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Let's make a present! Hanseatic League Sea Traffic Control Center

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While I was working on the combat diver diorama - Please check here: -> Let's make a present! Combat divers on the beach<- my boss approached me with another present.


Another colleague would leave us soon, so I had to prepare a third present.

Errr. Okay. I am doing it because I can and because it is fun. Well then - Let's go.


I knew this:

Our colleague was playing football from time to time.



Well I guess that's what it's like when you keep all your information to yourself. I guess I should do that more often.


In conclusion - I had no idea what to do.

So my boss thought of the following:


A giant owl that carries an anchor.


I checked the internet for a fitting miniature and by accident found a human coach figure for Guildball tabletop. It didn't look exactly like him, but the hair was georgous. So I bought it.

Then I stumbled upon a giant owl and bought it, too.


Now I had both figures and started to make some plans.







But I didn't like it. Way too high, way too small, height difference too big. No. That's not what I wanted to create.


I 've gotta think of something else.


Actually, that's quite demotivating ...

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You can get an anchor as parts from modelshops who sell wooden ships.


How large do you want the owl to be?


How about the Owl flying away with the football, while the character looks on?


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6 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:

You can get an anchor as parts from modelshops who sell wooden ships.


How large do you want the owl to be?


How about the Owl flying away with the football, while the character looks on?





I checked all the stuff und the problem is - or better: was - not the owl or the anchor, but the design and hight of the showcase.


It didn't fit.


A normal show case is too small and a high showcase leaves too much room between a flying owl and the character on the ground. It's not as compact as I want it to be. It looks more like a gap between two unrelated elements.


But - I think I already have got a solution for my problem.

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Ready for round two? Hmmm - back again with some more smooth sailin' ...


Well, as I wrote yesterday I wasn't very fond of what we had come up with regarding the setting of the diorama.


So when I went to sleep, I decided to watch some TV for relaxation and tuned in to a documentary channel.


I was lucky not to tune in to some 48-hour-what-happened-during-the-Nazi-regime-documentary-marathon, as those are pretty often shown on Germany TV. Instead I was lucky enough to watch a documentary on the Deutsche Hanse, the Hanseatic League, a German-based trade community that rose during the middle ages and dominated social, political and economical sectors of medieval Europe.

As the colleague and I are both from Northern Germany, where Hamburg, Lübeck and Rostock are located (three of the more important cities of the Hanse), I thought about changing the topic of the diorama more into that direction.


Owl-anchor-guy-diorama - you are dismissed!


But what to do? I couldn't sleep anymore, got up again and started to brainstorm ideas. Hamburg and Lübeck, two important harbours in Northern Germany.  Maritime background. Navy. Naval Aviation. Sea Rescue Services. Maritime Security. Maritime Safety. Masses of more or less seaworthy vessels. Tight schedules. Elbe River. German Bight. How to connect that to Hanseatic League? It took me a bit until I noticed that our colleague likes to organize stuff.

Organize ... sea traffic. That would make a splendid idea. A diorama that implements the elements of Northern German history: Hanse, sea traffic, importance for trade and economy and something to organize that all.


So a Maritime traffic control center for the Hanseatic League. I had to laugh about that idea for 10 minutes or so. Such an awesome idea.

I began to check the Internet for modern Traffic Control Centers, Naval Operation Commands and Rescue Coordination Centers to figure out what the key elements of those centers are. I marked the following:


- Several operators and supervisors sitting in a room or several rooms
- Rooms often got distinctive shapes to enable supervision and accessibility of different stations from the same place
- Computerbased sea charts and databases
- Big tv screens for communication, display and tv reception
- Bill-boards for quick information accessibility
- Chairs. A lot of chairs
- "Coffee corner" (Chief Petty Officers - because coffee doesn't drink itself)
- Lockers and shelves

- Pretty good illumination


So I started to think how to combine that with a medieval setting. At least for the TV screen I had a great idea. The late Sir Terry Pratchetts disc world novels triggered that idea in me: A magic mirror.


Sounds more like a Fantasy setting. But that is okay. I created an owl mage diorama, so I am a master of Fantasy :-D Haha.


I then went over to my local supplier and started searching for material usable for my plan. I didn't have much time, so nothing I needed to spend more time on than necessary. Bought me some stuff. Most of it resin. Time to wash.




I also aquired some laser-cut furniture, which was easy to assemble and also easy to paint.




As I already told in my combat diver-WIP thread, the diorama showcases needed like 10 days to arrive, so my time was quite limited. In this case I had like 4 days left. I started off making a wall between the operators room and the supervisors room.


Oh yeah - I forgot to tell: I went over to a local museum to have a look into a half-timber house to see how rooms are partitioned and what such a building looks like from the inside.


So I decided to go for a wooden ground using some balsa wood. As always my first attept was a completely mindless punch right into the face of the problem and I messed it up. Not only did I totally ignore the fact that a wooden floor in such an important place is taken care off, but I also ignored the way the wood is cut.


In the end my first try looked like crap. I totally messed up.




Errr ... it's always like that. I am thinking of something, try to achieve it IMMEDIATELY, ignore all preparation and mess up. Gnaaar.


Well then - please some music for filling the time gap to the next day! *claps in his hands*

Sun goes down - Sun rises again


Next day started early in the morning with me going to the DIY market and getting new balsa wood. I then asked the staff how to apply the wood the correct way and the guy told me how he would do it.


I went home, dismantled the whole diorama again and threw the old wood away, then applied the new one.


While that was drying I made a medieval football out of greenstuff, glued it to the coach and started painting.




While he was drying, I went back to the diorama, painting it with my airbrush, applying a wash and then letting it dry.




Then I continued painting and washing the chairs, tables and lockers.






Well then - now leave that to dry and we will see how it will come out.

Edited by Knochensack
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2 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

I'm curious to see what you will do with that.


@GlitterwolfI am, too. But I am mostly curious to see what you will think of it in the end.

Edited by Knochensack
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Well then - round number 3.


After letting the wash dry I had to figure that I once again messed up.


Well, the ground looked like my laptop, which I spilled tea over yesterday. Thanks @Glitterwolf




That's not what I wanted it to look like.


Gnaarf. Well then - once again from the beginning. Thanks to my airbrush, the application of another layer of brown color was done in seconds ...




... and the wash also came on pretty easily.




Well - that looks more like what I was aiming at.


While the floor was drying, I turned over to the first element I wanted to finish: The bill-board. Used a number of toothpicks and some balsa wood for it ...




... then applied a dark brown wash ...




... et violà! As easy as it could be.




Then I finished the first table. Still have to do the candle. But ... it already looks quite good.






Turned back to the coach guy and continue painting.




Finished the inner walls and started painting the entrance.






And then ... let all that stuff dry again ...

Edited by Knochensack
Too dumb to do stuff
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Ah, come on - forget the timeframe I set. I want to get it done now. I am hungry.




And here we go again.


Do you love panicking? Can't you wait to see your best plan crumble because you dumba** forgot to consider a basic fault in your thoughts?


Does the mountain of work rise while your time runs out? Are you enjoying to realize you only have got two days left, while you should have like 8 or so?


Well ... you can't be helped anymore!


Errrr. Really now. The last two days of construction were on and I realized I had forgotten to solve an important problem. When I checked the room for all the tables, chairs and other stuff I hadn't considered that this room wil be divided by a wall - which effectively halves the space that I could use for the installation of the furniture.

That said, I soon figured all the big tables I bought were absolutely useless for my work. I assembled and painted stuff I couldn't use ... noooo.


I had to think of something else. Well then - back to my toothpicks and balsa wood ...


... made awesome stuff out of it ...




... base coated them ...




... and painted them ...




While they were drying I continued on making a sign for the bill-board out of plastic styrene and balsa wood.






Then I started painting the tv mirror ...




... continued painting the buildings interior ...




... and the chairs.




It seems like the left chair has had some bad experiences with heavy weight ...


Well then. I barely made it that far, then I had get back to work. And I wasn't finished ... nooooo (2).


So I took the diorama, my selfmade painting toolbox and an old cardbox as some kind of mobile paint station, went to the train station and spent the next few hours going to my work place.


When I finally arrived, I continued painting and glueing.


Just to give you an idea how the next few hours were spent ...




DON'T ask any questions. And yes, it took until half past 1 in the morning ... and I had to get up at 0500 ... Why did I do that again?

Anyway - I am done. Finished, so to speak. Which means. Right ... over here



->Let's present ... a present: Hanseatic League Sea Traffic Control Center<-



In conclusion: Awesome. Best diorama I ever did. My fourth at all, my third as a present. Put a lot of effort in it which I wouldn't have been able to put in if I didn't had that naval background. Though it was a tough one in the end, it still was absolutely fun and I wouldn't have done it another way. Well - apart from like having only 4 days to finish it. I should work on getting things organized.


In the end I decided to leave out the owl, as I didn't find a way to implement it. Then I forgot to paint the light effect from the TV energy source, changed that in the end and figured I had done too much, which angers me a bit. But afar from that - everything I thought of is implemented. I even put in a weather control radar ... i mean crystal ball.


Still have to laugh about it :-D




Next projects are already coming up - so stay tuned!

Edited by Knochensack
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