How to... Zwergenfelsen

Creating a diorama (a SBS by Martin Hille)

Title: an unexpected encounter
year: 2013
scale: 1/32

step 1: taking an modell railway rock, crashed it into pieces and assembled in a new position. Take some pieces of foam, rip dozens of small pices for the stone quary tail and for making the forest floor. Take PVA glue for fixing the parts together and sprayed all with black color and the first white highlights from above. After that you should have this result.

step 2: made the wooden box for the diorama. Color the rocks with acrylic paints and take some old trees to get an first impression. Place the 54mm dwarf on the cliff and see: ... my painting style on the rocks is terrible

step 3: airbrushed the rocks in new (grey) color and fixed the first layer of turf on the surface


step 4, 5, 6, 7: 
4. double most of the turf parts with PVA glue and more synthetic turf
5. drilling a hole in the little rock for the large fir. 
6. fixing a long wooden rod into the hole and simulate the roots wih some small branches. 
7. cover all with PVA glue and toilet paper

step 8: cover the whole tree with wood repair putty and scratching with an old brush the complete surface

step 9: after drying color all with "crackle medium" and let it dry for an night...

step 10: take different green, black and brown acylic colors and wash the whole scene like the devil …

step 11: the completely washed and with light green, white and light brown drybrushed scene


step 12: made the small maple tree: twisted copper wire, a layer of toilet paper and PVA glue for the bark and some brown acrylic colors for the coloring. The bark lichens are made with a little drop of light green

step 13: the first layer of static grass was glued on the surface. Some (dozens, hundreds, thousands- I don't know...) small hanging roots are fixed with PVA glue on the mossy rocks). After hours of doing this boring job, the whole rock should looks liks this one

step 14: now we try to transform the clean look of the ground into a "autumn forest ground": Therefor we need some dryed and colored "spices" (you can buy them from a lot of companys- I used in this case some from POLAK). As an alternative you can take dryed tea leaves- it's much cheaper and you can start the work with a healthy drink! Fix all with PVG glue on the surface and as the highest layer you should use lasercutted leaves. Let all dry for a lot of hours and after that you can color the lasercut leaves with verry thinned acrylic colors (like brown and black). You never should use flat leaves on your diorama. It will looks much more realistic if you bend every leave in your hand before you fix it in the scene!

step 15: the spruce tree. take some twisted wire, solder them with white metal for more stability. Then I sticked the lowest branches in the trunk and fixed them with super glue. Now they were colored with brown acrylics. The higher branches get some tiny branches, made of static grass and a "elektrostat" tool. After that, the branches sprayed brown with a simple spray can

step 16: Oh, I found a lot of untapped space between the hanging roots. Anyway, no problem! I can fill it with dozens of lasercutted plants...

step 17: the fern: Here I will show two different ways of making the fern plants. The first ones are lasercutted palnts and the second ones are photo etched plants. Both have their own benefit and disadvantage. The lasercutted are better to color with acrylics and washes (I normaly use a simple set of school inks from my childs basic school time) and the photo etchend are better to bend in position. I used in this scene both of them. So, perhaps you can see the differents (the brown ones are lasercutted- the light green ones are the etched ones). The price for them is nearly the same but the result is verry different

step 18: that's how the whole scene look like after a lot of hours, spent with bending and glueing leaves, small roots, fern and stinging nettle plants...

step 19: adding a small oak in front of the rocks. Made more or less like the other trees: twisted wire fixed with super glue, made the bark with surfacer, painted with acrylics and covered with a lot of leaves. Do you have an idea, how many leaves I need for this tree? There hanging more than 1000 leaves on this little tree! Last step was to add the static grass on the branches.

step 20: after sculpting and painting the dwarf and the squirrel I'm fixed them on the top of the rock and on the branch. And so they show well why I gave the diorama the title: "An unexpected encounter"