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  1. #1

    Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    So I thought I'd share how I make my palm trees for those who want to give it a stab! Let me say it's super easy and anyone can do it! It's just a matter of having someone show you how to do it. Ok so what we need is the basics!

    What you will need:
    1. Wire - (020 Music Wire (0.51mm)
    2. Masking Tape
    3. Scissors - (MUST BE SHARP!)
    4. Pliers - (We need these to cut the wire and bend wire to shape)
    5. Air Dry Model Clay or Putty
    6. Super Glue

    Ok so lets begin!
    1. Now depending on how large or small you want your tree to be, cut your wire to that length. Make sure if you want your tree to be 20cm tall, cut 25cm as you need to compensate for the foliage. Now I went with a 15cm tall tree so I cut my wire to 20cm.




    2. Cut a lot! Each tree should have about 20-30 frons. Any less and it just looks weird lol




    3. Cut your tape! If you want your leaves to be a certain length then cut your tape double that amount. Mine where about 5cm long so I cut stripes of 10cm. It doesn't have to be perfect cause nature is never perfect so don't make your tree perfect. Mix it up a bit if you like with small and large frons.




    4. Now attach the wire you've just cut to the tape. Be sure to line it up in the middle. Once the wire is in place, fold the tape over onto itself so it looks like the image bellow.




    5. Now cut your frons out with your scissors and don't forget to mix it up! There shouldn't be any that look exactly the same!




    6. Cut slits into the leaf! The finer the better! Hence the sharp scissors lol




    7. Once you've got a stupid amount, it's time to make the trunk!!!




    8. So how do I do this you ask? Every wrap a tennis racket handle? Same concept. You start at the top and start twirling the masking tape around and around making sure that after each turn you move down a little. What this does is leave lines in the trunk just like a real palm! Keep going till you hit the bottom!




    9. This is what your finished product should look like. Make sure you leave a little wire exposed at the bottom if you plan on stabbing it into your diorama (Foam or clay) so it stands up better.




    10. Open your tree! This is pretty straight forward lol but yeah open the leaves and shape it to your liking. Using the pliers does help a lot here!




    11. Mounting the dam thing! I use clay! Once you've glued it to the base or stabbed it into your foam, it's time to add clay! Smear it all around the base and shape it like image bellow!




    12. Now to create some nice details to the trunk, get your cutter or scissors and score the base like image bellow. If you ever look at real palm/coconut trees you will notice these grooves at the base. Nice little touch I say




    13. YOU'RE A PRO PALM TREE BUILDER! NOW ONTO PAINT WOOOOHHOOOOO!!




    Hope this helps my fellow gunpla builders
    Attached Images
    Last edited by ommeh; April 28, 2015 at 7:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - How to make Coconut/Palm Trees

    This helps immensely, man, and the great thing is that this can be applied towards other types of trees. Many thanks for creating this tutorial (in an easier-to-access form too).
    "Typical. If I had a sense of humor left I might find that funny. I do not, on both accounts."

  3. #3
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Seeing the incredible potential that this thread has in helping those of us who are clueless on diorama builds. I have renamed this thread and Stickied it so that it can be updated with future tutorials to further help members wanting to eventually get into dioramas. So keep the walkthroughs coming ommeh!
    "Born to lose, Live to win" - Lemmy Kilmister

  4. #4

    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Will do

  5. #5
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    This is awesome. Will you cover the painting process as well? I really like how yours turned out and would like to replicate the results in the future.

    Zaku on kova luu.
    YOU WANT TO BE MORE THAN JUST A GRUNT? LEARN TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE!
    In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it. -Erwin Rommel
    They're on our right, they're on our left. They're in front of us, they're behind us; they cant get away from us this time -chesty puller
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  6. #6

    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Next diorama will do a proper walk through about painting

  7. #7
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    What modeling clay do you use...couldn't find any at the A.C. Moores by me so I'm ordering online and might as well get something good

  8. #8
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Thought I would add to this with places for and some supplies. For people who may want pre-made items for dioramas or some D.I.Y. woodland scenics has items (http://woodlandscenics.woodlandsceni...-gLxoCCqLw_wcB) and tutorial videos available on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/ModelSceneryExpert). Here is a link to the reference for model scales. This is helpful to find products not made by Bandi but are in the same scale if it isn't listed in a 1:100 or 1:144 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scale_model_sizes). If you are looking for 1/100 Zeon infantry I think you may find Flames of War/other WWII 15mm German troops can work fine for them with the right colors (http://www.thewarstore.com/germanarmydeals_box.html). Buildings are also a great thing to add to a diorama (http://www.thewarstore.com/Battlefro...FiTerrain.html) or D.I.Y. steps here to get you started (http://theminiaturespage.com/workbench/32075/). Don't have access to materials to pull off a total base build there are terrain bits that are pre-made from games workshop and other companies (http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Scenery and later this year hopefully secret weapon will release their sets)With a bit of imagination you might be able to pull off something like the diamond mine base from Star Dust Memories or a town getting raided. I would love to do dioramas but lack the space.
    Last edited by Baufrin; July 25, 2014 at 2:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    This is awesome thanks man.

    Zaku on kova luu.
    YOU WANT TO BE MORE THAN JUST A GRUNT? LEARN TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE!
    In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it. -Erwin Rommel
    They're on our right, they're on our left. They're in front of us, they're behind us; they cant get away from us this time -chesty puller
    http://www.gundamforums.com/showthre...3-Zaku-s-WIP-s

  10. #10

    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    So like anyone, making a diorama is very straight forward. What makes a great diorama vs a good diorama is PLANNING! What I like to do is imagine what I want the scene to look like. Get inspiration from images and also watch some of the anime to help those creative juices flow. This diorama I'm using here for reference is a waterfall/deep river diorama. They will consist of 2 MG 1/100 gundams. This is the first chapter and it will discuss how to create and plan a base. Next chapter will be about painting.

    So first things first. You want to create the base. In this one I've used a large photo frame. You can use a plank of wood too but really anything solid and stable can be used as your base. Here I've laid out with a marker where I want things to be.



    As you can see I want the river to run through the centre of the diorama. Next step is to create any supports. With this diorama I have a tall overhang and require something hard to keep it upright. I used plastic boards.





    Now we require filling. Use newspaper and masking tape. This technique can be used in different applications. Some people choose to use plaster bandages but i think this is quicker and less messy.





    Next is to create the layers in your diorama. This would be elevated ledges or ridges. I use foam and cut the shapes our and to the different levers I require. Once that is done I mask everything over.



    I've also laid the model down to make sure I have plenty of space before I glue everything down.



    Now this is the fun part. I use instant plaster, stuff you find at your hardware store to fill plaster walls. Its the instant dry stuff and I smear it all over like a cake. Gives great coverage and great texture.



    Now to let it dry lol





    Now i used air dry clay for this next bit. I want to create some rocks or rock face for the overhang. I blended it onto the face and used my nails to create a rock effect.





    Ok now we need to get our hands dirty. Using PVA glue mixed with water (50:50) I coat everywhere I want dirt or sand to be. I use dirt for the ground and sand for base of the river.



    Here I've smeared some dirt and glue onto the rock face to give it texture



    top view



    Once that is done I like to do a little base coat of matte black to help everything set.



    Now onto details. Things like rocks and logs and wood are to be added now. Use PVA to glue it down. Be sure to do EVERYTHING you want now as once you do another base coat of black it will be no turning back.







    - - - Updated - - -

    Next on the menu will be painting so stay tuned

  11. #11
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Once again, you amaze us with how simple you make everything look while still resulting in what is shaping to be an awesome diorama. Planning really is the most important thing to consider when doing a proper one because the actual work involved doesn't take much.
    "Typical. If I had a sense of humor left I might find that funny. I do not, on both accounts."

  12. #12
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Thanks Ommeh, you make it look so easy I will give it a try in the near future.

  13. #13

    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Diorama 101 - Painting!!

    OK guys here it is. My walkthrough on how to paint these things. So you've got a base coat of black. Now what we need to do is start with a base coat which for me is brown.



    Start with a dark brown. You need to do a wet wash. Not a dry brush so dilute that paint and smear it on.



    As you can see it's pretty wet. Don't worry cause when it dries it looks very different.



    Next we start with a lighter colour of brown. This is now a dry brush! Semi dry ok







    Now we do a even lighter colour. I went with a white for this one.



    I did the same for the rock face. Makes those textures shine



    This is what it should look like after the browns, tans and whites.



    Next is the rocks and other things. Again start with a dark colour and build it up and up and up.









    Now we start with a lighter grey!



    Last but not least we do a white dry brush and some details to the rocks



    I've added some blue here for where the water will be



    Now Finally you add all the details you want to the base. This is trees, shrubs and bushes.







    So this is what it should look like. Next chapter will be the water and water fall. So stay tuned for more guys! Also DON'T forget to ask me any questions if you have any

  14. #14
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    You know, it's kinda hard to ask questions when you lay out the work involved rather cleanly with pics and words

    Very much appreciated as always.
    "Typical. If I had a sense of humor left I might find that funny. I do not, on both accounts."

  15. #15
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    Re: Diorama 101 Series - A Tutorial on Diorama Builds

    Excellent work man. I see numerous shades of Tamiya paint, do you use any other types? Like Vallejo or Citadel?
    "Born to lose, Live to win" - Lemmy Kilmister


 

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