Monday, February 17, 2014

Tutorial: Faux Japanese 'Shoji' or sliding screens

Another entry today, but with a twist- I finished the one wall of the Japanese diorama I am working on, and I have pictures/and a rough tutorial on how I created the faux 'Shoji' or sliding screens in Japanese. These are the traditional doors with paper in the frames in traditional Japanese homes. I used the book Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumor Godden because of its directions I bashed for my own purposes for this.

I at first thought of creating the Shoji so they really could slide open, or at the least hinging them like I did the French doors, but decided against that. I will have the back wall done by tomorrow afternoon I hope, so you can see a somewhat complete diorama.

First, I used black foamcore, and lots of balsa stripwood pieces, and one 1/2 inch wide stripwood piece to go across the top. I also used Golden Oak miniwax stain, as well as two sheets of 12 x 12 vellum scrapbook paper, as well as a 12 inch wide x 4 inch high wood grained contact paper.

First, I measured across the paper 

                                 Then I cut a piece of contact paper 12 inches wide by 
                                  4 inches high, and stuck that across the bottom onto the foamcore
                                 I taped down TWO pieces of 12 x 12 vellum scrapbook paper down 

Then I measured my balsa strips. The total height of the SHoji is 15 inches high, 12 inches wide. After all the strips were laid out, cut, measured, I then stained them with Golden Oak miniwax stain and let them dry.

I used regular tacky glue for this so I could adjust the strips. I used a ruler at the top to make sure the strips going down the middle were somewhat even. 

More gluing. It will look a little messy with the glue excess, but don't wipe, just let it dry naturally- it will dry clear.

I laid the remaining strips across and glued

I used a heavy book to add some weight and make it dry a little quickly. The book has over 900 pages and is the Autobiography of Henry Vlll as written by his fool, Will Somers by Margaret George. (highly recommend)

I used a 1/2 inch wood strip across the top of the door/shoji. That makes for a more defined focal point on the side wall.Below are photos of the finished faux Japanese door

 Ta da! I am really pleased with how this came out- it came out much much better than expected. I saved a ton of money by using my 25% off total purchase amount coupon at Michaels when buying the paper, stripwood and foamcore. I have been rattling this around in my head for a couple of days figuring out how to put it together and I finished this in a day and a half- if I had had all of the materials I needed to start with it would have been finished quicker. The design of my dioramas can change from the original plan I have in my head once I start shopping for materials and doing furniture placement. 

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I am hoping to do another for the opposite wall as these walls will be used in my Shogun steakhouse diorama too. Right now, I am doing a simple Japanese home diorama to celebrate Hinamatsuri, and the Shogun restuarant will be a more involved diorama.


Muff said...

Oh, this is perfection. I'm bookmarking this!

luozhong said...

Wonderful piece, I am going to build something like this for my 1/6 figures

luozhong said...

I just made this for my 1/6 action figure Storm Shadow. Here's the photos: