I'm crafting my first real substantial diorama (read: not made out of construction paper and a shoe box) and I need some construction assistance. Bonus! It's the ice planet of Hoth!
I've started building models lately. My latest construction is this
- a Star Wars AT-AT that I finished up last month. I include the blog link and associated pictures because they are relevant.
A week or so after finishing the model, I realized I was missing something. Mainly, I felt like I could really make it something special if I fleshed it out a little bit with a diorama scene - maybe turn it into something I could put on my desk at work or something like that.
I have no experience with this sort of thing, but I have a couple books that go over it a little, so I decided to give it a whirl.
1. I went out and bought some wood (including some toe moldings for the edges) and I put it all together into a suitable frame.
2. Then I bought some foam insulation. I cut it to shape and used it to start to construct the terrain - which includes some hills and such to give it a little character.
3. Then I bought some spackle - you know, the stuff in a tub that's purple, but turns white as it dries. I mixed this with some Elmer's glue to make a kind of paste, and I applied this in layers over the styrofoam to create a more realistic terrian.
4. While wet, I added some accessories - I used some straws for some industrial piping and conduit and some other stuff. Also, the AT-AT model came with some gun emplacements, so I added those.
5. I used some green modeling putty to fix up some of the edge work and so on.
Next, I would sandpaper it down to a fine finish and spray paint it with a primer and then give the whole thing a base coat and then paint it per usual.... except, I have a problem.
The problem is that I'm not sure how to merge the diorama and the AT-AT. The AT-AT is already painted, detailed and finished.
I don't want to just glue the AT-AT on as an afterthought once everything is all painted and finished with the diorama.
I mean, this is supposed to be Hoth! If an AT-AT is trudging across a field of snow and ice, one would think it would sink a little bit and kind of leave an impression in the terrain. I want the putty/terrain around the feet to kind of squish up around the feet of the AT-AT, as if you put your foot in mud. Does that make sense?
However, my every effort to that thus far has a) almost ruined my AT-AT and b) almost ruined my diorama, which now looks like this
after some dramatic patching work.
In a perfect world I would have these foot "impressions" - then I would prime, paint, finish and just drop the AT-AT into place... but I'm not sure how to do that without getting putty all over the AT-AT and making a huge awful situation.
My latest idea is to like, trace an outline of the AT-AT foot imprint, then cut a piece that matches it out of wood or something and use it kind of like a stamp in wet putty.. but.. I"m not sure if that will work, or if I have the technical expertise.
I kind of want to give up. Help!