A week or so back, my eldest daughter (aged 10) was set homework which required her to "Make a 3D Japanese-themed diorama." That sounded more up my street!
I sat down with my daughter and asked her what she wanted to make a diorama of. She wanted to make a Japanese garden, with cherry blossom, a lake and a bridge. So we did some research and settled on two photographs for inspiration:
We agreed that the key elements would be:
1. A stream
2. A bridge
3. A shrine
4. Cherry blossom
Next step was to nail down the approach and base for the diorama. I scaled down her ambitions a little, and we agreed to use an old CD for the base. My daughter then drew out a rough plan for what she wanted:
|Note the stream with a bridge. The larger blobs are the cherry trees.|
Over the next couple of weeks, my daughter built and painted the entire diorama herself. I gave her free access to my modelling supplies, and helped by demonstrating the techniques and doing some minor holding / prep, but she did everything herself.
|I forgot to take earlier WIP pics. At this point she has build up a shallow stream with plasticard, glued on a shrine from my bits box, glued the tree bases and sanded the base. She built the bridge from coffee stirrers and matches.|
|At this point she had undercoated the whole base, then sprayed it brown and drybrushed the ground. She had added some green paint to the stream bed and had poured the first of several layers of water effects.|
|The water effect is now dry, although we did get a bit of seepage and an unsightly meniscus membrane at the edges which I trimmed for my daughter.|
|At this stage the tree trunks have been drybrushed, and the bridge darkened with a wash. The shrine has been painted and drybrushed, and she's placed and glued some flower tufts.|
|Gluing for the static grass.|
|Static grass being applied.|
|Onto the cherry trees. We didn't have any suitably coloured flock to hand, so we made do by shredding a kitchen sponge into small pieces.|
|The sponge pieces were glued to the tree armatures.|
And onto the finished diorama. The only final element was the addition of a few leaves to the ground.
I think she's done a fantastic job! She didn't want to add any figures to the scene, so I borrowed it for a couple of minutes and added one of my vaguely Japanese-styled Eldar.
I just hope that she gets a good mark for her homework. I may well be borrowing it for future photography too!