Updates are likely to be sparse (or non existent) until Monday night or Tuesday. It's crunch time to get this thing done. I'll still take photos as I go, I just probably won't get them online until after it's finished.
I stayed late at work Thursday, to use the shop so I could make the base. I drew up three ovals in Adobe Illustrator for the base, and printed them out- one for the outside dimensions, one for the size of an inset styrene slug, and one for the router template to cut an inside pocket. I used the router template oval to cut a hole in a piece of 3/4" MDF, which I then used (with a template bushing) to rout an 1/8" deep oval pocket in a piece of 3/4" thick bocote. (I'd rather have used cocobolo, but I couldn't find a piece 3/4" thick on short notice.) I then used the exterior sized oval to cut out the base itself, which was 1/2" larger all around. This gives me an oval base with a raised 1/2" lip all the way around. I used the remaining printout to cut a 1/8" thick styrene oval, which fits into the rim. I also ran a roundover bit around the whole thing. Though, I only had a 1/2" diameter bit, and I wanted to leave at least a 1/4" of rim, so it has sort of a bullnose profile to it.
The reason for all that work is so that I can sand, seal, and lacquer the base separately from the diorama, which will be built up on the styrene slug. Then, when it's all done, I just drop it into the base with some 5 minute epoxy.
I've got the groundwork about 75% done. I made a sheet of "asphalt" (more or less as in this thread
, with some minor refinements to the technique) and then cut it with an X-Acto to fit the base. It only covers about 2/3 of the base, so it appears that the scene is taking place on the shoulder of the road. I mixed up some diorama muck (latex paint, dry joint compound, and sand) and spread it onto the styrene slug, smoothed it out, and laid the asphalt over it. I then added some small chunks of broken off asphalt near the shoulder, and some very fine bits I gorund up with a mortar and pestle. Once it's all dry, I'll add some paint washes to the pavement, and some pigments and a few weeds. I'll probably put a white shoulder line on the asphalt as well.
I've finished building the bike. Or, at least, I've finished assembling it as much as I intend to prior to painting. (Actually, I still need to make the stop sign front fender, but that should take only a few minutes. I've already printed out the template.) I also added an extended luggage rack, which has a seat attached for Daughter. I figured it'd be made out of what was handy, so I made a 50's style vinyl chair (the kind that's just bent metal tubing, with a vinyl padded seat and back) with no legs, which is "welded" onto the rack, which is just a piece of diamond plate. To that, I added rolled up blanket, a pack , and an ammo case, which are all tied down with rope made by twisting two lengths of fine wire. I also added two jerry cans, one on each side of the rack, hanging from ropes.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have spent so much time writing all this up without posting pictures. Maybe I'll just go back and add pictures where appropriate, once I'm finished. It's 4am and I'm tired.