Making water for your diorama.

Base: For the base I used a piece of 2 mm cork and a piece of natural dark cork as a rock. I painted the natural cork several shades of gray and added a dark blue wash. I also added a terrain head from Green Stuff World. The head was painted off-white and several dark washes were then added.

Step 1: For the base layer of the water, I used AK Water Gel Atlantic Blue. I placed several layers of the Atlantic Blue Gel onto the base. Make sure to let the individual layers dry in between application (5 to 6 hours). Once I get the depth and basic texture I’m looking for, I move to the second step.

Step 2: In this step I used AK Water Gel Affects. I started by adding layers around the rocks and anything that would cause a rough effect in the water. I do two or three layers of this effect making sure to let the previous layer dry before I start the next one. I also add one layer to the overall base to give it a rough texture.

Step 3: Next, I dry brush the whole base with a light coat of Citadel, in Wrack White. This will help give the water a depth and a bit of color.

Step 4: Making Waves: to make waves I use as mixture of Tamiya Snow Effects, Vallejo Water Texture, and Micro balloons. I mix all these items together in a small cup until I get the texture dry oatmeal.

Step 5: Once I have the wave texture I am looking for, I start laying out the waves and rough seas arounds rocks and other items on the base. I use coffee stir sticks to lay down the mixture and toothpicks to gain height on the waves. Once I have the waves set, I let them dry overnight. In the morning the mixture will be completely set.

Step 6: Once the waves are set, I use AK Water Gel Transparent to give the waves a rounded rolling look. I layer on two or three layers of the AK Transparent Gel and let dry.

Step 7: Once the above step is complete, I use the Vallejo Water Texture on the entire base. I layer this over the base two or three times to give a clear water look. Once dry, it is complete.

In the beginning…

Remember that one kid in school; the one was kind of a nerd? He was shy, a bit of a loner (back when being a loner didn’t put you on a government watch list), awkward, loved to read (and actually read National Geographic for the articles), loved history, was great at playing “Army” and of course, grew up smack dab in the middle of backwoods nowhere. And oh yeah, he built models. “Calm down ladies! There’s plenty of this to go around.” Add all those things together and by the time he got to high school, he wasn’t exactly living out the above “chick magnet” scenario.

I am sure a few of you can relate to that guy. That guy was me and that was then. It’s funny how things turn out. I eventually ended up playing Army in real life. During those many years of living in the most unGodly places, dealing with the most stressful jobs and sometimes traumatizing events you could ever imagine (unless you are totally chill with having rockets shot at you), reading and making models helped me keep my sanity (though depending on who you ask, that may be questionable). That was also then. I still love history, the written word and a crazy girl, who ironically loves me back, keeps me laughing and supports my modeling passion (seriously….how did that even happen?!), and the only Army I deal with now involves building plastic tanks.

I have a great job, a great life and in the end found my true calling. Revenge of the nerd. This is now. My name is Grant Mayberry. Welcome to my May-king Miniatures blog. I bring to you 40 plus years of model building experience, and an honest account of what that experience can entail – the highs (having my work in a military museum and winning several contests), to the lows (what do you mean I’m not as good as DaVinci?!). Here you will find painting and conversion tips, discussions on products, events, and modeling shows, historical accuracy, how to come up with ideas for diorama subject matter, customization and more. Maybe I’ll even throw in an article about how to not get sand kicked in your face at the beach, by some jock (oh sorry, nerd flashback). Anyway, put D&D on pause and come on in and stay awhile. We have cookies.