First off let me introduce myself, My name is Anthony also known as Skylow. I was fortunate enough to have won the grand prize in the latest Playing With Plastic Gunpla competition with my Zaku Head Diorama and the kind people at HobbyLink.tv have asked me to do some kit reviews of sorts showcasing some of my process. So up first is a great 1/144 HG kit they sent over from HobbyLink Japan of the RX-79(G) Ground Type Gundam. You can find the kit on their page here.
This wont be your average review it’s more of a tutorial really. I will be painting and finishing the model as normal so i will go over my steps on preparing painting and finishing the kit as well as introducing how to create a realistic diorama setting for your kits. So to start off with i have all of my pieces cut , trimmed, and sanded with fine sand paper and put up on tooth picks for painting. Most all parts will fit on toothpicks and i find it a great way to hold my smaller parts for painting. I have all the parts organized by the colors they will the painted on cardboard sheets which is a great and cheap way to keep your parts organized when painting. I have only prepared the parts that i know i will be using for the finished product.
While the kit is being painted i will begin to prepare my base for the diorama. When selecting a base it is important to chose one of an appropriate size to your kit and the surrounding in which you plan to place it. It is always a wise idea to sketch some ideas of your scene down just to figure out how much room you are going to need. In this instance i have some of my options for bases here with a 1/144 Z Gok for scale. These are just plain wooden bases picked up at a local craft store stained with some spray craft stain also picked up in the wood section of my local craft store.
Also i have begun to gather some of my supplies for the scenes foliage. It is very important to remember a few things while creating a diorama such as setting, and scale. when creating the setting keep in mind the location, the types of plants you’d find in that area, types of grasses, types of buildings if you have any, or even if the ground is going to be muddy or dry. Scale is perhaps the most important, everything in the scene must look believable proportionately. Trees and buildings might look proportional to your Gundam but try to keep in mind what they would look like compared to a human being and set your surrounding’s scale appropriately.
A great place to start when brainstorming ideas for your diorama is to just watch episodes of the series or look up some images of your Gundam in action. For this scene, remembering what i can from the series Gundam 08th MS Team, i know that it takes place heavily in jungle like environments so i went with some appropriate tree choices as you can see here. Many companies make tree and foliage products for dioramas but others will have to be created by hand which i will show you later. The image i am going to be loosely basing my diorama on is one that actually came with the instructions for the kit. You can see it here along with some nice previews of the kits functionality. It shows a thick jungle environment and shows the pose i am actually going to be putting my kit in when it is finished.
As my progress continues i will have more updates and more examples of my process for you so stay tuned and keep watching!