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Inspired by @giyomuSan and all the great information generated on his diorama thread, I thought I'd appeal to the Forum Groupmind for advice on a diorama I'm hoping to bring to ReaperCon in August.


I'm trying to depict a fremen (from Frank Herbert's Dune) calling a Maker.  I'm using Goremaw for the sandworm, and one of the Reaper Nefsokar minis (a little modified) for the fremen.  This is the first diorama I've tried to construct after actually learning something about how to design one at last year's ReaperCon!  ::D:  So while I'm trying to use some of that information, I still don't really have a "feel" for what I'm doing.


This my basic mock-up:




I've stacked the cork to give an idea of the height / placement of the fremen; for the final piece, I want to have the rockface sweep around to the left behind the sandworm a little, yet sort of disappearing off the edge to represent a length of cliff of which this is just one end.  Maybe also angling down on the right to meet the sand.


The base itself will be sand dunes (Vallejo Sand Texture paste).  The sandworm will be coming up out of that (not on his current base, which was just there for the painting).  I will probably shift him a little more toward the front, so there isn't so much open space.  The paint pot is standing in for the thumper (which I'm still constructing).


I want the focus to be the fremen, and the front of the sandworm.  With that in mind, I'm trying to arrange angles and such to "point" that way.  Am I on the right track?


Thanks for any input.  ::):

Edited by Painting Dog
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I agree with Heisler.  Base is too big.  But his comment about adding to the story is key. 


If the plan is to keep just Goremaw and the summoner, then swap out the base. 


If you really want to use that base, how about adding 2-3 more figures at ground level and run some kind of lasso/tether between them and the worm.  Make it look like their trying to restrain it. 

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2 hours ago, Heisler said:

I'm going back to my mantra, that base looks way to big for what you are trying to do. Based on your description there is going to be a lot of empty space that adds nothing to the story itself.


Thanks, @Heisler -- that's exactly the kind of feedback I need!  It's not that I WANT this particular base; this is part of where I dont have a feel for what really fits. One of the things talked about when I was learning about composition at ReaperCon was giving the minis "room to move."  In other words, space to give the impression that things moved into / out of the scene instead of just being stuck there. My thought on this was to have some evidence of a wake in the sand to show the worm's passage to this point. 


@Clearman, while part of me likes the image of lassoing a sandworm, it doesn't really fit the lore I'm trying to stay with. ::):  


This is great feedback, you guys!  Let me put together a different base set up, and I'll get back to you. ::):

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I don't know if you have read my post on Dioramas but here is a link to it: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/68535-some-thoughts-on-dioramas/&tab=comments#comment-1357297


Space is the most difficult part of a diorama to deal with, followed immediately by how many minis should be used. Remember that you are trying to tell a story to the viewer. Your goal is that the viewer will know and understand the story you are telling simply by looking at the diorama.


Let's take a look at one of mine that is moderately successful:



This one is simply titled Shopping. It tells a good story, in other words the viewer knows what's going on without any interaction with me. Where this one fails is that its on to big a base. I could have done it on a base half the size and achieved the same thing. Other than giving a feeling that the street is basically deserted the large base adds nothing to the story. This is the situation I see with yours. You won't need much of a sand wake to establish that the worm is moving, hinting is all you need to do to establish that.


This tighter shot is what I should have been shooting for. Using a camera and really tightening up what you see in the view finder is a good way to determine the size of the diorama.


When you are dealing with how many minis to use I have a couple of rules of thumb.

1) Go with an odd number, for what ever reason our minds like odd numbers they look more natural.

2) Grab all the figures you think you want to use. Arrange them on your base. Now remove figures one by one until your story falls apart, put the last mini back and that's how many you should use.


Edited by Heisler
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Right now my eye is drawn to what the worm is looking at - the thumper/paint pot. If you want the focus to be on the fremen, then maybe have the summoner staring down the sandworm? That might also add a little drama to the situation.

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1 hour ago, Pragma said:

Right now my eye is drawn to what the worm is looking at - the thumper/paint pot. If you want the focus to be on the fremen, then maybe have the summoner staring down the sandworm? That might also add a little drama to the situation.


@Pragma -- That was actually my first instinct (to have him staring at the fremen).  Maybe I'll revisit that.  Thanks!

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the advice you have received so far is good and not much I can add to it.


As a viewer, I can state that the current configuration does not draw the eye to the freeman.    He/she just does not appear at first glance and you have to go looking for him/her.  I think focusing the worm more towards the freeman would help and possibly dropping the height a little bit to keep them all in the same viewing plane.

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OK, take two on finding the right sized base for my diorama!


I like this shape -- kind of a fat teardrop.  The little fremen guy who is currently standing on a holder for painting would be on the top of a sand dune that's standing a little taller than the other sand dunes that will be on the base.



This is a more traditional square base.  The winged kitty (borrowed from my wife's chotchki shelf) is standing in for a possible second fremen figure, who would be standing near the thumper.  I think there's also room to add him to the first base above.





(And, as usual, thanks so much for your help and comments.  ::D:)

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@Painting Dog

I also prefer the teardrop, seem that it would be good enough for only the 2 figures and that do not prevent you to add a 3rd one as you did on the square one.


I am not sure if you are going to apply the sand texture directly and then add several layer to build up your dune, but shaping and glue some foam on your base to give you some relief to apply the sand texture on top may be a good thing to do , so you can get a feel for the dune / sand ground overall shape ( and also use less sand stuff :D...)

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12 hours ago, Painting Dog said:


Great!  Does that look to be closer to the size I want?


Right now I would say the size is just about perfect. it just depends on if you are going to add anything and how big those pieces are.

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