Saturday, April 23, 2011

Miniature Diorama

I've been working on a several stop motion puppets based on creatures from the 1933 version of King Kong.

To showcase my puppets I decided to build a diorama. The diorama will be the bottom of a jungle ravine on Skull Island. I'm going to need a large rock. Also a portion of an old uprooted tree trunk.

To build up the tree trunk I took a cardboard tube from a roll of aluminum foil. I hot glued chunks of styrofoam to the tube and roughed out the shape of the trunk with a file.

Next I mixed a batch of Mache which I tinted with brown acrylic paint. I applied this over the styrofoam trunk with a palette knife.

I'm using Durham's Wood Putty to create the root end of the tree. After mixing up a thin mixture of it I painted the putty over the base of the tree. While this was drying I began work on the rock.

For my rock armature I filled a plastic bag with shredded paper and wrapped it with Duct tape till I got the general shape I was looking for.

Then I mixed a batch of wood putty and saturated burlap strips with it. After squeezing out the excess putty I began draping it over the armature.

After this dried I mixed up a thick batch of putty and using a palette knife applied it over the entire rock. When the putty reached a leather hard stage I carved it to create an irregular craggy surface.

When it was dry enough to be safely handled I removed the armature to facilitate drying.

I was left with a light weight, hollow putty rock. I was pleased with how the putty handled and would definitely use this material again in the future.

Next post I'll be creating the roots for the tree trunk.


  1. I love seeing works in progress!

    Wishing you and the Missus a Happy Easter!


  2. Thank you LuLu and the same to you :)

  3. What an artist you are. I'm impressed.

  4. Je suis totalement éblouie par votre travail qui ne manque pas d'intérêt... J'ai hâte de voir la suite... avec les racines...
    Je vous souhaite un heureux lundi pascal et vous envoie de grosses bises.