Re: Crossroads diorama build
So, yeah, things haven't gone exactly according to plan on this one. The problem is/was that regardless of what I did, I couldn't get the join in the middle of the road to disappear. I tried a number of different methods, but the result was always the same, even after priming, I could still see the join between the two halves. The biggest problem was, I couldn't figure out why it was visible? I could see it, but I couldn't see what I was seeing, if that makes any sense?
Anyway, before I got too frustrated with it I came up with a simple solution: put the MiniArt kit back in the stash for another day and scratch build the base and two buildings using an entirely different method than anything I've ever done previously. Simple solution, right?
The method I decided to try out is Bob Letterman's method of constructing buildings. For anyone who doesn't know, Bob Letterman is the "Superdiorama" guy who has built multiple large dioramas. (Think entire city center in 1/35 scale.
) If you aren't familiar with his work, you should take a look at his website, found here.
The method he uses for constructing his buildings, some of which are enormous, even by my standards, is a cardboard shell with mat board laminated over the cardboard. The exterior is then detailed with various methods and when the interior will be visible wall thickness is built up with cork and more mat board. The best picture to easily see what I am on about is here
with the building on the left showing the method pretty well.
I am a little crazy when it comes to my model building, but I am not totally deranged, so I won't be building anything like what Bob does, but, as a method for buildings it seems to have some advantages over other methods. As great as balsa foam is, in my experience, it is limited for larger buildings due to its relative brittleness and the difficulty in hiding joins, not to mention the price!
So, the first thing I need to do is get the base started. In Bob's method, the buildings "foundations" are extended down through the "street" level to sit on a lower base. This allows the street level to have different elevations with the building still sitting on something flat. To that end, I've employed my seriously lacking woodworking skills and come up with this:
This is basically done, with the exception of securing the cross pieces and adding a base piece, probably mat board. The cross pieces are off center because they are supporting the road. My plan for the road/sidewalk portion is to carve them into plaster that will be poured over a combination of mat board and foam. Here it is in place:
The buildings will sit in the two holes in the base with the rest of the area taken up by the road and sidewalk. Finally, here is a picture with part of the boarder that will go around the base:
All in all, this should be interesting. I will be shocked if I don't end up having to scrap and start over on at least one part of the groundwork/buildings. I've got a pretty good idea of how to go about everything, but, I am sure there will be pitfalls ahead that I don't anticipate which will lead to having to start over. With finger crossed and help from folks here, I'll get there in the end.
PS. With the change in base, I decided to add a bit to the diorama. The story will stay the same, but, I'll also be using this: