Meat diorama blog


That's the time of year again. A new facebook as well as my own site diorama SBS. That one should be completed in a bit less than three weeks with 1 post per day except on week-ends. It is small, not my best, but a couple of points should please and prove useful to some..
It doesn't have any title yet except for the rather cryptic "meat", but anyone coming up with a new one while the SBS is going on should tell me :)

So well, it's 11/11 nicht wahr? When you read good litterature about war -we're talking here of first person accounts (not bloody Jean Mabire, french readers!) like for instance Céline's 50 first page of "Voyage au bout de la Nuit" or even -why not- bastardy yet good French author Guy Sajer's "Forgotten Soldier", you are left under the strong impression that war is all about meat. That's the sort of grinding dioramas I will be doing -and yet, I promise there won't be any cut limbs or whatever.

For starters, I don't like spending money on models, and the rare times when actually spending any, I try to do the best out of it. Indeed I already did two dioramas with that Bronco Gaz-69 kit and I still had the unused engine left, which I will be building for the occasion.

Gaz-69 Bronco model

product placement? perhaps, i don't care. Without that Flex I File Touch n'Flow thingy, I wouldn't have been able to glue that tiny engine..

Here are the bits of the kit that will be used in th diorama.

Bits of the Gaz-69 kits that will be used in this diorama



A plaster base

Well after having come through a number of problems when it comes of diorama bases -I don't mean the wooden ones around the scene so that the borders look good, more temporarary borders you have to set so that either resin or plaster don't fly away - I set up building a 1mm thick plastic box.
Inside this box I will pour the plaster, the resin etc.. really the problem is that the plaster while setting sort of deforms the borders. So does the resin of course, so one of the tricks I use is to first lay a thin plaster coat at the bottom of the box so that I can ensure a complete waterproof box. And then I will pour resin layer above resin layer so that there would not be too much heat -well not much a problem with epoxy resin- or pressure against the borders.

So first the plaster -the only trick is *don't stir well*


a plastic base with plaster

With the plaster still half set, I proceeded to inprint some tyres marks as well as a shape looking like an explosion on the top left of the scene. there will be water and mud inside.

then Lifecolor and Prince August paints for the mud area (yes purple ! )

Valejo paints for the plaster



resin again for mud

The thing is "how to do mud like nobody else" really, there is so much mud around in nowadays panzer modelling ;)

that's it, let's do it with resin. I had a couple of week-ends spent in the forest with my kids, having an eye at everything that could look like a mud puddle (easy these days). So well, here is my technique for today: Epoxy resin! The Gedeo brand as usual, easely findable in Europe,  not too much bubbles.. I tinted it with oil paints as usual, a mix between transparent and opaque ones..Gedeo resin

oil paints tinting resin


At least meat! I modelled that bit of meat from a picture. Checking at the local butcher this would be pork (?). The rest consist of a butcher knife made of plasticard + Duro / Green stuff + a bit of thin cardboard covered with CA glue to make for -well THICK cardboard and some very thin plastic bag too..
And finally mud. I had to cut out the picture because I ddin't think of taking it before adding some extra stuff. Sadly the transparency and layer work just doesn't work on 2D pictures..

Duro meat + knifejba diorama mud


#5 Meat. Grass in scale... oh dear, let me roll my eyes up to the sky. I never could understand those guys that count the rivets of their models and that can in the same breath be satisfied with using Heki like grass in their dioramas. I mean, it is SIMPLY NOT REALISTIC ENOUGH. Same thing with faux fur etc.. Actually, it *can* be, but it has to be twisted, modified, customized, used in conjunction with other material to look correct.
First Heki like grass. Did you ever see some spiky tubular things raising straight of the ground? Well, some plants actually looks like that,  but not *grass* like you can find in Europe or Asia, grass has some "leaves" that are bendy you see, not straight. And for this you need a supple material and you also need to be able to control the amount you put at any given place (which is hard to do with faux fur as is). Finally you need to use a material whose width can be not of a relative various size.
I found it: Oakum. It may be a bad translation from French, but it's what plumbers use for joints. I suppose it is horse hair as it smells a bit like animal.

I take some small length, stick it up between 2 lengths of plasticard, bend them (the stuff is extra supple and not at all easy to work with and then I paint it (here, regular Tamiya paint sprayed)

 i needed to do *35* of those plastic things for the complete diorama..

pakum for grass in scale

I sprayed Tamiya acrylics over those sheets


terrain modelling

The usual recipe for the terrain, Valejo acrylics and Sand Gel mixed together so that they do a nice paste. I use those Surface primer a lot -not to prime things in truth because I think they're not valuable for such job (I largely prefer Tamiya or Alclad's primers which are a lot stronger), simply because I can allow to use a lot of paint without fearing of completely emptying my pots!

And then I embed the bras tufts..

The Mig saga

So, by winning some internet diorama contest, I was sent quite a few samples of Mig production's parafernalia 3 years ago and then earlier this year some AK Interactive stuff, so here is the time for some Mig (like the Spanish modeller) group photo of his past life, part of the ongoing saga.

To be honest I never used these solvent base products before because I am not keen on it and always preferred weathering what needed to be with inks and water / acrylics, but I had a try and was really favorably impressed by those. i can achieve *other* kind of effects than the ones I normally use and they really get well on top of my own, so banco, I now used those.

this engine has been painted first using some Alclad metalics and then ahem *weathered* using Mig Jimenez based products

Mig and AK stuff

engine painted

Painting grass

Meanwhile, I was still putting on some grass, covering the diorama inch by inch using my mixture to seal it. Finaly embedding the engine and all other details in the wet mud..

grass in scale

Then of course I needed to spray some yellower tints on the top, and genreally speaking harmonizing the colours throughout the scene


That masterclub figure

I have been buying. Molding is okay, face features are okay. Well we're not speaking Stalingrad miniatures either but I was happy to be relieved from the task of sculpting that one myself.

That's actually the first soldier alive and holding a weapon I have been "modeling" in years. i am not into professional soldiers, camouflaged specialists and officers. I can't relate to them as a whole. However my pity and attention goes to the poor conscripts that were thrown unwillingly in events too terrible for their understanding. In my dioramas, those guys die, frag their officers or fly away and get somewhat mad. 

masterclub Russian soldier

back with the Gaz-69, here is the seat suitably modified with a pierced chair etc..




colour effects

And here comes my preferred moment of the diorama building process -when every element fits together and that I must harmonizing the colours, spray a few shadows or highlights here and there etc.. because indeed the grass that will be *beneath* the seated soldier or the one that was crushed either by the tramping of soldiers or by the engine 

the setting in full

still lacks the shadows under the seat, on the left of the engine etc..

and now that's better!

light effects applied