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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Operation Anthropoid
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Friday, December 06, 2019 - 02:19 AM UTC
Nice technique . Maybe knock down some of th high edges though?
J
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, December 08, 2019 - 10:52 AM UTC
Erwin/Jerry thanks & maybe the cobbles are too proud. I thought the painted section looked flatter because the high-lit edges don’t contrast as much as in the unpainted part but even so, when I put Father Merrin on them it did look a tad too bumpy for his 1/35 brogues. More than one way to flatten ‘em but filling the stamp with another blob of PVA in each box should do it. Some might think this is getting way too pernickety but it’s about 75% of the whole diorama so it’ll be very noticeable in a bad way if it looks like the Giants’ Causeway, or an ice rink.

Still waiting for a competent mathematician to attempt the calculation posed in my last post…
BUTA46
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Maine, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 09, 2019 - 11:43 AM UTC
I attempted but those “metric” thingies mess me up.
cheyenne
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 12:53 AM UTC
Nice solution Tim . With the amount of area you need to cover it still seems to be a bear .
I do however have faith in Timology , so there's that .
Have you checked out Green Stuff World textured rollers ? I've read some good things about them , air dry clay and the roller . They come in longer lengths too .
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 02:22 AM UTC
It's not that the stones stand too proud but rather some have a sort of rim around the edges that don't fool the eye. Hard to describe.
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 12:30 PM UTC
Jerry – OK I get it, and the reason for that was dabbing them down with a finger-tip too much when semi-dry (because they were REALLY proud then) so some became concave. I could argue it’s a brilliant replication of rain-water erosion but I’d only be fooling myself, let’s see how Cobbles v2 looks this weekend.

Glenn – yeah many pages back rollers were discussed & I made notes, they seemed the ideal solution in theory but now it’s walk-the-walk time I couldn’t work out how I’d be able to use them - hard to describe the mechanical complications so in the next set of photos hopefully it’ll become apparent why I opted for the stamp instead. Also I had a feeling a roller would keep lifting the wood-filler (chosen because lighter weight than clay), because while drying it hasn’t fully gripped the balsa beneath. By the time it’s sufficiently bonded, it would likely be too set to roll.

OK so y’all too chicken for the math eh? Well according to my steam-powered abacus around 58,500 cobbles are required to cover all areas, meaning 2,071 stampings…so you can see why I was hoping I’d dropped a decimal point somewhere, I am prone to the numbers version of dyslexia. But it didn’t take long to estimate it couldn’t be as few as 207, so…

Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 03:56 PM UTC
Yes we have no cobbles, because laying down the 2nd balsa layer took way longer than expected…









…pity I couldn’t have just laid a huge single panel down and then cut all the rail-channels out with some funky gizmo. If the streetscape had been flat that would have worked, but not with these slopes & gradients. So instead it’s a big jig-saw puzzle…



…(waste not want not) & the joint line down the middle further complicated the process - the interlocking edges are intended to disrupt it, whether they still will once the cobbles are down remains to be seen…





…but before that I’ll need to spend several hours tidying up the rail channels…



…because even though I made up two types of channel spacers as guides…



…cutting across balsa grain with enough precision was difficult so in some sections the channel-width varies by more than the 1.5mm tolerance the rails will allow. The are also a couple of curved sections where exact parallel-ness ? parallelity ? …the friggin’ rails aren’t parallel. Once they’re all fixed up the two channel spacers can serve to block them in sections while the 1 to 2 mm putty layer is laid down & cobble-stamped.



This might become the first diorama with its own internal heat-detection/mini-CO2 extinguishers installed, otherwise if the detonation goes bad it’ll go up like the Hindenburg. Anyhow that was the construction episode I’d dreaded the most & I slept better last night
SpeedyJ
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Bangkok, Thailand / ไทย
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Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 05:15 PM UTC
What an impressive build this is. Outstanding!
Makes me want to paint my little 3D Printed Steam Tram "Oldenbroek" 1/87 scale... Very addictive those Trams...

All the best.

Robert Jan
jrutman
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Posted: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 02:43 AM UTC
I think the only word that remains relevant here is "epic" ! I would urge you,however,to consider using photoshop for your explosion rather than the usual methods because I would hate to see all this get deep-sixed !
J
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 10:29 PM UTC
Thanks RJ it sure ain’t getting any smaller - I hear you Jerry but you know I can’t help myself, more recently arrived lurkers maybe won’t know what we’re talking about so here’s a few blasts from my/the past…











The full range of custom recipes represented there, all way too heavy for current purpose but I also rediscovered a forgotten folder from 2016 containing some promising shrapnel tests like this one..



To give an idea of scale a 1/35 AFV would have just fitted in the flash zone so ingredients would need to be more than halved to make Kubis’ grenade & I’d still need to test it in a balsa environment – not forgetting the close proximity of the garden’s trees, I haven’t decided what they’ll be made of yet but probably equally flammable. If it’s all too risky I think I mentioned before past collaborator Mike Koenig (GAZ convoy/Stuka Kanonvogel attack) has already offered his excellent photoshopping skills again if required.

This week & probably next week too I’ll be cobbling myself into a coma so here’s wishing y’all a happy and peaceful all-faiths Season
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 02:23 AM UTC
Yep,that is EXACTLY what I mean ! LoL
And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours as well pal.
J
Golikell
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Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 02:54 AM UTC
That is a different kind of kit bashing.
cheyenne
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Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 01:14 PM UTC
That's one heck of a volume of work man , but it's going in the right direction !!
Cool job Tim .
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2019 - 12:42 AM UTC
Just seeing 2019 out with a bang. Cobble rep – 12 % complete and that tub of filler’s empty already
Golikell
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Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2019 - 08:05 PM UTC
Well, on to the DIY store then... Sounds like you''ll need the national stocks of the stuff: more than 8 buckets!!!
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019 - 01:14 AM UTC
The track layout looks pretty dang precise to me, wow, great work! This is taking shape quite nicely Tim, I'm enjoying the details.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 09:58 PM UTC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRKNw477onU















Thanks Ski long time etc -certainly some initial scratchy areas to begin with, those first runs are deliberately as far away from the action as possible. I gradually got the hang of how to lay/stamp & have decided to just keep going and do the whole base, then see which areas need flattening/sanding down & maybe even partially re-laying so that there’s some overall consistency. The sample section of white Evergreen rail’s been essential to keep checking both before & after stamping that they’ll fit snugly between the cobbled sections.

Hey Erwin, turns out I unerringly selected a brand/type of filler which suddenly disappeared from the shelves of every hardware store in Sydney the day after I bought what seems to have been the last remaining tub, allegedly “no longer stocked” – maybe the strong whiff of ammonia every time I opened the tub had something to do with it. The replacement product seems OK so far…it just stinks of something else.

I can only average a couple of sections a day until the new year it’s a long um road ahead…talking of which a Happy, Safe, Prosperous & Peaceful 2020 to y’all
Golikell
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Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 10:15 PM UTC

Well, there is no modelling being done without at least a whiff of something chemical... Otherwise it won't be modelling

I take it, these pics a all taken at different stages of smearin' 'n stampin'? The last one looks like you got the hang of it indeed... The result is something to be proud of!
SpeedyJ
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Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 - 01:05 AM UTC
Well there he is. Streetwalker.
https://youtu.be/1x_UfUUtz18

Coolpix for Cool Guitar Playing Legends.

Best to You and Yours.

Robert Jan
Golikell
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Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 - 01:34 AM UTC
Yeah, off course all those best wishes from my side for the coming seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/fortnights/months/year(s) too...
cheyenne
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Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 11:02 PM UTC
Well it looks as if you've got this well under control .

What , you've got a DeLorean or something to have found that Canned Heat nugget , we sang/repeated that refrain over and over hitch hiking to Bethel N.Y. in 69 .
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, January 06, 2020 - 10:06 PM UTC
All good memories guys. Anyhow despite recent events the show must go on…













After maybe 10 hours work since the last photos, now around 33% cobble-complete. After finishing the greenish filler tub (450g) I’m now using a 2kg tub of white substitute. I’ll need at least another 450g after that so the weight’s going to increase approx 3kg overall less moisture content.

As for the join between the two halves, the 3 factors I’m counting on to conceal it are (a) breaking up the joint line as shown (b) painting the cobbles & using some light/dark trickery to disguise the thin black line (c) all final photos will be at 1/35th-person perspective and from that low angle the join already nearly disappears, except when viewed down its length. Disguising the joins of the Evergreen tramlines will be another matter, randomly off-setting them by a couple of centimetres (compared to the cobble-joins adjoining them) is the only idea I have.

But all this is crap compared to the fire catastrophes happening in this country & the volunteer heroes who are trying to stop it - some of them are dying & being disfigured defending others’ properties while their own goes up in smoke. An area now the size of Italy has gone & it’s nowhere near finished. I only hope the looters emerging in those disaster zones receive the standard summary punishment

cheyenne
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Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2020 - 01:19 AM UTC
First off , thoughts and prayers to all affected in Australia , extreme prejudice for the predaceous looters .

That's a lot of work Tim and it looks great !!
I think you covered this in a previous post and I'm not questioning your construction but is the base strong and rigid enough when moved ? Would hate to see hairline cracks .
All in all , looks beautiful man !!
Oh and I did decide to post something for Jerry .

Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2020 - 03:52 PM UTC
Thanks for your thoughts & comments Glenn. Maybe I did hint at the overall structural integrity of the base(s) before, but if you had any doubts I just did a stress test and…



But seriously I’m quietly confident. I’d anticipated the cobbling would add some weight (when dry probably about a kilo on each half) which is why I did everything I could think of to construct the super-light balsa frameworks in such a way the natural strength was maximised and weakness minimised. Once in place I took each half and tried bending it, lifting it from one end etc to see how much it flexed, and apart from one barely audible “chkk” was surprised how solid each half seemed to be. Well, solid with slight flexing which is good, but I wouldn’t have wanted any thinner base-plywod. There’s so much balsa firmly glued to the base (and itself) that it doesn’t have any chance of warping, it’s similar to honeycomb.

I’d also tested both types of wood-filler on spare balsa panels before the real thing & when dry bent them to failure – about 20 degrees deflection before cracking which is way more than expected and required.

However if another lunatic is thinking of copying my process know this: firstly the filler warps a single panel of balsa permanently, which is why I laid it on a laminate of two balsa layers stuck together with plenty of PVA glue, or ensured any single balsa layer was firmly glued down to the Styrofoam also with PVA. Secondly, when applying the filler the edges and other random areas are liable to lift off the balsa beneath while smoothing out and/or stamping. To counter that I found that pre-puncturing the balsa with hundreds of pin-holes gives the filler a “tooth” to grip. Thirdly I found that while the thinner edges of a filler section (typically where they butt up to the rail-channels) still lifted while smoothing/stamping, if you just let it dry out completely it magically beds down & grips the balsa just fine.

I’m still pondering whether to cover the cobbles with a thickish coat of PVA (before painting) to ensure no cracking ever happens, either because of the base flexing while being handled or just age. I’ve just tested whether my beloved powder paints will hold on top of a PVA layer and kill any sheen - again surprisingly they seem to do so, probably because the PVA gets mostly absorbed into the filler leaving the semi-porous dull surface intact. But that’ll be another kilo or so of glue overall, which is why I’m still in two minds – I’ll probably do it because the remaining elements of the base – trees, power/lamp poles, road-signs etc will only add a few more grams. Did I mention I’ve developed a much simpler solution to the brick pillars? Watch this space.

cheyenne
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Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2020 - 11:17 PM UTC
Well , ok then , carry on .
I knew you had sorted all this before hand , kinda .
I wasn't referring to the cobble sections themselves but where the sections met , but I see you did dry runs on that also .
Excellent .