After quite a bit of going backwards and forwards with ideas we came up with the following plan- a road running alongside a canal. The canal also has a small dirt track at 'water level' running under a bridge. The diorama was to be backed by a number of house fronts that could have figures placed in the windows. The final level was achieved by adding a small jetty to the canal. It meant we ended up with 5 different levels for figures to be displayed on.
|early stages where you can see the levels involved.|
The diorama ended up being about 3feet x 3feet and to give it strength and to have good clean edges I had a wooden carcass made (as I do with nearly all terrain boards and dioramas) and filled it with polystyrene. That gave me the basic shape and I then knew I could happily add the detail to it or easily cut into it for the stairways and trenches.
The buildings fronts were inspired by real Normandy buildings- the building on the left is based on Cafe Gondaree that you can find next to Pegasus bridge
The next two buildings come from photos I took when I was in Normandy last summer. I can't remember where I was but this is the photo I took of this wonderfully atmospheric French house. I just had to make it.
|the real house|
|early days with the model|
The building to the left of this house, that you can see is red, was based on a few I saw on my Normandy trip and was also influenced by the amount of space I had left. I decided on a stone building to contrast with the other two. It is red in the picture because I have covered it in Daz Pronto- the air dried clay. I then carve out the stone pattern in it. I find it works really well as long as you don't run out of patience!
Once I had the basics done, it was just a case of adding more details and painting it. During this stage I pretty much stuck to the original plan although I had planned on adding a trench to the left of the bridge but when I cam to it it didn't work out. There needed to be some sort of wall there to stop people falling over the edge so I extended the wall from the bridge and added sandbags to that to give it the fortified look.
Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from this stage to when I finished so I can't really explain what I did to get to the finished piece. It is a sure sign that I got carried away in the creative process and forgot about taking photos.
All there is now is a series of photos of the finished project:
|the whole thing|
|the stone house- made from carved Daz Pronto clay|
|the railings are raised 1/56th scale plastic railings|
|stairs up from the canal- stone is, again, carved Daz Pronto|
|view from the canal|
|added broken glass to the windows adds to the look of battle damage|
|close up of the brick patterns on the front of the house|
|the sandbags on the retaining wall|
|a Wespe coming over the bridge|
|close up of the garden. I like the bullet holes in the window|
|posters downloaded from the web- they add colour and interest|
|I just like this shot!|
|more posters. The bench is from a plastic wild West Saloon set!|
|roof detail- damaged but neglected|
That is it for this project. I was very pleased with how it turned out. I have been asked to make the larger house in 1/56th scale so I am looking forward to that next. Details to follow of course.