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Dioramas: Buildings & Ruins
Ruined buildings and city scenes.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Somewhere North
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 02:17 AM UTC
Yep,you just can't beat those outdoor pics ! That is yet another giant and yet still detailed dio from you. Looks super!
So now we wait for the next spectacular build to unfold !!
J
strongarden
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 01:59 AM UTC
Nick I'm just in awe!
The outdoor lighting is superior, IMHO, and as it happens a natural light source highlights everything, even the flaws and imperfections. But I fail to notice any w/ your dios. Everything seems balanced and easy to follow. Brilliant stuff man!

To consider that, just for example w/ the figures each individual unit had to be: the pose thought out, parts cobbled together, assembled, tweaked, filled, primed, touched up, painted, blended, wash rinse repeat etc etc over and over, then carefully positioned in the scene w/ consideration to other objects and figures. Really quite inspiring for me as well, as I always enjoy medium to large to ex-large dioramas full of goodies.
And these should be in published form, Zon is right about that.


Sincerely
Dave
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 - 05:55 AM UTC
Hi guys -- thanks for taking some time to leave some good words. I'm glad I tried a bit harder to get some better images of this - - it took a lot of time to get it together!

Hi Peter - you know, I think these and I suppose most projects require some balance - between some good, high quality parts in key places, and if not used everywhere, some time and effort spent to get the other less fancy - to "demonstrate convincing realism" - I like that phrase. To Peter's root point - I'd go broke if ALL of the parts were coming as - is from shops - the scratch work is fun to do, and saves on the money!

Dave! - hi, it's been a while - nice to hear from you and thanks!

Hi Zon - thanks for the nice words - they're appreciated! As for writing a book...well - this is strictly a hobby - being done in order to avoid deadlines and work responsibility - lol -

HI Nacho - thanks - yeah - it would have been pretty disappointing to not be able to figure out how to take some decent pics of this build!

Hi Cheyenne - ha! yes - that bee - another of the surprises that comes from outdoor pics - ha ha -

Hi Tim - ha- the "drone" lol - yep - that not to scale bee - looks like a prop from a sci fi movie! lol

Hi John - thanks for taking a minute to drop by - - I appreciate your positive words very much! thanks

Hi Gino and Matt - yes -the truck - Matt's right - it is either a Fujimi or Aoshima 1/32 I modified:





As you can see above, I cut the drive axle portion of the chassis off, and inserted another drive axle, scratch built the chassis filler and, miraculously, was able to keep all six wheels touching the ground- The trailer was part of a Takom combo kit - I dint use the tractor because I never once saw a pic of it in region - hence, the commercial hauler.

HLJ usually keeps a good collection of 1/32 trucks - As I knew I was going to be cutting and reworking the appearance etc of the kit didn't matter too much

thanks for having a look -

cheers
Nick



matt
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New York, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 08:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It looks awesome Nick. Great job. Whad did you use for the tractor hauling the tank transporter?



My guess is one of the 1/32 scale Fujimi or Aoshima offerings....
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 07:35 PM UTC
It looks awesome Nick. Great job. Whad did you use for the tractor hauling the tank transporter?
white4doc
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Massachusetts, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 07:02 PM UTC
Great work, Nick! Another really huge effort on your part and it shows, Brother. Congratulations on another masterpiece, man.
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 06:26 PM UTC
Hey Nick, having only just recovered my equilibrium after you posted the previous batch of stunners Iím back on the floor with this latest batch Ė mercy, gimme a break! Iím with Zon, whenís the book coming out?

I think the tweeting guy just misunderstood an order to find the biggest drone around.

Anyhoo howís not-Blade Runner going?
cheyenne
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 04:27 PM UTC
Beautiful work Nick !!!
Just amazing details on all aspects of the build .
How much did you have to pay the bee ? ........... such a cool coincidence while photoing , unless it's the bee pin off a bottle of Barenjager .
SF-07-18D
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Madrid, Spain / EspaŮa
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 04:05 PM UTC
You got it Nick!!!!
zontar
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Hawaii, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 11:22 AM UTC
Really great work, Nick. You should really consider publishing a book of your work. I'd buy it for sure.

Happy Modeling,
Zon
ahandykindaguy
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 05:41 AM UTC
You just keep knockin em outta the park Stick!!! Fabulous work... Iíd take all your shots outside from now on! They always fool my eye, every time...

Way to go Nick.

Trisaw
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 04:52 AM UTC
Ah, proof that you can build amazing and expansive dioramas without a huge price tag! Those sound like wonderful discounts you got.

Thanks for the explanations, Nick! Great work!
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 - 03:09 AM UTC
HI guys - thanks for taking a few minutes

Hi Kurt and Charles - yes guys - two model builders who really inspire me! always pushing into new territory - thanks for the words - I appreciate them!

Hi Peter -

First, thanks!

I've seen you refer to "wealthy" before - I'm not sure of exactly what that means - whether it means the expense of money or time!
I'm guilty of the latter! I not sure if a full on build necessarily equates to gross expense...there are ways to do this so that you don't break the bank - at least not all at once!

If you go back through my old posts you'll see a fair amount of scratch building (and the HMMWVs above...on sale for $11 each...I purchased several!) - two of the T-55s here didn't start life with the ERA bricks - In this case they are made from evergreen, surprisingly inexpensive voyager etch bricks (cheap but a pain to build!) and so on....It's not at all beneath me to hold out for a good sale, or be willing to wait for something to arrive when it arrives via foreign courier....

Same for the dios - while there is lots and lots going on, it's mostly just raw materials being adapted - basswood, aluminum tubing, brass rods, evergreen, metal wire and materials from the art store, and generally not too expensive.

As for really big builds, like Bladerunner....I began collecting all sorts of parts, including figures well in advance - and happily, as it is a weird subject, all the $6 "discount resin figures!!!" became really attractive - and I purchased them - maybe only one or two at a time....

This might sound really weird but I also buy interesting looking PE sets when I see them on sale - the subject just doesn't matter. What's useful is the "box", "bracket" "mount" etc that aber, eduard, or voyager has thoughtfully crafted and I can get for cheap and use for something else...Turns out our pal Matt does the same...for the same reasons.

Hi Marcos - thanks the note - right back at you! I really like you work and always look for your builds!

OK - I did go out and try again - and here are the results - some better, others about the same, and few pretty funny:



Wow! how about that skyline!! beauty!

and without:



what?? = it's a backdrop??!! yes, a piece of reflective cardboard glued on another piece of cardboard - it does seem to basically work - except - I'd need a 36" x 42" at least to make it work...nah...nope - just too much of a hassle. But - I am pleased to see the concept works.

And back to the normal setting...:









Above - the fundamental reasons for at least trying outdoor pics - nice color, clarity etc...below, the little steps really show - I like the "remaining" bolt heads sticking out of the fender skirt where the rubber skirt was torn off:



I'm sure these can be seen with indoor pics, but I like the look out doors - even the dried mud in the fender looks good...



Uhh....this guy must be tweeting out something pretty important as he evidently didn't notice the GIANT bee on his shoulder!! hahaha





Above - still not a great pic...bad angle and whatnot, but I like the look of the guy on the left...








above a less than $20 afv, and home mad bar armor....not a bad deal...











and..back inside:






OK guys - thanks for having a look - this time, I'm calling it done!

Cheers
NIck







zorrolobo
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Distrito Federal, Mexico
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Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 11:27 PM UTC
I love your work. Really inspiring.
Trisaw
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California, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 10:21 PM UTC
Wow, those look astounding!

You're perhaps one of the "wealthiest" North American modelers I know who builds these kinds of "all in" dioramas. You really don't skimp on anything. I've often see that philosophy applied with overseas modelers.
ti
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Dalarnas, Sweden
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Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 04:33 PM UTC
You never disappoint Nick. you are a true inspiration to us all, mostly me. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work with us to drool over....I'm not worthy!!!!!
kurnuy
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West-Vlaaderen, Belgium
Joined: August 22, 2009
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 11:00 PM UTC
Really impressive work Nick , over and over again . Nice pictures too and everything else ...... '' The Nick Twist ''

Kurt
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 10:37 AM UTC
Hi Jerry, Nacho, and Mark -

Jerry - thanks - that build with all the grass - I like it too, although, I must have planted at least hundreds of grass clumps! The simple backdrop worked pretty well - the rainy day helped too.

Hi Nacho - thanks, yes - the green - I agree with you, if it's shown just as green, and you generally can't see leafs, it can look pretty good. I've been watching your hillside work too - that is a very challenging build!! You're doing a great job on it!

Hi Mark - thanks for taking a minute to leave the nice words!

Back to the current project. I am going to try and figure out a different way to take pics of it. I'll try and set up some sort of backdrop - but - who knows what pattern/color/surface to try? It seems it might want to include some level of surface texture along the base - maybe glue on some concrete columns, rebar, and rubble? Paint the lower level debris colors, then something for sky - I'm wondering about air brushing a shade of blue over a reflective surface - to reflect the real sky beyond? That way avoid having to try to match the color of real blue sky? So - that will be this weekend's project.

Thanks for checking it out -
Nick
YSUMark
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 07:26 AM UTC
That's some great stuff right there.
SF-07-18D
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Madrid, Spain / EspaŮa
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 03:09 AM UTC
I really like these pics. The dio pics are really convincing, no matter the green bushes in the background. In fact, I like it. Be proud of these shots

As J said, I'm sure you will find a way, your way!
jrutman
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 02:36 AM UTC
The last group of pics in the grass are the best in my opinion and several shots almost COMPLETELY fool the eye. Since that is what we all aim to do with miniatures I would be quite proud if I was you. You guy looking through the tall grass--Brilliant !
I have no doubt you will find a way brother,
J
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 01:12 AM UTC
Hi Nacho, Jerry, Cheyenne, and Tim,

Thanks for the words, and the interesting conversation - It appears we all wrestle with exactly how we go about presenting our projects.

I'm a big fan of outdoor lighting - and sometimes find great results, or, as in this case sometimes less great - lol -

As I pondered your thoughts and observations - I thought about how I've photographed projects throughout my time posting here. I think the results are pretty interesting - Modest to pretty fancy - please take a look, starting with modest:





Above might be the only indoor image I'll include - the somewhat bleak white background might actually contribute to the bleak situation these guys in their broken T-34 are in....

Let there be light:





My dad is a Buick "nut"..haha - so I've built him a few - I like these two - pretty straight forward - the backdrop is a concrete wall - I like the shadow cast by the small maple tree, and the tone...






I include the above - because you can see the building in the background - but it doesn't seem to take away from the image that much - almost unnoticed...?



Above - I've always liked this one - the backdrop is just cardboard - I seem to have lucked out with the color tones and shadows....no, I didn't post this one on Armorama - haha -but, yes, it now resides with my dad...



I usually don't like strictly "air" photos...the wet concrete tho seems to let the one above work for me...



Above, another aerial I'm ok with - maybe the subject matter?

Now - on to some dios with all sorts of outdoor conditions:




Even with the bushes in the background, there's enough going on in the foreground, that I think it's fine -



Same above - the bushes are there, but just green...



above, the obvious benefit of a blue sky - no distractions!



above, I tried to erase some of the bushes in the distance, only OK - it looks just OK to me....



These fellows in the foreground are "strong" enough that i dont even really notice the background....



Our old friend Romain made and painted this soldier for me - the outdoor truly lets him shine!!



Above - this is a good build - but, has a very low middle ground - and is next to impossible to photograph outdoors! really a bummer!

Below - this has next to nothing vertical in the middle ground, so I built a backdrop. the good news is some images are pretty nice - the better news is I was VERY lucky with the circumstance - these were taken on a gray rainy day - first, some good results:









Notice the rain on the windshield above - wow! lucky me!

Now - a few less great:



above - same everything - looks weird to me...



Above - almost there, but not quite right....



This one reminds me of some of the earlier images - so much going on in the foreground, that the background fades away.

So - I think I've convinced myself to take more pictures of this project - there simply has to be a way to get more of what's there out!

Cheers and thanks for looking

Nick

cheyenne
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 05:18 PM UTC
Tim , you're absolutely right , no substitute for natural lighting .
Mock backdrops are sometimes very cool for indoor shoots .

With todays tv screens [ led ] the sun doesn't wash out the picture in an indirect natural lighting setup like old tube tvs.
I used to bring tube tvs out on the patio to watch football for night games .
Now I can watch games during daylight hours and the indirect sunlight does not wash out the picture .
Theoretically you could pause a dvd on your tv and use that as a backdrop for forced perspective pics.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 03:57 PM UTC
Well Nick as JR already said I wish my failures looked a quarter as good as yours too. This diorama just bowls me over with its sheer quality Ė museum quality Ė and if I hadnít read your comments I honestly donít think Iíd have noticed anything wrong with the backgrounds at all. But now that you mention itÖ

OK the high-views are a bit unrealistic although even then Iím always prepared to believe they were taken from a rooftop or upstairs window of a building in the dio. And I totally agree with Cheyenne, the indoorís are great to appreciate the detail but thereís no substitute for daylight.

Jerry & Nacho both made good suggestions re backgrounds Ė strange how several of us have been wrestling with this aspect lately & itís a nightmare for my Anthropoid project, being as important as the foreground in terms of how much frame-space itíll occupy in many of the photos. Iíve been thinking about using a laptop/projector but in daylight I seriously doubt it would look any good & besides my reference pictures are all monochrome.

At least you could successfully crowd out most of the background with all the busy foreground elements & cropping - when I finally discovered tilting I should have mentioned before that it only worked (& only just) because my terrace/balcony was high enough but it sounds like you canít get that kind of altitude anywhere nearby. Load up the car & drive into the wilderness maybe? - years ago I did that & put the base on the car roof to photograph it Ė instant 360˚ background & a nice day out
cheyenne
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 02:51 PM UTC
Beautiful work once again Nick , layout , composition , pe , figs , destruction , in a very cool destructionally way .
I'm torn between the inside/outside pics. This is strictly my opinion and does not detract from the build and presentation in any way .
The outside pics are very cool and add a sense of realism that can not be denied nor replicated with indoor lights or mock dackdrops .
As in real 1/1 scale photos [ WW1 , WW2 etc. ] sometimes I find myself wishing I could see the detail hidden by the deep shadows .
The indoor pics. though even with directional lighting to replicate the sun from the right or left show more detail of the build which I enjoy seeing . Especially when the detail is so well done .
Your presentations of all your work past and present with the combination of indoor and outdoor pics. have always made your builds a must see , so hippies withstanding , keep doing what you're doing , ...................... it's great theater .