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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Operation Anthropoid
strongarden
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 14, 2012
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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 12:56 PM UTC
Absolutely amazing Tim. I went back thru a doz pgs or so and I'm just in awe. Nice technique with the plank-stacks becoming brick work! Never saw that used before, nor the cobblestone stamp work either.
Really looking frwd to your progress, keep on keepin' on!


Regards
Dave
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 05:54 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

Mind-blowing, the sheer scale of the project is awe inspiring. How many hundreds of hours do you reckon you've put into the project to date?

Cheers, ,

G
Golikell
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 05:41 AM UTC
It really looks great! Nothing to be ashamed of here... 😍
smallcastle
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: December 03, 2019
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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 - 07:43 PM UTC
Congratulations, the whole project is excellent and I imagine it will end up amazing, it impressed me,how natural is the attitude of the figures
Dim
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 - 02:23 AM UTC
Since a lot of the details are frequently being covered here it is easy to forget the sheer scale of this project. That overview pic brings home the point. HUGE ! And no loss of fidelity as well. Epic,just epic.
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 - 01:23 AM UTC
Thanks Jerry, well we all got limitations and (one of) mine’s anything to do with wire but with the help of the above contributors it’s less daunting now, even if I have kicked it down the road so to speak. Meanwhile I was finally released from The Facility after finishing the last section of cobbling…



…the hidden hatch in the road there for the IED & the kerbstone that opens it seem to have blended in nicely. Take a tour…















The sidewalk cobble-patterns (and the roadways) are as close to the photo refs as I can make ‘em, I’m spent/content. Stand-ins for approximate positions of agents Gabcik & Kubis…











MiniArt drains test-fit – they’ll do the job with some better integration (& then some paint)…





I’m still on parole though, the cobbles need generally sanding down & levelling in some places and the track slots will need in-filling when the rails get embedded. I’m in no hurry to throw paint around yet, either the rails or the brick pillars will be the subject of the next update. Then there’s the lamp-posts, railings, signposts, sunken garden…
jrutman
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Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 02:15 AM UTC
The issue should be an easy fix for you,considering the awesome amount of work you've accomplished here so far and the myriad problems that came up and got solved already as well. This build even got Nick to break radio silence ! Impressive.
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 12:09 AM UTC
Ah Glenn I’ll call off the search, thought you might have tried swimming the Atlantic (& back) before breakfast. Can’t mock your sketch alas, thanks for doing it & does the job just fine – so, the ol’ sleeve ploy eh? Yep provided the wires wedge firmly into them & don’t drop out…but hey did Holmes eliminate elasticated wires?...rigid for the “ladders” but the support lines stretched across & hooked/unhooked at the pylons? ....it’s late here so I’ll take that idea into the land of Nod with me
cheyenne
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 10:17 PM UTC
Don't go making fun of my red neck arkeetecurural blueprint .
If you're using rigid wire , rr guys use ho , s , g , scale sleeves made for model rr overhead wiring .

Sherlock Holmes once said , " Once you eliminate all the possibles and probables , whatever's left is your answer ........ "

Dioramartin
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 04:05 PM UTC
You’re very welcome Nick & thanks for the kind words, I’m sure your legion of fans would be delighted if you did return & finish that masterpiece - there’s a bunch of newcomers to this forum who like having their minds blown too, you da man.

Maybe you slightly misunderstood my problem (or I have!), it’s not about joining the two halves of the dio base but about the fact the joint is directly under the most complex part of the cabling array. Once we’re installed in our new home yes I can join the two halves to construct the array but I may need to un-join/store the bases again, and I see difficulties in making the array in such a way it can be easily divided. But I think we’ve already concluded the array could in fact be made in modules – they won’t necessarily conform to the bases but that doesn’t matter as long as they’re relatively easy to put together.

Agreed for dioramas ordinary plaster can be an unmitigated disaster – as you’ve seen I’ve been using External (as opposed to Internal) wood-filler (similar to spackle but tougher) & been impressed by its durability & reluctance to crack. I’d already come up with a different idea for the brickwork (having abandoned the “Waferbrix” prototype as too labour-intensive...stop laughing) which I’ll be trialling again next week (Patent Pending) but now I know if that doesn’t work the Evergreen stamp/wood-filler concept should rescue me. This space watching keep
Stickframe
#362
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Joined: December 01, 2013
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Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2020 - 06:28 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

Ha! Thanks for that generous introduction - I appreciate it! who knows, maybe that’s a catalyst for me to finish that build!

As to your dilemma of temporarily establishing a strong bond between the two parts of your build, model rr might provide an approach. The pictures I include above are also modules. They had a 1”x3” frame with thin plywood on top, framed like a wall, with the 1” wide side glued and screwed to the plywood. I used nuts and bolts to hold the modules together - easy to tighten up, and just as easy to undo and separate. Pretty straightforward - two small (1/4” dia) bolts located in holes drilled through the 1x3s. You’re sandwiching the 1x3s of the two modules together with the bolts. Making it easier, these were carriage bolts with washers and wing nuts - perfect!

As to your cobblestones! Wow - quite a feat! I built a 1/35 scale building that had a brick facade - and like this, a LOT of hand placed bricks!! Can drive you crazy! For that I used really thin styrene strips (cut from .01” sheet) for brick spacing (I’ll see if I can find a pic). This provides a good general layout of the bricks (like you’ve done) - then to simulate mortar, or just to fill gaps, I used lightweight spackle (it’s super light, easy to use, can be sanded, cleans up w/ water etc). It’s a great general gap filler. If you look in either the dio forum or my gallery for a build called rough road, on the road again, you can see it in use in the WIP photos. Might be helpful and a lot more forgiving than plaster.

Keep up the great work - I’ve really enjoyed watching so much excellent scratch work - your trolleys are fantastic!

Cheers
Nick
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2020 - 03:12 AM UTC
I have spent a lot of time making and installing scale roof tiles so I can sort of commiserate with you on the level of tedium taking place during your cobble battle. But I have to admit nothing I have attempted concerning anything like this comes close to what you have achieved. Holy crap man,that's a lot of stones. Hat off !
J
Catsrcool
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England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: December 04, 2018
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Posted: Saturday, February 01, 2020 - 09:53 PM UTC
I don't know if you have seen this:
blob:https://www.youtube.com/d004c0ec-db7d-4484-a910-409d359bd2ee
if it is Heidrich's car there is some interesting details about the unique modifactions done to the vehicle.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, February 01, 2020 - 05:24 PM UTC
Many thanks for the input guys, always appreciated particularly when I wander into modelling quicksand. Seems like zero support for the Perspex idea, I guess this cabling issue goes to the heart of what is it I’m trying to do - make a permanent diorama or a stage-set for a photo-shoot? Big difference, because up until now I’d been thinking in terms of the latter. Ever since the Stalingrad dio I’ve voluntarily trashed (or recycled) all bases after photography for practical reasons – I don’t “show” them & can’t display them.

But this time I think I’d have a very hard time taking the big hammer to it, given the hours/work/money put in. Even if our new home doesn’t have enough room to display it maybe some institution or club might if it’s deemed worthy. But the more immediate problem is transporting it there & storing it, so if I’m going to attempt rigging it’ll have to wait until after the dust has settled which could be 6+ months hence…but I guess it is the one thing that can wait until the very end, there’s plenty to do in the meantime.

That would also buy time to ponder exactly how to do it (or rather how I can do it) now that Nick’s emerged cobra-like from deep lurkdom to throw down the gauntlet with visual evidence and a complete how-to guide…except maybe the problem of the base being in two halves with the most complex array of cabling running right through the joint…but dimly I’m beginning to see how even that might be resolved too. In any case mighty impressive images, and for relatively newcomers to this forum here’s some more reasons why Stickframe’s one of the very best, just scroll down this linked page…

https://armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=246554&ord=&page=12

Spooky yet again Mike, the same day you posted I was in my LHS buying some samples of…Albion tubes, & noticed there was some super-fine rods on the racks. Maybe they’re the same phosphorous bronze type Nick mentioned - I’ll check that out soon but one problem at a time, right now Susie keeps walking past humming this…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxSarBcsKLU

Meanwhile back in the Cobblers Anonymous facility, serious relapses: Days 48 to 55…

















The wristwatch is off because the metal rulers’ magnetism stops it dead, that’s a glass of essential cobbling fuel, there’s the Albion tubes, and in the last shot you can see measures necessary to counter the balsa warping when the filler’s applied – compartment-braces & off-cuts glued to the underside of the panel. The sidewalk curve is the final step of the cobbling process which I hope to complete this coming week before going away for a few days (not only to recover), so next update a fortnight hence
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 08:25 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

Don't drop your Xacto when you see it's me - yes, it's been a while since I've checked in, though I read your updates.

This time, regarding the question of overhead trolley hardware, I might be able to add to the discussion. Yes, I was for a while a model railroader - no, my layout never made much sense, but it was a lot of fun to build. Along the way, I added a single track trolley that begged for a representation of overhead power. The trolley car that I had was supposed to represent the F Line, historic rail car that still runs here in SF.

I ride to work every day on the bus, so I paid attention to how the power system is "strung" over the city streets. In brief, there are two basic cable elements: power lines; and, support lattice. I know, seems obvious, but a helpful realization for building a model.

In some places, the "support lattice" wires tie back to the pole with a single, horizontal wire, but in others, a second wire ties back to a location higher on the pole, creating a triangle shape - the pole, vertical, one wire horizontal and perpendicular to the pole, and another wire diagonal (hypotenuse), creating truss.

I used some strong white metal poles for support, essentially like yours. I also figured out string/thread/wire alone would not stay in place, look good, or be easy to align correctly. Instead, using very fine Phosphorous Bronze wire (which is stiffer than brass), I built a truss system hung from the poles to hold the "power" line.

This meant to "hang" one or two pieces of the thin wire to the top of the each pole via really tiny eye screws in the pole (not a permanent attachment - the thin wire just "hanging" on the eye screw on each pole, though with a curve on the end so the thin wire didn't fall off). This can be one or two thin wires, depending on the location on the layout, just like real life, but the thin wires are the various "legs" of the truss.

This system triangulates the thin wire(s) out from the poles to a prescribed middle point above the track, where I used a white metal bit (any fine metal would work, just something that won't tear or stretch) to connect the thin wire, coming from the poles on the other side of the street.

The small metal piece serves as a coupler, holding the various truss assemblies in tension (which is key) - and thus, no sag - at all.

To work around curves, the "trusses" can be set at tangents to the curve, to help "guide" the alignment, and might not be located directly above the track.

Under this web of trusses, I hung my fake power system using some heavy duty looking thread and it worked fine.

OK, lots of words, which I hope aren't too confusing! - these are the only pics I could find of my solution:





Sorry about the non-overhead-centric images - but, who knows, maybe useful?

Cheers

Nick



Bonaparte84
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Hessen, Germany
Joined: July 17, 2013
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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 05:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The full url has been trunkated somehow...
http://www.aber.net.pl/detal,1249.html
I understand what you're saying. At least, the web should be very light, but also ridig enough. a mix of materials could do the trick. What is the maximum distance that should be spanned?



Yupp, Erwin, that's the one... Thanks for jumping in. How many scale mm do you need for the cables, Tim? German Wikipedia says 10 - 12 mm, but I have no idea whether this is historically accurate. If that's true, you only need 0,3 mm rods, which makes everything even lighter. I'll keep thinking about solutions...
justsendit
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Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 10:30 AM UTC
I guess what I'm imagining for the wire network is some sort of suspended spidey-net with provision for relatively easy break-down — maybe some creative soldering? Here's some micro-thin 'Albion Alloys' rod found at M&Models.

In the meantime, I can't stop seeing this... string! 🤪

Cheers!🍺
—mike
Golikell
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: October 25, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 07:11 PM UTC
I'm afraid there is only one way to find out the rigidity of the material: testing. But I think, that as long as both sides ar supported, and the powercables them selves are as light weight as possible (like very fine fishing wire) the possible sag will be neglible. As for how to keep it removable, I have not a final idea yet, but don't use elastic products. These will loose their elasticity in the end and become brittle.
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 05:45 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

A dedicated wing sounds just the ticket...a 'Man Wing'...actually that sounds so wrong, , ...stick to 'Man Cave', a very large one, .

That did sound like a very traumatic removals experience, not sure how I would have coped...luckily the gun laws in the UK are very restrictive, "Ssshhhh! be vewy, vewy quiet, I'm hunting wemoval men! Huh-huh-huh-huh!" .

Cheers, ,

G
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 01:04 AM UTC
Thanks Erwin OK it’s what I imagined. Max span is about 75cms but only one as a straight single line that I can see - as the diagram shows the rest are linked in shorter tensioning sections…so because they zig-zag from one pole to another the actual length is even more than 75cms. I could be wrong and perhaps that tensioning will keep it all up, but I still think the kicker is how to divide the matrix into manageable pieces
Golikell
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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 12:38 AM UTC
The full url has been trunkated somehow...
http://www.aber.net.pl/detal,1249.html
I understand what you're saying. At least, the web should be very light, but also ridig enough. a mix of materials could do the trick. What is the maximum distance that should be spanned?
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 12:27 AM UTC
Thanks Nicolas, the Aber link failed so I got onto their site but couldn’t immediately guess which product you were referring to so please re-send the corrected link. Anyhow I think I understand what you’re suggesting, basically a detachable lattice/net (in sections) rigid & light enough that it only needs the 14 poles to support it.

So that everyone’s clear what we’re talking about here’s the 1930’s tram-line cabling plan again from Prague Transport…



The red box is approximately my base with the division down the middle, two separate bases butted together. I’ve blue-circled the power poles but their position doesn’t always match the photo-references, for example the five across the top, and the five round the bend, appear much more evenly spaced than in the map. On the bottom side I’ve used licence to bring that pole inside the border by a couple of 1:1 metres. Also, there are a few places on the map where the lines don’t appear to be supported at all, or inadequately, and one of the poles on the bend seems to have no lines attached to it at all. So this map seems to be more schematic than physically accurate, but it’s the best I’ve got.

In most of the photos the lines are at best indistinct, these are probably the clearest…





The whole base is 1.35 metres square & the distance between the three poles down the right side of the base and their “answering” poles on the bend varies between 68 cms & 75 cms. I know the logic must follow that if they could rig this lattice in real life it should be equally possible at 1:35 scale, but I’m not convinced even 0.5mm wire (or EZ line) would be rigid enough to appear horizontal, unsupported over those distances and weighed down by the “ladders” of cabling they’re supporting, which follow above each pair of tramlines represented on the map by a single thick black line.

I also don’t think I’ve got the right brain-wiring to work out how to break the cabling matrix up into manageable sections as per your suggestion, given all the inter-connections. However if you do, you’re very welcome to send me a schematic. As Erwin observed the problem is always balancing realism & practicality, I guess the matrix could be simplified because there is an argument that if most of the cables are invisible in the 1942 photos, they probably will be in mine too.

Thanks Gareth yep our future residenz must have a dedicated south wing for this project…no wonder it’s taking so long to find it
I have a cautionary tale about Removalists, not for the faint-hearted:

The first diorama I built back in the mid-1990’s was a section of the Red October factory in Stalingrad – a cube measuring approx. 75cms, masses of bent girders & high broken walls & rubble all covered in snow, wrecked Stug on one side etc. Took me over a year, I only have film/prints of it & they’re in storage so I can’t show it now. Anyhow we moved house in ’99 and I carefully packed it into a big cardboard box, wedged & protected with foam blocks so it couldn’t move at all. But if you opened the flaps you could see what was inside & I wrote the room number it was to go into on all 4 sides. Light as a feather.

About 3 weeks after we’d unpacked it suddenly dawned on me – no Stalingrad. Then I remembered that as they were leaving on the day, one of the guys yelled from the van “Hey mate d’ya want us to chuck out all this spare packaging & crap? We can get rid of it ‘cos your bin’s already full.”

So yes, one half of this one will fit in the boot/trunk, the other on the back seat & the boxes containing the trams & limo on the floor of our car when we move. Having been traumatised before I usually destroy or re-cycle previous bases, so there’s only two others to ferry. But then there’s the display cases with the 85 models…

trooper82
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020 - 08:40 AM UTC
As far as all the rigging goes have you heard of EZ line, not tried it myself but it seems to be the goto kit for railways and aeroplanes, just a thought !!!
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020 - 06:17 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

This is one amazing build, the level of detail is superb, .

Looking at the size of the diorama...a word that does little to describe your labour of love...I'm not surprised you're moving home...I'm presuming it's a mansion you're moving in to, .

When you move home will you be entrusting this build to the removal men? Based on my own experience of 'professional' removers, I would most certainly not recommend it, .

Your build is an inspiration.

Cheers, ,

G
Bonaparte84
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Hessen, Germany
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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020 - 02:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text


2) Full rigging. Not an option, on the grounds of preserving what’s left of my sanity/degree of difficulty/impossible fragility when the two halves of the base are in storage or transit, bearing in mind it would all be attached to the detachable poles.



You didn't mention "incomplete rigging" as an option

Now on to a more serious suggestion: It seems your poles will be reasonably robust, which allows for some handling and physical stress. Why not use "removable" rigging. i.e. you place small rings/hooks on the poles so you can easily remove each cable. The cables,once installed, are all glued together in the right places, except for the attachment to the poles. When taking off the cables, you draw an accurate plan of the rigging, attributing numbers to each attachment point. You then glue a piece of tape with the number on it to each corresponding lose end of the rigging. For storage, you fold the "rigging net" into a box, separating the layers with sheet of paper.

Now, I believe the biggest problem with any rigging will be the tension. Otherwise it'll look like some spaghetti salad. I believe the supporting rigging between poles could be made out of thin steel rod (0,5 mm), which is very rigid and could help you establish a level field onto where you attach the longitudinal cables. Check out this product by Aber Model: http://www.aber.net.pl/detal,1249.html
I find it extremely useful.

For the longitudinal cables, you could use either the same, or something even lighter, such as evergreen.

Obviously, folding the "rigging net" only works if the material used for the cables is foldable, at least in the placesto be folded. I am not quite sure how to deal with that, but maybe little cord inserts instead of the rigid materials could be used.

The overall idea is to use materials that are stiff on their own and don't need crazy amounts of tension to keep straight, as this will make your poles bend. I hope you get the picture. If not, I'll try and come up with a sketch.

We all know your patience is limitless, so what's your excuse not to try it?

In any case, keep up the good work!