Forest Diorama First Look

I pointed out in a few recent posts that I often draw the same natural objects. I should have mentioned that I model them, too! Here is a sneak peek at a project I’ve been engaged in for a little while. I intend for it to serve several purposes.

Forest Floor
Continue reading “Forest Diorama First Look”

Trouble at the Taberna

Two weeks were enough to finish this fun and creativity-inspiring project. I’m a Latin teacher and have studied antiquity for more than half my life, but this is (almost) my first foray into the Roman world as a modeler. It was also my first complex diorama, but it certainly won’t be my last. I’m going to bring this scene into class to share with my students, and I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

So much going on!

Read on for a peek at all the details and my thoughts on creating this piece.

Continue reading “Trouble at the Taberna”

Last One to Arrive

Ok, I’ve added a ninth and final figure to my Roman tavern/street diorama. There is pretty much no more space to add another mini, at least not in a way that would supplement the scene rather than detract from it.

This fellow is peering around the main character’s shoulder, lending emphasis to that figure’s gaze & shout. I’m not sure if he’s a patron of the bar, the landlord, or what, but I knew he belonged back in there. He’s a well fed guy, so I gave him a nice palla to wear to further emphasize his affluence.

Continue reading “Last One to Arrive”

Another Shopper in Rome

I’ve successfully added to my diorama again, this time adding a lower class woman out shopping for food. I needed another, more typical Roman woman to complement the senator’s ostentatious wife, so this one is wearing a simple undied wool tunic while she visits the market.

She’s removing her hood to see what all the fuss is about behind her. In her basket she carries a small loaf of bread, a sausage, and an apple. I’m planning to add another item, maybe a pomegranate or a quince, which has fallen onto the street.

Continue reading “Another Shopper in Rome”

Chicken Little er… Little Chickens

Sorry for the dad jokes. If the shoe fits!

Here’s today’s mini added to the Roman diorama. This figure is a slave cook carrying two chickens from the market. Unlike the other figures, who are engaged in one way or another with the hubbub in front of the popina, this fellow is going about his business as planned.

I knew the scene wouldn’t be complete without a slave, a member of an often forgotten class of essential workers who enabled the vast Roman society & economy to function. We must keep in mind the institution of slavery whenever we are tempted to glorify Roman ‘greatness’. While a fundamentally different practice than modern slavery, servitudo was nevertheless a vicious and dehumanizing state of affairs.

Continue reading “Chicken Little er… Little Chickens”

More Progress on My ‘Simple’ Diorama

Well, another figure entered the scene, and two more are on the way! I am having a lot of of fun cramming as much information, humor, and drama into this tiny diorama as I’m able, so I just keep adding more details & minis!

The latest is the legionary hanging out by the door, watching the scene unfold but doing nothing to help. The miniature’s face points at the main character, but if you follow his eyes he’s actually checking out the senator’s wife!

I also added a number of scenic details, finishing the rubbish & mule dung, smashing a wine cup onto the sidewalk, and tucking a tiny lizard up onto the roof above the barkeeper.

Feeling Foresty

Whenever possible I’ve been stealing moments to further this project, another little woodland scene.

This one has a dead tree on it, and I’ll be adding mushrooms, grass, and whatever else I can think of. These are a few bolete-style mushrooms ready for painting. Continue reading “Feeling Foresty”

Lichen It: Another Forest Vignette

I finished off in just a few days another little test scene. I enjoy creating these little vignettes for their own sake, and I can practice techniques or experiment with ideas I might draw upon when I’m basing a mini in the future.

A forest scene that could serve as the base for a miniature.

For this little forest scene I focused upon an idea I had for creating lichen and continued messing around with leaf litter. Continue reading “Lichen It: Another Forest Vignette”

Mushroom Preserve

I think I’m going to call this little scene finished.

I experimented with my mushroom building process (that was useful), I tried adding some leaf litter (useful trial, but I’m going to keep working on it), and I failed, in my judgement, with the larger plants. I’ll keep working on that one. Continue reading “Mushroom Preserve”

Forest Scene

I’ve been making a little scene to practice some scenic elements and attempt to replicate some of the cool stuff my little buddy & I have been finding in the woods lately.  I could easily add a figure here, but I don’t plan to.  These scenic vignettes are intended as quiet little places to retire to when you can’t get away from your desk.

A forest scene that could be used as a base for a mini, but won't be!

I have built these little Nature scenes before and always given them away as gifts. I want one for my desk at school, but I also have a recipient in mind. I’ll probably give it away. Continue reading “Forest Scene”