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Posts Tagged ‘Diarama’

Finishing the steampunk airship diarama

01 Mar

Putting together the box that houses the airship for the dirama was easy, because I didn’t put it together! True to form, I repurposed an old dresser drawer and painted it. If you do a project like this for yourself, take care to choose a drawer that is a good quality one with strong corners and made of solid wood instead of particle board or laminate.

I apologize that for this step, I don’t have a lot of photos, but I’ll describe the process. I painted the outside of the drawer with black latex paint (just to avoid the fumes of enamel), then I made a wash using a 50/50 blend of white glue and water tinted with some metallic copper acrylic paint. I brushed that wash onto the black and then used a rubber woodgrain rocker to create an exaggerated metallic woodgrain.

Detail of drawer

Detail of drawer

Different view

Different view

Inside, I lined the drawer with scrap light blue paper and added cut paper clouds in white and gray scrap paper, stilted to look dimensional.

Paper clouds in 3D

Paper clouds in 3D

I also made a “pole” that would stick out from the middle of the background so the airship attaches there and appears to “float”. Then I needed to make the ground under the airship, so I cut pieces of scrap paper again in colors that look like farmland from a height.

"Farmland" cut from scrap paper

“Farmland” cut from scrap paper

The scrap was then spraymounted to a piece of dark green matte board as a backer and also to provide enough strength to be mounted on an angle. This piece was then put into the diarama and looks as it should to simulate an aerial view.

Mounted "farmland"

Mounted “farmland”

With the pieces all in place, we have a nice steampunk airship diarama! This could have a hinged plexiglass cover attached to protect the piece, but still allow the airship to be removed for closer inspection (I designed it to come out of the display).

Finished piece

Finished piece

This piece is for sale here on the site in the Showcase Gallery. You know you want it!

Next, I’ll show a new project that will have all you steampunk hunters drooling…stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

The gondola

24 Feb

I’ve made quite a few gondolas that were the typical boat style, but I wanted to do something different for this steampunk diarama. I thought that making something that looked like a tube or bubble would be cool, so I started rummaging through my boxes of pieces and parts to find an object that would be suitable to repurpose. What I came up with was two plastic scoops that came out of a powdered drink mix or something, (I collect anything that’s interesting!). Shown here, I’ve already painted the handles and attached a plastic piece with a spiral as a “bowsprit”.

Plastic scoops as gondola

Plastic scoops as gondola

Here’s a close up of the bowsprit and the front of the gondola.

Bowsprit closeup

Bowsprit closeup

I glued the two scoops to a plastic disc for some visual interest, then added a flat plastic piece in between the handles, (not pictured), then I created a rudder fin to go on the stern of the gondola. I used the same technique as I did for the stabilizer fins.

Rudder fin

Rudder fin

The final gondola was then given an antiquing of patina color where appropriate (brass and copper areas), and attached to the airship body. This attachment required a careful snipping of the paper airship skin so the handles of the scoops could be inserted and glued.

Finished gondola

Finished gondola

Here’s a closeup of the attachment.

Closeup of gondola

Closeup of gondola

Next post, I’ll show how I prepared the “box” part of the diarama. That is certainly an example of recycle, reuse and repurpose! Thank you for your continued interest in my work…

How would you have built the gondola?

 

 

 

 

Adding the stabilizer fins

07 Feb

In building the stabilizer fins for the steampunk diarama airship, I first had to choose a shape. On other ships, I’ve made them rounded, but I like the feeling of a scalloped fin. I’ve also made different scalloped fins before, with some being a solid fin with ribs and others having a support structure, to which was attached actual cloth sailcloth. For this small zeppelin, I decided on the former for its ease at this relatively small scale. This decided shape I then cut out of an index card stock I had lying around. To give them age and interest, I sponged them with a light brown watercolor (not pictured, sorry!)

Index stock fins cut out

Index stock fins cut out

I then had to make the ribs, and to make it simple, yet appealing, I decided to cut these out of a similar stock, but in this case, since they would be painted anyway, I decided to use cereal box cardboard and then paint them to contrast and have interest. Remember, I throw nothing away that may have a raw materials use when reused, repurposed or recycled!

Fin ribs cut from cereal box cardboard

Fin ribs cut from cereal box cardboard

I painted them by spraying a basic green enamel. I did this because a water-based paint would have been repelled by the coating on the cereal box. I then antiqued a patina on with a lighter water-based green acrylic, then applied to the fins.

Finished fins

Finished fins

After finishing the fins, I glued them at top and lower angled positions to the airship body with standard white glue and let them dry. To add another element of interest, I used dimensional paint to “dot” copper rivets on the fin ribs. I forgot to mention that I had done this to the propeller scaffolding as well. (How many of you noticed that?) So here’s the finished attachment…

Attached fins

Attached fins

Next time, I’ll show the process of building the gondola. It’ll be fun too, because it isn’t your run-of-the-mill boat shape!

Stay tuned…in fact, tell all your ‘punk friends to subscribe!

 

The airship propeller

31 Jan

Last time I finished putting the propeller support scaffolding on the steampunk airship that is to be part of my diarama. Now I’ll start the propeller itself.

I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t need to buy much in order to create amazing art. Just look around you…I save plastic jar lids, pen barrels, scrap paper and fiberboard, plastic closures, fixtures, hangars, fasteners…everything. I’m a hoarder only in the sense that what I save looks like junk, but it all has artistic value when you realize it can be repurposed, reused, recycled and otherwise transformed into cool things of beauty!

To start the propeller, I found a piece of medical equipment my brother gave me. It’s an inline tube filter (new of course) that’s used in a suction device for surgery, but it looks very “hub-like”. I simple glued flat toothpicks at regular intervals around the perimeter of the “hub” and let them dry.

Propeller hub

Propeller hub

Flip side

Flip side

Once dry, I spray painted the piece an antiqued copper color and then gave it a patina of green “rust”. For the propeller blades, I cut triangles of a white scrap printing paper I had, gently curled one point for pitch and glued the edge to the toothpicks. I used some plastic pieces to stilt the blades while the glue dried.

Blades added

Blades added

Here’s the finished propeller…

Finished propeller

Finished propeller

And now we slide the propeller onto the end of the airship. I used a skinny plastic straw as the shaft and I split it and frayed the end so that by holding it together, I was able to slide the propeller onto it, and once the frayed end was inside the hub, it spread out enough to lightly hold the propeller on without glue. This way, I can manually spin it!

Propeller in place and spinnable!

Propeller in place and spinnable!

Next post, I’ll build the stabilizer fins, so stay tuned… 🙂

 

 

 

 

Airship nose and propeller shaft

24 Jan

I need to put a nose and tail cone on the diarama airship, so I used the same technique I use for my airship kits, which is to sart with a cut circle of card stock (I use old file folders). I then punch a hole in the center with a standard paper punch and with scissors, I cut about a quarter of the circle away. This then gets formed into a funnel shape, then glued with white glue. To make the nose spire, I used a painted wooden golf tee and pushed that through the nose cone, then attached it. The tail cone was made in the same way, but required a different structure beyond that because the tail also holds the scaffolding for the propeller.

Nose and tail cones in place

Nose and tail cones in place

Next, I constructed the scaffolding for the propeller by cutting strips of cereal box cardboard, then gluing them into the appropriate shape. (Can you tell that I never throw away anything that might have an artistic use?!). When dry, they were sprayed with copper paint and antiqued with green acrylic paint, (seen in next photo).

Propeller scaffolding

Propeller scaffolding

A piece of repurposed plastic tube that used to be the guts of a click-type ball point pen serves as the propeller shaft when painted and attached to the tail cone of the airship. The scaffolding is then attached to the shaft and the sides of the airship body. White glue works fine for most pieces.

Scaffolding attached to the airship

Scaffolding attached to the airship

Next time, I’ll show how to build a cool propeller for the zeppelin out of simple repurposed objects. Reusing and recycling can be easy and fun. Try some of these techniques to start a project with your kids. It’s a great way to find common ground with a teenager!