System Fortress Isle Diorama

Approximately two months have flown by since my last blog on my model projects. I am presently working on several. I just finished another Island Diorama. It was fun …hope you enjoy it also! Comments are always welcome!


an ARII Plastic Model – No.5 Kit No. AR-571-2800



Quite a while ago I hand painted the plastic mould island base for Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds Secret Base diorama …which I blogged about in Surf – Design Planet Blurp No.13. At that time, I also painted the island for the above System Fortress South Ataria which is shown in the above box top illustration. Below is my painted island base.

Well, I finally had time to work on, and complete, the rest of this diorama island model. I would like to suggest that before you continue on in this blog, that you first visit Surf – Design Planet Blurp No.21. In my Blurp No. 21, about a quarter of the way down in the blog, is where I first began writing about this model. After you have looked at No.21, just use your back button to return to here.

Inside of the model’s box with various components and base shown above.


Unfinished model parts shown above.


Over a period of three weeks I primed, sprayed, and hand painted all of the model’s parts and figures.


The model included:

A quantity of twenty four 1″ high people figures.

Notes: As the island is small in relation to all the parts supplied I decided to use only 8 of the figures. The others I will use for another Macross model. These figures were all painted alike for a uniform appearance using Games Workshop figure acrylic paints.


2. Four standing Valkyrie fighter warriors.

Notes: These were primed white and sprayed with a white acrylic plastic paint. Then I hand painted each figure in its own color combination.

3. Two Valkyrie ship/plane figures in standing position were supplied, along with two Valkyrie ship/plane figures in flying mode.

Notes: I decided to paint all of the above four Valkyrie fighters in a similar paint scheme. The painting process was the same as the other four figures in 2.

4. Decals for the above figures 2. & 3.

Notes: Decals were not used for any parts. As this was a 1980’s model, the supplied decals had all become very brittle with age …they would not apply at all.


5. Two landing pods with ramp doors – supplied with a spring mechanism for launching small land/water/flight vehicles.

Notes: I sprayed the pods with a “Rust-oleum Metallic” Bronze paint. This is a new spray paint that works well, and is available in different bronze, gold and silver. Games Workshop colors, “Tin Bitz”, “Boltgun Metal” and “Mirthrol Silver”, were used to texture and accent parts.

6. The Valkyrie’s Weapons

Notes: I used Games Workshop’s “Boltgun Metal” and a Copper Metallic paints.


7. The model’s instruction sheet pages also showed the assembly instructions for a Super Dimensional Fortress (aka the SDF-1 Macross) (drawing above and illustration rendering at the top of this blog).

Notes: The above model that I put together here did not include this ship. When I purchased it quite a while ago, the box had been opened. It is possible that the sprue containing this ship was missing. If someone out there also has this model, maybe you can email me (left blog column) and let me know if your model included the S.D. Fortress. I do have another similar looking model. The “IMAI No.3 Macross SDF-1 Storm Attacker Construction” that I will assemble at a later date.

(Update Nov.14: I found the Dimensional Fortress. It was in a box with other Macross models. When I assemble it, I will let you know in a future blog.)

8. Other Model Finishing:

I used Woodland Scenics “Lichen and a green Bush” for a touch of island planting.
Liquitex Acrylic Med. Viscosity – “Fluorescent Orange” was used for various part lighting.
Games Workshop’s “Shadow Grey” (a blue grey) was used for Valkyrie cockpit canopies and as an accent color.
Black was used sparingly were required and thinned with matte medium to dirty up some parts (to make something look used or worn).
Games Workshop’s “Tin Bitz” was used to accent the Valkyries rear power exhaust areas (its butt).
Games Workshop’s “Varnish” and Hyplar Acrylics “Matte Medium” were used to seal all color throughout.



Completing the South Ataria Island Base:

For a solid surface to mount the hand painted plastic mould base I chose a piece of 1/4″ thick white hardboard. I followed the island’s shape and drew a pencil line around, about 3/4″ from the island base. I cut this shape out on my scroll saw. This would be the ocean around the island. I first painted the hardboard’s top edge all around using Liquitex Acrylic’s “Real Teal” and “Bright Aqua Green”. When dry I mounted the island by drilling two holes at each end and inserting the correct length screw. The screws were later concealed with foliage. I detailed the water by applying some ripples and using white for shoreline wave action. All was coated with gloss acrylic medium to protect and give the water depth.

Mounting and fastening of the components and figures to the Island Base:

As my diorama is not being used as a toy, but rather as an interesting Anime display, I took time to plan where each figure, Valkyrie, and other parts would look their best (tell a story) and give the model good placement composition and interest. Clear plastic rod was used to suspend the Valkyries in flight.

Images of my 


  1. Hi there to all, the contents existing at this website
    are truly awesome for people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.