Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Laputa Diorama: Part 3

Hi everyone,

Today I want to talk a bit about how I formulated the idea for the diorama.  The process is basically the same for any diorama I work on. 

The first step after I choose the subject and the kit or models is to look for reference.  This can be photographs, artwork, other peoples work or even real life places. In this case it was mostly artwork from the movie.

Here Google is your friend.  After a thorough search I found several pictures that started to spark up the imagination. The first picture below was the one that gave me the idea for the setting.  The robot extending his arm and giving the little princess a flower.  I knew there and then that this is what I wanted the whole diorama to revolve around.

The next picture gave me the look for the diorama - that of an ancient garden.  The picture below shows the angular paths and water ways that I used in the actually piece.  Naturally I embellished it a bit with flowers and plants, but looking at the other reference and the film itself, you will find that the concept of a flowery garden is not out of place.

The other pictures where more or less a reference for the painting of the robot.  They also show how the princess should have been dressed and how I wanted to re-model her if I had the time.  Also, to my chagrin, they all feature the boy as well, but I did not have enough spare change at the time to justify buying the other kit with the boy and the warrior robot.

The next step was to build up the girl and the robot and pose them together in order to determine how I would build the diorama and most important the angle and size.  So I drew a rough sketch of the layout on a sheet of paper and started positioning and re-positioning the actors until I came up with the angle I wanted.
By now, and after two days of brainstorming,  I knew I wanted to include the pool from the picture above and also an aqueduct leading to the pool.  Once again Google is your friend here.  After a search I came up with the photo reference I needed to build the diorama.
The first three pictures are aqueducts from across the Mediterranean.  Invaluable for the construction of smaller versions.

I knew the pool in the reference was too plain.  The figures are big so I needed to find a way to fill the diorama up, otherwise it would look empty.  One way to go about this was to elaborate on the pool. The pictures below gave me the push I needed to finally galvanize my idea into a workable project. 

I am sure you can all see the resemblance from the pictures above to my finished piece in the previous post.  The conceptual elements are all there to see.  Without this critical and vital step in the creative process, I doubt any modeler can come up with a decent diorama, no matter how good a painter and modeler he or she is.  Naturally, this is just my humble opinion, but I do truly believe in it.
That is why I decided to take the time to write about this vital step in the methodology of how I go about building dioramas.  I hope you find it interesting and instructive, especially those of you who are new to the hobby and do not know where to start. 
Stay tuned next week as I continue to discuss the basic construction of the scene and the materials and techniques employed.
Until then, farewell and good health,

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