Last modified: Sunday, May 19, 2002 9:31 AM


05/19/02- These pics and accompanying commentary were submitted by fellow Texan, Jake Wardlow of Tyler, who excels in the fine art of diorama building and photography. ( you can see...WOW!) Creating evocative pictures like these is perhaps the ultimate and best use for figures, since this allows you to share your figures with others-- as an alternative to letting them do what they do naturally (gather dust) or exploiting them (doll slavery). But quality results require an artistic eye for scene composition and a lot of hard work-- facts which are understated in Jake's commentary, but obvious from looking at his work. --Jimbob


"The Eye Of Horus is my best. One day I was looking at these 2 decorations I bought for my wife out of the Discovery Channel catalogue, and thought, hmmmm...... The alcove is a single piece of styrofoam, the packing from a computer monitor. I never throw anything away if I can help it. His flashlight is a McDonald's straw. I made her cameras out of model parts, and her shorts. Pants are easy (made his too), but belt loops aren't. His hat is sewn from 2 flat pieces of felt, in a process that only took me 10 tries to perfect."


"Jane In Afrika was the first one that really told me I was onto something. Obviously, the background is doing most of the work here, but it was an exercise in matching the lighting. Her pants were sewn from needle-dulling leather, her hat is another example of my "patented" process, and I made everything her driver is wearing, save socks and shirt dickey. The movie camera is again, model parts."


"Jane In India (or wherever you want to call her) was inspired by the multi-layers of painted glass backgrounds used in King Kong. I wanted a big ol' Angkor Wat lookin' Bhuda head, but I couldn't find one, so I did the best I could to turn a styrofoam wig-head to stone."


"Zulu was shot outdoors, which I will not do again. I went through 4 rolls of film trying to get it right. Inside the building burned a coffee can full of oil, rubber, plastic, you name it, and billows of black smoke were seen, but not by the camera. I added nothing to the Cotswold guys but copper bracelets, and bought the sandbags. I did make the boxes and the building. Again, brand new broom bristles don't look right. Only bristles from a beat up old broom (that some would throw away) give you the look."


"Don't Loot Too Late is an idea I got from the Model Building Handbook by Brick Price. The wall is foamcore board, lightly stucco-ed, all else is balsa."