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Photography: Banpresto Prize Matou SakuraPhotography: Banpresto Prize Matou Sakura

EXkuroganeEXkurogane7 months agoTutorial
Note:
1. Image heavy post. Relatively.
2.if you are reading this on mobile or smartphone the photos might appear distorted thanks to mfc's own issues. However holding your phone horizontally fixes the problem.


Hello everyone~
Today I have something that’s built based on an artwork that many are already familiar with – Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel. I had this idea since several months back, waiting for the prize figure to release in October. And then substantial time was required to build the scene, in addition to the fact I also have other projects in my backlog. So there’s a lot of work to be done. Fortunately this figure is small, so I built things according to a 1/10 scale, which is more manageable.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4550/38577055616_731dbcb60a_k.jpg

Article is in reference to this photo: PICTURE #1869038

I’ll be skipping the “Ideas & Concept” section commonly seen in my blog posts here since there’s nothing much to talk about. It’s just a close replica of the official artwork above, but I made some changes to suit my own taste. I didn’t like the black mud from the grail dripping along the walls in the original art, so I replaced it with moss and algae. Plants that thrive in a moist environment including any cracks you see in a wall. Well, you get the idea. The hanging plants behind from the pipes above were also changed slightly for my own convenience, and I didn’t like how the original art had a garbage dump of crates and pots on the lower right corner.

Building the Props:


*Note: If the photos here appear too small, you can also check out higher resolution copies in this album: imgur.com/a/dJ9...

Rear Wall

Layers of polyfoam as the base, then ABS plastic sheets for the surface, including the stripes that stretch horizontally across the entire wall.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4563/38577047206_0543febda5_k.jpg

The windows are wood – and yes, it’s incredibly difficult to cut 5mm thick wood curved, and then there are risks of breaking it as well. I ordered some pre-made curved wood pieces, but still had to do more cuts on my own.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4549/38577046386_b03f34790a_k.jpg

And then I painted (“tinted”) the clear PVC part with a dark olive green border and brighter green in the middle, following the shades of the window in the art.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4542/38577045366_1d1f2c085a_k.jpg

I went with green instead of blue like in the art in the interest of color composition (purple and green are good matches if you look at the color wheel theory, where both colors oppose each other). Well, Sakura’s hair color is purple.

Finally I install mounts for connecting PVC pipes. Painted as necessary, and moss will be added as if water has been leaking from the pipe for some time.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4531/38577044666_9deee0c7b9_k.jpg

Painted and weathered. The vertical smears of paint reflects moisture, fading paint and staining from moss or other environmental factors that are mainly related to moisture.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4549/38577058116_5ff5f73176_k.jpg

Flooring

A few small pieces of Styrofoam are cut into a rough spherical shape, and then glued onto a flat sheet of Styrofoam. And then they are coated with plaster of paris. After the plaster sets, latex/PVA glue is used to glue sand on its surface to create a rough texture. Finally painted pale grey. The same applies to the tiles (polyfoam) on both sides, though the tiles are not coated with plaster.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4527/38577054716_c542f4218e_k.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4528/38577054266_052ecb703c_k.jpg

Various small artificial plants and flowers being added to the ground.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4556/38577053796_c69c6f5633_k.jpg

I bought these armor parts for cheap online, from China. I just have to scatter one behind, and one helmet placed in front with plants and shrubs growing out of it just like in the artwork.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4518/38577053016_0516ad6d26_k.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4524/38577060626_948720280f_k.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4576/38577059606_022d0a1451_k.jpg

On the other side I threw in a miniature watering can to balance out the metallic components on both sides.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4528/38577060106_d84360eb6e_k.jpg

Roof/Ceiling

Finding suitable materials for this wasn’t easy, especially when Im trying to keep my budget down. I ended up using a large plastic cookies container that’s sliced in half and joined to lengthen it. On the insides I simply glued aluminum wires that’s curved according to the container.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4544/38577051836_58c763ad2d_k.jpg

The entire unit is then inserted into a framework made of Styrofoam and polyfoam with a bit of metallic bracket in it to secure the structure.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4532/38577048386_a3a9efe126_k.jpg

And then I hung a pair of plants, one on each pipe for balance. The first one below is self-made, from a small plastic kit, while the second nicer-looking one is a directly purchased miniature.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4536/38577058766_6b5909f820_k.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4550/38577059156_7cec280a83_k.jpg

Side Walls

A pair of side walls which I tried to make it as simple as possible because I don’t want to spend too much time on this. The same polyfoam and Styrofoam combo, painted similarly to the rear wall. They are needed to support the pipes overhead. For the window framework I actually just reused the same fence used in my Saber/Master Artoria’s diorama, saving tons of work.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4562/38577043836_f8af229a77_k.jpg

Photography Setup

Lighting obviously plays a crucial role here. I want the… greenhouse (it does look like one to me) to be relatively dark, with the only light source coming in from above (which is not enough to brighten up the figure). So the setup will consist of two bright lamps from above, and using LED lights to fill in from the front on both sides.

The LED lights are wrapped with 2 layers of pale yellow crepe paper as diffusers and warming filters because LED lights produce a bluish tint, which can be neutralized by the yellow filters.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4585/38577056466_6494ac5708_k.jpg

One of the hardest things with this set, is symmetry. No matter how hard I try to align things and be accurate with my measurements, it’s still not perfectly symmetrical. You will notice it easily when the grids turned on on a camera in live view mode. It’s close but not perfect, and I still had to crop the photo slightly after (which I would prefer not to if possible). It’s something that will require more practice on my behalf.

I used the stock 18-55mm kit lens at 35mm on my Nikon D5200, instead of my usual choice of a Sigma 50mm prime lens, because 50mm is not wide enough for this setup, and it made the shot kinda look too flat. The original plan was to use this 50mm lens on my new full frame camera but my camera order has not arrived yet. =( (35mm on my D5200 looks like 50mm on a full frame due to the crop factor).

Here’s the straight out of camera shot VS the one post processed in lightroom.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4572/38577056046_c550bb4a37_h.jpg

So, yeah, that’s all for today, I hope you enjoyed reading this post!
I’m still undecided what to do for December. I still have 3 or 4 figures in my backlog, and I’m rushing to complete a cosplay prop for a friend this week. Among my remaining figure projects are Good Smile’s Alisa (God Eater), Max Factory Nana Astar Deviluke and Yuuki Mikan, and PlusOne Racing Saber. >.<
3,013 hits • 23 comments

Comments23

2pt
This is beautiful!
6 months ago
2pt
Wow...just wow. You're crafting and details are incredible. I am blown away.
6 months ago
2pt
Seeing the process behind the scenes is amazing. You are very skilled! I've loved dioramas since I was a kid, so this is making my inner child jump up and down!! :P
6 months ago
2pt
Wow it's beautiful. I really enjoy seeing all the work you put into it.
6 months ago
3pt
Very cool. The process shots are really interesting and I appreciate how some of them make for pretty handsome shots in their own right. Thanks for discussing all the little details too, especially with lighting and photography setup.
6 months ago
3pt
bomhat because I'm batman
EXkurogane (7 months ago) #29040463Thanks!
I don't keep every single one of my dioramas due to lack of space (the problem of every collector lol), but this one here will be preserved for exhibition purposes in a local convention next year, where I'm a vip and given a free booth under the EXkurogane name (similar to what celebrity cosplayers get when it comes to event invitations). It was the same earlier this year.
From what i know the theme next year might be Type Moon so this set here is perfect. For this year it was fantasy theme, with a focus on Granblue Fantasy.
thanks for the reply! that's really awesome.
6 months ago
2pt
fantastic master!
6 months ago
2pt
This is perhaps the most creative and elaborate shoot I've read! The semblance between the source and the result is uncanny. Kudos for an extremely well done shot!
6 months ago
2pt
awesome! and oh these armors are pretty nice
6 months ago
1pt
Rajke (6 months ago) #29057134First: respect for the amount of work you put in your photo's and diorama's. This looks really amazing. You can't even see on the picture that the figure isn't a more expencive or detailed one.
I see that you used a grass mat. What kind of glue did you use for it? I have tried to glue a grass mat like this multiple times but it never sticks.


Thanks!
Silicon glue will work well. The clear one which people usually use to seal aquariums. It also doesnt chemically react with styrofoam.
6 months ago
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