I have been collecting Scale Vehicles & building scratch built Diorama’s or creating various scenes for over 30 years. I could never find the right building or scenery or the quality product for what I had in mind so I had to learn how to make everything myself & to my standards. I guess that is why people rant & rave over my Diorama’s because they are a step or two above the competition; I have had many requests to display them at various shows & competitions. I am constantly asked how I make them or if I would sell them, so I decided to put up this Blog to help people create there own Diorama’s because everyone has their own tastes & this way you can learn the techniques & gain different ideas but also be involved in creating them just how they want. People collect different scale cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, trains, etc. this way you can make them fit you personally & not have to settle for the cheap imitations on the market today.
What Is a Diorama?
Wikipedia’s definition is; Diorama’s in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum. Dioramas are often built by hobbyists as part of related hobbies such as military vehicle modeling, miniature figure modeling or aircraft modeling.
In this case we are going to refer to them as automotive dioramas, but they can be built to whatever you collect or like. These techniques can be used for any type of diorama from a-z such as military landscapes and buildings for trains, planes and automobiles. Dioramas can range from simple grassy scenes to complete towns set in a particular period of time, such as the 50’s or 60’s with the diner’s and car hops to a drag strip with a lighted Christmas tree and people in the stands. Dioramas can also come in all different materials and qualities they can range from a simple building created out of paper or foam board to metal and wood structures. In this case we are going to focus on quality wood structures anywhere from wood display bases to actual wood siding, oak dowels for log buildings, wood telephone poles, etc. with lines stretched across them & running to the buildings and even lines run for a telephone sitting on the parts counter to air compressor air hoses, this can go as far as your imagination can take you.
In the examples and videos we will focus mainly on one scale (1:24) to keep it simple and less confusing. We will address the different scales and how to calculate the proper sizes for buildings, doors, windows, etc. to fit whatever particular scale interests you and fits with your particular collection. If you are an avid collector or just starting out you need to build quality dioramas as nice as the vehicles you want to display this way they will complement each other and make you proud to show off your collection and have people interested in viewing your displays. Imagine going to purchase your next scale vehicle and already thinking what kind of diorama can I build to make this vehicle really stand out or building a diorama and thinking what scale vehicle should I get to make this look really cool.