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Splitters Gorge
 Moderated by: danpickard Page:    1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 04:43 am
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danpickard
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Hi all,
Thought I might start a thread for a little scenery diorama that I began a while ago, but it's been on hold for a bit. I blame a good modeling friend Geoff Nott for this project (I'm sure a few of you will be aware of his work). I've always loved his little 3D captures of scenery, beautifully framed in a neatly presented box. A number of Geoff's "bush boxes" were at the recent Hickory NGC along with the Muskrat Ramble (and now take up residence down in Florida with Dave Revelia's little project). This is my take on that style of bush art diorama...

Since I began working on my gum trees a while back, and particularly some of the taller Mountain Ash varieties, I've looked for ways to show them in a better perspective, and set them into a relevent scene. Maybe where I am taking this boxed diorama a bit different to Geoff's, is by adding considerable height to the scene. Generally, Geoff has cropped his scenes fairly tightly, with the tops of trees cut off by the limits of the boxed framing, leaving the height of the trees to your imagination. My bigger trees are between 3-4' tall, and wanted to build a scene that would allow the size of these to be compared to surrounding scenery. Firstly though, maybe a few reference and inspiration shots...




These few images come from the Otways Forest area, a beatiful coastal rainforest part of the world about a hour from where I live here in Victoria, Australia. We frequently head down there for day hikes and camping. These are the starting points for what the diorama will be influenced by. The diorama is also a bit of an experiment of sorts, before I commit to doing similar scenery on a larger layout setting.

So, to the diorama. Apologies, but I forgot to take progress shots for the first stages of this build. The box is an aluminium frame with MDF walls, standing approx 600mm wide, 600mm deep, and about 1200mm tall, and lit with a 600mm daylight fluoro tube. The rocky canyon walls are carved from extruded foam and painted with acrylics. The backscene was an experiment in oils. In studying my many bush photo's, the backscene was meant to be a blured wash of background colour and shapes. I tried originally with a photo backscene, but it looked too crisp to my liking, plus it was dificult to get the right perspective on it given the considerably high scene to cover. With the scenery in front of it, I think the effect of the painted backscene works reasonably well.











A small bush cabin will be at the base of the canyon, along side the creek that is fed from the waterfall down the rock wall. Quick shot of the cabin, made over a matte board shell, laminated with basswood strips and an iron roof. A simple canvas door and timber fireplace/chimney finish this one off. Had to place something man made into the scene to assist with the whole scale perspective thing. The scale is 1/48 O scale, just so you don't think I have tiny fingers...

Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 04:49 am
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danpickard
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I'm aiming to have this box finished in time for "Southern Forest" meeting next year (for the locals that know what that event is, and I'm likely to be doing my gum tree clinic as well). Here, have started to add in the ferns (a mix of preserved asparagus ferns and some plastic N scale palm trees found on ebay, bought in bulk via China!), and a heap of long grass tufts. Also a healthy scattering of leaf litter, twigs and dirt. Most of the background scenery modelled here wont be very visible once the fore ground starts to grow, but needs to go in to promote the depth of the scene.







A few more details on the palm/fern trees. Kind of plastic looking straight from the pack (but cheap, like 200 palms for about $30!) as can be seen in the comparison shot. Looking past the colours though, the shape and molding wasn't too bad on the fronds, especially once planted in bulk. I just gave the truks a quick coat of burnt sienna, and then the fronds a more appropriate dash of greens. In amongst the scene, they seem to add good shape contrast.







Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 04:56 am
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danpickard
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The first of the large Mountain Ash pieces has been mounted in, with a handful of the "smaller 50' gums" around it. The little bush hut will be nestled at the base of these new trees, in amongst the scrub and ferns. With these trees in place, some of the interesting shadow play starts to happen on the rock face behind, and the rock looses some of its stark nature.





Made a start on the reeds for along the creek bank in the quiet sections. Decided to take this method straight from the Geoff Nott handbook. Firstly, pulled out an old broom head, for cutting some stiff bristle ends from, to make the cattails reeds. Used small balls of blu-tac squashed and then rolled on the end of the stem, and then painted with suitable acrylics.





Then started on the actual broad reeds. Woodlands fibres were too fine, so used the cut strips of coloured paper. Cut 4-5" strips, about 1" wide, then trimmed to a wavering pattern. The taxing part is cutting all the thin feathering into the strip (fingers are kind of sore after all that scissor work!), then given a dappled wash of thinned green acrylic. Once dry, the strip can be folded and bunched up, ends of leaves bent over, and then the cattails inserted into the clump. These are just temporarily held together with a smal peg, but will probably assemble the clumps before planting in the creek bed. Not too bad for a scrap of paper and broom bristle, with good depth and shadow to the bunch.









Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 05:53 am
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Toeffelholm
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Very impressive Dan! I'm delighted.

Taking small scale palms for ferns is a great Idea. What scale is your dorama?

Juergen



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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 05:57 am
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Paladin
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Looking good.

Thanks for showing the stages as it comes together. One can see how the whole scene comes together as you add layer upon layer.

The gum trees look very realistic.

I look forward to seeing it in person.

Don




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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 06:48 am
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Lucas Gargoloff
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All amazing. The rock work is very real!! The backdrop is a piece of art. The trees are great. What more can I say??? Thanks for share Dan!!!! :bow:



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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 07:00 am
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Huw Griffiths
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Lucas Gargoloff wrote: All amazing. The rock work is very real!! The backdrop is a piece of art. The trees are great. What more can I say??? Thanks for share Dan!!!! :bow:
My thoughts exactly - excellent work.

Huw.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 11:19 am
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wclm
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Dan

:thumb:The scene is impressive. I like the process for the reeds. I have a location on the layout that I want to add a small reedy area and your process looks like it will work very well for me. Thanks again for your posts.

                                                               Clif K



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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 12:04 pm
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chasv
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beautiful love the cattails:2t:



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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2011 03:20 pm
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danpickard
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Thanks all,
Its 1/48. Still a long way to go with it yet. Scenes like these suck up a heap of trees, so I had to start another batch of gums the other day. Also still have some experiments to do with the waterfall.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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