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5 - The Characters' Vignette

Soviet Character Set 1
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Revision Log
25 June 2002page first published

4,808 hits since 24 Jun 2002
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Friar Barb writes:

O.K. Onward and upward...On with the vignette. Or for those in Palm Beach County...vinyet.

I decided to use all but the surrendering and the scout figures. Actually, I was wondering if the soldier surrendering wasn’t a German soldier, but on the manufacturer's website he appears Soviet. Anyway, I used the other six figures for a small camp scene. The construction description follows:

Using a thin plywood base, I covered this with a Celluclay mixture. This is a paper mache product that you can tint with paint, dye, etc. It is easy to use and dries slow, enabling you to work with it.

Applying the Celluclay

To quicken the drying time, you can use a lamp, blow dryer, or some other heat source. I used The Sun because it was readily available, cheap, and allowed me to sip an afternoon libation while the Celluclay dried.

After mixing the Celluclay, I added some earth color paint and some white glue. The glue will help the Celluclay adhere to the plywood base and prevent shrinkage. The Celluclay was applied using a small putty knife (or spatula), and then figures were positioned. Some railroad model tree stumps were added, as were some small rocks and a campfire made from small pieces of pine bark nuggets. Being that the Celluclay was still malleable, if I didn't like the position of a figure I could easily reposition the figure.

Standing in the Celluclay

The vignette/diorama was then set aside to dry, again using the good ole Sun!!! Once dry, the groundwork was painted and highlighted using various earth tones; tree stumps painted using some good "Tree Stump" color; and the rocks were painted and highlighted using various grays and browns.

Next, came some static grass. This comes in several colors (Dark Green, Light Green, Medium Green...hmm...I detect a pattern. And Harvest Gold). First, a watered down white glue was applied to the areas where I wanted grass. Don’t water down the glue too much as it will soften the groundwork. The static grass was applied to the "gluey" areas and the excess static grass was reclaimed.

Once the glue was dry, a final light coat of Matt finish and...Voila...Viola...Cello...The Finished Product.

diorama overview

The scene depicts a field camp site, with one soldier diddling on the accordion, one cooking some delicious eggs, and another standing around smoking a good Russian cigar (boy, what must that taste like...a Chernobyl Cohiba!!!!).

around the camp fire

These three look on as Comrade Commander Prophylactikov applies the trade of a good Bolshevik and demands half of Gonnoreokov and Syphlliovich’s loot, consisting of a chicken and some vodka, for the State (i.e., himself).

the loot

No doubt, Commander Prophylactikov desires some Chicken Kiev to celebrate the liberation of the city of Kiev from the Hitlerites.

liberating the chicken

The priming and painting of the figures took about 3-4 hours, with the vignette adding maybe another 2 (including afternoon libation). I would like to sincerely thank Bill Armintrout for the opportunity to do a "play-by-play" for The Miniatures Page, and I hope you have found it understandable, informative, and of some interest. If not, blame it on too much Sun and too much afternoon libation!!!