Mushroom Forest

I think I’ve finished up the setting for my next mini creation. It’s a forest scene packed with all sorts of mushrooms. There’s a figure still to come, but I wanted this piece to stand without one.

There were plenty of challenges. Leaves that can’t effectively be bent, rolled, or twisted. Various media fighting each other. Frustratingly slow drying times!

There’s plenty I’d like to improve or change, but I’m very happy overall. The turkeytails and lichens are the best I’ve done. The effect of the leaves in the water looks cool. And the logs are real good to my eye. So yeah, a nice little piece of modeling, I think.

Read on for a tour of the various mushrooms and other woodsy stuff!

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.