Well here we go. Been putting this off for a while but I guess time to start collating all the info I have so far, and capturing the final legs of my journey with this diorama. I usually dont like posting half built shots of dioramas. Get too many questions about what is to come rather than what has prgressed so far.
What is the diorama about ?
Essentially I wanted to build one that shows the Australian presence in Iraq, particularly Baghdad, on a SECDET (security Detachment) patrol in our ASLAV variants.I want to show these vehicles patrolling one of their zones during the reconstruction stage of Iraq. This is the story line. Simple.
The tone of the diorama is one of reconstruction and optimisim. It is not about realities of war or social commentary. It asks the viewer to enjoy craftsmanship and detail. It shows the local civiallians going about their daily life under the watchfull eye of the Security force in the Aussies.
The diorama has had many chages and has evolved into something that now sits well with me in design and composition. The evolution of the diorama will be posted in as best as way as I can represent.
I build for competition. So with that in mind I build with the full knowledge of judging and standards or scrutiny that will be applied. I dont build for myself and therefore I like to reseacrh the elemnts of the diorama to ensure that they are factual or plausible. I do take artistic liberties where appropriate, but as long as it is plausible. I am definitely a student of the Shep Paine school of diorama construction and faithfully follow his observations and commentary. I understand that in Australia, I will definitely encounter service personnel who "know" what the vehicles should look like and their configurations, so Once again that must be historically correct.
Let me put that last point in perspective. Imagine as a builder of German Tiger tanks Michael Wittman was to look over your model in a comp. Other than sweating bullets, you would want to make sure you crossed your t's and dotted your i's. Not just to impress the guy, but to make sure he does'nt dismiss the model as just like all the others. I also have this passion that when a serviceman looks at my art, he not only appreciates it's craftmanship, but the fact a civvy has taken the time to get it right.
I'm not sure where to start - so many beginnings. I guess i will post some pics of where I am at right now. Then I will post some evolution shots of the layout. A couple of issues and challengs to be shown. Also the big one that alot of people have asked me to do is detail how I have made my buildings. I promised I would cover that off as best as I could. The buildings are done now, but I did take a few in progress shots (reference pics for the judging schedule).
I very much welcome all comments. I love the good ones letting me kow somethings hitting the mark. The ones that tell me i screwed something up are just as valuable - If I get them in progress, I can address or fix the issue. If the problem is a misunderstanding then I can take the opportunity to clarify. PLease let me know if you something that you think is not right. It;'s odd but getting constructive criticism can be difficult sometimes. I promise I wont bite the head off anyone, and if it's not something to say in public - just private message me and let me know there.
Lastly, about me. I would see myself as a lansdcape builder foremost. A painter second and a model builder last. What i fail on in construction I make up for in painting (usually). I have a philosophy on dioramas that i really hold dear to my heart and I guess its what drives me to build. Basically it goes like this. The diorama is a 3d image - one that is a snapshot in time- they do not move. The layout and composition must be pleasing to the eye. The diorama is a whole, it is not an awesome vehicle on a lump of mud or sand. If The vehicles should be removed then the buildings or landscape should be classed as a model on their own! for example a bridge in a diorama with atnk could have the tank removed and a rally car driving over it or a horse drawn carriage, the bridge should be the same quality (not necesairly design). The same amount of detail to a vehicle should be put into researching architecture or road design, signs, foliage and so on. Nothing hangs over the egde of my diorama, but it shouldnt look like it's posed to fit. Thats a nutshell of it.
So I'll go sort out some pics now. I hope you enjoy this part of the construction