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Part 3 Design it on paper first

Design your shadowbox on paper first then lay it out before gluing or painting anything.



Before you start building your shadowbox you have to know what you want to build. Make sketches on paper. Take into consideration the size of the picture frame and box you have. Think about what kind of scene you want. Use your imagination! IT can be anything. Remember that you have several dimensions to fill. You won't just have characters in the bottom of it. You can use the upper section too. That is why I have two levels in mine. Draw out different configurations and look at it. Is it balanced? Does it look nice? Move things around and see how they look.

It should tell a story. My shadowbox tells of the battle that will shortly ensue. This makes it much more interesting. Rather than just being a display case for miniatures it is a scene that people can comment on. You get the feeling that something is about to happen.

Now that yu have the scene figured out lay in the background materials and cut them to the right size and shape. Look carefully at what you have as you go. Make changes as you see fit to make it look good.

Fit in the background materials - Here you see that I have the background all laid out and it looks good. The top section is castle-like bricks with columns and the bottom half is rough brick like in a dungeon. The floor that cuts right across the middle is made of styrofoam. It will be easy to work with and easy to paint.

Tweak it and try different configurations.

The top/bottom and sides are going to be textured paper and once I was sure of my background I glued them right in as the first thing I did.


Once everything is laid out exactly like you want it and you have everything cut and trimmed to the right size you can go ahead and paint everything.

Continue on with the tutorial