Tentacle Diorama
Feb. 2007
Custom Built - Using Hirst Arts Castlemolds
It's recently become the in thing to do to create "cd terrain". That is, create some terrain that uses a cd as its base. This actually has several good things going for it. First, you can create something rather quickly because it can only get so big. Second, it helps to get the creative juices flowing because you have to be judicious in your use of space. And third, it's great for storing the pieces, since they'll fit just about anywhere.

I had recently ordered the first two (of hopefully many more) cavern molds from Hirst Arts. I'd cast the molds a few times just to see how the pieces looked, but i hadn't built anything from them. I know what i'm eventually going to use them for but i was itching to try them out right away. A simple and quick "cd terrain" piece seemed to fit the bill nicely.

As i glued the pieces together i had the idea of a door that leads to a dungeon or something. But all by itself the door seemed rather drab. My first thought was to have it cracked slightly open and try my hand at the source lighting technique (which is basically, paint the light and shadows that would be there if there were a bright light source such as a lamp, torch, fire, or lightning bolt). I was going to have a bright beam of light coming out of the door. Some excellent examples of this technique can be found here, here, and here.

But it still seemed rather uninteresting. Almost sci-fi alien, and I wanted more of a fantasy feel. So I decided to go with one of the horror movie 101 tricks: Show just enough of a monster to make the audience imagine the rest. Hence the tentacle was born. Who knows what scary creature might be lurking behind the door and what treasures it might be guarding?

This top-down view shows off the cavern floor tiles. As I glued them together there were a few largish gaps between several of the pieces. In order to correct this, i decided to mix up another small batch of plaster and pour it into the cracks.

This image shows a close-up of some topaz and geode crystals that i've added. The crystals are from various rock hunting trips that some of my co-workers and our families went on a few years ago. On each of the various trips, we went out into the desert to dig for rocks. It was loads of fun. As a result, I have buckets full of geodes, trilobites, and topaz.