diorama


Return To Boom Town

Welcome to Boom Town

I started Boom Town last year, put it aside for the Summer, and returned to it recently. Click on the image above for the full gallery.

I also did a walk around video, which is a little shaky and blurry. When it gets it right, my phone’s macro focus is great. But when I’m working on something so close, and moving around, it keeps getting confused.


Boomtown

Boomtown

Fallout 4 came out this month. I’m not buying it yet, for the sake of my bank balance and productivity, but the release has inspired me to get back to a project I started a while ago.

Boomtown is inspired by, but not based upon, the Megaton location in Fallout 3*. The gallery above shows progress so far. The basic form of the diorama, including the tunnel and vault, was made from stacking and gluing packing polystyrene. And then it sat for an age. Until last week, when I found the ideal picture frame for a base and started on building it up with air drying modelling clay. It’s a learning process. There are a few cracks in the clay, where it’s contracted as it dried, but those have been filled in with Woodland Scenics Flex Paste. It may not look like much in the pictures in the gallery, but it’s come on a long way since this time last week.

I’m going to use the project to try out some techniques I haven’t tried before, and I’ll be posting updates as it proceeds.

*Mostly, I’ve played Fallout:New Vegas, but I did spend an afternoon on Fallout 3 on someone else’s XBox, and got as far as Megaton, which, obviously, stuck with me.


In just seven days, I can make you a man…..

Wrong Frank, I know. I’m trying to get some modelling done, after a few years of carting kits around but never starting on them. First up, I thought I’d try my hand at painting some of the wargame/RPG related figures I’ve picked up from various places. Everything was painted separately then brought together. I modeled the flagstones with putty, then glued the machine in place. Frank was on his own base, so I had to cut that off to add him to the scene.

Not a bad first effort for someone getting back into the hobby. The only problem is, most of my paints have been sitting in boxes for years and have dried up. I’ve got a growing list of colours I need to replace.


Buildings on a wall

As a modeller I’ve long considered creating some art using kits, possibly some sort of surreal diorama or somesuch. What I hadn’t considered, until now, was flipping the work through 90 degrees and turning it into a “painting”. This is what Gerry Judah does with his post apocalypse cityscapes, and they’re very effective. I’ve had a load of ideas just from watching the 9 minute video below. Not plans to rip him off, but some thoughts on new ways to present ideas I’ve had for a while.

Gerry Judah: Paintings from Sam Marcuson on Vimeo.

via BLDBLOG


Creating the cover for Sounds of Soldiers

When I first published Sounds of Soldiers, as a print on demand book available through Lulu.com, I created a cover for it that I just wasn’t happy with. I’m not sure why. I did do some planning, which I then went and threw away when I did the artwork. A couple of days ago I found some of the sketches I did when casting about for ideas.

Roughs

Take note of the fourth image on the top row, we’ll be returning to it.

This idea appealed enough for me to get the coloured pens and do some shading.

Rough2

So when I decided I was going to do a Kindle version I vowed to create a new cover for it. The image of death after a battle appealed, and knowing I couldn’t possibly do the idea justice in a drawing or painting I fell upon the idea of building a diorama to depict the scene. Initially I was thinking of the tank graveyard or post ambush sequences in the book, but the gun as a grave marker came back as an idea after a while. After a bit of Googling, but no more sketching, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do. I ordered 1:6th scale action figure accessories from EBay (a quick shout out to cbtoycollectables and qqmodels, the two merchants I used), ordered a display case from Hobby’s and picked up most of the other stuff I needed from my local model shop.

The components

The wooden stake was weathered by hitting it with a hammer and then holding it over one of the rings on the cooker (it’s good to be on gas). The ground was roughed out using polystyrene packaging from the ever growing pile in the corner of the room. With stake and base glued down I set about building up the ground. The first layer was Woodland Scenics flex paste, which I painted with first their earth undercoat and then Tamiya’s diorama texture paint. Ground cover is real leaves. I spotted a load of these tiny leaves on the ground one day and just scooped them up. I don’t know what they’re from, but they work. Much careful fixing with wood glue later I had a good looking earth mound covered with autumn leaves. Further detail was added using more Woodland Scenics stuff.

Basic set up After adding flex paste A coat of Earth Undercoat With Tamiya diorama texture paint Dead leaves added

I painted some bare metal onto the gun, and weathered it, the boots and the helmet, but the photos I took of that are all quite blurry. The only one that came out is of the smashed lens I put into the lamp on the gun. I lost the lens which came with the gun, so I cut out bits of clear plastic and glued them into the lamp.

Smashed lamp

Put everything together and, after a bit more weathering, I had this-

The finished piece

After a little resizing, and with another shot of blue sky to put on the back cover, I dropped the image into the template I’d used for the original cover. I failed to do any images of the various steps I took in Photoshop, so straight to the finished cover image-

Sounds of Soldiers full wrap cover

I put more effort into the lettering than I have in the past, and I’m much happier with the result. The title and my name on the front cover have an aluminium pole texture under them courtesy of photoshoptextures.com.

Sounds of Soldiers will be available for the Kindle, and with its new cover from Lulu, from next week. I shall be running a competition to win the model used in the original cover artwork. Check out spinneyhead.co.uk/books for details in the next few days.

My gun as grave marker idea puts me in very good company.

This is Peace and War, the omnibus collection of Joe Haldeman’s Forever War, Forever Peace and Forever Free. I haven’t read Free and Peace, but I have read War. It’s a very good book, using relativist effects as a metaphor for soldiers in a distant war become ever more alienated from the people they are supposedly fighting for.


Mark Powell's creepy dioramas


HPNX0071, originally uploaded by Mark Powell.

Mark Powell makes mini visions of hell. I’d like to work my way towards building fanatsy dioramas like this one day. Click on the picture and then explore his Flickr gallery.


Mark Powell’s creepy dioramas


HPNX0071, originally uploaded by Mark Powell.

Mark Powell makes mini visions of hell. I’d like to work my way towards building fanatsy dioramas like this one day. Click on the picture and then explore his Flickr gallery.


A tank from a lake

Tanks from the Second World War are still being pulled out of the lakes around St. Petersburg. If I remember my history correctly, the city was resupplied across the frozen lakes during the winter phases of the siege and at times the ice broke. The site refers to it as a “BT” tank. You can get BT5 or BT7 tanks in 1:35th scale from Zvezda, or BT5, BT7 or BT2 from Unimodel in 1:72nd. A salvage operation like this would make for an interesting diorama.

Technorati tag: , ,