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1/72 BK-117 Diorama...Kind of

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Hi there!

I'm working on this 1/72 Bk-117 with a base. The helicopter is not finished yet. Still need to do a bit of detailing on it and I'm looking for a rescue crew! Critique on the base will be very much appreciated as this is the first time I've built a base like this...


This was the inspiration for the build


The chopper is hanging from a piece of fishing line for now.


Thank you for looking


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The chopper is looking great and you've hidden its support well. I look forward to seeing the crew.

As for the base: the grass looks natural, scraggly and unkempt, which is good. That's what you want. (I never thought I'd ever use scraggly and unkempt as a compliment. :lol: ) The shrubs fit in very well but I'd add quite a few more as the photo with the BK-117 in it shows a lot of shrubs. Make sure they look "wild", like the others you've used. The weeds are fine.

My only issue is with the rocky wall. In the photo with the BK-117 in it, (I'm assuming that's the photo you want me to focus on.) the rocks look gray. In the diorama, you painted them in a semi-gloss, mud color. Compare the mud to the chopper: the helicopter is flat; the mud has more reflectivity than the chopper. As a result, it's looking like a wet mud wall, not a rocky hillside.

*If* you want to come closer to the hillside in the photo, I'd change the rock wall to gray and give it a wash. There are a lot of nooks and crannies in your wall to put a wash. I recommend a base of gray, accenting with other grays, black in the deepest parts of the crevices (to represent shadows). Also, you'll need some gray, dirt powders to place about the wall, like they use in model railroad layouts.

BTW, If you know where that photo was taken, see if you can Google some photos of the location to get a better view of the hillside.

You're on the right path and your diorama is coming along nicely. I like your creativity and your technique.


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:D, G'day Nicolaas, I agree in part with Pirata has said. I'd put some grey detailing on the rock face and give it a coat of semi gloss or satin. That's how rock faces appear when they're wet and they can stay that way for some hours after the sun begins to shine again. Also remember that rock faces that are part of a water course can have temporary waterfalls for days after heavy rainfall. You might even like to put a bit of green on there (not too much) to represent moss or lichen. Other than that your diorama looks great. I look forward to seeing the finished product.



Edited by ross blackford
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Thanks to all for the compliments and the tips. I will work on the rock face a bit more.

Pirata: I'm not sure where the photo was taken. The helicopter is from 15 Squadron SAAF. They operate from Durban and Port Elizabeth and I've read a lot about their rescue ops in the Drakensberg region. I actually wanted this Dio to be a part of the drakensberg. Just forgot to mention that in my original post...


This is what I'm trying to achieve with the base.

Ross: Thanks for the advice. I have put on a bit of green but very little. You cant see it on the photos but I'll try to take a better close up.

Also, the rock face was sealed of with a satin coat. It shines less than on the photos. The chopper has a matt finish, don't know if that gives the illusion of the rock face being glossy?


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Hmm... In the new photo the rock faces do look brownish. I guess they were taken in different places. If you stick with the brown, I'd do the washes in varying shades of brown and tan and substitute brown powders for the gray that I mentioned. I'd suggest dark brown or brownish-black in the deepest crevices instead of black. That's my two cents..

My only reason for mentioning the glossy nature of the brown earlier is because it made the rocks look wet, like mud. There's nothing "wrong" with that. Cameras pick up differences in reflectivity that the human eye doesn't. Don't worry about it.

You're on the right path and doing a fine job. Model on!

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Thanks gregair and tgoetz. The helicopter is not yet attached to the base. It was just hanging from a piece of thread for the photo. It will be attached to a brass pipe later and I'll make sure its in a level attitude :thumbsup:

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