Well i know I ought to have make another post before posting the completed pictures, but well really nothing much new could be told at that time.

i added a few flowers taken from a Model Scene box, those were glued on a small etched sprue sheet.

And then painting, painting again..

One interesting note is about how Yamamoto himself was painted.

"-If you see a white horse under a tree on a full summer day, what will be its colour?

-well white I suppose

-nonono, it will be green, only your eyes are trained to refuse the fact a horse can be green so you see it as being white, while he is in fact green"

So all the shadows on Yamamoto are a blend between green and brown..

If I had a final word about groundwork or "vegetation in modeling" it's "never again, it took me 2 months for THIS, sheesh.." 

Very big pictures in the gallery here

laser cut jungle

Okay, so I have been showing some bits of homemade jungle let's try now to show some factory made jungle.

You guys know diorama maker JBA? he's good with water and do all of his dioramas with water and you know one of the main reasons why? 

He perfectly knows that the one of the hardest things to do in diorama making is ground cover, because no matter what way you use, it will still take up to 1 hour per cm² to do something that you can call decent afterwards -while with water you can do -at least 2 or 3 cm² every hour of work..

Of all the (mostly worthless as a whole) stuff sellers try to sell us for diorama making, the single most important product to have seen the light of day these past few years has obviously be the laser cut leaves. 

For years we had photoetch leaves which I consider as being one of diorama making's capital sins -I have a great bit of smile when I see a diorama using those steel ultra stiff and thick leaves -and when you do,n't really care about what you are doing, you may even had one point of unpainted metal making it through the diorama and reflecting the lightning spots in modelling shows!

Yet I have yet to see one diorama using this paper stuff in a way I would find satisfying. Maybe there is one such diorama but I don't spend my time in forums and never go to shows -but what I saw was not much interesting and this is the reason why:

The stuff is really very expensive, so I guess John Modeler just thinks "well, I have been spending tons of money in this, it's got to be a ready made product, something that will look great with a minimum of effort."

To what I answer.


really, nobody who is after what looks like the real thing would allow himself to use the stuff without a lot of work on it..*because if you do, it will look as terrible as if you used some photoetch stuff* 

And here we go..

Here's the stuff I will use: 

on my left: Fredericus Rex lazer cut leaves, I have been buying those, expensive, look good, some leaves "trunks" are really too thick.

on my right Model Scene stuff. Somebody gave them to me (Thanks again Mr J.S.). I wonder if you don't pay a lot the packaging on those..

On first glance the Model Scene stuff is probably more expensive, but you have to really look carefully to what you buy because some of their stuff (like dandelions) are really MUCH to thick. But then no dandelions in the jungle 

The best of the lot was surely those Low Weeds honestly I found those *incredible*.

Okay here we start the work on them..

Let's face it, this paper really looks too thick, too stiff, here we're gonna destroy it a bit..

First the bit at the center of the leaf -I use a modeling knife and I press each leaf against a "corduroy cardboard sheet" (sorry for the lack of words)

Then, leaves are globally of a more "spheric" shape, so let's crush again the leaves, this time using some bowl kind of modeling knife

Well, good now they really start looking like something, but then this stuff is pretty fragile -first you won't be able to work on those low weeds if you don't separate each of the 5 branches one from another and then, THERE ARE SOME WAYS OF GETTING THE STUFF LESS FRAGILE...

coat the stuff with CA glue

After that you can start turning the leaves in their definite position using some tweezers and glue them on the ground after having applying some kind of undercoat (I used a dark brown, that's for the underside of the leaves to be okay.

Then the main reproach we can do to this stuff has not been addressed:

indeed the stuff is really 2 dimensional, no thickness on the branches.. so that's not a real problem on the Model Scene stuff, but it is on the Fredericus Rex stuff has some weed branches can be up to 1.5mm wide.

So let's apply some acrylic thick gel on the leaves, on the branches so that they can get just a bit of the thickness, and believe me it works

Now those model Scene weeds are simply *unusable* if you don't coat them with CA. Otherwise they sort of break and fall apart. 

the good way to put those to shape is using this kind of cardboard I use and simply press the center with a match or something similar and you've got a perfect shape

Fredericus Rex ferns, just try to individualize every branch, twist them in every sense, bend them with a modelling knife and coat them with CA..

So here is the scene with most of the plants with brown-green under-painting, the top right is actually in the process of being painted. I do want to create some kind of light patches here and there so the colours will vary a lot in the end.


Doing it all over again

Okay, the good thing with being away, spending nights at the hotel near a motorway far from home in an empty damp city for several days in a row, 2 weeks in a row, and probably a bit this week too is errr.. well there is no good thing about it but then when checking at this blog from other computers and thinking a bit, I realized that there was some good things about that dio (the plants, Yamamoto) and some really bad one: the wing.

Okay, am I in a hurry to finish that one? yes to some extent but maybe the real question is "can I allow myself to get away with it" and the answer is "well no".

bad painting, too visible rivets, no light effect, really, let's correct that wing again.

A déjà vu feeling perhaps? 

Please notice that the wing is now WAY greener and lighter near the destroyed tip.

And woops, nothing happened..

The colours are a bit crushed on that one but it's looking better -i also sprayed a lighter brown with a bit of red on the ground near the tip of the wing to do some light effect. Time for more earth and dirt on the wing, some pastels, and a lot of overpainting before adding new plants!


vegetation with modeling

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

[edit] 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

painting the wing

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 10cm² surface and I ain't finished yet.




Back to the G4M Seat

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..


The G4M seat

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.


More wing

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



That’s it, the diorama IS finished,you can see the pics in the gallery J
Now I think I will rest for the whole of the summer we will see.