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Where Does a Diorama Begin?

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#1 Casey


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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:03 AM

Let's say you have a '69 Camaro built/finished...then you place it on some type of base with a crushed rock type surface. Is that considered a diorama? Or just a display base?

Now add in a figure, either behind the wheel in the driver's seat, or standing next to the car. Does that make it a diorama, or still just a car with a base and a figure?

Just thinking aloud here.

#2 scbaker


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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:12 AM

I think the "definition" of a diorama is a model that is telling or suggesting a story or an event in time ... Now if it was a 69' camaro with the base and a figure looking under the car or hood and the engine was blown out of the bottom of it ... That would be a diorama ...
That is only my opinion ... So don't just go by that ... Others may disagree

Steve B.

Edited by scbaker, 07 August 2012 - 09:37 AM.

#3 uncle potts

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:30 AM

Now add in a figure, either behind the wheel in the driver's seat, or standing next to the car. Does that make it a diorama, or still just a car with a base and a figure?

Does it tell a story? If it does , then yes, I think it falls into the catagory of a diorama. If it doesn't, then no, it's just a model on a base with a figure. Just my narrow-minded, pin-headed opinion.

#4 GTMust


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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:25 PM

What an interesting question!

Although I tend to agree with both replies.... I'm sure there are instances where a stand alone vehicle on an "asphalt" road surfaced base, or just placed inside a garage backdrop could be considered a diarama. Does it depend upon what the viewer reads into it? (Which I guess means the viewer creates his own "story"?)....... hmmmm!


#5 crazyjim


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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:18 PM

I have no idea but I'm interested in the replies. If you're going to make me think, I'm going to get a headache . . . and then I get grouchy. Not a good thing.

Edited by crazyjim, 07 August 2012 - 01:19 PM.

#6 Mercman


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Posted 07 August 2012 - 02:18 PM

Here's a sample. Same car in both.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#7 jerseyjunker1


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Posted 08 August 2012 - 01:46 AM

any diorama i do starts in my head. i see or think of something and the rest just follows.lol

Here's a sample. Same car in both.



great dio i love it.

Edited by jerseyjunker1, 08 August 2012 - 01:47 AM.

#8 dptydawg


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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:12 AM

I agree with Junior. A model with a weathered paint job sitting on a turf covered base is just that. If it does't tell a story or even suggest a story it is not a diorama. In most cases I think that figure(s) are required to project that story to the viewer. I usually try to create the story line to fit a particular maodel that I have built. Sometimes the model is built to fill out the story line. Thats my take on dioramas

#9 AWelles



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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:26 AM

I think dioramas are just supposed to be "lifelike." A snapshot of a moment in time or event. Then the question becomes can lifelike be a relative term (can a fictious character be lifelike)?

#10 DanielG


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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:35 PM

I go with the 'snap-shot' of a moment in time, more interesting if it 'tells a story' but it does not have to. It is sort of like looking at a painting, the viewer brings something to the equation.

Edited by DanielG, 08 August 2012 - 02:36 PM.

#11 checkmate


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Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:54 AM

I dont think it needs figures to be a diorama, I've discussed this heaps of times with other mates that model and even judges at various shows because the definition seems to vary a lot from builder to builder and show to show. I classify my model "Out to Pasture" as a diorama and it doesn't have any figures in it, but it has to much extra detail to be classified as just a base.
A car on a plain base isnt a diorama but a base that enhances the model and tells a story is, same as you guys this is only my opinion and the rough guidelines I work off for my show.

#12 GTMust


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Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:59 PM

Here's the definition according to www.thefreedictionary.com/diarama
Still confused?

di·o·ram·a (dPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image-rPosted ImagemPosted ImagePosted Image, -räPosted ImagemPosted Image)
1. A three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, or other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting against a painted background.
2. A scene reproduced on cloth transparencies with various lights shining through the cloths to produce changes in effect, intended for viewing at a distance through an aperture.
[French, blend of dia-, through (from Greek; see dia-) and panorama, panorama (from English; see panorama).]
diPosted Imageo·ramPosted Imageic (-rhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/abreve.gifmhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.gifhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/ibreve.gifk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. diorama [ˌdaɪəˈrɑːmə]
1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) a miniature three-dimensional scene, in which models of figures are seen against a background
2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) a picture made up of illuminated translucent curtains, viewed through an aperture
3. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) a museum display, as of an animal, of a specimen in its natural setting
4. (Performing Arts) Films a scene produced by the rearrangement of lighting effects
[from French, from Greek dia- through + Greek horama view, from horan to see]
dioramic [ˌdaɪəˈræmɪk] adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
1. a miniature, three-dimensional scene, often depicting a historical event.
2. an apparatus designed for giving extra realism to paintings by transmitting light through them in various colors and intensities at different times.