This idea is probably the first that I actually feel genuine enthusiasm towards. As I may have mentioned, I feel that a lot of the recent diorama’s that have won at Golden Demon have been small and don’t have much in the way of ‘battle’ in them – they are however brilliant on technical and painting levels. The category allows you to use a 1 ft cube (or 30cm for those who prefer metric) and I personally think that it’s a shame not to use every available bit of this.
So whilst I’ve been looking on the internet, I’ve always had in the back of my mind that it would be nice to have something suitable for this maximum sized cube – and I now think I’ve got it. Basically it’s a Tomb King dungeon scene, where a party of intreped adventurers have broken into a tomb complex, battled their way past various traps and found that the treasures are actually protected by all manner of undead gribblies.
The concept is that the piece will be a two-level cross-section. The walls will be embossed in some manner, allowing for all of the various Tomb King murals to be incorporated into the piece. Painting the environment will be pretty straight forward as all of the sandstone can be done using an airbrush, which should create quite a bit of depth and atmosphere. There will be an upper level that will contain the ‘outside frontage’, which will lead into a small chamber via a hallway (including devilish traps), at the end of the chamber will be a spiral staircase (because all good dungeons have one) which will then lead down into the lower level and then into a final large chamber with Tomb King and sarcophagus. One thing that I want to do is to make the last chamber appear untouched by the ravages of time as if preserved by some magical statis field – hopefully I can incorporate water fountains in this as well. The top level needs to look decrepit, plaster falling off the walls, cobwebs, long dead bodies etc – similar to how ancient egyptian tombs look now (well without bodies).
I will need to investigate a good way of making realistic sand as real sand is too coarse to just glue on and expect it to look right. I have had some thoughts about the walls as well. If I get a piece of plasticard and glue on thin wire in the shape of the required embossing (sealing the edges with PVA glue or putty), I could then pour a thin layer of super fine plaster of paris over it. When this has set I can then grease patches where I want the plaster to fall off (poking a hole through so I know where to bash) and then pour a layer of regular plaster. Finally once set sand the back off and fix to some plasticard or similar to make a solid wall. I can poke and gouge the areas that are greased which should flop off as it it had in real life. I also think that I could get a mini sand blaster and spray the outer layer to weather it (you can get one for around £30).
I think that this could be ‘the one’, in which case I’ll start planning out the construction. In principal, two 1ft squares of mdf and four corner spacers will be the starting point.