March 15, 2011
Use Technology To Improve
Your Scratch Building Projects
Another Ides of March has arrived and still no sense of foreboding felt the Romans who triggered the phrase as a warning to Caesar from soothsayers who apparently knew something he didn’t.
It is probably a time we all wish we had a soothsayer.
But having pre-knowledge of the results is not always favorable in the world of scale modeling. If we knew a project was doomed from the start, would we ever start it? Scratch building is a good case in point. We need the sense of adventure which comes from knowing we don’t know exactly how a structure or vehicle model is going to go together.
Many times when I am involved in a structure build there is a hankering towards trying to find a set of plans but the idea of modeling without a safety net soon wins out.
I find building structures the way I wish gives me the opportunity to push the envelope in design making each project unique.
This is my version of the Downtown Deco "Rescue Misson" which will be featured on the Diorama underway in the article below.
Diorama Building To Fit
Planning a diorama takes into account a lot more than an assessment of your existing completed models that happen to fit the same scale.
Your Creative Budget
First, you need a concept, a central idea for the diorama’s creation, how and where it is to be displayed and if you have the available space. About this time, you want to come up with a theme that will allow you to put in days, even weeks to complete your miniature scene.
Once you have nailed down the space requirement and have formatted an idea of how you want to present its theme, it is time to come up with the models you will use and map out the scene.
So how does this fit real life? Funny you should ask because I just started my latest diorama and the planning is still fresh in my mind. I wanted something different. Maybe not original, but something not easily Googled.
Google “Lazy Susan Diorama” and you won’t come up with 100 hits, not even 25. I have a small space which provides only one viewing angle, so being able to spin the base makes sense.
I chose for my subject, “The Other Side of the Tracks” to help remind myself and others who happen to view this scene that there is a harmony to be found that allows for education and understanding by dignifying those who are perhaps at their worst, yet have learned to cope.
“There but for the Grace of God…”
Another element of my project involves design. A lazy susan diorama doesn’t have a back where to can stash you mistakes. It has to make sense when viewed from any angle. That brings into play a design maxim I had almost forgotten, “Think in terms of three”.
Taking in the scene as a whole, there needs to be a sense of order other than modeling three buildings and calling them one, two and three. There needs to be a pecking order which allows the viewer to get a sense of poverty without having to tour a slum area.