"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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  2. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    You know your never too old to break one of the most important rules in modeling.Never work when you are tired and never rush to finish something by the end of the day.Last night I did just that and guess what ,I glued the r/h aileron to the wall backwards.There was no need to rush but..........
    It is impossible to remove it now without a lot of damage to the aileron and the wall so I will have to live with it.The back,which is now the front will have to be painted and weathered where it stands and the damage area will have to be worked a bit to look more like frayed and torn fabric.
  3. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Dioramas large and small!
    Another encouraging sign of the times ,is this relatively new trend towards using using 1:1 dioramas in aviation museums,including full scale original antique aircraft and mannequins to tell an interesting story.I hate to say it but static airplanes sitting on a museum floor can be quite boring as far as the general public are concerned.In this day and age the viewer wants at least some implied action going on.I understand the need for roping off these treasured antiques from tiny hands or uncaring adults,but if they want to get the younger generation involved 1:1 dioramas are really the way to go.You can still safely display the aircraft but in a much more interesting way.It is just not enough anymore to just hang an aircraft from the ceiling with a mannequin pilot at the controls and call it a diorama.(boring,boring ,boring)
    There is however some light at the end of the tunnel.Some museums are actually doing full scale dioramas that have great story lines and implied action and in some cases real emotion.The CAM in Ottawa has made a little progress with their TCA Lockheed being loaded with airmail and a aircraft or two with a machine gun firing mannequin firing from the rear seat of a WW1 fighter .But that is not what I mean,there is a museum in N.Z. that really is quite wonderful in how it puts real drama and emotion into its displays through the use of diorama techniques.I know that this is not something new to the world of natural history museums but you see precious little of it in military or transportation museums.Lets face it ,there was a time when the general public was fascinated with the whole idea of airplanes and you could get away with just a static display.Today people hardly pay attention to a space launch let alone old airplanes.There will always be "aviation nuts" such as ourselves that are willing to just go and stare at these old artifacts in museums but we are getting fewer all the time.We have to appeal to the youth of today to keep these places alive and it is my opinion that dioramas large or small can go a long way towards doing so.Cheers! John.
    Oh,by the way the N.Z. museum is called the Aviation Heritage Center at Omaka.omaka.org.nz
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Next up is the R/H side wall.I plan to build a Royal Mail depot next to the office door.The air mail bags are made from old cotton glove fingers.I will build a couple of shelves above for odds and ends.I had considered putting more aircraft parts over here but I figured that it would just be too much and besides the airmail story should also be told ,as this was a very important part of the beginnings of commercial aviation here in Canada.
  6. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  8. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Water Supply!
    I figure every good WC requires a good water supply.Being the GWN this would have to be inside during the winter months.So I decided to build the tank above the back door with the plumbing going to the WC across and down the back wall.(It also helps me to fill in the space.)The water would be pumped up to the tank and then gravity fed on request.I will run a chain down to a convenient spot at the side of the facility.The water supply would probably be at the back of the tank.That is about all I know or want to know about plumbing.

    While I am at it this may be a good time to put in the false tubing required for the electrical system.
    I left it in natural wood as I thought that this modern convenience may have been added later.
  9. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

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    Hmmm, what about lighting for the shop, John?

    Have you given any thought to that or would there not have been any lighting in a place like this because they only worked during the daylight hours?
    I am not sure. I ask because I am sure you studied about the era enough to know if they would even have any in a place like this.
    I know from previous posts that there is task lighting on the office desk but what would be used in the work area?

    Russell
  10. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    You read my mind!

    [​IMG]
  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Knob and tube wiring.
    A modeler friend,Ken Hamilton("How to Build Creative Dioramas")kindly pointed out to me that the wiring in the hangar would most likely be the old knob and tube type.I was completely unaware of this old method that was common in the 20-30's era.I was going to lay down tubing for this false wiring which would have been a mistake.This should make for an interesting addition to the diorama,thanks Ken.
  12. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

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    Wow, your on the ball this morning, John!

    Thanks for the enlightenment! hehehe yes, pun intended!:mrgreen:

    Russell
  13. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Test piece!
  14. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  15. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  16. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is another view of the false wiring that I have strung from module to module.The real wiring is in the rafters or ceilings of the modules where it is not readily visible.If I had known earlier about this knob and tube wiring I would have rigged it the proper way throughout, but for now it at least it makes for an interesting addition in the areas that are more easily visible.When everything is finally installed it will more than likely get lost in amongst all the other stuff on view ,but at least I know it is there.Now it is back to the side walls and more wiring.By the way I used old white plastic sprues to make the insulators.I drilled a hole for the nail and carved a groove in the outside edge for the wire.The tubes are the plastic jacket from old pieces of wire.
  17. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

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    That reminds of a story I once read.
    If my memory is correct, a woman was telling a story from her childhood, about her father, who loved to build card models and dioramas.
    She said he had built her doll house and in it, among a bunch of other stuff, was a freezer in a back room.
    Once everything was built, you could see the freezer by looking through a window and also through the house itself, but you could not reach it, to open it.
    Even so, her father fabricated 2 big Hams and had them hanging in the freezer before he attached the roof over it, sealing it up permanently.
    When she asked him, "Why did you even bother making those hams, Daddy when no one would ever see them?"
    He replied, "Because, I know their there." and he smiled with pride.

    I can definitely relate to that story and I see you can as well!

    Very nice work, John! It's always a pleasure to watch you work!:cool:

    Russell
  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  19. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Curtiss CN-4(Can) C1373
    No.90 CRS RAF(Canada)
    Camp Rathbun Aerodrome
    Deseronto, Ontario
    1918

    Painted up as part of a war bond drive C1373 provokes many questions. First of which is what unit does C1373 belong to? The fuselage roundel (occasionally repeated under the fuselage as well), rudder stripes and r/w/b square on the fin point to it's use by No.90 CRS/CTS RFC/RAF(Canada) at Rathbun in 1918. However the red (or black?) tips to the white elevator could be from prior (or present service) with one of many number of other units.

    The overall white colour is based on tonal values. In addition to the fuselage the radiator and cowl louvres were also white. While the elevators were white with red (or black) tips. There was a white stripe on the ailerons between the first and second rib from the tip. The propellor may have been r/w/b from the centre out with black on the rear side (I chose to leave this off the profile as I couldn't tell for sure). Besides the crossed flags and message ACHETEZ UN COUPON on the port side there is the message BUY A BOND on the starboard side under the rear cockpit. C1373 possibly carried roundels under the top wing as well. Wheel covers were divided into six equal portions of r/w/b.

    Deseronto, Ontario is the location of the Camp Rathbun and Camp Mohawk aerodromes.

    The above Jenny image and the text are from Bob Pearson's gallery over on the wwi.org. site.
  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    The above pic is my little tribute to Glenn Curtiss the designer and builder of both the Jenny and the OX5 engine.It is in 1/16th scale and I plan to hang it somewhere in the main hangar.It looks crooked in the pic due to camera distortion.
    I simply scaled down the image and and glued on the Curtiss logo.(at scale distance it looks fine)I spray lacquered the paper and set the whole thing behind a plastic film to look like a glass face.
    I will paint the frame gold .Any suggestions where I should hang it?