Friday, February 11, 2011

The Retreat at Ardennes

This is the first diorama I have done in about 6 years. The finished piece in it's native environment - freezing cold and snow. I hadn't planned on doing a step-by-step post, but I thought it was interesting the way this piece evolved. On future projects, I'll be more diligent in trying to capture the process.

This shows the very beginning stage. Adding the natural elements, scattering rubble, placing key items and trying to figure out what the story could be. I knew one thing for sure, I wanted to capture the feeling of desperation of retreat as the axis forces realized they were outnumbered.

This phase shows additional gear and debris being placed - At this point, I had decided that this one would be a snow scene to honor the 3 weeks of blizzards that hit Maine.

Here we see a HUGE leap in progress. Franky, I could have left it at this phase without the snow - thereby showing a lot more of the groundwork. I did however, go to town on the weathering process as well as adding various blankets, camo netting, rucksacks and other essential gear that would be appropriate for a machine gun nest. As you can see, only our shivering soldier is in the scene as the other figures were being painted separately. The foreground tree trunk was a gift from my garden this past summer. When I yanked it out of the ground i was shocked at how realistic the root core looked as a small scale tree. Glad I saved it.

Here is a good shot of our commander radioing that he and his team need to retreat immediately.

Now we've added our baking soda snow and started other final details like smoke in the smokestack. I started shooting in the yard to get the feel of a freezing day - which it was.

Here is a final shot showing some of the more intricate detail. This was a fun project in that it challenged me to constantly keep freezing temperatures in mind when building this. The next project challenge will be a very wet and muddy scene. Muddy, rainy conditions have always challenged finescale modelers to attempt to create the proper scale and shine. I look forward to it, as now my insomnia has an outlet.

No comments:

Post a Comment