Baba Yaga diorama blog

a T-26..

NO?!!!! yes.

I am actually building a *tank*. Just to know how it's done you know, I am very bad at tanks.

It's not that i don't like them it's more that I have only a couple of tank related ideas while when it comes to sea and boats I have 3 lifetimes worth of ideas and dioramas to do.

Anyway, I choosed a dog of a tank, the Russian T-26. Indeed I don't think all tanks can look well in a diorama, the eye slips on those that are too low methinks.

T-26 is quite high and not very gbig which suits my needs. if I am lucky with the model, it will end up in a diorama whose setting lies confortable inside my head.

a T-26 from Zvezda

So well how's Zvezda's kit? errrr,

Tet's start with the wheels, they are all done, it took me a week worth of evenings to trim, add some Grandt Line bolts a few photoetch bits left from the king Child to do those

T-26 wheels

T-26 wheels

More model making (the T-26)

Well, the internet is a great place to find reference -especially on Russian stuff. So between walkarounds and online books I finally foudn out how was done most of the interior for that T-26 tank, plenty of plasticard. I still have to do all the cases and stuff on each side of the direction bar.

T-26 russian tank interior modelling

So here is another view of the inside with the opening for the rear wheel.

here is the front and top of the T-26, lots of  Scale Hardware rivets added as well as a few PE details (that were left from the King Child diorama)

T-26 russian tank interior and exterior

Some modeler cliché perhaps? okay, "PE hell", accurate for those Aber fenders, the are really hard to solder 

T-26 russian tank Aber fenders





Baba Yaga

You guys know Baba Yaga? She is the top sorceress of the Slav world. She is often depicted as an old lady walking in a mortar with a broom to wipe out her traces. She lives in a house with chicken legs.

When i was a kid my Godfather came one day home with a set of books, old Russian legends illustrated by Ivan Bilibin, with tons of Baba Yaga in it. But something always striked me about her, she is not that bad, and could be actually quite a fair old lady. Looking at Wikipedia, I also saw she could take the appearance of a young lady.

And then 70 years ago, Barbarossa, the German invading the land, what could she do, too much dead men for her to eat.

So here is Baba Yaga, my own version, she stands by a pool (and no she won't be eating anybody)

Here is the head. Handsome I said. And alive too

Walk baby walk

Let's start the butcher job. Some brass wires first covered with some Duro/Magic Sculp so that the subsequent layer will grip on something


Then let's tie this together with a little lump of MS. Walk baby walk..

Then let's sculpt some legs on the top of this. I shouldn't forget about the feet and hands -btw, the one pictured on this pic proved to be way too big. I had to complete the small attempt with 3 fingers more to the centre of the round pot.


Comme here little duckie

let's resume the sculpting - the dress is a simple thing, just one thing Duro sheet wrapped around the body.

This will be tied by a few buttons but nothing else really. The hard thing to do is -indeed- the wrapping which must be done on the whole body globally athe same time. I added a few "ripples" afterwards and corrected the odd ones.

The wrappings as done with Duro are often fantastic because the material hangs neatly over the features.

Come here little duckie..
let's add the hands and feet, fix the head, as some hair.. obviously a few trouble there with the top of the head.


Trim sand trim sand

So well, that dress and the almost completed picture - it all sort of looks like it ends well isn't it?

She has a high forehead, but i really like her like that, she is the way I wanted her to be.

But well. No it isn't ready yet. I recently discovered that one of the main reasons I was such an appaling figure painter was because I was only painting my own production, which is usually thrown together in the last 5 mn which implies unproper for painting figures.

Why then?

Last October I had the chance to meet one great British modeller at SMC in Eindhoven. He was making a demo on Alclads. Some 2 hours later I was visiting the sellers stand while he was helping around and saw him rub something. That was the bit of plane he was making the demo of.
I asked him for how many time he was rubbing the thing and he told that he had been doing that ever since the end of the first part of the demo, "because" he said, "if you want to get a proper Alclad finish you've got to rub over and over the black gloss base until it totally shines, look at the difference!".

So that's it, that rather active man was rubbing the bloody thing for more than one hour because he wanted the thing to be perfect.

Now I can't model like that, but truth is.. well, here I am, just putting Mr Surfacer over Mr Surfacer coat on the dress and rubbing it with Tamiya 1500 grade sandpaper until -well, Baba Yaga shines..

[see on the below picture, there is obviously one problem with the wrist, mr Surfacer and "elbow oil" is going to solve that]

And now for something completely different

I need a small bridge for Baba to stand on. So here I am sculpting some light wood (not balsa, something in my box I couldn't identify)

The "feet" of the bridge are in fact made of an old brush

I had a very good reference picture on some old bridge done for fishermen, showing some very ragged planks and even a badly cut trunk being used. That  bridge is the carbon copy of that one.

of course, most of the bridge's feet will be deep in the water

heads and stuff they don't need

Here are a bunch of heads, all sculpted at the same time. No ears they don't need those. Some eyelids are actually missing on those In progress shots.

They don't need to be as nice as Baba's -yet I happen to be pretty happy about the one the more to the left.

The one which is the more to the right is actually a first version of baba's head herself

So here is the first of the soldiers as done, quite ghostly position. No legs he doesn't need those. I ddin't fixed the helmet. the buttons are made of Magic Sculp and the hands are from Dragon.

Now there is a commonplace in modelling build logs that I can truly not understand. It's the "Well, I built that (engine..) and took great care in that, but now everything will be closed and nobody will be able to see the work".

Heck if nobody can see the work, then your work doesn't exists, as simple as that. use your time in more constructive manner.

Here is the back of the guy, nobody will ever see it :)

More German soldiers

More German soldiers.
Shame on me I bought that thing..
15 years i didn't buy some dragon things and I was FAR from impressed, even that Gen2 stuff looks weak. Oh well, I wasn't about to sculpt those pockets, badges and stuff anyway

the first soldier, well, there aren't much modifications: new "legs", the head i sculpted I fixed.. Well, usually people here sculpt *the body* and give the head to Hornet. I don't think this way: what has the most personnality? the head or the body of a person? The *features*, the *personnality* of the figs I include in my dioramas must be 100% mine. So I leave the generic stuff to Dragon, the hands to Hornet, but the heads are *me*

The other one is more interesting. I put him is great coat as floating around him, that's 100% Duro. it's quite good to do those drapes even if they end up being a bit thick.
It's time I go back again to visit those figs forums to learn one trick or three more.

Well, I like the position of that guy..


Dead Snow

Well I still took one week worth of evenings (in a lazy fashion still) to paint those.

Acrylics, then oils then acrylics, they don't need to be perfect really. Those are dead which explains the eyes and very white complexion. You may also notice that I have been doing some highlights with very viivid green hues on the top of the bodies, that's because that's that will be the most noticeable by the end of the diorama.

And for those who wonder, Yes I have seen Dead Snow, and No this diorama is definitely not influenced by Dead Snow. It's a very funny movie but I prefer my deads being less cliché.

this one has got his highlights on the front body contrary to the others