I started with a base that measured 30×52 cm but as I progressed I found that it was too small. After adding another base alongside it, the diorama spanned 104×30 cm. The idea you start out with isn’t always going to go the way you intend, but that’s part of the fun. The subject, I say now, is not based on any true historical event but is just something from my imagination. Those that know will see that I take a lot of liberties eg. painting uniforms and who is fighting who.
The reason for why I chose the Napoleonic period? Well it has always been my pet period with it’s flashy uniforms and heroics. The time taken is mostly hours spent painting the figures and this depends on the detail required. As you will imagine, the number of colours involved vary greatly between a French soldier of the line vs a U.S civil war Union man.
As I live at the bottom end of Australia the winter period is not for me so I tend to stay indoors and this is the time I choose to paint. The paints I use are matt enamel as I don’t like shiny uniforms but be warned this medium is also the one that hates adhering to the plastic these 1/72 guys are made of. Check out the web, there are a lot of sites in regards to painting and you might find one that suits you.
To tell you how long this diorama took me is a wild guess but let’s just say 2 hours a night for 3 to 4 months and a bit on weekends. When I have an idea my mind goes straight to the base and I construct this first (this will take me about 2 days). With the base made and painted the best part comes. I begin to landscape trees and rocks and finally place the men. This stage took a lot longer then my others, as I said it needed to be expanded, let’s say around 20 hrs. The technique used on this one e.g. the way the figures are set into the base (*see: setting my first figures) has changed after some clever person out there pointed me in new direction (Thanks, it has sped up figure placement so much).