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First tank diorama try

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  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • From: Minnesota, USA
First tank diorama try
Posted by LC34 on Monday, March 05, 2018 2:30 PM

Going to start my first attempt at a diorama using the Tamiya 1/35 Panther A and some Tamiya 1/35 German Panzer Grenadier troops.

Anyone have any tips and tricks for those models or the diorama in itself?  My plan is to do a woods/field edge where the panther is sitting in an ambush position with the infantry moving forward.  

Also was thinking of going with some acrylic paints as I have never used them before as they offer a wider color array and most people use terms like "xf number nato black" etc.  Anyone have any color recommendations for me so I can get the colors ordered sooner as well?

Thanks all for the info and once I start the build process I will put work in progress photos if people are interested in a first timer try.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, March 05, 2018 2:39 PM

Try to find a photograph or multiple that generally illustrate what you have in mind.

Consider upgrading the soldier kit. It's designed to go with the 251, and it's really old.

Mock it up and play with the arrangement. Don't build from a picture in your head.

If this is your first diorama, it's a must that you get a copy of "How To Build Dioramas" by Sheperd Paine. It's an older book, but it covers the basics really well, and his own dioramas are outstanding.

Last point and just my opinion. The way you describe the proposed diorama makes it sound really boring. Try to find a subject within your general idea that makes it more interesting.

Purely as an example and feel free to say, "Well, Bill, your ideas suck":

Here you've got some troops trudging through mud. They are armed with StG 44's which you don't see a lot in dioramas.The tank itself is a command vehicle I think, and your eye goes straight to the commander standing on top of it.

The tank itself is all sloppy, and that's interesting too.

Bill

 

  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • From: Minnesota, USA
Posted by LC34 on Monday, March 05, 2018 2:53 PM

No Bill this is exactly what I was asking for thank you!  Mostly I feel like I might be biting off more than I can chew so that is why I came to post here.  All critism and opinions are great and help me more than anyone can know right now Smile

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, March 05, 2018 3:05 PM

Sketch out your dio to get an idea of the oriantation and general layout. All my dio's start out with a picture in my head, but its always flexable and i will make changes as i build.

Some general things to consider is to keep it balanced but not symetrical. Avoid large empty areas and personally, i don't have anything over hanging the edges of the base.

For your first dio, keep it simple, not all diorama's have to be full on action.

You could buy Sheps book, it has some useful tips.

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

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • From: Minnesota, USA
Posted by LC34 on Monday, March 05, 2018 5:50 PM

Thanks Bish also want to say awesome work on your dios.  They are amazing.  Do you guys recommend acrylics or enamel paints?

I do use a very cheap airbrush, not well mind you, sounds like acrylics are better for that along with the color choices?

All I do know is that my head is full of ideas, I have ordered the book you gentlemen have recommended as well.  Now the waiting game for all the supplies to arrive.  

  • Member since
    January, 2018
Posted by PeterPan on Monday, March 05, 2018 8:26 PM

Research photographs of everything to do with your diorama. The type of tank, soldiers to do with the tank, soldiers in the field, tanks or anything else hidden off the road. Out of a hundred images you may see a snippet that seems inspirational to do or include. The more images you look at the more 'feel' you get for what you want to do.

I research every night on the computer. Looking, looking looking.

Even while building, the diorama is evolving, or becoming in focus in your mind. I am doing my first scenery at the moment. I have an idea of what is involved, but after each step, that idea changes in terms of knowing what to do, or how to approach the next step. It is always evolving, alive, and its characteristics change. If you want a particular charcteristic to be shown, changes may need to be made along the way to keep the changing characteristics aligned to what you wish to portray. I find this part of building a diorama the most challanging and satisfying. It is full-on creativity.

Anyway, that is how I approach it at the moment.

Peter

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 2:17 AM

LC34

Thanks Bish also want to say awesome work on your dios.  They are amazing.  Do you guys recommend acrylics or enamel paints?

I do use a very cheap airbrush, not well mind you, sounds like acrylics are better for that along with the color choices?

All I do know is that my head is full of ideas, I have ordered the book you gentlemen have recommended as well.  Now the waiting game for all the supplies to arrive.  

 

Thanks. I have used enamels for years. I use Xtracolour becuase it is gloss and it comes in the specific paint ranges, RAL, RLM, FS etc. But i am in the porocess of switching to Mr Paint as i am having issues protecting the enamels from the oil washes. I used to use future but switched to Alclad and ever since every kit has had some small area of paint damaged.

My dio's are planned out well in advance, as soon as i get an idea for one, i right it down and draw it out. Over time you will work out what you need, there are lots of things out there that can be used for terrain. As with peter above, my dio's evolve as i build. It one thing having it drawn on paper, it may look different once you can building it up. As long as it sticks to the idea you have don't be afraid to adjust as you go.

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

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 7:46 AM

I too would strongly recommend Shep's book. It's from the '80s and some stuff is out of date but the overall ideas on how to set up the diorama is still relevant. Really, really good advice there. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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