Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tutorial for Pacific Rim dio: HOW TO MAKE A WATER DIORAMA

I've had some requests about doing a tutorial for the water dio, so here it is! For the full feature, please check THIS out. This is actually my first time trying this stuff out, as I've always been intrigued by water dios. I did some research on the net, and just winged it! That's the only way to try, after all. 

Now let's get started - I bought a wooden base; pretty large, abuot 50 by 40 cms. Spray-painted the whole thing blue, and then added some lighter shades with brushes, to kinda give it wisps of waves, as you can see in the main pic. Nothing much at this point. 

This is where you let your inner Picasso out and basically just run amok with watery creativity LOL. I added some white as these will indicate where you wanna create your 'frothing' with the water effects later.

For the materials to create water, I went with the market leader for modelling products - Woodlands Scenic, available at most art and craft shops. Granted, these babies don't come cheap - S$20+ per bottle, but they are helluva effective and pre-mixed. I know you can use home-made stuff, but I'm lazy like that. Perhaps when I do one too many water dios, then I'll switch to some DIY. Meanwhile, this was my answer:

Here comes the messy bit - Pouring Woodlands Scenic Realistic Water (a ready-made off the shelf product) onto your board. As it's a very diluted liquid gel kinda stuff, be sure to seal off your sides to create a temporary reservoir, lest all that thing spills off and you can abandon your project cos you've got a floor and table to clean. And trust me...You don't wanna clean this stuff!

The stuff is self-leveling, in case you'd like to make a calm sea, lake or pond, but as I'm going for angry waves and tsunami-class water,  I needed a more choppy texture. What you do is to let the stuff dry and settle for a coupla hours, and then using a spoon, randomly tap it all over to create indentations. This basically gives you the small waves effect, simulating choppy water surface. 

Once all that's dry, it's time to place the figures. Settle your poses and then comes the painful bit - sawing them off at the knees, or however deep you want 'em to be 'submerged'. 

Where water meets your figure is the trickiest part as you want an effect that shows depth, movement and agitation of the liquid. The basic materials I used are thin transparent pla-bits cut up in 'splash' shapes. Just glue 'em down in whichever way you want. Don't be too uniform, otherwise your splashes won't look realistic. I also used some clear beads to add volume as I intend to 'froth' up the edges. Then lather Woodlands Scenic Water Effects onto them, in layers, using a stick or any lean tool with a fine edge so you can create tapering ends to your splashes and sploshes, mimicking water. You could also lather the stuff on first then shape it with a pointed stick. 

When the stuff dries, you'll get something like this:

Pretty cool eh? :D

You can also apply them in dribs and drabs on your figures to create the drippin' wet look. It's all about sculpting them to look realistic. Upon application, the stuff is soft and very malleable, and looks like toothpaste. Use a stick or any fine edge with a point to shape them into what you want:

And then let dry....Depending on the amount used, it should cure and clear within a couple or hours. 24 hours is definitely a safe turnaround time for complete hardening and transparency. This is also the stuff they use to make waterfalls.

For that water 'curtain' effect, instead of transparent pla plates, I shaped some of the stuff on a non-stick surface (like the upper side of a tape), and then let dry.

Once dried, it becomes mostly transparent, resembling a flow or stream of water. It peels off easily, and then you just stick it on wherever you see fit, with some glue or more of the water effects. Then let dry again, and coat the area with Realistic Water to make it all look nice and wet.

So here are some Before-After comparison shots:

Next comes the finer details...I have a tiny aircraft carrier that I'm putting in just for scale, and then I decided it looks kinda empty so we'd need some planes to go along widdat. I couldn't find any planes at that scale soooo....I had to scratch build some from bits of plastic. Zzzzz

And then I thought why not make the ship pitch over in those massive waves, and have some planes sliding off the deck, slammin' into each other and stuff and going BOOM. So I tried my hand at a micro-explosion. I think it turned out pretty well :) A small pinch of cotton wool did the trick, and for those bits shooting outta the explosion plume, I used the water effects stuff and just painted over them. Because they dry fast and harden, they're a pretty good substance for shaping. 


 I also added my best formed aircraft as a flying getaway bugger, secured by a nylon wire. Just for kicks! Hey at least one fella got out!

Throw in the explosion and splashes, and you've got a mini scene-in-a-scene. Mayhem onboard while the titans battle it out in the background!

Lastly, you can dry-brush on, or even paint some whites when your waves and splashes clear up and go transpaprent, just to bring out the accents and texture once again:

That's all folks!

I hope this helps! Feel free to comment or message me if you guys need any help or have more questions! Otherwise, check out the full presentation HERE. Hurry before the Cat Kaiju destroys everything!!! :D

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Eres todo un artista hermano... y gracias por compartir tu talento!