This year’s been really damn busy. The house renovations are finally completed. The office room still needs to get organized and furbished; and the guest room has now become a storage room in the interim. Hopefully the next few months will see these last bits of the house settled. But on to other things. Earlier this month, I had to head down to Santiago, Chile for work, and I spent a week down there. Here are the pictures I took with the little time of exploring I had, Beautiful Santiago, Chile. I didn’t even have time to offload the pictures from the previous month’s build gathering. I got back into town a day before the this months build gathering, so I’m using that as my excuse for not snapping pictures. It was a pretty good gathering, and I got some decent work on the MG Zaku Mine layer I started in May. Last weekend was Angel’s birthday so Nicky and I collaborated and planned out an elaborate sequence of events. It worked better that we thought. A good time was had by all.

But more importantly, I’m revisiting the GM team that I had worked on last year as part of the giant diorama for SCGMC. The Driessen’s been in a suspended state since the house work started, and remains until I clean up my new workshop. I want to finish something decent for AX, so I started working out a different diorama landscape to tell my GM team story.

Starting with a 19″ by 16″ board, at least sticking to what I remembered as the dimensional limits for GBWC, the GM team and Gouf Custom are placed and a rough plan is drawn. Next, some foam board is cut up and placed to create the general landscape. I’m going to create a scene that I’ve never done before so this will be interesting.

The players are placed back on the board atop the cut out foam boards to check the planning.

The foam board is glued to the one another and the wood surface. Once dry, plaster cloth is layered. I used a couple of layers of plaster cloth to fill in as many “hole” areas as possible, but there was still some areas that needed some surface attention and filling.

Instead of using cellyclay, I decided to use some paper clay that I had purchased several years. The stuff is similar to cellyclay, but easier to work with, and also dries much quicker. I filled in rough spots and built up some areas. The center of the piece will have a river flowing, so this will be my first attempt at water works in a diorama. I have the banks of the river built up with the paper clay. The stuff really works well with hand sculpting and tools. I will definitely be using this stuff more often.

Once set, the players were brought back for a quick test shot. After a day of curing and drying, the board was then painted with base colors. Olive drab for the diorama ground, and dark green for the river. I will be airbrushing some different river tones to add depth to the river.

At this point, the setting for this little story is taking shape. You standard South American rain forest river scene. I grabbed some fake flora from Michaels Arts and Crafts store and set to building some palm trees. The leaves are glued to wires. The wires are bundled and twisted together. Then the bundled wires are wrapped with some string. Pretty simple.

Some extra leaves are glued to hide the wires and the excess wires are trimmed. These are now ready for some highlight painting.

I bundled up some more wires to create basic tree armatures. Paper clay is applied to the bundled wire trunks and once dry, these armatures can be painted.

And last but not least, pictures from May’s model build gathering.

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