Sergio Leone Movie Set Diorama

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by JohnReid, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by choo choo View Post
    Hey John,

    Your concept is as fascinating as the modelling exercise. How do you think up stuff like that?

    Greg
    Well thank you Greg that is the biggest compliment you could ever give my work!
    I have been doing different art forms for many years saying to myself "why didn't I think of that?"It is the originality that always alluded me until now,I found myself saying the same thing " how do they think up stuff like that?"
    With ordinary modeling it is still that way with me but with dioramas I seem to have found my niche late in my life.I think that it is the storytelling I like most and taking pictures of the project underway and when it is completed and "in the can" so to speak.After that the fun for me is over and I just enjoy putting the stuff in museums and such for others to see and hopefully have a few of the young ones catch the bug of making dioramas too.
    I find that most modelers are "History "minded and stuck on replicating reality ,I just want to bring some fun back into it like when we were kids with unbounded imaginations.Just the mention of "artistic license" drives some modelers crazy,Why? I don't know because anything fun to do requires a certain suspension of belief and modeling like other entertainments is no different.
    Because of this fact I thought that it would be fun to kind of play a little trick on Hollywood and the like and switch things around a little by having the director from his point of view think everything looks normal while the viewer is really in on the magic.
    Anyway,thanks again ! you have really made this old guy happy.One last thing and really what I am most happy about is that I was lucky enough to have the time and good health to accomplish this in the decade of my 60's.With art it is never too late to work on your dreams.Cheers! John.
  2. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  3. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Gap & Seam Repairs
    When I was building this base for a diorama I made, somehow (but I can't remember why ),there was this gap in the plywood that now needs to be filled.This is a common modeling problem so I thought that you guys might like to follow along as I try to fix it.The gap shown in the pic is similar to the one I am working on now maybe a little smaller.
    It is now crunch time so I can't put it off any longer ! Normally this would be an easy job,just fill the gap and blend the terrain.My dioramas are different though ,as they were designed to come apart and be broken down into modules.This was done for maintenance purposes and ease of moving or storage if required.
    Well anyway now I have to find a solution for this problem.My usual method of doing basic landscaping is the glue,water and sand over plywood kind, as described by Ken Hamilton in his book "How to do creative car dioramas".It is now out of print but is available on line.This repair will be using the same basic methods .
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    See my Albatros Dv album in photobucket for the following pics:

    08-2 The gap.Double check that the plywood edge has been well sealed as this fix requires the use of water.I use lacquer for this.

    06-1 2 sided carpet tape.

    07-1 cut the tape in strips.

    05-1 tape is applied along plywood edge.A second layer of tape was applied over the first beause of the width of the gap to be filled.

    01-1 all materials are soaked in achohol before applying

    02-1 apply your earth or fine sand'

    03-1 apply your thin glue/water mix.

    04-1 add turf then more of the thinned glue mix.

    05-1 remove tape backing and de-stick the surface using dry earth or fine sand as you want the panel to be removable from the other panel edge.If this is a permanent fix carefully line up both edges and stick the panels together. to be cont........
  5. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    11-1 put wax paper under both panels.

    12-1 add more wax paper between the edges of the two panels and begin laying down your soil or sand.

    13-1 continue filling until gap is filled and level,then spray with alcohol.

    14-1 apply glue/water mix drop by drop.

    15-1 fold over wax paper and fill the other side .

    16-1 both sides should now be level,let dry overnight.
  6. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  7. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Meanwhile back at the rail car build,I have put in the floor.The movie set shows a very damaged area as though the floor had been ripped off at this point.I used my usual method to weather the wood but with no rusty nail heads as it would be subject to more recent wear.The pic was taken from the outside, through the car door window, using an ordinary light bulb.
  8. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  9. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This is the outside of the rail car from the movie prop side.In my storyline they took an already old car and made it older.The original car would been more carefully put together and some of that carpentry is shown here.I assumed that the window casings were removed along with the glass therefore only the basic frame remains.
    All the wood was carefully selected for grain pattern,color and texture.I am assuming that the original color was red but is now aged to orange.I removed the sashes from the windows and build the frames with strip wood that had been tinted orange.The large boards above the windows are part of the carpentry put up by the film crew for their purposes.
    The pics in my photobucket show the various steps and the tools used for this operation.
  10. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  11. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    For those who may be a little confused as to what I am building here don't feel alone as I feel like that sometimes myself.
    The above pic shows the area of the set I am working on now.I don't plan on building all of the lighting grid as this is basically an abandoned set but I do plan to show where some of it was attached to the rail car prop.This will be confined to the prop side only and will not be visible from the directors chair.
  12. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  13. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This side of the open set is where I imagine the interior shots of the opening scene would have been taken.The opening on the left is where there is a little jog in the interior wall which I presume was a sleeping area for the station master.I am only building that part that can be seen in the film.After the jog is a badly built brick wall with the doorway at the end where the movie begins.The large opening will be from where the interior scenes would have been taken in my little scenario.HO scale track makes a perfect dolly for the camera and really tells the story here without even having to show a camera which would be out of place on an abandoned set.The figure is there to check the scale.
    I am presently building the sleeping area/camera platform but on a reduced scale due to space requirements at the edge of the round base.In the film the shot through the door to the outside(where the first nations lady is running away)opens on to the desert and in my scenario would have to have been shot in other open set.The wall where the figure is standing actually extends for a long way and is held down with ropes and stakes in the ground.Nice scene but I can't show it here.
  14. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Some of you guys must be wondering why does he keep posting this stuff when hardly anyone ever responds ? Well in the beginning ten years ago I wondered the same thing myself and almost gave up.I build every day so I don't have a lot of time to socialize on the net, other than sharing my work and techniques with you guys, which I find extremely rewarding.So why is it I don't quit ? well my photobucket tells me a different story.Sometimes over a five month period I can get up to a million hits ! Recently it has been running around 600,000.I post my stuff on about 35 websites; aircraft ,RR,cars and ships, some more than others depending upon what I am working on at the time.It is very time consuming but I love the opportunity to do it.You see I am almost 70 years old and I remember how it used to be years ago when most modelers built in isolation from one another, except for the occasional phone call or snail mail.Now I can instant communicate with other modelers, on a day to day basis, and show my stuff in real time.Until now this was never possible, before the era of computers, digital cameras and photobucket etc....I show it, if you like it fine, if you don't that is fine too ,but at least the majority of the official gatekeepers, as I new them,are pretty much irrelevant today and thank goodness for that. Cheers! John.
  15. Wojtee

    Wojtee Member

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    Please, keep posting. What is there to add than a big WOW after every photo you post?
    Imagine everyone watching with bated breath... O_O
  16. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  17. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    This small closet looking area is actually a prop set up for the camera.You never see this room in the movie only the suggestion of it being there.The near wall will be fake brick made from previously cut artists watercolor board.Attached to the brick wall will be the door from the opening scene of the film and then finally the actual set.The exterior of these walls will be almost new wood ,while the interior will be painted and weathered to look old.Most of the camera shots from the opening scene were taken from this end of the rail car.
    There is one area that had me stumped for a long time and it took my wife's fresh eyes to spot it.The brick area was curved I thought but why would anyone build such a crooked brick wall? Sergio did everything for a purpose and I couldn't figure it out.A closer look actually reveals that there is another wooden wall behind the brick one and it is this wood that has warped to create this odd form.The brick actually starts at the wood post and ends at the rear door and is fairly straight but heavily weathered.
  18. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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  19. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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    Finishing seams,gaps and screw heads.

    The pics in photobucket are almost self explanatory on the final cosmetic stuff.
    The screw heads are covered using round felt pads the tops of which were covered with white glue and then dipped in the original earth soil,glued on using contact cement and blended into its environment with the materials shown in the pics.You just have to play around with this until it looks right to your eye.
    __________________
  20. JohnReid

    JohnReid Active Member

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