick jungle, something were you just can't tread on.
Actually i have been notciing on other dioramas that no matter how thick tgheir jungles were, they always seem to stand on a FLAT land. While the first thing I trie to do here is to basically create NO floor. The floor must be covered of pits, decayed leaves, branches, tree trunks etc..
2 parts for the jungle : the "left" part must be tramped on by passing airplane bits, while the "right" one would be better almost untouched -you'll see what I mean later.
Anyway, here's my delicious pasta: Vallejo acrylics, sand acrylic gel mixed with old moss and roots from the garden, something really tasty.
let's apply it, blend it with a part of the leaves and my palm trees.
Then let's try a new coat -this time with pigments mixed with pure acrylic gel mixed with paint. then let's try and paint in the best possible way those roots and laves
Left side, just one coat, right side with that extra coat
Did I mention there was a first plaster coat to give a rough leveling?
Anyway, here is one detail of the right side. Plenty of paint to apply as the leaves of the palm tree looks a bit rigid
back with my terrible blurred pictures.
So I undercoated my wings with some Mr metallic and other gunze paints. despite the horrible light, there is indeed an effect in that the center is almost silver while the edges are in a much darker shade
"It ain't easy being green", anyway, here is my green wing, the upper part is of a dark blue-green shade, the center in a more leaf-like colour
here is a part I didn't look forward too: painting the hinomaru.
So I cut a bit of paper with an X-acto cutter- compass, and fixed it with masking tape
and sprayed some red (dark red more to the top.
Well, did I mention I put smelly hairspray on the silver before applying the green and red paint? no? well now I did
The Himomaru itself looks good, with no paint leaks.
let's put a bit of water and remove all that green on the places where the wing suffered a bit, as well as on some plates junctions. I can't miss those as my sculpting was a bit heavy to say the least..
Here is now the paint chipping done and the 2 bits on their future base
And now comes the overpainting process, wet on wet techniques with inks as well as acrylics and a lot of water. 2 hours of work on a 10cmÂ² surface and I ain't finished yet.
Back to my seat, a French forum's member told me there was some inaccuracy in the seat, that there should be some hole for the yoke to come. That was confirmed on Hyperscale -and somebody even told me Yamamoto was reported to be on the copilot's seat at the time of the crash which would be very convenient for my diorama erm..
well let's do that hole.
First let's remove all the "accessories" that would drop at some point like the arm thing., removing the stretched plastic bit that made sort of a ledge on the seat.
Applying a small plastic sheet on that special place proved to be a bit complicated, you cans ee here on the second pic how it is after one good mastic coat.
Oh joy! Doing that ledge back again!!
Here's an in situ picture. Some invisible work here: yamamoto was sort of flmat when I sculpted him, but of course the plane's wing is curved, so I have to sculpt back some bits of the underside, reposition legs and arms so that he could really go along those curves..
Now comes the seat, I happen to have some good reference for the back and side of it so it should be walk in the park -even though I am deprived of my usual homemade photoetch facilities.
let's cut plastic
let's glue plastic
now better fill, trim, arrange the shape with a pair of scissors..
Bits of old photoetch, Archer rivets (not small enough heck!) a bit of brass to do one of the 2 seat attachs underside, some Duro cover for the seat cover and that's it, Admiral Yamamoto fits nicely in it.
Back to my wing, here it is trying to put some lead foil on some conveniently placed holes
I deform and glue the lead foil (argh! it's impossible to find anymore), use some more Squadron putty, Mr Surfacer 500..
Here is oneof the rudders (I suppose it's the word?)
with a bit of MS that i will apply on the underside of the thing..
Anyway here is my wing after I used that trumpeter rivet thing
Back to my wing, here it is trying to put some lead foil onsome conveniently placed holesI deform and glue the lead foil (argh! it's impossible tofind anymore), use some more Squadron putty, Mr Surfacer 500..Here is oneof the rudders (I suppose it's the word?) with a bit of MS that i will apply on the underside of thething..Anyway here is my wing after I used that trumpeter rivet thing
Well, let's leave Yamamoto for the moment to try and work onhis surroundings. First there will be a small part of a G4M wing on thediorama complete with a bit of rudder.So of course finding a 1/35 Betty is out of the question solet's scratchbuild it.plans are put to scale, some crossections are being workedon a vector based drawing software (either Inkscape or Illustrator) and gluedon some .7thick plastic sheet. let's glue those pieces together using that sort of"French" Tenax you find here i need those being glued really hard because filling it withMagic Sculp is not that easy.The 2 colours are Magic Sculp, the browner is the end of anold regular MS pot that was lying around and not fit anymore for Fig sculpting,the whiter one is some sort of thing I found on ebay which is called"Morezmore Magic Sculp", I really don't like the stuff, it's ultrasticky, doesn't set so well, so I spend my pot on stuff like that.Honestly I'd wish to know why that stuff has the right to becalled "Magic Sculp" while it's not really MS.
Okay so I am going to sculpt Admiral Yamamoto in 1/35. Howdoes it sound? Pretty bad to be honest because if the figure I sculptDOESN'T LOOK LIKE Yamamoto, you can really laugh all the way out there. So well, better begin with the sculpting of dear Isoroku.because if I can't manage to get him right I will stop right there.. So first let's crawl internet in search for pictures. Thebest I found were I printed them and realized that Yamamoto looked prettyshort, that his body/head ratio was something like 6,5/1 which I have toremember while defining the proportions while sculpting. No oil painting butwith a definite something about him that you can make through the pictures. Anyway, here's a 10 mn job, just wire flexing and magicSculp dressingI always have some troubles with ending the clothes withmagic Sculp this is why I devise to make the tips of Duro because it can holddetails better than Magic Sculp (though is certainly harder to use). i can makesome very thin folds better this way here's now the trousers as sculpted, as well as one of thearms.]Soon I will move towards more interesting stuff: Yamamoto's head.
This summer I read that thing: It's some sort of insane 700 pages+ work on the air war in the South Pacific.Lots of erudition, reasonably entertaining, reasonably flagwaving. Anyway, page 218 he cites one Matome Ugaki, one of thoseguys that wasn't so interetsed in living through a post-war japan. "[Yamamoto] was found on the seat outside of the plane,still gripping his sword. It hadn't decomposed yet and was said to be in astate of great dignity. He must really have been superhuman" That's what got me, superhuman admiral griping his sword, ina state of great dignity... Saintlike Okay I am in..