Building a Diorama from Scratch
I’ve been building dioramas for several years. I started with rudimentary bases and minor backdrops made to imply some level of scale, period, and setting for models I built. I enjoyed painting armor and figures and later began photographing them. A favorite sideline aspect of the hobby was to create scenes so real that I could take a photo and then have friends guess if the picture was real or from my dioramas. Thus the madness set in. I was hooked.
With each passing attempt at a diorama, I learned more tricks and techniques. Back then, I typically worked only with prefabricated retail kits from Verlinden, Custom Dio, and other similar products. As I became more confident in my skills, I began to branch out into the world of scratch building. I often needed particular items that couldn’t be found commercially, or wouldn’t fit my particular plans. As I began increasing the size and complexity of my projects, this became more and more common.
One day a client came in, explaining he collected WWII 1:35 scale armor. He wanted a background “stage” of a generic 1940’s European town street, on which he could place and photograph his models. He wanted something big enough to provide multiple views without looking redundant, but only wanted one scene – not several. Thus, another scratch-built project was born.