"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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    JohnReid Active Member

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    JohnReid Active Member

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    Surprise it's back to square one!
    So you thought that it was almost finished?
    Well now it is time for final assembly.Starting back at the bare plywood stage it is now time to permanently screw and glue things down.The plywood was lacquered last summer on both sides and edges to make it waterproof ,which is very important because a lot of the next steps require the use of lots of water.
    I have positioned the hangar for a unobstructed ,clear view in to what will be the open hangar doors.
    The landscaping is divided at the hangars corners into four parts for ease of assembly.Each part will be finished and then screwed down to the base.
    I have arranged it so that there will be four separate areas of interest ,almost like four dioramas in one.When viewing one area I have tried to plan it so the viewer will not be distracted by the other three.For example the view of the crashed Albatros outside, is blocked by the L/H open hangar door.When viewing the crashed Albatros from the side it is not possible to view the backyard of the hangar.The R/H hangar wall is plexiglass and affords another unrestricted view into the hangar.In real life another hangar bay would have been built here ,so this is basically a compromise between reality and fantasy.(artistic license ,if you will)
    Now it is on to temporarily screwing down the four landscaping panels and the final positioning of the hangar.
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    I was originally going to screw the landscaping panels down from underneath the plywood base but that proved to be unpractical.Instead I drilled a hole down through both panels,and screwed down the panel from the top.I will cover the screw heads using rocks or grass etc... I identified the holes under the plywood panels as "screws above" so that if in future if it is to be taken apart they will be able to locate the screws.
    The hanger itself was screwed down the same way, from below, and holes added to the plywood where the wheels of the aircraft are bolted down ,so that the Albatros could be removed from the hangar separately if need be.
    The landscaping panels are of course removable so that each can be finished individually and then finally re-installed.The now visible seams will be filled as required and blended in to become invisible.
  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Something different!
    I took a whole bunch of new pics today while I still have easy access to the
    hangar windows.I haven't yet had a chance to edit out the bad ones.I removed the frames and shot through the windows from different angles.I am also experimenting with doing photographic type dioramas and vignettes and setting them in formal type frames.This is a lot of fun and opens a whole new dimensions to doing dioramas.One storyboard diorama can be broken down into hundreds of smaller vignettes.
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    "Hanging The Left Hand Aileron"Vignette
    This is a good example of a storyboard vignette.The aileron on the workbench and the ladder pretty much tell the story.The floorboards give a nice 3d effect and perspective that helps lead the viewers to the sign of human presence, as represented by the boots. For those who are really knowledgeable about uniforms, the hat indicates that this is more than likely, a German hangar of WW1.
  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Most of these shots will be lost once the diorama is finished.I took a few days out from building to play with the camera.I really don't know that much about cameras so I take lots of shots at different settings and then delete what I don't want.Using film would have forced me to "read the instructions"(as my dad would always tell me) a long time ago or go broke buying film.
    Digital cameras allows guys like me to fool around and really not know what they are doing . I would rather build than read instructions anyway.
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    The lane out back.
    I am starting to make a lane way(dirt road) out back of the hangar .Here I have started to build up the raised portion that normally lies between the tire tracks.I have used ordinary sand for this,sprayed with alcohol as a water tension breaker and then soaked with the usual 75/25 water and white glue mix.Once dry I will add the fine sand,earth ,vegetation and a few rocks here and there.
    Next I covered the sand mound with the earth and measured the dirt roads width using the Ford T truck as a guide.I then covered the the width of the road with the earth,sprayed on the alcohol ,and put on the water /glue mix ,drop by drop. I then took one of the trucks spare tires and rolled it down the dirt road to create a few tracks.The road still looks a little whitish as the white glue hasn't dried yet.
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Working on the composition.
  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    JohnReid Active Member

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    This vignette from the "Keepers of the Flame" diorama depicts three individuals, one military,one ex-military and one civilian. They represent a cross section of society who were responsible for keeping the dream of aviation alive during some very difficult times following WW1.
    After the Great War airplanes represented to the public at large, something that they wanted to forget ,death and destruction.A relatively few individuals risked their money and even their lives to keep it going.1918-1927 was the wild and wholly teenage stage of aviation where just about anything was tolerated.It was in all less than ten years long but what a wild ride it was.
    Out of work ex-military pilots who just couldn't settle down,who had the love of flying in their veins ,tried to scratch out a living as barnstormers ,stunt pilots or flying the mail.All very risky positions indeed!
    On the civilian side ,a young fellow who dared to tell his parents of his dreams to become a pilot, might have just as well have told them that he was off to join the circus.There were only a few far- sighted businessmen who would dare get involved in aviation and their names are all well known to us today.
    By 1927 when the first air regulations started to take hold ,the public's attitude was beginning to change.Of necessity this wonderful short-lived period of real "freedom of the skies" was coming to an end and today unfortunately, it is mostly forgotten.
    To their memory this Keepers of the Flame diorama is dedicated.
  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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