"How to Build Large Scale Dioramas"

Discussion in 'Dioramas & Displays' started by JohnReid, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Somehow I forgot about posting here a couple of years ago and just recently re-discovered that I am a member of this forum.I have bookmarked the page so it shouldn't happen again.For the past few years I have been posting a "How to Build Dioramas" thread on a few websites.My work is multi-media and includes card as a building material. Well here goes,hope you enjoy it! The diorama is called "Memories of Flight School"
    Cheers! John.
  2. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  3. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    That looks really good! Since its multimedia could you specify what is cardstock? :) Just so we can tell :)
    Chris
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Hi! I use cardstock in the walls and flooring when building structures,making signs,and various places such as seat backs and other areas where I often substitute it for plywood etc...Cheers! John.
  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  6. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is the composition so far around the lean-to area!
    The next step will be to weather the lean-to flooring.I thought that this may be a good opportunity to review how I do my barn siding/flooring including the weathering with acrylics and pastels.
    The flooring of the lean-to is made with tongue depressors cut to length and glued to a plywood base.They are birchwood I believe .Before gluing them down,on the bare wood I painted on a couple of very thin washes of Jo Sonja nimbus gray with a touch of raw umber.(Why Jo Sonja ? because it dries absolutely flat).I then took an old toothbrush and loaded it with very thin raw umber and finger flicked (my term) a spray of crud until I was happy.Then I took out the gray, black and brown pastels and shaded between the individual boards and in the edges and corners of the floor.An ordinary pin was used to create a nail pattern on the wood .Then with a HB grafite pencil I twisted in a little black into the holes to create nail heads.Now with a dab of watery raw umber the nail holes are swelled back again retaining their black coloring.The last step is a subtle use of a dab of watery burnt sienna to represent a little rust.(pics to follow)
    When doing this I like to treat each section of flooring as though it was a palette upon which I am creating a picture of a floor .Because of the wood patterns each one is different and deserves individual attention.Do not try to take shortcuts,remember the floor of the lean -to is just as much part of your diorama and just as important as Jenny, to the overall success of the diorama.Believe me when taking pictures the camera will seek out the most obscure areas.s
  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    The only thing left to do to the floor now is a few tire tracks and maybe some oil stains under the engine.I decided not to use a burnt sienna pastel over the burnt sienna acrylic ,which I sometimes do to soften out the color a bit more.I just didn't feel it was necessary at this point.I could add a bit more mossy green pastel here and there later if I want to.For a little different look I used full length boards here instead of making joints.
    Next step will be to permanently fasten down the Mercedes showcar to the floor and raise the lean-to into position.
    Speaking about fastening things down, to get this diorama out of my basement it will have to be turned on end 90deg. therefore,my goal is to be able to turn it upside down and have nothing move.This is very important as some of the diecast parts are very heavy and if they ever came loose they could damage the delicate aircraft and other structures.The only other option is to send it in pieces(individual modules) and re-build it on site but this would take some time to do.
    I cant believe how heavy this piece is getting now that the base and sand etc.. has recently been added.
    __________________
    It has been said that the difference between a "pilot" and an "aviator" is that a pilot is a technician,and an aviator is an artist in love with flight.
    JohnReid (Aviator)
  8. Billy Leliveld

    Billy Leliveld Member

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    Cool!!!
    Which scale is it?
    Cheers,Billy aussie
  9. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

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    This is just superb! Can you say a word about the airplane(s)? Scratch built? Materials?

    Rick
  10. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Hi Billy! It is 1/16th scale.Cheers! John.
  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Hi Rick!The airplane is a highly modified kit by Model Expo.Most of the rest is scratch.The diorama is mostly wood construction. My motto is "buy what you can and build what you must .The storyline is really the most important element in diorama building.Cheers! John.
  12. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Really coming back with a vengance - I like it! :D
    Chris
  13. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  14. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  15. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    The above pic gives a good idea of how the camera can seek out areas that need attention.I sometimes use a flash ,as in the case to help me find them.
    Not too bad eh? but look at the tires,they sure need a little wear and tear,especially the treads.You could get away with it by saying,well the tires are new but somehow for our diorama purposes it just doesn't look right.Those bolts holding on the tire could also use some attention.
    Your camera can be a really helpful when weathering as it can narrow down your field of attention to concentrate more on the particular.Can you find any other areas that I could work on?
    __________________
    It has been said that the difference between a "pilot" and an "aviator" is that a pilot is a technician,and an aviator is an artist in love with flight.
    JohnReid (Aviator)
  16. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Uhhhhhh whats wrong with them? I must be blind....
    Chris
  17. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

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    Yeah, that's what I thought - what's wrong with those bolts? :)

    Are the tires plastic (rubbery type)? I found that on smooth tires (NASCAR style), just a rub with sandpaper makes a nice realistic scuff.

    Rick
  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  19. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Working my way down the line ,this will be the next module subject to completion.I still haven't decided whether to put an outdoor light over the garage doors as they will be left open and there seems to be plenty of light that will flood outdoors from the interior lighting.If necessary I always could add them later when I put the roof rafters on permanently.The Ford van in the doorway does not really block the sight lines to the interior .The carpenters shop ,the figures and Jenny are readily visible ,as the garage doors were purposely made quite large ,besides there are also a couple of windows to look through on that side of the hangar.