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 Full size Indian diorama

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Philter4



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PostSubject: Full size Indian diorama   Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:28 pm

I have just begun to layout the landscape for the full sized Indian diorama.

What I did was to first lay the foam board out on my table saw. I have a bench where it will eventually go, but right now it has so much stuff on it I can't use it, in a few days I'll get my brother to tell me what to save and what to get rid of, all of the things on the bench are his or I would have been done and ready by now. The first thing I did was to put the raised river bank and shelf in. I used pieces of foam, and I drew an outline of the river bank so I knew where to make the edges.
Here is the first photo
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Next I made the banks of the river, this time I am having the river raised above the foam board rather then carved into it like on the mini. The reason I decided to do this was the new foam board is much thicker and is a different type of foam, this is insulation foam so it is much more porous so to carve it makes a huge mess. I painted the river bed and banks to the same muddy color as the mini dio, when the water is poured it will hide any imperfections that might show through.
This is the final look of the river, before it is full of water of course, that will be almost last.
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Finally I am having a slight slope from the right corner to the left. Across the back it will be raised almost to the river, and in the front is will slope down to the grass flat. I used a piece of 1/2 foam board in the back left corner to give the slope a little higher spot at one end, but the big piece of foam is only 1/4 inch so most of the slope goes from 1/2 to 1/4 inch in the front. To blend the slope I am going to do two things, first cut an angled edge to the foam board, and use air hardening clay to blend the edge in to the rest of the diorama. When I am done, the bank of the river will be even with the grass flats, I will raise the lower part, and add the rocky edge to the river. Just for reference the river averages at least 7 inches across, the mini was 3 to 4 inches, and at points if is over 10 inches, not counting the lagoon.
Here is a picture of the shape of the slope
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On the upper part of the slope there will be the edge of the tropical plants, and more tropical habitat on the raised area to the right of the river. As the slope comes forward it will transition to a semi forested area, which is the habitat for the spotted deer. There will be a herd feeding in that area and it will be the transition area between the fully forested area and the grass flats.

More pics to come as soon as I can get the supplies to do more work, right now I have an order in from a diorama supply house that I use, and I am waiting to hear about the big order of the Japanese plant kits. I am not actually making any new plants, but I am going to add all of these new leaves to the exsisting plants to fill them out and make them "thicker"
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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:42 pm

It's looking good!
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aandmkw



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:43 pm

Thanks for the details and the pictures of the progress. I know this will help me when I decide to do a diorama. I already have some really nice things to put in one.
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:20 am

Here is another picture, I was making more casts of rocks for the river banks, and I decided to make the rock that I will mount the tree into. It doesn't stand on it's own so I had to wire it in the standing position for the photo, but it is a beautiful. When this is over the river it will just about be as wide, but it will look great with the langur troop on it. Anyway here is the photo
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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:50 am

I love the look of the tree hanging over, it's going to look so realistic. What is the trunk of the tree made out of? When my dad and I made trees we used wire on the inside, then Paper Mache (or some kind of glue mixed in with the paper) then added the paint. Your tree trunk and branches look more solid, can you bend them into shape?
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Rio



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:28 pm

Looking brilliant Very Happy

I use to do that too, Harriet. Although mine were only about 6cms tall Laughing
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:46 pm

[Quote = "HKHollinstone"] I love the look of the tree hanging over, it's going to look so realistic. What is the trunk of the tree made out of? When my dad and I made trees we used wire on the inside, then Paper Mache (or some kind of glue mixed in with the paper) then added the paint. Your tree trunk and branches look more solid, you can bend them into shape? [/ Quote]

To be honest I have no idea what the material he uses, but thay are very rigid. I know there is wire on the inside, the tips of the branches that have no foliage are extensions of the wire. When I make trees I use a wire frame, then use sculpy clay. I like the clay, I use if for a lot of things, but it has to be baked so you have to be careful what you attach to it before it is put in the oven. I am making a group of water hyacinth, most of them have flowers and I use paper and glue to make the flowers so I have to either glue the flower together after I bake the clay, or bake it at a low temp so the paper flowers don't catch on fire.
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aandmkw



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:28 am

The tree looks awesome Phil. Keep the photos coming.
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:51 am

So the Indian dio under construction Very Happy . Great news, I'm sure it will be as interresting as the African savannah one.

We already know a few animal species but I think we will have some good surprise from Poland Wink

I can't wait to see the japanese plants from Japan. If those reach the quality level of the Japanese animal models, it would be awesome !

By the way, I may have a suggestion about the river shape. IMHO there must be good reasons to have such convoluted banks on the flatside. Maybe you could put some small rocks to explain it ?

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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:23 am

Hi Kiki, there were some of the plant kits from Japan on the mini, most of the mini palms, and all of the philodendrons were Japanese kits, I love the kits as well, and I like the look of the finished plant, the one thing I was not happy about was the fact that there were so few palm fronds, and the bamboo could only make 2 full sized plants, I even tried the etched brass, which I didn't like at all. The new plants are being shipped this week, but that doesn't mean I will get them until early next week. What I did was to buy several of the same kits, but instead of making new plants I am just going to add the leaves to the original plants and make them much with much thicker foliage.

As far as the river, there are conveluted edges because this river has several large lotus and water lilies that will be in the cut out spaces, once those are in place and once I put the rock edge the eddies will not be so apparent and the river will look more like what you think of a river. Basically those are the slower flowing areas where floating plants would collect and grow rather then getting pushed downstream. There is a creek by my house where I got the basic idea for the river, it even has a semi fallen tree growing across it, and the bank to the east is raised about 5 feet, the bank to the west is edged in river rock and has areas like in my river will have, the only difference is the species of plants, lilies don't grow here it is too cold, but we have several species of duckweed and parrots feather, which grows above the water and only in the areas of slow flow.
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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:08 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[Quote = "HKHollinstone"] I love the look of the tree hanging over, it's going to look so realistic. What is the trunk of the tree made out of? When my dad and I made trees we used wire on the inside, then Paper Mache (or some kind of glue mixed in with the paper) then added the paint. Your tree trunk and branches look more solid, you can bend them into shape? [/ Quote]

To be honest I have no idea what the material he uses, but thay are very rigid. I know there is wire on the inside, the tips of the branches that have no foliage are extensions of the wire. When I make trees I use a wire frame, then use sculpy clay. I like the clay, I use if for a lot of things, but it has to be baked so you have to be careful what you attach to it before it is put in the oven. I am making a group of water hyacinth, most of them have flowers and I use paper and glue to make the flowers so I have to either glue the flower together after I bake the clay, or bake it at a low temp so the paper flowers don't catch on fire.
Thanks for the info Phil, I'd like to try out your way of making trees, I'll have to take a look at a thread a while back, can't remember which one, Danny said some things about trees to me I think...
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:14 pm

[Quote = "HKHollinstone"] Thanks for the info Phil, I'd like to try out your way of making trees, I'll have to take a look at a thread a while back, can not remember which one, Danny said some things about trees to me I think ...[/ quote]

I use a company called Selkirk Scenery, they are on the web under that name, but for the trees that Danny's sculptor makes I have no idea what his procedure or materials are. If you try your own trees the only advice I can give is to use a wire frame, the clay needs support to stay standing while it is still soft. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you come up with, you animal sculptures are getting better and better with each model you make, I would think your trees will be the same.
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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:32 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[Quote = "HKHollinstone"] Thanks for the info Phil, I'd like to try out your way of making trees, I'll have to take a look at a thread a while back, can not remember which one, Danny said some things about trees to me I think ...[/ quote]

I use a company called Selkirk Scenery, they are on the web under that name, but for the trees that Danny's sculptor makes I have no idea what his procedure or materials are. If you try your own trees the only advice I can give is to use a wire frame, the clay needs support to stay standing while it is still soft. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you come up with, you animal sculptures are getting better and better with each model you make, I would think your trees will be the same.
Thanks Phil
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:58 am

I have done a few more things to the diorama base, I put most of the green mat out, the mat is 50 x 33 inches, and I had to cut out the bank of the river. The cut is never exactly correct, but once the rock bank is put on there will be no foam board showing. I have to do the raised bank first, just because it is harder to work then the flat bank, but that will be next week or maybe even later, I have to get a few more things and make one more set of rocks before I can paint all of the rocks. I am not going to use grey only rock, the rocks in photos of India I have seen have a red tint, sort of like Africa.

This first picture is the basic areas of the diorama, I always draw the basic design out before I start. This is my rough draft, there are always changes to the design, but the initial base usually follows the drawing fairly accuratly. At this point there isn't much to change, it is just the base, but once I have this down, the next stage is where I make lots of changes, that is why I don't usually draw out the next steps, I have in the past, in fact I have an Indian drawing with the trees placed on the dio, if I can find it I will post the picture, but it was done months ago and I don't really know where it is.

Here is the drawing.
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Here are two photos of the green mat after I placed it on the foam board. The mat is glued down, but I left the edge next to the river bank loose so I can make cuts or put pieces down if I left too much space and the rock bank doesn't hide it.
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Any ideas or changes you think I should make, now is the time, it is easy to fix a problem when there is nothing placed on the diorama, after I start attaching grass and plants to the structure it takes a lot of effort to make a change.
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:53 am

I did a little work on the diorama, I started to put the rock work up on the raised bed. I am going to need a lot more rock to do the other bank of the river, but I have almost finished the raised bank. I also attached the semi fallen tree and got some pictures, I am happy so far, but there is a lot to do, I have to finish the spaces between the rocks, so there is no foam showing and the rock looks like all one piece. I also have to find a big piece of cardboard to cut as the base for the top of the forested area on the raised area, I tried several combinations of small pieces placed together and cut to the outline, but I didn't like it so I will find a single big piece and stick with my original idea.

Here are the pics of the work I did today
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:52 am

The langur's tree will be one ot the masterpiece of this dio. It's a very good idea Very Happy
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:16 pm

I have almost finished the raised bank, and now I am working on the other bank. It is frustrating trying to fit the pieces of rock to match the river bank, but I have started custom making the rocks with a specific section of the bank in mind. There is a lot of carving (luckily the hydrocal is easy to carve when it is dry) a lot of cursing, and finally a nice fit. It will be a long time before I am done, but in the following pictures you can see what I have finished so far.

On the raise bank I have put the final touches on the top of the raised bank, I used black poster board over the foam, and on that will be the green mat that will have the grass, trees and plants attached. I painted the white dried clay, and I still have a few places to fill in so there is no foam or holes. I was going to have a den for the croc, but I decided to have some gharial sculpted instead of a common croc, the gharial will be in sort of the same position, one with only the head and back showing and one basking on one on the large rocks towards the back of the river. Well here are the current photos. I still have the wire on the semi fallen tree, I will leave it there for a few days until all of the clay is fully cured, I have taken the wire off for a while and everything seemed to be fine but I don't want to have to start over becasue I was impatient.

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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:34 pm

Fantastic, I love the tree hanging over!
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aandmkw



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:08 am

It is looking great Phil. I love watching the transformation as you go.
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:07 pm

I finished painting the raised bank, put the rocks up on the far bank, and sealed the river with the last coat of sealer. The sealer I use is Mod Podge, I got mine at the craft store, but it is available online and at places like Walmart and Target. It takes about 20 minutes to dry, when fully cured it is water proof, and clear, I have put a total of 6 coats on, 5 right after I painted the river bottom, and then I repainted it to hide the colors that were showing through, and finally this coat with a thick edge to hold the Magic Water. The white in the river bed is the sealer before it is dry. These are the last pics of the river bank and river, they are done, so I won't keep posting photos until I start adding plants and landscaping.

Here are the photos,
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Philter4



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PostSubject: more landscaping   Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:08 pm

I started to do the rock bank, I've layed out all of the rock and put clay down between rocks where I don't have a piece that fits well. I also started to plant the bank, the first plants to go up were some bushes, a few clumps of green grass that is growing on the raised wall, and the cattails on the rivers edge.

Here is a picture of the cattails along the bank
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This photo shows some of the first grass clumps growing on the wall, in front of the tree, and even though it is hard to see behind the tree and to the right are some of the bushes.
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As more and more plants and rocks are added I'll keep posting photos, hope you enjoy, and if you see anything that would help make it better please let me know. The way I feel is that every comment, good or bad has value to help improve.

The diorama is going to lose some area, I have to cut it to 3 feet wide from 4. There are two big reasons for this, the first is I can't easily reach the back from the front, and by the weekend it will be on the table, so working on the back of the model will be problematic if I don't cut it down. The second reason is the table where I am going to put it is only 2 1/2 feet wide, and the extra width of the dio would not be supported, I can work with six inches hanging over, but any more and it weakens the foamboard and a break could damage something I don't want broken.
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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:32 pm

It's looking lovely, the river looks super as well. The cattails are really good!


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aandmkw



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:42 pm

Looking great Phil. The cattails look awesome, as well as the grass clumps and bushes on the rock wall.
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Philter4



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:46 pm

Here are some of the new plants I have made, some bamboo, along with the bamboo that I got from Danny, a few more canary reeds (I am buying more canary reeds so I have a large group) and some of the other trees that I have made like the Selkirk Scenery tree with a vine growing up the trunk and the banana plants that I made.

Here are the pics
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Wildheart



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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:40 am

Wow!The diorama is awesome!My favourites are the canary reeds and the bamboo!
Tip:Try painting some woody details(like fur) on the banana trees.They're trunk isn't smooth at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Full size Indian diorama   Today at 1:18 am

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