Painting diorama blog

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


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

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 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..

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.





Finishing the Fossil diorama

Now let's paint the plaster base. DON'T seal it! plaster is great precisely because it drinks the water. Anyway, i used much diluted Valejo air paints, wet on wet on wet etc

painting the base

The big shadow is of course the place where the half hollow metal sheet will be, the dark traces on the clear ground are the shadow of the poor fellow.

Then I put some vallejo pigments fixer and dropped some pigments at the right places and in the end i just had to paint the guy, mostly with pigments, half diluted in acrylic paints.

Notice that most of the diorama is mat, except the helmet of the guy which is gloss white. you wouldn't believe the final effect! the eye is really attracted by that simple thing

painting the figure for the Fossil diorama

Fossil finished

So that's it, the Fossil diorama is finished. Of course that's an historical subject, I think a lot of people could guess what i actually showed in that one. Anyway, I thought it was too dark and violent to be shown in fourms so I stayed that one only here or in facebook. Maybe i will go a bit more in the open next time!

Thanks for looking. The rest of the pictures are in the gallery here.

Last minute note: why on earth those colours? Because the colour photographs taken during that era, and of this event showed those kind of colours.. Those are the ones of old argentic films exposed at not very friendly lights. It's more interetsi,ng than the real colours if you prefer :)