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1/350 Scale Aircraft Diorama

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  • Member since
    March 2012
1/350 Scale Aircraft Diorama
Posted by Rdutnell on Saturday, August 16, 2014 10:42 AM

Greetings All!

My name is Russ, and as some of you may know, I have gotten in to making 1/350 and 1/144 scale models, mostly aircraft using AutoCad, and having them 3-D printed.  I have posted, and am posting, WIPs of some of the models elsewhere here on FSM.  Some are completed, some are still in progress.  Some were made in collaboration with Ron, a master at building small scale models.

Knowing that eventually I would need to display the models that I am making, I started thinking about how I was going to do it, and thought immediately of doing a diorama.  This WIP will describe what I have done thus far, and document the process of completing the diorama, which could be a fairly long-term endeavor.   I am not an expert in CAD, by any means, and am relatively inexperienced at modeling, and any pointers, comments or suggestions along the way would be appreciated.

So, my initial thought was to make vignettes to fill a shelf that I have on one of my walls.  I measured the shelf, drew a rectangle with the measured dimensions in a CAD drawing and laid out the 1/350 scale models I had at the time, which included an F-111TACT, two T-38 Talon chase planes, an F-5A Freedom Fighter, and a U-3A Blue Canoe, and added a hangar façade. 


When I was a sophomore in High School, my dad, who was the Air Force representative in a joint project with NASA to put a super-critical wing on an F-111, took me out of school to watch the inaugural test flight at Edwards, AFB.  It was quite an experience and I want to replicate that moment, so I designed it for the F-111 to be just off the deck, one of the T-38s to have the nose gear just lifting off the deck and for the other T-38 to still be completely on the runway.  The U-3A, one of the planes my dad flew in his long career in the AF, will be parked as will the F-5A, which I made because it was a fairly easy conversion from the T-38.


Then I decided to add an F-111A Aardvark, because it too was a fairly easy conversion.  This required moving things around a bit.


Then I decide to add the AC-47 “Puff” that dad flew in Nam.


At this point, I changed my plan completely, abandoned the shelf, and decided to convert my cabinet shelf from a trash collector to a mini- airport of sorts.  I bought a piece of plywood and cut it to fit the space.


I repeated the process as before, developing a somewhat more elaborate layout, with a tower and three hangars.  I also added a LEKTRO tug, positioning it as if it were moving the U-3A.

Next I added a Gulfstream G-IV…

…And thought I would add some raised letters to one of the hangars, welcoming the viewer to Sanctuary Field.

Isn’t that peaceful?  Sanctuary Field.  It sounds like a place where one could get lost in serenity.  But I digress.  It also pays tribute to Ron, who has been very encouraging in my foray into 3-D modeling.  On the other rounded roof hanger I added “R&R Aviation”.

At this point I plotted it out full size to see what it would look like.

I kind of liked it, but realized, only at this point, that the hangar in the upper right hand corner would extend into the runway.  I know that it is just a diorama and not a true layout, but it bugged me, so I redesigned it.  Note that in addition to the markings on the runway, taxi lanes and tarmac, I also added a T-34-Mentor, and moved the tower.


I then went to campus and printed the new layout on glossy poster paper, cut it out, and laid it in place to check it out.

Satisfied with it, I cut out the grass areas and glued the concrete portion in place on the board.


I then used Woodland Scenic Fine Turf, gluing it in place with slightly thinned Elmer’s for the grass areas.

I didn’t do anything to treat the surface, and that turned out to be a mistake, as I noticed after some time that the gray had faded to a light yellowish color.  In the picture below, that looks grayer than it really is, you can see the color it originally was due to smudge marks I made when I glued the poster to the board.  I am pretty certain the fading is due to UV light.


This means that I am going to have to redo it, but apply a UV protective barrier of some sort to protect it.  Since I am going to have to redo it, I decided to modify the design slightly, moving the tower to yet another location.  Note that I also added a U-2R being chased by two El Caminos, a scene I witnessed many years ago at Beale AFB.


That is where things currently stand with regards to the dio base, but I have made progress on other fronts as well.  The University has 3-D printers that students can use for free to print their 3-D models.  The quality of their printers isn’t good enough to print my detailed airplanes, but I thought it might be good enough to print the hangars and tower, and since it was free I decided to try it out.  The results were mixed.  I guess the printer goofed up, so they had to restart it.  The tower printed OK, which was encouraging, but the hangars did not.

After priming them, the tower looks pretty good I think, but the hangars are messed up.  Due to the demand, you have to schedule an appointment to print your parts, so I made another appointment and had them print the other two hangars and a modified top for the tower.  The picture below shows how they appeared after printing.  You can see that there is support material that needs to be removed.


After removing this support material, which was somewhat difficult to do, the new hangars looked pretty good…


…And they look even better after priming.

Because I got good results on the second set of hangars, I scheduled another appointment to redo the initial hangars.  The picture below shows them as they printed.  You can see that they look a lot better than the initial ones and that the support material still hasn’t been removed.  The difference in print quality was the way they aligned the part for printing. 

I have more to report, but that’s enough for now.  Stay tuned for future updates.

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Saturday, August 16, 2014 1:53 PM

UPDATE 1 – 8/16/2014

In my initial post on this project WIP, I focused on what has been done on the base, hangars and tower.  I will turn now to the aircraft.  Fairly detailed descriptions of how I made the U-3A (, T-34 and AC-47 (, and a WIP for the Gulfstream G-IV ( are provided elsewhere on the FSM forum, so I won’t repeat it here.  Nor will I provide a detailed description of the CAD techniques used to design them.  The steps are essentially the same, so I won’t bore you with the details.  If you are interested in the CAD details, go to the links provided above.

The image below shows the difference between the F-111TACT and F-111A.  The airframes are the same, but the wings are drastically different.  The TACT wing is shorter and wider that the A wing and has a curved tailing edge.  The modified wing was designed to reduce drag (and thus increase efficiency) and reduce the “sonic boom” effects of crossing the sound barrier.  The TACT wing was a precursor to the wings found on modern supersonic aircraft.


Although I am making these models for myself, Click2Detail (C2D) is now selling them on line, so I tried to design them to give modelers multiple options on how to display them.  Tabs are included to assure proper positioning of the wings and “Wings Forward” and “Wings Back” versions of both models are available.  The images below show the parts diagrams for the “Wings Back” F-111 models.  The “Wings Forward” versions are essentially the same. 




The picture below shows the parts for the F-111TACT.  They are pretty darn small!

The next two pictures show the F-111A after I had assembled the wings and stabilizers in preparation for priming.



The parts diagram for the T-38 is shown below…

…And a picture of the parts, as I received them from C2D is shown below.

The next two pictures show the F-111’s with a coat of primer on them.  Note the distinct difference in the wings on the two versions.  The pictures also show the primed hangars and the assembled T-38’s before primer.

I have also received the U-2R from C2D.

I am thrilled, because even the detailed antennas “porcupine quills” printed out nicely.


I have also received some models from Admiralty Model Works (AMW) who I am doing some design work in exchange for printing.  The models from AMW, include the AC-47 (minus a prop that I received later)…

…The U-3A (still in the bags I received them in)…


…The two El Caminos (still in the bags I received them in)…

…And the two F-5’s (still in the bags I received them in).

So, that’s where things stand on the project, with one exception.  Earlier I showed a modified top for the tower that I had printed.  This modified top was required because I decided to add a beacon light to the tower.  I found a company (Bakatronics LLC) on-line that makes a “Simulated Airport Beacon Kit”.  (

The kit simulates rotation of White and Green Search Lights.  Quoting from their web site, “When power is applied the micro controller starts a sequence that slowly increases the brightness of a Super Bright 3mm White LED. The slow increase simulates the light beam rotating toward the viewer. The micro processor then flashes the White LED to simulate the light being directly in your line of site, then slowly decrease the brightness to simulate the light beam going away from the viewer. When the White LED is completely off, the same sequence takes place with the Green LED. The white LED is clear in the off state, so by positioning the Green LED directly under the White LED, the White and Green Lights seem to eminate from the same point.”

You can see a video of it at:

The kit itself costs $19.99, but assembly and testing are available for $9.99, and I ordered 9-V battery clip and slide switch, so that with shipping, it cost me $35.65.

 The assembled kit is shown below, and reportedly measures 3/4" wide x 2" long x about 1/2" high.  My current plan is to make a box for it in AutoCAD and print it at OU.  It will fit nicely along the run way and will look good painted with a red and white checkerboard pattern.

As you can see, I still have a long way to go to complete this diorama project.  I’ll post updates, as they occur.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, August 17, 2014 12:51 PM

UPDATE 2 – 8/17/2014

Good Morning,

I stripped the old base off the plywood board yesterday and sanded it in preparation for the new base, as seen below.


I also bought a can of Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating (Matte).  I think I can apply several coats of this, to at least slow the fading down.  I may spray it with several coats of Future, then UV protection, or possibly the other way around..  When I plot it I will include test patches around the outside so I can test various methods before I do it on the real thing. 

As I said in my last post, the circuit board is 3/4" x 2" x 1/2" high.  My initial idea to make a box for it and paint it with a red and white checkerboard pattern won’t work as I thought.  The box would be too big.  Instead, I decided to make an office building, as seen in the images below. 

Here is the new plan view of it.  I should perhaps mention that this diorama is not intended to be completely realistic.  There isn’t enough space.  Instead, the intent is to provide an airport type setting while allowing the display of as many of my 350 scale models as possible.  I think I can probably get 3-5 more models on it (as long as they are small plans).  I’m also considering suspending a couple of 1/144 scale models from the lower shelf above where the base will be, as if in a holding pattern.

The next 2 images show the hangar side of the new building.  I added a draped awning, like ones I remember going through on AFB’s as a kid many years ago.  I also included a flag pole, although I don’t intend to print it.  I will use brass rod.

This image shows it zoomed in.  The picture is old as I have since added a sidewalk connecting the flag pole circle to the sidewalk.

The next image shows the building/circuit board cover from the runway side.  Note that the building includes a back door and that I added a snack area for people to sit and watch the planes take off and land.  I might have to make some tables with umbrellas, at some point, to fill the space.

On the model front, I gave the T-38’s a coat of Krylon ColorMaster Paint + Primer Gloss white.  I think all they will need is a very light second coat, and they will be good to go.


Although it isn’t shown in the pictures, I have also sanded the F-111A, and am preparing to start painting it in camo.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:11 PM


Good Evening Everybody.

As anticipated, I painted the F-111A airframe in camo today.  I used Model Master Acrylic paints including Dark Tan (FS30219), Medium green (FS34102), Dark Green (FS34079), and Flat Black (FS 37038).  I used a pattern found on line and tried to match it as closely as possible, without being anal about it.  I’m not very experienced at modeling, so it’s not the greatest paint job in the world, but I’m fairly happy with it.  I suspect however that I will probably make some touch ups on down the line.


  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Sunday, August 17, 2014 9:01 PM

Man, I'd need a microscope to work that small! Lookin' great!

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Monday, August 18, 2014 9:35 AM

:o)  You are close mississippivol.  I don’t use a microscope, but I do use a magnifying lamp.

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Monday, August 18, 2014 8:40 PM

UPDATE 4 – 8/18/2014

Hi Everybody!

I have had a good evening so far, as I mostly completed the F-111A.  I started by painting the gear and bomb clusters, black and dark green, respectively.  I used the same Model Master’s acrylic, which I like because it goes on smoothly and dries fast.  I painted the clear plastic parts with Future, just dabbing it on, rather than painting.

The assembly was fun and I learned something.  To make my locator tabs, I use spheres, subtracted from one part and joined to the other, the tab being 0.002” less diameter than the recess.  This is the easiest way to do it, but it doesn’t allow for good alignment.  I should have used two of them, or made them using oblong rectangles, so it would force the parts to be straight.  In the pictures below, you can see that one of the bomb clusters is ***-eyed. (I have since fixed it.)

Everything went fairly smoothly for a while.  I started with the windows, beginning with the side attached to the fret.  They were somewhat tricky to get in, and one of the tricks was making sure the tabs were cut cleanly, and that the paint was scraped from the edges.  Through trial and error, I learned that the best way to put them in was to stick an Exacto knife blade into the part on the side facing out.  I could then move it carefully into position, then shift the knife slightly and the part would come off.  After a few tries, I could get it to come off where I wanted it (or close) and nudge it into position.  A dab of super glue filled the spaces, thanks to capillary action, and I soaked up the rest with a paper towel.  This method seemed to work fairly well, so I did the same thing on the airframe side.

The main gear were next, and they fit like a glove, and the bombs went on fairly easily.  Even the crooked one went on nicely.  I’m not sure how it got crooked.

The front gear did not go so well.  I didn’t get the hole it fit in cleaned out enough, I guess, and it was crooked.  In the process of trying to straighten it, I accidently hit the wheels and knocked them off.  No big deal.  I straightened the base and glued it in place.  Then I picked up the wheels with tweezers and was getting ready to attach them to a dab of glue I had ready and TWING. They disappeared.  I felt something hit my arm and heard something hit a plastic bowl.  One of the wheels was by the bowl.  The other one, the one that hit my arm was gone.  30 minutes later, on my hands and knees  with a flashlight, I found it, just as I was about to give up.  After I found them I used the Exacto knife stick trick to easily get them on, and although they are not perfectly straight, you have to look pretty hard to tell.

The camera, with telephoto lens, that I used to take the pictures, really shows my flawed painting.  It looks a lot better in person than the pictures show, but thanks to the pictures I know that I have some touch up painting to do.  There are a lot of holidays, as my dad calls them.

Besides the paint touch ups, all that is left are the decals, which are in the mail.  The last image shows the decal sheet I made for the F-111A, and were printed by Yuuichi Kurakami.

It was a fun model to build.






  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:56 PM

UPDATE 5 – 8/19/2014

Good Evening Everybody!

I printed out the new base for the diorama today.  As before, I printed it on glossy paper, which cost $12.  I then stopped by Michael’s and bought some Scotch Super 77 spray adhesive and glued the print out to the base board.  The process went a lot smoother this time than the last.  I only have one little smudge, and it is definitely glued on better than the last one was.

In order to keep it from fading to light yellow again, I sprayed it heavily with Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating (Matte).  I don’t know if it will work, but it was worth a shot.  The picture below shows it drying after I sprayed it.  Sorry that it is so dark.


While letting the glue dry, before spraying the UV protection, I painted the letters on the hangars. The fact that they were printed raised made this easier, and I am happy with the way they turned out.

On another front, although the office building will house the circuit board for the light beacon, something still needs to be done about the battery, connector and switch.  I decided to build a box for it, that at the moment I plan on storing in the drawer below the display.  I considered attaching it to one of the sides of the dresser, but thought that keeping it in the drawer would minimize the risk of damage when the battery needs changing.

I started by going on line and finding dimensions for a 9-volt battery, the battery connector, and the switch.  These items are shown in red in the following images.  The top was designed to house the connector and it may even be possible to glue it in place within the top.  It was also designed to fit snuggly inside the bottom.  The bottom has a hole in the side for the switch, and a hole in the bottom for the wires to go to the display.  The bottom was made to have 2 sides, one for the battery, and one for a little extra wire to accommodate changing the battery. 

School started back yesterday, so the earliest I could get access to the printer is next Wednesday.   Hopefully I can get these and the office building printed then.

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 7:29 PM


Hi Again Everybody!

I just brought the base back in and put it in its spot.  Of course I had to take pictures.  I don’t know why the “grass” looks gray.  It’s not.  It’s green.  It doesn’t really matter though.  I think I’m going to cover it with green felt, but I haven’t decided yet.  Also, I don’t know what the apparent smudges on the tarmac are.  You can’t see them at all when you look at it, no matter what angle you look from.



  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:52 PM

That's coming along nicely!

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Friday, August 22, 2014 12:37 PM


Thanks mississippivol!  “I’m a likin’ it” (so far) as a mentor of mine would say.  Of course I’m a looong way from finishing it.

I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it this week, but I did mask the F-111TACT in preparation for painting the light gray areas.  After doing that I decided to give it another quick shot of white to seal the tape seams.  Unfortunately, it wrinkled on me, as you can see below.  I suspect it was the heat, as it was almost 100 oF yesterday.  Fortunately, I don’t have to paint the areas that wrinkled, so I just sanded them off, and it should be OK.


I’m trying to decide now how to paint it.  I have some Model Master’s acrylic Aircraft Gray, and I was originally planning on brushing it on, but I am now considering spraying it.  I have an El Cheapo spray gun though, that I have only used for spraying Future, and am not sure how good it will do.  I know if I’m going to spray it that I need to go get some thinner, but I’m a little leery of trying it since I have never used a spray gun to paint models before.  Any suggestions?

On another note, I brushed Future on the canopy parts, but they still aren’t very clear.  I thought about trying to make my own glass bits, but in the end decided to use the parts that came with the kit.  It doesn’t look the greatest, but I’m hoping it will look better when I get the frame bits painted white.  I think if I was doing the CAD work for them again, I would make the canopy one piece, at least for the in-flight version.


Hopefully, I will get to play with it some more tonight.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, August 24, 2014 11:54 AM

UPDATE 8 – 8/24/2014

Good Morning All!

I started the day off with my usual coffee, and decided to work on one of the T-38’s.  I learned real quickly that I didn’t plan the build very well.  I should have put the inner gear doors and speed brakes on before I painted it, possibly the gear too.  The fit of the parts is so tight that I had to spend quite a bit of time scraping the paint out of the recesses so the parts would fit.  Once I got the paint scraped out though, the parts fit like a glove, and the gear nestled in to the recesses nicely so that I didn’t have to worry about alignment.  After assembling them and turning the plane over, it sat level and balanced.  YEAHHH!!!

I had one slight issue, as I learned, once again, that small parts and tweezers don’t mix.  I had cut out the first speed brake, but had inadvertently left a little small bit sticking out.  I used the tweezers to hold it down as I cut it off and then I heard that dreadful “twing” sound, and the part disappeared.  I saw which way it went, and thought I heard it hit something to my left, but after 30 minutes of searching on my hands and knees with a flash light and magnifying glass, I gave up the search.  Luckily it is on the underside of the T-38 still on the deck, and won’t be visible.





Next, I will sand it lightly, mask the windows (that are somewhat lame), and give it one final light coat of paint.

This is fun, even with the fruitless and somewhat frustrating search for the Houdini part.  NO MORE TWEEZERS!


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, August 24, 2014 9:00 PM


Hi All!

Well, I put the second T-38 together, with only one slight issue.  I broke a wheel off the front landing gear.  Fortunately, since the 2nd T-38 will have its nose gear up, and the 1st one has all gear on the deck, I had an extra extended nose gear, so no real harm was done.

After I put it together, I went out and sprayed the undersides of them.  Here my modeling inexperience really showed, as I didn’t mask the windows thinking that as long as they were upside down, nestled in a cloth, they would be OK.  Well they were lame before, now they are partially painted lame.  I’ll have to give some thought on how to best deal with it.  I have several options, but I’m not crazy about any of them.

Anyway, you can see different attitude of the 2 planes due to the slightly different nose gear.  You can also see that I positioned the flaps up on the 2nd one.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, August 24, 2014 9:30 PM


Hi Again All!

I couldn’t help myself.  I had to put the T-38’s in their approximate positions, even though they aren’t completed.  I thought you might be interested in seeing it too.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 5:10 PM



Good Afternoon Guys!

I have a couple of good things happened today.  I had my Battery Case and Office Building printed today, and I received my Beacon Light kit.  The picture below shows the beacon light kit and the parts as they printed.  Today’s color was orange.


I paid the extra $10 for assembly and testing, so I got to try it right away.  I’ve never posted a video to You Tube before, nor have I tried linking one from this site, but if it works, here is a super short video of it.  I kept it short to keep the file size down, but you get the idea.  The light is in the top of the tower, that I had to drill slightly larger with a hand drill to get it to fit.  The light diameter was between drill bit sizes (of course), so the hole is slightly large, but I think gel superglue will do the trick.


The picture below shows a close up of the Office Building, as printed.  I’m not happy with it at all.  I’m going to have to redo it and get it printed on a better machine.  Not only did it not print particularly well, the inside dimensions are slightly too small for the circuit board.  If it looked alright, I could probably sand the sides down enough to fit it in, but the capacitor is slightly taller than the specs I saw on their web site, so it doesn’t quite fit.  I could make a skirt for it if the part printed nicely, but it didn’t.

The battery/switch case is a slightly different matter.  You can see in the image below, taken as it printed, that the battery fits nicely in the case.

I’m glad that I paid the extra $10 for assembly and testing, but as expected, I’m going to have to redo the wiring to fit it to my dio.  Knowing this, I cut the wires from the various components, and assembled the battery/switch box.  Fitting the switch required a little scraping with an Exacto knife, but I was able to get it in so it fits good and snug.  I was going to glue it in place, but that would make it extremely difficult to repair should a wire get pulled loose while changing the battery.

There is one minor issue.  I designed the box for a top with the wires coming out of the clip perpendicular to the battery nodes, and the clip they sent comes out one end.  The box closes snuggly the way it is though, so I’m not going to worry about it.  I don’t need to paint it either, because I think I’m going to put the switch in the top drawer under the display. 


  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 8:15 AM

Gee Whiz!

  Can you do any more gorgeous stuff to make me feel bad . Whatta ,Brain you is got ! He.He. I do like and will continue to follow your work . And I thought 1/700 big ships were hard ?      T.B.

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Saturday, September 6, 2014 7:26 PM


This post ought to make you feel better T.B.  Big Smile

I haven’t gotten a lot done on the diorama, but I did get the decals on the F-111A’s.  They went on real smoothly, and after they dried I applied MicroSol to them.  Even though the tail letters on the port side were damaged slightly, and the stripe slopes down, I’m fairly happy with them



I also painted the noses of the T-38’s black and their exhaust pipes silver, had let them dry and was preparing to put the decals on them when a minor disaster struck.  The models were on my work table behind my desk, where I was working on my computer, when my wife called urgently.  When I spun my chair around to go see what the problem was, I knocked my half full coffee cup over on top of them.  Needless to say it was not a pleasant scene, with my wife calling for me while I frantically cleaned up coffee, which I had mostly cleaned up before I noticed the carnage.  One of the T-38’s was only missing a front wheel.  The other one suffered more serious damage, as you can see in the pictures below.  Two of the three wheels were broken off and the top of the tail fin was gone.  While searching for the parts, I found the nose gear for the less damaged model floating on a small pool of coffee I had missed.  I never found the tail or other wheels.  I imagine that they went into the trash with coffee soaked paper towels. 

I was able to put the wheel back on the less damaged model, but the other one just became the first member of my Bone Yards.

Oh… And 1/700 big ships are hard!


  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Posted by m1garand on Sunday, September 7, 2014 8:45 PM

That's just simply amazing!  

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:52 PM


Thanks m1!

I haven’t spent much time on the diorama in the last couple of weeks, but I did just put the decals on the surviving T-38.  I still need to brush Microsol on them and paint the engine intake areas black.  I’m also going to put a new nose gear assembly on it when it arrives, but I wanted to see how the decals would look, so I went ahead and did them.  I’m pretty happy with them.



  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Monday, September 29, 2014 3:57 PM


Hi Everybody,

I’ve made slow progress on the diorama, although perhaps not as much as I would like.  Still, some progress is better than no progress.  The images below show the almost completed G-IV in position on the dio to be.



  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, September 29, 2014 4:29 PM

Now this is some amazing work and a brilliant idea. Will be sure to keep an eye on this.

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

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Thursday, October 2, 2014 10:52 AM


Thanks Bish!

I’ve made a start on another “scene” of the dio.  I partially assembled the U-2R and first sprayed a coat of Future on it followed by a coat of Rust-Oleum flat black.  Next, I will sand it and give it another coat.  I also brushed on 2 coats of Modelmaster’s “Ensign Blue” enamel on the chase El Caminos, and a coat of Testor’s gloss black enamel on their wheels.  The El Caminos are TINY!  Putting the wheels on is going to be a challenge.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Thursday, October 2, 2014 5:31 PM


Hi again everybody!

I had some time to kill this afternoon, so I put the wheels on the El Caminos.  It went way smoother than I thought it would.  I only lost one.  Fortunately I had several spares.  You might notice that the alert beacon in the back of one of them is missing.  It printed OK, but I think I knocked it off when I unpacked it.  I still have it, but I think it would be near impossible to get it back on.  I guess we’ll see.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Saturday, January 31, 2015 2:01 PM

Greetings All!

It has been a while since my last update, but I haven’t had anything to report, as I have been waiting to get the office building/circuit board holder printed.  It’s a long story, but I finally had C2D print it, along with some tables (with umbrellas) I made.  For the most part, I’m pretty happy with the way everything turned out.  The only real issue I had was that the supports for the front door awning.  The outer most ones are gone and the inner ones are warped.  I should have over sized them more and used a larger diameter, but I can easily use styrene or brass rods to replace them. 

The circuit board fits perfectly,…

…So now it’s time to drill out the base board and do the wiring for the beacon light.

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Saturday, January 31, 2015 11:03 PM

Hi again guys,

I drilled the necessary holes and did the wiring for the beacon light.  I did it wrong the first time and had to redo it, but it’s working good now, as you can see below.  I also glued the hangars and tower in place, adding posts to the hangars in the form of ¼” styrene tubing, which went in holes drilled in the base.  The office building is just sitting there and I'll start the painting process on it tomorrow.

Click here to play this video

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, February 1, 2015 12:37 PM

UPDATE 18 – 2/1/2015

Hi All,

I glued the G-IV in position on the dio, as seen in the following two images.  I don’t plan on gluing planes on, unless I have to.  The G-IV was back heavy, and wouldn’t lay flat.  I’ll have to glue the U-2 on, since I am displaying it on the runway after landing.  They didn’t have wing gear, and I doubt it will stand up by itself.  And of course, I’m going to have to glue the F-111TACT and one of the T-38’s on, since they will be at least partially in-flight.

After taking the pictures, I realized that I should probably dull coat the base, because even though it’s kind of cool to see the slight reflection of the model on the ground, it’s not very realistic.  I used only a small dab of superglue to attach it, so I can always take it off if I decide to do it. 

I gave the office building and tables a Future dunk and am waiting for them to dry so I can prime and paint them.  The image bellow shows the circuit board without the office building covering it.  It is upside down because I had already designed the office building to house it based on the dimensions on the internet, and there wasn’t room for the wires.  The board is so light though, that it is support by the wires connecting it to the light. 


  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Monday, February 2, 2015 2:56 PM

Hey ! That's neat  

.I liked your G-1V . Are you gonna do a Falcon 10 or 20 in natural metal ? Ya know for when I landed at Sanctuary field ta get gas ? L.O.L.   I flew unmarked ( temp markings . ) Falcons from Orly to the States for Falcon of North America many yearens ago. The only thing finished inside was the ferry cockpit .

  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 12:27 PM

UPDATE 19 – 2/3/2015

Thanks tankerbuilder! 

I hadn’t thought about doing a Falcon, but it isn’t out of the question.

With the tower wired and working, it was time to start building some of my models for the dio.  I completed the U-2 and the El Caminos, although in the process of taking these pictures I realized that the tail decals separated from the surface in places, so I redid I, but I’m going to redo it again, because it has been recommended that I spray a coat of glosscoat, or even future on it, before applying the decals, followed by a coat of dullcoat.

The last picture shows the models in their spots on the dio.  I was initially going to display the U-2 still beating it down the runway and the El Caminos in hot pursuit, but when I put it in position, I started thinking that it may be better to have it as if it just came to a stop and toppled to one , with the El Caminos close in.  This will prevent me from having to glue it in place, which, at least for the time being, I would like to avoid doing as much as possible.  If I ever get around to putting people on it, I could have airmen putting the pogos in place.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Sunday, February 8, 2015 3:18 PM


Hi Again Everybody!

I’m continuing to make progress on my diorama.  I painted the black bit on the nose of the F-111TACT.  I thought about trying to make a template, but in the end I did it by hand.  As you can see, the left side came out better than the right side, which is no surprise since the plan was for the right side to be facing the viewer.  Even so, it looks pretty good with the naked eye.

I also painted the tables.  The tables themselves are white (at the moment although I’m considering painting them grey) the umbrellas are red and the umbrella poles are silver.


  • Member since
    March 2012
Posted by Rdutnell on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 9:16 AM


Good Morning All!

I redid the decals on the U-2, following the advice I received from a fellow modeler, with much more experience than myself.  I first removed the decals and sprayed the model with Future.  When it dried, I applied the decals, and when they dried, I sprayed it with Dullcoat.  I think it looks better.

I also painted the Office Building, using 3 coats of white Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer, with a light sanding between coats.  The window frames, back door (I forgot the front door) and awning were painted with dark blue Model Master’s Acrylic.  I still have some touch ups and the front door to do, and of course, the nickels are only temporary.  Smile




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