"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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    I plan to use the Model Expo Wright Flyer wing ribs for this project which will save me a lot of time cutting out little bits of wood.The rest will be scratch.
    I figure that if I was an budding aviator in those days, and wanting to build a biplane ,I probably would want to use a wig shape pretty much like the Wright Flyer.The rest will come from my imagination as I want it to be "my"backyard flyer.I dont know if Mr. Mair's airplane ever flew or not but that is not really important to the storyline.I do however plan to write the Chicago Historical Society and see if they have the story surrounding this airplane and possibly more pictures.
  3. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Back to Jenny!
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    JohnReid Active Member

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    JohnReid Active Member

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    The first step will be properly rigging the wings.I have lifted the wingtips to the proper dihedral using whatever was handy and then checking along the wingspan with a straight edge.I can now tighten up the landing and flying wires.
    The stagger has already been established in the jig so I can also tighten the interplane strut wires at this same time.Angle of attack and "wash in and wash out "will have to be determined by raising the tail to flying position.
    I really love the rigging on the Jenny ,it had to be one of the most complicated of the era.
  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    JohnReid Active Member

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    Mix and match!
    The tail assembly on my Jenny is a bit of a mix and match, which was not unusual for a barnstormer.The Canuck actually had a metal tubing tail assembly.Because I couldn't find any good reference for this ,I went with a wood assembly of the Cunuck design type.Their are no brace struts for the horizontal stabilizer and only single brace wires for the flying surfaces.This was an era before there was licensing of any kind and rules and regs were unheard of.Pilots were known to change the stagger of the wings to make their airplane more unstable for air show purposes.If I was doing a military airplane however
    that would be a different story.
  9. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Backyard Flyer
    I am posting this here because I think this applies to all good dioramas and the picture I am talking about is on this thread too!
    2 storylines!
    You know when you look at the picture ,there are really two story lines going on here.One large and one small,literally!
    One is large and obvious,the airplane of course ,and the other more subtle and hardly visible ,the dog that the lady in the next yard has on a leash ,much to the delight of the young girls watching.The gentleman building his airplane doesn't even notice as he is too absorbed in his "dream." The boys sitting on the fence seem to be more interested in the airplane ,as they have obviously been sitting there for awhile, but for some reason seem to be afraid to approach too closely.
    These are elements that I saw or thought about when really studying this picture.That is why I think that this will make a great diorama! The imagination is initially captured by the airplane and the clothes on the clothesline ,which seems totally out of place until you realize that it is somebody's backyard.Once the attention of your imagination is engaged then all the other sub-stories can be told.To me this is what makes a great diorama ,not only to capture the viewers interest but to hold it long enough to tell an even more subtle story.
    We dioramists don't have the luxury of language to tell our story but we do have imagination!
    __________________
    It has been said that the difference between a "pilot" and an "aviator" is that a pilot is a technician,and an aviator is an artist in love with flight.
    JohnReid (Aviator)
  10. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    The horiz stab is finally on including the control horns and brace fittings,the hinges,trailing edge tapes etc... Next will come the single brace struts from tail post to the stab.The pinkish hue on the rib's cap strips is caused by a poor quality stain that changed colours on me over time.I had this happen before on my Victory model but eventually it faded back to the original wood color.I have many different stains and as of yet I have not found the culprit.
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    Turtle Deck & oversize Turnbuckles.
    The turtle deck frames are on but not the stringers.The wood supplied for the stringers is just too warped and bent and very fragile.I thought of using some other material but in the end I just decided to leave them off.This is what is nice about doing an aircraft under construction as it is not necessary to show everything.
    The turnbuckles may look a little over scale in the pics but I made this decision a long time ago.I used a little artistic license here for educational purposes ,which after all is the whole purpose of my doing these dioramas.At their proper size they are all but invisible at scale distance and I wanted to show this important aspect of the rigging.When the airplane is actually in the hangar they are hardly noticeable even at this scale.
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    I took this pic under florescent lighting,the pink wood is really not that bad in reality but re-staining may be in order.
    I really like the rudder outline of the Canuck compared to the JN4.
    I am not sure if I will rig the control surfaces at this time ,as this would probably not have been done at this stage.The aircraft components are temporarily being put together, prior to breakdown and Fabric recovering.
    The Canuck with the metal tail does not show any hard wire braces from the horns to the trailing edges of the control surfaces, including the ailerons.This being a wood tail assembly I left provision for them on the rudder and the elevator but not the ailerons due to the fact that this type of rigging is not required with dual aileron Jennys.
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    JohnReid Active Member

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    Bead and jewelery supply stores are a good source of small fittings that can be adapted for use on models.Example:The large packet would make nice turnbuckle bodies,just add a couple of eyelets at the ends.The small crimps tubes are great for holding steel rigging lines tight.Or you could put on a couple of them to make turnbuckle bodies for the small scales.Add a drop of super thin super glue to hold everything together.When I get a chance I will put a few together and show you what I mean.
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    The upper wing kingposts are now installed.

    The Jenny is now ready to be set on her wheels.Once she is free of the jig for good ,I will install the horiz stab braces as well as the wingtip skids.

    The whole diorama will now have to be broken down again right to the bare hangar floor.This is necessary in order to easily install airplanes,cars and hangar furniture.
    I plan to wire but not glue everything down through the hangar floor . Things will be able to be removed and repaired if necessary.
    My plan is to first secure the airplanes left hand wheel to the floor using wheel chocks.The axle will be slid on and the right hand wheel (with airplane attached )will be secured to the floor.Then I will work on securing the tail skid.

    Wish me a little Irish luck as I am certainly going to need it! Hopefully all the planning will now pay off in the final build-up stage.Exciting but a little scary too. Hope I didn't forget anything! Cheers! John.