login   |    register
Dioramas: Before Building
Ideas, concepts, and researching your next diorama.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Which comes first,...
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019 - 11:15 PM UTC
...the model kit(s) or the diorama base?

Hi all, it's getting to that time of the year when the nights are drawing in and the weather is becoming less clement...soon be Christmas, !

Joking aside, I'm looking for my 'Winter' indoors project, and have been toying with the idea of a diorama, set in the british countryside, incorporating tanks/vehicles, etc. I have been stocking up over the summer on a number of kits with this idea in mind, and can either go for vehicles on manoeuvres during the earlier part of WW2 as I have bought the HobbyBoss Vickers Medium Tank Mk1, especially now I've spotted that Gecko are introducing early British tank crew (see Images below).





Alternatively, a scene maybe set later in the war on the build up to the D-day invasion, I probably have a few more options in my stash for this one, especially figures for the later period. Unless anyone knows of early war British infantry sets?

The base would include a level crossing and the associated track (as I've just picked up some Miniart standard gauge track sets - images below).



My question is his...is it better to focus on getting the base built first and then build the kits and introduce to suit. In my mind the former seems more sensible as that is how it sort of happens in real life, vehicles and people impose themselves in to nature...but is this right for modelling?

Or is it best to build the kits first and then build the base around them?

Any views, with any pros and cons of a given approach would be much appreciated.

Cheers, .

G

p.s. been so long since I've addressed a topic here that I think I might have duplicated the post, ...my apologies to anyone that has had to read this twice.
Dioramartin
Visit this Community
New South Wales, Australia
Member Since: May 04, 2016
entire network: 1,089 Posts
KitMaker Network: 4 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 12:14 AM UTC
Hi Gareth we've met before methinks. My opinion - 1) research and form a clear idea/sketch of the diorama first, then 2) complete all kits/figures etc, then 3) be prepared to alter (1) when you can place (2) on a board and see how they’ll best interact and over what area, finally 4) build the base.

Regarding (1), just sayin’ it’ll be the 80th anniversary of Dunkirk next May...but the Vickers Mk 1 had already been phased out by 1938 according to Wiki, none of this model's variants ever fired a shot in anger. Your move

ivanhoe6
Visit this Community
Wisconsin, United States
Member Since: April 05, 2007
entire network: 1,812 Posts
KitMaker Network: 549 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 12:17 AM UTC
Looks like that you have a good Winter project on tap. Now this is just me but I hop around between all 3 elements. Big thing it eliminates the boredom factor of working on the same thing. Once you have the tank built & painted, figures done and the base semi done it's time to "marry" the 3 elements together through weathering. Making "everything" one with the landscape, mud/earth of the ground carrying up on to the tank. Dirt or mud (not much) on the figures if they are outside the tank. So many figures on dioramas look too clean for being out in the field.(my opinion) If it turns out to be a training exercise subject I would think that the tank
& men wouldn't be too filthy.
Anyway, this is how I'd do it. Good luck and post some pictures !!
Golikell
Visit this Community
Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: October 25, 2002
entire network: 1,347 Posts
KitMaker Network: 124 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 12:24 AM UTC
Finishing the model first, might help in creating the correct composition...
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 08, 2012
entire network: 705 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 02:16 AM UTC
Hi Gareth,

I thought it had gone quiet(!)

I constrain myself to certain base sizes and I find this makes me really think about the whole presentational piece. I utilise paper sizes A4 and A3 not least as I then use empty photocopying paper boxes in these sizes to transport and store my models. I also use a smaller size - 7" square - for those smaller models such as say, some APCs or softskins, but I will still transport it in an A4 box. By inverting the box, the base then rests in the lid, and the body of the box provides antennae clearance.

For info I use 12mm MDF with a chamfered edge provided by my local model shop. Once sanded and varnished and with a small brass name plate I feel they look pretty neat.

Anyway, the point is that the size restrictions do make me think carefully about the whole, otherwise I suspect my models would be all over the place; as Tim points out though, be prepared to adjust once you have completed the model; it may be for instance, that a tank gun barrel is longer than you first thought, or that some figures don't actually work.

'Hope this all helps and I look forward to seeing your completed diorama.

Brian





G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 03:46 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

Thank you for the feedback, you think right, both you and Brian (BootsDMS) were very supportive in my last 'Winter' indoors project, the Amusing Hobby Conqueror Mk II, which was my first build in 40yrs.

I have the seed of an idea, so will sketch it out as you suggest as the principle shouldn’t change whether it’s early or late war.

Dunkirk is an interesting suggestion but, again it’s finding earlier war figures. I think most British figures that are readily available in plastic are mid-to-late...though I stand to be corrected, ?

The more I think about it the more I’m leaning towards the ‘D-day’ build-up scenario.

Thanks again,

Cheers, , G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 03:49 AM UTC
Hi Ivan,

Thanks for taking the time to respond, you have addressed part of the reason for asking the question, I’m a terrible ‘completer finisher’ , I can easily get bored or distracted, so I like your idea of hopping between the elements, .

I do agree with you about cleanliness, making the folks look dirtied down as you would with a vehicle is probably more realistic.

Thanks again, I will post some images of the build as I progress,

Cheers, , G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 03:51 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

Thanks for your thoughts, like the others, you are convincing me that I can’t really build scenery in isolation.

Cheers, , G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 03:55 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

I’m like a bad penny, .

As the quality of my effort last year was nowhere near that of the works you create, I have no need to think about transporting the finished article to shows, therefore, within reason, size is less of an issue...how many times have I used that as an excuse, .

However, I do take on board your comment about considering the ‘whole’, the more compact, the greater the challenge. You’re also bang on with the barrel comment, the conqueror was a beast and the barrel did end up oversailing the base, irrespective of how I positioned the tank and orientated the turret.

Have you taken the time to display any of your work in here yet, ?

Thanks for your comments, they’re much appreciated and respected, as they previously were.

Cheers, , G.
Golikell
Visit this Community
Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: October 25, 2002
entire network: 1,347 Posts
KitMaker Network: 124 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 05:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Erwin,

Thanks for your thoughts, like the others, you are convincing me that I can’t really build scenery in isolation.

Cheers, , G



You're welcome. Of course ours you begin with an idea. A sketch might help. But putting a model on the basic shape will put things in perspective
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 08, 2012
entire network: 705 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 05:25 AM UTC
Gareth,

Thank you for your very kind comments!

I'm afraid I still haven't bothered to learn how to install pictures; I suppose the ideal would be to add to one's profile in the "Photos" bit, that way all and sundry could dip in if they were so inclined - or bored.

I'll try and get around and mug up on how to do it all.

Best of luck with whatever diorama you decide upon; pre D Day scenarios will require no small research. To that end I would have liked to have seen your Vickers Medium project instead. A relatively simple base, say a country lane, an old-type traffic sign indicating perhaps a bend, and a couple of crewmen?

Anyway, you've now got me thinking and I might, just might, stray from my Post War/Cold War themes myself!

Brian
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 11:51 PM UTC
Hi Erwin,

A couple of people also suggested a sketch, so I have had a go in PowerPoint, see post further down.

Thanks again, and cheers, ,

G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 11:53 PM UTC
Hi Brian,

You're welcome, .

A penny for your thoughts as to what might possibly tempt you to stray, ?

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 12:12 AM UTC
Hi all,

Below is my attempted sketch, in PowerPoint, showing the basic concept. A country road, surrounded by hedgerows/fields, leading down to and across a single branch line somewhere in the southwest of England.



A couple of vehicles on manoeuvres, I have shown tanks, are travelling across the level crossing, however, I may include a couple of universal carriers instead of one of the tanks...it’s a work in progress. I appreciate the vehicles drawn look a tad like Sherman tanks, but that’s only because they’re easier to block out in PowerPoint, , but they could be Churchills or something else.

I’ll add some troops, but also am thinking a few civilian adults, possibly kids, watching on. The difficulty is that the choice of civilian western adult plastic figures seems to be French or German…will need to give this some thought.

I also have the Bronco Cameramen figures, so am thinking of a film crew shooting for a Pathe News item...as I said, a work in progress, .

Any thoughts or suggestions would be more than welcome...I'm not proud, .

Is it best to keep with the build in here, or start a new log?

Cheers, ,

G
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 08, 2012
entire network: 705 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 12:25 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Brian,

You're welcome, .

A penny for your thoughts as to what might possibly tempt you to stray, ?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

Just the subject matter; I recall when I was at Primary School (way back when) within the library was an illustrated book from the 30s depicting the Vickers Medium as then state of the art(!)

Your thread brought the memories back and I could envisage a small base with one of these trundling along disturbing the countryside of 30s Britain with say, the figure with a rake from the Master Box Western Europe figures, in a field, chatting to the Frau Mueller figure with her bicycle over a small hedge. Add the seemingly excellent figures from Gecko, or at least the Commander in the helmet and one would have a decent looking model I reckon. Not too crowded and telling a story, even if a simple one.

Ah, the powers of imagination in this great hobby!

However, my NATO and Warsaw Pact collection of unbuilt/half built models beckon. Groan.

Brian
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 08, 2012
entire network: 705 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 01:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi all,

Below is my attempted sketch, in PowerPoint, showing the basic concept. A country road, surrounded by hedgerows/fields, leading down to and across a single branch line somewhere in the southwest of England.



A couple of vehicles on manoeuvres, I have shown tanks, are travelling across the level crossing, however, I may include a couple of universal carriers instead of one of the tanks...it’s a work in progress. I appreciate the vehicles drawn look a tad like Sherman tanks, but that’s only because they’re easier to block out in PowerPoint, , but they could be Churchills or something else.

I’ll add some troops, but also am thinking a few civilian adults, possibly kids, watching on. The difficulty is that the choice of civilian western adult plastic figures seems to be French or German…will need to give this some thought.

I also have the Bronco Cameramen figures, so am thinking of a film crew shooting for a Pathe News item...as I said, a work in progress, .

Any thoughts or suggestions would be more than welcome...I'm not proud, .

Is it best to keep with the build in here, or start a new log?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

Ambitious stuff!

If you do go for a couple of Shermans it will create the illusion of "mass"; I know it's only 2 x vehicles but I am just finishing up a T-64 dio and wished somehow to convey the same - ie the Soviet hordes. Building 2 x identical vehicles is a bit of a flog, but you do ending up creating said mass in a way.

You'll need to do a bit of research and establish if this is D Day minus whatever, as the vehicles would be waterproofed and fitted for deep wading if the invasion was imminent - which all means extra work. If it's just say, Spring 1944, the tanks could just be out for a radio exercise/road run whatever. Unless it's a weekend any kids are likely to be at school. A scrutiny of both Miniart and Master Box sets will throw up a surprising amount of figures that might be suitable. Wee Friends do a decent British Copper.

When it comes to planning something on this scale - or indeed any - I recall that within an ancient copy of Airfix Magazine from the 60s, a figure modeller cited his formula for establishing what was what: I think it was "What", "Where" and "When". There might have been a fourth but I can't remember. If nothing else these 3 words can help sometimes in clarifying what one is attempting.

Brian
Golikell
Visit this Community
Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: October 25, 2002
entire network: 1,347 Posts
KitMaker Network: 124 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 02:01 AM UTC
I think you have the basics of the dio right. Adding figures give more of a sense of size and human interest. Mind you that level crossings might still have some incline in both directions. This would make the dio even more dynamic.
I wonder what typical British civilians will look like, opposed to German or French ones. Of course outside the gendarmes and priests...
Dioramartin
Visit this Community
New South Wales, Australia
Member Since: May 04, 2016
entire network: 1,089 Posts
KitMaker Network: 4 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 04:16 PM UTC
Yes promising plans. With dios & vignettes it always raises the game if you can tell a story – when I saw your sketch I imagined a pre-D Day scene “somewhere in England” where local life had to go on. So I thought about a horse & cart, or a farmer leading a draught horse, waiting at the level crossing with those Shermans (or whatever) backed up behind it with grumpy commanders waving their arms around in their turrets. Arguably a tad too comical but betcha it happened many times.

One other thought – I think there was a minimum distance limit stipulated between tanks so your base will need to be bigger, with the tanks at least ? 6 inches? apart. Masterbox does some generic farming types & carts I think.
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 12:34 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

I recall watching some old footage of Vickers light tanks, not sure which Mks, travelling at speed over open country...possibly Salisbury Plain...with Vickers Medium tanks trundling along in the background, very stirring stuff.

Your idea sounds like a good one, are you sure it can’t tempt you to the dark side, ?

I know what you mean about ‘mass’, if I were going to build two identical vehicles it would have to be something straightforward, e.g. a Tamiya kit, but it would definitely rule out the AFV Club Churchill's I bought, .

It’s going to be a late winter/early spring on manoeuvres sort of scenario. I have been looking at Miniart and Masterbox sets, and there are some potential figures that I could use straight from the box, others might need some conversion work, others though would be destined for the spares box, priests and coppers.

One question for you, or anyone else reading this...in your opinion would British tanks on manoeuvres pre-D-day be relatively free of external stowage, or would they still be festooned with gear?

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 12:36 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

I’m certainly no railway expert, I’ve always presumed...because of the disruptive nature to other vehicles...that level crossings in the UK were sited on relatively flat ground where the use of under/over bridges wasn’t practical...I will post a question on the railway modeller site as it’s a good consideration.

I’m not sure of the difference in Europe-wide fashion, but in this scale, it might not be so critical or obvious.

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 12:39 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

Totally agree with your comment on station-keeping when on the march, however, I have looked at a number of images of vehicle movements in England. Admittedly they are generally taken in towns/villages, where bottlenecks might occur but they often show quite close spacings between vehicles...this might have to be one of those instances where artistic licence comes to the fore, .

I like your idea of the cart causing a problem...I’d need to look at this further to see what reason there might be for it being on the road at the time of year I'm thinking of...what winter crops might they be harvesting, turnips possibly, ?

Cheers, ,

G
Golikell
Visit this Community
Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: October 25, 2002
entire network: 1,347 Posts
KitMaker Network: 124 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 01:13 AM UTC
I merely mean the slight incline to get over the embankment. I said MIGHT...
This for example:
https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article14208113.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/0_PAY-.jpg
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 08, 2012
entire network: 705 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 02:32 AM UTC
Gareth,

Re gear on tanks; I imagine it would depend on whether or not how long the crews are due to be out training; even if only a couple of days Commanding Officers - especially those who had operational experience and were inserted into regiments specifically for the purpose of instilling such associated disciplines - could well insist that the units deploy with everything required for war.

This would also apply to any units not just armoured.

I imagine however, that a run around the respective garrison/training camp to test engines or even radios ie within a working day, might mean that not much was taken. Drawing stores, guns, tools, fuel, radios and even ammunition for an exercise/operation is a demanding chore and takes ages; everything has to be accounted for and often signed for. There's also a lot of paperwork - maps, radio frequencies - all classified of course, all contribute to the effort required.

From a modelling perspective I normally like my vehicles fully bombed up as they - to me - look more purposeful and even sinister. But that might just be me!

Brian
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 02:57 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

My apologies, I see what you mean now, and how it would add an element of dynamism.

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 17, 2017
entire network: 305 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 03:01 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

No, it's not just you, I’m in the same camp as you when it comes to vehicles being laden down with gear, it helps fix a model in place as well as allowing one to bring a little uniqueness to ones creation...plus it helps to potentially cover up any mistakes, or gluey finger marks, !

It’s another of your ‘What’, ‘Where’ and ‘When’ elements...they’re now on an exercise spanning several days, .

Thanks again,

G