The cactus topside are 3D prints and the ant larvae are a neat plastic material (the name of which unfortunately escapes me) that melts around 1500 F that I sculpted just using my hands. The plastic hardens into a semi-transparent form which
I dry brushed with clear yellow then with an iridescent pearl white. The dead ant about half way up the nest is actually an aborted 3D ant print I retrieved from my scrap print box which further reinforces my philosophy: “NEVER throw anything away!”
The light and sound effects that I wanted to include were possible (once again) with collaboration of Stan Koziol of Starling Technologies. Stan's work has made it possible to add features to my dioramas that I would never have achieved on my own. I suggest
that you visit his site for great electronic kits to add that extra kick to your out of the box science fiction model kits along with personal kit designs you may need. He prices are reasonably and his service is professional at every level. Here's his link:
Anyway, I wanted to add a little more to the scene, namely the ant's eerie “trilling” call along with some simple flashlights as seen in the film. A few emails
to Stan resulted in a nice little package comprised of the sound effects board and speaker, 3 pre-wired LEDS, a battery pack, external power jack and a flip/flop switch to toggle between the two.
As I said earlier, the Gun-Runner figures were very detailed
but, me being me, I had to add a bit more. I fabricated the three flashlights out of plastic L stock and LED bezels with staples substututing as hand grips. The camera that Professor Medford is holding was scratch built from plastic & wood, again, out
of my scrap box.. The flame effect is expandable insulating foam from the can which, after a couple tries, yielded the shape I was looking for. The smoke coming off the partial ant is cotton misted with gray and black paint. Last but not least, I liberally
spread mouse bones about to suggest past victims of the ants.
Not much else to say. For you purists out there, I realize that the diorama doesn't exactly follow the film but I think it captures the look and feeling of this terrifically suspenseful scene.
There is a brief video below which displays all the 'action'. 2/04/21