"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
  2. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
  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
    I have decided to add more depth to this diorama .

    I think that this is what I am going to do.Where you now see blue sky I will put the split garage doors on either side of the opening.Behind where you now see the tanker I will build another wooden wall or fence set at the same angle as the tanker.The garage doors can be set at an angle to block any unwanted views.I should be able to accomplish all this without adding more than a few inches to the rear of the diorama.I opened the garage doors and put the tanker out there as a test.I think that I like the idea.I was going to do this originally but at the time I was limited by the TV cabinet that it was supposed to go into.Now that I don't have that worry about that anymore,well here goes!
    (Note:Those figures were originally flat but now they are a little too shiny, which was caused by too much handling,I will have to tone them down a bit with a wash or using pastels.)
  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well the first order of business for this new addition will be to do a mock-up in foam board, to work out the angles and how much of an extension to add to the back.
    The idea will be to have it look like a lane way between the existing hangar and another structure or tall fence.This structure will be set at a slight angle and the boards placed horizontally to help emphasize the idea of depth. The opening is just too small to get into any kind of forced perspective. It should have the effect of just like looking into another room.The shadow created by the R/H garage door should be interesting.Until I actually get to play with the lighting a bit nothing is carved in stone.Even a slight shift in the lights intensity or angle can effect the whole thing.The sun is setting(or rising) on the R/H side of the hangar.The left and backside would therefore be of a lower intensity.
    Light bulbs do not work, so some type of reflected light or diffuse type lighting will have to be used.The exterior boards have been painted black as the tongue depressors I used for barn siding was just too thin.
  6. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    announce1John - An Absolute Masterpiece.

    While you are redoing the figures -Those maintenance engineers need a little grease on their coveralls.

    PS - The quote about the dog is masterful as well.
  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking out the garage door!
    I took a piece of cardboard and drew some horizontal lines on it so it looks like siding ,added a piece of green paper and a small dog.When finished I probably will leave the dog there,add a dirt road with green grass against the siding and just let it go at that.If I put anything too large against the siding it spoils the effect.I think that I will use a whitewashed type barn siding made from wood tongue depressors(Or coffee stir stiks)and then weather it.
    Next I will take some measurements and build the thing in wood.
    __________________
    "Once upon a time......." Storyboard dioramas by JohnReid.
    My photobucket:
    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/
  9. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have temporarily closed the garage doors again to take pics.
    I am adding to my photobucket views such as this that will not be available once the diorama is boxed.I will leave the panels removable so that these views will not be lost forever, in case others wish to take pics in the future.Normally shadow boxes are not finished in areas that can't be viewed from the front, which of course cuts down considerably on the work involved.(See Shep Paines book for further info on this)
    I really like the Nieuport's round body shape and all the wonderfully fancy woodworking such as the scalloped edges on the fuselage frames and the trailing edges of the wing's leading edge panels.
    The whole tail assembly is actually skinned with small wood strips set at an angle.Just beautiful craftsmanship that would be a shame to cover with fabric.This aircraft and the Albatros are in my opinion the most beautifully proportioned designs of the era.
  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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

    JohnReid Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG]
    A modeling bud sent this to me,Cool!
  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
    After taking these latest pictures ,I have changed my mind about opening the garage doors.The light shining through the boards is enough to give the illusion of something taking place outside the walls of the hangar.Opening the doors would somehow break the feeling of intimacy created within the inside walls.The door that is slightly ajar on the R/H side allows for just enough unique lighting and interesting shadows on the floor.
    I got this idea from childhood as I always loved the light that filtered through old barns on sunny days.Some people have mentioned to me that that what I create in my hangar scenes bring back old memories for them of days long gone by.It always makes me happy to share those experiences.
    My earliest memories of aviation was long before the popularity of jets ,although I do remember my dad flying Vampires in the RCAF reserve .But hangars in those days,even for the early jets,were not eat-of-the-floor places.The sights and sounds and smells of the old piston days was something to behold and I treasure the fact that I still have a foot in that era.Old hangars could be dark,damp,cold and creepy places .But they could also be wonderful places of great atmosphere and yes even beauty.To see a magnificently shining,colorful ,beautifully shaped airplane lit by an old bulb or two , up against a backdrop of something old and slightly weathered was a thrilling sightto behold and something that as an artist I never been able to get out of my head.As you guys know it is a theme that runs throughout my work.Most aircraft lovers feel that airplanes look best in the air, their natural home, and I agree but there are times when to sit quietly and just look at something beautiful can be just as rewarding, especially when surrounded by memories of times gone by.Kids of course have none of these memories and eventually it will all be lost to time.In creating these dioramas I want to bring back a feeling of how things were done back then. You would be surprised how many viewers respond with amazement at how these aircraft were built ,under what would be today called, primitive working conditions.How you can create from wood and wire and fabric such a work of art.
    In my younger days I was lucky enough to have re-built a full scale biplane with a gentleman that would be called a craftsman but was truly an artist who happened to build full-scale aircraft both powered and gliders.As a young man he got his training building the now famous all wood Mosquito.In later life he built and re-built by hand aircraft and gliders from all eras.Give him a piece of wood or metal and he would not only make it but put into it something that you just knew came from the hands of an artist.I learned many things from this man,patience,pride of workmanship and above all seeing artistic value in even the smallest object.How to put as much effort and quality into the mundane and repetitive things that must be done in order to create the big and impressive finished product. Thanks Al Pow,rest easy my friend.
  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
    End of the road for Diorama #2.
    My part in the making of this diorama is now essentially finished.Now it is up to the CAM to decide on how to finish it.I understand that they have very good people who are used to what needs to be done.Whether it goes into a wall or into a box and how the final lighting will be set up,I will leave up to them.
    This is only the 2nd diorama that I have ever finished ,the first being HMS Victory in 2000. I started Victory in 1976.Two dioramas in 33 years although I must admit 2 more are soon to be finished as well.
    Until 2000 it was mostly a hobby but since then it has pretty much been full time.An average of 8 years per diorama.I would have never believed it when I first started down this road.
  17. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow! This is really an extraordinary piece of work, and a fine piece of craftsmanship. Congratulations and bravo!
  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
    A couple more figures!
    I feel like painting figures for awhile.I have chosen to do two WW2 Soviet tank crew members that I have acquired recently.I want to put them in the area shown in the picture that is in the rear of the hangar well away from any confusion with the main storyline.The final composition or arrangement of the objects in this area will be made when the figures are finished.I thought that I could add a little life to the area without having to show a lot of activity which is not my style.I like my figures in relaxed poses.I haven't quite decided what the truck will be hauling or if it will have any obvious connection to the figures.
    It could just be parked there or temporarily stopped.I thought that one figure could be holding a map and another pointing in a certain direction as though it had stopped to ask for directions.These guys are dressed in what looks like officier's uniforms so they will have to be depicted as doing something other than grunt labor.(like unloading wood)
    These figures will not require too much modification to make them into WW1 German types.In fact they could be used as is with a few minor uniform adjustments.
    I have already put the torso of the first figure together and like what I see so far,minimum flash and the parts fit well together with minimum adjustments.Any unwanted seams can easily be filled with super thin ,super glue and sanded smooth.
  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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