A winter diorama with 1/35 figures from Zvezda set WWII German Gebirgsjager Edelweiss # 3599.
I received this set as a comission and when I saw the boxart my imagination started to virtualy construct a vertical scene. Most of the dioramas I saw are horizontal developments of an action, so it seemed a good idea to make something different.
Fortunately Zvezda gives you plenty of opportunities, with alternative torso and arms, the gear being also separately molded.
I used the spare parts and modified even more the positions to obtain postures to fit my project.
I started with a round wooden base of a dense essence on which I attached a chunk of isolation polystyrene foam (extruded polystyrene foam) which is more dense than the expanded sort, and easier to sculpt and glue.
To sculpt it I used a big kitchen knife, with a sharp broad blade and a pointed end. The secret is to cut/scratch the surface in repeated strokes to obtain cracks and crevices, in an almost rectangular pattern that imitates the rock structure.
I sprayed this with acrylic black paint, generously. After a day of drying I sprayed an intermediate grey, mostly from above and sides, so that the inside of crevices remain darker than the rest. After that I gradually added white to the composition of paint in my heavy duty airbrush.
Bearing in mind that this is a winter diorama there is no limit of how much white one can add, the surplus getting to look like frost.
To vibrate more the overall appearance I added diluted ochre color with a brush in certain random spots. This was applied to simulate the iron deposit which stains rock and snow when wet.
After this step I dry fitted the figures in their places, mark those positions with toothpicks and also get figured where the vegetation will come, and what kind it will be.
On the exposed top of the rock it's logical that big trees will be difficult to develop. Here will be more likely to grow shrubs and coarse bushes.
At the base of the outcrop, some conifers will be at their home, but not growing directly from the land, but being surrounded by bushes and dry grass lumps.
Also, to break the monotony of the rock, in certain creases some bushes can get a hold with their roots (in my country they are called "jnepeni")
Before attaching the vegetation, a layer of snow was added. This consist of backing soda mixed with white glue and a small amount of water.
While the mix was still wet, I bore holes for vegetation and attached it with white glue or cyanoacrilate glue, depending on the gravity challenge in certain areas of the rock wall.
After all was dry, I prepared a new lot of snow and add it up where needed (on the vegetation too). While this was still wet I sprinkled more soda. This will absorb humidity but will remain more fluffy, resembling real snow.
It was now the time to fix the figures and add tracks from their boots and snow rackets. The unpainted figures where pressed in their places to give the impression of weight when will be finally fixed in their places.
I painted the figures in my favorite manner - a grey ground, acrylic base colors and oil color enhancements of light and shadow.
For the strings I used a lint free thread that was coupled with the plastic rolls provided in the kit.