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WelshZeCorgi

First diorama, bocage Normandy?

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Hi, I'm thinking of building my first diorama of an M5 stuart bulldozing through a hedgerow with infantry following up using the tank as cover. 

 

The stuart is done, the infantry and the base is not.

 

I'm not sure where to start or common pitfalls to avoid. Any suggestions or tips would be great. thanks.

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There are a fair number of books on building dioramas by Shep Paine, Francois Verlinden, etc (these are old books, but are still packed with great information and tips). Have a look on Amazon or E-Bay. There are also a number of Youtube videos which deal with the subject. 

 

One tip I would give you is never have any of your main elements at right-angles with the sides of the diorama base - having the tank, bocage hedges and so on at right-angles will give the scene a rather "artificial" look and is less visually-interesting than having things at an angle to the edges. 

 

Hope this helps. Good luck in your build.

 

Chris.   

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9 hours ago, WelshZeCorgi said:

Hi, I'm thinking of building my first diorama of an M5 stuart bulldozing through a hedgerow with infantry following up using the tank as cover. 

 

The stuart is done, the infantry and the base is not.

 

I'm not sure where to start or common pitfalls to avoid. Any suggestions or tips would be great. thanks.

 

Have a look at the work of @Badder 

Eg 

 

and @PlaStix 

 

 

I just looked up two random links of their work as all of it has been excellent.

Also, just remember @BIG X has taken to diorama work with a vengeance, 

 

 

this should notify them, and hopefully they can give you some tips and pointers, but if you look up their work then that will help, as both give detailed descriptions of what they do.

 

HTH

Edited by Troy Smith
add links

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Hi WZC. First I must thank @Troy Smith for his very kind comments and I can certainly echo his comments about @Badder's and @BIG X's scenic modelling skills. Both produce incredible work. Make sure you check out both of their scenic modelling threads.

My stuff is much more basic than what they produce and often my scenics are done quickly as part of GBs so have to be fairly simple.

I think the best thing I can do is provide some links to some of my stuff and if you have any questions please let me know.

The links below are to the finished projects but near the start of these you'll find the link to the WIP where, hopefully, you'll find some photos and descriptions of how the bases were constructed. They sections about the bases tend to be later in the WIP threads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions if you want to.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stix

Edited by PlaStix

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Hi WelshZeCorgi,

 

My advice would be to build the best diorama you can. Spend a lot of time on it, go for realism and really push yourself to create something stunning.  And by that, I mean the actual terrain and flora.

Spend a lot of time researching the materials you are going to use for each and every component of the diorama, and use the best that you can. Don't settle for second best, because if you do you'll regret it at some point in the future - possibly mid-construction, or, worst case scenario, after the diorama has been finished and has been sitting on a shelf for a few weeks/months.

 

In this instance you have chosen to model  a rural scene, more specifically a hedgerow, which is never going to be an easy task if you want it to look realistic.  Whatever you do, don't use lichen for your 'greenery'. It's awful stuff and fit only for war-gaming (IMHO) And obviously steer clear of using actual living plants - unless you're aiming for a 'short-term' diorama for photographic purposes only.

Certainly, use dead and dried/preserved twigs for the bush/tree/shrub armatures, or make them from wire, but the crucial thing will be the foliage. You're going to have a fair mass of it, so make sure it looks right.

SeaFoam is a very popular choice for making entire shrubs/trees, or when used in conjunction with twig/wire armatures. Usually herbs are scattered and fixed to the 'canopies' to add to the 'leafiness'. Seafoam isn't perfect, but i do use it,  and I'd certainly use some in a hedgerow. But plants come in many varieties and so do hedgerows, so try to vary the plants within that hedgerow. Include paper-punched plants/leaves, Maybe some PE ivy, ferns, etc.

And absolutely do use static grass for the verges/fields etc. There's nothing better.

 

Finally, I will return to my very first bit of advice about producing the very best diorama you can. Let's say you succeed. However, it's a forgone conclusion that your model-making skills will improve over time. They will undoubtedly improve to such an extent that you then view your M5 as a bit 'rubbish' when compared to the diorama itself. So, you could always build another M5 and plonk that in the diorama instead. Or replace it with a Sherman, or a TIger..... whatever. The fact is that a good diorama can become the scene for many a future model.
This is something I've come to realise during my current  'Pit Stop' build. I set out intending it to be a permanent display for my Sherman Easy Eight from the 'Face Off' RFI but have since decided Tthat this diorama will be the setting for several future AFV's. In other words, I'll make the diorama and have 'interchangable' AFVs feature in it. The AFVs themselves will be stored on far simpler bases, display cases until such times as I wish to swap them over.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

@PlaStix

did show me how to post links to my work with the 'here' thing, but it seemed a bit complicated to me. However, I did spend a fair bit of time making a hedgerow in my 'EVER EVOLVING DIORAMA' diorama. It's ongoing and available to view in the Diorama WIPs section.

Edited by Badder

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Still haven't figured out the 'here' thing, but the link above will take you to the end of my hedgerow (so to speak) The preceding few pages will show the process of construction. There's also a large chunk of pages in the WIP of how I built a large tree using real twigs, wire-cored garden twine, fishing line and herbs.

 

Hope you find any of that useful!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I was hoping this would be a short project, but it seems I was wrong on that front. I'm guessing a lot of scratch building will be nessesary, in which case this will be the first scratch-building project I've ever done.

 

Let me finish up the US Army figures first and then I will come back to the post to update on my progress. 

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Some very wise advice from Badder.  I would also suggest that you study as many photos of the countryside you are modelling as you can to see the essence of the fields, roads and hedgerows.  Make sure that the scene is plausible in terms of how each element got to be where it is doing what it is.  Badder is absolutely right about making everything as good as you can: nothing more disappointing than seeing an excellent model, beautifully made and painted in a scene that looks like grass from the outfield at Lords with a few twigs, sponge and lichen thrown on.  Don't forget all the natural clutter that accumulates in the countryside too, and there are no straight lines.  Planning a diorama like this is also a good excuse for a walk in the countryside for 'research purposes'.

 

 

Edited by Vicarage Vee

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Anyone know where to get radiomen and medics tending to wounded in the style of 1944 Normandy? I can't find one that's US Army. I find paratroopers or ones in the Ardenne forest or otherwise wearing the wrong type of clothing/equipment for a 1944 US Army in Overlord...

 

 

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10 minutes ago, WelshZeCorgi said:

Anyone know where to get radiomen and medics tending to wounded in the style of 1944 Normandy? I can't find one that's US Army. I find paratroopers or ones in the Ardenne forest or otherwise wearing the wrong type of clothing/equipment for a 1944 US Army in Overlord...

 

 

Have a look at Dragon's 'Advance to the Rhine' kit no.6271. Radioman and a 'walking medic' included. Not an expert on uniforms so I can't say for sure that they were contemporary with D-Day.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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These are the US Army (WWII) 1/35 figures listed on Scalemates, although not all will be currently in production:

 

https://www.scalemates.com/search.php?q=*&fkSECTION[]=Kits&fkGROUPS[]="Figures"&fkTYPENAME[]="Figures"&fkSCALE[]="1:35"&fkTYPEGROUP[]="US Soldiers (WW2)"

 

Incidentally, it is possible to use real plants in dioramas. If the plant is dried out completely there isn't a problem using it. If it isn't possible for the plant to be dried, in some situations you can preserve the plant using diluted glycerine. Apparently diluted white glue can also be used although this may need several applications. I've not tried these myself, but I have a book that mentions the techniques.

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I did a Normandy diorama 4 years ago for the D-Day 70th anniversary GB which has multiple elements including Bailey Bridge, Cromwell, solders, French farmer and livestock, aka "Road Hogs" which you can see here

 

 

Dioramas can be a lot of fun, but they are not easy :)

 

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