How Not to Make a Diorama...

It all seems so funny now... When I first came up with the diorama idea it was the hard-core "someday..." sort of idea. Then I had to shift gears to actually *make* the darned thing: unfortunately, my natural procrastination came into play and the whole process became somewhat of an ordeal after a while ;^) So, tongue in cheek, here's a Ziggy Timetable...


8 MONTHS BEFORE GENCON - we decide to go! Yay!

5 MONTHS BEFORE GENCON - work on diorama idea.

2 MONTHS BEFORE - think about working on diorama. Make half-hearted sketches... Buy up some materials I’ll need.

1 MONTH BEFORE - realization dawns. Work begins… Concert stage is mostly completed at this point.

2 WEEKS BEFORE - oh crap... Work accelerates to fevered pace. Finish stage! Begin work on lighting rig and drum stage.

1 WEEK BEFORE - take week off work to finish diorama: 60% of actual effort occurs at this time ;^). Finish light rig, drum stage. Begin painting spiders.

3 DAYS BEFORE - finish wiring miniature stage lighting! Yay! Blow them all out!! Aaargh! ~8^O (Due to miscommunication on bulb wattage vs. Voltage, all 3 volt bulbs burn out in a 12v system). Mad dash to the hobby store for more light bulbs. Finish painting drummer, Ziggy, Psychedelic Rocker, and Spiders.

2 DAYS BEFORE - rewire lighting... They work this time! Cautious yay!! Work on Grunge and Glam Rocker and assundry detail painting.

1 DAY BEFORE - still painting feverishly. Finish at 4am. I assemble the whole diorama. ("Stay on target…." "Almost there…")

THE NIGHT BEFORE, 8 PM - on a whim, decide to test the motion sensor built into the base to see if it works through glass. It doesn't >8^O (in retrospect I should have seen this coming... but what did I know about electronics then?)

THE NIGHT BEFORE, 10PM - after weeping and tearing of hair subsides, begin work making an *external* motion sensor to attach outside display case... Wife's "Itty-Bitty Book Light" valiantly gives its life for the project :^(

5 AM THURSDAY - Finish! Sleep…

6AM THURSDAY- wake up to get ready (note to self - *never* do this again - 1 hour sleep is bad mojo…)

8 AM THURSDAY- get to airport

8:15 AM THURSDAY - Diorama storage box takes a tumble in X-Ray machine… No time to survey damage.

7 PM THURSDAY - arrive in Minneapolis. Check into hotel room and register at con. Open diorama box and see that spider on stage and Glam Rocker have come loose and bounced around the place! (Damn you crazy glue! Should have used epoxy glue and pins, but no time…) Miraculously, no damage to paint jobs. Electronics still functional (thank god!)

FRIDAY MORNING - go to dealers room to buy 2-part epoxy. *No one* at GenCon carries 2-part epoxy. Buy more crazy glue… sheesh. Repair damage and go to contest! Enter in contest. Whew! It’s all over….

Now if I hadn't won 1st Place and got to enjoy the oohs and aahs of the contest staff from Global Games, the Judges, and the Art Show viewers, I'd have probably been pissed! ;^)

I think my basic problem is I hit a creative second-wind when under stress, especially at around 2 am. I do some of my best mini painting in the wee hours, and tend to get the work done just before the deadline... Unfortunately that also means I pay for it in the form of serious sleep depravation… I like to joke at the whole experience now, but if anyone out there on the internet is reading this - it’s not too late!! Put down that brush and go get some sleep! ;^)


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All images and text Copyright 2000 Laszlo Jakusovszky