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18 minutes ago, Cadman said:

I'm a bit puzzled by the latest posts Badder so please help me out.

What exactly was wrong with the rubber mat? And why do you estimate that you'll need to add around 2Kg of plaster to the diorama base?

You mention a "lack of rise and fall in the terrain", so do you mean that the rubber mat looked too flat?

Hi H,

Hope you are well?

 

Here's the problem. I said ages ago that I wanted the building to stand on slightly higher ground and in my rush to progress I forgot about it and glued the rubber mat directly to the base. So, I thought I'd strip off the mat and build up the ground beneath it, then plonk the building back on top.

 

But then I ran into another problem, and that is what size and shape should the raised ground be, and how do I blend it in with the track. With the building orientated as it is (in the photos above) it would be a bit awkward to make it all look logical. Raising the cobbled area in front of the building would mean that I'd have to do the old 'chop' on it where it meets the front frame. (You know, the vertical edge which people normally paint black). This is something I wanted to avoid wherever possible, and certainly I didn't want a 'chop' at the front of the diorama.

If I want to raise the building and cobbles then, I have to re-orientate the building is such a way that there need be no 'chop'. But also the raised ground has to make sense in conjunction with the track. I have therefore turned the building through 70 degrees clockwise.  I can now raise the ground from the rear of the diorama and ALMOST to the front... but with a slope down to the front frame. Meanwhile there can be a slope or maybe even a step down from the building to the track.

 

I will try to make a mock-up and post some photos to explain the new layout.

 

 

Rearguards

Badder

Edited by Badder

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Hmm....okay. Looking forward to seeing the additional photos.

B)

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1 minute ago, Cadman said:

Hmm....okay. Looking forward to seeing the additional photos.

B)

I could turn the building through 90 degrees so that it sits face-on to the mill race, but then the front aspect of the building (which is the most pleasing to the eye) would be turned away from the viewer. Although I plan to have this diorama mounted on a free standing 'plinth' allowing 360 degree views, I still want a dominant viewpoint. I'm being fussy, I know.

 

Don't expect anything spectacular with the additional photos! It'll just be a very basic mock-up using bits of paper I expect !

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

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1 hour ago, Badder said:

p.s. We have a guy from Jersey just started work at our place. Name of Roger. He has hair and a nose and everything. Do you know him? :lol:

 

 

 

 

Not from Jersey but i know a few clowns over here....

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2 minutes ago, Vince1159 said:

Not from Jersey but i know a few clowns over here....

Funny, when I asked if he knew of a Vince living in Guernsey, he said no, but he does know a few clowns over there!

 

BTW, I know you live in Guernsey. I can read you know!:D And I can see your donkey!

 

Edited by Badder

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Just now, Badder said:

Funny, when I asked if he knew of a Vince living in Guernsey, he said no, but he does know a few clowns over there!

 

We're awash over here Badder (gets political)...

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Okay, the new layout....

 

The track and mill race on the left both slope down from the back of the diorama to the frame at the front. The mill race will have a bit of the old mill collapsed right on the edge, but I don't want to chop anything else off other than that. So the plaster will sit flush level with the frame all the way along the front.

 

I've placed the white board across the diorama showing the area which I am going to raise. The frame limits are drawn on far right and rear. The arrows show the areas which will be raised, but sloping down towards the front. The building has been turned so that it faces to the left. The area where it sits will be raised, but it will be flat, as will be the case with the area directly to its rear.

 

The cobbled areas will also be flat, but the bit in front of the double doors can now slope down to the track.  The area between the building and the front edge can

also slope down to the frame.

776445DSC09741.jpgI hope that explains everything?

 

TFL

Badder

 

 

Edited by Badder

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Coming along really nicely. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it being flat, after all some of the best agricultural land is flat, but at the same time I'm excited to see what you do with the slope. It will certainly make it more interesting to look at as a piece.

 

I had a thought, that you've probably already thought of, but just in case. With your tracked vehicle(s?) in the diorama, be careful with the tracks they leave with that tight corner. I'm no good at modelling dioramas myself, but I've seen a few that are utterly magnificent but have neglected to model the track impressions correctly and just press or roll a track piece in wet plaster or the likes. Tracked vehicles make a right mess of the inside corner of all but the shallowest of bends, and often the outside corner is dug/rutted deep with a wheel (or should that be track) spinning furiously to pull the rest of the vehicle round. Even in dry mud/dirt it's very evident.

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25 minutes ago, James B said:

Coming along really nicely. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it being flat, after all some of the best agricultural land is flat, but at the same time I'm excited to see what you do with the slope. It will certainly make it more interesting to look at as a piece.

 

I had a thought, that you've probably already thought of, but just in case. With your tracked vehicle(s?) in the diorama, be careful with the tracks they leave with that tight corner. I'm no good at modelling dioramas myself, but I've seen a few that are utterly magnificent but have neglected to model the track impressions correctly and just press or roll a track piece in wet plaster or the likes. Tracked vehicles make a right mess of the inside corner of all but the shallowest of bends, and often the outside corner is dug/rutted deep with a wheel (or should that be track) spinning furiously to pull the rest of the vehicle round. Even in dry mud/dirt it's very evident.

Hi James,

Thanks for looking and thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate both!

 

It should be obvious that the themes and layouts of my dioramas are never set in stone (or Plaster of Paris!) I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but hopefully my 'over-thinking' everything will lead to a good result in this particular build!

It's a large base to fill and it feels to me that it MUST have some variation in ground level. As I said a few posts ago, I kind of forgot that in my haste to get the cobbled area fixed down.

So, I'm going to rectify the problem. It means having to re-think the positioning of the building, but now that I've sorted that out I've realised that it allows me to add even more details to the scene.

 

As for the vehicle tracks, yes, I am very aware of the mess tracked vehicles can make. I served in the Territorial Army and had the privilege of taking part in several exercises on MOD land, most notably on Salisbury Plain (I drove a Fox armoured car so I myself can't be blamed for the huge and messy results!) And with that in mind I have considered the make-up of the track itself and I've decided to go for a gritty/gravelly track with grass verges and a strip of grass down the middle. This will be an easier option, I think!

I've always envisaged that the track is not a through-road and is used exclusively by the farmer. Earlier, I deliberated with contributors over the possibility of including a horse-drawn cart in the diorama and modelling the track to reflect this, but I am now considering that the farmer actually has a tractor. I don't know if a contemporary 1/35th tractor is available, but if I can find one I can include it in the diorama and model the track to suit.  The arrival of the tracked AFVs will change things, but luckily two of them will be on the 'straight' and won't have made any sharp turns. I only have to consider a shallow turn made by the lead vehicle.

 

Thanks again for your input. As I said, I do appreciate it. 'Bedding' tracked vehicles into the ground accurately is something sometimes overlooked.

I hope you continue to follow my progress,

 

Reaguards,

Badder

 

 

 

 

 

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Great progress as ever.

Two points from a French prospective.

I have never seen a French farmhouse on perfectly flat land so i think the time you spent removing your flat cobbles was well spent. Typically, the ground undulates by 10-20cm and the house itself is generally a little bit (15cm) higher than the surrounding land.

Our neighbours insist that tractors were rarely seen in France until the early 1960s. Horse or ox power was much more common.

 

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2 hours ago, bhouse said:

Great progress as ever.

Two points from a French prospective.

I have never seen a French farmhouse on perfectly flat land so i think the time you spent removing your flat cobbles was well spent. Typically, the ground undulates by 10-20cm and the house itself is generally a little bit (15cm) higher than the surrounding land.

Our neighbours insist that tractors were rarely seen in France until the early 1960s. Horse or ox power was much more common.

 

Thanks Brian,

If I'd been building a Dutch farmhouse then I'd have been happy to leave things as they are.:D 

 

I'd gone to all that bother of raising the hedgerow and grassy bank on battens of wood (when I could have levelled them off with the diorama frame) intent on raising the land here, dropping it down to the track and then raising it again on the other side where the building sits. It was purely forgetfulness on my part to go ahead and glue the rubber mat down.

I tried to justify my actions, and spent time working out how I could 'undulate' the land around it, but it was all a compromise and in the end I wasn't at all happy. Luckily it was just a case of removing the mat and figuring out the new relationship between land and building. I've figured that out now, so work will recommence later today. I'm actually looking forward to it because I've now got some extra features to add, and features are always a good thing in my book!

 

And thank you for the information on 'French Tractors of the 1940's', a VERY small pamphlet that would be by all accounts!

Preliminary searches of BM for suitable scale models turned up nothing. I hadn't got as far as searching the web.

However, taking your neighbours statements into account, I shall revert back to the horse and cart.

 

Thanks again,

You always provide some information/guidance/suggestions, and that is greatly appreciated.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

 

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Fresh layers of PoP are being added, the first of which are being poured around the central piece of MDF to equal the level of the frame. Although the plaster touch-dries very quickly, it takes a day or two to cure fully.

 

I will run out of plaster very shortly so will have to purchase another 2kg bag tomorrow. Hopefully that will be enough to finish the terrain by the end of the weekend. I envisage that the highest point at the rear of the diorama (where it is chopped off by the frame) will be approximately 2cm above the level of the frame, while the flat area where the building sits will be 1cm above.

 

There will now be a distinct step down from the cobbled area which will itself extend along the front of the stairway and out past the limits of the porch. I have decided to face this step with a supporting stone wall. The double doors though, will be accessed by a cobbled ramp.

 

TFL

Badder

 

 

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A few weeks ago, I was in a supermarket and saw some staff dismantling a display stand for some kind of promotion, and saw that the base was made from what looked like white plastic about 60cm x 40cm and 5mm thick. I approached them and asked if they were throwing it away, which they were. I asked them if I could have it, and after they consulted with a manager, I was allowed to take it home.

 

This is the stuff I used in the preceding photo, to show the area of ground I am going to raise.

 

Now, it turns out that it isn't polypropylene or some similar strong plastic, but some kind of very high density polystyrene. It is flexible, and light, but strong. I doubt it would snap unless bent over almost in half. It is easy to cut with a sharp blade though. I was going to keep it as a source of bases, or as 'filler' for smaller dioramas ,or vignettes, but I'm going to use a part of it for this diorama. It will save me using so much plaster, will keep the weight down, and will speed things up a little.

 

So, I've CA'd the cobbles to this instead and will fix the building to it as well. A further layer of the stuff will fit under this, and the whole lot will be PVA'd and screwed down to the MDF. 

 

243916DSC09743.jpg

At some point I am going to have to fix the building to the 'stuff'. The best way, I think, will be to use internal brackets. There are plenty of potential fixing points within the building.

 

But before that I will trim the top layer of 'stuff' so that the building sits precisely on top,  I will then trim the lower layer so that its footprint is larger than that of the building. When the time comes I can then plaster over the bottom layer and up to the base of the building.

 

TFL

Badder

Edited by Badder

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This 'stuff' is a fantastic material. It cuts beautifully with little more than medium finger pressure on the scalpel, it cuts neatly, and can even be carved into any shape. In the photo below, the lower layer was cut along the nearest edge in ONE stroke but using heavy pressure instead of medium. It's a very neat cut as you can see. This stuff would be excellent for scratch-building anything from buildings to Imperial Star Destroyers.

It's a shame it will be impossible to source any more.

If anyone can tell what this 'plastic' is, and if it's available to the public in small quantities, please let me know!

 

466944DSC09744.jpge

 

If anyone was wondering how I'm going to use internal brackets to fix the building to the top sheet of 'stuff', fear not my stupidity, I was going to cut the centre of the sheet out so as to give me access to the inside of the building.

This has been done. I will sit the building over the top and use a few blobs of CA to 'tack' it in place. I will then be able to invert the building on it's base and fix brackets to the inside. (I left a lip running around the inside on which to fix the brackets)

 

But before that, I'm going to continue building up the terrain.

 

TFL

Badder

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36 minutes ago, Ratch said:

Isn't that foam board?

I'm not entirely sure Ratch.

It has a smooth plastic-like outer surface and a compressed slightly soft plastic-like inner. It doesn't look bubbly or foam-like inside. It appears to me that there is a seam line, that the whole board is made from an upper and a lower 'melted' together? I cut into the board and then took out layers so as to  countersink a bracket and the inner stuff behaves very like balsa wood, coming away in sheets and slivers. But it's definitely more plastic-like than foam.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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I've continued modelling the 'platform' on which the building will sit, have added a couple of brackets with which to hold the building in place and have extended the cobbles along each side of the building. The building won't be fixed in place now until all of the groundwork is finished. This will allow me unobstructed access to that groundwork, rather than having to work around and over the building. In truth there is still a bit of work to be done on the building exterior... a couple of areas of 'ivy' need to be added as well as the second lantern (a couple of parts of which will have to be 'scratched.'

 

Besides, now that I have finally decided on the orientation of the building it has become apparent that I'm going to have to model at least SOME of the ground floor interior. With the rear of the building facing the right hand side of the dio, and only a few inches from the base edge, it is easy to see the interior through the barred windows. I will therefore paint the interior floor a very dark brown to reduce the reflected light and lessen the visibility. In addition, I am going to knock up some racks of shelving, piles of crates, boxes, and sacks of coal, turnips, potatoes, apples, sprouts, bananas, prickly pears, kiwi fruit, star anise, scotch bonnet peppers, loose branston pickle, dairylea cheese triangles and nescafe coffee beans. :smirk:

 

But right now, it's back to the terrain.

 

TFL

Badder

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Badder said:

bananas, prickly pears, kiwi fruit, star anise, scotch bonnet peppers, loose branston pickle, dairylea cheese triangles and nescafe coffee beans

Oh, and a box of Monster Munch too?

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5 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Oh, and a box of Monster Munch too?

Don't be a silly billy. That hadn't been invented back then! Maybe Wotsits though?

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9 hours ago, Badder said:

It has a smooth plastic-like outer surface and a compressed slightly soft plastic-like inner.

Yup, foam board. Available from Hobbycraft and such-like shops.

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4 hours ago, Ratch said:

Yup, foam board. Available from Hobbycraft and such-like shops.

Thanks, I shall have a look next time I'm there.

 

Rearguards

Badder

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Progress is really slow, due to my having to wait for the various sections of plaster to dry before applying another.

 

Nevertheless, I've built up the bank at the front right corner of the dio, embedding metal gauze so as to be able to grass it. I have to add metal gauze directly to the left of this, but the ground here is at the right level, sloping up to where a low stone wall will run along the side of the cobbled path.

 

Stonework will also form the step running along the front of the building, and will also define the edge of the ramp, but otherwise no further terrain-work is required here.

I may experiment with the 'foam board' as the material to make the stone walls.

 

The area to the building's rear has to be built up more, but once the temporary perimeter 'dam' has been constructed it can be done in one pour.

 

The only other area left is that at the rear of the diorama, where the tree will be fixed and where the ground slopes down to that side of the building. I am still contemplating the possibility of adding a feature here, so this area will take a day or two to finish.

 

In the meantime, the platform upon which the building will sit has been finished and I've had a play with colouring the cobbles. In the photo below I've used just pigments... a wash with green and with white, mixing them randomly together in situ, and then a dry-brushing with rust. The obvious joins in the rubber will hopefully be disguised when I introduce some variation in the cobbles themselves.

 

860256DSC09747.jpg 

 

TFL

Badder

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I don't know what happened with some areas glued with PVA, but it just wasn't curing and was still runny after 12hrs. So, I sped things up by squeezing thin CA into the glue and stirring it up with a toothpick. This cured the problem within minutes. A good little tip there for anyone who faces similar issues in the future.

 

I also attacked the joins in the rubber mat with a whetstone, A bit more work with the whetstone and then a bit of carving with a scalpel will hopefully make the joins disappear completely. I'm going to re-carve some of the cobbles and introduce some variation in their levels.

 

TFL

Badder

Edited by Badder

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Over 24hrs now and some of the PVA is STILL tacky!!!!! I don't know what's going on because it's the same stuff I've used for ages AND I've got the heating on. Perhaps the container needs a good shaking?

 

Anyway, today I'm going to pour plaster onto those areas which have dried suitably. This should mean that the terrain will be finished by tonight and will be ready for the first bits of detailing.

 

TFL

Badder

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Unfortunately, I haven't progressed as far as I had hoped. This is due to the fact that the horses had escaped from their paddock, and not only that, but one had broken into the feed shed and was helping itself to all the other's feed made up for tomorrow.

The thing is this horse is ancient and has no teeth at all, and it's not allowed certain feeds as they can kill it. When I found him he'd eaten one and a half buckets of his own feed (some of which hadn't been soaked long enough and could also kill him) plus an unknown quantity of pony nuts, plus some of our pony's feed.

Then I had to get the three of them back into the paddock and feed the two, and yes, the first horse was chasing them off their feed because I didn't dare give him any more of his own.

Adding to this the fence that was supposed to keep them contained was broken and then it got dark.

Ho hum, if he dies during the night it's his own fault!

 

So, today I 'dammed off the areas requiring more plaster and poured as much as I could without compromising drying times. The area to the building's rear is now level and ready to be detailed. I'm going for cobbles again, only of a different style.

 

The area to the rear of the dio has had a single shallow pour so far. I need to build parts of this area up by another inch, so this area won't be finished until tomorrow evening now.

 

No pics, cos plaster is boring. Very boring.

 

TFL

Badder

 

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