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pinkymadigan

Mouseling Diorama, needs finishing touches

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I always start my WIPs too late. This is my first scenic thing, normally I paint/build for game use exclusively, but my wife wanted a little scene with the mouselings from Bones II.

 

This is somewhere in the done to done-ish range, but I've not convinced myself yet. I think maybe the tree needs more bulk and I'm mixed on the grass. I feel like a few tufts of color wouldn't hurt. Maybe some flower tufts? I still need to stain and seal the rim obviously, but I'm waiting until I'm finished so I can tape those sections off and give a light spray coat to help things stay put.

 

Is there maybe something I could do to the bush/tree material to give it more color depth? Will it take paint well? It's the Woodland Scenics stuff usually used for model train terrain.

 

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Any other tips or advice would be most welcome.

Edited by pinkymadigan
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Very nice work!

 

For the tree, you could use some of the various colors of turf/flock to help add depth to the base foliage. I use woodland scenics coarse turf for making trees for my train layout. Turning the tree upside down and using a dark color for the shadows, and then a lighter color on the top of the tree really helps add depth.

 

Since the base foliage is pretty much just foam, it will soak up paint like, well, a foam sponge. Maybe a light dry brush will help avoid that, as long as the brush is really dry.

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I was thinking a light drybrush might help. Might be able to get some darker turf under the tree canopy, but I wish they sold smaller batches of the stuff! I'm never going to use the three colors I already have...

 

The tree is pretty firmly attached already too, so might be awkward to get any turf on the underside.

 

What's the best way to add more bulk up top? Do I just glue the turf to turf? I don't think I made enough structure for the tree initially. Could I glue some brown pinning wire in for support or would that end up reading like wire where it remained uncovered?

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Put some dark brown wood stain on that base, and then re-assess the foam and flock. Darkening the base will make the green colors stand out more and it will look a lot better than it does right now.

 

You might add a few twigs and some more debris on the ground, esp. under the tree.

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Firstly, I love the concept of this diorama. Plus mouselings...mouselings r awesome. Your off to a fantastic start.

Like Inarah said some debris is in order. Dried tea leaves or dried spices make excellent leaf litter/ tiny sticks. I mix flock (any dirt color will do)with white glue (mod podge is what I use) and just kind of glop it on here and there, anywhere the wind would have blown such things. Such as under the tree, up against the fence and boulders, the dirt path. Then while it's still tacky just sprinkle some dry turf, tea leaves, dried spices such as oregano or basil on top. Or you can make up another mixture of your debris with some more white glue and glop that on top. The glue will dry clear, leaving you with some natural looking debris. It will be shiny but you can just hit it with some matte sealer to knock that down. The dirt portion of the path would look nice with some muddy spots. Realistic water or some other resin if you have it or you can just use some gloss sealer. I think it could benefit from some variation in plant life. Grass tufts, flower flock etc. if you have it. Anything to break up the sameness of the terrain.

 

I can't wait to see the finished piece, it's gonna be so cool!

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I was thinking some debris or details might help, but was worried about over-busying the scene? I've no talent for sculpting, but I think I could maybe do some mushroom patches for color?

 

I'm worried about staining the base too early because I want to spray a light protective coat, but I suppose I can stain and seal the base then tape it off.

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Nature is a very busy place. Texture and variety is what it's all about. :-) I forgot to mention, if you decide to do the glue/flock/ debris mixture. Add water to the mix. You want the glue to be kind of runny, similar to paint consistency before you start adding the flock and such. Otherwise it'll be to stiff to spread.

 

As far as staining goes, if you can imagine what the colors will look like after the stain, it's not necessary. If your having trouble imagining it go ahead and stain it. You can go over the stain with gloss sealer after you spray your protective coat or tape it. Whichever you feel most comfortable with.

 

Did I mention how much I love this? Yeah? I'll say it again then, I love this.

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I like the story you're telling quite a bit, not least because I can tell what it is right away.

 

I agree that more bits would help. To keep it from looking too busy, don't make it colorful. You want the impression of fractal detail, not a riot of color, and your party is pretty colorful already.

 

I do wish it were quite a bit smaller. (The scale is right for a game; not so much for a piece of art.) I think you could compress everything you have onto a base half the length and half the width and get a much more dynamic image. Adding vertical dimension would help as well.

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I like the story you're telling quite a bit, not least because I can tell what it is right away.

 

I agree that more bits would help. To keep it from looking too busy, don't make it colorful. You want the impression of fractal detail, not a riot of color, and your party is pretty colorful already.

 

I do wish it were quite a bit smaller. (The scale is right for a game; not so much for a piece of art.) I think you could compress everything you have onto a base half the length and half the width and

get a much more dynamic image. Adding vertical dimension would help as well.

 

Lessons for next time for sure.

 

I had only a vague notion of the scene I wanted to block and where everything would fit into it when I bought the base and started on the tree. After the tree was done I felt pretty committed, but you're right, when I was filling things in I felt the need to space things out more than they should be.

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I like the story you're telling quite a bit, not least because I can tell what it is right away.

 

I agree that more bits would help. To keep it from looking too busy, don't make it colorful. You want the impression of fractal detail, not a riot of color, and your party is pretty colorful already.

 

I do wish it were quite a bit smaller. (The scale is right for a game; not so much for a piece of art.) I think you could compress everything you have onto a base half the length and half the width and

get a much more dynamic image. Adding vertical dimension would help as well.

 

Lessons for next time for sure.

 

I had only a vague notion of the scene I wanted to block and where everything would fit into it when I bought the base and started on the tree. After the tree was done I felt pretty committed, but you're right, when I was filling things in I felt the need to space things out more than they should be.

 

 

Nearly everyone does that to start with. When you think it's tight enough, tighten it up some more. And then do it again.

 

It's kind of like painting highlights and shadows on minis.  ^_^

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I would do some tea leaves as others suggested.

The tree diameter and bulk seems perfectly fine.  Don't poke that skunk!

 

You can add a few tufts and/or flower tufts here and there.

 

You can dry-brush lighter colors onto the flocking to bring up the color variation.

 

Overally, this is a very charming piece with the mouslings painted beautifully.

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I'm with Darcstaar. The tree has plenty of bulk. Most deciduous trees are actually pretty see-through when you see them in small groups or individually.

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