Vietnam 1959 - 1975 - America’s Longest and Bloodiest War
A small diorama about 6.5” x 6.5” on a burl veneer pedestal base. The dioramacontains 10 figures, some of which are converted. The trees are Verlinden withetched brass palm fronds. The denser plants are plastic, each painted in acrylics.The leaves are paper all painted with a copper wire peg stem attached withElmers Pro Bond. Suppliers are J’s Model Works and Greenline. The figures comefrom Verlinden and Hong Kong LLC. Hornet heads are used on some. Sculptingis done with ProCreate. Basic groundwork is Durhams Water Putty. Insignia areregulation Army issue from Vanguard. Picture is free for use and mounted with4 brass pins under an acrylic cover.There is also an acrylic cover for the whole diorama.
Visible in the pictures on the left is the basic painting with the proper Vietnam earthtone. The painting brings out the rough texture made with the Durhams. The basicgroundwork is made off the base on a sheet of white styrene. Durhams is acrylicpowder and once dry, will not stick to the plastic. Epoxy the pieces onto the displaybase as shown in picture number 2 above. The trees have been painted with theirbasic colors. Plastic plants are put on to the groundwork. Holes must be drilled intothe groundwork to hold them securely. In picture number 1 to the left, notice theraised ridge and outcropping in the upper left. It is also visible in picture number 1above. Flat coating and painting the plastic plant leaves can be done. Durhamscan only be painted with pure polymer acrylic paints. Do not prime.
The individual leaves are now being planted. Each leaf, palm or other type of jungle leaf is individually painted and toned. A piece of copper wire is painted white and affixed to the back of the leaf along the center vein. This is attached with Pro Bond and allowed to dry. Then the leaf is bent on a rounded form so it will look like it is hanging in a natural fashion. This is done before painting. Use a wide variety of leaves. There are over 250 on this diorama base. After painting a number 69 hole must be drilled in the base for each. Plant the leaves in groups of 3 leaves all the same type. This base has at least 90 holes drilled for leaves. The Pro Bond does not allow the base to break.
Leaves Planted - Figure Finishing Started
Finishing The Leaves - Figure Finishing Started
Clean up the figures and fix anything that may not look right. Smooth all the putty joints and lines. Prime with Model Master or Scale 75. Let the primer setand then paint the figures in an acrylic (pure polymer) to a color that is exactly theway you want the finished figure to look. These figures are painted in oils after the acrylic base coat has been applied. The oils used are Lukas 1862. Use variosshades of the same color on all figures. Dorlands Wax and Grumbacher 1 are used with the oils to give a flat finish. They also give a foundation for the finaltones which are achieved with pastels. The pastels adhere well to the Dorlands.The radio that the radio man is carrying has an antenna and a wired handset.During the painting process take time to add the small details. Some of themare: the stretcher leaning against a palm tree, made from kleenex tissue and toothpicks, the M60 machine gun, ammo box and belts. Also, don’t forget themedical supplies lying around the area and the iv. There is also a medicalknapsack. The top flap is ground off and the bag hollowed out. Medical suppliesare added inside and a new folded over “flap” is added with thin sheet lead alongwith new straps and buckles made from copper wire. Now go back and finish upthe ground cover, especially around boots and knees. Remember they are standing in the grass, not on top of it. Touch up the leaves and foliage. This is a painstaking and slow process, but a necessary one.
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