Monastery Diorama III – Filler and Paint

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My vacation continues with lots of time to work on the monastery diorama. I’ve decided to focus on the diorama, so it be able to function as a photo backdrop for when I finish some figures and vehicles.

The lower floor of the tower was now ready for painting. Since it would be closed off by the next floor, I had to paint the inside before going on.

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I’ve always been too lazy to use an airbrush, so I still rely on spray cans for mass painting. For the first layer on the ruin I used the color Duck Season from Montana, bought in an crafts store in Copenhagen.

I also shaded the insides with a dark brown wash and highlighted with a very light brown, more about that later.

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The floor of the tower also needed some attention before moving on. I decided to make special mixture for the floor, as seen on the image above. From the left it’s fine sawdust, turf from Woodland Scenics, finely sifted dirt and finally used and dried coffee!

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It blended together really well and I think it’ll look great inside the dark tower once the next floor is completed, blocking the light.

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As you might have noticed on the first image of my previous build article, the individual building blocks were very visible. So I mixed some more plaster (is there anything it can’t do? 🙂 ) and applied it to the seams with a carving tool. Then I used my fingers to spread it out, which I think gave an nice effect of making some of the stones appear as even larger.14

After a drying period, everything was covered in Duck Season. 🙂

Then it was time for shading, which I really had been looking forward to.

15 mixed a wash of dark brown acrylic paint, water and a single drop of dishwasher soap to break the surface tension and applied it liberally. The plaster wall seemed to really soak the paint, so I had to make extra of the wash several times.

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Here’s a closeup of the wash, still a bit wet which accounts for the shiny surface. I think Bruce Hirst, the creator of the Hirst Arts molds have done a great job in texturing the stones of his fieldstone molds. It’s really a pleasure to work with. 🙂

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After finishing the interior of the lower floor of the tower, I began to make the ceiling. As recommended by Hirst Arts, I cut a card template for the floor.

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That made a good base to glue the floor tiles on and the construction feels surprisingly sturdy.

At this point it was 3 in the morning, so I decided to stop for the night. 🙂

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This morning I took this photo of the progress. Note that the courtyard hasn’t received any washes yet, since I’ll be spraypainting the upper levels of the tower later on.

It’s really a fun project and it’s great with a whole week of vacation to build in. My girlfriend is even away on a course, so I hope to finish the diorama this week. 🙂

What do you think, any ideas for improvements?

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