Diorama #1, Part 1

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This page has hierarchy - Parent page: Taking pictures & dioramas - Child pages: Diorama #1, Part 2

This article is on making a slightly more ambitious diorama to the ones shown in the pictures and diorama page and is based on a 450mm x 450mm base.

This article is based on the fact the readers of this article have not done scenery or a diorama before, hopefully those that have will be inspired by some part of this article.

Due to the size of this article it has been divided into two parts, this is Part 1.

This Garage scene diorama was inspired by garages in my area in the UK, a lot of service centres seemed to evolve over years from a small building to, sometimes several small buildings, in many cases service stations started out as domestic houses or farm buildings.

The picture below is one of my favourites and shows how one particular service station developed, this picture is from 1971, the old coach out the back may of been the office going by the well worn track to it from the garage.

The pictures below show the trial layout of the ready made resin buildings I already have plus an area for scrap cars, or parking etc

Firstly I mark out where the buildings are going and the yard and road layout, this is also using the petrol pumps from a Ratio garage kit I have used elsewhere, this has also been marked out.

The right hand grassy bank is being built up, so using polystyrene and covering with kitchen roll glued down with PVA glue, gives me the first form.

The grass areas are covered with a mix of household decorators filler to give the areas some profile and at this stage the stone walls are added and glued down, the base for the petrol pumps is also glued on before any gravel is added.

The joints in the stone wall will need filling and for this I use a fine modellers filler.

The next stage is not absolutley necessary but next I use poster paint to cover the base board with a similar colour to the scenic cover I will be using, this does two things, 1, it helps with any bare patches you may have so the base board doesn’t show through, 2, it helps slow down the glue drying time when doing the scenic scatters, as I have said it is not absolutley necessary but I have always done it this way.

Before we can start on the scatter materials, the wall needs a bit of work to look realistic and firstly I give it a coat of dark grey Humbrol matt paint.

Then dabbing with a sponge I add lighter greys, I mix my own colours using poster paints for this.

Next I add some moss effects, this is done with Humbrol green and mixed in some fine green scatter material.

As my base has a surrounding frame I have masked up the edges.

Once dry I start on the scatter materials, firstly the road way, this is laid on PVA wood glue brushed in place.

This diorama is 1:76 scale but all the tarmac scatters I have used are to course or too black so for this I am using N gauge grey railway scatter by Javis, I much prefer the colour for roads and is so much finer, once sprinkled into place I used a flat piece of card to level it and pat it down, now allow to dry before tipping off any excess.

I tip it off into a newpaper so I can re-use it.

Next a course green grass scatter, this can take a few applications to cover any bare patches.

The buildings are put in their places and checked for position.

At this stage I found some old Hornby Dublo railway lights that would make good yard lights, the only down side is the heavy cast bases so removed them.

I drilled a few holes in the base and fixed the lights into place, these will be wired up and working later on from underneath.

Next the building areas are masked off and the gravel area is coated with a muddy brown mix of poster paint, the back of the buildings has had a few extra coats as this won’t have gravel.

Once dry the gravel is laid the same as the tarmac and again the buildings are tried in place, at this point and because the barn will have open doors fitted the floor inside the barn area will need painting dark grey.

Another shot taken lower down, now you start to get a feel for it.

To continue reading about this article go to Diorama#1, Part 2


1 Comment »

  1. Catalina says:

    really impressed! everything is very open and very clear explanation. it contains good information. your website is very useful. thanks for sharing. looking forward to more!

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