December 31, 2016

African Farming Diorama

This image shows forest clearing operations at the upper left and corn farming in the foreground. In the background are palm oil plantations and the port city of Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
Today I delivered a completed custom diorama to a representative of AgriSmart Inc.  AgriSmart Inc. commissioned me to build a diorama depicting their current and planned operations in Cote d'Ivoire. AgriSmart Inc is new venture that seeks to help farmers in the Cote d'Ivoire develop farming techniques using sustainable methods and excellent working conditions for its people. Thus I was happy to build this diorama for them even though the schedule was tight.

Overview of the 2x4 feet diorama

The challenge of the project was to show the scope of their operations across much of the country with enough detail to highlight what AgriSmart Inc is planning. To do this the model became more of an artist's concept than a fine scale model. This is not the normal kind of project I do, but it was a challenge and fun to take it on.

The model depicts corn and palm oil agriculture using modern technology and techniques. The model has no actual scale, though many of the corn farming operations are shown using N scale models. To depict the corn plants I used some miniature Christmas wreath material. I made the palm trees one by one with laser cut paper fronds on toothpicks.

The barge will carry palm oil from the pressing facility to the port.
The port city of Abidjan, a city of 5 million people with thousands of building and streets, was especially tricky to depict. We settled on a very stylized representation that shows the general layout of the operation without too much detail. The city buildings are laser cut with some window detail, but are painted plain grey to deflect attention. All of AgriSmarts's operations are painted in brighter colors to highlight them.

And, we are proud to say, we delivered the model on their tight schedule and on budget!

 Combine working on a corn field. The combine is a GHQ kit.

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