Thursday 31 January 2013

Moby Dick

Call me Ishmael, maybe....

I had just finished watching the iconic movie starring Gregory Peck and decided to do a diorama on Whaling as I have not done a seascape before. As I am not aware of any zinnfiguren sets on this theme, I started surfing the web for suitable pics. My scannfiguren approach.

As a seascape is generally featureless, the main actors, the whale, the longboats and whaling ship would have to dominate the scene. To create a sense of movement, I designed the background with a jaunty curve and decided that the waves would have to be modelled in 3-d..

Following the usual fit of background to the diorama box, I created a curved base and covered the gaps with plaster paste. 

Once the sky background was smoothed over, the main pictorial elements were test-fitted inside this diorama. The sperm whale was cut into two, with the tail turned upwards as I wanted a counterfoil to the head. 

Wave cutouts were created from card and glued onto the base. Thick plaster paste was used to create waves and to simulate a sense of motion.

The progress so far. 

Sunday 27 January 2013

Completed feature wall

I finally managed to hang 7 completed frames on one of my walls. There are 3 more dioramas with light fixtures displayed elsewhere. More to come!

Doodling Biblical and Roman Pagan sets

I have made even more dioramic boxes to fit to various frames. So while waiting for these to be completed, I started applying flesh and brown paint to various sets - GO Figuren of  Roman Bacchanalian and Aphrodites sets. I have an interesting book "Ornament and the Grotesque" by Thames and Hudson, which shows related themes. These would make very interesting flat displays.

The Biblical sets were obtained from Wilken, and many are ex-Hafer sets.

                                                                     Aphrodites Festival

Bacchanalian Feast

Biblical Themes

Thursday 17 January 2013

A couple of larger dioramic possibilities

I have been making these much larger boxes with backdrops for dioramas. Their shapes and sizes are fitted to Ikea frames for convenience. I want to test out a panoromic presentation as well as one with greater depth - hence the more unusual shapes.

Base painting for the sky area has been done. However at this stage, I haven't finalised what dioramas to do - tentatively, a Qing hunting scene for the panoramic piece and a Mammoth scene for the deeper piece.

                                                                    Panoramic diorama

Diorama with greater depth

Monday 14 January 2013

Doodling with some Egyptian sets

I took out some Egyptian sets and started applying a dark brown tint on the flesh. Some figures have been highlighted already. Except of the Ptolemies including Cleopatra, I intend to portray most of my Egyptians in a darker tone. These sets are generally from Wilken, Berliner Zinn  and Braune. Some are ex-Hafer figures.

Cleopatra is being presented to Caesar and Cleopatra on the couch after having been bitten by the asp.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

The Sumerian set

This small set is finally finished. I plan to do a small diorama with it and am reading up on Sumerian culture at the moment.

Monks and Nuns

This set is by J Tappert.

European Bath House

This delightful set is by Mohr.

Some Egyptian sets

A couple of new sets from Berliner Zinn. Pharoah hunting ostriches and Tutankhamen.

Saturday 5 January 2013


The original diorama seemed a little cramped. As I decided to create a wider opening for this diorama, I added twigs to represent trees in the foreground. These serve several purposes:- to hide the edges of the background, to frame the diorama, and also to heighten the sense of false perspective by using more 3-dimensional props in the foreground.

The fluorescent tube and part of the upper edges of the background. These were masked by twigs to represent trees. The twigs were selected based on their natural coloured and mottled spotting to create foreground interest. Foliage was added to represent leaves..

 The diorama lit at night.

The diorama with the scene widened, taken in daylight.