Diorama part OneThis is a step by step article on making a diorama. I will try to explain everything in as much detail as possible. Please remember though that if you have any questions after reading this feel free to contact me and I will answer your questions there or in the thread with this article.
GROUNDWORK part 1
The first thing when making a diorama is deciding what your scene will be and with this one I had previously came across a photo taken in the Mid Carpathian mountains in Poland circa 1930 or so (see the image) It had interesting features with a wooden bridge, houses and unique terrain. I thought it was a scene just aching to have a diorama made out of it. The idea I was after was that I wanted to portray a German column rolling through a small Polish village in the summer of 1943 on their way to the Kursk Offensive. This idea of a single column passing through soon changed when I saw different pictures of traffic jams at bridgeheads during WWII. So I decided to put different elements of the German Army coming together from two roads converging at the same bridgehead. Thus adding the sense of a traffic jam to the scene. I also wanted to grasp the chaos of the Germans rolling through while also showing the carefree life of the children along the river.
First I had to decide on how big to make the diorama, as you can see from the pictures making the "whole picture" would have taken a very large base to do so I went about downsizing it until I had a base that was more manageable but still had the elements I was after from the photo. After arriving at the size I wanted I found a suitable picture frame (hobbylobby) and put a back in it and varnished the wood well.
Next balsa wood sheets were used to build up a wall around inside of the frame just a little wider than what I expected the tallest ground work to be.
The next step was laying down the groundwork. For this I built up the different layers of ground with sheet foam. Cutting and gluing it into place until it resembled the scene I was portraying. I then went to work on the bridge and its retaining wall. These needed to be built so the groundwork would butt right up to the retainer and the retainer needed to be set in its final location. The retaining wall is made of logs of 3/8" square balsa stock that I rounded two surfaces to give it a rounded front side but still flat surfaces to stack against. It is a very simple build as you can see from the pictures.
After researching the bridge I went about building it as well. Again the pictures give a better understanding of how this went together than I can with words.
Now that the bridge elements are built I could go back to shaping the foam to fit the bridge foundation. After gluing all the foam and the foundation in place it was time for the celluclay. With this I spread over the entire groundwork except where the water would be going. Also when applying the celluclay be sure to sprinkle fine sand or fine dirt over your groundwork and lightly press it into place as this will give you your "earth" textures. It was now time to set the base aside to dry for a few days so its on to the models.
Copyright ©2020 by Kevin Gardner. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2005-02-07 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 51831