Welcome to a new installment of my Laputa project. Today I want to talk about the base construction of the diorama that I made out of polystyrene.
The first thing that I had to do was to judge the size of the diorama. This is done by first putting the models together temporarily and then placing them on a piece of paper cut out to the size desired. Naturally you will be very lucky indeed if you manage to get the size right the first time. When the positioning of the models is done and the size of the base is to your liking it is time to cut out the base parts from polystyrene.
This can be done in two ways; with a heating wire or a sharp knife. I used the later, since I don't have a polystyrene heat cutter. It worked just fine.
Once again you have to position the model vis-à-vis the polystyrene parts until you are satisfied with the layout. The next step is to detail the base. Since this was a representation of a stone castle; the detailing had to look like stone and bricks.
The aqueduct was made first, and I gave it a stone effect with air-drying clay. Unfortunately I had very limited time when I was doing this so I did not take any progress photos. But I have done the next best thing. I have produced a small demo on a piece of polystyrene I had laying about.
The air-drying clay I used was Das. This is relatively cheap and one 500g block was more than enough for my needs. It is very versatile stuff and produces very little shrinkage, but it does not hold very sharp lines well. Fortunately I did not need sharp lines. Other products needed are PVA glue, a roller or round tubular object, and some sculpting implements.
This is done by adding tissue paper. Several layers can be added depending on the type of textured effect you are trying to achieve. To add the tissue paper place some slightly watered down PVA glue (or wallpaper glue) on to the stone and place a layer or two of toilet paper on top of it. Work the toilet paper into the groves with an old brush and let it dry before adding a second layer. It is as simple as that.
The path way was built up from hobby mosaics that you can buy very cheaply from a crafts store or online. The advantage with using these, is that they give you nice even blocks all of the same size. The drawback is that they are made from very hard ceramic that is nearly impossible to scratch or break.
Next week I have another interesting installment for this diorama - I will be talking about how I built up the vegetation.
Until then farewell and good health.