As luck would have it, I found a company called Mars that had put out a line of 1/72 scale Barbarian pirate figures in 1970 (!!!) that were still available today on eBay and elsewhere. There were 48 figures in the box that were cast on four trees with
12 figures per tree. Each tree had a damsel in distress (I presume) which dropped my total on useful figures down to 44 but of these, 30 or so were adequate for my needs. I also had some 1/72 scale beach scene figures from another project which I also used.
Most of the Harryhausen cyclops figures out there were much too large until I took a chance and purchased an X Plus version of this figure which luckily was VERY close to 1/72 scale, so I was on my way.
Though not included in my final version, I'll
describe one of the false starts I mentioned earlier. I had intended that the diorama would have the crossbow that Sinbad had brought on his return to Colossa to take care of any cyclops' they might encounter but was ultimately used to kill Sokurah's dragon
during the conclusion of the film.
Studying as many scenes with the crossbow I could find, I used one that had one of Sinbad's crew standing next to the crossbow's carriage wheel. Working on the assumption that the sailor was six feet tall as a reference
point, I roughed out a set of measurements for the crossbow dimensions. This proved to be unworkable since, even at 1/72 scale, the crossbow MODEL would be just over a foot long, way too big for the scene. Even after cutting is down by 25%, it still was large
but I went ahead and built it anyway. Using my 3D printer to fabricate some of the parts such as the wheels, bow and arrow head along with “stick built” sections of wood and wire, it took me roughly a week to complete.
Once completed, I
staged it with my 1/72 scale cyclops only to find it was still too large in that situation but as I looked more closely, the film's version would have been out of place as well had it been used to kill a cyclops as was intended. The arrow would have easily
decapitated a cyclops if not flying completely through the monster once it was released so, theatrically, it wouldn't have “worked” either, so I reluctantly put the crossbow model aside for now.
Next, I wanted to model the huge idol head/cave
mouth in the scene. The construction was of 1” thick pink insulation foam and due to the regular dimensions of the idol head, it was a fairly simple process to build. The rocky terrain that bordered the beach scene was a bit trickier since I wanted to
copy the formations as they were in the film but I didn't want to eat all the base area with cliffs. I ended up using the 1” insulation again which I carved by slashing and gouging the rough form with hobby knives and screwdrivers to suggest an eroded
surface along with some plaster castings and Sculpt-mold to add features to add visual interest to the scene. I painted everything with a layer of black tinted Mod Podge to seal the foam from any solvents in any aerosol paints I might use.