Monday 17 February 2014

My feature wall

This is my sitting room at night, with a beer in hand....

Emperor Qianlong Hunting Scene (Finished)

Given the size of the frame, I decided to install an 8-watt flourescent tube light for this scene.

 Picture taken under dim light with the flourescent tube light switched on.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Emperor Qianlong Hunting Scene (4)

I painted the foliage cutouts and fixed the zinnfiguren in place. I am now satisfied with the final composition of this piece. The next stage is the lighting and final touch-ups.

Monday 10 February 2014

Emperor Qianlong Hunting Scene (3)

The zinnfiguren, including the trees, are now laid out on the grass to determine their placement.

I also decided to add more cutout foliage as indicated in this picture.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Emperor Qianlong Hunting Scene (2)

There are four sequences here.

The whole background was painted over to represent an early autumn scene. A limited palette of purple, yellow, red, green and white was used throughout. For the sky, blue, white and purple was used. Generally, lighter colours were used in the background and darker colours were used in the foreground. I use Jo Sonja acrylic paints for this piece. What I did after the painting had dried was to wash the sky and background with a diluted mix of thinned paints with white added to the mix.
The upper outline for the Great Wall was trimmed back to delineate it against the background. To add further "depth", the apparent height of the Great Wall was raised by painting in the cleared brown slopes, and creating shadows behind the wall. Vegetation and dark forestry helped to break up the monotony of the landscape. I like the overall look to this painting so far.

The foliage cutouts were placed and glued into the scene. I decided that placing a cutout behind the Great Wall looked great.

 In fact, I decided to add more foliage cutouts to the scene, "layering" the work and partially hiding the Great Wall. I painted over the fore ground in a dark green.

I added a covering of model railway grass to the foreground.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Emperor Qianlong Hunting Scene

I undercoated the mid- and fore-ground with dark green, and tightened the outline of the Great Wall. The transition from this structure to the figures in the foreground would have to be bridged by various perspective tricks.

I also decided to add some foliage cutouts  to create more planes and hopefully, depth. This scene will be set in autumn.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Emperor Qianlong Hunting set

Here is the complete set fully painted. I have trimmed off the bases so that these figures can be easily placed in the Great Wall of China diorama.

Monday 3 February 2014

Developing a scene for the Great Wall of China

I took the largest of the box dioramas and decided to do a scene with the Great Wall of China. I intend to use the Emperor Qianlong set that I obtained from Wilken.

Following on from the Custer diorama, I think that it is possible to create a large outdoors scene whilst keeping the diorama depth shallow. Perspective could be further enhanced from a top to bottom approach.

For this scene, I split the background into two main parts. The upper part represents the sky and an elevated horizon, with the lower part representing the mid-distance and the foreground.

 After I had trimmed the lower background piece, I had to add "wings" to the lower corners as the edges would have been exposed by the frame. Each of the wings had to be split to be bent back after being glued into position.  I deformed the lower corners slightly outwards so that it would form a smooth transition to the wings when putty was added.

I sketched in the outline for part of the Great Wall and trimmed the upper portion of the background piece to follow this outline. To add further contrast and overlap, I decided to add another mid-background piece, a round hill to the left, between the upper and lower parts. This would further aid in the transition of the Great Wall into the distance.

 Background painting was developed to create the main elements, the horizon, the distant background, forests and the Great Wall. The foreground showed that the putty cracked when dried.

More putty was added to the foreground. Very much a work-in-progress.

Sunday 2 February 2014


If visitors to my blog are looking for more information on zinnfiguren not found here, I can recommend another website.

I have just recently joined the Internatlonal Flat Figure Society (IFFS).

The IFFS has a nice website and forum in English where registration to post on the forum is free. This gives a great primary source of background knowledge on zinnfiguren to the uninitiated. The Gallery showcases many great-looking painted pieces.

However, a reasonable annual subscription allows access to the Society Journals published 4 times a year. Since the IFFS was founded in 1986, this represents a considerable source of accumulated information in English on zinnfiguren.

Needless to say, I will be using this resource  to edit and update my earlier blog entries, and to provide more background to many of my projects.