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Part 2: Foam Diorama Tutorial:

Using Foam as a Construction Base (the foam will be covered by materials)

In our wizards tower we will not see any of the actual foam. It will all be covered by a variety of materials.

Many hobby and craft shops (even office supply shops) carry a wide variety of papers. These are excellent for getting a good look. This picture shows a variety of sheets that I used on this diorama. The marble sheet on the top of this stack is perfect for the walls of the wizard tower.


Textured sheets


Note: When buying paper try to get the thickest paper you can get. Thin paper is sensitive to glue and can easily wrinkle. Always use a very light amount of evenly spread glue when applying paper to avoid wrinkles.

I also have some really great looking silver and gold papers. I used these to make the cones on the top of the towers.



This picture shows some of the various materials I used. One notable thing is the sheet of wood that I used for the doors.


Tower close up

This picture shows our wizards tower as it is almost complete. The towers are a metallic paper formed into cones. The roof is prefabricated thin sheets of wood. The walls of the tower are a variety of textured paper. The railings are small wooden parts bought at a craft shop. And the towers themselves are cardboard tubes.

The important thing to note here is that you should be creative with your finding of and using materials. There are lots of things you can find useful at hobby shops, craft shops and shops that cater to doll houses or miniatures.

Note about the texture of the foam and paints: You can get some really effective looks just by painting the foam but it usually takes several coats. In the case of this tower I could have simply painted it white and it would have looked good. But I opted for covering it with materials.



A wide variety of adhesives work well with foam and you should always try a small sample before using an adhesive on your actual diorama. Some adhesives are: White Glue, Carpenters Glue, and Glue gun.

Always use a very thin coat of evenly spread adhesive. This will minimize the chance of your papers wrinkling when they dry.

Using Foam as Terrain

The most popular use of foam is as a flat surface to make terrain on. This is a very easy and very fast way to make terrain.

Note that you can get texture such as hills out of your terrain by carving it with knives, scrapers, or sandpaper. This carving your terrain will allow you to make any shape imaginable, even mountains, cliffs and more. In this short tutorial I am just going to show you how to apply the textures. But you should experiment with foam and get a feel for how it is sculpted.

Continue with the tutorial (lets do terrain on the foam)