In this month’s article, I am going for a more ambitious diorama project. It shall include multiple miniatures and making a three level diorama of Isengard- a location in the story of Lord of the Rings. The first step is always the most important though. It involves visualizing and planning how things are going to look like to the end product.

Like in my previous article From Sketch to Screen, I normally make sketches or drawings of what I intend to build as the first step. The reason is simple. I need to able to see how the final diorama is going to be and how all the things relate to one another. It is always a good idea to take the trouble of fleshing things out when creating an original and complex miniature diorama like this.

Building miniature dioramas are different than building terrain for tabletop games. Dioramas need to tell a story when everything is placed together at the end. Art people call it having a good composition.

The Story

Every diorama have a story to tell. In this case there are 2 scenes with separate stories.

1)In this diorama I’m isolating a scene from the Last March of the Ents where an Ent or a Tree Giant is attacking Isengard. You can expect to see several Orcs making a desperate defence of their lair. Isengard had been transform into a weapons and Orcs production facility, so you can expect some crude Orc machinery at work in this scene as well.

2)Isengard is also the home of the evil wizard Saruman. Saruman will be in an underground scene giving orders to his Orc commander, Lurtz.

The Miniature Characters

The main characters in this Isengard miniature diorama are the Birch Tree Ent, the wizard Saruman and the Uruk Hai Captain Lurtz. I will also add several Snot-lings on top of the Orc guards to add more variety in this miniature diorama.

The Sketch

In the planning stage, I decided to draw 3 different views of the scene to aid me in my construction. Being able to see the scene in different angles will give you a better picture of what items and materials you require to build the miniature diorama. This will save you time and cost during the whole process.

Since the diorama will have internal and external scenes, having different views of the diorama  can aid you in breaking down the scene into different parts. The biggest plus point to planning is that you can build the miniature diorama in stages and concentrate on one part at a time. This will make you stay focused in the project and not get distracted  thinking about too many things- which may tire you out unnecessarily.

Though most of the ideas are sketched out, the project is constantly ever evolving. Don’t be afraid to add more interesting items to the miniature diorama along the way to make it even better. Be flexible!

In the upcoming articles, I shall cover the topic on converting miniatures and making Orc machinery based on this miniature diorama. Till then happy sketching and planning!

For more info on miniatures please visit :

Write articles for Triond!

You may be interested in the articles below:

Painting Realistic Stones

Making A Miniature 3d Relief Sculpture

Liked it
  • Christine Ramsay on Mar 17, 2010

    Wow! This sounds like an amazing project. A very interesting read.


  • sambhafusia on Mar 17, 2010

    Great share..keep work on dear..

  • Starpisces on Mar 17, 2010

    Wow, really fantastic, looks so difficult though interesting. After sketching, you will be constructing it, sound like so easy for you, but so difficult for me…I may be able to sketch it my own style, but wonder how to construct later…(step by step right?)

  • Belle Dob on Mar 17, 2010

    I couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler ;-) You are so talented.

  • diamondpoet on Mar 17, 2010

    Well written article, I see you are very talented and that you really enjoy your craft. thanks for sharing.

  • shivaleen on Mar 17, 2010

    Great stuff, keep writing more about it.

  • 8Shei8 on Mar 17, 2010

    Wow! Really…wow =)

  • SharifaMcFarlane on Mar 17, 2010

    Sharif, you’ve given a lot of thought to everything that’s going on in this scene. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in further stages of construction.

  • Ruby Hawk on Mar 18, 2010

    I admire what you are doing. It looks very complicated. I can imagine how beautiful it is when finished.

  • biantoro on Mar 18, 2010

    very interesting, I really like

  • Shamyl on Mar 19, 2010


  • athena goodlight on Mar 19, 2010

    Looks like a really grand idea… “Release the riverrrrr!!!”

  • seema1962 on Mar 20, 2010

    A very interesting article.

  • Alive11 on Mar 20, 2010

    Very Impressive write

  • standingproud on Mar 21, 2010

    I am so glad we are back to your miniature making cos me love them. :)
    You clever dude you, I know I have looked around been stalking ya NOT …LOL

  • zoeyclark on Mar 21, 2010

    You have no idea how jealous I am right now! There is no way I could sketch like that, not without applying some sort of magic. Well done!

  • deep blue on Mar 23, 2010

    Interesting project, Sharif. Well presented.

  • XXElleXX on Mar 30, 2010

    Wicked bud :-) You obviously love your work, and what a wonderful way to present a story in the “Lord of the Rings” to a diverse audience ~ excellent stuff Sharif :-)

  • S A JOHNSON on Mar 31, 2010

    That’s very cool!

  • debdory on Apr 6, 2010

    Oh WOW! I love LOTR! XD And wow it’s so cool that you know how to make miniatures!

Leave a Comment
comments powered by Disqus

Hi there!

Hello! Welcome to Authspot, the spot for creative writing.
Read some stories and poems, and be sure to subscribe to our feed!

Find the Spot