"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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    This is a very slow process for a number of reasons.First and foremost is my ambition usually exceeds my energy level.Where I used to be able to work eight hours at a stretch ,I now only work three or four.The repetitive nature of the stuff I am doing now may also have something to do with it. My inability to drop one project for another, before the first one is completed ,could be another factor.When I get tired of building I usually am doing some kind of research instead of actual building.
    Why do I mention this? well aging is not something we normally build into our future plans.If you want to get good at this stuff there is definitely a learning curve involved. Better to get most of the steep learning curve part out of the way while we are relatively young.It takes a lot of energy in the beginning to commit oneself to learning something new,energy that may be not be there as we get older.I read somewhere that every man or woman should have at least three careers in their lifetime,the last one beginning in their fifties.Aside from all the usual pressures of life work,family,etc..it has been said that the most creative time in the life of most artists begins during this decade.I guess what I am trying to say is don't rely upon your retirement to get it done.If you feel a need to be artistically creative better start now.
    "Whatever you can do or dream you can,begin it.Boldness has genius,power,and magic in it.Begin it now."(Johann Von Goethe)

    End of lecture........


    In the latest pic you can see the difference between the almost finished brickwork and the newer facade.
    Once the basic color is on the face of the facade, the real fun begins.Each brick has to be worked on individually to achieve a nice varied and subtle look.It can really be time consuming but it is worth the extra effort in the end.
    The most important thing to remember is that you are essentially working with watercolors (gouache-acrylic) and it is important to use lots of water in your mixes and not get things too dark too quickly.Take full advantage of the transparency of the medium and paint in thin coats to achieve subtle differences in color or intensity.All the colors in the brickwork you see is the result of only one tube color put on in thin layers.
  3. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  4. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

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    Hey, if my energy level matched *my* ambitions I'd have already had my remote-controlled AT-AT built.
  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    My confuser has been down awhile,something about the power supply.
    The last pic shows how I will use the two brick facade panels for photography.
    Brick facades are common everywhere, so they make great backdrops for a lot of subject matter.The museum will have to wait awhile for this one,I guess.
    Speaking about the CAM ,it seems that their building project has been delayed.The money has been approved so I guess that it is just government bureaucracy.
    Speaking about museums, I went to the RCAF museum in Trenton Ontario this month.There has been a lot of very nice improvements going on there but the aircraft that are sitting outside still look a lot worse for wear.
  6. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is the only figure that I plan to use in this diorama, except for maybe a nosy neighbor peeking out from behind one of the window curtains.
    It is the 120mm Guynemer figure from Model Cellar Productions. It is up to their usual fine standards and well worth the price, when compared to some similar quality figures that are on the market.
    For my purposes it is just perfect and reflects the mood that I am trying to create in this diorama.Like a lot of my figures it is just the starting point as I foresee having to make lots of changes.Medals to be removed,alterations to the uniform and a new head will be among them .I also plan to put an old duffel bag leaning up against one of his legs.
    With all these great figures around to be modified ,my ambition to one day sculpt my own from scratch, keeps getting pushed back further in time.So much to do,so little time!
  8. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  9. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  10. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    I may keep the head and modify the hat,as I really like his facial expression.The blank stare, as I would call it,fits in with the mood of the piece.The coat over the arm suggests spring or fall which gives me a lot of options when doing the vegetation.I don't want a summer look as all that color would distract attention from the main subject matter,the figure and the airplane.
    A muddy backyard would be more common in spring in this part of the world and springtime does symbolize rebirth.Fall on the other hand here in Canada indicates the end of something.
    My storyline could go either way,the beginning of something or the end.Will he find a renewed interest in aviation now that he has lost his innocence in the war above the trenches? or will he just scrap the whole idea and go on to a new future and leave all of that behind him?
  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Out of curiosity I scrolled back in this thread and found that it has been three months since I started the brick facades.Sure I have done other stuff as well but actual modeling, that's it.As I approach the end of this period I can say that I am glad I did it, but to be honest, I probably would hesitate at doing it again.
    Long repetitive work such as this does have its positive side however,as it teaches patience and a willingness to put your best effort into even the most boring of tasks.It also allows for a build up of creative energy and a renewed enthusiasm to get at the more rewarding stuff again.Some of my more creative ideas have come during this period, not only involving the piece I am working on but future projects as well.
  12. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  13. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Well except for a few finishing touches my bricklaying work is finally finished.Now I can finally move on to more creative stuff.Maybe finish the airplane,maybe modify and paint the new figure.
    Even at this late stage I am still fooling around with the composition.I kind of like the facades forming a corner to surround the backyard with the airplane in the middle, but I have pretty much ruled this out as it would be too obstructive for the viewer and would necessitate the diorama being placed in a corner arrangement of some kind ,which would not be too museum friendly.However it would be great for picture taking.I will have to be careful when finishing this piece. How and when to permanently glue things down will be a major consideration ,as I plan to use it for many vignettes including a series on 1920-30 gangsters and their cars.
  14. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Finishing up the backyard flier.
    Started back building the backyard flier today.The first order of business will be to make the outboard streamlined interplane struts and their fittings.The engine will be next and I probably will use a old Ford T design and then partially cover it with an old tarp, so I can suggest that there is an engine there without having to be too detailed.Remember this airplane project has been abandoned for some time while our aviator has been off to war.I thought about putting tarps on the wings as well but I don't what to cover up too much of the structure.Because there will be a "welcome home" sign on the wall they were obviously anticipating his arrival and therefore may have removed some of the tarps.
  15. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  16. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is the general arrangement that I will be using for my backyard flier.I don't know what this engine is (probably modern) but I will be using the same 4 cylinder in-line type.
    Our budding aviator probably would have used something easily available and relatively cheap like a new or used Ford Model T engine modified it to direct drive, without the gearbox of course.What I plan to do is partially cover the engine with a tarp but leave the prop ,rad and gas tank etc...uncovered.Should be fun!
  17. ekuth

    ekuth Guest

    Simply... stunning. Wow.:eek:
  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    I took an old 1/16th Lindberg 1910 Model T engine and removed the gearbox to make it look more like an aircraft engine.The propeller shaft in there now is temporary and was only used to line things up.This mod was simple to do with a razor saw and a sanding stick.Working slowly you can eventually get what is left of the gearbox to line up with the rest of the engine.There is not a lot of nice crisp detail on this engine but for my purposes here it is OK as I have the option of showing what I want of it because of the covering tarp.The outline alone would really be enough.
  19. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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