Learn How To Make Quality, Scratch-Built Dioramas

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Other Projects That I Have Created That I May Introduce In The Future

I have also made the following;

Indoor car showrooms completely enclosed in acrylic with sliding roofs to access the displays, I also made the counters, juke box, TV, radio, etc.

Diorama Show Room-01

Hanging wall cabinets in different sizes with a sliding glass front panel for accessing the cabinet, I made them to highlight different scale vehicles (one cabinet is for displaying nothing but engines including Harley engines). I went to a scale vehicle show to sell some excess inventory & the vendor right next to us talked me into selling him my display cabinet before the show had even opened.

Diorama Show Room-02

Various scene displays on a multi shelf display, I like to create different scenes when displaying my scale vehicles anything from a car show in the park on the grass, to fall colors with the multi color leaves, to a winter scene with snowmobiles & an ice skating rink, to a garage scene repairing vehicles including a vehicle on a lift getting an oil change.

Diorama Display Case - Gas Pump-01

I have also scratch build 50’s style gas pump cabinets which have lighting inside & a lighted vintage style globe on the top with mirrors inside & on the bottom to highlight the scale vehicles. These cabinets also have real gas pump handles & hoses along with the old style cranks that use to be for resetting the display numbers.

Diorama Display Case - Gas Pump-02

I customized an old Timex watch cabinet that carousels at the push of a button & has a vintage style lighted globe on the top along with lights inside to highlight the scale vehicles.

Diorama Diecast Corvette Lamp-01

I make or customize everything because I can not find it on the market or the quality is so poor that I wouldn’t use it for fire wood.

Diorama Diecast COE with VW Lamp-01

I have made desk lamps out of diecast vehicles, engines, gas pumps, motorcycles, oil cans, etc. The engines & pickup trucks double as business card holders.

Diorama Diecast Engine Lamp-01

I also customize scale vehicles, everything from stretching frames on semi’s & adding a 3rd or 4th axle, to COE’s made into a fifth wheeler with a sleeper. Custom school buses, real wood flooring or beds, swapping cabs, suspension upgrades to swapping parts to improve the looks of a scale vehicle. I may even customize a vehicle to fit a certain era for a diorama scene or just change the wheels & tires to fit into that time period I am trying to highlight.

Diorama Accessory Boxes

I create boxes for supplies, parts, food, etc. to go with the dioramas, print them on different color and texture papers so they look like they did back in the day. Everything from AC Spark Plugs to Zoomie exhaust, pizza and donut boxes, antifreeze, and even replacement car parts.

Coleman cooler, magazine & repair manuals, fan belt sleeves, signage for free standing and walls, clocks, calendars, juke boxes, TV’s and radios. If I think of something that will enhance my diorama scene I create it, remember it’s all in the details.

I created these characters called Lil’ Locals that I may introduce to you in the future. Actually Joey & Christina are in some of the diorama picture scenery. Joey is the kid in a red sweatshirt on the cell phone & Christina is the girl in the pink bikini. I didn’t create these for diorama scenes I created them as a collectable & conversation piece. They are actually kind of caricatures of people you may know or are in your own family with their own unique look and personality.

In the future I may get into some of these other areas but for now lets learn everything we can about building dioramas & have some fun doing it.

How To Make A Diorama .com


Now that you have the correct scale size and pattern of what you want to build make yourself a cutout pattern that you can use in cutting your materials. Cut the actual doors & windows out of the pattern in a piece of card stock. Cut these pieces to the exact sizes & shapes that [...]

Once you have figured out what scale you what to build the best thing to do is make a mock-up of it, this will save you from wasting money in the future & makes sure that what you are building is to the scale & size proportions to what you want to display with it. [...]

The best way to get started building quality dioramas is to have the proper tools, you don’t need all the tools to get started you acquire them as you go along & as you realize what you need. In this build I used basic tools & materials. 1/16” Hardboard for side/end walls & roof, wood [...]

I made this Vintage Style Building we’ll call it an Old Storage Building. It would be an old building you would have seen by the roadside years ago that may have been used to store small equipment, the old tractor, farming equipment, etc. These old buildings now quiet often are where people store their restored [...]

You can also photograph your dioramas for magazine articles, if done properly they can look so life like that people won’t believe that the photo is something you actually scratch built by hand. I would normally address this about photographing later on but some of you may want to photograph the process while you are [...]

We will also turn you on to places that specialize in accessories, figures, lighting, scaling, siding, roof materials, etc. everything from what to use to create a muddy junkyard to an LED light that flashes to make it look like someone is actually welding. So let your mind wonder be inspired and enjoy the ride, [...]

You can also use your diorama to display your scale vehicle at a contest which will give you the advantage over the people who just display their vehicles sitting on the table. Just remember some contests have size restrictions so keep this in mind if that is the direction you decide to go with your [...]

Most of the example dioramas will be built on a ½” thick piece of good quality plywood cut to a size of 22” deep by 38” wide. For space reasons I use a metal shelving unit on wheels to display some of my dioramas and this size fits nicely on the shelving unit, you will [...]

Scratch building has been described by many diorama builders as the ultimate in creating their vision of how things should layout & look. For these builders there is a great deal of pleasure that comes with the completion of each house, dealership, store, garage, factory or any other building that ends up on their diorama. [...]

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 [...]

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