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Airplane Diorama


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Can anyone point me to a good thread, link, website, etc., that shows aviation/airplane dioramas with aircraft in, perceived, motion?

 

More often than not I see airplanes sitting on the tarmac just sitting there. I'd like to find something more creative, as if the aircraft itself was flying.

 

For instance, on a prop plane, isn't there a better way to show the prop in motion? Round acrylic disk, painted a certain way?

 

I've seen pictures of diorama with a photo over the base showing the aircraft as if it was at altitude. That was pretty cool.

 

For my OV-10s, I'd like to show a pair of them over the jungle in SEA. Am open to have them over rice fields, or over jungle tops, etc. But I'd like to see/have something where they're actually being perceived in motion, vs just sitting on a tarmac.

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Hi, Troy,

 

I'm going to refer you to my postings of aircraft in the Photographing Your Models section. Look under Models Go to War for some examples of props replaced with thin acetate plastic disks on a B-17, B-24, and Me-109 in various action poses. The commentary with the photos explains how the shots were made . . . and when!

 

I did not bother with faint prop tip blurs. I suggest a thin disk rather than something you cut from standard thickness sheet stock because the edge then becomes too obvious and looks like a thick disk rather than a turning prop. A prop spinning at thousands of rpm will appear almost transparent with only a faint presence. To cut out a round disk from acetate, I used a sharp tip of a mechanical drawing divider tool and simply set the radius for the length of the prop blade, then scribed the sharp tip across the plastic using a compass twist on the divider. You get a perfect circle as you twist the divider around several times to cut into or through the acetate. A second method is to use a circle template with the hole closest to the prop's diameter and use a sharp sewing needle in a pin vise to progressively score into the acetate as you trace around the circumference of the hole.

 

After you cut out the larger circle, reset the divider for a smaller hole using the same center point to match the diameter of the spinner hub. Now you have a spinning prop disk you can use. The choice to add faint prop tip color to the edges is yours to make. Trial and error will show you if it works in your scale. Good luck.

 

Ed

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Hi Troy! Sorry to be a tardy...

 

There is a product called "Prop Blur" (find it at: http://www.propblur.com/) that is essentially a photo-etched prop made to look like it's in motion. All you need to do is paint it. I've seen them done and they look great, especially when you paint the tips in a soft-edged (feathered paint edges) manner.

 

As for mounting the model, it really depends on your scene. If it's just landing or taking off, then you can mount it by 2 of the tires. A Navy jet just trapping can be held up by its hook, IF you build a new hook out of metal and carry it through into the model to handle the weight. Otherwise, you can use an acrylic or metal rod to elevate it off of its base. This provides a strong support that will allow you to pose the model in a turn. If you're building a jet, an acrylic rod can be heated in the oven and bent into a modified "U" shape that can be anchored into the base and then curve up into the exhaust pipe.

 

Another very neat idea I saw once was a jet taking off just at the end of the runway. The builder had blurred the markings on the end of the runway under the model which gave the viewer the illusion of very fast motion!

 

There really is no right or wrong way to do this. Propellers can be done with the clear disc described above, the Prop Blur item, or even just the spinner with no blades, allowing the viewer's imagination to provide the "motion". Any way you can support the model over its base is viable, as long as its firm enough and you like the way it looks. Best of luck!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I had heard of a guy that used magnets to suspend a couple aircraft over a base. He set them up so they would repel each other. He set four of them in the base and one in the model so that when he placed the model over the center area above the four, they all repelled each other equally, allowing the plane to sit above the base. Most ingenious I thought. I need to try that someday myself.

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...What can I use to mount the aircraft, above the base?

 

While there is a sort of standard approach to putting an airplane on a post, I was inspired by a "forced perspective" diorama in an old FineScale(?) magazine. That dio showed one or two A-6 Intruders going "feet dry" over a 1/285 (GHQ scale) beach scene. The Intruders may even have been two different scales; I don't remember. That guy used bent, clear plastic rod into the tailpipes, to support the jets from the diorama base.

 

I tried something similar with a Monogram 1/72 BONE, but designed the diorama to be viewed from a constrained angle, as on a shelf. Reason for this was to make it possible to hide the steel rod that supports the plane. I also consulted a "How to Draw Landscapes" book, plus some model railroading scenery articles, for tips on composition of the scene.

 

 

BONEdio72_4b.jpg

 

 

BONEdio72_5.jpg

 

 

BONEdio_72_3.jpg

 

 

 

FUN FACT: The top two pix fooled the guys in the bomb squadron, who asked whether we had been flying formation at low level...a maneuver which was verboten at that time. :)

Edited by VonL
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  • 1 month later...

Bob,

- Not sure why this thread just......died after you posted this!?!? Maybe it was so overwhelmingly impressive. I was looking through some old posts and found this for the first time. I must say that this, (while not entirely original), is an ingenious and creative design that was very well executed. It is a VERY convincing result. HUGE kudos. :smiley20: :smiley20: :smiley20:

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Thanx for your kind comments! Was watching and kinda hoping this thread would expand into a useful collection of weird ideas from many modellers, for future efforts at this kind of thing. I've mentally composed a couple more similar to this B-1, but haven't built them...yet.

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  • 2 years later...

To my mind this is the best way to do this: Spinning a spinner on a dremel drill against a semi-wet paint brush, until a likeable effect is achieved:

 

P9275602_zpsb525c241.jpg

 

Here the off-white "sky" was applied last to "take in" the dark grey, as the dark grey wanted to splutter at first: It was not easy, but once in while you hit just the right "viscosity" of whitish paint, and then you have to stop. My model here had unfixable symmetry issues, so I took the spinner off for a later Special Hobby Seafire XV build! (in Revell boxing)

 

The Airfix Mk XII kit is among the most horrendous kits I have ever seen in accuracy, and what you see here of this kit bears little more resemblance to it than if I had started from a block of balsa wood... I got the tailplanes to match the wings, but then found out the wings themseves were crooked, owing to all the re-sculpting: Be warned... I chose to build it as it was the only Spitfire of the correct length at the time: Other non-Eduard/SH 1/48th Spitfires look better but are actually even worse in other ways... The Special Hobby Spits look quite nice, but have their wings (or the trailing edges at least) too far back by around 4 inches: Hopefully that will prove less of a fight than this...

 

Gaston

Edited by Gaston
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