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Diorama NOOB.....


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#1 Len Geisler

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:16 AM

I have decided that the curio cabinets in my basement aren't enough to display my built ups. I have decided that I want to build a garage / shop diorama for my fictional hot rod builder. I found a local building that I want to use a s a template as it will provide me with all of the aspects I think my dio should have. I also think these are constant works in process, and are rarely finished.
Anywho, a few things I'd like to find out to begin with,
1) Walls, what is a good idea for walls? I was thinking foam boards from the craft store.
2) Stucco, how can I make the exterior walls look like they have a stucco finish?
3) Windows, how can I make windows that look realistic? Can I just cut holes in my foam board and add clear plastic?
4) Concrete, what is a good way to simulate a concrete floor in a shop?
I already drew a layout drawing of the building as it should be and want to pick up some building materials this weekend.
I already started a base from plywood and want to get started on the concrete finish that will be the majority of the base...
Sorry for so many questions, but I am pretty excited about getting this thing started....

Thanks in advance for all the advice!!!!

#2 Guest_Gramps-xrds_*

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:03 PM

Well Len, let me warn you first that building dios can be addictive.

1st question. You can actually use just about anything for walls, that will give you the effect you're looking for. I've used strips of wood cut on the table saw w/ studs.---1/8 in. masonite and the latest was cresent poster board. (it's about 1/16 thick) that worked very well. Check out my threads in the dios section., (takin care of necessities & ok you don't have to look) With a little artist acrylic paint you can do just about anything.

2nd is stucco. if I were going to try to replicate it, I'd probibly try artists gesso. It's a thick sorta white acrylis base coating.

3rd. Windows. To make them look realistic will require a frame for them to set in just like real ones do. Look at the building you're tryin to make it look like and see what type of window it has.

4th is concrete. that's something I've never tried but a lot of ppl use plaster as a start and paint and stipple in light greys.

One of the most important things in building is scale. Keep everything the right proportions If you're using 1/25 scale a dial or digital caliper makes it a lot simpler. I prefer dial myself. In 1/25 scale .040 is an inch and .480 is a ft. With these in mind and some math you can build a building any size. :unsure: ;) :lol:

Hope this gives you some ideas.

#3 Guest_Gramps-xrds_*

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 04:03 PM

:lol: ;) ;) There ya go.That just goes to prove the old adage, You're never too old to learn. :unsure: ;) . When I was messin w/ ceramics way back when. That stuff wasn't around. But Led's prob right, it should work just fine.

#4 Mike Whatshisname

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:09 AM

Len,
Looks like you have some great ideas to help get you started. If I may, I will add a few more ideas on your questions.
First of all, did you check out the 3 part installment about building dioramas in the Model Cars Magazine starting back in October of '07? The third installment is in the latest (April) edition of MCM. Hope it helps.
1- walls- First thing is to have a sturdy base. A half inch thick piece of plywood is usually good for a small base unless you are drilling into it. This will provide a sturdy base in which to attach whatever wall you are doing. Consider what types of walls you want your garage to be. Concrete block, wood and drywall are usually the most popular. Drywall can be replicated by using painted poster board. Wood is easily reproduced by using balsa or bass wood. Concrete block is my favorite. You can use a piece of real dry wall and carve brick into the board or plastructs makes a cinder block wall that is very realistic. Paint it primer gray, sprinkle with a little baking powder for texture and then a second coat of primer. Weather with pastels and black wash and your ready to go.
2- For stucco I was going to recommend plaster of paris but the idea that sled gave sounds like the way to go.
3- Windows are important to make realistic looking. Using balsa or bass wood for the frame with clear styrene as the filler is the way to go here. To be sure all your windows are the same size, it is always a good idea to make a template and then make all your windows from the same template.
4- Concrete- see drywall in question 1. This method can also be used for your floors.

MCM's October, November of '07 and this months MCM wil help out tremendously for just this application. Any more questions Len, please ask.

#5 Guest_Gramps-xrds_*

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:39 AM

There ya go Len, Mike's a master at dios. He puts a lot more time into them than I do. I use whatever I have handy and is quick. :o :blink:

#6 Len Geisler

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:30 AM

Guys....

Thanks for all the tips, guess I gotta get to work. I think I am going to build a small one to test some of these suggestions. I will try and post some progress pics!!!!!

#7 Mike Whatshisname

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:36 PM

Guys....

Thanks for all the tips, guess I gotta get to work. I think I am going to build a small one to test some of these suggestions. I will try and post some progress pics!!!!!


Testing your procedures and techniques is a wonderful idea Len. Take pictures as you go to keep records of what you do. While your at it, post some of those pics here and show us your progress.