Since guns are illegal in China, I converted the Mom’s gun to a long knife. I also converted the little girl from feeding chickens to holding a frying pan ready to defend her siblings. (I realize now from the photo that I put the girl’s thumb on the wrong side of her left hand. I’ll have to fix that!)
I was going to cover the steps with spackle, but when I went down to my basement to get it, I discovered it was all dried out. I looked up a recipe for homemade spackle, made of flour, salt, and water, and tried that. It has a very rough texture that doesn’t sand well, but it works for rough concrete. I also added a railing to the stairs, using toothpicks and coffee stirrers. I didn’t cover it all with craft paint yet, so you can see the homemade spackle underneath.
Now, I was going to move the Mom behind the door, since she was holding an illegal weapon, and it would add more drama to the scene that way. But after the weapon conversion, and considering that the Mom is the focal point of the diorama, I wanted her to have more visibility. Here’s the final placement I’ve decided on. The door will be opened in, blocking the kids from view by the intruders.