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Thread: The long road of evolving my Pit of Carkoon diorama (WIP 5/23/19)

  1. #1

    The long road of evolving my Pit of Carkoon diorama (WIP 5/23/19)

    Whew- time to get back into enhancing an older diorama! This one has been long in the works, as some of these pics show. The timing of coming back to this was not due to the upcoming Haslab barge (as I was one of the few longtime collectors that did NOT purchase one); just coincidental because it was showing its age. The very first iteration was circa 2003, with a less accurate barge built into the wall and a terribly boring Pit of Carkoon made from a bedsheet draped across a couple platforms and a simplistic Sarlacc between them:

    First Version:



    I later enhanced the barge with more accurate railings, shorter sails, and a richer (but inaccurate) greenish paintjob.


    Next version:



    After a flooding and ruining of the sheet (thankfully), I molded a landscape from a chicken wire frame to at least somewhat look like a diorama base, and covered it in another sheet and a little plaster and sand. The problem is that it was still too gritty and still obviously a sheet.


    Next version:



    I was very happy with the Sarlacc itself, but it had since crumbled so I'll have to make it once again:



    And the last 2 problems I had included that the base curved down in the front (I really wanted to emphasize the "Pit" if I could), and the fact that the support rods for the 2 skiffs were vertical and very obvious to the viewer (despite trying to cover them with a fabric piece):



    So, I revisited this one by removing the damaged Sarlacc and the skiffs, and cutting a semicircle on the sheet so that I would be able to angle it upwards to form an eventual bowl-shaped base. Note the newly-angled support strut for the hero skiff:





    I then started to bend the wireframe to form the bowl shape. Thought the angle of the pic is not ideal, note the better-hidden support strut compared to before.



    I brushed away all the sand and coated the whole surface with plaster; I'll do a second coat and get it really smooth before painting it and putting some sand back.







    Later work will involve a repaint of the barge to its more brown/less green base color. More to come!


    Last edited by Daigo_Bah; 05-23-2019 at 08:54 PM.
    Please read my version of the Star Wars prequels and let me know what you think!

    Check out the Rebelscum Custom Dioramas Index!

  2. #2
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    Looks great so far. The base for this is difficult since it is so uneven.
    If it isn't too late, the hole wasn't round as it had a ravine one the left side.
    Also, did you consider using clear rods for the skiffs?

  3. #3
    You're right about that ravine; I thought about trying to emphasize it it the "rocky" part that I'm going to resculpt, but it may not be too late to sort of mash in and re-plaster the one side! For the clear rods issue, I thought those might be too costly compared to the wooden dowels, but the new angled approach is making a difference that I hope will show in the pics!
    Please read my version of the Star Wars prequels and let me know what you think!

    Check out the Rebelscum Custom Dioramas Index!

  4. #4
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    Since it is Xmas, you might find a large clear plastic candy cane (filled with candy). It might make a good rod. I've also seen clear rods for venetian blinds but IDK how expensive they would be. Clear plastic stirring sticks might be strong (and tall) enough, as might plastic wine glass stems. Cut glass or acrylic are also possibilities.

  5. #5
    Well, I decided to try to camouflage the rods with a better "hill" of plaster, that I'm confident will do the job after I paint it all up and can make a more shadowy color for the support structure compared to the rest of the environment. What else is new includes that I pulled the skirt sheet up and directly hot-glued it to the rim of the bowl's edge, then coated it in plaster to blend. These pics don't go in very close, but I sanded down the plaster and got it fairly smooth. In a couple days, I'll sand once more then paint the whole thing a nice tan-orange before putting some actual sand back in.





    Please read my version of the Star Wars prequels and let me know what you think!

    Check out the Rebelscum Custom Dioramas Index!

  6. #6
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    That's looking great! I can't wait to see it with sand and the Saarlacc.


    I also didn't buy the Barge as it is something I have always wanted to make.

  7. #7
    Great job!

    If you are looking to make it more "rocky" an old Model railroad trick: would be to place the sand/rocks/dirt where you want them Then using a mix of white glue & water in a spray bottle, spray the rocks, let dry & you will have a nice hard landscape.

    also you need a puppet like this....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZbp7jmxsn4
    This post was written is the sarcasm font. It looks like a regular font but contains sarcasm.
    Feedback BST
    I love this Bar! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU3_zzZQzx0

  8. #8
    Thanks guys- and Utinniii: I can't NOT see the crevice now when I watch the scene, so I'm going to re-work the opening to get that more "eye" shape before I put in the rocky innards. The overall look of the dio will still be more bowl-shaped than the actual location (which was more ravine-like), but I can at least get the opening closer to the actual!

    Edit: here are a couple pics with the opening cut into the proper shape, and a couple styrofoam layers to create the rocky recess. I've since coated them in plaster and will lightly sand and paint soon.



    Last edited by Daigo_Bah; 12-12-2018 at 09:29 PM.
    Please read my version of the Star Wars prequels and let me know what you think!

    Check out the Rebelscum Custom Dioramas Index!

  9. #9
    You know your dios always inspire and sort of destroy me, don't you? They're so good that they make me get back at it...yet they're so good I realize my skills are so pitiful. Hey, one thing I tried recently was to coat plaster/wood putty with a layer of shellack (like for wood furniture). My hope was that it would prevent flaking/crumbling and it worked pretty well.
    " what is to gain by partaking in a thread that does not concern/interest you. Say I pass and move on it's that simple" MasterFett-Bastila Shan thread-2-14-11

  10. #10
    Thanks, Shiz! Your dios are fantastic, what would you ever consider pitiful?!

    Here is a pic with the "tongues" of the Sarlacc sculpted in sculpy clay and baked to harden. You can see the 2 strips of posterboard I used as templates for the sculpy shape and size.



    Ok, here are a few pics with the rocky portions plastered and painted, and sculpy tentacles added back in. I took them with the enhancer mode on the iphone camera, so they are a little brighter (and greater contrast) than in person.





    Please read my version of the Star Wars prequels and let me know what you think!

    Check out the Rebelscum Custom Dioramas Index!

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