Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

What defines a diorama?

4 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June, 2017
What defines a diorama?
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Sunday, June 03, 2018 8:22 AM

This topic has surly been covered before, but I have not seen it recently.

Last summer I entered an Airfix Dogfight Double kit in a model show. The kit depicts a Pearl Harbor encounter between a Zero and P40 Warhawk. Both birds are displayed in flight, on the kit provided stand. When I was signing in, the show admin asked how I wanted to enter it, as a diorma or as seperate airplanes. I didn't see it as a diorama, so entered it as a two seperate pieces. 

I just ordered a 1/144 Zero kit from Sweet. The kit includes a model of a carrier flight deck, chocks, and tie downs. If I build the model and place it on the base with all the accessories, is it now a diorama?

Does adding ground crew to a Boulton Paul Defiant make it a diorama?

A Fokker Eindecker on a base with static grass- diorama?

  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • From: Cape Town,South Africa
Posted by SafferScale on Sunday, June 03, 2018 10:41 AM

here's how it was explained to me:

a Vehicle base must not have too many accessories on it and it must be relavant to the subject matter.Also nothing must obscure view to the said vehicle ie large tree or wall.the vehicle can be depicted with one driver/pilot OR one ground crew/passenger.Chocks and tie downs are fine.......and the carrier deck is the base so that one should be fine to my knowledge.Basic groundwork like dirt and grass should also be fine

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Sunday, June 03, 2018 10:52 AM
From what I understand IPMS judges define a diorama as a scene that tells a story. So if you have your plane on a grass base with a figure for scale that wouldn't be a diorama but a plane on a grass base with several mechanics working on the engine that would be


  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, June 03, 2018 12:48 PM

I recall once reading that a dio should contain at least 2 figures. But personally i don't agree with that. As long as the scene is telling a story, i think its a dio. Rambo pretty much nails it on the head.

I was at a model show a couple of years back which had an open competition. The dio winner was a vehicle garage with no figures, just a vehicle under repair while my E-100 Jagd dio was put in the armour class. I couldn't figure it out, but as i don't enter comp's i don't worry how the IPMS determine the difference.

'I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so'

On the bench: Dragon 1/72nd Ar 234B-2b

                      Airfix 1/72nd SM.79

  • Member since
    June, 2017
Posted by UnwaryPaladin on Sunday, June 03, 2018 5:12 PM

The condition that it tells a story makes sense. Hopefully not getting too deep into this if I say that it crosses into "art" when it's a dio. An aircraft by itself shows technical skill, but the story portrayed in the diorama pulls in the viewer, evokes emotion.....ok, deep enough!


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.