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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Building a Huge 200mm diorama, "Easy Pickins"
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:47 PM UTC
This is a huge dio in progress, but just to show that it can be done, if you have the room to stow it when finished, it's a fun challenge. A sizable curio cabinet is a must,btw. lol.

Some background info to get yall up to speed. I had several 200mm figures plus some 1/9th scale bikes that were just begging for a story, so after a long bit of pondering I came up with a scenario of an ambush that takes place just after the D-Day invasions in Normandy. The Ranger figure is peering thru a gate to a cemetery. Head stones and grave markers will be included.

All the figures were painted with oils over an acrylic base. The bikes were built to specs with wiring, plumbing and all, just about as close to real thing as I could possibly make them. Now it's time to make the base and make it convincing enough to appear believable.

This layout is about as good as I'm going to be able to make it, but I recon it'll work. The element of surprise is what I'm after in this scenario.

The wall will get a good work over with damage, etc., painted a dirty yellow tone and the water fountain will be inactive, but grungy and have nasty mossy water in it and lots of shrubs near the entryway to keep the Ranger hidden and the bike. And yes, climbing ivy vines, etc as well, plus tile cap on the top of the wall.

Look er over and let me know what yall thing, please. I really can't go any bigger and I certainly can't go smaller on the base, so other than minor adjustments this may have to do. Remember, this base is 15"x28" and just barely fits in the curio cabinet.




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Thx for watchin, Ski.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:49 PM UTC
Great idea man ! Man that thing is huuuuge.
J
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:54 PM UTC
Thx Jerry, you are fast buddy, was making grammar corrections when you replied, lol.
cheyenne
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 02:06 PM UTC
Beautiful work Ski , figs , bikes and the setup should work out well also .
Just one thing this is a very large scale , do you think you could park a 1/1 scale Volkswagen next to the build so we can get an idea of the size .........................

Great work Ski !!!
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 09:40 PM UTC
Ya killin me man, ya killin me, lol. Ya, I recon I bit the big one (literally) when I set out to do this beast.

I've never seen a 200mm dio, so why not, right?

Thx for watching and updates as they come in. Cheers, Ski.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 09:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Ya killin me man, ya killin me, lol. Ya, I recon I bit the big one (literally) when I set out to do this beast.

I've never seen a 200mm dio, so why not, right?

Thx for watching and updates as they come in. Cheers, Ski.



Ski,
Where'd you get the 200mm figures and cycles from? I work in 120mm quite a bit, but I've never seen 200mm figures like these. You should enter these in the upcoming Seattle IPMS show on April 22nd here in Washington if you are in the area.
VR, Russ
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 10:29 AM UTC
Thx Russ,

I found the Ranger figure from Warrior's way back in 2004 in San Diego, no longer available. Two of the figures are Verlinden, no longer available and the two next to and on the BMW R75 are from Reedee's Miniature, both still available.

I would love to make it to the Seattle show again, but there's just no way this will be done by that date. I'm going to have to plan on 2018 at the earliest. I had a blast at the 2012 show, but chewed my nails coming across the pass with my dios, the bumpy road was brutal on my Hue City dio. Good thing I brought my tools and stuff, as advised.

I'm 90mi's north of Spokane, in the boonies where I like it, lol.


Cheers, Ski.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 09:46 PM UTC
Ski-- what about the US Bike-- that's a beauty, I assume the BMW is from Verlinden? Hopefully the road will be better this year than 2012 with the new snow tunnels in the Cascades, but on the other hand we've had a lot more snow up there, and all the rain probably hasn't helped either in the lowlands-- pot holes are turning up everywhere. I spent some time over near Steptoe in my college years. Sounds like you are in WSU territory. You should just bring the figures to the show if the dio isn't finished in time and enter them separately, bikes could go in soft skins too- they're great.
VR, Russ
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 10:29 AM UTC
Hi Russ, the Harley is Italeri, the BMW R75 is ESCI, but Italeri makes em too.

Steve from Reedees' Miniatures sent me a spare sidecar, good man and one heck of a good sculptor. I altered the driver figure from desert pants to euro trousers, no biggy.

As for making it this year, it's a no-go, too much outside work coming up, but I plan on attending 2018. The Mrs. went with me last time, she said she had fun, she's a keeper, lol.

Thx for watchin. Cheers, Ski.


P.S. When I said boonies I mean boonies, I can barely see my neighbors house and I hear nothing but coyotes and turkeys, lol.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 04:10 PM UTC
Wow Ski!

Literally massively impressive, fantastic construction and figure painting certainly worthy of show medals. Just wondering about the narrative though – unless the Germans are stone deaf the GI couldn’t have stealthily rode up to the gate…presumably he got there first and while recce-ing on foot the Germans arrived? As you asked for feedback could I suggest an alternative - if his bike (and even his helmet) was on the other side of the wall, they could be debating where the owner was. That might better justify the Pointing One, to me he and the be-goggled one seem to be arguing about something and this might make it more obvious what the disagreement was about. And it could add a bit more story, namely that the GI thought HE was safe wandering around without his helmet, but now he’s about to turn the tables – the element of surprise doubled.

Cheers, Tim

PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 09:50 PM UTC
Good points Tim, all of em. I neglected to mention there will be some kind of basket or cloth laid out with bread, cheese, and wine, and the bike will be semi parked into bushes along the inside wall, etc.

My intention is to make the entry way look uninviting to the Jerrys, whom have stopped when the bike came upon them, they were just passing by.

The Ranger is taking some R&R and heard them, thereby presenting a perfect opportunity for "Easy Pickins". He is a Texan, ya know? Lol.

Thx for the input Tim, greatly appreciated Amigo. Cheers, Ski.
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 01:33 AM UTC
It's been raining and more for the rest of the week, so I got a little bit more done. The water fountain is done for now and the wall roof tiles have been started as well as the Terra Cota tiles for around the fountain. More to follow soon.




Thx for watchin. Cheers, Ski.
jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 03:39 AM UTC
Nice progress ! The wall damage looks good.
J
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 07:06 AM UTC
Thx Jerry. I had to reacquaint myself with the process, lol.

Cheers, Ski.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 10:10 AM UTC
Go Ski! Yep all good re the narrative, this one’s really hooked me. Mo’ bullet/shrapnel damage to come I hope…and hey, there’s even scope for 200mm cobwebs, I’m still waiting for someone to pull that off – a PE spider at last!? Looks like you may need to pump up some of Jerry’s ivy too…
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 11:02 PM UTC
Ya, Jerry's becoming a master at veggies. Hmmm...., now a spider web might not be a bad idea, good call!

Thx Tim!
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 12:05 AM UTC
Been getting a little work done on the wall section for the cemetery using Laszlo Adoba's "Building Dioramas 1,2 &3". These are great book and well worth the investment. They are not expensive by any means. Kuddos to Laszlo!

Here's a quick pictorial of how I got to where I am now with the stucco wall. I am using 1" thick construction foam board commonly used to insulate the exterior of your average basement wall. It's an easy process and the example took me less than an hour, so here goes......


All the materials needed which can be acquired from your local hardware store.




Using thinned drywall patching compound and a basic brush I applied a semi-thick layer directly onto the foam.




Next I used Spackle in a common kitchen sifter and coated the entire work area making sure to cover all the "blue" that might show through.




Here's a photo of the sample section after I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Some of the Spackle will fall off, but not much. After the Spackle had been dried I misted the work area with a water bottle mister to cement the top layer (sifted) to the work piece. Then use the hair dryer once again to dry completely.




Priming the surface is a tricky process so you need to take a few precautions to avoid "burning or melting" the foam sheet. Lacquer based primers will melt or burn the foam really quick, so a light coat is recommended, then build up a second layer if you feel it's necessary. If you rush this process the primer will leach through the Spackle and come in contact with the foam and destroy all you have done up to this point. I taped off any areas that were not treated to avoid a major mess.




And finally we have a finished section ready for painting. I would suggest using an air brush for your first coat and then brush on subsequent coats. The Spackle will suck up most of the first coat, so be prepared to make a few passes before the color is satisfactory.




As you can see from this example it's not a difficult process, so why spend money buying kits of plastic buildings when you can make you own. The possibilities are endless and only depending on your imagination, and of course, realism is a factor, too.



Thx for watchin and more to follow soon. Cheers, Ski.
jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 01:51 AM UTC
Nice stuff and right up my alley. Low tech and low price.
J
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 05:31 AM UTC
Ski-- nice progress on the wall. I cant wait to see this at next year's IPMS Seattle show-- I didn't make it to this years show last weekend, but I understand they had a record turnout with 1338 models on display and more attendees than last year, which was nearly 800 folks. I save stuff for "cheap" model building as well- one of the best products around is the styrofoam packing that meat comes on from the grocery store-- it can be carved with a toothpick for brick, and used as a facing material for either foam core board or wood-- works great-- your brickwork reminds me of that.
VR, Russ
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 07:49 PM UTC
Thx Jerry and Russ.

This is the fun part of the dio, so I'm pulling all the stops and trying to get my veggies like jerry's, fully loaded.

Thx again Gents. Cheers, Ski.
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 - 10:22 PM UTC
I got past the gate guard to work on the gate, really guys, go figure, but there you have it! Actually, the smoke has been so bad in our area, worse than the smog alerts in Los Angeles back in the 60's, that I now have the excuse to avoid splitting fire wood and get ta sniffin some paint, lol.


After going back to review early period pics of iron gates it was then I realized round rod wasn't, if ever, used. Oh well, a square head I ain't so it stays as is, lol.


A bit of primer after the latching mechanism was installed. Note the decorative feature appropriate for a cemetery gate, ya???


The standard salt and hairspray method for heavy chipping, gotta love this technique!

Note: The Gate Guard, i.e., my wife, and I agreed a blue tone would break up the color scheme just right for this scenario.


As you can see, there's plenty more work to be done, especially on the salt chunks and then some really intense rust work with pigments and oils, etc.




I will post "up to speed" pics to counter the PB debacle so there won't be such a gap in the photo sequence, when I get time.

Thx for watching and let's hope this winter will be a heavy snow season with plenty of bunker time, HA!
Let is snow, let is snow, let it snow................................


Cheers, Ski.



jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 - 10:53 PM UTC
Round or square,that gate is lookin' mighty fine there buddy.
J
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 09:57 AM UTC
Thx Jerry, appreciate it.
cheyenne
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 02:22 PM UTC
Gold ingot Ski , gold ingot , ....... you'll figure it out .
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 05:29 PM UTC
The gate’s a work of art Ski – as I recall from earlier, now redacted photos it plays a er pivotal role in the dio so hope the hinges don’t squeak