Monday, 30 January 2012

Have box, will travel...

Hi all,
Finally finding some time for a quick update.  Been a little quiet on the modelling front with school holidays and activities with the kids.  We did our usual January camping thing at my brother in laws sawmill property out the back of Lorne, so got to walk through some of the hikes again that this bush box diorama was influenced by.  Photos are handy, but its more fun getting out in the field so to speak.

So had some late evening time to play with a few parts for the scene.  First task was to tackle the "cattails" (or bullrush) for along the creek.  Nothing that a bit of green paper, and old straw broom and a bit of blu-tack can't handle.  Took this one straight from my Geoff Nott notes, cutting fine strap leaves into the paper strips, with a few painted highlights, and then the "cattail" head made from a blob of the blu-tack rolled around a short length of the broom straw.  A bit of paint and assembly, twist of the leaves, and there's an inch of bullrush.  I made about half a dozen of these clumps to line the front edge of the scene where the creek disappears into the foreground.  When the diorama is finished, I plan to add a picture frame around the scene, and these long reedy cattails will be the little lead point that will guide the eyes further up the creek and into the scene.  Its sort of all about leading lines, and trying to make natural looking lines.  Not real easy to explain, but in nature, natural lines occur that make those scenes look good, and thats whats trying to be replicated here.  Sounds a bit mad science, but its has a theory to it.  Google it...

I wanted to get the box up to a certain point to be able to take it along to my local model railway exhibition run by the Corio Model Railway Club here in January. I participate as part of the "Art of the Diorama" display, this year with fellow modeller, Grant McAdam. Often this display also involved two other modellers, Laurie Green and John Hunter, but they had their Outback Model Company trade stand set up along side us instead. I took along a step-by-step info display on how I make my gum trees, as well as a heap of trees to finish off painting. I also had a few bags of the cheap small scale palm trees (or larger scale tree ferns!) to paint up as well. The whole display looks kind of like this...
The plan for the weekend was to get the half completed block of trees completed, paint up the ferns, and then spend the last few hours of the first day planting out the scenery around the base of the gorge on the left side (where the small bush hut was to end up).  Got that all done in time so I could give it all a good glue drenching and leave it all overnight, in the hope that it would all be dry and well secured ready for transport home at the end of the show.  This bush box coffin travels laid down flat in the back of my wagon, so I had the fingers crossed the glue would be cured in time for transport (which it did...just).  I spent day two of the show working on some detail bits for the scene around the bush hut.  Decided to add a rough little bush sawmill (old sawbench powered by a salvaged diesel engine), half housed under a small iron shelter.  A few weeds, ferns and ivy added, and still plenty of smaller details to bring into the scene, but one of the things about doing this stuff at exhibitions, is plenty of people want to stop and talk about it, a lot, so best intentions of what you wanted to get done in the day are usually cut by half.  At least all comments are positive, and viewers are impressed with what can be done with some garden scraps and plant cuttings.  While the shows can be a bit tiring (what with the constant conversations and repetetive explainations of how you did it), its good to get out a promote the hobby a bit, and catch up with a few of the usual crew out an about for the day.

With the box back home in the garage for further work, the goal is now to get it completed in time for the next "Southern Forests" meet, which is a narrow gaugers gathering at Emerald (Puffing Billy country) in late March.  I will be presenting a few of my clinics on building the gum trees at this show, and hope to have the diorama completed by then, as a good example of putting the trees to good use.  For now, heres where the scenery is at.  Time to assemble a couple more of the taller Mountain Ash trees for the right foreground...


1 comment:

  1. Dan,

    This is looking fantastic. Nice to see the entirety of it.