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Dioramas: Buildings & Ruins
Ruined buildings and city scenes.
Hosted by Keith Forsyth
My First Diorama -- Eastern Front
gbarksdale (G. Barksdale) said
Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 04:30 PM GMT
Hello guys. I've been visiting this site for a while, and decided I would try my hand at building a diorama from scratch. A little background: I used to build model airplanes when I was a kid, 30 years ago. A few months ago I thought I'd take it up again, and I did a few 1/48 scale figures. That sparked my interest in building dioramas.

Now -- below are some pics from my first scratchbuilt diorama. It's an eastern front scene, ca. 1941. The Germans fighting through a city on the road to Moscow.

The figures are 1:35 scale Dragon. The building was made from a 1/4" piece of plywood, coated with spackle and , obviously painted. the snow is a combination of a snow material I got at my local hobby shop and baking soda. The rubble piles are celluclay with debris, snow, etc. The telephone pole is a 1/4" dowel with pieces of copper wire painted black for the telephone wire. The lamp post is milliputty for the base and lamp, and a dowel for the pole. The shatered bulb is made from peices from a plastic water bottle painted white and super glued into the lamp.

Anyway, it's my first and I welcome any critique. Thanks.

Update: I finally figured out how to upload pics to my post. Scroll down. Thanks.
gringe88 (Matt) said
Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 05:14 PM GMT
Welcome to posting! I think your work looks really good. the building looks great for a first time scratch build, and the scene's convincing.

I'd have two suggestions though: first the figures on their own look good, but you've got a lot of unused space. All the action as it were is up front, and theres nothing to draw people around the rest of the diorama besides the general rubble and scenery.

To fix that, you could add more figures, but you've already got a neat setup out front. another option would be to cut down the size of the scene you're depicting to area just around the figures. move them nearer the corner, keep the front wall and corner behind them, the lamp post, and the pile of rubble around the corner, but compact it more.

Another point you should consider is angling the scene in relation to the base. Everything is square with the corners, except for the figures who are looking off at an angle. that angle in them adds interest, and angling the rest of the scene, not necessarily in the same direction the figures are looking but relative to the base, will keep it from appearing like it was staged. it'll give a more spontaneous look, as its in the middle of a battle.

otherwise good work, especially for your first go at it! lookin forward to more
GregCloseCombat (California Greg) said
Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 06:35 PM GMT
I like that!!!! Great job - the backdrop is cool too.
Barbarossa (Simon Gillard) said
Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 09:53 PM GMT
That's a fine first dio you've done there, well done.
I agree with Matt, you do need to maximize the space you have. The rubble, walls, phone pole & lamp post all look good, but you ideally need to add even more detail to the scene to keep a person's interest for even longer. Some German troops sheltering form the extreme weather conditions, a knocked out anti tank gun, Soviet troops approaching quietly from the building interior, which the figures you already have are oblivious to. I've found over the years if you're diorama can tell a number of mini stories and has afew figure interactions then the whole element is greatly enhanced.
But as a whole , the scene is well done, especially as you've done a snowy winter scene as you're first one, something many seasoned model makers still get nervous about....

One thing I really like is the backdrops you've added to your display photo's, they really give the picture an extra edge, nice one!!

gbarksdale (G. Barksdale) said
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 02:23 AM GMT
Thanks for your input, guys. Matt/Simon -- You're absolutely correct -- there is a lot of empty space. I realized too late that I had made it too big. Should have made it about a third smaller. and angling it is a great idea. Thanks!

And thanks, Greg. It was a lot of fun. Re: backdrops. I lucked out and found a couple photos that seemed to work well. Seems to me that backdrops really add a lot to a scene.
russamotto (Russ Amott) said
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 02:39 AM GMT

Excellent work. It matches the snow outside.
HastyP (Paul Seabrook) said
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 02:55 AM GMT
I think it looks great and damn cold.
gbarksdale (G. Barksdale) said
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 06:22 AM GMT
OK, I think I figured out how to attach the photos to my post...

Eaglewatch (Lyndon Ian Wilkes) said
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 01:17 PM GMT
Magnificent dio Gayland the building is awesome you said this your first well it's damn impressive can't wait to see what you do next
padawan_82 (Ant Wilkes) said
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 04:20 PM GMT
like the look of this it reminds me of the dioramas you used to see in 'the verlinden way' magazines brilliant, and for a first dio it looks spot on, i hope when i pluck up the courage to attempt a dio my first one looks even halfway as good cheers. Ant