Building my own diorama this time

zscaler Aug 24, 2013

  1. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Since I no longer have the SDMRM diorama to use for picture taking, I started last week on another diorama. This one is about 15" long and 6" deep and will be much more dimensional with a bridge, dry stream and large rocks. Here is what I started with:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jm2ytvymuj4wgwl/IMAG0407.jpg
    The wood for the roadbed was already was shaped right, just cut to fit.
    Wood cut for concrete abutment/bridge support. 22.5 degree cuts on ends to get 45 degree bends.
     
  2. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    David,
    The picture won't show. But from youre description, might I suggest looking into a display case. Sounds too interesting to stick up on a shelf.

    Mark
     
  3. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Link fixed.
    I will keep your case idea in mind. The diorama is for display at home - mostly. Maybe bring to train shows.
     
  4. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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  5. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's always a bit intimidating to show off a new project that has just left the starting gate and is initially crude looking . I hate to show unfinished pieces and prefer to show the final product, but in this case your progress photos will allow the viewer to see the gradual transformation from 'rough cut' to finished product. Keep the progress photos coming David.

    I am confident the finished product will dazzle us.
     
  6. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Loren,
    I like to share with others techniques I have found that work and are easy.
    On this project I found a side effect that I am taking advantage of.
    The diorama I made before, the foam in a can I used ended up with interesting edges and shapes when I cut the excess away with a knife.
    All I am using to build my scenery is foam in a can, left over "blobs" of the foam, paper mache and plasterboard spack (used to patch holes in sheetrock).
    A coat of tan paint and ground turf to finish it up.
    Making it up as I go...
     
  7. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Cut some extra foam blob and glued to edge of roadbed as filler. Used the sheetrock patch to fill in any gaps.
    I drew a streambed down under where the bridge will go and put about a 1/4" thick layer of the patch on the bottom, but left the streambed alone.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sc/7ij7u1ivljsznia/zvmaFaCeUO
    When it dried, I trimmed away where the abutments will go and sanded what will become the edge of the streambed smooth.
     
  8. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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  9. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Put on a coat of paint on the abutments (aged concrete) and the tan paint on the "ground" yesterday. Glued in the abutments and filled in the gaps with more putty and this is how it stands as of now:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sc/z333upmptj9gsp3/HgXOxnhuPl
    I will touch up the ground color with more paint and tone down the green color of the concrete.
    In the background is a piece of thin plywood which will become part of the support of the rocky hillside I am aiming for.
    Here is a close up of the cracking effect:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sc/skhxh3djqaxhn7q/yTRzT6VXOs
    I really like it. You can also see how the shoulder of the streambed looks.
    This will be a dry streambed, but give the impression that water has flowed through recently - the dried mud on the bank.
     
  10. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good coverage David, just what I was talking about as you go.

    Live.......it's David's Gorge. Maybe not a gorge, but the dry river bed will be a good test of your example of "Rocks and Pebbles R US"
     
  11. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    IMAG0425.jpg
    What I am aiming for...
    Real rock on left and two paper mache rocks from rubber molds.
     
  12. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Or this:
    IMAG0426.jpg

    I will make two more of the paper mache rocks and remove the real rock.
    See how that goes.
     
  13. JamesTraction

    JamesTraction TrainBoard Supporter

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    David, the real rock would be great as a master to make a rubber mold, then cast in Hydrocal or similar plaster. Then break the cast pieces to fit.
    I'm glad somebody has time to model.
    James
     
  14. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    IMAG0428.jpg
    Filled the molds again.
     
  15. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Last things added:
    [​IMG]

    Paper mache boulders. Sharp edged rocks from my yard and the three smooth ones are from a beach...
    The sharp edged rocks are to stop erosion from floods and protect the abutments. The smooth ones are from water erosion.

    Everything is glued down.
     
  16. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Next update:
    [​IMG]

    More "dirt" paint applied. Put some weathering powder in the bottom of the stream. Put nail polish on top of powder to represent water. May need to add some more polish to get the water "shiny". Liking it a lot now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2013
  17. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Putting in more rocks all over the place. I will put some green reeds on some banks.
    [​IMG]

    The nail polish gives a great water effect.

    Question:
    Should I make the foreground edge be the shore of a larger river?
     
  18. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice job. I admire your ability to visualize what you want. I have a technical and mechanical brain. The art side needs lots of input and frequently ends up with scorching and the release of smoke.
     
  19. FrenchieZ

    FrenchieZ Permanently dispatched

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    What he said. Ditto for me. I know how to spell the word "art"... that's about it.
     
  20. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Art is just structured engineering. Erosion is mechanical. Just engineer your scene in your head. Put some wood into a scene and see the scene you want.
    That is what I did. I knew what I wanted in the scene. A railroad bridge over a small stream. A backdrop for taking pictures.
    I like to share "how to do" ideas and that is what I am doing on this thread. Give it a try. That is all I'm asking ;).

    I started with a simple diorama first - The San Diego Model Railroad Museum diorama that I made (another thread on this site).
    Which a spy tells me is still NOT on display in the museum.
     

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