Friday, 22 November 2013

Featured work - Mr. Dyzio's Berlin diorama

I seldom get a chance to feature a piece of work that is so relevant to a project that I am working on as - here - with Mr. Dyzio's 'city scene'. Mr Dyzio very kindly offered me so very useful advice about my own 'Battle of Berlin' vignette, but his own examples speak volumes about just how to go about tackling such a scenario...

Mr Dyzio's attention to detail is fantastic

Interestingly, the section of his scene that put's my novice efforts most to shame is the area of my back-drop which I knew from the start that I was skimping on with regards to planning and detail - the street.

You may remember, if you have had the endurance to have followed the progress of my project, that I mentioned how this first diorama was just an experiment with techniques and I wasn't going to get caught up with the fine detailing. Unfortunately it is exactly this attention to detail - the type of cobbles used, the manhole covers and drain gratings and the tram lines - that marks the level of quality between myself and an expert modeller like Mr Dyzio.

I'm being self-deprecating or negative when I say that, we are just at different stages in our modelling careers so it's actually interesting to compare how we both tackled a similar subject. It's very useful for me to acknowledge how I could have 'done things better' and have such a good example of how I might have improved my diorama - I will take these lessons forward to my next project.

Mr Dyzio'z completed 'Mouse' vignette - wonderful!

So, many thanks to Mr Dyzio for the constructive assistance, it is very gratefully received. Please do check out his completed 'Cat & Mouse' diorama over at his blog: Dyzio Scale Models - 1/72 MAUS Dragon - Completed

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Battle of Berlin vignette, Part 9

I might as well post up this minor bit of progress. I've coloured the rubble...

All that's left to do on the back-drop now is to *maybe* add some dust around the piles of rubble spilling onto the street. It's a bit too 'clean' at the moment and I would imagine there would be a lot of dust from the falling masonry. I'm just trying to think of a subtle way of doing this - photo spray mount and talcum powder?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Battle of Berlin vignette, Part 8

Back to making some forward progress (as opposed to whatever I was doing before)! Anyway, I feel I'm back on track again with my Battle of Berlin vignette and am continuing to work into the painted detailing now.

The first stage was to lay down my flat areas of colour ready for what you might call the 'weathering' effects to be applied. I finally decided on what colour to paint the lintels and window sills, based on a nice reference photo I found of a partially destroyed building from Dresden. I thought the red-brown colours would lift the diorama and compliment the brick-work (my alternative was to go with shades of mint-green to contrast with the terracotta bricks, but in the end I thought this would be a bit too much)...

Were I doing a vehicle I would say - as mentioned - that I was now on the 'weathering' effects stage. All the usual techniques are employed in the usual order - pin-washes, dry-brushing and some highlighting...

Dry-brushing tones down the bright re-brown paintwork a bit, which is good as it makes it look a bit faded and weather-worn. it also adds a little highlighting to the edges of the ornamentation which gives the detail some additional definition.

NOW...I begin to work into the painting and detailing of the rubble itself. I don't want it all being just a dirty grey - there would be bits of painted wall and wood and bricks in the rubble - but also I want the rubble to stand out against the pavement and the street.

I'm still a little unhappy with the street cobbles, I think they are still a little to light coloured - I really want a darker slate grey effect. So I had a go at darkening them down with some conte crayon dust.

Hopefully I am on the home straight now with this - some more little details and colouring and I can start thinking of mounting the ISU-122 in place!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Battle of Berlin vignette, Part 7

Sorry chaps, it's one of my 'one step forward, two steps back' posts...Well, one step back really...

Despite the rather nice effect I got with my black wash I decided it wouldn't produce the look that I was after. So I started again.

I have started painting flat base coats on the main sections of the vignette, and then I will repeat my black wash - lightly - on top of these.

I will be repainting the street cobbles a darker grey and then the lintels and window-sills a contrasting shade to make them stand out against the buff colour I have painted the walls.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Battle of Berlin vignette, Part 6

I decided to start the painting stage of my Battle of Berlin back-drop with a pretty heavy black wash. I wanted to get a lot of 'dirt' into all the nooks and crannies. For a change I used a Humbrol matt enamel and made a very thin wash using quite a lot of thinners.

My plan is to lay down dry brushed coats on top of this, so I wanted the darkest layer first - with all the little cracks and crevasses heavily shaded. To be honest - as usual - I am just playing this all by ear, but I figured it was best just to slap on the wash and see what happened...

I don't think it's too bad a start - I kinda want a 'dirty' looking vignette. The wash worked particularly well with the plaster wall...

Now, I think I will start by dry-brushing the building's wall, pavement and road and then I will start painting the detail with a little more care.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Battle of Berlin vignette, Part 5

Unfortunately I had to back track a bit with this project. As I feared I had over-done the 'damage' to the facade, this became clear when I sprayed on the grey base coat. Just one of those things I'm afraid. However, the easy remedy for this was just to quickly skim some Pollyfilla over the surface which hid some of the superfluous marks...

...This actually turned out to be one of those fortuitous accidents as the Pollyfilla coat turned out to be a really nice touch. Being quick dry plaster it had a tendency to crack in places, adding to the impression of damaged masonry!

Once satisfied - this time - with my facade it was back to the spray booth again for another coat of mid-grey acrylic primer...

OK, now it's time to start planning my painting strategy! :)