"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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    Having fun with pictures!
    To the knowledgable eye lot of info can be gleaned from this pic even though it only shows just a small portion of the overall diorama.
    I love taking these pics as much as actually building the diorama, so I am taking advantage of this while I can.A lot of these shots will not be possible once it is in the case.
    This is easily identified as an American squadron of WW1 by the "Hat in the Ring" symbol.The tail assembly obviously says Nieuport due to the wood sheathing type skin.The "Iron Cross" piece of fabric, complete with bullet holes, is a trophy nailed to the wall.The English language "Warning" sign leaves no doubt that although the aircraft is French,the squadron is American.
    I try to leave little clues around like this so that every picture tells a story ,even when taken out of context with the whole piece.
  2. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  3. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Harley,the fighter pilot's dog and I are sharing a great feeling of loss today.My beloved Dolly,a 14 year old Siberian Husky/Arctic Wolf mix died of old age last week.
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Thanks guys for your kind words about the loss of my doggy companion.

    I finally have started back to painting the last two figures.I have discussed my painting methods many times before so I won't repeat it here.Sufficient to say that it is based upon Jo Sonja flat acrylic paint and pastels for shading.A little unusual way to paint but it works for me in a diorama setting.
    Both figures have been given a couple of coats of a burnt umber/water mix.The figure on the left has been given a single coat of nimbus gray undercoat to approximate the final color.
    The WW1 uniform experts will notice a few discrepancies here and there but they are pretty close for my purposes.I understand that there were,in the beginning, a lot of different uniforms accepted in the German air force as many of its members were from cavalry units and were allowed to wear their previous uniforms or parts of them.So in keeping with that fact I am leaving them as they are.
  6. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    The possibilities are endless with digital pics!
    Just havin some fun with pics!
    Through modern digital photography we can all now be great dioramists.Using all the digital tools available to us now ,just add a little of your own creativity and before you know it the simplest diorama can take on new life.
    For some pics black and white are perfect for the era that you are trying to recreate.Lucky for me my eras of choice are mostly before the color stuff was invented anyway.
    All you budding dioramists out there now have a lot of options.Do you want to create an actual , physical ,3 dimensional diorama or do you want to be a Steven Spielberg type and bring all the elements of your ideas together and get your stuff on film(or digital in this case).Everyone recognizes that film makers, such as Spielberg in our era, are great artists but what do they actually have to physically show for all their creativity? A few cans of film?
    Storyboard dioramists can do exactly the same thing but our challenge is even greater because we only have one frame of our movie to work with and no dialogue.Our dialogue exists in our viewers imagination and we as artists are only there as guides to help point the way.
    As an artist it is such a wonderful time to be alive!
    __________________
    "Once upon a time......." Storyboard dioramas by JohnReid.
  8. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  9. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is how I would envision what a shadowbox storyboard diorama would look like if it was hung on a wall.It is a little weak on story line,(more like a vignette), but you get the idea.Note the inner black border that acts as a reveal.
    These are great visual tools that can be used to plan your diorama and change things as you go along.
    Even as an ordinary picture it works well because of the feeling of depth that is given off because of the floor boards and the single lit window.
    The border colors and frame were chosen to harmonize with the colors in the diorama.
  10. jgderuvo

    jgderuvo Member

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  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  12. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Here is something at the other end of the scale.Same frame,size,color etc... but the main subject is in the foreground.Depth has been achieved and the main subject highlighted by simply fuzzing things up a bit.It also adds kind of a dreamlike quality to the whole thing.
    The license on the car adds just enough info to put the whole thing in context.
    Damn! this is fun stuff to do.
  13. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is about as far as I plan to go with this figure for now.I will finish it just before I place it in the diorama.
    As you can see I am far from the greatest figure painter in the world but they seem to work OK in a diorama setting especially when viewed at scale distance.No one is going to pick these guys up for judging.
    I came to the realization a long time ago that making large diorama does require a few compromises.Three storyboard dioramas in 10 years is a big enough test of my endurance.To scratch everything ,figures included ,would be wonderful except I wouldn't be half finished the first diorama yet.I know guys who completely scratchbuild cars,aircraft,furniture,figures etc... but few do it all in this modern era and tend to stick to an area of expertise.
    I would ,for example, love to learn how to scratch and paint miniature figures that actually look like the full scale individual.It is actually on my "to do" list, if it at some point, I do not have the space that I have now to do these large museum type dioramas.
  14. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  15. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is about as far as I plan to go with this figure for now.I will finish it just before I place it in the diorama.
    As you can see I am far from the greatest figure painter in the world but they seem to work OK in a diorama setting especially when viewed at scale distance.No one is going to pick these guys up for judging.
    I came to the realization a long time ago that making large diorama does require a few compromises.Three storyboard dioramas in 10 years is a big enough test of my endurance.To scratch everything ,figures included ,would be wonderful except I wouldn't be half finished the first diorama yet.I know guys who completely scratchbuild cars,aircraft,furniture,figures etc... but few do it all in this modern era and tend to stick to an area of expertise.
    I would ,for example, love to learn how to scratch and paint miniature figures that actually look like the full scale individual.It is actually on my "to do" list, if it at some point, I do not have the space that I have now to do these large museum type dioramas.
  16. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  17. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    The young need not bother to read......
    I know,I know it is not an airplane,car or figure, but Photoshop's new poster feature makes for some great looking book titles and it has got me to thinking that maybe sometime in the future, I may do a limited run of pictures and text of all my diorama's (only4),and put them in book form for friends and family.This would not be a "How to..." book but just for fun.
    I understand that there are internet sites out there that will bind your stuff in book form ,on a very limited run basis,and are not too expensive.
    I am especially thinking about the large diorama and RR layout guys that don't have museums or such to take their work.I know that nothing survives forever but I have witnessed some very beautiful stuff being broken up and put in the trash when the builder passes on to the "happy hunting ground".Individual pictures and such are nice but a book of your stuff and text in your own words would really make for a nice legacy for those who come after you.
  19. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

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    The bird nest is a great touch!

    I really like your idea about "self publishing". The latest generation of automated printer/binders makes publishing runs of even one book affordable.

    I read a review that highly recommended lulu.com for this. I took a quick look at their prices, a 20 page hardcover photobook for $26. You upload your images, arrange the layout online.

    I think you are right, a photobook could be a very cool way for card modelers and model railroaders to showcase or commemorate their work. If you try this, please let us know the results!
  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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