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Medieval Diorama

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  • Member since
    August 2021
Medieval Diorama
Posted by Tim's Corner on Friday, September 3, 2021 8:04 PM

Hi all,

Im currently working on a roughly 20"x20" diorama that will have a bridge going over a little stream/river. The bridge will be leading to a stone block toll tower/house, which I'm still thinking on how I'd like to build. I have two main ideas, my favorite one first:

1: cut a piece of wood the size/shape of my tower, and then coat it in either joint compound or sculptamold. Carve out the lines with hobby knife, then paint, wash, etc.

2: cast a bunch of sculptamold bricks, and build that bad boy brick by brick. Then paint, wash, etc.

I like number 1 as it seems to make more sense to me regarding time usage, and just general ease of obtaining those materials (it helps to be a carpenter!). Can you guys think of any issues with that, or anything to be aware of ahead of time? 

 

Thanks!

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, September 3, 2021 10:52 PM

A couple of questions.

What is the scale? That matters as to several pieces vs. lots of pieces.

Location, era, newness of structure in it's time,

 

Sounds interesting for you.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, September 4, 2021 4:25 AM

Tim's Corner
I like number 1 as it seems to make more sense to me regarding time usage, and just general ease of obtaining those materials (it helps to be a carpenter!).

I'd also be inclined to go for option 1.  It's simpler, easier to control, and doesn't involve faffing about with moulds (something I always have difficulty with).  However, I'm also a woodworker, so maybe we just think alikeSmile

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by Tim's Corner on Saturday, September 4, 2021 6:44 AM

GMorrison

A couple of questions.

What is the scale? That matters as to several pieces vs. lots of pieces.

Location, era, newness of structure in it's time,

 

Sounds interesting for you.

 

Bill

 

 

Hi Bill, the scale is 1/56 as I will be using tabletop game models as guards and traveling peasants. So there will likely be 8-10 characters, the tower, and a bridge as the main attractions as it were. The tower itself I will be making about 2 1/2 inches tall, and about half as wide, so pretty small.

Ill be an older structure - I'm going to model it as being a century or two old.

 

Thanks!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by Tim's Corner on Saturday, September 4, 2021 6:46 AM

Hutch6390

 

 
Tim's Corner
I like number 1 as it seems to make more sense to me regarding time usage, and just general ease of obtaining those materials (it helps to be a carpenter!).

 

I'd also be inclined to go for option 1.  It's simpler, easier to control, and doesn't involve faffing about with moulds (something I always have difficulty with).  However, I'm also a woodworker, so maybe we just think alikeSmile

 

Hutch6390

 

 
Tim's Corner
I like number 1 as it seems to make more sense to me regarding time usage, and just general ease of obtaining those materials (it helps to be a carpenter!).

 

I'd also be inclined to go for option 1.  It's simpler, easier to control, and doesn't involve faffing about with moulds (something I always have difficulty with).  However, I'm also a woodworker, so maybe we just think alikeSmile

 

 

Those were exactly my thoughts as well! I don't mind molds, but along with all of the reasons you stated above, I would need to buy more stuff, while just using wood/compound would cost me nothing but time.

 

Thanks!

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Saturday, September 4, 2021 8:39 AM

Hutch6390

 

 
Tim's Corner
I like number 1 as it seems to make more sense to me regarding time usage, and just general ease of obtaining those materials (it helps to be a carpenter!).

 

I'd also be inclined to go for option 1.  It's simpler, easier to control, and doesn't involve faffing about with moulds (something I always have difficulty with).  However, I'm also a woodworker, so maybe we just think alikeSmile

 

Ditto

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, September 4, 2021 1:20 PM

Method one is probably your best bet, as method two is better at very large scales (like 1/24 or larger)

If using wood, I'd used a nice stiff basswood of soft mushy balsa.

No, as an option, there is "foamcore" a posterboard material with two sheets of high-gloss paper over an extruded foam core.  This material is used for presentation boards and matting.  It's inexpensive, and has the benefit of being very light, and easy to cut.

Another option is to find hgih density foam sheets.  These have an advantage of being super light, and can be carved upon directly to get stone patterns.  It can be sut with sharp knikes or a hot wire cutter.

So, many options out there.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, September 4, 2021 3:31 PM

Hello!

I'd say go with your method one, just take a piece of styrofoam instead of wood. Wood can be mean sometimes - warping, cracking and stuff.

I already made my tower this way, if you'd like to check it out I described it here:

http://www.vietnam.net.pl/M55mod3en.htm

Hope it helps - good luck with your projects and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Saturday, September 4, 2021 6:44 PM

You might try a quick, cheap, and dirty mock-up of both and see which one works best for you before starting in earnest on the real thing. 

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

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, September 4, 2021 10:48 PM

And further to what Gams said- its always a good idea to build a model of your diorama to get everything positioned, make decisions about what's in and what's out, and point of view set.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Saturday, September 4, 2021 11:34 PM

I would go for No.1. Moulds will be a PIA in this scale. As Pawel suggests, you can also use styrofoam. I used this for a building in a diorama many years ago and it has stood the test of time.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by Tim's Corner on Sunday, September 5, 2021 12:11 PM

This is awesome - thank you all for the suggestions. I have thought about using high density foam, and I still may do so, but I think I will start off by testing the wood and joint compound option (option1) after reading through everyone's replies, simply because I have way more than enough of both on hand. I have some old Doug fir that has been well acclimated to where I will be, and I'm thinking if I paint the wood first as well, it will help prevent cracking/warping, etc. 

I'll test it out and see what happens - worst comes to worse, all I wasted was some timeBig Smile

Im videotaping the entire diorama build, and I'll put it up here for you guys when I'm done to let you know the results...!

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, September 5, 2021 5:58 PM

Good luck TC, looking forward to seeing your dio.

Cheers

Ferg

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

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