March 4: Pics!

Not only the diorama itself is finished, but I have also managed to take the pics, to screen them (about 600 photos) and to post some of them here.

I like to experiment with different backgrounds when photographing a diorama, and a number of these variants can be seen in the pics.

The basic version is to use a plain blue cardboard (with some hand-painted clouds). This cardboard background is also useful for another variant, i.e. separating the diorama from the blue background and combining it with a photo of a real landscape.

January 28: Final steps

Now everything is almost finished: The ship is complete, the figures are painted, and currently I'm mounting all the stuff on the base plate. So next time you can expect to see the finished diorama.

A note on paint: I am using everything that is at hand - enamels, acrylics from model companies (Revell Aqua, Andrea Color), hobby acrylics and artists' paint as well. However, with the exception of a few shiny surfaces (e.g. certain types of leather), I prefer a totally matt texture, as glossy or even satin finish will look unrealistic on most surfaces. So the "best" paints are not necessarily the best suited for my purposes, as in particular some expensive, high-grade artists' acrylic colours have a satin finish that I don't like.

January 15: Bathing Fun

It's been a long wait since this project was updated last time, but I have been busy in the meantime. Right now, the figures are on the agenda. I will use a mixture of white metal and some plastic figures, coming from various companies.

The first steps are to remove flash and casting marks. And then they get a nice, warm bath in detergent. This is crucial for getting a good adhesion of the paint and glue, even though I don't wargame with my figures, so they will experience no large amount of handling after being painted.

November 23: Muddy Waters

I have decided to split this story into parts, because one single, long entry threatened to get unwieldy. This update shows that some painting has been done. The water surface is achieved by painting the plaster in olive with a thick layer of clear, glossy varnish.
The earth/grass surfaces of rampart and harbour area have been painted brown as a basis for the flocking, which will be done later, when all figures are in place.

So what remains to be done? The next major stages will be 1) getting the ship finished, 2) painting the figures, before finally everything is assembled.

Trade across the ancient Mediterranean had its peak during the late Roman Republic and the early Empire; this is impressively illustrated by the large numbers of shipwrecks from that era. However, civilian ships are generally underrepresented in the world of ship modelling, and those from antiquity in particular: renown companies such as Krick or Artesania Latina do not offer ancient Greek or Roman merchant ships at all, and I have never been able to locate the one that has allegedly been produced by AER Moldova at any retailer.