"How to Build Large Scale Dioramas"

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

  1. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    The wing tips ,trailing edge and bent center section are finished.I did a little more scorching of the wood but will let it go at that for now ,until after I mount the front section of the fuselage and decide on the burn pattern.
    __________________
  2. Coot59

    Coot59 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a quick thank you for sharing your skill and knowledge with us.

    THANKS!
  3. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Burned fabric remnants.
    Here is a great example of flash burning of the fabric on a wooden aircraft.
    How much fabric to leave attached is a judgment call,in my view.
    Some photos show an almost complete burn, others varying degrees of burn.
    I think that the determining factor for me will be just how much color I want to add to the scene.
    The little model above shows just enough color to be able to identify some of the squadron and national markings which is probably more important for an aircraft set in a field.My wreck is set in a diorama where this would be quite obvious.
    Another consideration , in salvaging some of the parts ,would most of the remnants of fabric have been already torn off by the salvagers.Also, I can't imagine any base commander wanting a wreck hanging around for any length of time, especially if it was showing half burned squadron or national markings. Not good for morale,I would think.
  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glad that you are enjoying it Coot!
  6. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is Fritz the dogs eye view of his masters wrecked airplane.The whole storyline is based upon this relationship and is what inspired me to expand this diorama in the first place.I will leave it to the viewers imagination as to whether his master survived to fight another day.
    I was never very happy with the original diorama after building the other two.The story was weak,two pilots looking at a mechanic wiping down an engine after a run-up.Pleasant to look at but no real emotion.Now the main storyline is transported outside the confines of the hangar.What I am hoping is that the average viewer will initially be drawn to looking inside and only later discover the dog/man story outside.The hangar doors will be left open thereby somewhat hiding from view the real story.
    At the same time I want the aircraft to be somewhat educational, in that I don't want to cover the structure with fabric.The fuselage being plywood I can leave off a few panels here and there to make it more interesting for those who may want a peak inside.
    The fuselage broken at the cockpit with the hanging seat belt straps really adds to the pathos of the scene.The tail having been pushed over the lower wing suggests some sort of pilot resue attempt which would have really had to be done in haste if a fire was just breaking out.The fabric on the tail would then also have been involved in the flash over burn.
    The wings are remarkably intact which suggests to me a low impact type crash or nose over.
    I will leave it up to the imagination of the viewer as to what really happened, which is after all the real purpose of of any good diorama storyline.
  8. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  9. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paint job on trainers.
    This is a pic of an training accident that was kindly sent to me by Stephen Lawson.Looks like the aircraft on the right of the picture ran into another while both were on the ground.
    What is especially interesting for me is the fabric paint job on the wings.
    Evidently aircraft that were designed as trainers were painted differently right from the factory floor.
  10. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plywood cover on rear fuselage.
    This should be fun!Lots of cutting and fitting.
    I decided to start with the largest single piece first.I made a paper template by holding a piece of paper to the fuselage and then up to a strong light and traced out the approximate size of the piece of plywood required.The plywood was cut oversize to be refined later.Using small clothes pegs I temporarily fixed the plywood to the fuselage as shown in the pic.I then traced from the inside along the outer edge of the longerons and bulkheads,the outline of the panel.
    The panel was then removed and sanded down to the pencil line.(ignore the pencil line seen on the outside of the panel in the pic)
    Do not glue anything at this point, as it must be removed to give you easy access to the same panel on the other side.
  12. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  13. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Upper wing compression struts.
    The metal end castings were blackened using a patina used by stained glass craftsmen.The brass tubing was blackened using "Blackin It".
    They are not permanently glued in because I will be attaching the turnbuckles first.
  15. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  16. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Turnbuckles
    Until now I usually made my own turnbuckles but this time I will use the leftover ones from the Camel build.
    Upon examining them closely they are of a better quality than the ones supplied with the original Albatros kit,harder metal and more accurately cast.The other consideration was that they will hardly be noticeable on a burned wreck at normal viewing distance.When I did the first Albatros that now is in the hangar I wanted to highlight the turnbuckles and even took a little license to make them a little oversize.Why? because kids and most parents today don't have any idea of how these old wings were constructed.The wood aspect is obvious but the wire part with the turnbuckles is less well understood.This diorama is primarily an education tool.
    The cast turnbuckles are first cleaned up and then dunked in blackening patina.I will leave the body black but file off some of the patina on the eye bolt part to add a little contrast.They are then dipped in thinned lacquer to seal the metal.
    I have always sealed my metal castings just in case they contain any lead.
    Brittania metal is not supposed to have any lead in it but some of the original castings seemed a little too soft for my liking.I am not a metallurgist but I didn't want to take a chance of having metal bloom (disintegration) down the road.This has happened to some museum quality ship models in the past because they are in sealed cases and subject to a very polluted atmosphere)
    If there is any shine on the metal left by the lacquer I will deal with this using pastels.
    __________________
  17. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Selling culture
    There is an interesting story in my local paper this morning concerning museums.
    Evidently Montreal is hosting a forum of experts from around the world on how to make our museums more interesting places for the general public to visit.
    It is an established fact that at the Louvre the average viewer at most spends 25 seconds looking at the Mona Lisa.(they actually have a name for it, "the Mona Lisa effect")Most other works of art get about 3 seconds each.
    Whats wrong here? In the words of one expert "A museum must promote emotions ,not product. It must be a place where people can look,think and learn."Modern families want to escape stress and spend more time with each other and engaging the interest of an entire family,youngsters,teens and adults,is no small feat.
    Museums must be entertaining and not just entertainment which can be a very fine line.Being entertaining is about engaging,it piques the imagination and challenges us.Entertainment is a diversion,something you do when you are bored.
    Another expert says that museums should use their collections to tell multiple stories as another way to connect with the public.
    Why did I find this article in the paper so interesting? Because this is what storyboard dioramas are all about.Engaging the individual viewer and the entire family,imagination,education,entertaining,telling stories,challenging .

    I know not everyone's goal is to have their stuff in a museum,neither was it mine in the beginning but it just happened that way.Somewhere down the road this will probably happen to a lot of the hobby stuff being produced today.What we are doing now will someday be part of tomorrows heritage , a time when people actually took the time to do things by hand.
  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  19. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have glued down the fittings but have left the wires themselves unfinished until just before installation in case they are subject to loosening.Like I thought the turnbuckles are hardly noticeable.
  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0