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I use tile grout from the hardware store for dirt. Absorbed water well. You can make it look like dirt, Tarmac, or concrete. Lots of colts and shades to choose from. Mix your own, if color doesn't match what you want.

 

Woodland Scenic flocking works well for grass.

 

Dak

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Z: see if you can find a copy of "How to Build Dioramas" by Shepard Paine. It's considered a classic book that covers all of the basics for dioramas; from materials, to composition, to display. It was printed by Kalmbach Publications, and may be out of print now. You may be able to find one in a vendors area, on Amazon, or Ebay. Your biggest problem will be prying it out of the hands of those who already own it!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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320 or finer wet/dry sandpaper (black) makes good tarmac. Add oil stains, streaks, dry brush and it looks good. Regular sandpaper can make convincing concrete if you get the right color.

 

I use dirt for dirt. I run it through a tea strainer and crush up the larger lumps. Mix it with water and a little white glue for adhesion and put your home made "mud" where ever you want. If you want it to look "wet", add acrylic gloss medium to the mix. Just use real dirt and not potting soil.

 

Bridal veil is cheap and makes good chain link fencing. It's available in various patterns and sizes.

 

Evergreen make all sorts of styrene shapes, patterns and sizes of rod, tube and sheet that are useful for all sorts of stuff.

 

Go to the model railroad detail parts area and dig around. You'll find all sorts of stuff that you can use as is or adapt to other purposes.

 

The "doll house" or miniatures section of a craft/hobby store also has lots of stuff you can use.

 

I agree with Gil about the Shep Paine book. It doesn't have a lot of 'hot to build" techniques, but is great for composition and subject info. It's in vendor's areas at shows for around $5 or so. Look for it, it's a great place to start. There are also a couple of old Verlinden Books on Military and Aircraft Dioramas that are good.

Edited by Ron Bell
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Z: see if you can find a copy of "How to Build Dioramas" by Shepard Paine. It's considered a classic book that covers all of the basics for dioramas; from materials, to composition, to display. It was printed by Kalmbach Publications, and may be out of print now. You may be able to find one in a vendors area, on Amazon, or Ebay. Your biggest problem will be prying it out of the hands of those who already own it!

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

Kalmbach has a newer version authored by Chris Mrosko, "Building Dioramas". Covers most of the stuff that the Paine book does plus some other good info. Either way you won't go wrong!

http://www.kalmbachstore.com/12476.html

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Tile grout is far superior to any other thing I have found for dirt in dioramas. It is fairly cheap and easy to use. A lot less work, too. As I said, it is far more versatile than anything else. No one who has made use of it has gone back to using anything else.

 

Dak

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  • 4 weeks later...
Z

All the previous advice is good and should get you started constructing your diorama.


If I may, before you begin to spread materials and glue stuff down, you may want to sketch out a plan of what you want to have, all concrete?, any grass siding?, elevation changes?, tree?, bushes?, rocks? figures?, etc.


I'm not saying make a drafting blueprint, just a rough sketch , full size of the base, of what goes where. How the model will be placed, will all the things fit? Can you cut out somethings? Need to add something?


Pencil and paper sketches are easy,cheap and quick, to do. That way you can visualise the dio and solve any composition problems, before committing time and effort constructing something.



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Z: see if you can find a copy of "How to Build Dioramas" by Shepard Paine. It's considered a classic book that covers all of the basics for dioramas; from materials, to composition, to display. It was printed by Kalmbach Publications, and may be out of print now. You may be able to find one in a vendors area, on Amazon, or Ebay. Your biggest problem will be prying it out of the hands of those who already own it!

 

GIL :smiley16:

this is a great book .i picked up a copy off amazon ,under $5.00. huge source of how to videos on U tube. making trees , landscapes.walls...just type in what you are looking to make.

Edited by Bubbajoe
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all your tips I have one question that no one seemed to say anything about ... How do you build city scenes ( Stalingrad,Berlin and various others ) how do y'all build buildings ,walls ,streets, bricks, metel fences and rubble any tips would help .

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First, you can buy some buildings, broken, bombed and all. But you can also build them out of sheet plastic or even plaster of paris. The books we mentioned have tips on how to set up, build, and "break" buildings. Also, look here at a couple of the builds in the Diorama topic. There's some incredible building work in them, and those people could tell how they did theirs.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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