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Diorama tricks

This page purpose is to offer you some tricks we usually use in dioramas building. I will mainly show you how to make decors (natural or artificial). A diorama can be a simple improved base or a complete scene including dozens of models. I will not go into hard details but you could find some ideas in these page. If you want te see directly to the dioramas shown on the site, please use the secondary menu just top right on this page. Have a nice time.

The water (2)

médium acrylique

Once the inclusion resin polymerized (and not “dry”, there is a real chemical reaction), you get a transparent and tough mass which could depict a peaceful lake but not very realsitic. You will have to cover the surface with acrylic medium which will be brush-sculpted to depict wavelets. You won’t get a wild sea by this technique but for a disturbed water like the surface of a lake, it works well. You can see the result in the “battle of Takodana” diorama.

The water (1)

réésine d'inclusion

Making a realistic water is not easy.  The first step consists in getting the “water volume” necessary. If you want to make a puddle or a small stream, easy. if you want to make a lake or sea, much harder. The best way is to cast some inclusion resin you can find in a DIY store. It’s exepensive and expires very quickly but you have no choice. First yo must mix the two components and cast it in an hermetic form you made before.

Making the snow

Making the snow is not very hard, all you have to do is reproduce what our elders did. During the shooting of the battle of Hoth in Empire strikes back, artists from ILM just used… some salt. A particular salt called bicarbonate of soda characterized by a finer strucrure than the sodium chloride (table salt). The only issue you may encounter is the gluing. The best way I found is to drop of some diluted white glue over the bicarbonate of soda using a big syringe.

Irregular earthy ground

diorama sol irregulier terreux

Once the structure is made, you have to cover it. For an earthy or muddy ground, the cheaper way is to use sawdust. Of course, you have ta make it but if you use a jigsaw to make the base, you do. First, you must mix the sawdust with diluted white glue. Then, you can apply this mix directly on the primer coat. After drying, you get a crust easy to paint with an airbrush. The last stage is usually a drybrush work on the irregular surface.