Here is a Sketch of what will become the Gungan's Sacred Place diorama. I think with all the figures it will be a very cool scene.
Wal-Mart sells plastic leaves for about $1.25 each in the arts and craft department. I grabbed a few of those.
Next up, I cut 14 inch lenghts of tree branch. These are also found at Wal-Mart. It's a 6 foot "tree" with plastic leaves for branches. They are a little TOO BIG but there was nothing else at the time.
For the shelf background and floor I placed a model railroad grass texture poster for $6.00. The green will help blend the plastic leaves.
Last I added some small twigs and grass things that come with the Wal-Mart tree. Again little too large but will add texture to the grass roll.
My FIRST custom sculpt. I started making a patato shape from clay and wrappedit in foil. then covered the entire surface with Super Sculpey and started laying out the basic shapes based on movie reference photo.
Here you can see the difference with Step 006 and how the eye strips are blended with the rest of the face. More details later but only after I harden the Super Sculpy in the oven. That's the cool thing about Super Sculpey. Work in steps to avoid dents in the clay with over manipulation.
I used a sculpt tool to create the lines that form the stone slabs that you see in the face. Slowly it's taking shape and starting to resemble the movie prop.
Next I used a texture stamp to imbed a rock type texture to the entire face. Once painted and in plaster it should look very realistic.
I thought making the Sarlaac's Claws were a pain 🙂 Here are half of the "curlers" I made that will go around the statues headband. Very repetitive work and time consuming. But hey, at least they will be accurate 😉
Here you can see that I made a cap extension out of Sculpey. It's softer then Super Sculpey and will be easier to stick the curlers into.
After stamping the stone texture into each "curler" I pushed them one at a time into the headband making sure the top was aligned.
Here you can see the top view of the head. I made a flat surface in the center for the next row of details that make up the head ornament thingee.
Decided to skip the head top and do easy parts. Here is the temple jewelry doodad. It looks a bit burned, happens if your paint stripper gun is aimed at the same sculpey spot for too long when hardening. Once painted, it would not show anyway.
Front view: you can see where the temple pieces go.
Looking more at the reference pictures, found the face looked too sunken in, needed a bit more fat on the sides if you will. So I added a rolled "skin" layer of sculpy to fill it.
This is what the face looks like with the added sculpey. Much better do you think? Stamped the stone texture onto the new skin to blend it with what I had originally made last week.
I next worked on detailing the back of the head. I needed to do this before placing the ears.
This is what the front looks like so far.
Next up is the "ears". I made 2 rectangle box shapes with Super Sculpey and smoothed the corners to round out the edges.
Then I Cut out grooves for the inside of the ears which will allow the earrings shapes to fit inside.
I used my instruments to add details like in the prop reference photo. This is also before applying the stone texture that I've been stamping on since the beginning.
Attach the right ear to the side of the head and stamped the stone texture to blend.
Here is a better view of the side so you can see where the ear goes beside the temple piece.
Now for the earrings. 3 on each side. 2 inside the ear and 1 at the bottom. I know it's ugly now and looks gross, I heated them up a bit too much and burned the poor things.
The view of the back of the head shows you the space where 2 extra little details extend from the ears.
The ornaments extensions made from tiny foamcore rectangles and wrapped a thick slice of Sculpey over it before attaching it to the ear's back. Stamped the now famous stone texture and heated them up with the paint stripper gun.
Now we must finish the head piece. I started with a ball of plasticine (much cheaper then sculpey) on the top of the curler layer and shaped it like a cake. I then wrapped a thin strip of Sculpey all the way around that shape, like cake icing.
I hope you have patience... I thought those curlers were boring to make...HA!. Time to make little flower things and cheerios that circle the entire hat. Just make each piece and stick it to the thin strip. Last step was to add a "snake" shape between each 2 flower thingees. Stampped everything delicately when completed and hardened it all with paint stripper gun.
When I started making the 3rd level, I noticed the "cheerios" were too big. Time to start over 🙁 I cut off the top row and then made 120 little balls that I placed on the head and squished with my spatula tool. I then poked holes in the center with a toothpick. Now the scale is accurate. I then added a 1.5 inch strip all the way around the top. Used the tools to create arches all the way around and placed little balls of Sculpey inside each arch.
Now comes the easiest part, just make a snake with the Sculpey and cut at 1 inch pieces. Put them side by side all around till you reach the top. Use the stamp to give it the rough stone texture and Voila ! (that's french 🙂 it's done
After 67 hours of sculpting, here is the finished product. Not bad for my first ever sculpture if I do say so myself 🙂 I added R2 and Jar Jar to show you the scale of the piece.
Time to make a mold. First I made a box that allowed 2 inches all around the head. Next you surround the head with plasticine at the halfway mark of the head. This is where the 2 molds halves will meet. You then must make holes all around the flat surface so that you create "keys" that will lock and keep the 2 halves from slipping and deforming your cast.
This is what the silicone mold material looks like. It consists of 2 parts, a resin (like honey) and a hardener (Luke's blue milk - LOL - like cake batter really). You measure equal amounts of both and mix both in a clean bigger bowl. you have 20 minutes to pour before the silicone starts to harden.
I pour the mixture slowly in the corner of the box, to prevent bubbles from forming which create holes when the silicone is hard. Holes are the enemy 🙂 Because of the size of the head it took an entire $145 gallon to fill.
Now it's time to mold the other half. I flipped the box upside down, and removed the foamcore that was the bottom of the box. You can see how I stacked the plastiscine to support the head sculpt.
After removing the plastiscine bricks, we can now see the exposed back of the statue sculpt. The blue goo is the silicone that leaked into the bottom half.
Excess plastiscine is now removed. The blue is the hardened silicone mold that was poured over the face half. Now spray the entire exposed area with a release agent to prevent the 2 halves from bonding together and then I am ready to pour the silicone mixture into the box.
The mold has cured overnight and we can open it. First step is obvious, remove the cardboard or foamcore casing that was once your box. You can see the line here where the 2 pieces join together.
Once the box sides are removed this is what your mold will look like. The hole on the left is the base of the head where we will pour the liquid to make our positive copies. Now use a wooden spatula - NO METAL PLEASE or you will tear the mold - and start spreading the 2 parts apart.
After about 15 minutes I managed to open the mold. As you can see, 90% of the time, making molds will destroy your sculpture. But don't cry, you will be able to make copies 🙂
This isn't really a step but I found it very interesting how you can see the different sculpey layers like the earth's crust. A cool view of the evolution your sculpture.
Once you remove your sculpture and clean out all the residue, you have your finished mold. Isn't it cool how you get an optical illusion when looking at it? It looks like the face is popping out but it is really curved inside like a bowl.
Time for my first copy. I use a resin called Por-A-Cast. It is the same as the silicone. You mix 2 equal parts of liquid. The cool thing about this product is that it hardens in 30 seconds right before your eyes. Clamp the 2 mold halves tightly together with the opening at the top. REMEMBER to spray a release agent in the mold before pouring. If you forget this important step your mold is trash and can NEVER be used again.
Now that the resin is 1 piece and not layered like the sculpt, it is easier to pull the mold off as it wont rip into pieces. Don't worry about side paper thin spills, you can remove it with an exacto blade.
Well here we have it ! the first ever copy from my original sculpture. What do you think? Not bad eh? Looks a lot like the movie version. Now all that is left is to paint it and create a stone rock like look.
This head I made of Plaster Of paris So that I could Saw off the bottom at the correct angle of the movie picture. The downside is that plaster is mostly water, it took 2 days to fully harden. So it really slows you down.
These are the 2 plaster copies from my mold. I used a saw to cut the bottom part at the propper angle like in the movie. This is what the general diorama layout will be.
One of the movie statues has a tree growing on the side. I cut a piece of poster tube at the correct angle and height that would fit under the diorama shelf. This shape will act as the base for out tree trunk.
I have added some pieces of plasticine to the head to continue the basic shape the tree trunk will have. using plastiscine is cheaper then Super Sculpey so it's a perfect material to create the basic shape base that we want.
Here you can see what our tree trunk looks like from the side. Looks like a chimney doesn't it ? - LOL
I used plaster bandages to cover the tube and plasticine. For the roots, I dipped the bandages in water and scrunched them up into a roll and placed them in wiggly shapes down along the tube.
Now this is getting interesting 🙂 I used thin skins of Super Sculpey to cover the plaster bandages. I used "snakes" to make the smaller roots that cover the face. I then used a stamp tool to give a quick texture before adding details.
After 6 hours, all the blending and textures are done. I used the picture from Cinefex magazine as the guide for the roots paths. It's harder then I though to do tree bark - LOL.
A quick paint layer of watered latex paint gets absorbed into the plaster creating a old weathered look.
Now I can place the first full head in it's shelf environment.
The 2nd head with the tree trunk attachment gets placed just a little to the right of the first one.
Add your Episode I action figures and your diorama is complete. I am happy with it except for the size of the plastic leaves.
Boss Nass says one day I need to do a more movie accurate version with better scaled folliage and a better movie swamp look
For the moment you can see more finished Gungan Sacred Place photos in the Diorio Dioramas sub link of the GALLERY menu
Created February 2001 X
Welcome to the Gungan Sacred Place step by step MAKING OF page. These instructions will help you build my diorama so that you can display your own action figures at home just like the ones you see here in the GALLERY section. In some cases there is also VIDEO MAKING OF for those who find still images a little more confusing. You can see if one is available for this diorama in the Tutorial SPEED INDEX page. While you are there, you can also see what DECALS, BLUEPRINTS, MATERIALS LIST is available as well. Not all Dioramas instructions have or need ALL 5 Tutorials categories, especially older NiubNiub era scenes. I do plan on going back at some point to revisit, rebuild these older fan favourite scenes and create the missing content. X
One of the FIRST custom sculptures I ever did was the Gungan Sacred Place STATUES. I thought having some good still images from the movie was gonna help me, it did, but it was harder than I thought it would be. But that was the fun part of it, the challenge, and learning to make molds was a lot of fun too. X
The only thing I did not like from this diorama was the scale of the plastic plants found at Wal-Mart and used for the scene. I will have to find a better replacement, maybe railroad foliage technique for my deluxe more movie accurate modern remake. X
Did you already build this Diorama ? At home or at our Star Wars Celebration Diorama Builders workshop ? Would you like to show it in the site’s GALLERY VISITORS DIORAMAS section, YES ? That is Awesome !!! You can find out all the details on how to email me your photos on the VISITORS SUBMISSIONS INFO page … When I get your photos, I will create your very own page just like this one. You may not realize it but work does inspire others to join in the fun of making Action Figure Dioramas. X
If you attended one of our Star Wars Celebration Diorama Builders workshops and have a Facebook account, why not JOIN the OFFICIAL DIORAMA BUILDERS FAN CLUB group today !! X Catch up with fellow visitors and exchange stories, read cool interviews with the crew, exchange photos, fun surprises and grab some FAN ONLY merchandise next year at actual future conventions 🙂 X