Hello all. Not only is this my first time posting here, but I'm about to re-embark on my first 1:6 scale diorama. However, I'm having some serious issues with picking back up the hobby, because well, I'm definitely no art student and I obviously haven't spent enough time around arts & crafts stores.
Already know exactly what I am going to do. I already have location info and just need to gather a few remaining supplies, and draw a makeshift blueprint. The issue is that I am torn between literally building the foundation and textures with wood, grout, some kind of foundational element like joint compound or stucco versus seemingly going on the cheap with the usage of the pink foam insulation or various other syrafoam/polystyrene sheets. I guess when I originally got into the hobby back in 1999ish, I had per-conceived notions that serious dioramas needed to be sturdy and not, well, flimsy facades. Does this makes sense? How do some of your other diorama folks feel about the subject? What would be a good mix of the two approaches when approaching mixed media?
Also, I'm struggling with finding out what specific brands and products people universally use (especially paints/adhesives/related chemicals) or at what materials are generally viewed as the best. Futhermore, I would also very much like to know if there are brands or products out there just just flat out suck and should be avoided. So, please, let me hear your recommendations!
P.S. What do you folks use to prime? Flat or matte acrylic black or white, right? Does anyone use any alternatives like gesso? Should priming be not overthunk, and one should use whatever is serviceable and affordable at hand, or should you use the good stuff for this step?