Dioramas scare me.
At least the good ones do.The kind that look realistic, ones I can't imagine ever doing as well.
More to the point, diorama builders who're good scare me.
Guys like Glenn Bartolotti. So I'm glad to know he's telling the secrets about how he achieves his superb dioramas in a series of step-by-step tutorials you can purchase for just under a buck.
what you get
Who can't afford 99 cents for a downloadable PDF file comprising 16 color photos of how Glenn turned the AFV Club Sd.Kfz. 11 Late Version into an abandoned wreck in the Falaise Pocket.
The problem with many books about dioramas is that they're expensive, and you usually end up with a lot of information you can't use, either scenarios you'll never build, or ones that don't apply to your kits or plans.
The brilliance of Glenn Bartolotti's "Step-by-Step" series is you only buy what you need or want. And while I don't plan on building an abandoned Sd.Kfz. 11 in the Falaise Pocket, the techniques in this nifty little tutorial will work in my planned diorama of a British Firefly and Universal Carrier somewhere on the outskirts of Caen in 1944.
I've reviewed another "Step-by-Step" Guide by Glenn
, and one feature I like about them is the way he places the vehicle in an historical context, in this case giving us a one-page overview of the debacle of the Falaise Pocket where the Germans lost upwards of 100,000 men and enormous amounts of equipment, either abandoned outright or destroyed by the Allied air superiority. The projects the Falaise Pocket can inspire would keep an army of modelers busy for the next 20 years.
After the history, the guide gets down to business showing how to construct a base over Styrofoam, add ground texture with tile grout and white glue, color, "grass" from railroad layouts, and other natural features. The materials are all easily-acquired from paint supply houses, artist suppliers or craft stores, and the techniques are direct enough that anyone can pick them up.
If there's any downside to the series, it's they are often of very simple subjects, so more-advanced modelers may feel these techniques are too basic.
For the money, you simply can't go wrong. And with more and more of these guides coming out, it's impossible to imagine at least a few of them would not be of help to all but the most-experienced modeler.
Our thanks to Glenn Bartolotti for providing this review copy. When ordering, please be sure to mention you saw it reviewed here on Armorama.