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 The beginnings of two smaller dioramas

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Philter4



Country/State : Back and forth between East and West coast of the U.S.A.
Age : 51
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PostSubject: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:14 pm

Hello everyone! You may have noticed that I have largely been absent from STS and except for a few post praising the fantastic custom figures I have not posted anything. The fall and winter have been really hard with very little good news. I have had very severe health issues, fighting a serious (and until just recently) undiagnosed viral infection that put me in bed for days at a time.

Late in November until early December a wild cat, either a mountain lion or bobcat, kept returning frequently and killing about half of my birds and two young mammals including my mouflon ram T-Beau. It was terrible to find a new dead animal almost daily when it was the birds because they were such small items he had to come back frequently. I keep my animals in at night and he was coming around during the day and after raising the height of the fencing and keeping the birds in pens instead of free on the property (the chickens and peafowl were the ones killed because every morning they were let out of the barn until evening) the killings stopped.

With all of that I have not been working on dioramas much but I have been thinking about some smaller scenes I have wanted to make. I have made some conifer trees while i was on bed rest just to kep busy and finally in the last half of December I started on two "desk-top" sized dioramas, both about 18 inches by 12 inches (45 cm X 30 cm).

One is what I call a roadside ditch, even though there does not have to be a road anywhere near by. They are common here from long past farmlands routing the water to drain away from fields and old trails or to bring water to miners of the mid 1800's who were panning for gold. As you hike you cross these ditches now and again in places that no longer have human use so there is no longer a visible reason for it to be there or maintained so the ditch has now returned to a wild state and water is only present during heavy rains. It is usually higher on one side as the diggers just piled the dirt up as they dug the ditch. Since the ditches were dug along paths the lower sides were often kept clear of brush and larger bushes and small trees have used this rich new soil more efficiently so many times they are found lining the higher side of the ditch.

Here are a few photos of the base in stages of progress.
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I didn't start taking photos until long after I started but you get the idea.

The next dio will be a forested hillside, with several different conifer tree species, here are some of the trees I have done that will be added once I start the base.
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The scale of both is 1:22, the taller pine trees are both around 30 inches tall (75 cm)

Any suggestions for the animals is welcome, both of these habitats are from northern California so if you have a favorites from this area let me know, I have not thought about any so far but most will probably be birds as long as they are big enough to sculpt in scale for the dioramas.
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widukind



Country/State : Germany
Age : 40
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:27 pm

Wonderful Phil, i cant wait to see them finish cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers

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Tarunyada



Country/State : The Netherlands
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:29 pm

That looks wonderful! Great work you've done there. How do you make those trees?

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skysthelimit



Country/State : Serbia
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:33 pm

I'm soooo sorry to hear about your animals Crying or Very sad

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SyLoBe



Country/State : Spain
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:34 pm

O.o Your dioramas are... perfect!

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widukind



Country/State : Germany
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:46 pm

Oh yes, i am so sorry for your little zoo Sad Sad Sad Sad

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Saarlooswolfhound



Country/State : USA
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:08 pm

Im sorry to hear about your animals. Sad Its aweful when that happens.
Your trees on the other hand look so real that to me they look like they just grew on your banister!
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JonasV



Country/State : Finland
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:20 pm

That looks fantastic! Congrats! cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers

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SeanieP



Country/State : Woburn (Boston), MA US
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:34 pm

looking good Phil!
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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:36 pm

Arrrrh !!! Not T-Beau Sad Sad
I am so sorry for you and your critters.
It is great to live in the country, but..... What a Face

Now your new dioramas. I am absolutely stunned ! Those trees are fabulous, it is unbelieveable that they are minitures !!! WOW !

Every time I think that now it can`t be any better, ..SLAM, then you reach new levels of excellence !!!! cheers

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Isabeau



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:45 am

I am sorry to hear about your animals! Sad

I love your grasses! And those trees are spectacular Wink Congrats!
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Sergey



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:51 am

Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Sad(o)): cheers

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Philter4



Country/State : Back and forth between East and West coast of the U.S.A.
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:07 am

Here are some photos of the progress on the pine forest diorama. If there is interest in the process just let me know and I can give much more detailed information on how I put it all together but for now here is the progress.

This first set of photos is building up the base, I use scrap pieces of insulating foam and build them up in the basic shape I want. Once I have the general outline I use claycrete, which is a premixed paper mâché product that I just mix with water to the consistency I need for a certain feature, more water to make it soft to sculpt details, less water to make bulk shapes and features. On this I add the stone faces and rock work that I sculpted out of clay that will be visible once the landscaping is finished.

A tip to those of you who are just beginning to build dioramas, if you notice some of the sculpted rocks already are painted, the reason for this is I always make a lot more rock than I think I need, and it all gets painted at the same time. Here is why, once I am done painting multi toned and layered rocks if I want to add more it is almost impossible to remix the tones and shades exactly and it just doesn't match if you have to add another rock. All of the left over rock is still good and I often reuse pieces that didn't make the original use, since I repainted them I just add any new pieces and paint them all together in the new color tones.
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Once the claycrete is dry I spray a base color on the entire model, this adds a constant base when the colors are added to the,rocks, in this case it is a primer green, you can see it in the river base. The next step will be the river bed and the green will be hidden from view once the gravel, sand, and water are finished. Here it is with the ground work almost done and the trees are in place, although I want to add another blue spruce, one more full sized pine, some summer birch trees along the banks and all of the other little details that will make it look lifelike in photos. Hope you enjoy these next few shots, there will be more to come.
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:29 am

Thank you for showing Phil, I like those job step photos!

You are talking about the plants you will add but not about the animals... Could you tell us more ? Very Happy

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HKHollinstone
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:32 am

Such terrible shame about your animals Phil, so awful.

Your new works are amazing, I really like the last diorama.

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widukind



Country/State : Germany
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:14 am

I is very very wonderful Phil!! sunny sunny sunny

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Saarlooswolfhound



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:54 pm

Your new diorama looks great! Those trees look so life like to me... drunken
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tyrantqueen



Country/State : England, UK
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:53 am

I always preferred these "home made" dioramas than the ones where people just plonk the toys outside and take a photo. I appreciate the description of how you made this too :)

What brand are the trees, or did you make them yourself?

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Philter4



Country/State : Back and forth between East and West coast of the U.S.A.
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:07 pm

Thanks everyone, I am happy you all enjoy the photos.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thank you for showing Phil, I like those job step photos!

You are talking about the plants you will add but not about the animals... Could you tell us more ? Very Happy

The reason I haven't discussed animals yet is I have no idea what I am going to put in the dioramas. I was asked if I have ever done a native forest and I have not, although I have made lots of conifer and pine type trees. While I was visiting a nature walk near my home I noticed that the most birds were in the ditch along the trail so that is how the two ideas were formed. For the ditch it will be a lot of birds and maybe one or two mammals, any favorites? On the forest I have not thought much about it yet, I will let you know when I have some ideas.

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What brand are the trees, or did you make them yourself?

On the trees, I make each one from scratch. I am going to write a tutorial at some point but I have just been too busy lately to make too many trees or plants so I haven't done any work. I will get some shots of the next trees I make and start a step by step for anyone interested.
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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:28 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
On the trees, I make each one from scratch. I am going to write a tutorial at some point but I have just been too busy lately to make too many trees or plants so I haven't done any work. I will get some shots of the next trees I make and start a step by step for anyone interested.

Thank you very much Phil cheers

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∴Worlds∴in∴Miniature∴



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:49 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your animals. Sad

Your diorama is turning out spectacular! Sad(o)): Sad(o)): Keep up the good work!

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Sergey



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:53 pm

Woderful again Phill! What a nice trees!  cheers cheers  cheers

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aandmkw



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:10 pm

Phil, I am so sorry to hear about your animals. It is a real shame that that happened.

Your diorama is looking fantastic. I can't wait to see more. It is so inspirational to see your work. Awesome photos of your progress.
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stef1000



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:46 pm

Owww so sad that you're animals are dead:( Sad  How did you make the green on the pines and other trees??They are beautiful! And some species of animals to make (if i am not to late:P): the bobcat (Lynx rufus) and the California condor.

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Elros Alvar



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PostSubject: Re: The beginnings of two smaller dioramas   Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:59 pm

Great work I love that diorama is wonderfull... I love you I love you cheers

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