Monday 31 December 2012

African Diorama Completed

The diorama is now completed with lights and a glass front.

A recess was cut into the background to accomodate a fluorescent light tube. Final touch up was made to colour in the white edges of the paper images.

The scene lit up and the photo was taken at night.

The completed diorama with the light tube wire to the left. A rather delightful addition to my growing range of dioramas. I call this use of scanned images "a diorama with scannfiguren..."

Saturday 29 December 2012

African Diorama

I had always wanted to do an African Diorama and there are some great animal sets from Berliner Zinnfiguren (according to IFFS journals, made by Gerhard Rucker). But the prices of these sets are daunting!

So I looked on the Internet for suitable animal images and scanned them. These were cut out and I have flat paper images.

The background was created from cardboard and the scenery featuring Mt Kilimanjaro was painted in.I wanted to use a lot of foliage in the foreground so the ground towards the front was painted darker to simulate the earth.

The paper images placed against the painted background.

The diorama being finalised. Larger foliage components being placed in the foreground.

A close-up of the diorama.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Jesus Entry into Jerusalem

This delightful set was obtained from Wilken. Note the clear difference in stylistic engraving from the superior Hafer pieces. Anatomical shortcomings in some of the pieces can be overcome within a diorama setting where pieces can be made to overlap to mask any shortcomings.

Note especially the three kids in the centre who appear to be slightly disproportionate. Contrast them with the carpenters who are very well done.

There are two repeated Roman soldiers in this set - thus I have decided to paint one of each in reversed position.

Biblical themes from the Old Testament

More Hafer Pieces. Apologies for the photography, taken in between the merriment.

Dance of Salome, Judgement of Solomon

Samson, David and Beersheba etc

Selected pieces

Some selected pieces being worked upon. Here, the contrast in engraving between the chunky Segom figures and the more refined Hafer pieces can be clearly seen.

Segom Assyrians on a Lion Hunt - closer to 40mm in size.

Hafer Greek Mythology Pieces  - Flesh is given a cooler look with purple glaze in the shadows.

Xmas party in the Mediterranean

Been busy over the X'mas period. Besides the crafting of many boxes and frames, I carried on doodling on many sets at a time.

Mohr Gyspy pieces

Hafer Etruscan set

Ochel Assyrian dancing girls. Here, a stronger contrast is made between highlights and shadows in the flesh painting.

These pieces seem to suggest a rollicking good time.

Merry X'mas!

Sunday 9 December 2012

Box diorama featuring the Prince Imperial

I got this compact set from Braune.

It is based on a paintng by Paul Jamin and shows the death of the only son of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III in Zululand.

   The background was made from cardboard and fitted into a compact frame. A rocky outcrop was fabricated from a resin casting.

                             The background was painted and the figures were test fitted into this scene.

                 Grass was added to the foreground to create a 3-dimensional effect in such a small scene.

 Shorter strands of grass were added away from the foreground. Small stones were added to the scene.

The completed box diorama framed and placed on the wall.

With this piece, I am now mixing up the elements of flats and 3 dimensional props in the foreground. Future dioramas will continue to test the parameters of doing box dioramas in small spaces, with a view to keeping the depth of each box diorama to a minimum.

Greek Myths

Started working on some superb Hafer set pieces.

                                         Simple basic undercoating with Red brown and highlights.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Moses Diorama Finished!

I know a lot of you are enjoying this build up, and I couldn't wait to complete this piece.

I took full inspiration from That movie and used it on the frame.

In true cinematic fashion, this scene was lit up with a "Ledberg" LED light strip bought from Ikea, run off a 12 V transformer plug.

Part of the top part of the backdrop had to be cut back to accomodate the light strip, and part of the box sides was also cut out to allow the wire to pass through. Luckily there was enough space between  the overlapping Ikea frame and box sides to allow the wire to pass through as well.

The completed diorama before the lights were turned on.

The shadow box all lit up.

Close up of the scene lighted up.

Finished! Now resting on my Ben Hur laurels...:)

Saturday 17 November 2012

The Moses Diorama

As promised some time back, this great looking set is now being transformed into a diorama. I looked at pictures of the old movie The Ten Commandments for inspiration.

An Ikea frame from the Ribba Range was selected. The frame has depth where the photos can be recessed from the glass front. For my purpose, this depth overlap creates mechanical strengthening for the box sides which have to be created for this diorama. The final steps later in this diorama will make this point clearer.

I selected white card for the background. I cut a suitable size based on the area of the display and added the estimated depth of the diorama. I cut 4 slits at the corners and then curved the edges inwards, allowing a good degree of overlap. The whole was glued using white glue and held in place by clips.

I decided that the scene was to be lifted up and created a stage from cardboard.

White putty was then applied to smooth out the overlapping edges and the awkward corners.

Finally a layer of gesso was applied over the whole surface to create a toothed undercoat for painting. Light sanding was applied to achieve a smooth layer.

Broken pieces of putty were added to the front to create rubble and heighten the sense of false perspective.

The scene was painted to create an evening look, with the last rays of the sun disappearing over the horizon.
Rocks and rubble were painted on the sides and more rocky cardouts were added.

A tryout stage placement with the figures is tested. The figures are bent backwards to allow for vertical alignment when placed on the sloping base.

Last scene with Moses standing on a rocky hillside. Notice that the rock has been cut back to reveal more of the diorama. The picture frame is being made and decorated now. More to come.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Moses Set

I finally broke the back of this set, overcoming a reluctance to paint the rocks on which Moses was positioned. The rest of the set , especially the bulls require highlights and shadings. That's a lot of bull...

Gauguin Idyll

Here is the piece almost done, awaiting final framing. After the mural was completed, the pieces were pressed into slots.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Paul Gauguin

I decided to create a painted background for this set based on Gauguin's Tahitian paintings. The disparate nature of these pieces taken from several of his paintings seemed to suggest an idyllic Tahitian landscape where these pieces could be inserted into the canvas.

Watch this space.

                                        The pieces laid against a background to check for the layout

                                         A suitable frame and mat border, painted with Mars Brown

                                                  Background paiting being developed

                                                 Mat border placed over background

                                                  Background painting developed further

          Wooden panels taken from a book on Gauguin. These were used on the door frame of one of his houses. Here, they act as panels to frame this piece when completed.

Greek Mythology pieces

Also started working on these pieces. Just basic tera rosa undercoating.

1002 Arabian Nights

I've started to lay in more colours and cleaned up the flesh painting.